The Tamil Nadu government has formed an expert committee to study the impact of Seemai Karuvelam trees. Additional Advocate General (AAG) Ayyadurai made the official submission on the same before the full bench of Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justices M Sundar and M M Sundresh, which ordered an extension of the interim stay on the cutting of ‘Seemai Karuvelam’ trees until the next date of hearing on 5 July 2017.
The AAG submitted that government has formed a 7-member committee under the Chairmanship of the Chief Conservator of Forest (Research). The committee would be studying deep into the various negative and positive aspects of the harmful plant species. After that, it shall submit a detailed report within a period of three months. The AAG has assured the bench that no more trees would be cut till the final submission of the report by the expert committee.
The issue was raised after an advocate, Meganathan, filed a petition seeking to stop the authorities from completely removing the Seemai Karuvelam trees on the direction of the court without first conducting a proper scientific study. The counsel for the petitioner had suggested that four experts should be included in the committee. The bench agreed to the plea and gave necessary direction to the AAG. A bench of justices comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar had ordered an interim stay on the felling of the Seemai Karuvelam trees during a hearing on 28 April 2017, putting on hold the court’s previous order for the complete removal of the trees.