Sugandhagiri tree felling case: Disciplinary action against forest officers kept in abeyance

Sugandhagiri tree felling case: Disciplinary action against forest officers kept in abeyance

Wayanad | The Kerala Forest Department on Thursday issued directions to freeze the disciplinary action initiated against four officials, including a Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), in a recent tree felling case in Sugandhagiri in this mountainous northern district of the state.

An action was initiated against the officials based on a recommendation from the Vigilance Wing of the Forest Department in connection with the illegal felling of trees at the Sugandhagiri cardamom project in Wayanad.

The action was taken against officials, including South Wayanad DFO A Shajna, flying squad Kalpetta Forest Range Officer M Sajeevan and Deputy Forest Range Officer Beeran Kutty.

Forest Minister A K Saseendran told PTI that the suspension order against the officials has been kept in abeyance.

"We have now kept the order in abeyance. The Vigilance Wing had recommended action against the officials after seeking their explanation. However, the suspension order was issued without seeking the explanation," Saseendran said.

Saseendran said further action will be taken only after the officials give an explanation.

Meanwhile, highly-placed sources from the department said that the order was frozen because the officials may approach the Tribunal, and an order may come out in their favour.

The suspension orders were issued for their alleged supervisory lapses in taking action against the accused in the tree felling case.

The case pertains to the felling and smuggling of 126 trees from the Sugandhagiri forest land in Wayanad.

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