‘False affidavit on sand mining’: Orissa HC orders action against Chayani
A PIL was filed in the high court alleging “illegal sand mining and transportation from the Kathajodi riverbed”, following which the high court had sought an affidavit from the district administration
The Orissa high court on Saturday termed the affidavit filed by former Cuttack Collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani on behalf of the State in the matter of alleged illegal sand mining as “false and frivolous”.
A PIL was filed in the high court alleging “illegal sand mining and transportation from the Kathajodi riverbed”, following which the high court had sought an affidavit from the district administration.
Taking a view of the affidavit filed by Chayani, the high court ordered that criminal proceedings should be initiated against him. An affidavit containing such a “false and incorrect factual position” is not acceptable, noted the court.
An IAS officer and former collector of Cuttack district, Chayani is now the higher education director.
“It is brought to our notice by the Bar that the situation and the ground reality are so alarming that the Cuttack city is filled up with pollution. If the affidavit by the then Collector (Chayani) – and the documents are examined, it would be made clear that a false and frivolous affidavit has been filed by the then Collector, Cuttack,” a division bench of the acting chief justice BR Sarangi and justice Murahari Raman observed.
The affidavit by the IAS officer came after petitioner Prasanta Das filed a PIL alleging that due to illegal sand mining on the riverbed of Kathajodi, not only water pollution and air pollution are caused but also such activities of mining and transportation of sand cause health hazards.
The petitioner also contended that the sand mining operation was being done in a mechanised manner, that violated the guidelines issued by the department of revenue and disaster management.
“Since such a false affidavit has been filed by such a responsible officer without visualising the ground reality, the court takes a very serious view of the matter. Therefore, criminal proceedings should be initiated against such persons, which would be a lesson for others,” the high court said in its order.