One of the industries covered by the Patencheru belt of treatment plants was served with a notice for violating the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. The industry replied to the notice. The Board however, not satisfied with the reply of the industry, directed its closure. The same was challenged in the High Court. In the show-cause notice issued by the Board, the Board had stated that the effluents treatment plant is not in operation fully. It is further alleged that partially treated effluents are being discharged outside the factory premises, which are ultimately joining “Dhosani” Tank resulting in danger to public life; that effluent sample collected at the outlet of the factory premises discloses that the values are in excess of the standards prescribed by the Board and that the petitioner was not lifting the effluents to M/s PETL for final treatment and disposal. The Company belonged to one of the 17 categories of high pollution potential industries and was generating waste water to the tune of 70 M3/day (i.e. 70,000 liters) by producing 614 T/M of Pohallic Anhydride and 16T/M of Fumeric acid.
The only point that the Court has taken for consideration in this writ petition is as to whether the order passed by the respondent-Pollution Board suffers from any illegality as such. The Court held that the Board is under the statutory and legal obligation to take all such effective measures to prevent water pollution and for this purpose the Board is empowered to give appropriate directions to any persons, officers or authority including the power to direct closure of offending industry. It further held that while the Court had the powers to review the action of the Board when an illegality was pointed to it, it could not sit in appeal over the same in view of technical aspects involved.
The High Court dismissed the petition of the industry observing that under the Act, the Board had a mandate to take action against an erring industry. The High Court could not sit in appeal against the action of the Board considering the expertise of the Board in these aspects. The High Court observed that it was open to the industry to comply with the direction of the Board and make a representation which the Board would consider and if satisfied allow the industry to operate.