He opposed creation of a layout for residential plots near his site

The Madras High Court Bench here on Friday dismissed a writ petition filed by a stone quarry lessee to restrain the Government officials concerned from granting permission or approval to a layout for residential plots near his quarry site at Viramathi village in Tirupattur Taluk of Sivaganga district.

Declining to entertain the case, Justice K. Chandru wondered how a quarry operator could approach the court seeking a direction to the Deputy Director of Town and Country Planning, Director of Geology and Mining and the District Collector to refrain from discharging their statutory duties.

“The Constitution permits citizens of this country to move throughout its territories and reside in any place of their choice. Such a right is, of course, subject to reasonable restrictions. Still, if there is a conflict between the right to shelter and the right of a quarry lease holder, undoubtedly, the former would prevail over the latter.

“The petitioner's quarrying lease has almost come to an end and with a view to claim renewal; he cannot file the present writ petition to prevent others from putting up houses in their own ‘patta' lands… If there are any rules which prescribe the procedure for granting approval to a layout near a quarry site, certainly, the authorities are expected to act within the four corners of law,” the judge said. In his affidavit, the petitioner, K. Ramamurthy, claimed that he was given lease to quarry stones on 2.47 hectares of land for five years between 2006 and 2011. One of the conditions of the lease was that there should not be any habitation within 300 metres from the quarry site. However, recently he came to know that certain individuals were planning to sell residential plots near his site and hence the writ petition.