De-concretisation of trees: HC asks Forest Dept to respond to PWD's plea challenging Rs 38.7L fine

04:22 PM Jul 11, 2022 | PTI |

The Delhi High Court Monday sought a response from the Department of Forest and Wildlife on a plea by the Public Works Department (PWD) challenging an order of the deputy conservator of forests imposing a fine of Rs 38.7 lakh on it for allegedly failing to do de-concretization of trees in Vasant Vihar here.


Justice Yashwant Varma issued notice to the Deputy Conservator/Tree officer, West Forest Division of the Department of Forest and Wildlife on PWD’s petition and listed the matter for further hearing on November 24.

“In view of the issues raised, let the respondents file their response within six weeks,” the court said.

The court also granted liberty to the counsel for PWD to place certain additional documents on record.

PWD, in its petition, has challenged the deputy conservator of forests (DCF) February 4 order by which a Rs 38.7 lakh fine was imposed on it.


The petitioner department said the fine was imposed “in spite of work for de-concretization of trees having been completed and information having duly been submitted before the high court through various status reports/ compliance affidavits”.

It said the February order was liable to be set aside as it has been passed on “incorrect and arbitrary application of law and without an appreciation of facts” in the present matter as the October 8, 2015 notice, about the penalty of Rs 10,000 to be imposed on all persons found to have victimized trees, does not contemplate fine for failure to deconcretize trees.

PWD said the fine had been imposed for non-filing of the compliance report, in spite of the fact that various compliance reports were submitted before the high court where the deputy conservator of forest (West) was also a party and the measures undertaken by the department were duly appreciated by the court.

According to the DCF’s order, there were 387 trees in the PWD area of Vasant Vihar which were still surrounded by concrete enclosures and it had imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 per tree, totaling Rs 38.7 lakh for 387 trees.

As per the 2015 public notice of DCF, a penalty of Rs 10,000 will be imposed upon all persons found to have victimized trees under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994, by putting up sign boards or signages, electric wires, and high tension cables, etc on trees.

In another proceeding, the high court had earlier ordered for de-concretization of trees in the Vasant Vihar area and various status reports were filed by the PWD in this regard.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.