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The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Meghalaya government to deposit Rs 100 as penalization imposed on it by the NGT for failing to rein in illegal coal mining.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and K M Joseph directed the government to deposit fine with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

It also directed the state government to deposit illegally extracted coal to Coal India Ltd (CIL) and told CIL to auction the coal and deposit the money earned with the state government.

But the bench didn’t restrain mining on privately and community-owned land amenable to clearance from the concerned authorities.

On Jan 4, 2019, the NGT had imposed the fine after acting on a three-member committee’s report which revealed that over 24,000 mines were operating in Meghalaya and most of them were illegal.

—India Legal Bureau

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