The division bench of Justice M S Sonak and Justice M S Jawalkar on Wednesday observed that canoes and trucks that are seized for illegal sand mining, are released after being fined paltry sums.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Rainbow Warriors, a local NGO.
"It is quite disturbing to note that in most cases of illegal sand mining, the trucks and canoes that are confiscated by the government agencies, are released after imposing paltry fines," the court order stated.
The bench said the state government should prosecute people who are involved in illegally extracting sand and other natural resources.
An FIR should be filed under appropriate provisions of the Indian Penal Code and such cases should be pursued with all seriousness and taken to their logical conclusion, the order stated.
The state should not just prosecute the guilty parties under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 or the Goa Minor Mineral Concession Rules 1985, since most of these cases end with imposition of paltry fines, it added.