Gauhati High Court stays IFS bid to corner top forestry posts

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Sept 14: The Gauhati High Court has stayed a controversial proposal from the State Forest department top brass for reserving 78 key posts for Indian Forest Service cadre officers.

The proposal, submitted to the government by PCCF D Mathur, has invited the ire of the Assam Forest Cadres officers who feel it would deprive them of important territorial and wildlife division postings.

In their petition to the High Court, the Assam Forest Service (Class I) Association said the fresh proposal is in violation with an agreement reached in 2008 (between both the associations) that all the posts of Conservator of Forest and Deputy Conservator of Forest will be clubbed together without making any specific as territorial or functiol assignments.

"According to the agreement, there should not be any distinction between IFS officers and promoted AFS officers in the Conservator and Deputy Conservator assignments. However, the IFS lobby has clandestinely moved this new proposal to reserve the prestigious posts for themselves," said an AFS officer.

He said that by doing this, the IFS lobby wants to keep forestry conservation in their control. "Assamese officers will not be given prestigious postings and will be assigned to only lesser-important functiol assignments - posts which are generally attached to other posts," he said.

According to the 2008 agreement, the posting should be done through "mutual understanding".

There are some 40 IFS officers and as many AFS cadre officers presently serving in the State Forest department.

While staying the fresh proposal on Friday, the High Court has issued notices to the respondents and listed the case for hearing on November 18 next.

In 2008 too, the High Court had restrained the government from restricting/ reviewing the cadres in the Forest department. Thereafter, an agreement was signed between both the cadre associations that 15 conservator and 34 deputy conservator posts will be clubbed together without any specification such as territorial or other functiol posts.

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