CHENNAI: A Government Order (GO) of the Tamil Nadu government imposing certain restrictions on storage, transportation and sale of imported sand from other countries and the sand brought from other States/Union Territories for construction purposes in the State has been challenged in the Madras High Court.
Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, heading the First Bench, adjourned the matter till February 12.
In his petition, L Adhimoolam, the publisher of Coimbatore edition of a Tamil daily, submitted that the Madurai Bench had enabled importers to transport and sell imported sand in the State.
However, the government issued an order on December 8, 2017, stating that the sale of ordinary sand imported from other countries or brought from other States/Union Territories for construction purposes shall be done only by the State Public Works Departmen and its transportation to any other States/Union Territories/countries shall not be permitted.
By issuing the GO, the State government had defeated the directives of the High Court and had also taken away the rights of the importer from transporting, storing and selling the imported sand and from using it for own purposes The same was unconstitutional, unreasonable and it meddled with the fundamental rights of the public, petitioner contended.
He said the State government had failed to take note of the fact that there was no restriction for any other construction materials to be imported, transported, stored to be used for own purpose or to be sold to public and similarly, sand which was also a construction material could not be restricted from being transported, stored, sold or be used for own purpose. The restrictions imposed were unjust and illegal. The GO had imposed unreasonable restrictions on import of sand and created a monopoly in its sale. The government’s act was nothing but infringement of the right of importers to sell the sand, he added.