Madras High Court directed Tamilnadu Government to pass order on merit in accordance with law based on the State Government report dated 14.11.2011 after affording opportunities to both the parties.
Before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court
Dated : 18.11.2011
The Hon’ble Mr.Justice K.N. Basha
The Hon’ble TMT.Justice M.Venugopal
W.P.(MD) No. 175 of 2010
The Coastal Environmental and
Tisaiyanvilai – 627 567 – Petitioner
1. The Secretary to the Government
St. George Fort,
2. M/s. Southern Enterprises,
A registered partnership Firm
Rep. by its Managing Partner,
D. Dhaya Devadoss
1-A, Prasad Street,
Velachery, Chennai – 600 042 – Respondents
**R2 impleaded as per order
dated 18.11.2011 in
M.P.(MD) No.1 of 2011
Prayer : Petition filed under Article 226 of Constitution of India praying for a writ of Mandamus directing the respondent to consider and dispose off the petitioner’s representation dated 21.12.2008 within a time stipulated by this court.
For Petitioner : Mr. A.L. Somayaji, Senior Counsel
for M/S. S. Meenakshi Sundaram
For Respondent-1 : Mr. K. Mahendran
Special Government Pleader
For Respondent-2 : Mr.T. Chandresekaran
The petitioner has come forward with this petition seeking the relief of direction to the first respondent to consider and dispose off the petitioner’s representation dated 21.12.2008 within a time stipulated by this Court.
2. Mr. A.L.Somayji, learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner, would submit that this court passed an order dated 09.02.2010 directing the first respondent to file interim inspection report with the assistance of the Pollution Control Board and the Department of Environment after inspecting the sites, after giving due notice to the companies concerned as well as to the petitioner herein. It is submitted that the said report was submitted yesterday, i.e., on 14.11.2011 to the first respondent, namely the Government. Therefore, the learned Senior Counsel would contend that in the light of the said report, the first respondent may be directed to consider the representation of the petitioner dated 21.12.2008 by affording opportunity to the petitioner within a time frame.
3. Mr.T.Chandrasekaran, learned counsel for the second respondent, would submit that the petitioner has sought for the relief against the second respondent and as such, he should be given an opportunity before considering and taking action on the representation of the petitioner. It is contended that this court as per the order dated 09.02.2010 directed the Government to submit an interim inspection report with the assistance of the Pollution Control Board and the Department of Environment after inspecting the sites. But the said authorities having inspected the premises of the second respondent three times, the second respondent understands that they could have submitted three report to three different authorities. Therefore, it is contended that an opportunity should be given to the second respondent to peruse the reports before considering the representation of the writ petitioner.
4. Mr.M.Mahendran, learned Special Government Pleader would submit that only one report was submitted as an interim inspection report dated 14.11.2011 and there is no question of submitting any more reports as on date. It is submitted that the representation of the writ petitioner would be considered in the light of the said report.
5. We have carefully considered the rival contentions put forward by either side and also perused the materials available on record including the representation of the petitioner dated 21.12.2008 as well as the order passed by this court dated 09.02.2010.
6. At the outset, it is to be stated that this court passed an order dated 09.02.2010 which reads hereunder :-
“3. Considering the facts and circumstances, we are inclined to pass the following order as an interim measures :
“Interim inspection report shall be filled by the respondent with the assistance of Pollution Control Board and the Department of Environment after inspecting the sites, after giving due notice to the companies concerned as well as to the petitioner herein”.
7. It is seen that the petitioner has come forward with this petition seeking for the relief of direction to the first respondent to consider and dispose of his representation dated 20.12.2008. However, this court thought it fit to pass the order dated 09.02.2010 as incorporated above.
8. Now it is brought to the notice of this court by the learned Special Government Pleader that an interim inspection report dated 14.11.2011 was submitted to the first respondent and on that basis, the first respondent would consider the representation preferred by the petitioner dated 21.12.2008. A copy of the said representation is also filed before this court. Therefore, it is crystal clear that as on date, there is only one report dated 14.11.2011 available, as per the submission of the learned Special Government Pleader as well the copies of documents produced before this court.
9. Under the above said circumstances, this court, without going into the merits of the representation of the petitioner dated 21.12.2008, is constrained to direct the first respondent to consider the representation of the petitioner dated 21.12.2008 in the light of the interim inspection report dated 14.11.2011 by affording opportunity to the petitioner as well as to the second respondent herein and other relevant parties, if any, by giving copies of the reports to the parties, viz., the petitioner, the second respondent, etc., and pass orders on merits and in accordance with law within a period of twelve weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.
10. It is pertinent to note that even in the earlier order dated 09.12.2010, this court has made it clear that the interim inspection report should be prepared only after giving due notice to the companies concerned and as such, there should not be any grievance for the second respondent.
11. As it is submitted by the learned counsel for the second respondent that there are other reports apart from the report dated 14.11.2011, it is made clear that if the authorities received any further report regarding the very same issue involved, a copy of the same should be furnished to both, the petitioner and the second respondent herein, and the same should be taken into consideration while passing the order.
With these directions and observation, this writ petition is disposed of.
The Secretary to the Government,
St. George Fort,
W.P.(MD) No. 175 of 2010