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WHAT DID THE COURT SAY?

  • In Narayan Singh & Anr. v. State of Rajasthan & Ors., the Rajasthan High Court has imposed a cost of Rs. 50,000/- on the petitioners for abusing PIL jurisdiction in furtherance of their vested interests for quarry licences to carry out mining activities.
  • A Division Bench of Justice Manindra Mohan Srivastava and Justice Kuldeep Mathur noted that the allegations mentioned in the writ petition filed by the petitioners are factually incorrect and contrary to the revenue records. 

WHAT IS THE CASE ABOUT?

  • In this case, two villagers from Jodhpur invoked the writ of the jurisdiction of the Rajasthan High Court by way of a PIL to serve their vested interests in getting quarry licences for mining activities.
  • These licences are granted via e-auction to applicants. 

CONTENTIONS OF THE PETITIONER: 

  • The counsel for the petitioners contended that the proceedings initiated by the State for the grant of quarry licences on the land in question are against public welfare and interest as it would severely disturb the flow of rainy water and harm the catchment area of various water bodies on which several people and cattle are dependent.
  • The counsel for the respondents argued that the proceedings for the e-auction of quarry licences had been initiated in accordance with the law and in proper compliance with the environmental clearance.

OBSERVATION OF THE COURT AND DECISION:

  • The Ld. Court observed that as per the site inspection report, there was no pre-existing plantation on the subject land. Also, there was no nala, nadi, talab, or even a catchment area found on the said land for granting a quarry licence.
  • It was further observed that the petitioner is a signatory of the said e-auction for the quarry licence, which he has challenged in the present PIL. This is a clear-cut proof that the petitioner had a vested interest in getting the licences. Furthermore, the petitioner did not care about the persons who were issued quarry licences. 
  • The Court noted that the petitioner has abused the PIL jurisdiction and thus, imposed 50K cost on him.

What do you think about the decision of the Court? Let us know in the comments section below!

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