It's A Matter Of Crying Shame That The Position Continues: Meghalaya HC Orders Action Against Illegal Coke Plants
The Meghalaya High Court has ordered to seize all illegal coke-making units. The Court has directed to initiate immediate action against the persons in control of the units.
The Court slammed the State over its laxity in implementing the orders passed by the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal prohibiting the illegal mining of coal and the illegal setting up of coke plants.
"It is a matter of crying shame that the position continues, both pertaining to illegal coal mining and the functioning of unauthorised coke oven plants.", the bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice W. Diengdoh observed.
The Court observed that it is distressing that the State administration appeared to be complicit in the illegal functioning of coke plants in the State.
"It is distressing that the State administration appears to be complicit in the illegal functioning of coke plants in the State as is evident from the writ petition and a letter addressed by the Superintendent of Police, West Khasi Hills District to the Deputy Commissioner…", the Court noted.
According to the writ petitioner, there are more than 60 coke making units in the West Khasi Hills District against the admitted position that only four units have been granted consent to operate.
The Court further noted that as per a document issued by the Meghalaya State Pollution Control Board only four units have consent to operate coke plants in the West Khasi Hills.
The Court ordered to shut down all other coke plants.
Advocate A. Kr. Baruah appeared for the petitioner whereas Senior GA K. Khan appeared for Respondents.
The Court further directed that "All Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police in other districts should ensure that there is no coke making unit operating within their jurisdiction otherwise than upon obtaining due consent to operate."
The Court directed the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of the districts to confirm such position by filing individual reports addressed to the Chief Secretary within a week.
"The State is put on notice that if the State is unable to implement this order or the subsisting orders of Courts and Tribunals which are binding on it, this Court will have to look at resources beyond the State to enforce such orders.", the Court held.
Cause Title-Monu Kumar Vs. State of Meghalaya & ors.