Orissa govt files counter affidavit opposing PILs

Cuttack, Jan 11 (PTI) A counter affidavit was filed bythe Orissa government in the high court today opposing PILsseeking a CBI probe into the multi-crore rupees mining scam inthe state.

Placing the government''s 126-page counter affidavitbefore the division bench of Chief Justice V Gopal Gowda andJustice B N Mohapatra, senior Supreme Court lawyer MukulRohtogi said there are no specific charges levelled againstany individual or organisation in the PILs necessitating a CBIprobe.

Questioning the merits of the PILs, he said the pointsraised in the petitions are "vague", "general" and based onnewspaper reports and suggested that instead of a CBI probethe ongoing vigilance inquiry into illegal mining in the statecould be monitored by the high court on a regular basis.

At least seven PILs were filed in the high courtseeking CBI probe into rampant illegal mining in the state. Ofthem only four petitions have been taken into cognizance andare being adjudicated over jointly.

Rohtogi, former additional solicitor general, alsoplaced before the court the interim report of CentralEmpowerment Committee which acknowledged that corrective stepshad been taken by Orissa government to check illegal mining.

The court adjourned the case for hearing on Februaryone.

Meanwhile, the state Vigilance directorate filed onemore status report with details of the progress it has madetill date regarding investigation into the cases registered byit.

The government in response to the notices issued to itby the HC had earlier submitted affidavit opposing the PILsand stating that the demands for CBI probe was ''uncalled for''as a judicial commission of inquiry headed by a retired judgeof Supreme Court has already been appointed.

It had also informed the court that the statevigilance directorate probing the scam is capable enough tonail the illegal miners.

The government had also pointed out that it had takenseveral corrective measures to check illegal mining in theState.

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