Illegal cracker units thrive as VAOs not residing in village: Madras High Court

The bench directed the SP of Virudhunagar to constitute a special team to probe into cases registered under the Explosive Substances Act and bring to book suppliers of explosive chemicals.
Madras High Court. Image used for representation.
Madras High Court. Image used for representation. Photo| PTI

MADURAI: While responding to a batch of anticipatory bail petitions on firecracker unit accident cases in Virudhunagar district, the Madurai Bench observed that such illegal activities can function as the respective village administrative officers (VAO) are not residing in the same village.

The bench directed the SP of Virudhunagar to constitute a special team to probe into cases registered under the Explosive Substances Act and bring to book suppliers of explosive chemicals. Justice B Pugalendhi was dismissing a batch of petitions seeking anticipatory bail on firecracker unit accident cases in Virudhunagar district, when he said that the guidelines framed by the labour and welfare department to prevent such accidents were not strictly complied with.

Noting that illegal fireworks units cannot function in any village without the knowledge of the respective VAOs, the court said that the VAOs had been reckless. “The crackers cannot be moved without the knowledge of the VAO if they reside in the same village. For the sake of it, VAOs create records to show that they reside in the same villages that they are in charge of or the adjacent towns,” the court observed.

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