CBI likely to quiz three UP IAS officers over illegal mining in Hamirpur
Hamirpur (Uttar Pradesh): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing illegal mining in UP, is likely to interrogate three former District Magistrates of Hamirpur, including high profile B Chandrakala, Sandhya Tiwari and much talked about Bhavnath.
The probing agency has found out that the three DMs, while being at the helm of Hamirpur district, allotted mining leases illegally, overlooking the High Court's order to follow e-tendering process.
According to the sources, Chandrakala had allotted 50 mining contracts, while Sandhya Tiwari and Bhavnath had given eight and two leases, respectively. Later in 2015, all the contracts had been quashed by the High Court, but the illegal mining continued in the district without any hindrance. CBI may also interrogate Mining officers Moinuddin and Ramkumar in this regard.
Samajwadi Party MLC Ramesh Mishra's involvement in illegal mining has also come into light in CBI investigation, added the sources.
There was huge hullabaloo over illegal mining during the previous Akhilesh Yadav-led UP government. But no action was taken against then Mining Minister Gayatri Prasad Prajapati. It was only after HC's intervention that the case had been transferred to the CBI.
Earlier on July 28, 2016, the Allahabad HC had ordered CBI probe in the illegal mining scam in the state.
The order was passed by a bench comprising then acting Chief Justice VK Shukla and Justice MC Tripathi while hearing Public Interest Litigation (PILs) filed by Vijay Kumar Dwivedi and several others.
Petitioner’s contention was that mining leases of several lessees had been unlawfully extended by authorities, though it expired on May 31, 2012, on the ground that during lease period they could not mine on their land because of stay order granted by Court. The High Court had restrained the Principal Secretary (mining) and other concerned officers to stop illegal excavation of mines and minerals but the mining did not stop.
The allegations in all the PILs was that the District Magistrates were filing false affidavit claiming no illegal mining going on in their area though the fact was that illegal mining operations were going on with the help of the mining officers with the state government being hand in glove with them.
The affidavit filed by the Principal Secretary (mining) in the High Court was pursued by the judges and the Court was not satisfied with the same. The Bench remarked that it was an irresponsible affidavit in which wrong foundations were filed by the petitioner. The Bench further said that stand taken in affidavit of the Principal Secretary that a committee had been constituted to keep a check on the illegal mining, is nothing but a mere eyewash.
"Not a single incident has been stated in the affidavit about the action taken by the committee,” the judges observed.
The Court, therefore, had directed the CBI to investigate the cases of illegal mining in the entire state and submit its preliminary report within 6 weeks.