Meghalaya HC Appoints Retired Judge To Ascertain Extent Of Illegal Coal Mining In State
The Meghalaya High Court has appointed retired Justice B P Katakey for recommending measures to be taken by the state in compliance with directions issued by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal over coal-related issues.
Hearing a PIL on the matter, the full bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee, Justice H. S. Thangkhiew and Justice W. Diengdoh held, "Justice Katakey is appointed for the purpose of ascertaining the extent to which the directions issued by the Supreme Court and the NGT have been complied with".
"Justice Katakey will also recommend the measures to be immediately taken to comply with the outstanding directions, including the sale of coal now available, under the aegis of Coal India Limited", the order said.
Earlier, Justice Katakey, a former Judge of the Gauhati High Court, had headed an NGT-constituted committee to look into the coal-related issues in Meghalaya, but he had resigned as chairman of the panel after allegedly failing to get cooperation from the state government.
The High Court has also asked Katakey to file a preliminary report within four weeks. The Court ordered, "Justice Katakey should file a preliminary report dealing with the directions issued by the Supreme Court and the NGT that have been complied with and, more importantly, suggesting expeditious steps to comply with the outstanding directions, including the transportation and sale of the available coal. Such preliminary report should be filed within four weeks".
".. Justice Katakey will also look into the measures adopted by the state to ensure that there is no unregulated or illegal coal-mining or any instance of rat-hole mining anywhere", the order said.
The matter will be taken up for hearing again on May 24.