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
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