SHILLONG: The Meghalaya high court has ordered confiscation of assets of government officers involved in operation of illegal coke plants in the state.
The directive was passed by Meghalaya high court to Meghalaya chief secretary DP Wahlang.
“The chief secretary will file a report at the first sitting of the court on February 3, 2023 as to the action taken against the erring officers, including notices of suspension, initiation of departmental proceedings, sequestration of assets and the like for the flagrant operation of illegal coke plants,” the Meghalaya high court said in its order.
Notably, deputy commissioner (DC) of West Khasi Hills district in Meghalaya, in an affidavit, informed that closure notice has been issued to 57 coke plants and an FIR has also been filed at Shallang police station.
Moreover, the Meghalaya high court has also directed the state’s chief secretary to file an action taken report against “erring officers” promoting illegal coal mining in the state.
“The chief secretary will carry the report to the court and remain personally liable for any illegal mining of coal or illegal operation of any coke plant in the state,” it directed.
“It is a matter of crying shame that despite orders of the Supreme Court, no less, a state of anarchy is brought about by the state government by flouting such orders and apparently actively aiding in the illegal mining of coal and the functioning of coke plants without licence in the state,” the Meghalaya high court said.
It added: “The rampant functioning of illegal coke plants leads to the obvious inference of rampant illegal mining of coal in the state despite the state government’s assurance to the contrary”.