LARKANA: Larkana district and sessions judge Syed Sharafuddin Shah on Thursday ordered Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) to conduct inquiry into felling of trees along Larkana-Naudero road on the pretext of widening the thoroughfare.

The judge, who is also chairman of public vigilance committee for monitoring forest cover in the district, passed the order on an application regarding chopping down of trees, asking the deputy director of ACE Larkana to depute a circle officer to probe the case.

Ali Sangi advocate, who had filed the application under Sections 2, 4, 5 and 6 of the Cutting of Trees (Prohibition Act), 1992, alleged that respondents had started unlawfully cutting down valuable trees along the Naudero-Larkana road.

He said that the trees were cut down illegally and sold and the amount thus earned had been misappropriated. An old eucalyptus tree on VIP Road was also chopped down and its amount had been misplaced, he said.

He said that respondents were hand in glove with each other and a dummy contract had been awarded for widening the road and its documents had been manoeuvred. The huge amount from selling chopped trees had been usurped, he said.

The court ordered the ACE Larkana to complete the inquiry and submit compliance report within one month’s time and if the investigation officer found involvement or negligence of anyone then an FIR should be lodged in accordance with law.

However, the court said, the order or the inquiry should not affect work on the road’s construction. It said that comments were sought from all the respondents and all except deputy commissioner had furnished the comments. It seemed he had nothing to say, said the order.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2021

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