Rishikesh, Mar 17 (PTI) The Uttarakhand government has filed a review petition challenging the Central Administrative Tribunal order to reinstate ousted Forest Force head Rajiv Bhartari, official sources said on Friday.
Bhartari was removed from the post of head of Forest Force (HoFF) in November 2021 as part of a major reshuffle in the Forest Department following allegations of large-scale felling of trees and construction in Pakhro and Morghatti forest divisions in the buffer zone of Corbett.
The CAT, in its order dated February 24, directed the state government to reinstate Bhartari as the head of the Forest Force.
In its petition filed before CAT, the state government raised several legal objections of serious nature to the order of the tribunal and requested them to be resolved.
On Thursday, the secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change wrote a letter to Uttarakhand Chief Secretary Sukhbir Singh Sandhu to take appropriate action on the order of CAT to reinstate Bhartari and inform the ministry about it, the sources said.
On March 10, the Uttarakhand government issued a “charge sheet” to Bhartari in connection with illegal constructions and felling of trees in the Corbett Tiger Reserve during his tenure.
The “charge sheet” was issued by Ramesh Kumar Sudhanshu, Principal Secretary of the Forest Department, “with the consent of the governor”, according to the document.
It accused Bhartari of misconduct, negligence in performing his administrative responsibilities during his tenure as the head of Forest Force, flouting administrative orders and the All India Services (Conduct) Rules.
The principal secretary asked Bhartari to file a written reply within 15 days defending himself or accepting the charges, failing which the investigating officials will conduct a probe against him. PTI DPT RHL