The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered that status quo be maintained with regard to the GAIL India Ltd.’s natural gas pipeline from Kochi in Kerala to Bangalore in Karnataka.

The 600-km project passes through Coimbatore, Tirupur, Erode, Namakkal, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and Salem districts in Tamil Nadu.

The First Bench comprising the Acting Chief Justice V.K.Agrawal and Justice N.Paul Vasanthakumar passed the interim order on a contempt petition by the Farmers Sangam, represented by its general secretary, Kandasamy of Arumugha Goundanur, Coimbatore District.

The sangam prayed the court to punish Chief Secretary Sheela Balakrishnan and 16 other officials for not obeying the court orders of October 4 last year in a writ appeal. In that order, certain directions were given to the Chief Secretary and the District Collectors of the seven districts.

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