Illegal checkpoints exist near quarries, HC told - ECAS Punjab

Illegal checkpoints exist near quarries, HC told

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Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 11

Less than six months after the state government denied the existence of illegal checkpoints or barriers near some mining sites in Ropar, a damning report on their presence has been submitted by a judicial officer before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

"After carrying out spot/site inspection and upon making overt and covert inquiries regarding this matter, the undersigned found that illegal and unauthorised checkpoints very much exist..," CJM-cum-Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Ropar, Harsimranjit Singh, has asserted in his report.

'Royalty' sought, says judicial officer

  • In a report, a judicial officer said that he interacted with the locals, passersby and truck drivers without disclosing his identity. They unanimously confirmed that no truck carrying sand and gravel was allowed to cross the points without paying royalty.

The report, placed before the Bench of Justice Jaswant Singh and Justice Ashok Kumar, added that the judicial officer, without disclosing his identity, interacted with the local residents, passersby and truck drivers. They unanimously confirmed that no truck carrying sand and gravel was allowed to cross the points without paying royalty.

The judicial officer was asked to step in on a previous date of hearing after the state counsel's claim regarding the absence of illegal check points and barriers near the mining sites was "vehemently controverted" by counsel Mansur Ali on behalf of petitioner Bachittar Singh.

As the stand of the petitioner and the state was at variance, another Bench headed by Justice Rajan Gupta had earlier made it clear that an additional report by an independent authority was required to be submitted. Another Bench, on the previous date of hearing, directed the handing over of the report to all counsels.

The report added royalty was charged/collected by the crusher owners from the trucks/tippers carrying sand and gravel at the start of their journey and a slip issued to the vehicles was crosschecked at the illegal check points. It was to ensure that no vehicle passed through the routes without paying royalty. "The undersigned visited the sites on three different dates and ever time, these illegal check points were found existing and fully operational," the officer added.



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