What are the new orders from the Delhi High Court to the Delhi government?
The Chief Secretary will receive a notice of contempt of court if the notification is not sent out within the given two weeks.
The Delhi Chief Secretary was given a two-week notice by the Delhi High Court on Wednesday, declaring all unencroached forest space in the capital as reserved forest.
Judge Jasmeet Singh scolded the Delhi government for its neglect of the city's forests and ordered the Chief Secretary to appear in person if the notification is not sent out within the next two weeks.
If the order is not followed within two weeks, the Chief Secretary will get a notice of contempt from the court, the court warned.
"The Chief Secretary of GNCTD would be subject to a contempt action, and a notice of contempt will be drafted on that day if the Section 20 notification is not issued within the allotted two weeks. The Chief Secretary must appear before the Court via VC if the notification is not sent, as the Court has directed.
The Court was considering a series of petitions regarding the development of the city's forests.
According to the information provided, the Chief Secretary was instructed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to make sure that the notification under Section 20 of the Indian Forest Act designating unencroached forests as reserved forests be issued within three months of the NGT's ruling being passed on January 15, 2021.
Three months is how long NGT had stated that its orders would be followed.
It was informed to the Court that no such notification had been sent out despite the order being in effect for almost three years.
Judge Singh stated his extreme disapproval of the order's noncompliance and said that the government should declare that only God can help the people of Delhi if it is unable to manage the forests.
“I can issue a contempt notice, but why is the administration expressing helplessness? If you are incapable, make a statement and say, God help the citizens of Delhi. Say that we are at the mercy of God and the government cannot do anything,” the Court remarked.