CHENNAI: A request by an association of granite and stone companies to form a committee and reassess the loss suffered by the exchequer due to alleged illegal granite mining in Madurai has been turned down by the Madras high court
Terming the plea of the Federation of Indian Granite and Stone Industry for a committee of representatives from the Union ministry of commerce and the department of geology and mining as premature, a division bench of Justices T S Sivagnanam and G Jayachandran dismissed it.
The federation sought relief as it disputed the assessment made by the court-appointed law commissioner, senior IAS officer U Sagayam, that the notional loss due to illegal granite mining in Madurai alone was Rs 1 lakh crore.
Earlier, moving an petition in the original PIL moved by social activist Traffic K R Ramaswamy seeking a probe into the illegal mining, the federation said when the total value of India’s granite exports over a period of 17 years worked out to a mere Rs 52,000 crore, how could the notional loss suffered by illegal granite mining in Madurai district alone would work out to Rs 1 lakh crore.
The Karnataka-based federation alleged that such astronomical figures had been arrived at on the basis of unscientific data. Claiming that only between 10% and 15% of the total quarried granite would be sale-worthy, they said, “though this is the national and international standard, the legal commissioner had proceeded on the premise that about 80% of the granite was sale-worthy.”
Source: THE TIMES OF INDIA