Chennai: In a relief to save-wildlife crusaders of Western Ghats, a division bench of Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to initiate investigation into 19 high profile forest offence cases, including that of elephant poaching, from May 15.
The bench comprising Justice V Bharathidasan and Justice N Sathish Kumar, while passing the direction on hearing a batch of writ petitions, included former Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) Shekhar Kumar Niraj in SIT. The CBI, state police and forest department had already given the names of their representatives for the SIT to HC.
“The SIT shall initiate its probe by May 15. Shekhar Kumar Niraj also will be in the SIT. The SIT shall probe 19 high profile forest offences in the Western Ghats and submit a report on June 10,” Justice Bharathidasan observed.
The judge recalled that CBI has already named SP Nirmala Devi and DSP Santhosh Kumar for the SIT. The State had nominated Raj Mohan, principal forest training college, Mohan Navas, Superintendent, Anti-Naxal Squad Vaigai Dam.
It is further noted that J Ravindran, Additional Advocate General, informed the Bench that the forest officials who are working in a station for more than three years will be transferred to various areas by May 31. The matter will further be heard on June 10.