Meghalaya HC Directs State To Verify Licenses Issued For Mining Limestone As Minor Mineral
The Meghalaya High Court has directed the state government to verify a challan issued by the state for mining limestone to ascertain whether any license issued to any person for mining limestone as a minor mineral is being misused by exporting the mining mineral to any country.
The Division Bench of Cheif Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W. Diengdoh held in its interim order that "A license for mining limestone as minor mineral may only be issued if the end-use of the product is as a building material. Surely, exporting the goods to another country will not amount to the mineral being used for building material even if the same were used for building material in the other country".
The Petitioner Lawyerson War was represented by Advocate S. Dey while Advocate General A. Kumar represented the state.
The Petitioner told the Bench that he had obtained the challan pertaining to limestone mining that brings to light the irregularities in issuance of license. He also complained that his requests for information under the RTI Act have gone unheeded.
While directing the Petitioner to produce the challan by way of an affidavit, the Court said that he need not disclose the source from where he obtained the challan.
The Court directed the state to respond to RTI queries in accordance tihe law. "While dealing with RTI Serial queries sometimes becomes extremely tiresome and time-consuming, since the right has now been conferred, the infrastructure for the fruition of such right must be created. At any rate, the more such facts come to light, the better the existing malaise may be treated", the Court directed.
The Court directed the state to file its affidavit within a fortnight of the Petitioner filing his affidavit and directed that "The State's affidavit should deal with such aspect of the matter upon ascertaining whether any license issued to any person for mining limestone as a minor mineral is being misused by exporting the mining mineral to any country".
The Cout has directed that the matter be listed on July 25, 2022.