The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday recalled its order on formation of special investigative team (SIT) to probe death of a forest official in which involvement of Haryana-cadre Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi was alleged.
The single-judge bench of justice K Kannan allowed the review petition filed by Chaturvedi.The IFS officer had challenged the order of formation of SIT to probe death of a forest official wherein his role was suspected.
The HC bench has restrained the media from reporting the judgment.
Chaturvedi’s counsel Sudershan Goel in a statement said that the review petition has been allowed and reluctantly, the petition filed by forest official’s father Ram Pal Tomar, seeking independent probe into death of his son has been dismissed.
The HC, on February 11, had directed the state government to form an SIT, headed by an officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police (DSP), for a relook into the entire matter.
Chaturvedi, currently on central government deputation, is working as deputy secretary at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. The matter pertains to the period when he was posted in Haryana.
The HC order of SIT had come on the petition by Ram Pal Tomar, father of Sanjiv Tomar, a forest range officer who had allegedly committed suicide in December 2009 in Jhajjar. In the suicide note reportedly recovered from the deceased, Chaturvedi was named. Deceased’s father had alleged involvement of Chaturvedi, a woman, Parmila, and senior police officer Balwan Singh Rana.
Chaturvedi’s lawyer said the local police and later a central investigating agency of the state did not find any foul play in Tomar’s death and a cancellation report was prepared on in 2010.
Reports of four special investigating teams (SITs) constituted in this case had found that the deceased had committed suicide and the state had not filed the cancellation report in court because Chaturvedi had exposed various scams, involving the then forest minister and the office of chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Goel said.
In its reply on review petition, the state had submitted before the court that the reason behind suicide was the litigation of the deceased with his wife Rekha; departmental proceedings against the deceased for his involvement in a scam unearthed by Chaturvedi; and his live-in relationship with Promila, who was also under scanner into the forester’s death.
When the previous order constituting a fresh SIT was passed by the HC, the fact about earlier four SITs was not brought to court’s notice. Therefore, it was found necessary to recall its earlier order, the IFS officer’s lawyer said.