FIRs against 8 resorts, hotels around Corbett for alleged encroachment on forest land
In its June 19 order, the Uttarakhand high court had directed the principal conservator of forests to register cases against all the people who have encroached upon forest land under relevant provisions of Indian Penal Code and Indian Forest Act, 1927, within three months.
The Uttarakhand forest department on Monday lodged FIRs against eight resorts and hotels around Corbett Tiger Reserve in Nainital district for alleged encroachments of forest land.
KN Bharti, sub-divisional officer forest Ramnagar, said they have lodged FIRs against the hotels and resorts at Ramnagar Kotwali police station.
The FIRs have been lodged on the alleged encroachments of the forest land, he said, adding it will clear whether managers or owners are responsible during investigation. The FIRs were lodged by Upper Kosi beat in-charge Jagdish Prasad. The action followed the Uttarakhand high court’s directions in June.
Bharti said the FIRs have been lodged against Hridayesh Hotel (IPC sections 379, 420, 434, 447, 120B), Hridayesh Farm House (IPC sections 420, 434, 447, 379 , 120B), Club Mahindra (IPC sections 420, 434, 447, 379, 120B), Goriya Farmhouse (IPC 420, 434, 379, 447, 120B), Corbett Call resort (IPC 420, 434, 379, 447, 120B) , Gateway Resort (IPC 420, 434, 379, 447, 120B), Margo Farmhouse (IPC 420, 434, 379, 447, 120B) and Hridayesh Farmhouse (IPC 420, 434, 379, 447, 120B).
The Indian Penal Code sections under which the FIRs have been lodged include 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 434 (mischief by destroying or moving, etc., a land-mark fixed by public authority), 379 (theft), 447 (criminal trespass) and 120B (criminal conspiracy).
In its June 19 order, the HC had directed the principal conservator of forests to register cases against all the people who have encroached upon the forest land under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Indian Forest Act, 1927, within three months.
In its June 20 order, the HC had said, “As and when complaint/FIR is lodged by the forest authorities, same shall be promptly registered and inquired into and investigation shall be brought to its logical conclusion, resulting in putting up of challan without any inordinate delay to safeguard the forest land from unscrupulous people.”
The directions were given by the division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Mayank Mainali, chairperson of the Ramnagar-based NGO Himalayan Yuva Gramin Vika Sanstha in 2012.
The petitioner had highlighted the environmental concerns in the wake of the construction of hotels, resorts and other properties around Corbett Tiger Reserve. The directions were given by the HC while hearing the matter on June 18, June 19 and June 20.
Responding to the development, Surendra Pal Singh, general secretary of the Corbett hotels and resorts association said law will take its own course. “But we will see what we can do in this matter in the coming time,” he said.
In August, 19 more hotel and resort owners around Corbett Tiger Reserve were made parties in the case for alleged encroachments and unauthorised constructions on the revenue and forest land.
With this the total number of alleged encroachers around Corbett went up to 56.
On June 14, the HC had constituted a four-member empowered committee to check and verify on ground level encroachments of land around Corbett Tiger Reserve. The committee submitted its report to the court on June 18, listing the encroachments around the Corbett.
First Published: Sep 11, 2018 00:12:17