Patna High Court stays new sand policy of Bihar govt

Patna,(BiharTimes): A division bench of Justice Ajay Kumar Tripathi and Justice Rajeev Ranjan Prasad of Patna high court on Monday stayed the new sand sale policy of the Bihar government which came into effect from December 1 this year.

The bench was critical of the enforcement of Bihar Minor Mineral Rules 2017 in spite of an earlier high court order staying it till further order.

“Keeping in view what the division bench has had to say in its order dated 27.11.2017, the action of the principal secretary in issuing an order dated 28.11.2017, seems to be a case of overreach to defeat the effect of stay of the rules in question,” Justice Tripathi and Justice Prasad said.

It needs to be recalled that the division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anil Kumar Upadhyay, in its November 27 order, had stayed the new policy.

The petition in this regard was filed by Puspa Singh. Nine other similar petitions had challenged the new sand and mineral policy.

“A case prima facie is made out for staying the government's memo dated November 29, 2017, till further order. As a consequence thereof, other notification as well as a communication dated November 29 addressed to all the collectors under the signature of the principal secretary, department of mines and geology, also need to be stayed,” the bench added.

The bench of Chief Justice, while setting aside the new policy, had then said that it had been framed without evaluating the problems the policy might create for the general masses.

The petitioners have challenged Bihar Minor Mineral Rules, 2017, on the ground that provisions of Rule 35, 37 and Rule 63 (2) were ultra vires to the law and were brought in a hurry and comprises several bottlenecks.

The petitioners had told the court that the state had arrogated itself the right to fix prices for the sale of sand and minor minerals.

The opposition RJD had during the recently concluded Winter Session of the state Assembly strongly criticised the new policy.



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