HC directs NIOT to form expert panel to study Marina shoreline erosion

The Madras High Court has directed the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) to form a committee of experts to undertake a detailed study of shoreline erosion at Marina beach, its effects and the prevention of damage.
HC directs NIOT to form expert panel to study Marina shoreline erosion
Madras High Court

Chennai

When Additional Government Pleader E Manoharan submitted that the study was likely to take a long period, a division bench comprising Justice S Manikumar and Justice Subramonium Prasad said the study should be commenced at the at the earliest. “The constitution of committee of experts and commencement of study should be undertaken forthwith, and a report submitted as early as possible,” the bench said.

The bench also directed the officials of the Greater Chennai Corporation, Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board and others to negotiate with the fish vendors to locate the shops behind the iron railings from the commencement of the loop road towards Foreshore Estate. The city police Commissioner was directed to provide necessary protection if required.

The bench added that this arrangement ought to be done keeping in mind the health and sanitation, maintenance of roads, regulation of fish stalls and free flow of traffic till a permanent solution was arrived at.

Considering the byelaws framed by the Greater Chennai Corporation for regulating the hawkers and hawking zones as directed by the court, the bench directed the registry to place the writ petitions moved in this regard before the Chief Justice for suitable orders.

“This court is of the view that if all the writ petitions are heard and disposed of together, a conclusion could be made for issuance of identity cards to the vendors by the vending committee, approval of bye-laws and consequently regulation of vending in beach with the participation of both the vendors and Greater Chennai Corporation,” the bench led by Justice S Manikumar said. Parties who have impleaded in the case have sought time to submit objections to the byelaws while the vending committee is holding a survey to identity the street vendors.

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Lawyers seek fixing responsibility on State over alcohol-related crimes

The State should befixed with some form of responsibility for crimes being committed under the influence of alcohol, argued lawyers in their submission on the issues raised by the Madras High Court as to whether the State can be held liable for such crimes.

Citing Dram Shop Laws that was in force in the United States during the prohibition era in 1930s, which fixed liability on the suppliers if alcohol was served to minors or those who later cause death or injury, Advocate Vijayaraghavan said a similar law should be introduced in Tamil Nadu fixing a minimum compensation to be paid to victims.

Senior advocate NL Rajah, who contended that a judicial order would help as there was no political will to push for compensation to victims of such crimes, stressed on the need to empower the victims to claim compensation.

Advocate Sanjay Pinto highlighted the irony in the State where the Managing Director of Tasmac is also the Commissioner of Prohibition. “It’s a case of the fence eating thecrop,” he said. Prioritising health and well-being of the public, theSupreme Court had upheld the doctrine of ‘Res Extra Commercium’ (things beyond commerce) several time, he said.

“Putting a bottle of alcohol in the hands of an already drunk and violent man is no different from placing a knife in the hands of an insaneman,” he added.

Justice Anand Venkatesh observed that social costs of alcohol were very high, prompting Rajah to remark that it may outweigh marijuana, even though only the latter was banned. However, Public Prosecutor A Natrajan submitted that a special leave petition has been filed against the High Court order.

Noting that he had taken up the issue as an expression of his anguish, Justice Venkatesh said his only intention was to find whether there was any way in which the State can compensate the victims ofalcohol-induced crimes.

Directing the public prosecutor to file a counter in this regard, he posted the matter for furtherhearing to April 25.

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