Meghalaya High Court

The Meghalaya high court on February 28 decided to give Meghalaya chief secretary “last chance” to file an affidavit with regards to the alleged illegal mining and transportation of coal in the state within this week.

The division bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee was hearing a PIL filed by social activist Tennydard M Marak, who had asserted that illegally mined coal is transported in heavy vehicles without following the procedure prescribed under the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 or the rules thereunder.

The bench said that it was distressing that despite the previous directions and an extension granted on February 14, the state’s affidavit has not been filed.

It also warned that the court has the authority, in such circumstances, to have the responsible officer paraded in court for the repeated failure to comply with the directions.

“As a last chance, the chief secretary is directed to carry the affidavit to court and have it filed in the course of this week. The chief secretary will report to the registrar-general for such purpose,” the bench said in its order.

“Let this be an example so that there is no further dereliction of such kind on the part of the state in adhering to directions for filing affidavits. It may also be recorded that it gives the court no pleasure to behave like a headmaster dealing with adolescent school students,” it further added.

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