Delhi HC holds Private Builder in Contempt for obtaining Permission to cut Tree with Forged Documents

The Delhi High Court has found a private builder guilty of contempt for obtaining permission to cut a tree in Lajpat Nagar here based on allegedly forged and fabricated documents from the Forest Department.

Justice Subramonium Prasad, hearing the case, noted that despite a judicial order issued in July 2021 prohibiting the felling or harm of the tree, the accused, who is a private builder, managed to obtain permission, displaying willful disobedience to the court’s directives.

The court stressed the seriousness of contempt of court, stating that such actions undermine the authority and dignity of the judiciary, which are essential for upholding the democratic fabric of society.

Justice Prasad also underlined the need to send a strong message to society that court orders cannot be flouted with impunity.

However, the court clarified that it was not making any assumptions regarding whether the accused was directly involved in forging the documents, as this could affect his defence in the criminal case.

The matter has been scheduled for a hearing on April 30 to decide the punishment under Section 12 of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

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The case was brought to the court’s attention by Bhavreen Kandhari, an environmental activist, who alleged that the tree-cutting permission violated the court’s previous order. The forest authorities confirmed that the permission was obtained based on forged documents and provided evidence to support their claim.

Justice Prasad also referenced an FIR filed by the Deputy Conservator of Forest, which revealed that the tree was cut based on purported permission from the forest department, which was later found to be fabricated. (IANS)

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