Under the Indian Forest Service Cadre Rule 1966,it is mandatory to fill a cadre post by a cadre officer. But the Haryana government has been violating the rule with impunity,despite being pulled up by the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment and the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). Even the Prime Ministers Office has taken note of this issue.
Under Rule 9 of IFS,no non-cadre officer (non-IFS) can occupy a cadre post beyond three months without the sanction of the Centre. As soon as a cadre officer is available,the non-cadre officer should be removed from the post. But this has not been done in Haryana.
In some cases,while the non-cadre officers have been posted on cadre post,the cadre officers have been sitting idle,waiting for their posting in the last few years. The hapless officers have been approaching CAT for redressal of their grievances. In a number of cases,on a CAT directive,the government has been forced to take corrective measure,but has gone back to repeatedly violating the rules.
Following cases filed by two IFS officers,Shiv Kumar and Pradeep Kumar,awaiting posting orders for more than a year,CAT issued notices to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest,and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Environment,Haryana. They have been asked to file their replies by February 6,according to the counsel for the petitioners,Praveen Kumar Garg.
Earlier D Hembram,a 1992 batch IFS officer,was posted below his pay-scale on a non-cadre post in December 2007. Three prestigious divisions of the Forest department were occupied by non-cadre officers. When Hembram approached CAT in February 2008,Haryana government had no reply to offer. Without even contesting his claims,the government posted him on a cadre post as DFO,Territorial (T),Rewari.
In this case,the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest wrote a stinging letter to the Haryana government,directing it to ensure that in future,a non-cadre officer should not be posted to a cadre post. But the letter seems to have had no impact.
In June 2008 again,Sanjiv Chaturvedi,an IFS officer,was posted on a non-cadre post as DRO,Mewat. The three cadre posts of Morni,Ambala and Yamunanagar,which constitute 90 per cent of the total forest in Haryana,continued to be occupied by non-cadre officers.
When Chaturvedi approached CAT,the Haryana government beat a hasty retreat. Instead of contesting the case,it transferred Chaturvedi as DFO (T),Jind. In this case,CAT observed that it had become a practice with the Haryana government to post IFS officers against non-cadre posts,and then put them on a cadre post when the matter was brought before the Tribunal.
Taking a serious note of the matter,even the Prime Ministers Officer sought a report from the Haryana government in August 2008.
In August 2008,the request made by two IFS officers,Shiv Kumar and Pradeep Kumar,for posting on cadre posts was reportedly turned down. Thereafter,the two officers approached CAT.