CHENNAI: A person, who himself had a criminal track record, moved the Madras high court levelling baseless allegations against licensed quarries, only to be censured by the court which imposed ₹50,000 as exemplary cost on him.
Rejecting a PIL filed by R Silambarasan, the first bench headed by Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari said, “the petitioner was under obligation to ascertain the facts before filing the writ petition and he cannot plead ignorance about the quarry leases granted as per law.”
When government pleader P Muthukumar informed the court that the petitioner himself had been involved in illegal quarrying and moved the PIL to blackmail legitimate quarries, the first bench said, “we find that he is having criminal track record which includes a case under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.”
Silambarasan said he had made a representation to the geology and mines department seeking action against illegal quarrying in Nagapattinam district. Though he made allegations about illegal quarrying by certain persons, he failed to implead any of the alleged illegal miners in the petition.
When the plea came up for hearing, government pleader Muthukumar said for the land in question, lease for quarrying had been granted on certain conditions. Producing copies of the lease licences granted, he said the petitioner was involved in illegal quarrying, and a case was registered against him. Even otherwise there are many criminal cases pending against him, he said.
Recording the submissions, the bench dismissed the PIL and imposed the cost on the petitioner.