Parthiban Blue Metal Etc. Vs. The Member Secy. T.N. Polln.Cont. Bd. & Ors. 
Insc 82 (1 February 2007)
Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT & S.H. KAPADIA
(Arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 19774-19782 of 2005) Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
In these appeals challenge is to the order passed by a Division Bench of the
Madras High Court dismissing the writ petitions filed by the appellants.
Background facts as projected by the appellants are as follows:
Various stone crushing units were being operated by the appellants in Trisoolam
Village, Kanjipuram District, Tamil Nadu. According to the appellants they had
obtained "no objection certificate" from the Tehsildar, Divisional
Fire Officer and the Panchayat Union for the purpose of running the units.
After Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (in short the
'Water Act')] and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 (in
short the 'Air Act') came into force appellants applied for consent from the
concerned authorities under these Acts. Considering the applications the
District Environmental Engineer called for some particulars and appellants were
required to remit a sum of Rs.1750/- each towards consent fee under the Acts,
which was also paid.
Appellants were granted permission by the Commissioner, Panchayat Union for
construction of a shed and installation of 25 HP Electric Motor to run the
units and as per the approved plan the shed was constructed and business was
being carried out. The Principal Secretary, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board
(in short the 'Board') issued notice to each of the appellants requiring
shifting to alternative sites since the units were located at about 325 meters
from the residential colony.
Appellants gave their reply stating that the units were operating since 1972
and in fact they were located in the non- urban zone. Some writ petitions were
filed by the Krishna Nagar Welfare Association and Kennedy Valley Welfare
Association. Since there were various reports, which were somewhat
contradictory to each other, Civil Appeal No. 6742 of 2001 and W.P. (C) 2594 of
1999 were disposed of by this Court with certain directions. The Industries
Department of the State Government issued G.O.Ms. No. 13 dated 22.1.2002
wherein it was declared as follows:
"In the order first read above, in adherence to the Supreme Court Order
in C.A. No. 10732/95, the Government issued amendment to Rule 36(1) of Tamil Nadu
Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1959 to the effect that no quarrying shall be
done within a radial distance of 500 metres from inhabited site. The position
was also informed to Supreme Court of India in connection with S.L.P.(C) No.
The District Environmental Officer issued a notice to each of the appellant
observing that their units were located within 500 meters from the residential
area and therefore, penal action was called for. A Writ Petition (Writ Petition
35855 of 2003) was filed before the High Court alleging pollution because of
the activities of the stone crushing units.
The appellants challenged the notices/orders issued by the Board. The High
Court dismissed the same holding that the action initiated by the Board was
During the hearing of the cases on 13.11.2006, the following order was
"Our attention has been drawn to the notice dated 11 March, 1994 issued to one of the petitioners, M/s. Rathnam Blue Metals, which states that the units
is located at about 325 meters from Krishna Nagar against the limit of 500
meters from residential area. The contention of the petitioners is that now the
limit has been reduced to 300 meters and, therefore, their unit is located
within the permissible distance. It is further submitted that all the units are
in adjoining sites and are beyond the distance of 300 meters from residential
area. The respondent-Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board is directed to verify
the factual scenario and file an affidavit within four weeks."
An affidavit had been filed on behalf of the respondent Nos.1 & 2 Board
annexing a map and giving the following details.
Name of the Nine Stone Crushing Units and its Distance from Approved
NAME DISTANCE 1.
PARTHIBAN BLUE METAL 330 M 2.
GEETHA BLUE METAL 352 M 3.
VETRIVELAN BLUE METAL 379 M 4.
RATHNA BLUE METAL 386 M 5.
LOGANAYAKI BLUE METAL 376 M 6.
STAR BLUE METAL 442 M 7.
ADHILAKSHMI BLUE METAL 447 M 8.
VASUPEVAN BLUE METAL 454 M 9.
SIVA BLUE METAL 510 M We have heard learned counsel for the parties. It
appears that the factual position was not examined in detail by the High Court.
The affidavit filed by respondent Nos.1 & 2 alongwith the map before this
Court throw some light on the controversy. In the circumstances, we think it
appropriate to remit the matter to the High Court to consider the effect of the
affidavit and the map. It goes without saying that the parties shall be
permitted to place materials in support of their irrespective stand so that the
High Court can consider the issues involved. We make it clear that we have not
expressed any opinion on the merit. The appeals are accordingly disposed of
without any orders as to costs.