The Madras High Court directed them to appear before it after putting them on notice returnable in four weeks.
Coming down heavily on the Karur District Collector and Superintendent of Police for deliberately avoiding to come online to explain the continuation of laying pipelines to draw water from Amaravati river despite a court ban, the Madras High Court, on suo motu initiating contempt proceedings against both the officials, directed them to appear before it after putting them on notice returnable in four weeks.
On being informed by way of mentioning that despite the order given by the court, the private player proceeded to install a pipeline for an additional 3 km, a division bench comprising Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice B Pugalendhi said: “In spite of information by 11.30 am and 12.30 pm to the Additional Advocate General (AAG), the Collector, Karur district has not come on the line. Therefore, it is evident that the Collector is under pressure and that she is not coming before this court shows that the private respondent is a powerful person connected at all levels. Even the SP, Karur district, is unable to come on the line.” “Even though the AAG would submit that there is a connectivity problem, this court is unable to believe that due to connectivity problems, the Collector and the SP are unable to come online. Whereas, the counsel for the petitioner is able to get the video and WhatsApp images of the work under progress from his person on the spot,” the bench led by Justice Kirubakaran said.
Pointing out that the duty of the court is not only to pass orders in appropriate cases but also to see that the order is implemented and complied with by the authorities concerned, the bench said: “The present case is a classic case, in which, in spite of orders of this court, the private respondent is going ahead with the laying of pipeline, which prima facie reveals that both the officials violated the order passed by this court.”
Based on this, the bench directed the removal of pipelines done to an extent of 3 kms ignoring the court order.
Incidentally, the project which involves laying a borewell just 130 metres from Amaravathi river and pumping water through pipeline for 16 kms was refused sanction by the previous district Collector while the present Collector allowed it just a month after her assuming office.