NEW DELHI: The CBI on Tuesday searched 11 locations in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in connection with illegal sand mining leases given in the Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur, the agency said.
Separate Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) teams conducted simultaneous raids at these locations, including in Saharanpur, Dehradun and Lucknow at the premises of the accused and others involved in alleged irregularities in the allocation of the mining leases.
The CBI on Monday registered a case in the matter naming 12 individuals, including two former Saharanpur District Magistrates — Ajay Kumar Singh and Pawan Kumar — nine villagers of Saharanpur district, some unidentified public servants and other persons.
An inquiry into the illegal renewals of sand mining leases in Saharanpur was conducted following Allahabad High Court’s August 8, 2016, order.
As per the CBI FIR, an enquiry revealed that 13 sand mining leases located in Saharanpur were renewed without following the e-tendering procedure as laid down by the Uttar Pradesh government.
It was revealed that, initially, 42 sand mining leases were granted by then District Magistrate (DM) Saharanpur on March 31, 2006, and the deeds of 40 out of 42 leases were executed on April 4-5, 2006, in favour of leaseholders for a period of three years.
However, the execution of 15 leases was challenged by the co-applicants before the Allahabad High Court, which on December 2006 ordered the Saharanpur DM to consider afresh grant of l5 leases.
A Special Leave Petition against the order dated December 22, 2006, was filed by the holders of 15 leases before the Supreme Court, which stands disposed off as withdrawn in 2008, the FIR said.
Therefore, the FIR said, Alok Kumar, then DM Saharanpur re-granted 13 out of 15 leases on favour of 10 villagers accused in the case.
The then Mining Minister approved the recommendation for first renewal of these 13 sand mining leases for a period of three years on May 11, 2011, and the orders were communicated to the then DM Saharanpur by a letter dated May 13, 2011, the FIR said.
In a further order of May 2012, the Uttar Pradesh government cancelled all its previous orders pertaining to the grant or renewal of sand mining leases and introduced an e-tendering procedure.
“However, on submission of respective Environmental Clearance Certificatres, Ajay Kumar Singh, the accused District Magistrate, in criminal conspiracy with the holder of 13 sand mining leases and unknown others, by abusing his official position, dishonestly and fraudulently executed these leases during August-November 2012 for a period of three years,” said the FIR.
Thereafter, the Uttar Pradesh government on July 14, 2015, allowed second renewal of the sand mining leases for minor minerals found in a mixed state exclusively in riverbeds.
It is further alleged that the then Saharanpur DM, who is also accused, in criminal conspiracy with these holders of 13 sand mining leases and unidentified persons abused his official position in dishonestly and fraudulently executing the 13 lease deeds on September 12, 2015, for their second renewal period for three years.