HC stays trial on PJ Marbaniang case

Shillong, July 12: High Court of Meghalaya has stayed the trial related to the mysterious death of police officer PJ Marbaniang who had resisted illegal coal mining in Ri Bhoi and expressed displeasure over Special Investigation Team not acting despite having evidence.

Even though the state says that the trial is proceeding, it does not appear that the investigation was satisfactory. Accordingly, let the trial not be continued till further orders, the court said after a hearing the pending case on the matter on Wednesday.


” Incidentally, the report of the SIT reveals what had been suspected by this Court in the matters pertaining to illegal coal-mining.The SIT report indicates the existence of registers with fixed rates per truck for allowing illegal transportation of illegally-mined coal, illegally-felled timber and illegally-extracted boulders. There are names and officials have been identified in some cases. The report of the SIT is disturbing on both counts: first in how it reveals the rampant and structured illegal coal-mining operations and the transportation of the mineral; and, how the SIT arrived at a conclusion despite the evidence that was available”, the court said.

K. Khan, Additional Advocate General, who was present in court was requested to assist the court in this matter.

It is hoped that Mr Khan’s allegiance to his office will not stand in a way of fair and independent assistance being rendered to the Court”, the order said.

The SIT report and the trial court papers that have been produced will be kept in the custody of the officer attached to the court. “Such papers may only be released to the members of the Bench and to Mr Khan for perusal”, the court said.

The matter will appear on July 27.

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