Green bench slaps Rs 1 million penalty for illegal mining



Shimla: Green Bench of Himachal Pradesh High court today slapped Rs 1 million penalty by imposing the cost of forest land on an illegal miner here today.

Division bench comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol also directed the state government to neither renew the lease agreement nor grant any fresh lease in favour of Shyam lal, a stone crusher owner for indulging in illegal mining on forest land in Chaba village of Shimla district. Court has directed the crusher owner to pay the cost to the state government.

The order came on a petition filed by the residents of village Chaba, alleging that Shyam Lal was running a stone crusher in the village Chaba and the state government had granted him lease for mining in Khasra Numbers 194/190 in Mohal Chaba, but Shyam Lal had not set up the crusher on this land. It was further alleged that Shyam Lal encroached upon the government land and raised unauthorized Dharas on the encroached land for setting up the crusher.

Petitioners further contended that lease deed granted to petitioner had expired on January 18, 2005 and since then the Shyam Lal was involved in illegal mining activities. Petitioners stated that they had approached the Pollution Control Board, District Mining Officer and State Electricity Board for taking action against the crusher owner, but was of no avail. In reply to this petition Divisional Forest Officer had submitted that notices were issued to Shyam Lal for encroaching upon 848 sq mt land and had also requested other authorities to take action against Shyam Lal for stopping operation of the stone crusher, but his request for disconnection of electricity and stopping of stone crusher were not considered.

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