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Posted at: Apr 16, 2019, 7:13 AM; last updated: Apr 16, 2019, 1:17 PM (IST)

487 mining FIRs in Y’nagar, just 6 convictions

High Court raps Haryana Govt | Directs action against police, prosecuting agency, officials
487 mining FIRs in Y’nagar, just 6 convictions

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 15

Just 1 per cent conviction rate in cases of illegal mining has virtually placed the police, the prosecuting agency and mining officers in the dock in Haryana’s Yamunanagar district.

Digging deep into the issue of illegal mining in the district during the past eight years, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has not only described it as “distressing”, but also called for action against erring officials.

The Bench also directed that the matter be brought to the notice of the Secretary, Union Ministry of Mines, Haryana Chief Secretary and the State Director General of Police, for taking a “serious view”.

Justice Mahabir Singh Sindhu also set a three-month deadline.

The censure and the directions came on a petition filed by Vishal Bansal against the State of Haryana. He was seeking anticipatory bail in a case registered on August 29, 2018, at the Khizrabad police station in Yamunanagar for theft and other offences under provisions of the Mines and Minerals Act, 1957, and Section 379 of the IPC.

Justice Sindhu directed Haryana to furnish details of all criminal cases registered under the Mining Act in Yamunanagar district from January 1, 2011, till date.

In response, an affidavit was filed by Ashish Chaudhary, DSP, Bilaspur, Yamunanagar. Taking it on record, Justice Sindhu asserted that its perusal revealed that 487 criminal cases were registered for the breach of the Act from March 25, 2011, till March 31, 2019.

However, the conviction was recorded only in six cases. It was quite distressing that in 271 cases, the accused had been acquitted and this showed lack of interest by the prosecution agency, Justice Sindhu added.

The Bench said cancellation reports were submitted in 22 cases and un-traceable reports were furnished by the police in 33 cases.

“A copy of this order be brought to the notice of Chief Secretary, Government of Haryana, as well as DGP, Haryana, to take a serious view in the matter regarding illegal mining in Yamunanagar district as well as lack of interest shown by the police as well as by the mining official(s)/officer(s). It will also be brought to the notice of Secretary, Ministry of Mines, New Delhi, for necessary action,” the Bench added, while confirming interim bail to the petitioner.

Damage to Yamuna embankment

In its April 10 report, The Tribune had highlighted how the mining mafia has damaged a large section of the ‘right lower down-stream embankment’ (RLDSE) along the Yamuna at Tajewala village by carrying out illegal digging up to 50 feet deep along the embankment. The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) had later decided to close down 14 crushing and screening plants operating close to the RLDSE

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