HC asks govt to file affidavit on illegal transportation of coal

Shillong, Aug 7: The High Court of Meghalaya  has directed the secretary in-charge Transport department to file an affidavit on the claims that no records related to the alleged illegal transportation of coal are available with the state, within three weeks’ time.

“The state will respond to the allegations levelled in the petition by way of an affidavit to be filed by the Secretary in the Transport Department. Such an affidavit should be filed within three weeks from date,” the Division Bench said in its order passed after hearing a PIL filed by one Champer M Sangma.


The petitioner highlighted on what is alleged to be the lack of records evidencing the complicity of the state with persons seeking to export the illegally-mined coal in the state y claiming it to have been obtained from elsewhere.

The petitioner said that one of the key players, Jaimaa Coal Private Limited, is again involved in the sense that the persons in control of such company have another company by the name of Vaishno Devi Traders Private Limited, a name which came up even in the previous litigation, through which the illegal export activities are carried out.

According to the petitioner, more than 440 trucks ought to have been involved in ferrying 5340 metric tonnes of coal from East Jaintia Hills, but queries raised under the Right to Information Act, 2005 reveal that no records in such regard are available with the state officials.

The petitioner also claimed that in accordance with law, such records should have been maintained and the state was liable to produce them or furnish information in such regard, when sought.

The petitioner said the trucks should have been weighed along the way at least in one of the weighbridges before being allowed to pass and records of such trucks at the relevant weighbridge should also have been available.

“The petitioner’s queries under the RTI Act have resulted in the relevant officials claiming that there are no records to such effect. This calls for an explanation,” the court said.

“It is recorded that no prima facie view has even been taken at this stage; but since some allegations have been levelled, an explanation has been sought,” the cour said.

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