Former Uttarakhand (DGP) BS Sidhu & seven others booked for allegedly purchasing reserve forest land
The police have booked former Uttarakhand director general of police (DGP) BS Sidhu and seven others for allegedly purchasing reserve forest land illegally in 2012 and felling 25 sal trees in the area. The price of the land allegedly purchased by Sidhu was around ₹1.25 crore.
The FIR was registered on October 23 after the Uttarakhand government gave its nod on the complaint of Mussoorie forest division divisional forest officer Ashutosh Singh, in which he alleged that Sidhu illegally purchased the land that belongs to the forest reserve area and from whom he had claimed to buy the land had died in 1982.
Sidhu also misused his position to harass and pressurise forest officials, and filed a “fake” case against some in July 2013 when they red-flagged the matter, the FIR claimed.
“The area had been notified as a reserved forest under Section 4 of Indian Forest Act, 1927; as per a notification dated February 22, 1968. The land was then declared as reserve forest under section 20 of the abovementioned Act; as per a notification dated May 1, 1970. The DG, police purchased 0.7450 hectares of land which comes under the forest reserve area on the consultation of two Meerut based lawyers Deepak Sharma and Smita Dikshit and in connivance with the above mentioned accused in 2012. Subsequently, 25 sal trees were felled in the same area in 2013,” the FIR stated.
The seven others who have been named in the FIR, registered at Dehradun’s Rajpur police station, are Mahendra Singh, Nathu Ram, Deepak Sharma, Smita Dikshit, Subhash Sharma, Krishna, and Shujauddin (the then revenue official).
They have been booked under sections 166 (public servant disobeying law with intent to cause injury to any person), 167 (public servant framing an incorrect document with intent to cause injury), 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and 120-B (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, and section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The National Green Tribunal had in August 2018 imposed a penalty on the former DGP for illegally felling 25 sal trees. The alleged case of illegal purchase of reserve forest land in Bir Girwali area of Rajpur Range, Dehradun was also raised in Rajya Sabha in 2014.