At, High Court of Karnataka
By, THE HONOURABLE ACTING CHIEF JUSTICE MR. K. SREEDHAR RAO & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S. ABDUL NAZEER
For the Petitioners: Hanumanthareddy Sahukar, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1, R3 & R4, D. Vijay Kumar, AGA, R2, Gururaj Joshi, R5 to R8, N.K. Gupta, Advocates.
(Prayer: These writ petitions are filed Under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India praying to quash the order both being dated 3.9.2012 and order dated 13.2.2013 passed by the respondent No.2 Vide Annexure-B, B1 & B2 respectively.)
K. Sreedhar Rao, Ag.C.J.
1. Sri D.Vijaya Kumar, AGA accepts notice on behalf of respondent Nos. 1, 3 and 4. Sri Gururaj Joshi, Advocate accepts notice for respondent No.2. Sri N.K.Gupta, Advocate accepts notice for respondent Nos.5 to 8.
2. In these writ petitions, the petitioners have assailed the orders dated 03.09.2012, 03.09.2012 and 13.02.2013 passed by respondent No.2 vide Annexure-B, B1 & B2 respectively.
3. We have heard the learned counsel on both sides. They state in unison that these writ petitions could be disposed of in terms of the order dated 21/11/2012 passed in W.P.No.41069/2012 and W.P.Nos.41515-528/2012. The submission of the learned counsel is placed on record. The order dated 21/11/2012 reads as under:-
"In the present case, by Gazette Notification dated 14.8.2012 safer zones in Haveri had been duly notified to the public. Section 3 (3) of the Karnataka Regulation of Stones Crushers Act, 2011 (for short 'the Act') permits a period of three months to existing Stone Crusher Units to trans locate themselves to safer zones. In this regard an application has to be filed with the Licensing Authority within a reasonable time. Unfortunately, the Act does not prescribe this period. In the present case, the Petitioner applied to the Licensing Authority on 24.9.2012. It is not disputed that consequent upon the Petitioner's application, the Licensing Authority till date has neither granted or refused the license under the provisions of the said Act. Since Section 3(4) of the Act prescribes an outer limit of six months for shifting from the date of grant, it could be inferred that the Application has to be made within three months of the requisite Gazetting of the safer zones.
2. In these circumstances, the Petition is allowed by directing the Respondents to permit the operation of the Petitioner at the present site up to 23.12.2012 or till such time the application is considered and disposed of, by the Licensing Authority.
3. Learned counsel for the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (for short 'the Board') submits that the Petitioner did not apply for the consent of the Board on the expiry of the previous consent on 30.06.2012. In normal circumstances, the contention would be well founded since no one is permitted to operate without a current permission or consent.
4. In the circumstances of the present case however, a piquant situation has arisen, inasmuch as the Pollution Control Board cannot grant permission to the Petitioner to operate in its present site, since it must statutorily relocate to a safer zone as identified by the State. Needless to add that if and when the petitioner is granted a license to relocate a safer zone, conditions under Section 6 (9) of the Act will have to be complied with as also the permission would have to be obtained from the Board.
5. With these observations, the Petition is allowed and Annexure-H dated 5.9.2012 is quashed."
4. In the circumstances, the respondent - authorities are directed to consider the petitioners applications dated 12.02.2013, 25.10.2012 and 22.01.2013 vide Annexures-C, C1 & C2 respectively in accord
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ance with law, as the safer zone for Dharwad District is notified on 11.10.2012 vide Annexure-A. The petitioners are permitted to continue the stone crushing unit in the present location till the disposal of the applications. Accordingly, the impugned order dated 03.09.2012, 03.09.2012 and 13.02.2013 vide Annexures-B, B1 & B2 are quashed. Writ petitions are allowed in the aforesaid terms.