Is Punjab mining department trying to protect mining contractor? seems adopted dilly-delaying tactics; failed to follow ED’s instruction
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
Even after around 27 days of ED’s letter, Punjab mining department fails to act against the high profile mining contractor Rakesh Kumar Chaudhary, as per ED’s instruction.
On November 16,2022 the enforcement directorate (ED) has instructed the Punjab mining department to add more sections in the already lodged FIR against mining contractor Rakesh Kumar Chaudhary, for alleged illegal mining on the complaint of the mining department.
Acting on the ED’s letter, the state mining department has issued a letter to the executive engineer cum district mining officer Rupnagar and Sri Anandpur Sahib to act immediately as per ED’s instruction and respond to the chief engineer, drainage-cum-mining geology-I, department of water resources, mining and geology ,Punjab and asked them to do the needful on priority basis and respond the head office in two days.
It seems the mining department has adopted a dilly delaying tactics as till today no official from the mining department has requested or written the Nangal police station to add more sections, as per ED’s letter.
When contacted the SHO Nangal police station Danishveer Singh, where the FIR number 150 was registered to know whether the required sections were added in the FIR as per ED’s letter, he said “no new, additional sections under IPC are added in FIR number 150 dated November 2,2022 as no one, no official from the mining department or any other department has contacted us or asked us to add any new sections, till time.”
When contacted the chief engineer drainage-cum mining NK Jain yesterday, he said “I don’t have the update. Give me one day and will give the details and if not done, I’ll seek report from the concerned officer. But, when contacted today, he failed to respond despite repeated attempts.”
Similarly, when contacted the executive engineer mining Ropar, Manpreet Singh, he said, “ I have no role to play as the FIR was lodged at Nangal so XEN Anandpur Sahib is the right officer to give you the updates. When asked the chief engineer has marked a letter to you also , he said, I’ll write to the head office that this case pertains to XEN Anandpur Sahib and I have nothing to do with it.”
XEN Anandpur sahib Rupinder Pabla remained inattentive in responding to repeated calls, messages, since yesterday.
Principal Secretary Water resources Krishan Kumar could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
An officer on the condition of anonymity said ” who will bell the cat? This is the big question that has arisen in the department as every officer is trying to pass the buck to avoid the situation. The sections recommended by ED are very serious whereas the accused has been booked under some soft sections like snatching or contravening as compared to ED’s recommended sections like 120-B, 420 etc.”
Punjab police has registered an FIR no 150 dated November 2,2022 at Police Station Nangal in Ropar district under section 21 (1), 4 (1) of Mines and Minerals (Regulation of Development ) Act,1957 and 379 of IPC 1860 on the basis of complaint made by sub-divisional officer , drainage-cum-mining , sub-division, Nangal against Rakesh Kumar Chaudhary, contractor of Sensowal De- silting mining site.
It was alleged that Chaudhary conducted illegal mining at the saidde-silting site and extracted illegal quantity of material to the tune of 2,34,768 MT and failed to intimate the mining department through FORM-N on monthly basis.
ED officers alleged that the “contractor has mis-declared the quantity of material extracted during the period of contract with a criminal intent in order to defraud the public exchequer, which appears to have caused huge wrongful loss to the public exchequer. Further, the possibility of hatching a criminal conspiracy by said Rakesh Kumar Chaudhary alongwith other associated private persons/ public servants cannot be ruled out in this case.”
ED letter read,” the act of contractor Rakesh Kumar Chaudhary appears to have attracted not only the penal provisions under sections 21 (1), 4 (1) of Mines and Minerals (Regulation of Development ) Act,1957 (Whoever contravenes the provisions) and 379 of IPC 1860 (Whoever, with the intention to commit theft, suddenly or quickly or forcibly seizes or secures or grabs or takes away from any person or from his physical possession any moveable property, and makes or attempt to make escape with such property, is said to commit snatching) as per the FIR no 150/2022 but, also section 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 418 ( Cheating with knowledge that wrongful loss may ensue to person whose interest offender is bound to protect)and 420 (Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (Whoever forges a document which purports to be a valuable security), 468 (Whoever commits forgery, intending that the [document or electronic record forged] shall be used for the purpose of cheating) , 471 (whoever fraudulently or dishonestly uses as genuine any [document or electronic record] which he knows or has reason to believe to be a forged [document or electronic record]) , etc of IPC 1860 must be added in the FIR. So, it is requested to intimate the office whether Drainage-Cum-Mining Department has requested / contemplating to request the Police authorities for registration of FIR under other sections, in addition to those already invoked in FIR. Also, whether any other complaints have been issued by the mining department against the said contractor. If, yes than the copy of the same along with enquiries conducted maybe intimated this department.”