Sand mining probe: High Court raps Punjab for arresting drivers only, sparing big fishhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/sand-mining-probe-high-court-raps-punjab-for-arresting-drivers-only-sparing-big-fish-5122343/

Sand mining probe: High Court raps Punjab for arresting drivers only, sparing big fish

The division bench on Tuesday adjourned the case for hearing till April 18 to consider the names for re-constitution of the SIT looking into the sand mining in the state.

Sand mining probe: High Court raps Punjab for arresting drivers only, sparing big fish
Illegal sand mining in Punjab: During the previous hearing, the division bench was informed that the members of the SIT, constituted to find out the masterminds behind the illegal sand mining in the state, have retired and fresh list needs to be prepared. 

Punjab and Haryana High Court Tuesday said that it has not come across any such instance where high-ups had been arrested for the illegal sand mining in Punjab. The court said that in case the need arises it can attach the properties of the people behind the illegal excavation.

The division bench of Justices Ajay Kumar Mittal and Anupinder Singh Grewal during the hearing of a PIL on sand mining in the state said it cannot remain “insensitive” to the issue of illegal excavation of minerals and observed that the High Court will have to do something in the matter. “What will happen to the next generations. It has become difficult for the middle class to construct houses,” it observed.

After the division bench was informed that the Chief Minister is personally looking into the matter, it observed, “We appreciate what the Chief Minister is doing. Give us the names of those who are involved. Are they only drivers?”
“We have not seen any high-up caught. You have only caught drivers. What will you do with drivers,” the division bench observed, adding the government can provide it the names of the people behind the illegal business. “If the need arises, we will attach their assets.”

The division bench on Tuesday adjourned the case for hearing till April 18 to consider the names for re-constitution of the SIT looking into the sand mining in the state. The division bench observed that the senior police officers to be made part of the SIT “should be able to withstand any political pressure”.

During the previous hearing, the division bench was informed that the members of the SIT, constituted to find out the masterminds behind the illegal sand mining in the state, have retired and fresh list needs to be prepared. Among the names suggested to the bench on Tuesday were DGP Jasminder Singh, IGP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh and other officers.