The State Government on Tuesday suspended two officers of the Mines Department - Deputy Director, Joda circle Ballav Charan Nayak and former DDM of Joda Manas Mohanty - from their services in the Rashmi Metalliks case.
Minister of State for Steel and Mines Rajanikanata Singh told media persons that Nayak was suspended for acting beyond his jurisdiction. Mohanty, currently posted in the enforcement wing of the Directorate of Mines, is facing departmental proceedings after being chargesheeted by the State Vigilance for his alleged involvement in the illegal mining activities.
“I do not know the details of the matter. What I understand is that the Joda DDM (Nayak) has transgressed his authority,” the Minister said.
Director of Mines Deepak Mohanty told this paper that he has got a copy of the suspension order of Nayak, but he was not in a position to tell the reason for Nayak’s suspension.
Sources familiar with the case of Rashmi Metalliks said the Joda DDM had to face the official action for regularising the trading licence of the Kolkata-based company. The Directorate of Mines had suspended the trading licence of Rashmi Metalliks for defrauding the Railways to the tune of ` 600 crore in freight charges.
Freight charges for ore used for domestic consumption were less than the consignment meant for export. Rashmi Metalliks was paying freight charges for domestic use while in reality it was exporting the iron ore from the State.
As this came to the notice of the Railways, the national carrier handed over the case to the CBI. After detection of the fraud, heavy penalty was imposed on the trading company. The State Government suspended the trading licence of Rashmi Metalliks after the fraud was detected by the CBI. The trading company challenged the suspension order in the Orissa High Court which directed the competent authority to hear the case of the petitioner and act according to the law within two weeks.
Nayak sought the views of the State Government on the High Court order. As he did not get any response from the Government after the stipulated two weeks time, Nayak regularised the trading licence of Rashmi Metalliks with a condition that any further violation of the licence conditions would attract penalty and suspension of the trading licence.
The State Government has given the additional charge of DDM to mining officer of the Joda circle SK Rout.