Woman Forest Service officer alleges `intimidation`

A woman IFS officer, who was a member of a committee that probed the alleged harassment of forest officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, has complained that "certain officials" in the Haryana government resorted to "intimidation tactics".

Last Updated: May 04, 2011, 16:06 PM IST

New Delhi: A woman Indian Forest Service
officer, who was a member of a committee that probed the
alleged harassment of forest officer Sanjiv Chaturvedi, has
complained that "certain officials" in the Haryana government
resorted to "intimidation tactics" against the members.

Assistant Inspector General Shally Ranjan has written
to Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh alleging that she is
being "intimidated" by some officials of the state government,
who have been named in the enquiry report, through letters and
RTI applications seeking her "personal details."

Ranjan, who assisted Inspector General of Forests A K
Srivastava in the probe on the alleged harassment of
Chaturvedi by the "powerful vested interests" of Haryana, also
alleged "dubious role" of certain officials of the Indian
Forest Service division in "baselessly accusing and
threatening".

According to the letter, a director ranked official at
the IFS division "at the behest of certain officials of the
Government of Haryana who have been named in the enquiry
report" used the "RTI applications of state government
officials for intimidating" her -- "considering her as a soft
target, being a lady".

Last year, Environment Ministry, on the directions of
the Cabinet Secretariat, constituted the two-member panel
which found that harassment of Chaturvedi included frequent
transfers - 12 in five years, suspension and fabricated charge
sheet for exposing large-scale irregularities in various
projects in the state.

It also recommended to quash the chargesheet and to
refer the matter immediately to the CBI for the impartial
investigation. Accordingly, the chargesheet was quashed by
President Pratibha Patil on January 19.

Narrating how certain officers of the state government
are "singling out" the members of the probe panel by sending
"intimidating letters" and using RTI appeals, Ranjan requested
the minister to take "necessary action" to send replies to the
letters and RTI applications "so that the
intimidation/threatening tactics being resorted to by certain
officers of Haryana Government may be brought to an end."

Officials confirmed that they have received the
petition by the lady officer, a copy of which is sent to
several top officials including Environment Secretary T
Chatterji.

In her letter, she said that she had sent a letter to
the minister on March 31 regarding the "intimidation tactics"
resorted to by the director rank official in the IFS division
for performing her "official duties honestly, diligently and
on the basis of facts and evidences".

The panel, which probed the case, had also indicted
Haryana Chief Ministers Office, then forest minister Kiran
Chaudhary and some senior state government officers for the
"harassment" of the Sanjiv Chaturvedi.

Haryana has rejected the findings of the enquiry
committee and asked the Environment Ministry to have a fresh
look at the case.

PTI