28 Jan 2121

While granting the licence, the Licence Authority has a role to play at two stages under the Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crusher Act, 2011 - Karnataka High Court

Case : Vishwanath P Chavan v. State of Karnataka and Anr. Writ Petition No. 41802/2019

Court : Karnataka High Court

Bench : Chief Justice Abhay S. Oka

Decided on : 28 Jan 2121

The Relevant Statutes

Article 226 and Article 227 of The Constitution of India

Section 4, Section 6 of Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crushers Act, 2011

Sub Rule (2) of Rule (3) of Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crushers Act, 2012

Brief Facts and Procedural History

1. The Petitioner by this Writ Petition challenges the proceeding dated 9th July 2019 of District Stone Crusher Regulating Committees, which is the Licencing authority under the Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crusher Act, 2011, rejecting the petitioner’s application for issuance of a licence.

2. Secondly challenging the communication dated 25th September 2018 issued by Karnataka State Pollution Control Board informing the petitioner that his form will be considered only after getting Form-C from Licencing Authority.

3. Statement of objection was filed by state government pointing out the danger which was posed by the crushing activities of the Petitioner to the residential quarters of the Indian Reserve Battalion and the students of Morarji Desai Residential Minority Girl’s School and hence it was contended that licence cannot be granted.

The Issue of the Case

Whether the Pollution Control Board’s direction to the Petitioner was valid or not?

The Observations of the Court

1. The Honourable Karnataka High Court observed that apparently the State Government and the Pollution Control Board have completely ignored the provisions of Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crusher Act 2011. In view of subsection (3) of Section 4 of the Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crusher Act, 2011 the Pollution Control Board could not have directed the petitioner to first produce Form-C, thereafter the prayer for consent for the operation to be considered.

2. The Honourable Karnataka High Court that the scheme of Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crusher Act, 2011 clearly shows that the Licencing authority has to consider the question of issuing a certificate of the consent of safer zone in form-B1 and then consider the issue of grant of license in Form-C, whereas in the present case the certificate of consent for the safer zone was already issued by Licencing authority in Form B1 in 2015 so there was no occasion for Licencing authority to have considered the case of the Petitioner before the consent for the operation was issued by the Pollution Control Board.

3. In view of sub-section (3) of section 4 of Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crusher Act, 2011, the Pollution Control Board was under a mandate to consider the issue of grant of consent for operation after the Licencing authority had issued a certificate in Form-B1. The grant of consent for the operation was a condition precedent for a grant of a license in Form-C. Therefore, the Honourable High Court observed that the impugned communication issued by the Pollution Control Board cannot be sustained and that there was no legal impediment for acting upon the said certificate.

The Decision held by the Court

1. Proceedings of the Licencing Authority held on 9th July 2019 only to the extent of the case of the petitioner are hereby quashed.

2. The communication issued by the Pollution Control Board on 25th September 2018 is also quashed and set aside.

3. The Pollution Control Board is directed to consider the application of the petitioner for grant/renewal of consent for operation in accordance with sub-section (3) of Section 4 of the Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crusher Act, 2011 within a maximum period of two months from the date of order.

4. After the consent for operation is granted to the petitioner, the case is to be immediately placed before the Licencing Authority under the Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crusher Act, 2011.

5. The Licensing Authority is directed to take an appropriate decision in accordance with Section 6A of the Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crusher Act, 2011 as expeditiously as possible within a period of two months from the date on which consent for operation granted to the petitioner is placed before it.

6. The Writ Petition is partly allowed in the above terms.

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