The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy made the observation on Tuesday while perusing a report submitted by the Coimbatore District Collector relating to illegal quarrying, which said that no such thing was going on at the time of inspection.
Pointing out that the submission appears to conceal more than it reveals, Chief Justice Banerjee said, “The submission that at the time of inspection no illegal quarrying was going on only reflects that at other times illegal quarrying does take place. More often than not, officials who are meant to keep the lessees in check are perceived to turn a blind eye,” the Chief Justice added, noting that greater supervision and a degree of responsibility was required for the purpose.
The bench then directed the Mining Department Secretary to file an affidavit confirming the report filed by the District Collector. “If we discover that adequate steps were not taken to dismantle the mine despite lapse of the lease period, action will be taken against the concerned official,” the court said.
The petitioner had contended that despite the licence to cut ordinary stones and granites in Puravipalayam village, Pollachi taluk, expiring in 2019, quarrying was continuing illegally, causing air and noise pollution.