Forest service official harassed, CBI probe recommended

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New Delhi, Feb 4 (PTI) A two-member Committee of theUnion Environment Ministry has brought out in vivid detailsthe harassment suffered by an honest Indian Forest Serviceofficial in Haryana including at the hands of Chief Minister''soffice following which a CBI has been recommended into thewhole affair.

Suspension of the 2002 batch IFS officer, SanjivChaturvedi, was revoked by President Pratibha Patil last monthfollowing the submission of the report by the Committeewhich was appointed by the Cabinet Secretary.

It was headed by Inspector General of Forests A KShrivastava and had Shally Ranjan, AIG as the other member.

The Cabinet Secretary formed the two-member probepanel after the President received a complaint fromChaturvedi alleging that he was being harrassed by the state''sCongress Government for taking action against violators ofWildlife Protection Act, 1972 and orders of Supreme Court.

The harassment came in the form of frequent transfers,12 in five years, suspension and fabricated charge sheet thatwas "deliberately" kept pending.

"....the role of CM office has been more than evident,in removing the officer from the scene, at the detection ofany scam/ violation.

"Since, it cannot be possible for any State agency toconduct enquiry into the working of CM office, hence it shouldbe immediately referred to Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) as prima-facie there are very strong evidences againstCM office," the Committee said.

In his complaint Chaturvedi had stated that he wassubjected to "continuous harassment" for past three years inthe form of illegal suspension by State Government forexposing large-scale irregularities in various projects,development of herbal park on private land belonging topolitically influential persons and preventing the destructionof Saraswati Wildlife Sanctuary from influential contractors.

The Committee found that there is strong evidenceregarding the personal involvement of the then Forest MinisterKiran Chaudhary in the matter and recommended the CBI probe.

"Regarding the role of Mrs Kiran Chaudhary, the thenForest Minister, in the whole episode and in view of theillegality involved in her decisions for furthering andperpetuating private vested interests at the cost of publicmoney, a CBI enquiry should be immediately ordered, as thereare strong evidences to suggest her personal involvement inthe matter," the Committee said.

"This should also involve the owners of the saidprivate land (who as per the officer belong to the family/relatives of independent MLA, Prahlad Singh Gillakhera,supporting the present government from outside). (More) PTITGB

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