Odisha govt gives protection to forest officials u/s-197 of CrPC
state government has provided protection to forest officials under section 197 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Bhubaneswar: Following the killing of two forest officials by poachers in Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR), the state government has provided protection to forest officials under section 197 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Odisha Forest, Environment & Climate Change Department has issued a notification in this regard on Wednesday.
Now, no court shall take cognisance of any offence alleged to have been committed by them while acting in discharge of their official duty except with previous sanction of the government, said a senior forest official.
Further, in case whenever firing is resorted to by them, each such incident will be inquired into by the executive magistrate and only if it is held in the inquiry that the use of firearm has been unwarranted, excessive and unnecessary, the criminal proceedings against the said forest officials will be initiated on acceptance of such inquiry report by the state government, he said.
For protection of forest land and forest-based resources in forest areas as well as wildlife in protected and reserved forest areas of the state, the government has provided firearms to the forest personnel of the state.
However, the use of firearms in discharge of their mandated duty and responsibility may expose the forest personnel to vexatious criminal proceedings.
Therefore, now, the provisions contained under sub-section-(2) of section-197 of CrPC have been applied to all the forest guards, foresters, deputy forest range officers, forest range officers, assistant conservators of forests, sub-divisional forest officers, deputy conservators of forests, deputy directors, divisional forest officers, regional chief conservators of forests, field directors and any other forest officers in the state who are charged with maintenance of public order relating to forest and wildlife protection, conservation and management.(IANS)