Gujarat HC summons Principal Secretary on illegal mining PIL
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 22:47
  
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday said it was not convinced with state government's actions to stop illegal mining in protected Gir forest area, the home to Asiatic lions and summoned a top official.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) against illegal mining in Gir forest region filed by RTI activist Amit Jethva a few days before he was shot dead in July.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice K M Thakar asked the Principal Secretary, Mines and Minerals, to remain present in the court on January 21.

It said the law against illegal mining has been there since long but such activities have been rampant in the region as admitted by the government in its affidavit.

The task force constituted by the government to check illegal mining has failed as there has been no penal action against those responsible, the court said.

The Bench said it was not satisfied with the government's reply and, therefore, wanted Principal Secretary to explain what penal action would be taken against those who have failed to implement the law on illegal mining.

The PIL was filed by Jethva a few days before he has shot dead opposite the High Court on July 20.

After Jethva's death, the court included Amit's younger brother Bhavani and uncle Vijay Rathod as petitioners in the PIL.

Jethva's father Bhikalal had alleged BJP MP from Junagadh, Dinu Solanki, was behind the murder as he had filed the PIL. Solanki has denied the charge.

Bhikalal had also filed a petition in the High Court demanding investigation into his son's murder by CBI or any other independent agency.

The Ahmedabad Crime Branch, probing the murder, has arrested six persons, including Pratap alias Shiva Solanki, nephew of Dinu Solanki, and police constable Bahadursinh Vadher.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, December 21, 2010, 22:47


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