Supreme Court PIL in SC seeks directions for safeguarding lives of...

PIL in SC seeks directions for safeguarding lives of Forest Rangers, Forest Guards

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New Delhi, Apr 19 (ILNS) A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court, seeking directions for safeguarding life of Forest Rangers and Forest Guards in the national capital.

Petitioner Bhavreen Kandhari filed the plea through Advocate Manan Verma, stating that the staff is under tremendous pressure and are threatened and assaulted, while discharging their statutory duties in the National Capital.

The matter will be heard on April 20, by the Bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justice AS Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian.

The petition said that the National Capital foresters have a number of responsibilities that relate to securing forest land & removing encroachments thereof protecting forests from illegal logging, protecting wildlife & protecting every single tree under the Delhi Preservation of Trees Act 1994. 

The petitioner has demanded that the Government of NCT of Delhi & Department of Forest & Wildlife to create forest stations in all forest divisions of the National Capital as par with similar forest stations in the State of Kerala for effective protection & management of forest & wildlife & also direct the Govt of NCT of Delhi & Department of Forest & Wildlife  to establish its own forest training school.

The petitioner further seeks for issuance of an appropriate order to direct the Department of Forest & Wildlife to create & adopt its own Forest Code/Manual for effective management of forest & wildlife. 

In this Petition, the Petitioner being aggrieved by the fact that the custodians of the nature themselves & underequipped & helpless has prayed for issuance of an appropriate writ directing the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change to post adequate number of IFS officers with Department of Forest & Wildlife & direct Government of NCT of Delhi to provide arms, uniforms, wireless equipment, bullet proof gear, vehicles & other necessary equipment & logistical support to the forestry staff of the National Capital for the discharge of their statutory duties. 

The Petitioner has averred for taking all necessary steps to protect the duty bound Forest Rangers, Forest Guards & other field staff ie “Green Soldiers” by providing them with appropriate weapons, uniforms, vehicles & other ancillary logistical support in order to ensure protection in the line of duty. 

The Petitioner said that to further maintain intergenerational equity it is imperative that we take absolute & resolute steps towards protecting our environment & our children’s future & keeping this aim in mind, we must strive to strengthen the protectors.

The Petition stated that it has also been averred that unarmed, un-uniformed, untrained force being made to face heavily armed & organised encroachers, poachers & smugglers is violative of Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

“We as a nation are truly indebted to the “Green Soldiers” for their daunting tireless efforts to protect and preserve nature and its gift, however, forest officials are not safe in the National Capital”, the Petition said. ILNS/AP/SNG/RJ

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