Kerala HC slams govt for shoddy probe in felling of trees

The division bench of the Kerala High Court headed by Chief Justice S. Manikumar on Tuesday came down heavily on the manner in which the state Police is probing the alleged scam of felling of trees.

The bench came down heavily on the government when it was hearing a petition seeking a CBI probe into the alleged scam of felling of trees in the state.

In reply to this, the government informed the court that 701 cases have been registered after 2,000 trees of various species worth Rs 14 crore were felled.

This irked the court which asked if this has been the case, then why has there been not a single arrest so far.

The court asked for a detailed note on what has been happening and it should be submitted before next Monday.

The CPI in Kerala, the second biggest ally in the ruling Left government, is in a spot of bother ever since the alleged tree felling scam surfaced last month.

It was the then Revenue Minister – E. Chandrasekheran of the CPI, who had issued orders for the felling of trees in Wayanad and other eight districts in October last year which said that no permission was required for felling of royal trees such as sandalwood, rosewood, teak wood, and ebony.

It was using this order that large scale felling of royal trees took place till the order was withdrawn early this year.

Following this, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced a high level police probe, which is currently on.