Tamil Nadu

Disregard political interference, says High Court

The Madras High Court on Tuesday hoped that the Industries Secretary and his team would disregard political interferences in their attempt to protect the natural resources and ensure that mining of valuable minerals in the State takes place strictly in accordance with the terms of the licences. The court also insisted on limiting the mining operations to demarcated areas.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made the observations while passing interim orders on a public interest litigation petition filed by advocate C. Prabhu. The court had, in the last hearing of the case, called for a report from the Industries Secretary on the steps taken by the government to prevent illegal mining of minerals in the State.

Accordingly, a status report was filed before the court listing out the steps taken so far. After perusing the report, the first Division Bench remarked: “There appear to be widespread violation of the licence terms and rampant illegal quarrying which need to be addressed urgently. However, it is possible that serious steps are being taken in right earnest by the State.”

The judges went on to write: “Often times, the seriousness with which the officials approach such a matter leave a lot to be desired because of the obvious political interference and the involvement of the high and mighty. It is hoped that the Principal Secretary and his team would disregard all attempt at political interference to protect the resources of the State and to ensure that the licencees function strictly in accordance with the terms of the licences and limit their operations to the areas demarcated.”

After directing the Industries Secretary to file a further report, the Bench adjourned the case by three weeks.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 6:12:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/disregard-political-interference-says-high-court/article35574215.ece

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