The Meghalaya High Court has directed the State Government to deploy 10 companies of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) for checking the illegal transportation of coal in the State.

The bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee, Justice H. S. Thangkhiew and Justice W. Diengdoh termed the State’s plan as grandiose as it had sought deployment of Central Reserve Police Force of 100 companies in the eastern range and 60 companies in the western range to check the illegal mining of coal and its transportation.

“Though the State has indicated in great detail the number of companies to be deployed in the 12 districts, including bifurcating the companies which would be involved in checking vehicles and others which would check the mining activities, the cost implication, even on a short-term, temporary basis, may make it unfeasible.”, the Court observed.

The Court noted that even if the infrastructure constructed may be put to use by the State upon the CRPF no longer being required, it would take a considerable period to complete the construction and that it would be a Herculean task to house 160 companies on a temporary basis.

it appears to be fair and reasonable to this Court to deploy 10 companies, not of CRPF but of Central Industrial Security Force.”, the Court said.

The Court remarked that 10 companies of CISF should be enough to check the vehicles and completely arrest the illegal transportation of coal considering the total area in the State.

Advocate-General A. Kumar, Deputy Solicitor General of India N. Mozika appeared for Respondents.

The Court directed the DSGI to ascertain the logistics and formalities for 10 companies of CISF to be deployed.

The Court also directed that “It is also proposed that upon the 10 CISF companies being made available for the indicated purpose, the key areas which need to be manned and guarded would be decided in consultation with Justice Katakey.”

Former Judge Justice BP Katakey heads the committee to look into the illegal mining activity.

The Court has posted the matter to March 20 for further hearing.

Cause Title- In Re (Suo motu) Illegal mining of coal v. State of Meghalaya

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