CS, DGP draw HC ire for laxity

SHILLONG, May 25: The High Court of Meghalaya on Thursday expressed its displeasure with the affidavits filed by Chief Secretary DP Wahlang and Director-General of Police LR Bishnoi indicating the action taken with regard to the facts and the observations mentioned in the 13th interim report filed by Justice (retd) Brojendra Prasad Katakey in the matter pertaining to illegal mining and transportation of coal in the state.
The high court had, in its previous order, directed the two state government officials to file affidavits explaining the course of action taken with regard to the innumerable instances of flagrant breach of subsisting orders of the court as mentioned in the 13th interim report filed by Justice Katakey.
“Neither the Chief Secretary nor the DGP has dealt with such aspect of the matter. 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. 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 full bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and justices HS Thangkhiew and W Diengdoh said.
The court ordered that 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 and such further affidavits should be filed within four weeks.
In the meantime, the Court directed the state government to ensure that the reassessed 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,” the order said.
The next hearing on the suo motu PIL on illegal mining of coal in Meghalaya will be held on July 3.

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