The Supreme Court has dismissed the writ petition filed by social activist Agnes Kharshiing regarding the ongoing illegal mining and transportation of coal in the State.
In an order passed on October 14, the bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah dismissed the writ petition following the plea by Kharshiing’s lawyer Colin Gonsalves to raise the matter before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
Gonsalves told the apex court that he wanted to withdraw the writ petition to enable him to file a separate petition before the NGT regarding the matter.
“Learned counsel for the petitioner seeks leave to withdraw the writ petition to enable him to raise appropriate grievances before the National Green Tribunal where the matter is pending for consideration. The writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with aforesaid liberty,” the Supreme Court said in its order.
With this, it is now clear that the matter related to illegal mining and transportation of coal in the State would come up in the NGT through a petition to be filed by Kharshiing’s lawyer.
Earlier, the NGT has served a notice on the Meghalaya government seeking its response regarding action taken to stop illegal mining and transportation of coal in the State.
A resident of the State, Pawan Sharma had filed a petition before the tribunal, seeking stoppage of “all illegal mining, transport and export of coal from Meghalaya”.
Recently, allies of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) like BJP and PDF have expressed displeasure with the failure by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to stop the illegal mining and transportation of coal.
The BJP has even demanded the arrest of cabinet minister James Sangma for his alleged role in the coal racket.
However, the chief minister has denied that there is illegal coal mining and transportation in the State and claimed that his government has taken all possible measures to stop the racket.
According to the chief minister, trucks carrying coal have all the necessary documents and challans.