(Prayer: This Writ Petition is filed Under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, praying to quash Annexure-A dated:31.03.2018 passed by the Eighth Respondent passed under Rule 6(2) of Karnataka regulation of stone crushers Rules, 2012 in form-D, known as refusal letter for Stone Crusher Liencese/5540 and etc.)Sachin Shankar Magadum, J.1. The captioned writ petition is filed by the petitioner seeking a writ of certiorari to quash the impugned refusal letter dated 31.03.2018 bearing No.Nil passed by the 8th respondent under Rule 6(2) of Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crushers Rules, 2012 in Form-D as per Annexure-A. The petitioner is also seeking a writ of mandamus directing the 2nd respondent to issue a Certificate of compliance of Safer Zone in pursuance of the application produced at Annexure-B dated 21.07.2016.2. The case of the petitioner is that the petitioner had filed an application on 21.07.2016 as per Annexure-B for grant of a licence for stone crusher under Section 3 of Karnataka Regulation of Stone Crushers Act, 2011 (for short "KRSC Act"). The petitioner had applied for declaration of Safer Zone in respect of 2.00 acres of land situated in Survey No.37 of Chikkanagavalli Village, Chikkaballapura Taluk and District. On receipt of the application for grant of licence in Forms-A and A1, the Environmental Officer has conducted spot inspection on 25.07.2016 and has submitted a report for further suitable action. The said Officer has stated in his report that the applied area of 2 acres complies with all the parameters of the KRSC Amendment Act, 2013 and has consequently recommended for declaration of the applied area as a Safer Zone. The copy of the said report is produced at Annexure-"C" to the petition. It is also specifically stated in the petition that the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Chikkaballapura District, after inspection has issued No Objection Certificate, which is produced as Annexure-D to the petition. The Joint Inspection Report of the 6th and 8th respondents is also produced as Annexure-E to the petition.3. The learned counsel appearing for the petitioner would vehemently contend that the impugned refusal letter issued by the Licensing Authority is on the premise that more and more quarrying and crushing activities are being conducted and on account of such activities, damage is caused to the surrounding forest areas and in the said background, the Licencing Authority has resolved not to receive any new applications within the jurisdiction of the Chikkaballapur Taluk and further have also decided to withhold declaration of Safer Zone for applications already received. The learned counsel would submit that the impugned refusal letter issued is in gross violation of the statutory requirement contemplated under Section 6 of the KRSC Act. On these set of grounds, he would submit that the refusal letter under challenge as per Annexure- A is not at all sustainable and the same is liable to be quashed.4. Per contra, the learned Additional Government Advocate would support the impugned refusal letter issued by the 8th respondent as per Annexure-A.5. We have heard the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner and the learned Additional Government Advocate for the respondents.6. Sub-section(1) of Section 4 of the KRSC Act contemplates an application to be made for grant of licence under Section 3 of the said Act. Sub-Section(2) of Section 4 of the said Act contemplates the procedure to be followed on receipt of application for grant or renewal of licence. On a reading of sub-section(2) of Section 4 of the said Act, what emerges is that there is a duty cast on the Licencing Authority to declare a Safer Zone subject to verifying the conditions contemplated under Section 6(1)(a-d) and also after verifying the joint inspection report. Further sub-section (2) of Section 4 of the KRSC Act lays down that if the Licencing Authority proceeds to issue a declaration of a Safer Zone then it is required to issue a certificate of consent of safer zone to the applicant. If the area proposed in the application is not declared as a safer zone then the Licensing Authority shall reject the application for the reasons to be recorded in writing and inform the applicant accordingly.7. Having regard to the above said provisions, if we examine the impugned refusal letter issued by the Licensing Authority as per Annexure-'A', we would find that the refusal letter under challenge suffers from serious infirmities and the same is contrary to the provisions of Section 6 of the KRSC Act. The Licensing Authority has not at all taken into consideration the recommendations made by the competent authorities. As per Annexure-"C", the Environmental Officer has inspected the applied area and has recommended for declaring the applied area as a Safer Zone. The 5th respondent enclosing the report of the spot inspection conducted by the Assistant Conservator of Forest, Chikkaballapura Sub-Division has sent a communication as per Annexure-"D" for further action. The 6th and 8th respondents have also conducted the spot inspection on 14.11.2016 and have also recommended for declaration of the applied area for establishment of stone crusher unit as per Annexure-"E". The Geologist, Department of Mines and Geology, Chikkaballapura, Regional Officer, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Chikkaballapura, the Range Forest Officer, and the Tahsildar have also conducted inspection on 15.12.2016 and the joint inspection report is also submitted with the recommendation by the above said Authorities. The Licensing Authority has not taken into consideration the recommendations made by the competent authorities as per Annexures-C, D and E while passing the impugned refusal letter. The recommendations are strictly in terms of the provisions of Section 3 of the KRSC Act. Therefore, we are of the opinion that the Licensing Authority was required to examine the recommendations and pass appropriate orders under Section 6(3) of the KRSC Act. This exercise has not been done by the Licensing Authority by following the procedures contemplated under Section 6 of the KRSC Act.8. In the light of the observations made supra, we are of the view that the impugned refusal letter issued by the Licensing Authority as per Annexure-A is illegal and the same is not at all sustainable. Hence, we pass the following:ORDER(i) The impugned refusal letter dated 31.3.2018 as per Annexure-A issued by the 8th respondent is hereby set aside.(ii) The Licensing Authority is directed to examine the report of the 7th respondent as per Annexure-C, the Joint Inspection report submitted by respondents 6 and 8 as per Annexure-E, the Joint Inspection Report submitted by the Geologist, Department of Mines and Geology, Chikkaballapura, Regional Officer, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Chikkaballapura, the Range Forest Officer and the Tahsildar, No Objection Certifica
Please Login To View The Full Judgment!
te issued by the 5th respondent as per Annexure-D, the general licence issued by the 4th respondent-Aruru Grama Panchayath and there after proceed to decide the issue of declaration of safer zone in the light of the provisions of Section 6 of the KRSC Act and consequently issue the certificate of consent of safer zone.(iii) If the Licensing Authority, in the light of what is stated in the Joint Inspection Report, No Objection Certificate issued by the competent authorities and after considering the provisions of Section 6 is of the view that the safer zone cannot be declared, a specific order to that effect shall be passed by the Licensing Authority recording reasons which shall be communicated to the petitioner.(iv) The petition is accordingly allowed in part.