The Madras High Court has transferred to a division bench, a suo motu PIL taken up by it relating to alleged illegal mining by beach sand mining (BSM) firms in some coastal districts of south Tamil Nadu. The First Bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar which heard the PIL and other petitions and appeals last week in connection with beach sand mining cases ordered listing of all these petitions before a division bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee.
Applications for vacating interim orders in these cases should also be placed before the same bench, the court said. The bench then posted them for further hearing to November 30.
When the matter came up, the Additional Advocate General submitted that a joint inspection has been suggested from November 6 to 9 for physical verification and assessment of ‘monazite-enriched tailings’ in the godowns of VV Minerals company, Beach Minerals company and Miracle sands and chemicals at various places. To this, the court said, “A representative from the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) shall also be present during the proposed joint inspection.”
Earlier, the AAG submitted that a meeting was conducted by the special team head and managing director of Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewage board on October 30 and 31 in connection with finalisation of a report on the assessment of beach sand heavy minerals stored at various places in Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Kanyakumari districts.
He further submitted that monazite-enriched tailings were stored in godowns belonging to VV Minerals, Beach Mineral Sand Company and Miracle Sands and Chemicals company in Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts.