The Delhi High Court today asked the CBI and the CVC to examine complaints seeking a probe into the role of a minister and officers of the Ministry of Environment and Forests for allegedly illegally causing gain to private mining firms and loss to the exchequer while granting them mining leases.
It asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to examine the complaint to the agency and communicate the decision to the petitioner, who has approached the court seeking a direction to the CBI and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to conduct a thorough probe into the matter.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar asked the CBI and the CVC to "examine the complaints of the petitioner in light of the applicable law within three months and communicate the decision to the petitioner" while disposing of the petition.
The petition, filed by Sudip N Tamankar, said that he had made detailed complaints to both the CBI and the CVC seeking criminal investigation against the MoEF officers for alleged corruption, criminal breach of trust and criminal misconduct, but both the authorities have failed in their statutory duty to direct and conduct a probe.
Advocate Pranav Sachdeva, appearing for the petitioner, argued that the complaints were made to the CBI and the CVC on March 23, 2015 and no action has been taken since then and even he was not informed about the status of the complaints.
The plea said that recently the Supreme Court has quashed all the orders passed by the MoEF relating to iron ore mining leases that had been released by the Goa government for a second time, instead of granting fresh licences.
The apex court has also made several adverse observations against the actions and decisions of the MoEF, it said.
"Since the CBI crime manual mentions that once a complaint is made to the CBI, it is supposed to initiate a preliminary enquiry in that regard and if a case is made out, then it has to register a regular case (FIR). Also, that in the case of Lalita Kumari..., a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court has held that if a cognisable offence is made out, an FIR needs to be registered.
"However, the CBI has failed to initiate any action on the petitioner's complaint. The CVC has a statutory duty to oversee the CBI and order criminal investigation when a corruption case is made out, but it has failed to do its statutory duty," the petition said.
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