Tamil Nadu Illegal Sand Mining: SC slams district collectors

The Supreme Court recently criticized five district collectors from Tamil Nadu for failing to personally appear before the ED regarding the money laundering case linked to sand mining.

Tamil Nadu Illegal Sand Mining

During lunch, Kavitha and Prakash, lawyers at the district court, chat about the Supreme Court intervening in Tamil Nadu’s illegal sand mining probe. They sit facing each other, engrossed in the conversation.

Kavitha: Hey, have you heard about the recent dispute between the Tamil Nadu government and the Enforcement Directorate (ED)?

Prakash: yes, I heard. It is about alleged illegal sand mining, which has led to the Supreme Court’s intervention.

Kavitha: Yes, the Supreme Court scolded some district collectors for failing to appear before the ED for a probe. And now the Supreme Court has set a deadline of April 25 for the collectors to appear before the ED.

This dispute adds to previous conflicts between the Tamil Nadu government and the ED, including arrests related to bribery and money laundering. In response, the state government argued that making collectors appear during the general elections could impact law and order, but the court remained firm on its decision.

Prakash: And how the court responded to the state government’s arguments.

Kavitha: The court dismissed the state government’s attempt to delay the matter until a review petition was decided, stating that the officer’s lack of respect for the court and the law was evident.

Prakash: What if district collectors don’t show up on April 25?

Kavitha: If they don’t show up, the court will take strict action against them.

Prakash: Really, I didn’t know that. What the Supreme Court said. 

The court’s criticism

Kavitha: The judges, Bela M. Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal, were annoyed because, despite a clear order in February, five district collectors in Tamil Nadu didn’t show up for a probe under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The judges felt this was disrespectful. The bench said, “Such cavalier attitude, in our view, cannot be typically tolerated when the court had already passed orders restoring the summons. They were expected to comply. This shows that the officers don’t have respect for the court or the law, much less the Constitution of India.”.

ED’s Investigation and Allegations

Prakash: hmm. And what are the ED’s investigations and allegations?

Kavitha: The ED’s probe into illegal sand mining in Tamil Nadu, based on four FIRs, alleges a significant disparity between actual revenue and state records. They raided 34 locations and seized cash, documents, and digital devices. Ed estimated the value of illegal sand mining at ₹4,730 crore, contrasting with the state’s declared revenue of ₹36.45 crore.

Prakash: This is very critical. I heard that ED filed an appeal against the Madras High Court order at the end of last year that has a connection with five district collectors.

Kavitha: Yes, the Madras High Court stayed the ED’s summons, stating that the issuance of summons was not within the jurisdiction of the ED. They also noted that the ED’s investigation was an attempt to identify the proceeds of crime from criminal activities not yet registered by state agencies.

Prakash: So the Supreme Court’s intervention highlights the importance of compliance with court orders and the seriousness of the allegations regarding illegal sand mining in Tamil Nadu.

 Kavitha: right.

Dear Readers,


Read the related blog from another website SC slams Tamil Nadu district collectors


1. What is the current status of the supreme court’s intervention in Tamil Nadu’s illegal sand mining probe?

The SC has set a deadline of April 25 for district collectors in Tamil Nadu’s districts to appear before the ED for a probe into alleged illegal sand mining.

2. What actions has the Supreme court taken against the district collectors who failed to appear before the ED?

The SC has criticized the district collectors for their failure to appear and has warned of strict action if they do not comply by the deadline.

3. What are the allegations against the Tamil Nadu government regarding illegal sand mining?

The ED’s Investigation, based on four FIR’s , alleges a significant disparity between the actual revenue from sand mining and the state’s declared revenue.

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