Shillong , Feb 28: The High Court of Meghalaya has decided to give the Chief Secretary last chance to file the affidavit with regards to the alleged illegal mining and transportation of coal in the state within this week.
The order of the division bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee was in response to a PIL filed by social activist Tennydard M Marak..
Marak said that illegally mined coal is transported in heavy vehicles without following the procedure prescribed under the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 or the rules thereunder.
The court said it was distressing that despite the previous directions and an extension granted on February 14, the state’s affidavit has not been filed.
It also warned that the Court has the authority, in such circumstances, to have the responsible officer paraded in Court for the repeated failure to comply with the directions.
“As a last chance, the Chief Secretary is directed to carry the affidavit to court and have it filed in course of this week. The Chief Secretary will report to the Registrar-General for such purpose,” the order said.
“Let this be an example so that there is no further dereliction of such kind on the part of the state in adhering to directions for filing affidavits. It may also be recorded that it gives the Court no pleasure to behave like a headmaster dealing with adolescent school students,” it said.
In a related PIL moved by Pawan Sharma, the court said the petition pertains to the perceived illegal coal mining in the state.
Since the court is pursuing another suo motu case regarding illegal coal mining which will be taken up on March 2 for reports to be filed by the Chief Secretary and
the Director General of Police, the PIL will be taken up after six weeks.
“If, in future, something of substance is produced by the petitioner,
independent of what has been reported in newspapers and what may come
out from the reports to be filed in the suo motu proceedings, the petition may
be tagged along with the matter initiated at the instance of the court”.
The matter will be taken up on April 12.