Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Wildlife Warden Bennichen Thomas was suspended by the Kerala Government one-and-a-half months ago over the controversial order granting permission to Tamil Nadu to fell 15 trees growing in the close vicinity of the baby dam of the larger Mullaperiyar Dam. Now it has come to light the state administration acted hastily against the Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, without informing the Union government as has to be done in the case of officers of All-India Services.
While pointing out that the Centre, the cadre-controlling authority of the IFS officers, is not aware of the reasons that led to the suspension, Inspector General of Forests A K Mohanty has asked the Chief Secretary to submit the relevant files at the earliest.
The Centre had sent the letter on November 24.
Though the state government has the authority to suspend Civil Service officers, the Centre needs to be informed about it. In case the suspension is extended also, the Union Ministry of Personnel should be informed.
The state government had suspended Chief Wildlife Warden Bennichen Thomas on November 11. The order stated that Bennichen had violated the All-India Services Rules and that he had acted against the stance taken by the government.
The Cabinet meet had decided to suspend Bennichen. But the IAS and IFS Associations had voiced concerns over his suspension of and demanded the order be revoked.