Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The High Court, principal bench of Jabalpur, has served notice to the state government seeking a reply in alleged violation of the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act.
The HC said that it is not necessary to make the contractors parties as the matter of concern is whether the provisions of the PESA Act have been followed or not while allocation of sand licence.
The division bench of Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and justice Vishal Mishra was hearing a PIL in the matter. Advocate General Prashant Singh took objection stating that the contractors concerned have not been made parties.
Mining auction in the tribal areas notified by the state government is being challenged in the PIL filed by Atipichhra Uththan Samiti president Sanjay Sen. The state government and Mandla collector have been made party in the PIL.
Advocate Rameshwar Thakur, who appeared on behalf of petitioner, said, “In the said district, by inviting tenders for licence under the Madhya Pradesh (Sand Mining Transport Storage and Trade Rules 2019), licence for sand mining has been issued contrary to the provisions of the PESA Act and without the recommendation of the gram panchayats concerned. Before the excavation of any type of mineral in the notified tribal area, the recommendation of the gram panchayats concerned is to be taken.”
He further said, “There is a clear provision in Rule 21(2) of the Mineral Rules, 1996, that for licensing it is necessary to give first priority to the tribes of the notified areas. Ignoring all the above rules and regulations, licences have been issued to all the sand mines of tribal Mandla district notified by Madhya Pradesh Government and Mandla Collector to big sand contractors/companies/mafias, which is against the rules.”