High Court Of Judicature At Madras

M/s. M.P.N. Nachiammai Achi, Ruby Tannery And Others V. G. Rangasamy

Criminal Miscellaneous Petition No. 10327 Of 1989, 10330 & 10333 Of 1989. 30-09-1994

JUDGMENT

These three petitions have been filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. to quash the proceedings viz., C.C. 632/89, 636 of 1989 and 637 of 1989 on the file of Judicial Magistrate, Tambaram for the offence under Section 26 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. The Member Secretary, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Madras-4, is the complainant in all these three cases, before the learned Magistrate against these petitions. The allegations in the complaints are that these revision petitioners who are occupier of the factory premises, are discharging sewage affluent of the factory, causing or likely to cause "Pollution" without obtaining sanction for the discharge of the affluent. It is also alleged that inspite of notification in the Official Gazatte dated 12-3-1984, these accused did not apply on or before 31-5-1984 for the consent of the Board as contemplated under Section 26 of the above said Act and as they have contravened the provisions of Section 26 of the Act, they are liable to be punished under Section 44 of the Act. In the petition to quash the proceedings before the learned Magistrate, it is stated that the complainant had not taken sample of the sewage or trade affluent for the purpose of analysis to find out whether this will cause pollution and the provision of Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, has no application to the State of Tamil Nadu and the proceedings initiated against the partners is not maintainable.

2. Learned counsel appearing for the petitioners Mrs. Karpaga Vinayagam in the course of the argument conceded that the grounds mentioned in the petition are not argueable points and therefore, he is not pressing those points put in the complaint, the complainant has not specified the place of sewage discharge as mentioned in the Act viz., either in stream or well or sewerage or on Land and therefore, without specifying the place of discharge the complaint for the offence under Section 26 of the above said Act is not maintainable. Learned counsel also refers to a decision of this Court in K. Asokan v. Subash, Regional Officer, Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, Tirunelveli-2, reported in 1991 (1) MWN (Criminal) 192, wherein Justice S. T. Ramalingam has considered this question and has held that as Section 26 of the above said Act refers to the place of discharge like stream, well or sewerage or land, unless these places are specified in the complaint, it cannot be taken that there is violation of the provisions of the Act and therefore, in the absence of any such place, the complaint with vague language, is not maintainable. In this complaint also filed by the complainant, the extract of Section 26 is repeated and thereafter, it is stated that the occupier in relation to the factory/premises having control over the affairs of the factory, are discharging the sewage, trade affluent of the factory causing or likely to cause pollution without obtaining sanction from the Board. It is not specified in the complaint actually where the sewage or trade affluent is discharged. Learned Government Advocate (Criminal Side) would concede that there is no mention of specific place of discharge, in the complaint and therefore, under the Old Act, unless place is specified it will not attract the penal section of the Act. Therefore, applying the above decision of this Court. I feel that the complaint of the respondent is not maintainable and the same is liable to be quashed.

3. In the result, all these three revision petitions are allowed and the proceedings viz., C.C. No. 632 of 1989, C.C. 636 of 1989 and C.C. 637 of 1989 on the file of Judicial Magistrate, Tambaram are hereby quashed.

Petition allowed.

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