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The Supreme Court on Monday maintained the status quo on cutting of any more trees in Mumbai’s Aarey colony and directed the Maharastra govt not to allow cutting of trees till the next date of hearing on November 15.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said the status quo only applied to the cutting of trees and there is no prohibition on the building of a car shed for Mumbai Metro.

The court’s remarks came after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta ensured the bench that no more trees would be chopped, but also insisted that the court make clear that there is no stay on the construction work.

It further sought Centre’s response on how many seedlings have been planted as well as the number of trees harvested.

Earlier, in its Oct 7 order, the apex court had instructed the Maharastra govt to ensure that no more trees should be felled in the area.

The Supreme Court had taken up the Special Leave Petition filed by activists who sought protection of the Aarey area from cutting of trees.

The petitioners had approached the apex court after their plea was rejected by the Bombay High Court. The Bombay HC had allowed the cutting of trees in Aarey area.

—India Legal Bureau  

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