Order of the Supreme Court regarding protection of forest officers and staff, 08/01/2021

Order of the Supreme Court of India in the matter of In Re: T. N. Godavarman Thirumulpad Vs Union of India & Others dated 08/01/2021.

The matter related to the problems faced by the forest officers and staff in the course of protecting flora and fauna in the forests. The SC took  serious view of the situation and said that the forest officers and staff would be in no position to protect the environment and the forests which are normally vast tracts of uninhabited land and of which poachers take undue advantage for carrying out their nefarious activities.

"It is difficult to imagine how any law can be enforced by the forest officers and staff who are poorly unarmed against poachers who are likely to be heavily armed," the bench of Chief Justice S. A. Bobde, Justice A. S. Bopanna and Justice V. Ramasubramanian said.

Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General, A.D.N. Rao, Amicus Curiae, Divan, Senior Counsel, Saurabh Mishra, Additional Advocate General, Chitnis counsel and other counsel present before the apex court said that that they would make a joint submission about the measures which can be adopted for protection of forests as well as the lives of forest officers and staff.

The SC accordingly adjourned the matter for a period of four weeks and granted interim relief and stayed all the proceedings initiated against the forest officers and staff initiated against the forest officers and staff pursuant to FIR No. 41 dated May 23, 2020 filed in Mt. Abu Police Station, Sirohi district, Rajasthan under the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Cast (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.