At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.D. AUDIKESAVALU
For the Petitioner: K.M. Subramaniam, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1 to R4, Abdul Saleem, Advocate, R5, R. Venkatesh, Government Advocate.
(Prayer: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India praying to issue a Writ of Mandamus, directing the Respondents 1 and 2 not to erect new electric towers, poles and wires passing through the Petitioner's housing site thereby causing untold permanent inconveniences and endangerments for their peaceful living, and to erect the proposed towers, wires, etc., at an alternative site.)
Heard Mr. K.M. Subramaniam, Learned Counsel for the Petitioner, Mr. Abdul Saleem, Learned Standing Counsel, who takes notice for First to Fourth Respondents and Mr. R.Venkatesh, Learned Government Advocate, who takes notice for the Fifth Respondent and perused the materials placed on record, apart from the pleadings of the parties.
2. Learned Standing Counsel appearing for the First to Fourth Respondents, on instructions, states that in view of the objection raised by the Petitioner in this Writ Petition, an application would be made under Section 16(1) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, before the jurisdictional District Magistrate, who is the District Collector, Nagapattinam, shown as the Fifth Respondent in this Writ Petition, for permission to erect the electric towers and transmission lines in the proposed locations. At this juncture, it must be noticed that Section 17(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, entitles the owner of the land where the electric towers have been located to make an application to the jurisdictional District Magistrate for removing or re-locating the electric towers that are erected. Having due regard to pragmatic considerations of cost effectiveness and time-saving measures in larger public interest, on a harmonious construction of reading together of the aforesaid statutory provisions, it would imply that the jurisdictional District Magistrate shall issue notice to the Petitioner in the application that would be made by the First to Fourth Respondents, for placing her objections for locating and/or suggestions for altering the route for the electric towers proposed to be erected in her property.
3. In the aforesaid circumstances, the Fifth Respondent after affording full opportunity to all the parties concerned (including the Petitioner and First to Fourth Respondents), shall consider each of the contentions raised by them and shall pass reasoned orders on merits and in accordance with law and communicate the decision taken to them under written acknowledgment. It is needless to add here that till requisite permission is obtained from the Fifth Respondent in the mann
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er prescribed, the First to Fourth Respondents shall not enter into the property of the Petitioner for erection of electric towers. 4. Accordingly, the Writ Petition is disposed on the aforesaid terms. Consequently, the connected Miscellaneous Petition is closed. No costs.