Staff Reporter

Directs police to register a fresh case under Mines and Minerals Act, 1957

Registration of the FIR under Section 379 of the Indian Penal Code illegal: Petitioner

Police filed the case on information that some persons were selling sand from the Yamuna basin

NEW DELHI: Quashing an FIR registered under Section 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code in a case of illegal mining of sand in the Yamuna here, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Delhi police to register a fresh case under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957.

Justice M. C. Garg quashed the FIR on a petition by one of the accused in the case.

The petitioner, Sanjay, submitted that registration of the FIR under Section 379 of the Code was illegal as no offence was made out under this provision in the facts of the case.

He submitted that offences, if made out at all, could have been registered under the said Act.

He further submitted that under the said Act, cognisance of an offence could be taken only on the basis of a complaint filed by an authorised officer. The Alipur police had registered the case in 2004 on their own on coming to know that some persons were removing and selling sand from the Yamuna basin. They had conducted a raid at the place and arrested the petitioner and other persons involved in the crime.

The Court in its judgment said: “The offence under the said Act being cognisable, the police could have registered an offence in the case. However, so far as taking cognisance of offence under it is concerned, it can be taken by a Magistrate only on the basis of a complaint filed by an authorised officer.”

“Since the offence of mining of sand without permission is punishable under Section 21 of the Act, the question of the said offence being an offence under Section 379 of the Code does not arise because it makes mining an offence only where there is no permit/licence for such extraction and a complaint in this regard is filed by an authorised officer,” the Court observed. Lalit Yadav, one of the accused in the case, had the permission to mine sand in his land. However, they had exceeded the terms of the permit.

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