The Bombay High Court has recently disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed against encroachments in the reserved forest area of the Khadsangi Range of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve buffer zone.
The PIL has been filed by activist Prerna Singh Bindra.
K.P. Mahalle, the counsel for the petitioner, stated that the respondent – Forest Officers have issued communications to remove the encroachment; however, no further action has been taken.
The grievance in the petition is regarding the failure of Deputy Director (Buffer) and Range Forest Officer in removing the encroachment. Government Pleader informed the Court that the seniormost officer in this regard, who can look into the issue and give necessary directions to these Respondents, would be the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife).
The Government Pleader further stated that the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests will consider the petition as representation and take necessary steps as per law.
After considering the submission, the Nagpur Bench of Justice Nitin Jamdar and Justice Anil L. Pansare directed that the PIL be placed before Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) who would look into the grievance of the petitioner. If it is correct, proceed to take the necessary action as per law after following the due procedure. “Considering the importance of the issue, the steps be taken as early as possible, subject to other urgent commitments,” the bench ordered.
While disposing the PIL , the Bench directed that if Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) proceed to issue directions to take action, then all other concerned authorities of the State will extend necessary co-operation to the Respondents.