The Meghalaya High Court on Thursday directed the state’s Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP) to file additional affidavits indicating the 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 over the affidavits filed by the chief secretary and the DGP as per the May 15 order and asked them to file additional affidavits.
“Instances mentioned in Justice Katake’s 13th Interim Report should be dealt with individually and both the Chief Secretary and the DGP shall file further affidavits detailing the measures to be taken to ensure that there is no violation of the existing orders in future. There should be more such affidavits.” Filed within four weeks,” the bench ordered, as quoted by news agency PTI.
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“In fact, the affidavit filed by the DGP is made after the horse was bolted. There was a requirement of the court to secure the horse and lock the stable door,” the bench said, adding, “It does so The administration or the police don’t seem to have made any effort in this regard as the stable door has been left open by both the administration and the police.”
The high court further ordered that the state also ensure that the back coal is disposed of as per the original schedule laid down by Justice Katake.
According to PTI, “Justice Katake will continue to monitor the situation and keep up the good work. An additional remuneration of Rs 5 lakh will be released to Justice Katake immediately.”
The next hearing of the case will be on July 3.
The high court is monitoring the disposal of coal mined earlier following the 2014 NGT ban on rat-hole coal mining and transportation of coal. It also sought deployment of 10 companies of CAPFs to check illegal mining and transportation of coal across the state.