DFO Forest Division Jammu Suspended Over ‘Dereliction of Duties, Failure on Compliance of HC’s Directions’

Srinagar/Jammu, May 20: Government of Jammu and Kashmir has ordered for suspension of DFO Forest Division Jammu Alok Kumar Maurya (IFS) over alleged dereliction of duties and subsequent failure on compliance of High Court’s directions vis-à-vis encroachment of Forest Land. 

A Government Order No.: 59 JK (FST) of 2021 Dated: 19.05.2021, of which a replica is in possession of news agency states that a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) No 25/2017 titled SAVE (Save Animal Value Environment) Vs State of J&K & Ors, CM No. 1456/020 IA Nos. 112017 and 2/2017, is pending before the Hon’ble High Court of J&K and during the course of hearings, multiple orders have been issued regarding encroachment on Forest Lands, wherein, inter-alia, the Forest Department was directed to submit details of the persons in unauthorized occupation of Forest Lands, put up the details of Forest Lands encroached on the website of Forest Department and to take steps to evict the encroachers from the land.

In the order dated 07.10.2020, the Hon’ble High Court was also pleased to direct that – “Let the respondents also file a report before us giving the action taken to retrieve the land from the 50 largest encroachers (in terms of size of the land encroached) before the next date of hearing” following which the status of retrieval of encroached Forest Land was reviewed by authorities on 30th April, 2021 and it was observed that in Jammu Forest Division ‘no tangible action’ has been taken to effectively demonstrate the compliance of the directions of Hon’ble High Court, as regards the eviction and retrieval of the encroached Forest Lands, it says.

Alok Kumar Maurya, IFS, DFO Jammu Forest Division has ‘failed to comply with the directions’ of Hon’ble High Court in retrieving and securing the encroached Forest Lands and evidently, his inaction has further delayed evictions and retrieval of the encroached lands, it says.

“In fact, he (AK Maurya) has faltered in performing his legitimate duties, as Divisional Forest Officer, for retrieving and safeguarding the encroached Forest Lands, including retrieval and restoration of the Forest Lands from the clutches of the identified largest encroachers”, it says.

Now, therefore, pending enquiry into the matter, Sh. Alok Kumar Maurya, IFS, (JK: 2015), DFO Jammu Forest Division is hereby placed under suspension for dereliction of duties and for his abject failure to comply with the directions of the Hon’ble High Court, it says. The suspension shall be with immediate effect, it says.

During the period of his suspension, Sh. Alok Kumar Maurya, IFS (JK:2015) shall remain attached with the office of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & HoFF, J&K, it concluded. gns

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