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Fact-finding panel is ‘illegal’: Official to forest minister Rai | Latest News Delhi

Fact-finding panel is ‘illegal’: Official to forest minister Rai | Latest News Delhi


Delhi forest department principal secretary AK Singh on Monday wrote to forest minister Gopal Rai, stating that a committee he formulated to look into the felling of trees at a reserve forest in south Delhi has been set up in violation of rules.

Responding to the letter, a Delhi government official alleged that Singh is “running away from accountability”. (HT Photo)

The letter came two days after Rai formed a three-minister fact-finding committee to find out the details leading to the felling of 1,100 trees by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in south Delhi’s Reserve Forest Area.

A copy of the senior bureaucrat’s communique was also marked to lieutenant governor VK Saxena and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office, people aware of the matter said.

HT has seen a copy of the letter.

Singh said that the fact-finding committee did not have sanction or the authority of the council of ministers.

“The said committee is nothing but a Group of Ministers which has not been constituted by the Cabinet (council of ministers) to conduct the exercise …. The said fact-finding committee has been constituted under the signatures of Saurabh Bharadwaj, minister, urban development without any due authority or sanction from the council of ministers,” Singh wrote.

He also said that the committee consists only of political executives, and pointed out that the Supreme Court, which is seized of the matter, has constituted an independent panel of experts that has already furnished a preliminary report.

Responding to the letter, a Delhi government official alleged that Singh is “running away from accountability”.

“There is pressure on these officers to not appear before the committee. Some higher ups do not want the truth to come out,” the official said.

HT reached out to Singh, but he did not respond to requests for comment.



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