The first division bench of the Madras High Court comprising the Acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice PD Audikesavalu has passed the direction to the government to file its counter within three weeks on hearing the petition of A Radhakrishnan, a resident of Kannankurichi, Salem.
The petitioner wanted a direction to the state to stop the illegal mining, quarrying activities in Salem adhering to the previous directions of the Supreme Court and the Madras HC.
“In several parts of the Salem district including Mettur, Kuranguchavadi, Karungaradu, and Chettychavadi, the illegal quarrying and mining activities are undergoing. The officials who have to stop such activities are in nexus with the offenders. Due to the rampant corruption in the quarry department, properties belonging to the government are hugely exploited in the name of the mining and quarrying,” the senior counsel R Marudhachalamurthy submitted on behalf of the petitioner.
He further pointed out that the courts have stepped in to protect the environment by curbing mining activity, whenever the state has failed in its duty under Article 48 A and 51 A.
“The illegal mining activity has not been curbed and the mining has been continued illegally, causing irreparable damage to the ecology,” he added.
On recording the submissions, the bench asked the state government to file its response within 3 weeks.