The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted two weeks time to the Tamil Nadu government to file its response on a special leave petition filed by PRP Exports of Therkkutheru Village in Melur Taluk in Madurai district challenging a Madras High Court judgment directing it not to carry on its granite business and restraining it from carrying on imports and exports.
A Bench of Justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and A.K. Sikri granted time after hearing Additional Advocate General Subramonium Prasad for the State. This was opposed by counsel K.K. Mani, appearing for the PRP Exports. The Bench directed the matter to be listed for further hearing on October 22.
Meanwhile, counsel M. Purushothaman, appearing for Neervala Padukappu Matrum Ulal Yethirppu Iyakkam, which filed an impleadment application for a CBI probe into the whole granite scam made a mention for listing along with the SLP.
In its application, the Iyakkam said due to the illegal granite quarrying nearly 20,000 acres of lands had been rendered uncultivable and the entire landscape of the villages permanently distorted and environment severely polluted. It alleged that the people of the region were living in fear as many innocent Dalit bonded labourers from Odhisa and Bihar and poor workers had been given ‘human sacrifice’ called ‘nara bali’ to please bad demons to further the business at every new quarrying site by the granite mafia. If only proper investigation was done into the so called ‘suspicious death’ cases registered by the police in Melur taluk of Madurai district, the truth would come out.
The applicant alleged that illegal quarrying was done with active connivance and support of the government machinery for more than 20 years irrespective of the political party in power. This had resulted in a huge loss of about Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 9,000 crores. Hence the applicant sought a direction for a CBI probe into the granite scam.
In its SLP, the petitioner PRP Exports said “to the shock and surprise of the petitioner, all of a sudden in the early hours of August 9, 2012 officials along with 300 police personnel surrounded the petitioner's processing unit and quarrying areas and forcibly took possession of the processing unit and the quarries without any notice or order whatsoever and sealed the processing unit and closed access to all the lease granted areas thereby abruptly and arbitrarily stopping entire ongoing business of the petitioner.
A single judge of the Madurai Bench of the High Court in his judgment quashed the order passed by the investigating officer restraining the export and import and directed the respondents not to interfere in the export and import on valid documents by the petitioner. “The Investigating Officer shall permit that petitioner to carry on their business”, the judge had said. On appeal a Division Bench of the High Court reversed the judgment and restrained the company from continuing its business.