CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has taken a firm stance in the ongoing battle against illegal mining, directing the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Tehsildar Nangal, and XEN of the district's Drainage and Mining Department to appear before the court along with relevant records. The court emphasized the urgency, granting only one day for the appearance to avoid any potential tampering with the records.
Justice NS Shekhawat, presiding over the bench, voiced concerns regarding the possibility of record tampering and urged a swift response. The SSP was specifically instructed to ensure the appearance of both the Tehsildar and XEN before the High Court. The court warned that failure to comply would result in non-bailable warrants against these officers and even summoning the Director-General of Police (DGP) in the following days.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the progress of investigations into 14 FIRs related to illegal mining in Ropar district, the bench hinted at potentially transferring the cases to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) if clarification on the matter is not received. The High Court criticized the police's alleged involvement with illegal mining operators and their efforts to shield them.
In response to the court's instructions, the SSP furnished a reply, stating that inquiries had been initiated with the Tehsildar of Nangal to determine the land ownership where illegal mining was rampant. The latest case revealed that the land was registered under Karnail Singh's name, who was promptly named in the case on September 8. Additionally, the SSP's reply disclosed that there were 14 FIRs within the past year, where investigations were at a standstill due to the Tehsildar's failure to provide information about landowners. The bench strongly criticized this negligence, emphasizing that the SSP should also be held accountable for not acting upon the Tehsildar's lack of response.