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Hry A-G office not to oppose HC order regarding Chaturvedi Matter Can Be Taken Up Before SC:

October 10, 2019 05:55 AM

 COURTESY TIMES OF INDIA OCT 10

AG Ajay.Sura@timesgroup.com Chandigarh: The Haryana advocate general (AG) office has decided not to appeal the Punjab and Haryana high court order dismissing the state government’s plea to quash the report of Union ministry of environment and forests (MOEF) that had indicted several political leaders, bureaucrats and forest officials for harassing whistleblower Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer and Magsaysay awardee Sanjiv Chaturvedi. The AG office, however, has suggested that the matter can be taken up before the Supreme Court. In his August 13 order, Justice Arun Monga had observed that the dispute was essentially between the government of India and Haryana, and that the high court had no jurisdiction to decide it. “The Supreme Court is already seized of similar controversy vide a petition filed in 2012 under Article 32 of the Constitution, wherein, in my view, prima facie though, issues involved are similar and are directly related to the ones raised in the writ petition filed before this court,” Justice Monga had observed while deposing of the matter that was pending before the HC for the past around five years. In its opinion as to whether the state should file a Letter Patent Appeal (LPA) against these orders, the AG office has opined that the similarity of issues involved in the present writ petition and the one pending before the SC cannot be denied. “In view of the above, in my opinion, the present case is not fit for filing LPA. The government may, however, take appropriate proceedings before the SC in accordance with law,” Lokesh Sinhal, additional advocate general Haryana has observed in his opinion. In March 2014, the then Bhupinder Singh Hooda government had approached the HC for quashing the ministry of environment and forests’s inquiry report of December 8, 2010. The report had indicted the then CM and his office for ‘removing Chaturvedi from scene’ at the detection of any forest scam by him. After coming into power, the present government, led by Manohar Lal Khattar, had also pursued the petition before HC. The environment and forest ministry had indicted the CM’s office, various state officials and politicians in the multi-crore scams exposed by Chaturvedi. The report had also passed strictures against the state for fabricating documents and harassing the officer. Even the CBI had found the case ‘worthy’ for independent probe but expressed its inability to register a case without notification from the Haryana government. The report was prepared by a twomember panel of the Union government after receiving representations from Chaturvedi. In the same case, the President had ordered to drop the chargesheet issued by Hooda government against the officer. In its plea, the Haryana had submitted that the alleged inquiry was conducted ex parte and no opportunity of hearing was given either to the state or to the officers concerned. The government was also aggrieved against certain adverse and sweeping remarks/ strictures passed against its senior officers, while giving findings that Haryana had illegally served a fabricated charge-sheet on Chaturvedi and therefore, the state was unjustified in suspending him from service.

 
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