A two-member Committee of the Union Environment ministry has brought out in vivid details the harassment suffered by an honest Indian Forest Service official in Haryana including at the hands of chief minister's office following which a CBI probe has been recommended into the whole affair.
Suspension of the 2002 batch IFS officer, Sanjiv Chaturvedi, was revoked by President Pratibha Patil last month following the submission of the report by the Committee which was appointed by the cabinet secretary.
It was headed by Inspector General of Forests A K Shrivastava and had Shally Ranjan, AIG as the other member.
The Cabinet Secretary formed the two-member probe panel after the President received a complaint from Chaturvedi alleging that he was being harassed by the state's Congress Government for taking action against violators of Wildlife 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 that was "deliberately" kept pending.
"....the role of CM office has been more than evident, in removing the officer from the scene, at the detection of any scam/ violation.
"Since, it cannot be possible for any State agency to conduct enquiry into the working of CM office, hence it should be immediately referred to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as prima-facie there are very strong evidences against CM office," the Committee said.
In his complaint Chaturvedi had stated that he was subjected to "continuous harassment" for past three years in the form of illegal suspension by State Government for exposing large-scale irregularities in various projects, development of herbal park on private land belonging to politically influential persons and preventing the destruction of Saraswati Wildlife Sanctuary from influential contractors.
The Committee found that there is strong evidence regarding the personal involvement of the then Forest Minister Kiran Chaudhary in the matter and recommended the CBI probe.
"Regarding the role of Mrs Kiran Chaudhary, the then forest minister, in the whole episode and in view of the illegality involved in her decisions for furthering and perpetuating private vested interests at the cost of public money, a CBI enquiry should be immediately ordered, as there are strong evidences to suggest her personal involvement in the matter," the Committee said.
"This should also involve the owners of the said private land (who as per the officer belong to the family/relatives of independent MLA, Prahlad Singh Gillakhera, supporting the present government from outside).