HC seeks reports on open borewells, child marriages

HC seeks reports on open borewells, child marriages

Non-implementation of illegal mining report attracts HC notice

K V Praveen of Shimoga had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking state action on open borewells endangering the lives of innocents. The petitioner had sought criminal prosecution against the people enjoying benefits of such borewells, in case of tragedies.
The counsel for the petitioner stated that a representation was made to the State and Centre seeking information about the number of incidences in which lives had been lost due to open borewells.

An application under RTI was also filed with the state government, but the details sought had not been provided, the counsel claimed.

He argued that innocent lives were being lost with the increase in the number of instances where people, especially children are being trapped in such borewells.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice P D Dinakaran and Justice Mohan Shantangoudar issued notice to all the respondents in the case. The matter has been adjourned.

Mass marriages

The High Court has asked the State government to file a report about minor girls undergoing matrimony at mass marriages, to avail themselves of benefits under a government scheme.

A PIL filed on Monday by Muthamma Devaiah argued that with the introduction of the Adarsha Vivaha scheme by the government, under-aged children, especially girls, were being married at the mass marriages, without anybody verifying their age. The scheme was introduced to encourage low cost mass marriages with Rs 10,000 as incentive to a newly-married couple.

The petitioner’s advocate Sheela Ramanathan argued that the rules for the scheme indicated that at least 25 couples had to marry at the same time, to qualify as a mass marriage. Without adequate numbers, some organisations were resorting to marrying off underaged children to avail of the benefits, she contended.

The petitioners sought proper guidelines for the conduct of these mass marriages and a detailed report on the action taken to stop such events.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran called such incidents ‘unfortunate’ and asked “What is the state mechanism doing?”

Lokayukta report

The High Court has ordered notices to the State and Centre over the non-implementation of Lokayukta report on mining.

Hearing a petition filed by S Vasudeva on Monday, a division bench comprising Chief Justice P D Dinakaran and Justice Mohan Shantangoudar directed the respondents - Mines and Geology Department, the Bellary Deputy Commissioner and Union Minister of Environment and Forests, to file objections within four weeks.

The petition recalled that the state government had asked the Lokayukta on March 12, 2007 to look into illegal mining in the State and submit a report.

The report, submitted on Dec 12, 2008 recommended action against erring officials. On February 6, 2009, the petitioner issued a legal notice to the government demanding implementation of the report.