Meghalaya HC dismisses PIL against cement major Lafarge Holcim
The Meghalaya High Court has dismissed a PIL filed by a group of villagers in East Khasi Hills district against cement major Lafarge Holcim observing that it was “totally without merit” and “tainted with ill design”.
The PIL, pending since 2007, had alleged that the land bordering Nongtrai and Shella had been illegally acquired by the company for mining of limestone and had not benefitted the villages around the mining area.
A division bench, comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice S R Sen, on Wednesday said the PIL was aimed at jeopardising the progress of the village.
The bench said the PIL was “totally without any merit” and “tainted with ill design” as the Shella Action Committee (SAC) could not produce even one land owner who was affected, after the land was transferred, sold or leased out in favour of the company.
The high court also directed the petitioner, the SAC, to pay a fine of Rs 20,000 within a month, to be donated to flood-affected Kerala.
They had said in the PIL that it had caused serious loss of revenue and irreparable loss to the indigenous people residing within the sixth schedule area.
After considering the matter, the court said it had arrived at a conclusion that the petitioner had filed the PIL without any substantial basis.