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Updated: May 9, 2013 15:17 IST

Maheswari braves grinding hardships, argues, wins case

R. Sivaraman
Comment (14)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
R. Maheswari.
Special Arrangement
R. Maheswari.

National Green Tribunal sent Maheswari's summons in a case filed by her brother-in-law who charged that she was running a flour mill causing noise pollution

The road to justice is indeed long.

R. Maheswari (30), an illiterate woman eking out a living by grinding flour in a tiny village in the backward Dharmapuri district, had to make an arduous 300-km train journey in an unreserved compartment for it.

And the enterprising woman managed to find her way to a relatively lesser known tribunal in Chennai, represent her own case and convince the presiding officers that a vicious relative had dragged her to court on a frivolous charge.

Ms. Maheswari, a resident of Bosinaikkanhalli, a nondescript village near Pappireddipatti, was shell-shocked on receiving a notice from a court in Chennai. The illiterate woman learnt through others that the National Green Tribunal, Southern Bench, had sent her summons in a case filed by her neighbour. His charge was that Maheswari was running a flour mill that caused noise pollution. Even though she had never visited the city before, she decided to travel to Chennai to put forth her arguments.

Buses were not operating in her area as a fallout of the ongoing PMK protests. She walked with her husband to the nearest railway station at Morappur. The difficulty of boarding the crowded compartment and travelling the whole night standing did not deter her.

After reaching the Tribunal, Maheswari came to know that her neighbour B.V. Senthil had approached it to get her mill closed. The mill, her main source of livelihood, emitted dust and noise, causing irritation to the public, said the complainant.

Having patiently waited in the court hall until her case was called, Maheswari went near the podium and explained with moist eyes to the Tribunal members, Justice M. Chockalingam and Prof. R. Nagendran, that the petitioner was her disgruntled brother-in-law. She had only recently come to know that her husband’s elder brother had filed the case. The brothers had a personal dispute and the pollution case was aimed at settling scores.

Ms. Maheswari said, “after getting assistance from State government, I am running the unit to grind flour and other items with just three hours of electricity supply in the village. I earn about Rs.150 a day to support my husband.” The Tribunal members went through an official report which said that she was running a “mini unit” for grinding flour and other items. “It is quite evident that the petitioner has come with a false claim with thoroughly unfounded allegations. He made an attempt to purchase his brother property. As he failed to achieve the objective, he filed this application.”

Dismissing the application, the Tribunal on Tuesday imposed Rs.5,000 as cost on the petitioner payable to Ms. Maheswari within four weeks.

In this News all are Hero. Firstly The Hindu, The Judges and the super Heroine Mrs.Maheswari.

Posted on: May 10, 2013 at 15:16 IST

My wishes to you madam. We need brave and bold entrepreneurial women like Thirumathi R. Maheswari coming from villages.
She had shown that one need not be educated and expert in legal system to get justice! its a very positive news.

from:  Pugazh
Posted on: May 10, 2013 at 07:51 IST

The judge should order a hefty compensation to be paid by the relative to this woman. Compensation should be of the order of min 10 lakhs and it will ensure people dont meddle with peaceful and innocent women.

from:  Honga Singh
Posted on: May 10, 2013 at 07:20 IST

Justice still prevails.. Happy to see judgment like this where the frivolous petitioner is fined. He should have been fined more. Bravo young lady. I wish more people have your courage to fight

from:  Nathan
Posted on: May 10, 2013 at 03:14 IST

Great lady
judges deserve appreciation.
a big thanks to hindu news POP up that is how i came to read this & i have also shared this in facebook so that other can also be aware of it. we need this kind of women & judges everywhere
The culprit who made a false statement should be punished like anything so that it will be a big lesson for other.

from:  vijay
Posted on: May 10, 2013 at 02:33 IST

Luckily the judges could not be bribed.In India everything is corrupt including judiciary.Poor people have nowhere to go and are at the mercy of rich and other vested interests.For the false complaint the complainant should be charged with criminal misconduct and punished.This fine is not enough.

from:  Nasar
Posted on: May 10, 2013 at 02:10 IST

Like the Olympic flame, an illiterate, poor Chinnathayee ignited the
formation of Women's Self Help Groups in Tamilnadu from a small village
near Madurai. Similarly, let the determination and bravery of
Maheswari serve as a role model to be emulated by women of all cues and
spread the message. If the SHGs can establish and provide a support like
'transit stay home' it would be a great service.

from:  U R Kaliappan
Posted on: May 10, 2013 at 00:04 IST

While it is gratifying that the lady got justice, it shows how
mechanical our justice system is. If only the court had asked the local
authorities to check and inform them about the genuineness of the
complaint,or wrote to the lady to get her side of the story before
taking up the case the matter could have been resolved without causing
her the hassle and also saved the court's time.

from:  Raghusn
Posted on: May 9, 2013 at 23:22 IST

This story is very biased and written like an episode from a TV soap.
Commenters beware, these kind of stories are two-edged swords. I
sympathize with the living condition of the woman. Millions of people
in India live like that or worse. While the motive of the neighbour
might be malicious, did the court consider the merit of the case,
which is noise pollution? Can any of the sympathetic commenters here
ever heard the constant high decibel noise of a grinding mill next to
their home? Then why do we fight against firecrackers on Deepavali
day? Rolling tobacco is someone's livelihood, but don't we fight to
ban it?

from:  Sankaba
Posted on: May 9, 2013 at 22:07 IST

Kudos to the lady who took pain to go through the Tribunal procedure to
get her mill operational. Many a times cases are made by people to
settle scores; courts should impose heavy fine on those who give false
cases so that they do not waste courts hours and bring pain for the poor

from:  Harish Sankar N I
Posted on: May 9, 2013 at 18:47 IST

The judges deserve appreciation as well. The government officers, as we
know, make illiterate people run pole to pillar. Although Mrs.Maheswari,
did not have the luxury of lawyers, the judges have considered the case
to go to the root cause of the problem. This news should be published in
tamil news papers so that people have the hope that justice will prevail
and that they are protected.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: May 9, 2013 at 18:17 IST

Thanks Hindu for considering this as a news. We are dismayed by the
frivolous legal cases filed by vested interests. We hope the Judiciary
clearly observe the way legal procedures are manipulated and find out
some ways to curb these practices.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: May 9, 2013 at 17:45 IST

More than this lady I appreciate The Hindu for bringing these kind of
news of to the public which naturally inspires other down-trodden ladies
to raise their voice and stand independent in life. Thank you!

from:  Kiran
Posted on: May 9, 2013 at 15:48 IST

The Court should have imposed more amount, so that people will not do
this kind of illwill things

from:  Naresh
Posted on: May 9, 2013 at 15:41 IST
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