In a new twist to the granite mining scam, a judicial magistrate on Tuesday ordered criminal investigation and prosecution against former Madurai district collector Anshul Mishra and two special government pleaders for "cheating the court by presenting false documents."
JM K V Mahendraboopathy also acquitted two persons, including a granite baron P.R.Palanisamy, who were accused of illegally mining granite, transporting it and hoarding it in their private lands.
The JM observed that two former District Collectors of Madurai, Anshul Mishra and L.Subramanian, had filed 180 cases against various persons relating to illegal mining of granite in Madurai district and hoarding them in private lands.
Anshul Mishra had filed cases against P.R.Palanisamy and former Tirupattur DMK MLA Sivaraman's brother Sahadevan in 2013 for allegedly hoarding the illegally mined granite blocks in private lands in Melur and Keezhavalavu.
The JM observed that Anshul Mishra had filed a miscellaneous petition in the case, seeking a direction to nationalise the illegally mined granites at a time when he was not the Collector of Madurai.
"This is a fraudulent act by the former Collector," the JM said.
"As per law, if the quarry owner, who had got licence for quarrying, had illegally mined granite and transported and stored them in a different area without permission, the punishment for the crime was only levying fine to the tune of Rs.25,000. If the stone had been mined without licence and transported, then the accused would have to undergo one-year imprisonment or pay a fine of Rs.25,000 or both under Prevention of Illegal Mining, Storage and Transportation Rules. In this case, the accused had licence to mine granite," the court said.
In September last year, a former employee of the PRP granites had created a sensation by alleging that humans had been sacrificed by the company owner before starting work on new mines. Read our story here.