Punjab government HC for recall of CBI probe in illegal mining case.
In this post we will discuss about the recent update on illegal collection of royalty from trucks carrying mining material in the Rupnagar district in which the Punjab government has moved to PHHC seeking recall of CBI probe order.
State moves HC seeking recall of CBI probe order
On Tuesday, the Punjab government approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking to recall an order asking the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct a preliminary investigation into the alleged collection of illegal ‘royalty’ from trucks carrying mining material in the Rupnagar district.
Facts of the case
This report was submitted in March. On 19 February, the judicial officer was instructed by the High Court to submit a report after hearing a petition on illegal mining in the context of the government’s claim that there were no illegal checkpoints / barriers near mining sites in Rupnagar.
The Government argued that there was no opportunity to exercise the power to initiate / transfer an investigation to the CBI.” (it) arises where the Hon’able Court finds it necessary, in order to do justice between the parties, to instill confidence in the public mind or where the State ‘s investigation lacks credibility “(sic).It further states that the criteria under which a CBI probe is to be ordered are not met in this case.
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The affidavit also denies the findings of the report that private individuals in the district were collecting illegal royalties at seven points. It is said that checkpoints have been set up by the government and that private individuals are not allowed to participate in the exercise.
The Government stated that the affidavit was filed by the Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) on the basis of two reports by different officials, which stated that there were no illegal barriers in place at the locations in question. That affidavit had prompted the High Court to rope a judicial officer to ascertain the facts on the ground.
In the affidavit filed by the Director of Mines and Geology, VN Zade, the government referring to the report that prompted the High Court to issue the order of probation states that “an important and critical distinction” must be made that the judicial officer “does not mention the collection of royalties at such checkpoints.”
However, the report by Harsimranjit Singh, Chief Judicial Officer-Cum-Secretary, District Legal Service Authority, Rupnagar, says, “…(those contacted) unanimously confirmed that no truck carrying sand and gravel is allowed to cross these points without paying royalties” (sic).
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The CBI has already registered a preliminary FIR after the HC directive. In the report, the CJM identified seven locations where illegal nakas were in place on three dates when it paid a visit to re-verify. The officer also submitted photos and videos of these nakas, and the collection was made by private individuals from mining trucks.
The government ‘s plea was taken up by the high court bench of justice Rajan Gupta who directed that it be listed before the bench presided over by justice Jaswant Singh that had ordered probe by the central agency.
This post was written by Kasha Doshi.
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