Petitioner moved court since police complaint yielded no result
: Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court Mohit S. Shah on March 22 directed the Goa government and police to file First Information Reports (FIRs) within six weeks of the date of the order against persons responsible for illegal mining in the State, including lessees of the mines and all those who permitted illegal mining in contravention of the relevant statutory provisions.
The order was issued while disposing of a petition filed by Kashinath J. Shetye demanding action over illegal mining in Goa. The petition named 151 persons, including former Ministers, lessees of mines and State and Union government officials, for abetment of the crime in addition to persons responsible for carrying out illegal mining as mentioned in the M.B. Shah Commission report.
Mr. Shetye had approached the High Court seeking directions to the government as his complaint filed on September 15 before the Goa police as well as the local office of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had not yielded any response.
Mr. Shah had, in his order, directed the police to file FIRs against those responsible for illegal mining.Extensive investigation
While referring the complaint to their superiors, the Crime Branch of the State police, as well as the Panaji police, had stated that this would require extensive investigation as it had to cover 151 accused persons. The accused, according to the police, included people’s representatives, Union and State government officials, officials of statutory bodies and firms involved in mining and allied activities.
The petitioner had relied upon the report of the Shah Commission. Among other things, the petitioner had submitted that many of the lessees had crossed the lease boundaries and illegally extracted minerals from outside the leased areas.
His main grievance was that in spite of the complaint the respondents had not registered the FIR under Section 154 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Therefore, the petitioner sought directions from the court to the respondents to register an FIR and carry out a fair, proper and wholesome investigation into the offences and to file a report under Section 173 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and to take appropriate action.
The Advocate-General of the State told the court that the State authorities were ready to file an FIR after taking necessary care that all the relevant materials were given in the FIR, including the report of the Shah Commission.
He submitted that the report of the Shah Commission had been challenged before the Supreme Court and, therefore, the respondent authorities wanted to ensure that in case the challenge to the report succeeds, the FIR should not fall only on that ground.
151 persons, including former Ministers and lessees of mines named in petition Awaiting SC ruling as Shah Commission report was challenged in apex court: AG
151 persons, including former Ministers and lessees of mines named in petition
Awaiting SC ruling as Shah Commission report was challenged in apex court: AG