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haryana BJP govt fighting Chaturvedi in court despite AG office’s no

June 15, 2018 06:49 AM

courstey TOI JUNE 15

BJP govt fighting Chaturvedi in court despite AG office’s no
Case Relates To Scams Exposed By IFS Officer


Even though the office of Haryana advocate general (AG) has given categorical opinion asking to withdraw the petition related to the scams exposed by Magsaysay awardee Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, the state government continues to rigorously pursue the case before the Punjab and Haryana high court.

The petition was filed by the then Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government in 2014 challenging the orders of President of India dropping the chargesheet against Chaturvedi and Union government’s recommendations for a CBI probe into the issues raised by the whistleblower forest officer. The present Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government has also endorsed its predecessor’s actions and pursued the same petition.

The documents accessed by TOI confirmed that the Haryana AG office, in its opinion sent to the state’s forest department on May 30, 2016, had asked then principal secretary (forest) Amit Jha to withdraw the petition.

“From perusal of the entire record, it transpires that January 19, 2011, order passed by the President of India quashing the chargesheet against Chaturvedi has already accepted by the state government on February 11, 2011. Filing and continuation of present petition after accepting and complying the orders is not appropriate and justifiable in court. Regarding recommendation of CBI probe by the Union ministry of environment and forests, Chaturvedi has already filed a petition before the Supreme Court and the state is also one of the respondent party,” AG office had conveyed to the government in its opinion.

The opinion, authored by an additional advocate general-rank law officer, also stated that a similar issue regarding CBI probe in the matter was pending before the Supreme Court and Haryana has opportunity to counter that, it would not be appropriate to continue with the petition before the high court.

“The undersigned recommends for withdraw the present writ petition,” the law officer had said in his concluding remarks.

Significantly, after this opinion, the advocate general office had even made a statement before the Punjab and Haryana high court on May 31, 2016, submitting that state may withdraw the petition.

However, instead of accepting the opinion of the state’s highest law office, the government started pursuing the case strongly and objected to dropping of chargesheet by the President against Chaturvedi and sought a CBI probe.

Even the file containing government’s view on the withdrawal of petition after receiving opinion from the AG office, has also been found missing from the chief minister’s office. A complaint in this regard was also submitted to the Chandigarh police on May 21.

Sources added that the government had ignored the AG office’s opinion to protect some senior bureaucrats and officials who were indicted by the inquiry panel of Union ministry of environment and forest for harassing Chaturve

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