HC asks CID to probe tree felling in Botanic garden

The Calcutta High Court on Friday directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the state government to probe the tree feeling incident in the India Botanic Garden in November 2008.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: March 14, 2009 3:08 am

The Calcutta High Court on Friday directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the state government to probe the tree feeling incident in the India Botanic Garden in November 2008.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Biswanath Somadder asked the CID to complete the probe within three months and submit the progress

report each month as the court has decided to monitor the probe.

During the hearing on February 27,the court had requested the Advocate General Bolai Roy to assist it for holding an inquiry into the incident. On Friday,Roy suggested the court that the probe can be conducted by the CID. The former deputy director of CBI has joined the CID recently and can conduct the probe,he added. Subsequently,the Bench passed an order for the CID probe.

Environmentalist Subash Dutta had earlier demanded the CBI inquiry on the issue. In November 2008,he informed the HC that trees were fell down illegally in the Botanic Garden.

Following this,the court had set up a three-member committee comprising Advocate Aninda Mitra,Kolkata Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty and Principal Chief Conservator Forest Atanu Raha.

The committee had placed the report with an observation that further probe was required into the matter.

The report said 38 trees,including rare species,were cut and auctioned among the employees of the India Botanic Garden. Trees were fell down by the outsiders hired to do this task. The auction was undertaken only for Rs 32,000 and one Sufal Mandal,employee of the Botanic Garden,was involved in the incident.

Subsequently,a complaint was lodged with the police and forest department.

The Division Bench also noted that neither the police nor the forest department took any action in the matter.

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