HC forms SIT to check illegal mining in Rajasthan

Jaipur: Three months after taking a serious note of illegal mining going on in the state, the Rajasthan High Court has formed a special investigation team to look into the matter.

The team, headed by retired justice KS Choudhary, has been asked to file a detailed report within a period of two weeks.

The court also directed the state government to release a sum of Rs 2 lakh as honorarium to the retired judge heading the SIT.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Kumar Mishra and Justice NK Jain (senior) passed this order while hearing a bunch of PILs related to illegal mining on Friday.

The lawyers, arguing for the PILs, stated that government machinery had no check on the menace.

The division bench expressed concern over the large number of illegal mining activities brought to its notice from all over the state and constituted the SIT.

On November 5, division bench comprising the Chief Justice Mishra and Justice NK Jain-I had asked advocate general GS Bapna as well as the lawyers contesting the PILs on the subject to suggest some independent persons who could be grouped into a 'Special Investigation Team' (SIT) to check illegal mining in Rajasthan.

The bench said that a team especially empowered by it could put a check on the illegal mining racket and would help identify and punish the government officials involved in it.

Recently a report filed by Central Empowered Committee constituted by Supreme Court, said, "We find that there is total inaction on the part of the officials in permitting certain mining leases, and the officials have completely failed to control the illegal mining going on in certain areas."

The report was submitted after the Supreme Court passed an order directing the CEC to file a detailed report regarding the alleged illegal mining going on in some parts Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana.