Orissa HC For Criminal Proceedings Against Former Cuttack Collector Over ‘False’ Affidavit On Sand Mining

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Saturday termed an affidavit submitted by former Cuttack Collector Bhabani Shankar Chayani, who is now Higher Education Director, as false and said proceedings should be initiated against him.

Holding the affidavit of the ex-collector on sand mining at Kathajodi riverbed as false and frivolous, the HC reportedly observed that criminal proceedings should be initiated against him.

The High Court was hearing a PIL alleging illegal sand mining and transportation from Kathajodi riverbed in Cuttack. The petitioner alleged that the administration had turned a blind eye to the interests of the people of Cuttack.

While taking up the PIL, the HC had sought an affidavit from the Cuttack district administration on the issue. Responding to the HC direction, the administration had said that no such activity was happening and fine was collected for whatever illegal mining had taken place.

Expressing displeasure over the reply of the administration, the HC said the irresponsible behaviour of the then Cuttack district collector was not acceptable.

Since such a false affidavit has been filed by such a responsible officer without visualizing the ground reality, this Court takes a very serious view of the matter, the HC oberved.

The Court observed that the quarrying operation is being done in a mechanised way day in and day out violating the clause-C, sub clause-IV of the guidelines issued by the department of Revenue and Disaster Management on April 26, 2019, which deals with quarrying/mining operation.

Neither Chayani nor the present Cuttack district Collector was immediately available for comment on the matter.

It may be noted here that the then Cuttack Collector, Chayani was transferred and posted as the Director, Higher Education on October 26, 2023. and Narahari Sethy succeeded him.

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