Mr. Ramesh told reporters on Tuesday that the board in 2007 passed a resolution and gave permission or consent to nearly 1,316 entities to establish industries and plants.
“The law clearly states that you cannot do such a thing (passing resolution). I went to the High Court in public interest in 2009. There was a violation so the court observed and said that it was a wrong decision by the board. The board thereafter said it would withdraw the resolution in 2015. The court passed the final orders in 2022 saying the board has withdrawn the resolution,” Mr. Ramesh said.
He added that entities which were given permission between 2007 and 2015 (until the resolution was withdrawn) had to come under the Water Act, 1974, Section 44 and that action must be taken against the wrongdoers.
“Whoever contravenes that provision of the Act shall be faced with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than one year and six months but which may extend to six years and with fine. The court asked the board to take necessary action but they have kept quiet for the last eight months,” he added.
Mr. Ramesh said that as the resolution had been withdrawn, the consent given on those resolutions was also nullified. Hence the permission or consent given to the 1,316 entities should also be withdrawn.
“Apart from the withdrawal of permission, criminal cases should be taken up against all these people according to Sec. 44 of the Water Act, which has also not been done,” Mr. Ramesh said.
He added that the government should hand over this case to the CBI and that he would be writing to the Chief Secretary soon.
He also said that he would once again go to the court for raising the matter in contempt.