Monday, January 18, 2021
Home Government and Policy Meghalaya: Court rebukes NGO, says PIL was aimed at endangering the progress of villagers

Meghalaya: Court rebukes NGO, says PIL was aimed at endangering the progress of villagers

In a harsh indictment of ‘civil society’, the Meghalaya High Court dismissed a petition filed by an NGO, Shella Action Committee (SAC), against cement major LafargeHolcim deeming it was “totally without merit” and “tainted with ill design”. The bench observed that the SAC could not produce even a single landowner who was affected after the land was transferred, sold or leased out in favour of the company.

The Court also ordered the petitioners to pay a fine of Rs. 20,000 which will be donated to those affected by the Kerala flood. The PIL had claimed that mining of limestone caused a huge loss of revenue and irreparable loss to the indigenous people residing in the area. However, the Court observed that it was filed without any substantial basis. The Court also observed that the PIL was aimed at jeopardizing the progress of the village.

The Court observed that in addition to the Rs. 171 crore the company had contributed to the State’s exchequer, the company had contributed immensely towards the welfare of the people by generating direct and indirect employment, provision of education, skill development and in numerous other ways. The bench also said that the project is a major source of revenue for the people of Nongtrai village, adjacent to Shella village.

Incidentally, it was the initiative of the very people of Nongtrai that saw the mining of limestone in the area. In 2010, the Nongtrai Village Dorbar, a traditional tribal village council, had moved the Supreme Court in support of Lafarge. “The project has not resulted in a diversion of agricultural land. No cultivation is possible in the mining area due to the rocky nature of the soil. The Shella Action Committee does not represent the native people of the area. They are not even residents of the area,” the Dorbar had said in its counter affidavit. It was also claimed that since the land belonged to the Dorbar, it was up to the Dorbar to decide whether to allow limestone mining in the area.

The Nongtrai Dorbar also claimed that the SAC, which claims to represent the villagers of Shella, has no rights over mine as it falls under their jurisdiction. Mining was allowed by the Supreme Court to resume in July 2011 after it had temporarily stayed mining in the area in an earlier ruling. The Court had observed that the company had taken the consent of the custodians of the land, the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council and the Nongtrai Village Dorbar, before embarking on the project. The Court also observed that the mining project had brought schools, jobs, healthcare and other associated benefits to the people of the land.

Devjyot Ghoshal, writing for the Business Standard, portrays a moving account of the hopes and aspirations of the people of Nongtrai which are intricately associated with the mining project. In his article, he quotes people who have directly benefited from the project and were concerned that should mining in the area be abandoned, they will suffer as a consequence. Ghoshal ends his eloquent article with the following words, “In many ways, the invitation to Lafarge was an attempt by the village of Nongtrai to take destiny into its own hands. Incidentally, in Khasi, the local tongue, Nongtrai means ‘our own land’.”

It may be noted that Lafarge Umiam Mining Pvt. Ltd., the company that operates the mine, has won the Guru Dronacharya award for safe mining for three consecutive years.

The PIL filed by Shella Action Committee, which was pending since 2007, is a classic example of how NGOs work against the greater good of the people, which is in direct contradiction with the manner in which civil rights groups portray themselves to be the conscience keepers of society.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

From Times of Islamabad to The Hindu: 5 media outlets which ’knew about the Balakot airstrike before it happened’ according to ‘liberal’ logic

The Mumbai Police leaked the private WhatsApp chats of Arnab Goswami on the internet in order to embarrass the Republic TV Editor.

Director of ‘Tandav’ issues ‘unconditional apology’ for hurting Hindu sentiments after UP Police registers an FIR: Details

Ali Abbas Zafar, the director of the recently released controversial web series Tandav, has issued an "unconditional apology".

‘Consensual affair’ between minors and adults not a valid defense, says SC: Here’s why it is significant in view of growing Grooming Jihad cases

The Supreme Court on the 13th of January delivered a very significant judgment in a case involving the kidnapping of a minor.

As India starts world’s largest COVID vaccination drive, media organisations resort to spreading lies and fear

Several media organisations have published headlines that alluded the ward boy who died of heart attack in Moradabad, had lost his life because of COVID-19 vaccine

‘Gaadi se layenge farzi comedian ko’: UP Police reaches Madhya Pradesh to take custody of Munawar Faruqui

UP Police has sought custody of 'comedian' Munawar Faruqui in a 2020 case pertaining to allegations of insulting Hindu gods and goddesses.

Hinduphobic content on OTT platforms and censorship: The case against it and the ironic case for it

Content creators don’t stay away from picking on other communities because they fear lawsuits or court cases. They stay away because they fear raw street power.

Recently Popular

British-Pakistani singer Zayn Malik says he loves India and fans can’t keep calm

Recently, Zayn Malik was heard singing Mohammad Rafi's Chaudavi Ka Chand in the track Tightrope.

‘Madam Chief Minister’ poster row: Bhim Sena threatens to cut off Richa Chadha’s tongue, actress apologises for poster

The poster of 'Madam Chief Minister' showed Richa Chadha holding a broom. Many have called it an offensive stereotyping of the Dalit community.

‘Not a single NPA in the three decades of its existence,’ Adani Group rubbishes Subramanian Swamy’s allegations

On Friday, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had put out allegations on Twitter against Adani accusing him of non-payment of loans worth Rs 4.5 lakhs, which has allegedly turned into an NPA.

What the Nidhi-Harvard story reveals about our world: Get off your high horse, you are not that special, anyway

Liberal journalist, Nidhi Razdan, thought she had received an offer from Harvard University to become an Associate Professor of journalism.

Congress admits Mumbai police leaked Arnab Goswami chats: Here are all the wild conspiracy theories they generated

Prithviraj Chavan has admitted that it was the Mumbai Police which leaked the private WhatsApp chats of Arnab Goswami.

Pakistan claims India staged Pulwama attack after Mumbai Police leaks chat to embarrass Arnab, Republic hits back: Details

Pakistan has now issued a statement on the nonsensical controversy surrounding the private WhatsApp chats of Arnab Goswami

Mamata Banerjee declares war against Suvendu Adhikari, will contest 2021 polls from Nandigram, latter says ‘challenge accepted’

Mamata Banerjee declared that she would be contesting the upcoming Assembly polls from Nandigram in Purba Medinipur.

From Times of Islamabad to The Hindu: 5 media outlets which ’knew about the Balakot airstrike before it happened’ according to ‘liberal’ logic

The Mumbai Police leaked the private WhatsApp chats of Arnab Goswami on the internet in order to embarrass the Republic TV Editor.

California pauses the use of a huge batch of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine: Read why

Prior to this, a doctor in Boston had developed a severe allergic reaction after receiving Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

‘Took his penis out and asked me to feel it’: Actress Sherlyn Chopra accuses Sajid Khan of sexual harassment

Sherlyn Chopra has come forward and alleged that Sajid Khan took his penis out of his pants when she went to meet him in 2006

Director of ‘Tandav’ issues ‘unconditional apology’ for hurting Hindu sentiments after UP Police registers an FIR: Details

Ali Abbas Zafar, the director of the recently released controversial web series Tandav, has issued an "unconditional apology".

‘Consensual affair’ between minors and adults not a valid defense, says SC: Here’s why it is significant in view of growing Grooming Jihad cases

The Supreme Court on the 13th of January delivered a very significant judgment in a case involving the kidnapping of a minor.

BBC ‘Death in Bollywood’ documentary: Jiah Khan’s sister narrates how Sajid Khan harassed the actor, says ‘he asked her to take off her top’

BBC recently come out with a documentary series titled 'Death in Bollywood' that traced the mysterious death of late actress Jiah Khan

As India starts world’s largest COVID vaccination drive, media organisations resort to spreading lies and fear

Several media organisations have published headlines that alluded the ward boy who died of heart attack in Moradabad, had lost his life because of COVID-19 vaccine

India Today CFO and Distribution Head being grilled by ED again in the fake TRP case: Read details

India Today CFO was earlier summoned by the ED for questioning in the TRP case on January 8.

‘Gaadi se layenge farzi comedian ko’: UP Police reaches Madhya Pradesh to take custody of Munawar Faruqui

UP Police has sought custody of 'comedian' Munawar Faruqui in a 2020 case pertaining to allegations of insulting Hindu gods and goddesses.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
22,800SubscribersSubscribe