Orissa govt files counter affidavit opposing PILs
Cuttack: A counter affidavit was filed by
the Orissa government in the high court today opposing PILs
seeking a CBI probe into the multi-crore rupees mining scam in
Placing the government's 126-page counter affidavit
before the division bench of Chief Justice V Gopal Gowda and
Justice B N Mohapatra, senior Supreme Court lawyer Mukul
Rohtogi said there are no specific charges levelled against
any individual or organisation in the PILs necessitating a CBI
Questioning the merits of the PILs, he said the points
raised in the petitions are "vague", "general" and based on
newspaper reports and suggested that instead of a CBI probe
the ongoing vigilance inquiry into illegal mining in the state
could be monitored by the high court on a regular basis.
At least seven PILs were filed in the high court
seeking CBI probe into rampant illegal mining in the state. Of
them, only four petitions have been taken into cognizance and
are being adjudicated over jointly.
Rohtogi, former additional solicitor general, also
placed before the court the interim report of Central
Empowerment Committee which acknowledged that corrective steps
had been taken by Orissa government to check illegal mining.
The court adjourned the case for hearing on February
Meanwhile, the state Vigilance directorate filed one
more status report with details of the progress it has made
till date regarding investigation into the cases registered by
The government in response to the notices issued to it
by the HC had earlier submitted affidavit opposing the PILs
and stating that the demands for CBI probe was 'uncalled for'
as a judicial commission of inquiry headed by a retired judge
of Supreme Court has already been appointed.
It had also informed the court that the state
vigilance directorate probing the scam is capable enough to
nail the illegal miners.
The government had also pointed out that it had taken
several corrective measures to check illegal mining in the