Jabalpur: Madhya Pradesh High Court on Saturday issued notices to the Centre and the state government on illegal mining of diamonds by international mining companies. The court has asked both the governments to reply in this matter within four weeks.

Considering the act of illegal mining as a serious offence, a double bench of Chief Justice Sayed Rafat Alam and Justice Sushil Harkauli rapped the Forest Departments, Mining Secretaries of the state as well as the Centre and issued notices against them in addition to the MP Pollution Control Board and Chattarpur Collector.

The issue of illegal diamond mining came to light when a PIL was filed by a social activist. The PIL stated that an Australian mining company, Rio Tinto, has been carrying on exploitation of mineral resources in Chattarpur district violating the prescribed provisions.  

The PIL said that under Section 2 of the Forest Preservation Act, permission from the Central government is required to carry on mining trade in any part of India. Other than this, a no objection certificate (NOC) from Pollution Control Board is mandatory.

The counsel of the petitioner, Vipin Yadav, told the court that the Collector of Chattarpur had written a letter to the Revenue Department in this context, but no action was taken.

Yadav added, “This proves that the officials of Forest and Revenue departments are working hand-in-hand and foreign companies are making profit at the cost of our country’s natural resources.” 

(JPN/ Bureau)