The Delhi High Court has stayed the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) permitting the Civic Bodies to further prune trees in the city’s Vasant Vihar area.

The Bench of Justice Najmi Waziri said that “A more detailed assessment of the activity done by the RWA needs to be carried out. Further pruning in the area concerned has to be stopped right-away.” and further appointed Advocate Aditya N. Prasad as Amicus Curiae to assess the situation at site and assist the court.

Senior Advocate Vivek Sibal appeared for the petitioner and Senior Advocate Kailash Vasdev appeared for the respondents.

In this case, the respondents RWA- Vasant Vihar wanted to prune certain trees in the colony. They made representations to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Tree Officer, but nothing worthwhile came forth, so they approached the NGT which allowed further pruning of trees. Assailing the order of the NGT, the Writ Petition was preferred before the High Court.

It was contended by the counsel for the petitioner that any woody plant which had a height of 30 cm and a trunk diameter of not less than 5 cm was considered a ‘tree’ and was to be protected under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act, 1994 (Act).

It was also contended that pruning in this case was illegal as it could be done only with strict permission of the tree officer and not on general guidelines and that extensive damage had been caused to trees in the area, which had set back the greenery by a decade.

The Court also called for a fresh affidavit by the tree officer and accordingly, the matter was listed for further hearing on March 10, 2023.

Cause Title- Prof. Dr. Sanjeev Bagai & Ors. V. Department of Environment Govt. Of NCT of Delhi through its Principal Secretary (Environment and Forest) & Ors.

Click here to read/download the Order