The Meghalaya High Court has asked Justice (Retd) BP Katakey to indicate the exact quantum of extracted coal to be disposed of in the state, and said that expeditious steps must be taken to dispose of the remaining coal.
Justice Katakey was appointed by the High Court for recommending the measures to be taken by the state in compliance with the directions issued by the Supreme Court and National Green Tribunal (NGT), including the sale of already extracted coal.
In its order, the full bench headed by Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee said expeditious steps are also to be taken to dispose of the coal which remains since there are allegations from several quarters that coal continues to be illegally mined in the State and the recently mined coal sought to be passed off as the previously mined coal.
“In the meantime, Justice Katakey should indicate the exact quantum of coal which remains to be disposed of and the State will render all assistance to ensure that an accurate figure is indicated,” the bench said while hearing a PIL on this regard.
It further added that “once an accurate figure is available, it would allay fears of freshly mined coal being passed off as coal mined prior to the stoppage directions issued by or about 2017.”
The bench also directed the state to pay further ad hoc remuneration of Rs 1.5 lakh to Justice Katakey.
A third interim report was filed by Justice Katakey on August 9.
The bench said it will be open to the appearing parties to obtain copies of the report from an officer of this Court.
“The suggestions and recommendations made in the third interim report are likely to be directed to be implemented, subject to the views expressed by the appearing parties,” it stated.
The next hearing on the matter will be held on August 25.