HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad High Court has held that the goods vehicles transporting sand will not fall under the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Water, Land and Trees Act (WALTA), 2002.
Justice P V Sanjay Kumar was dealing with batch of petitions filed by several vehicle owners challenging the action of revenue tahsildars of AP and Telangana states imposing heavy penalty on their vehicles under the Act for transporting the sand.
After perusing the facts of the case and legal position, the judge found that none of the provisions under the Act specifically deal with ‘transportation’ of sand.
Justice Sanjay Kumar said that it is not the claim of the authorities that the goods vehicles in question were seized at the time of any illegal sand mining. All vehicles were seized in the course of transportation of sand.
“Authorities are interested in making money out of the alleged illegal transportation of sand which is counter-productive to the very objective sought to be achieved by promulgating laws to arrest unauthorised sand mining,’’ the judge observed. He directed that amounts collected from the petitioners in these cases shall be refunded to them.