The Madras High Court has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on a litigant for filing a PIL allegedly to blackmail genuine leaseholders to mine sand in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu.
The amount will be handed over to the Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority within 15 days, First Bench Chief Justice M N Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy said while denying a PIL petition by R Silambarasan on August 4.
The petition asked the relevant authorities to consider its request dated July 4 this year and stop the establishment of sand quarries in the villages of Perumkadambanur, Ilamkadambanur and Chirangudipuliyur.
“We have reviewed the submissions and conclude that the Motion in Brief was filed alleging illegal quarrying, while the Respondents produced details of the quarry leases granted in various inquiry issues, and therefore, it does not s This is not a case of illegal quarrying.
“The petitioner was under an obligation to ascertain the above facts before filing the motion in brief and he cannot plead ignorance of the quarry leases granted in accordance with the law. We further find that the petitioner has a criminal record which also includes a case under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act,” the bench noted.
Taking all of the facts of the case, the bench concluded that the motion was not bona fide. He dismissed the motion in writ after imposing the fine.
The Registrar (judicial) ensures the payment of costs within 15 days. If payment is not made within the allotted time, the writ petition will be reissued for further action, the bench added.