HC seeks Mining AD’s appearance in illegal mining plea

Case relates to alleged illegal mining in Mamidipally Chinnapur forest area of Nizamabad

September 20, 2022 12:18 am | Updated 12:18 am IST - HYDERABAD

Telangana High Court on Monday directed the Assistant Director of Mining and Geology of Nizamabad district to appear before it for failing to check illegal mining in the district.

The direction was issued by a bench of Chief Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice C.V. Bhaskar Reddy while hearing a PIL petition seeking a direction to contain the alleged illegal mining in Mamidipally Chinnapur forest area of Nizamabad. The petition was filed by a social activist K. Kondal Rao from Hyderabad.

The petitioner claimed that the limited minerals available in the area were on the verge of extinction due to rampant illegal mining in the area. He charged that some officials of the Forest Department had colluded with the persons indulging in illegal mining.

Special Government Pleader Sanjeev Kumar, appearing for the government, said the Mining and Geology Department officials of the area were the right persons to check illegal mining. Though the AD of the said department was not made a party in the PIL petition, he was contacted in the past on the matter.

However, the officer was yet to respond on the issues and secure instructions on the points raised in the petition, the SGP said. Taking note of the SGP’s submissions, the bench instructed the HC Registry to inform the AD of Mining and Geology of Nizamabad to appear before it on October 20 to explain his stand.

Costs imposed on petitioner

In a separate matter, the bench imposed costs of ₹50,000 on Maa Telangana Party represented by its president K. Veera Reddy for suppressing facts in a writ petition seeking action against officials for failing to check release of effluents into environment by pharmaceutical companies. Maa Telangana party filed the plea this year stating that bulk drug manufacturers and pharma companies were discharging untreated toxic effluents into environment in the State and the officials of Pollution Control Board were failing to check this.

Lawyer D. Darshana, appearing for the PCB, brought to the notice of the bench that the petitioner had earlier raised the same issue with the Appellate Authority of the PCB with near similar content. The Appellate Authority had dismissed the petition filed by petitioner.

The same petitioner filed another petition before the HC with the same content concealing the fact that it had earlier moved the Appellate Authority of the PCB on the matter, the lawyer said. Taking a serious note of the lapse, the bench imposed costs on the petitioner.

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