HC stresses need to stop illegal mining

‘Implementation of Sec. 23 C of mines Act is the discretion of govt.’

In order to stop illegal mining and avoid depletion of minerals in the State, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court observed that there was a need for compliance with Section 23 C of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.

Disposing of a batch of petitions seeking a direction to stop transportation of minerals, a Division Bench of Justices M.M. Sundresh and S. Ananthi observed that implementation of Section 23 C of the Act was the discretion of the State government as the court could not go into the issue which was in the realm of the executive.

The court observed that Section 23 C provided for measures that could be taken, including arrangement of weigh bridges, establishment of check-posts for checking of minerals under transit and regulation of minerals being transported from the areas granted under licences.

The judges said the government was the custodian of natural resources. Therefore, the transport of minerals would to be regulated and the natural resources must be preserved for posterity. The concept of sustainable development also would demand such an action.

The Supreme Court had held that the State government could not prohibit or restrict a licensee from transporting minerals outside. However, such a regulation could be done at the time of granting licence, the judges said.

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