1. In a proceeding under Section 56 of the Orissa Forest Act, the vehicle bearing registration number OSS 2021 was seised. By order, dated 19. 3. 1984, the vehicle was confiscated.
2. The Divisional Forest Officer, Baliguda, Forest Division, informed the husband of the petitioner that a ban had been imposed on the truck bearing registration number OSS 2021 for transportation of forest materials as per office Memo No. 2344(11) dated 23. 3. 1984. In pursunce of our direction, the learned Additional Government Advocate produced the Memo No. 2344(11) dated 23. 3. 1984 which reads as hereunder.
'I like to inform you that the Authorised Officer, Balliguda has pronounced his final orders in respect of Offence Case No. 191/4 of Balliguda Division has confiscated truck No. OSS 2021 in favour of the State of Orissa.
In his findings he has declared conivance of the following persons. Hence they may not be engaged as transport contractors for carrying any forest materials for any purpose any where.
1. Smt Chandrama Sahoo of Baliguda of Koraput.
2. Shri Babul (Bikash Ch. Sahoo) -do-
3. M/s. Bhagabati Transports, Maniguda, Dist Koraput..
4. Sri Ismail Ali of Maniguda, Dist. Koraput.
5. Shri Narttam Tandi of Maniguda, Dist. Koraput.
6. Shri Ladakiswar Patnaik of Penerbahal of Phulabani Dist.
3. In our opinion, the Divisional Forest Officer had no authority and exceeded his jurisdiction in giving a direction that some persons because of their alleged involvement in certain forest offence might not be engaged as transport contractor. The jurisdiction appears to be arbitrary. Besides, it has been brought to our notice that the order of confiscation has already been vacated in appeal and the proceeding has not been finally adjudicated. In such circumstances, the direction given by Memo No. 2344 (11), dated 23.3.1984 is vacated. The direction given by letter No. 1918 (5), dated 8. 3. 1984 as referred to in Annex.-2. suffers also from the same infirnity. The Forest Officers should remember that they can act within the authority vested in them by law. We would, therefore, vacate the directions contained in the letter No. 2344 (11), dated 23. 3.1984 and letter No. 1913(5), dated 8. 3. 1984.
4. With this, the writ application is disposed of. There would be no order as to costs. A certified copy of the order be granted, if applied for.