Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Illegal mining in Gir: HC asks principal secy to appear on Jan 21

Illegal mining in Gir: HC asks principal secy to appear on Jan 21
Indian Express

The Gujarat High Court (HC) on Tuesday ordered the Principal Secretary (Mines & Minerals) to appear before it on January 21 in connection with a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by slain activist Amit Jethava.

Jethava had sought directions to check the illegal mining activity in the periphery of Gir Wildlife Sanctuary. Jethva was killed in an audacious armed attack in front of the HC building in July after filing the PIL.

The Division Bench, headed by Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya, ordered the Principal Secretary to appear in person before the court to answer certain queries, which the state government failed to put before the court on affidavit. The queries were related to fixing accountability of the concerned government official under whose jurisdictional areas the illegal mining is going on.

E Shailaja, the lawyer representing the petitioner, said the court — in its earlier order — had asked the state government to come up with an affidavit on the issue of making people accountable for illegal mining.

In its affidavit, the State Government had stated that they have formed a task force to check the menace.

Though, the bench was not satisfied with the affidavit and asked the state counsel as to what if the task force does not perform the duty well. The court also asked if the concerned government officials like mamlatdars and police sub-inspectors are being held responsible for the illegal mining in their areas.

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