By Arun Pratap Singh
Nainital, 1 Sep: The Uttarakhand High Court has reserved its judgement in the PIL case regarding illegal felling of over 6,000 trees and illegal construction in Corbett National Park after completing the hearing today.
It may be recalled that the PIL had been filed by a Dehradun resident, Anu Pant. The petitioners have alleged that despite a total ban on felling of trees in Corbett, more than 6,000 trees in Pahro Range of Corbett National Park were illegally felled to pave the way for illegal construction inside the park.
In this respect, the High Court bench headed by Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and comprising Justice Alok Kumar Verma had sought a response and explanation from the Chief Secretary about the action taken by the government against the accused, including the then Forest Minister, Harak Singh Rawat. In fact, when the PIL had been filed by Anu Pant, the court had directed the Chief Secretary to brief the court from time to time about the action being taken against the accused. However, in the one year that has elapsed since, no such information was shared by the government with the Court.
In view of the explanation sought after the last hearing from the government, the state vigilance department had, on Wednesday, raided the properties of former Cabinet Minister Harak Singh Rawat and had even confiscated two big gensets belonging to the forest department that were installed at two properties of Harak Singh Rawat.
The court was informed by the government but after completion of the hearing in the case. The Court has reserved its judgement.
It remains to be seen, when the judgement will be made announced.