Carry out mining activities in accordance with old rules: Patna HC
The high court was hearing applications alleging mining department was issuing various orders ‘overreaching the court’s stay’.patna Updated: Dec 11, 2017 23:35 IST
The Patna high court on Monday ordered that all mining activities in Bihar, including sand lifting, would be carried out in accordance with the unamended old rules.
A division bench of chief justice Rajendra Menon and justice Anil Kumar Upadhaya also directed officers concerned of the state mining department to submit their replies to charges of “overreaching” the court order staying operations of the new Bihar Minor Minerals Rules 2017.
The court has sought the replies by December 18.
The bench was hearing interlocutory applications, alleging that the mining department was issuing various orders “overreaching the court’s stay”. Petitioners Pushpa Singh and others also claimed that the department had closed the website and stopped issuing e-challan, thereby bringing their entire business to a halt.
Earlier on November 27, the court, while hearing a bunch of analogous petitions filed by Singh and others, had stayed the execution of the new Bihar Minor Minerals Rules 2017.
The petitioners had challenged the validity of the new rules, claiming that these were not in accordance with the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.
The new rules were introduced by the Nitish Kumar government after the JD(U) and the BJP joined hands on July 27.
The impact of the law has been that sand mining has been restrained, resulting in temporary lay off of thousands of people, including labourers, transporters and the realty sector being hit to the extent that both public and private constructions have stopped.
In a related development, 50 people were injured when the police and miners engaged in sand mining clashed at Chirand in north Bihar’s Saran district