The Haryana government on Friday came in for a sharp rebuke from the Supreme Court over its law to allow construction in the ecologically-fragile Aravali region. Upset at the Haryana assembly’s effort to overturn the Supreme Court’s ban on construction, the top court said it was sheer contempt.

The Haryana assembly on Wednesday had passed an amendment to the Punjab Land Preservation Act, 1900 (PLPA), opening thousands of acres of land under the Aravalis and Shivalik ranges for real estate development and mining which could be a major threat to the environment and ecology in Delhi-NCR.

“Legislature is not supreme… At times, court also has to prevail,” the Supreme Court said. The bench said “we want to say a lot of things, but cannot”.

The Supreme Court said it wasn’t going to stop the government from enacting the law. “But no action should be taken under the amended Act … It is really shocking that you are destroying the forest … It is not permissible,” the top court said.