The state forest department has decided to not carry out transfers in compliance with the Election Commission of India ( ECI) directive.
The forest department’s stand will ensure that a number of officials who have completed three years in a field posting may not get shifted.
The department is of the view that the commission’s directives do not apply to it since the department officials are not directly involved in election work.
Meanwhile, officials of the forest department are unclear about whether they will continue in their assignments since the ECI may or may not accept their stand.
The ECI, in a directive to the state government, has asked it to transfer officials who have completed three years in a particular assignment.
The date for calculation of completion of three years is December 31, 2013. The ECI has sought a compliance report from the state government by July 31.
Principal chief conservator of forests ( PCCF) RS Negi told HT that the ECI’s directives to move out officers who have completed three years will not apply to the forest department.
The correspondence from the election commission to the state government mentions only posts held by revenue department officials and police officials and does not indicate to forest department officers or staff.
“The forest department officers will not be affected by the ECI directives because they are not directly involved in poll work. However, if the commission feels they ought to be shifted, we will do so,” said Negi.
Revenue and police officials are directly involved in poll work and, hence, the directive should apply to them, he added.
A few chief conservators of forests, conservators of forests, divisional forest officers of the territorial wing, a field director of a tiger reserve and a large number of range officers and deputy rangers would be affected by the poll panel directive, in case it is implemented.