CAT orders reinstatement of Chief Conservator of Forests over illegal cutting of trees in Uttarakhand

Bharti was accused of cutting 6,000 trees in Corbett Park and not taking action on illegal construction.

Published: 26th February 2023 07:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th February 2023 07:56 AM   |  A+A-

Image for representational purpose

Image for representational purpose

Express News Service

DEHRADUN: The Nainital-based circuit bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Allahabad on Friday heard the matter of removal of Chief Conservator of Forests Rajiv Bharti from the post and appointment of Vinod Kumar Singhal in his place.

The court stayed bhartari's transfer order and ordered the government to reinstate him to the same post with immediate effect. Bharti was accused of cutting 6,000 trees in Corbett Park and not taking action on illegal construction.

Earlier, a division bench of the Uttarakhand High Court, Nainital, while hearing a petition filed by Rajiv Bharti, had asked him to challenge his transfer order in CAT Allahabad and directed the CAT to hear the matter at the earliest.

The High Court had also said in its order that the newly appointed head of the department should not take any major decision during this period.

The matter came up for hearing before a single bench headed by Justice Om Prakash. According to the case, IFS officer Rajiv Bhartri had filed a petition stating, "He was the senior-most officer of the Indian Forest Service in the state, but the government had on November 25, 2021 transferred him from the post of Chief Conservator of Forests to the post of Chairman of the Biodiversity Board, which he considered was against the Constitution".

When contacted by The New Indian Express, IFS Rajeev Bharti refused to comment, but his lawyer Vijay Negi told this reporter, "In seniority order, IFS of 1986 batch and the most senior of the state Rajiv Bharti was unconstitutionally transferred from his post."

Referring to a Supreme Court ruling, advocate Negi said, "The transfer decision is taken by the committee of the chief secretary and additional chief secretary under the Civil Services Board, which was not followed in this case."


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