High Court declines to stay proceedings in tree felling
The Kerala High Court on Wednesday refused to stay the proceedings pending earlier than the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Sulthan Bathery, in the instances registered in reference to the felling of centuries-old rosewood bushes from personal plantations at Muttil South village limits in Wayanad district
When the petition filed by Anto Augustine and Jose kutty Augustine, homeowners of the plantations, towards the registration of instances got here up for listening to, Director General of Prosecution T.A. Shaji submitted that what had emerged was solely a tip of the iceberg. The investigation was solely at an preliminary stage.
In truth, extremely influential individuals had been concerned in the case. The accused in the case had carried out the unlawful felling, misinterpreting a authorities order. The officers, together with the village officer, had been dealing with an inquiry.
In their petition, the petitioners stated the Meppady Forest Range Officer had filed a report alleging fee of offences underneath the availability of the Kerala Forest Act and Kerala Forest Produce Transit Rules 1975 for chopping and transporting 54 logs of rosewood timber from reserve forest with out legitimate permits.
In truth, that they had lower and eliminated the timber after acquiring all of the legitimate permits/licences. The bushes had been lower and faraway from the property legally owned by them. In truth, the village officer after inspecting the location had licensed that the land was not a part of any reserved forest. The petitioners may lower and take away the rosewood bushes standing in their property even with out acquiring permission from the forest or income officers in view of the federal government order in this regard. The proper of the petitioner to lower and take away the bushes had been absolutely authenticated by the village officer.
They additionally identified that instances had been registered towards the petitioner’s brother Roji Augustine who was into the timber enterprise. The complete export of the rosewood was monopolised by two merchants who didn’t just like the entry of Roji Augustine into the enterprise. This had made the forest officers inimical in the direction of the petitioner’s brother. The 38 instances registered towards them had been false.