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Madras HC imposes Rs 50,000 cost on petitioner for filing plea alleging illegal quarrying

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The Madras High Court has imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on a petitioner and dismissed a petition filed seeking a direction on the respondents to consider the representation made by the petitioner on 04.07.2022 and to stop the construction of sand quarries at Perumkadambanur, Ilamkadambanur, Chirangudipuliyur villages, Nagapattinam District.

The petition, filed by one R. Silambarasan, made allegations about illegal quarrying by certain persons. However, no one has been impleaded in the petition who are said to have been involved in illegal quarrying.

P. Muthukumar, State Government Pleader, on the other hand, submitted that for the land in question, lease for quarrying has been granted on certain conditions and accordingly, the allegation of illegal quarrying has wrongly been made by the petitioner. The reference of different quarry leases under the Tamil Nadu Minor Minerals Concession Rules, 1959, have been given. It is with the further statement that the petitioner was found involved in illegal quarrying, thus, a case was registered and otherwise there are many criminal case pending against him. He further submitted that the petition has been filed to blackmail the lease holders, thus, the petition deserves to be dismissed with heavy costs.

G. Savaranabhavan, the counsel for the petitioner, argued that he has no knowledge about the grant of quarry lease by official respondents and so far as the criminal cases registered against him are concerned, they are false cases.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy have considered the submissions and found that the petition has been filed alleging illegal quarrying, while the respondents have produced details of the quarry leases granted in different survey numbers, and thus, it is not a case of illegal quarrying. The petitioner was under obligation to ascertain the facts aforesaid before filing the petition and he cannot plead ignorance about the quarry leases granted as per law.

The Court further found that the petitioner has a criminal track record which includes a case under Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act also.

Taking the overall facts of the case, the Bench observed that the petition to be not bonafide rather for a purpose stated by the State Government Pleader and thereby, taking the report dated 03.08.2022 submitted by the State Government Pleader on record, the Bench dismissed the petition with imposition of costs of Rs 50,000 to be paid to the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority within 15 days.

The Registrar (Judicial), High Court, Madras is directed by the High Court to ensure compliance of payment of cost within the stipulated time and if payment of cost is not made, the disposed of the petition may be listed again before the High court to take appropriate proceedings in the matter.

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