Weigh minor minerals on spot: HC to Punjab

To check illegal mining, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday directed the Punjab government to consider incorporating a provision in its mining rules which will ensure that extracted minor minerals are weighed on the spot.

The court also wanted the government to post an official at the spot to ensure that minor minerals are not extracted beyond the permissible limit. Punjab has been given time till Wednesday to reply.

In August, 2012, the high court had ordered a complete ban on mining without environmental clearance in operational quarries of up to five hectares in Punjab and Haryana.

The court had made it clear that in case of illegal mining continues despite these orders, the deputy commissioners (DCs) of the respective areas would be held responsible. The states, however, were allowed to permit mining in the areas, after obtaining an environment clearance from the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA). Such authority should have been notified by the Central government.

The high court, however, directed the authority to take a decision within ten-days of receiving a request for clearance for carrying out mining in any area less than five-hectares.

The matter had reached the court through a PIL filed by Wazir Singh of Kharia village in Hisar district. The petitioner had sought directions to restrain the illegal mining in the state allegedly done with the help of local authorities by circumventing the rules.

NIPER registrar's appointment quashed

Stating that the authorities were misled on the service career of Wing Cdr P J P Singh Waraich, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has set aside his appointment as the registrar of National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Mohali.

In its order, the court has ruled that the appointing authority in the case was misled into considering Waraich's entire service career of 23 years as relevant experience and hence, awarded him marks accordingly. The court, however, noted that Waraich had only 16 years of experience on a gazetted post.

"Even the record, which was prepared at the time of scrutiny of the application shows that it was mentioned therein that the experience of the respondent is 'not OK' as the experience certificate is not attached. There was no experience certificate produced on record by the respondent even up to the date of interview. The selection was being made to the post of responsibility. Casualness in the process could not be expected, as is evident from the case in hand, " the court ruled.

The directions were passed on a petition filed by Dr Parikshit Bansal and another petitioner against the Centre, alleging that there had been favouritism in Waraich's appointment.

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