Madras High Court: Noting a matter involving State Revenues, S.M. Subramaniam, J., expressed that,

“…writ petitions involving large scale revenue, more specifically, Income Tax, Customs, Excise, Mines and Minerals etc., interim orders are in force for several years and the Nation’s properties are being looted or misused or taken undue advantage of.

Such a situation is absolutely unconstitutional and further anything under the earth belongs to the Government and it is the Nation’s property, which belongs to ‘We the People of India’. Thus, no one can be allowed to extract without adhering to the Act, Rules and Regulations and any violations are to be treated seriously and all these persons must be liable for all consequences.”

Why did the present matter reach this Court?

The petition was filed to seek direction to the first and third respondents to grant necessary transport permits in favour of the petitioner for mining and transporting mined minerals in terms of the mining lease granted vide Government Orders in respect of lands situated at Therani Village to its factory at Dalmiapuram, Trichy District in respect of petitioner’s mining lease areas.

Analysis and Discussion

High Court stated that while considering writ petitions relating to mining Operations, this Court would be able to trace out the number of instances where excess mining operations were carried on without adhering to the Rules and Regulations and in some cases by virtue of interim orders granted by this Court and by keeping the petitions long years, undue advantages were taken by the Mining Operators.

The Bench stated that all the above-stated are to be seriously taken note of by the State also, as it involves the State Revenue which is of paramount importance.

Expressing that when large scale State Revenues are involved, more specifically in mining operations, wherever the petitions are entertained, Bench stated that State must ensure that counter-affidavits and vacate stay petitions are filed immediately and the matter is taken up for hearing expeditiously as possible for early disposal as Nation’s interest and Public Revenue is the consideration to be shown by all concerned, including the High Court.

Court further, stated that Registrar General of High Court of Madras shall take note of the allegations that the petitions as the present one are not listed on account of bundles misplaced or on various other reasons, including corrupt activities.

There is a Grouping Section, which is functioning in the High Court. The said Section must be utilised for collecting large scale revenue involved cases now pending before the High Court for many years and the Registry must place all those cases before the Hon’ble the Chief Justice for speedy disposal.

The Bench directed the Registrar General of the Madras High Court to issue appropriate instructions to the Registry to collect all those writ petitions, where large scale State and Central Revenues are involved and list those matters, without causing any undue delay by obtaining necessary orders from the Chief Justice, if necessary by constituting Special Benches for speedy disposal of those cases.

In view of the above discussion, the petition was disposed of. [Dalmia Refractories Ltd. v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2022 SCC OnLine Mad 288, decided on 11-1-2022]

Advocates before the Court:

For Petitioner: Mr Rahul Balaji

For Respondents-1 and 3: Mr R. Shanmugasundaram, Advocate General Assisted by Mr K.M.D. Muhilan, Government Advocate.

For Respondent-2: Mr B. Rabu Manohar, Senior Central Government Standing Counsel.

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