The Meghalaya High Court on Friday directed the CBI to submit a preliminary report on Meghalaya Urban Development Authority (MUDA) officials’ nod for construction of 24 high-rise buildings in this mountainous state capital, which is a high seismic zone.
Hearing a criminal petition on the illegal construction of high-rise buildings, Chief Justice Uma Nath Singh also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to find out the officers who are responsible for granting permission for illegal constructions and who are beneficiaries of such orders.
During the hearing, CBI officer N Khamrang had submitted a written request for grant of a minimum three months time to go through the documents seized during the course of preliminary enquiry.
The CBI had already seized documents from the MUDA office relating to the granting of permission to 24 individuals for construction of high-rises.
“As the division bench has already held that all the constructions, which have been raised beyond G+3, are illegal, the role of CBI has become limited, namely, only to find out the officers who are responsible for granting permission for raising illegal constructions and who are beneficiaries of such orders,” the court said.
It granted two weeks’ time to the CBI to submit the preliminary report, and also directed the chief engineer of the Military Engineering Service at Shillong, to provide assistance of a civil engineer of his department to the CBI forthwith for examining the records of MUDA.
The case will again come up for hearing on November 2.
On September 28, a division bench of Chief Justice Singh, and Justice T. Nandakumar Singh had directed the demolition of the illegal constructions which posed an inherent risk to the lives of the inhabitants as well as neighbours of such buildings in the unfortunate occurrence of an earthquake.
It also ordered a preliminary investigation against the MUDA officials who have granted permissions for the constructions, and asked the CBI to proceed against such 123 builders and others who have been or were likely to be benefited by such acts of commission and omission on the part of the MUDA officers.
It also directed the CBI to find out from the records of MUDA, as to, apart from the instant cases, in how many more such cases of illegal constructions presently existing in the city.