The Supreme Court has issued notice to Madhya Pradesh Mining Minister Rajendra Shukla and sought response on allegations that Shukla was rushing through the allocation of fresh mining leases in the poll-bound state to avoid the model code of conduct.

The court also passed restrain orders against granting fresh mining leases, while hearing a PIL challenging the allotment of mines.

The complainant – Tarun Gupta of Bhopal-based NGO Parishram Samaj Evam Kalyan Samiti–alleged that Shukla has reserved his orders relating to allotment of mines in 136 areas of the state in a period of 14 days, to evade the imposition of the election code of conduct.  As per the petition, Shukla had passed only  130 such allotment orders in the past eight years.

Gupta, in his application alleged that Shukla had on August 20 and 27, and September 3, took up files related to grant of license to 136 areas, for which 1,100 applications were received.

“Shukla, realising that the code of conduct would come into force, bypassed all the set rules and reserved his order for passing mining rights licence in 136 areas, without taking the technical specifications and parameters into account,” the complainant alleged.

The Supreme Court Bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice J Tarun Gogoi also issued notices to the CBI and Election Commission of India and gave them four weeks to submit their reply.

When contacted, Shukla said the case was politically motivated.

Courtesy: The New Indian Express

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