The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a PIL on illegal mining of silica in Shankargarh area of Allahabad district. The verdict would be delivered on Friday.

The high court bench, comprising Justice Sudhir Agrawal and Justice Sunita Agrawal, passed the order after hearing petitioner’s counsel SD Singh and advocate general SP Gupta, who was assisted by chief standing counsel of the state Yashwant Verma.

The PIL had alleged large-scale illegal mining of silica sand in Shankargarh. The petitioner had claimed that senior officers of the state, including officers of the mining department, were hand-in-glove with the contractors.

The petitioner’s counsel claimed that mining operations were underway without environmental clearance.

The state had pleaded that people who had been accused of illegal mining did not require environmental clearance. The bench, after hearing both parties at length, reserved its order till Friday.

The state government produced the original record, in compliance with the court order, with respect to the transfer of divisional commissioner Allahabad, Himanshu Kumar.

Kumar was transferred immediately after he assumed charge in June 2013 on the alleged instance of contractors involved in illegal mining of silica sand.

Courtesy: THE TIMES OF INDIA

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