Chennai: Observing that there is rampant corruption in illegal mining, the Madras High Court has granted IAS officer U Sagayam two more months' time to submit his report on illegal granite mining in Madurai district.
The First bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh, stated this when Sagayam, appointed by it earlier as Legal Commissioner to go into illegal mining, filed its first status report before the court.
In his report, Sagayam stated he was not fully relieved of his duties as Vice-Chairman, Science City, Chennai, and had to often keep returning from Madurai to Chennai.
He further submitted that individual questionnaires were prepared for various departments on granite quarrying with relevance to their departments. Each of them was asked to give authenticated actual facts within a stipulated time as the replies were very crucial to arrive a conclusion.
The status report listed a total of 34 departments to whom the questionnaires were sent and said the reports are yet to be received from all the departments.
Sagayam also said he has written to government to lend the service of some officers to effectively complete the probe and also make available funds.
The Bench, while passing orders, directed the government to make every effort to make available the officers within a week on receipt of the request from the Commissioner.
It also directed the government to allot Rs three lakh to the Legal Commissioner for the expenses.
The bench found fault with the union government which had not filed any counter in the matter and warned that if it was not done by the next hearing date, the officers concerned would have to personally appear in court.
When the counsel for quarry owners submitted that the Legal Commissioner was going into a full-fledged inquiry, the CJ sought to know why he should not do so when there was rampant corruption in mining.
Stating that till now it was taking a lenient view, the bench warned it would take every aspect seriously.
It found fault with the petitioners who approach the Court even at the stage of show cause notices and sought to know why those served with SCNs are approaching it when they can go to the relevant authorities.
The Bench then posted the matter for further hearing to June 9 2015.