HC rejects petition challenging mining ban in Maha
The Bombay High Court has rejected a petition challenging ban on mining imposed by Centre and Maharashtra governments
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has rejected a petition challenging ban on mining imposed by Centre and Maharashtra governments in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of coastal Konkan region in the state.
A bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka also questioned the locus standi of the petitioner in challenging the issue in court.
The petition was filed by Sindhu Bhoomi foundation and its chairman Pramaod Jathar who is also BJP MLA from the area, where mining has been banned.
On August 16, 2010, the Union Forest and Environment Ministry had banned mining in the two districts as it was causing ecological damage in the area.
The state government also issued similar orders to ban mining on September 10, 2012. The Western Ghats Ecology expert panel in its report had also recommended to stop mining in Konkan region.
The petition challenged orders of both the governments and also the recommendation of the expert panel to ban mining. It argued that because of the ban on mining and sand mining, stone quarry business had come to a halt resulting in unemployment among local people.
Laterite stone which is used to construct houses in Konkan region is not available due to ban on mining and hence all infrastructure projects in the region have suffered a set back as they were either lying incomplete or unable to take off, the petition argued.
The Judges, however, questioned the locus standi of the petitioner to file such a petition in the court, saying its constitution does not empower the organisation to spend money on legal matters or filing petitions in courts.
The bench, on March 27, also warned the petitioner that if it continued to file such petitions without having powers to do so under its constitution, then the court wouldhave no alternative but to order an inquiry on this aspect.