Meghalaya Coal Transportation Issue: Petitioners file WP in High Court for monetary benefits, alleges activist

Meghalaya Coal Transportation Issue: Petitioners file WP in High Court for monetary benefits, alleges activist
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TURA | January 20, 2020:

The issue revolving around the transportation of coal in Garo Hills region of Meghalaya took a new turn with many of the writ petitions filed in the High Court being reportedly withdrawn, forcing a social activist to file a complaint against the said petitioners with the deputy commissioner of South Garo Hills alleging them of filing cases for their self interest.

Social activist, Nilberth Ch Marak wrote in his complaint letter that many WPs were filed in the HC which was admitted by the Court and transport was stopped. "However, without any rhyme or reason, the WPs were withdrawn by the petitioners without citing any reason. Later it was learned from sources that the petitioners were not genuine and were working at the behest of some vested interests to stop transport for the genuine bidders," said Marak in his complaint.

The complaint by Marak relates to the recent auction of coal from various locations in SGH held on Dec 14 as per the direction of the DC of the district. The SC had allowed the state to auction coal which had not been declared within the 32 lakh MT lying within the state, which is to be auctioned through CIL.

The auction of the coal had thereby taken place on the above mentioned date. However, immediately after the auction was completed, trouble started for those that had made the winning bid with various writ petitions being filed by various individuals questioning the auction or to stop transport of the auctioned coal.

Marak alleged this was done by the petitioners for monetary benefits and to gratify their bid for money.

Meanwhile, while other WPs were withdrawn, one person, Pillarson D Sangma filed another WP seeking a stay on transportation following which in Jan 15, the HC stayed transportation of auctioned coal until Jan 30, the next date of hearing.

Marak alleged that Pillarson was hired by one person of Williamnagar whose motive he said was to black mail the successful bidders, namely Jia Sangma, Georgeman Marak and Prokash Sangma.

"Even I was approached to put my signature of the proxy WP on their behalf which I refused to do as I have the deepest respect for the Constitution and the laws of the country. The Court is an institution to deliver justice not an instrument to black mail. No one should approach the Court to satisfy their greed for money and do business," said Marak.

The activist further sought an investigation into the matter seeking to know who filed WPs with genuine thoughts and those that withdrew. He further sought the findings to be submitted to the law department of the advocate general for follow up action.

Marak stated that the petitioners need to also be investigated upon whether they are financially sound to be able to deposit 10% of the bid amount as well as 50% within 24 hours of bidding success. He also sought an investigation into the fact that whether the people that filed WPs had done so on their own accord or had some vested people behind them.

"We are really concerned that the Court is being misused," felt the social activist.

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