HC issues notices to Gujarat, Centre in illegal mining case
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Friday issued notices to the Centre and Gujarat government seeking their replies to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a city-based resident demanding a CBI probe into illegal mining in Porbandar district with alleged complicity of Gujarat Agriculture Minister Babu Bokhiria.
A divison bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala today issued notices to the Centre, Gujarat state and other concerned departments seeking their replies to the PIL seeking an independent CBI probe into the alleged illegal mining.
Porbandar MLA Bokhiria and three others were convicted in a Rs 54-crore illegal limestone mining case of 2006 by a court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Porbandar on June 15. A week later, a session’s court stayed their conviction.
The PIL was filed by one Dilipsinh Chauhan, through his advocate Babu Mangukiya, alleging large-scale illegal limestone mining takes place in Porbandar district by around 12 mining lease-holders.
The PIL also alleged these lease-holders are either close relatives of Bokhiria or his acquaintances.
According to the petitioner, these close relatives of Bokhiria or his acquaintances allegedly indulge in illegal mining with the support of Bokhiria`s political leadership.
In 2005-06, when one H N Chhibber was posted as Collector of Porbandar, he had raided some places where illegal mining took place, the petitioner stated.
If the entire area is properly inspected by those competent to do so, the theft of minerals would run into not less than Rs 10,000 crore, the petition alleged. The petitioner stated that in many cases of illegal
limestone mining, though the matter was remanded back to the state government, no action was taken and it was kept pending.
The petitioner has sought a CBI inquiry into illegal limestone mining in Porbandar district or a Special Investigation Team constituted by the Gujarat High Court.
After this development, the Gujarat High Court issued notices to the Centre, Gujarat state, other respondents and concerned departments seeking their replies to the petition within 15 days.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for October 11.
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