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Supreme Court directs Rajasthan government to stop illegal sand mining

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“We find that it is not disputed by anybody that illegal sand mining is rampant in the state of Rajasthan and this cannot be allowed to continue,” the top court said, coming down hard on the authorities. 

The Supreme Court Wednesday took strong note of rampant illegal sand mining in Rajasthan and directed the state government, collectors and SPs to take immediate steps to stop it and file an action taken report (ATR) within four weeks. 

“We find that it is not disputed by anybody that illegal sand mining is rampant in the state of Rajasthan and this cannot be allowed to continue,” the top court said, coming down hard on the authorities. 

“Therefore, we direct the state of Rajasthan, District Collectors and Superintendent of Police (of each district) to take immediate steps to stop illegal sand mining as there was no doubt that…illegal sand mining is likely to damage the environment irreparably,” it said. 

A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant also directed the apex court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to look into the issue of illegal sand mining in Rajasthan and submit a detailed report including suggesting measures to deal with the issue within six weeks. 

The apex court, which had stopped the sand mining in the state by its order in 2017, said that the CEC was empowered to go into the issue of illegal sand mining and the problems faced by the traders, transporters and other stakeholder. 

“It will be necessary for the CEC to also go into the question of illegal sand mining and suggest measures for stopping the illegal sand mining,” the bench said. 

It said that CEC shall have the power to summon any person including government officials for the purposes of its inquiry and will be authorised to receive the copy of court records for this purpose. 

The bench, which was hearing as many as 18 petitions including the one filed by NGO ‘Dastak’, asked the CEC to interact with the NGO officials and one Naveen Sharma who has filed a contempt plea before it. 

During the hearing several lawyers and Sharma raised the issue of rampant illegal sand mining in the state and sought a direction that the CEC be asked to probe it and suggest remedial measures.

Source: PTI

(Note: The story has been published without modifications to the text. Only the headline and intro have been changed.)

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