Mining scam: HC reserves decree on CBI probe

Cuttack: The Odisha High Court on Monday reserved its order after completion of hearing on PILs seeking CBI probe into alleged multi-crore mining scam in the state.

A division bench of Chief Justice V Gopal Gowda and Justice B N Mohapatra heard the case for the last four months during which the state government had opposed the PIL.

The petitioners’ lawyer, Narsingh Mishra, contested that the state government can not decide on probe agency as it has been made a party to the case.

The court would examine whether the ongoing vigilance inquiry is free and fair, transparent and adequate, Mishra said.

“We think the honourable court would decide whether vigilance investigation is sufficient and could reach its logical conclusion,” petitioners’ lawyer Narsingh Mishra said.

Similarly, there has been rampant illegal mining since the last twenty years. Moreover, miners have been digging minerals illegally on the face of deemed extension. The successive state and Union governments are responsibly for the substantial loss to the state exchequer, Mishra alleged.

The petitioner’s lawyer also produced a satellite map of the mining areas to highlight the areas where illegal mining is prevalent.

In response to this, the Advocate General, representing the state government, said vigilance investigations is satisfactory and High Court can monitor the developments, if court desires so.

It may be mentioned here that at least seven PILs were filed in the High Court seeking CBI probe into the rampant illegal mining in the state. However, four were taken into cognizance and were being heard.

Earlier, CBI had expressed its willingness to probe alleged mining scam in the state.