Dravida Thambi CHENNAI
The Central Government, more particularly the Prime Ministers Office ( PMO), came in for stringent criticism by judges of the Madras High Court on Thursday over its lethargic response to mounting petitions seeking to stall the imminent opening of the Indo- Russian Koodankulam Nuclear Power Plant ( KKNPP) in southern Tamil Nadu.
Also a Union Minister ( insinuation was on Minister of State for PMO) was making statements on the commissioning of the nuclear plant when the matter was sub- judice.
” The Centre is making a mockery of the Madras High Court.
They think that oly the Supreme Court was the court and that the Madras High Court is not at all a court. I have been receiving hundreds of SMSes whenever the Minister issued such statements,” said Justice P Jyothimani, who was heading a division bench with brother judge Justice P Devadoss.
The bench was hearing petitions for and against the opening of the nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu southern Tirunelveli district for almost two months now. The judges were upset that although the portfolio concerned came under the Prime Minister the cases continued to be heard for a long time.
” What is the purpose of hearing the case for so long. If such indifference continued we will not hesitate to pull out of the case,” the judges said pointing out that the court had already reserved its orders after a detailed hearing and nearly 200 pages of the verdict ( to be delivered) was dictated.
The court also criticised the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board for submitting that the temperature of sea water where the effluent from the plant would be discharged would be around 47 degree Celsius.
” How can marine species survive at such high temperature,” the judges asked.
Anti- nuclear activists too were not spared by the court which felt that they were simply filing petition after petition to prolong the opening of the nuclear plant.