Expressing displeasure over the way the Andhra Pradesh government handled illegal mining of limestone in Guntur district, the Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday impleaded suo motu the Comptroller and Auditor General, the CBI and the Union mining department in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice V. Ramasubramanian directed issuance of notice to MLA Y. Srinivasa Rao of Gurazala, who was among the nine respondents, after hearing the petition. The Bench said the Central department of Mines, the CAG and the CBI should get instructions on how to further proceed with regard to the illegal excavation of limestone, which resulted in huge loss to the State exchequer. The AP government can submit a report on the progress of the ongoing investigation into the matter, the Judges said.
The PIL was filed by T.G.V. Krishna Reddy two years ago. The petitioner alleged that some persons were excavating limestone illegally in the district, but the government remained mute spectator.
The Bench sought to know what action the officials of AP Mining department had taken. When government counsel replied that FIRs were filed against three persons, the Chief Justice pointed out that a government report stated that nearly 12 lakh tonnes of limestone was illegally mined. “Where were your officers? Where has the investigation reached since illegal mining was going on for years together? Is it not a clear case of corruption?” the Bench asked.