IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA, AT ERNAKULAM
The Hon'ble Mr. Justice P.K.Balasubramanyan
The Hon'ble Mr. Justice C.N. Ramachandran Nair
Tuesday, the 23rd October, 2001/1st Karthika, 1923.
Anand Parthasarathy Vs. State of Kerala and others
Adv. P.B.Sahasranaman for the petitioner
Government Pleader Mr.Jayashankar for the State of Kerala
This original petition having been finally heard on 23-10-2001 delivered the following:
J U D G M E N T
1. The main prayers in this original petition filed by a citizen are for the issue of a writ of mandamus directing the State of Kerala to issue necessary instructions to all District Authorities contemplated under Rule 7-A of the Explosives Rules, 1983 to take strict and stringent action including launching of prosecution against the violators of the licence conditions prescribed under the Explosives Act, Rules, notifications and circulars etc. in accordance with law and for the issue of a writ of mandamus directing the State of Kerala to issue necessary instructions to all the district Authorities contemplated under the Explosives Rules, Rule 7-A, not to grant licences for and to prevent the existing holders of licences from manufacturing explosives which are prohibited under Exts.P3 and P3. Prima facie, these prayers are liable to be granted in view of the fact that they are only ones seeking enforcement of the law and the relevant regulations in regard to the use of explosives.
2. This court had earlier in an original petition filed by the petitioner itself, issued certain directions as can be seen from the reported decision in Anand Parthasarathy v. State of Kerala, 2000(1) KLT 566. Obviously, there was not the necessary will to execute or implement the directions in letter and spirit. There was yet another petition before this court dealing with the administration of Devaswoms. Therein, another Division Bench directed that fire works are to be conducted in various temples only after getting licences and according to the conditions prescribed under the Environment (Protection) Act and other rules which are applicable for the same. The authorities under the Act and the Rules with regard to environment protection, were directed to issue licences for conducting fire works only on the terms and conditions of the Act and the Rules. They were also directed to take steps to see that accidents and calamities are averted when fire works are displayed and fire works are displayed only after taking all precautions prescribed by law and only in accordance with the terms and conditions of the licence. These directions were issued by the Division Bench on 7-2-2000 in C.M.P.No.1524 of 1999 and connected petitions.
3. Admittedly, there was aparthy on the part of the concerned authorities and that has resulted in the petitioner herein approaching this court again with the present original petition on 8-3-2000 with the above two substantive prayers. As we have noted, licences are to he issued strictly in accordance with the Environment (Protection) Act and the relevant rules and it has to be ensured that the licence conditions are strictly fulfilled by the person or persons to whom the licence is granted and that any violation of the condition of the licence should be dealt with in terms of the relevant laws.
4. We have to now notice that subsequently, the Noise pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 have also been promulgated and the same has also be amended by defining what are silent zones. The implementation of the rules has also been made mandatory by the amendment. In a judgment rendered by us in W.a.No.3125 of 2001 and 16197 of 2001 we have directed the State to strictly implement the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 and to identify the zones as prescribed by those rules. Obviously that has to be done by the respondents. Meanwhile, it appears that the respondents have not shown the necessary commitment to ensure that the conditions of the licences are fulfilled by the person or persons to whom the licences are issued. It will also be seen that no proper steps are being taken for preventing the manufacture of banned articles as disclosed by Exts.P3 and P4. The counter affidavit of respondent Nos.2 and 3 indicates that sufficient steps are not being taken by the first respondent or its officers for dealing with violation of licence conditions or violation of the directions Exts.P.3 and P4. there is also a complaint that licences are being granted even to manufacture those articles which are banned under Exts.P3 and P4. It is unfortunate that the officers of the first respondent State do not show sufficient commitment to the implementation of the laws enacted in public interest and in the interests of protection of the environment and public health. We are, therefore, satisfied that the petitioner is entitled to relief in this original petition.
5. We, therefore, allow this original petition and direct the first respondent to issue necessary instructions to all District Authorities contemplated under Rule 7-A of the Explosives Rules, 1983 to take strict and stringent action including the launching of prosecution against the violators of licence conditions prescribed under Explosives Act, Rules, notifications and circulars and Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 in accordance with law. We also direct the District Authorities concerned to implement those directions strictly and scrupulously. We also direct the first respondent State to issue necessary directions to all District Authorities as contemplated by Rule 7-A of the Explosives Rules not to grant licences and to prevent the existing holders of licences from manufacturing explosives which are prohibited under Exts.P3 and P4 orders. We also direct the District Authorities to ensure that no manufacture of articles prohibited to ensure that no manufacture of articles prohibited by Exts.P3 and P.4 are permitted by any licensee under the Explosives Act. The authorities must remember as pointed by the Supreme Court, that:
"Enactment of a law, but tolerating its infringement, is worse than not enacting law at all. The continued infringement of law, over a period of time, is made possible by adoption of such means which are best known to the violators of law. Continued tolerance of such violations of law not only renders legal provisions nugatory but such tolerance by the Enforcement Authorities encourages lawlessness and adoption of means which cannot, or ought not to be tolerated in any civilized society. Law should not only be meant for law abiding but is meant to be obeyed by all for whom it has been enacted. A law is usually enacted because the legislature feels that it is necessary."
The original petition is allowed as above.
Sd/- [P.K.BALASUBRAMANYAN, JUDGE]
Sd/- [C.N.RAMACHANDRAN NAIR, JUDGE]