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Maha HC stays show-cause notice to 62 textile units

Jul 14, 2020
Maha HC stays show-cause notice to 62 textile units

The Bombay high court (HC) recently stayed notices issued by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to 62 textile units in Malegaon that refused to grant consent to operate the units. The units are engaged in sizing of yarn used for manufacturing of grey cloth. The bench also restrained the regional offices of MPCB from taking any coercive steps, such as disconnection of electricity, water and basic amenities, against the units.

MPCB had issued the notices primarily on the grounds that the 62 units were located in non-conforming zones, and asked the owners of the units to submit adequacy reports either from the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) or the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay.

The unit owners were also asked to submit no-objection certificates issued by the city engineer of the Malegaon municipal corporation with recommendation to operate the industry at their present location, as a pre-condition for granting consent to operate.

The unit owners moved HC contending that the notices were illegal, arbitrary and oppressive. Their counsel claimed that they had not violated any of the conditions imposed while granting consent to operate.

The bench found substance in the argument of the petitioners. It said MPCB has the powers to direct closure or regulate operation of an industry under section 33A of the Water Act and section 31A of the Air Act, but these powers are subject to provisions of the respective Acts, and the authority will have to follow other provisions of the Acts, before invoking the powers.