Lawfully yours: By Retd Justice K Chandru

Your legal questions answered by Justice K Chandru, former Judge of the Madras High Court Do you have a question? Email us at
 Justice K Chandru
Justice K Chandru

Not lack of laws, corruption threat to environment


A case of a prominent organisation flouting the environmental norms and constructing buildings in eco-sensitive Velliangiri hills in Coimbatore is now before the Madras High Court. The organisation has challenged a notice by the TN government alleging the said buildings were constructed without obtaining environmental clearance. The government claims the buildings come under infra development and not under educational institutions to claim exemption. This is not the first time bigwigs are allowed to circumvent environmental rules in the name of ‘Yoga institute’ and others. They find support from powers-to-be even as small vendors are fined in the name of plastic ban. Why is it that the law bends when positioned against heavyweights?— G Selvakumar, Coimbatore


Encroachment of forest lands has been going on for several centuries and the forest covers drastically reduced over the years. In order to protect the forest cover, British India’s government brought the Forest Act and a huge department was created. However, it is said in a lighter vein that the shrinkage of forest wealth only increased after the department was created. Further, when the environmental laws and town planning laws were made, one would have thought there will be more safeguards. But in the name of exemptions, there is total destruction. We’ve enough laws to protect the environment. But the corrupt governments and vote bank politics have eroded everything that is good.

SC members from one state can’t claim quota in another


I married outside my caste and while my husband is still in Puducherry, I have returned to my native in Dindigul along with my school-going son after we separated. My son’s school is asking for a caste (SC) certificate for him to avail of scholarships but I fear that it will be issued in the name of the father. Also, will I have any issue in getting him an SC certificate because his father doesn’t enjoy any reservation benefits? — Durga, Dindigul


Merely because your husband does not enjoy reservation benefits the authorities cannot refuse caste certificates. However, various castes that are included under the Scheduled Castes list are covered by Presidential order which is different for each state and Union territory. Since your husband is in Puducherry you will have to get a certificate from that Union Territory only. But that SC certificate is not valid for Tamil Nadu to avail of benefits here. However, if he is in the service of the Union government then it has to be accepted by the authorities here.

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