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Gauhati HC directs Assam govt to curb stone smuggling to Bangladesh

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The Gauhati High Court has directed the respondent authorities to take action as expeditiously as possible on the illegal exploration of boulders (stone materials) to Bangladesh through Sahapara Mankachar Indo-Bangladesh Border, District South Salmara Mankachar.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice R.M. Chhaya and Justice Soumitra Saikia has disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a social worker Zahangir Alom Mondol, which prayed for the following reliefs:-

“Under the above circumstances, it is therefore prayed that Your Lordships would graciously be pleased to admit this petition, call for the records, and issue a Rule, calling upon the Respondents to show cause as to why a Writ in the nature of Mandamus/Certiorari and/or any other appropriate Writ, order or direction of like nature should not be issued

i) Directing the respondent authorities to cause a high level enquiry into the matter of illegal exploration of boulders (stone materials) to Bangladesh through Sahapara Mankachar Indo-Bangladesh Border, District South Salmara Mankachar and to take appropriate legal actions against the officials involved in the aforesaid corruption.

ii) Direct/Command the respondent authorities to immediately take necessary steps to stop illegal exportation of boulder to Bangladesh through Sahapara, Mankachar Indo-Bangla Border for the sake of public safety and convenience as well as for generating appropriate Govt revenue.

iii) To grant all such relief to which the petitioner is legally entitled to;

and after perusal of the records, cause or cause shown if any and upon hearing the parties, Your Lordships may be pleased to make the Rule absolute and/or pass such appropriate Order/Orders or direction as Your Lordships may deem fit and proper in the interest of justice.

-AND

Further, it is also prayed that pending disposal of the Rule, Your Lordships would be pleased to direct/ command the respondent authorities to immediately take necessary steps to stop illegal exportation of boulder to Bangladesh through Sahapara, Mankachar Indo-Bangla Border for the sake of public safety and convenience as well as for generating appropriate Govt revenue, in the interest of justice.”

It appears to the Court from the records of the petition that the petitioner has already approached the Deputy Commissioner, South Salmara, Mankachar, Hatsingimari by complaint/representation/application dated 01.06.2022. As no action was taken on the said complaint/representation/ application of the petitioner dated 01.06.2022 for about 2(two) months, the petitioner has approached the High Court.

Having heard the counsels appearing for the parties, the Bench observed that at this stage interest of justice would be sub-served if the authorities are directed to look into the complaint raised by the petitioner and take appropriate remedial action.

P.N. Goswami, Additional Advocate General, Assam, has assured the Court that the same shall be looked into and appropriate action shall be taken.

Therefore the High Court directed that the authority shall take such action as expeditiously as possible within a period of 1(one) month and inform the final decision that may be taken by the authorities directly to the petitioner.

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