Top Stories’How Can Unarmed Forest Staff Enforce Law Against Armed Poachers?’ Supreme Court Expresses Concern At Lack Of Protection For Forest Rangers LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK8 Jan 2021 12:45 AMShare This – xUnlike a policeman in a city, a forest ranger is in a situation where he cannot call for help. No one to help him in a forest – CJIThe Supreme Court on Friday expressed serious concerns over the lack of protection for forest officials.”It is difficult to imagine how any law can be enforced by the forest staff who are unarmed against poachers who are likely to be heavily armed”, a bench headed by CJI SA Bobde observed in an order passed in application filed in the ‘TN Godavarman Thirumalpad case’. While…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Friday expressed serious concerns over the lack of protection for forest officials.”It is difficult to imagine how any law can be enforced by the forest staff who are unarmed against poachers who are likely to be heavily armed”, a bench headed by CJI SA Bobde observed in an order passed in application filed in the ‘TN Godavarman Thirumalpad case’. While expressing concern at the lack of protection for forest rangers, the Court asked the Central and State authorities to come up with a policy to give arms licenses to forest staff. Delete “It is difficult to imagine how any law can be enforced by the forest staff who are unarmed against poachers who are likely to be heavily armed”, the CJI led bench notes in the order.Solicitor General and amicus curiae ADN Rao agrees to make a joint statement for resolution.— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) January 8, 2021 The Chief Justice of India, SA Bobde, observed that the policy is necessary inasmuch as forest rangers often deal with armed poachers, unlike a policeman in a city, a forest ranger is in a situation where he cannot call for help.The order passed by the bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramnian, observed :”We are of the view that we find it difficult to comprehend how forest officials will be in a position to protect the forests which are normally vast tracts of uninhabited land and of which poachers undue advantage for carrying out their nefarious activities. It is difficult to imagine how any law can be enforced by the forest staff who are unarmed against poachers who are likely to be heavily armed. We must take note of the fact that there are states, notably state of Assam, and according to Rahul Chitnis, the State of Maharashtra, which have armed some forest officers above a certain rank. We do not know what steps are being taken by other states, where poaching is rampant, for protection of the life of the forest guards.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, ADN Rao amicus curiae, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan and other counsel state they will make a joint submission about the measures which can be adopted for the protection of the life of the forest staff. We accordingly adjourn the matter for a period of 4 weeks for the purpose”.The bench was hearing an interlocutory application which challenged the prosecution launched against few forest officers in Rajasthan. Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the applicants, submitted that the FIRs against the forest officials were a ‘counter-blast’ for their action taken against poachers. Divan added that forest officials during their duty have no protection at all. India accounts for 31% of world wide attacks against forest rangers according to some statistics, Divan added.”Our forest bureaucracy needs to be protected; This is an all India problem”, Divan added.At this juncture,the CJI asked, “Why is that in Assam forest rangers are armed with fire arms but in other states they have only lathis?”. Advocate ADN Rao, who is appointed as the amicus curiae in the Godavarman Thirumalpad case, submitted that the problem arises due to lack of utilization of funds by states.In response, the CJI replied :”What we are tentatively thinking of doing…we will see that this money is utilized for bullet proof vests and then for arms for self-protection for officers above a certain rank and helmets in addition to the regular thing like lathis. In some states, officers are moving in chappals and lathis and are being slapped around and beaten by poachers. But in Assam they are armed and nobody comes near them .A forest ranger is in a situation where he cannot call for help unlike a policeman in a city. No one to help him in a forest”.ADN Rao replied that he will consult the Solicitor General for a uniform policy by the Ministry of Environment and Forests regarding this.During the hearing, the CJI also suggested the Solicitor General it was necessary to create a wild life division for the Enforcement Directorate as millions of dollars are the illegal proceeds of wildlife poaching done by international rackets. At this juncture, the Solicitor General and amicus curiae ADN Rao agreed to make a joint statement for resolution of a proper policy in the matter.The bench also granted ad-interim relief in the matter of Shyam Divan by staying the criminal proceedings against the officials. Named after crusader of forest conservation in India, late Mr. TN Godavarman Thirumulpad, the case pertains to implementation of Forest Conservation Act in India. Mr. TN Godavarman Thirumulpad had moved the Apex Court in 1995, seeking to prevent illegal felling of trees in Nilgiri Hills. Taking cognizance of the matter, the Court had then ordered that all non-forest activities, like sawmills and mining to be suspended in forest areas and further retrained felling of such trees from those areas. The case, which was a measure to prevent the illegal felling of timber, later evolved to be the criteria for determination of Indian Forest Policy. The apex court gave the nomenclature of TN Godavarman case and continues employing the writ of mandamus, in matters pertaining to implementation of Forest Conservation Act.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Story
The ministry has a policy of regularly conducting broad reviews of the GPFG in the run up its annual report, which it presents to parliament around the end of March.As part of the review, the ministry will also commission two consultancy reports on management costs and responsible management activities in other large funds. McKinsey and Inflection Point Capital Management are to put these reports together.The ministry said it had also sent letters in June to Norges Bank asking for advice and assessments on these topics.The management review group includes Magnus Dahlquist, professor at the Stockholm School of Economics, and Bernt Arne Ødegaard, professor at the University of Stavanger.Dahlquist is also research fellow at the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London and at Network for Studies on Pensions, Ageing and Retirement in the Netherlands. Both he and Ødegaard have previously served on expert groups advising Norges Bank.The private equity group includes Trond Døskeland, associate professor at the Norwegian School of Economics, and Per Strömberg, professor at the Stockholm School of Economics. Norway’s ministry of finance has appointed two expert groups to review aspects of how its NOK7.7trn (€823bn) sovereign wealth fund invests.One group will look at the management of the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), analysing the performance of its active management. It will make a recommendation regarding whether the size of the fund’s relative risk budget – or expected tracking error limit – should be adjusted.The second group is to assess whether the fund should be allowed to invest in unlisted equities. Although Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) – part of the central bank Norges Bank and the fund’s manager – is already allowed to invest in unlisted real estate and in unlisted companies where that company intends to seek a listing, it cannot generally invest in private equity. The management review group is to submit its report by January 2018, the finance ministry said, while the private equity group has a December 2017 deadline for its report.