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Forest Mining: Uttarakhand High Court directs State Forest Secretary to file affidavit on granting license to private persons

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The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the Principal Secretary, Forest, Government of Uttarakhand to file an affidavit disclosing whether any mining rights / license has been granted to any private person for the purpose of carrying out the mining activities in the forest area.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe heard a PIL preferred with the averment that the Forest Department of the State of Uttarakhand is not complying with the directions issued by the division bench of the High Court in Writ Petition No.160 of 2014 decided on 16.12.2014, whereby the High Court directed the State Government that the mining lease shall not be sublet in the forest area by the Forest Department to private individuals that would be in violation of the undertakings given by the Central Government.

The Special Leave Petition preferred by the State of Uttarakhand against the said judgment was dismissed by theHon’ble Supreme Court on 05.10.2015 vide CC No(s).18008/2015.

The petitioner has, however, notprovided the details of the persons whom permission/ license has been granted for carrying on mining activities in the river flowing inside the forest area , the Court noted.

Therefore the Bench issued notice to the respondents and directed the respondent to strictly comply with the directions issued by this court in Writ Petition (PIL) No.160 of 2014.

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