Gauhati High Court: The Division Bench of Sandeep Mehta, CJ., and Suman Shyam, J., taking note of the issue of illegal mining activities taking place in the various locations under Digboi Forest Division, called for the Advocate General of Assam to apprise this Court on the next date fixed as to whether, the State of Assam is prepared to come up with a comprehensive plan for protection of the monuments pertaining to Ahom dynasty, including the coal mines.
Apart from taking note of the illegal mining activities, the Court was also made aware of the fact that in the process of illegal mining activities, the monuments pertaining to the ancient Ahom dynasty are also being destroyed/encroached by persons with vested interest.
The Court observed that afore-stated this issue had already been flagged before the Court in 2018, based on which the High Court had initiated this suo motu PIL. Therefore, the Court was of the opinion that it appeared prima facie that illegal encroachment of the Heritage sites related to the Ahom Dynasty including those of Chaolung Sukapha (father of Ahom kingdom) is going on unabated due to the absence of any protective steps taken by the State Government.
[In re, the State of Assam, 2023 SCC OnLine Gau 2198, decided on 15-06-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For petitioners: H.K. Das, Standing Counsel, GHC;
For Respondents: D. Saikia, Advocate General Assisted by R. Barua, Advocate; B. Choudhury, Standing Counsel, Forest; M. Bhattacharjee, Addl. Senior Govt. Advocate, Assam; M.Z. Ahmed, Senior Advocate assisted by A.M. Dutta, Advocate for Coal India Ltd.