Madurai Bench of Madras High Court sets aside acquittal of granite baron in illegal mining case


Madurai Bench of Madras High Court sets aside acquittal of granite baron in illegal mining case

Judge says it is unfortunate that officer, who discharged duty diligently, had to engage a lawyer to defend himself against allegations of perjury without any support from State.

Published: 13th August 2020 01:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2020 01:42 AM  |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court set aside the acquittal of granite baron PR Palanisamy of PRP Granites, his son P Suresh Kumar and one Sahadevan in the illegal granite mining case filed against them in 2013.

Setting aside an order passed by Melur magistrate court in March 2016, Justice B Pugalendhi sent the case back to the special court, constituted under Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act in Madurai. He also expunged the remarks made by the judicial magistrate against the then Collector of Madurai, Anshul Mishra, who had lodged the complaint against the trio.

Further directions were issued to the present collector of Madurai to appear before the trial court within two months for a cross examination. The trial court was ordered to complete the trial within two months after completion of the cross examination.

The order was passed on a batch of appeals filed by the government and Mishra against the magistrate’s order.



“Judicial independence is defined as a prerequisite to the rule of law and a fundamental guarantee of fair proceedings,”  Justice Pugalendhi observed.

He cited the various objections made by the counsels appearing on behalf of the granite firm seeking his recusal from the case on grounds that he had appeared against the firm on behalf of the government in several cases.

He further noted that Suresh Kumar had also written a letter to the Registry on August 6, 2020 alleging that the judge, in a speech delivered by him at a school annual day programme, had attributed the delay in his elevation as High Court Judge to lobbying done by the granite miners.

Stating that the speech had been edited and projected in such a way by the accused to evade the cases, he made the above observation.

Also pointing out how Mishra had faced allegations of perjury, and had to engage a private counsel to defend himself, the judge said, “Though he filed these complaints in his official capacity, it is unfortunate that the State has not come in rescue of an officer, who has discharged his duty diligently on behalf of the State.”

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