Meghalaya High Court

Shillong: Meghalaya High Court has directed the state government to ascertain whether the license issued for mining of limestone as a minor mineral is being misused to export the mineral.

The HC observed that a license for mining limestone as a minor mineral may only be issued if the end use of the product is as a building material.

“The state’s affidavit should deal with aspects of the matter upon ascertaining whether any license issued to any person for mining limestone as a minor mineral is being misused by exporting the mining mineral to any country, a division bench said in an order on Thursday while hearing a PIL.

The Court also directed that the state should ensure that the reasonable questions put to the appropriate department under the Act of 2005 are dealt with in accordance with law.

The petitioner produced before the court a challan used by miners and exporters as a license to export the limestone outside the country. The challan clearly mentions that limestone is being mined and traded as a minor mineral.

Surely exporting goods to another country will not amount to the mineral being used for building material even if the same were used for building material in that country, the PIL said.

The petitioner said he has obtained a copy of a challan pertaining to limestone mining that brings to light the irregularities.

The petition also told the court that information sought under RTI has gone unheeded and so he has approached it.

The court has directed the petitioner to file his supplementary affidavit within a week and the state’s response to it should be filed within a fortnight thereafter.

The next hearing on the matter is scheduled on July 25.

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