New Delhi, Nov 21 (PTI) The CBI has registered an FIR to probe the allegations of illegal mining in Sahibganj district of Jharkhand by Pankaj Mishra, an aide of Chief Minister Hemant Soren, officials said on Tuesday.
In its FIR registered on Monday, the Ranchi unit of the CBI has booked Mishra, Pavitra Kumar Yadav, Rajesh Yadav, Sanjay Kumar Yadav, Bacchu Yadav, Sanjay Yadav and Suvesh Mandal allegedly involved in the "pilferage and illegal extraction" of stone at Nimbu Pathar in Sahibganj.
The Jharkhand High Court had directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the conduct of the accused people booked by Sahibganj Police and also the conduct of petitioner Bijay Hansda who had sought to withdraw the writ petition.
It issued the orders on the petition of Hansda, alleging that for the last two-and-a half years, "stone mafias" are doing "illegal mining" in connivance with government officials, including mining officials, of his district.
He has alleged that they are using earthmoving machines and carrying out blasts which resulted in cracks in the houses of villagers.
Hansda had alleged that he has seen that illegal mining was done in the presence of Mishra but his complaints to district officials did not result in any action from their side.
The high court had also directed the agency to enquire into the roles of Ashok Yadav and Mukesh Yadav who had allegedly threatened Hansda in premises of the high court while he was obtaining no objection certificate from previous advocates representing him.
It had also directed the agency to register a regular case after the PE and look into the role of other public servants.
After completion of PE, the agency has taken over the FIR filed by Sahibganj Police in illegal mining case against the eight accused.
During a hearing before the high court, the Enforcement Directorate had said that Mishra controls the illegal stone mining and their transportation in Sahibganj.
The National Green Tribunal has expressed serious concern over the issue of illegal mining in Sahibganj, the ED had said.
"It has been further stated that Pankaj Mishra (is) the MLA representative of the Jharkhand chief minister and is a very influential person and he is directly involved in illegal mining in Sahibganj and its adjoining areas and the said Pankaj Mishra is already arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and he is in jail custody," the high court noted, citing ED submissions.
Mishra is enjoying political patronage and that is why the investigation is not being done in correct perspective, it noted.
"The court finds that there are sufficient materials of illegal mining in the district of Sahibganj that too on the behest of one Pankaj Mishra and others and if such materials are there on the record, the court finds in view of the counter-affidavit filed by the respondent State of Jharkhand that the investigation is only an eyewash so far the illegal mining is concerned," Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi had said in the August 18 order.
Ordering the CBI director to initiate a preliminary enquiry into the allegations, the court said once the enquiry is completed and report to that effect is submitted, the director of the CBI shall be at liberty to choose further course of action in accordance with law.
"If the director, CBI comes to the conclusion that there is no reason to proceed further in the matter, he may pass appropriate order to that effect," Justice Dwivedi had said. PTI ABS RHL