Officials accused in the multi-crore mines bribery scandal were aware that suspending mine leases and halting operations could be legally challenged, so they filed caveats in the court, a charge sheet filed by the state anti-corruption bureau (ACB) has revealed.
The charge sheet — the first in the case — filed by the ACB on Thursday, revealed that the accused officials filed six caveats with the Jodhpur bench of Sherthe Rajasthan High Court in connection with six out of the 11 mines owned by Sher Khan, who is at present in jail in connection with the scam.
The accused officials served notices and halted operations at six mines owned by Khan allegedly to extort money from him to restart mining, the charge sheet revealed.
Transcripts of phone conversations between Pushkar Raj Ameta — the then executive engineer of mines and geology, Bhilwara — and Sanjay Sethi, another accused, and some office colleagues have revealed that the accused discussed “legal action” the mines owners could possibly take. Ameta asked a colleague to prepare and file caveats so that the mine owner could not get any relief from the court.
The 3,000-page charge sheet reveals that the accused, including IAS officer Ashok Singhvi—who headed the mines department as principal secretary—used to identify rich mine owners and close mining operations to extort money to restart the mines.
IGP (ACB) Dinesh MN, who is heading the probe, said supplementary charge sheets would be submitted as investigation was still on.