The Uttarakhand High Court has taken a strict stand in the case of the felling of six thousand trees and illegal construction in the world-famous Jim Corbett Park.
The High Court has asked the Government why a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry should not be conducted into the matter.
During the hearing of the Public Interest Litigation on August 21, the Chief Justice’s bench remarked that considering the seriousness of the case and the suspicious role of top officials, why not send it to the CBI? The next hearing has been fixed for September 1.
It has been reported that between 2017 and 2022, trees were cut in Jim Corbett for the construction work of Tiger Safari and other tourist facilities. Boundary walls and buildings were also constructed in the National Park. At that time Harak Singh Rawat was the Forest Minister of the State.
While hearing the PIL filed by Dehradun resident Anu Pant, the bench questioned the Government.
The petitioner told the court that several reports regarding the felling of 6,000 trees in Corbett were placed before the court. All these reports were shown to the court in detail by the petitioner’s advocate Abhijay Negi.
On this, the court asked the Chief Standing Counsel of the Government that why action has not been taken against the then Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat and other top forest officers whose names have appeared in various reports. On this, the Chief Temporary Advocate said that the Chief Secretary will present the correct facts before the court.
The name of the then forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat also figured prominently in the report of the Central Empowered Committee. This report has also been presented in court. The name of the former Forest Minister also figures in the report submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
(with inputs from ANI)