Voicing concern over illegal mining, the Allahabad high court today sought a reply from the Centre and the state government on the issue while declining to interfere in the suspension matter of IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal, who had clamped down on the mining mafia in Uttar Pradesh.
Hearing a PIL on the suspension of the woman IAS officer, the Lucknow bench of the court comprising justices Devi Prasad Singh and Ashok Pal Singh fixed August 19 as the next date of hearing.
Observing that illegal mining disturbed the ecological balance, the court sought reply as to how many FIRs were lodged, how many dumpers were seized and how many people were arrested after the suspension of Nagpal.
It also directed the counsel to seek instruction from the Centre on what it has done on the issue.
The court, however, refused to interfere in Nagpal’s suspension, saying that it was "a matter between the master and the servant".
Appearing on behalf of the state government, additional advocate general Bulbul Godiyal raised objection on the maintainability of the PIL on the ground that the petitioner has not disclosed her credentials for filing the litigation as per the Supreme Court ruling.
She also submitted that the PIL was not maintainable in service matters.
The PIL was filed in the registry of the court on July 30 against the suspension of Nagpal. Social activist Nutan Thakur filed the PIL seeking a direction to the department of personnel and training to summon the file related to the suspension of Nagpal and cancelling the suspension if it was found to be illegal and improper.
According to petitioner's counsel Ashok Pandey, another prayer was made in the petition that the central government direct the state governments against harassing officers working to check illegal construction of religious places and illegal mining.