At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S.M. SUBRAMANIAM
For the Petitioner: M/s. Tanushree Aravind, Rahul Balaji, Advocates. For the Respondents: Jayesh B. Dolia, Advocate.
(Prayer: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a Writ of Certiorarified Mandamus, calling for the records comprised in Ref.no.SR-II/SKGI/TLC/R-P/HVDC/X/2018 dated 20.08.2018 passed by the 4th respondent and quash the same as being arbitrary, illegal, without application of mind and consequently direct the respondents to pass a reasoned order to the objections dated 20.07.2018 issued by the Petitioner and thereafter align the tower and High Tension lines with respect to their 800 KV HVDC Biopole Link High Voltage Project at Mangarangamplalayam, North Block at a safe distance of at least 300 metres from the petitioner's lease boundary in S.Nos.56/1, 56/2, 57/1, 62/1 & 62/3.)
1. The order passed by the 4th respondent in proceedings dated 20.08.2018 is under challenge in the present writ petition.
2. The writ petitioner is a company and the grievances of the petitioner is that the respondents are initiating action to commission High Tension Over head Power Cable through an active mining area and proceeding with the installments despite the objections raised by the writ petitioner to lay transmission towers in an alternative route.
3. The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the writ petitioner articulated the case of the writ petitioner by stating that the High Tension transmission towers cannot be commissioned through the mining areas as per the Works of Licensees Rules, 2006. Therefore, the writ petitioner is constrained to move the present writ petition.
4. The learned counsel appearing on behalf of the 4th respondent / Power Grid Corporation, objected the pleadings of the writ petitioner by stating that it is a National level project and by virtue of the powers conferred under Section 164 of the Electricity Act and the Telegraph Act, 1885, the Power Grid Corporation of India is empowered to lay transmission towers through the Private lands. If at all, any damage is caused to the property of the land owners, they are entitled to claim damages under the provisions of the Act and by approaching the District Judge concerned. This apart, commissioning of transmission towers will not affect the other activities of the land owners. The Power Grid Corporation of India is only the user of the land and they are not acquiring any land belongs to the writ petitioner. Thus, the property right of the writ petitioners are not affected and they are at liberty to use their land by exercising their rights. Thus, such a power granted by way of a statute cannot be taken away nor the petitioner can object the installation of the transmission towers in that locality. The transmission towers installed for the welfare of the public at large and therefore, the public interest is of paramount importance than that of the private interest.
5. The 4th respondent / Power Grid Corporation of India has already approached the District Collector on 23.08.2018 for the removal of the obstructions under the provisions of the Act. The Collector is an adjudicating authority for the purpose of removing the obstructions and the role of the District Collector has also enumerated in the provisions of the Act.
6. This Court also had elaborately discussed the powers of the District Collector and the scope of the Electricity Act and the Telegraph Act with reference to the Power Grid Corporation and the National level schemes in the writ petition in W.P.No.30124/2018 dated 07.12.2018.
7. In this view of the matter, the writ petitioner is at liberty to submit their objections / explanations / documents, if any, to the District Collector, Salem District and in the event of receiving any such objections / explanations / documents from the writ petitioner, the District Collector, Salem, shall adjudicate the same in accordance with the procedures as contemplated and by providing opportunity to all the parties concerned, including the personal hearing and thereafter pass final orders on merits and in accordance with law w
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ithin a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order and the District Collector, while passing final orders, shall keep in mind that the project is to be implemented at National level and for the welfare of the public at large. 8. With these observations, the writ petition stands disposed of. However, there shall be no order as to costs. Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed.