High court: Suspend Shimla forest officer for not concluding trees felling probe

Illegal felling of 416 trees in the Koti area of Shimla

High court: Suspend Shimla forest officer for not concluding trees felling probe

Photo for representational purpose only. File photo

Shimla, August 20

The HP High court has directed that the Assistant Conservator of Forests, office of the Divisional Forest Officer, Shimla (Urban), be placed under suspension forthwith for not concluding an inquiry into illegal felling of 416 trees in the Koti area of Shimla district. The court clarified that such suspension would continue until further orders.

A division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua passed the order on a Public Interest Litigation involving illegal cutting of 416 trees.

The court observed in the order, “In spite of the directions issued by the court on January 3, 2019, the inquiry officer has done precious little in the matter. This is a matter of serious consequences, which requires to be dealt with appropriately by the state. Issuance of a show cause notice and asking the inquiry officer with regard to delay in concluding the inquiry is not a sufficient reaction by the state.”

It observed “the action taken by the state being insufficient and keeping in mind the conduct of the officer during the present proceedings, we deem it just and appropriate that he be placed under suspension forthwith”. — OC

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