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Meghalaya HC Directs Chief Secretary, DGP To File Additional Affidavits On Measures To Control Illegal Coal Mining

The Meghalaya High Court on Thursday directed the state’s Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police (DGP) to file additional affidavits indicating measures taken by the authorities to stop illegal mining and transportation of coal in the state. A bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee was hearing a PIL when it expressed dissatisfaction with the affidavits filed by the Chief Secretary and DGP pursuant to the order dated May 15 and told them to file additional affidavits.

“The instances referred to in Justice Katakey’s 13th interim report must be individually dealt with and both the chief secretary and the DGP will file further affidavits indicating measures taken to ensure that there is no breach of the subsisting orders in future. Such further affidavits should be filed within four weeks,” the bench ordered, as quoted by news agency PTI.

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“Indeed, the affidavit filed by the DGP is more of what has been done after the horse has bolted. What the Court required was for the horse to be kept safe and to close the stable door,” the bench stated while adding “It does not appear that either the administration or the police has made any endeavour in such regard as the stable doors have been left wide open with both the administration and the police looking the other way.”

The High Court further ordered that the State also ensure the previous coal is disposed of as per the original schedule as set by Justice Katakey.

“Justice Katakey will keep on monitoring the situation and keep up the good work. A further ad hoc remuneration of Rs 5 lakh be immediately released to Justice Katakey,” it said, as per PTI.

The next hearing of the case will take place on July 3.

The High Court is monitoring the disposal of previously mined coal after the 2014 NGT ban on rat-hole coal mining and transportation of coal. It also sought the deployment of 10 companies of CAPFs to check illegal mining and transportation of coal across the state. 

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