Begin typing your search...
Plea seeking Arakkonam taluk as HQ of Vellore dismissed
Observing that nowadays public interest litigants have developed a concept or opinion that this court while dealing with public interest issues can give remedy to all or any of the problems, the Madras High Court dismissed a plea seeking to declare and notify Arakkonam taluk as headquarters of the divided Vellore district.
A division bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice N Seshasayee, dismissed the plea moved by Arakonam Rail Passengers Association, while noting that it must exercise its powers within the four corners of law and must maintain the balance of law and equity, said, “The prayer sought for, directing the Tamil Nadu government to locate the district Headquarters at Ranipet or at any other place of their choice, cannot be granted, for the reason that, it is a policy decision.”
“Admittedly, public hearing was conducted and after taking into consideration the various factors and circumstances, the Tamil Nadu government thought it fit to locate the Headquarters at Ranipet,” the bench led by Justice Sathyanarayanan said.
Arakonam Rail Passengers Association represented by its president Naina Masilamani, had submitted that the chief minister on August 15 had announced the trifurcation of Vellore district into three districts, viz., Vellore, Thirupathur and Ranipet, for effective administration. But instead of locating district Headquarters at Arakkonam, the government had decided on Ranipet.
Drawing attention to the glory of Arakkonam town, he further submitted that, much of the revenue pertaining to Vellore district is generated only within Arakkonam jurisdiction and that, areas in and around Arakkonam are industrialised.
That apart, CISF Training Centre, Naval Air base, etc., are located at Arakkonam and therefore, the decision on the part of the government to locate the district Headquarters at Ranipet is made without proper application of mind and relevant factors and without considering the objections and sentiments expressed by the local people, he said.
However, the bench on recording the submission of the petitioner’s counsel that Ranipet town is highly polluted and therefore it is neither advisable nor congenial to locate district Headquarters at Ranipet, said, “The same cannot be raised as a valid ground for the reason that pollution is in the atmosphere. Moreover, it cannot be said that, throughout the year, the area remains polluted and that apart, there are enough laws to take note of and to control pollution.”
The bench in its order also listed out the principles offered by Supreme Court as to when the Courts can interfere in a policy decision which included if the policy fails to satisfy the test of reasonableness and the policy should not give the impression that it was so done arbitrarily on any ulterior intention.