Tamil Nadu

Principal District Judges asked to inspect removal of ‘seemai karuvelam’


MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here is determined to weed out ‘Seemai Karuvelam’ (prosopis juliflora) trees, an invasive species, from public as well private lands in 13 districts under its jurisdiction.

On Tuesday, it directed Principal District Judges in all those districts to inspect the progress made by the government machinery.

A Division Bench of Justices A. Selvam and P. Kalaiyarasan gave the direction after Special Government Pleader M. Govindan claimed that 40 to 50 per cent of Seemai Karuvelam had already been removed from as many as 11 district headquarters following an interim direction issued by the court to Collectors of the 13 districts on December 20.

After recording his submission, the judges directed the Principal District Judges to inspect all places in their respective district headquarters with the assistance of Town Surveyors, Revenue Inspectors and Village Administrative Officers and ascertain how far had the government and local body officials been succesful in uprooting the trees as ordered by the court.

Making it clear that such inspections should be carried out only during weekends without any disturbance to discharge of judicial functions by the district judges during weekdays, the Division Bench directed the PDJs to submit their reports in the High Court by January 31. The Collectors were ordered to depute officials concerned for assisting the district judges.

The Bench led by Mr. Justice Selvam also directed the Collectors of Kanniyakumari, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Madurai, Dindigul, Theni, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruchi and Karur districts to instruct their subordinates to weed out the Seemai Karuvelam trees or end up facing the wrath of the court.

Ordering that the Collectors should also file their compliance reports by January 31, the judges said that failure on their part do so would be viewed seriously and appropriate action would be initiated against them. The orders were passed on a public interest litigation petition filed by Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary Vaiko in 2015.

Though Mr. Vaiko, who had chosen to appear as a party-in-person, began his arguments on Tuesday contending that “Seemai Karuvelam trees suck all the oxygen in the atmosphere and emit carbondioxide,” Mr. Justice Selvam cut him short saying, “We know all that Sir. That is why we had ordered removal of the trees. You please wait, we will pass orders.”


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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 8:58:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Principal-District-Judges-asked-to-inspect-removal-of-%E2%80%98seemai-karuvelam%E2%80%99/article17019032.ece

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