Chennai: Madras High Court on Friday stayed till September 26 a Tamil Nadu government order, which mandated a seigniorage fee of Rs one lakh from those collecting clay for pottery from lake areas in the state.
Justice D Hariparanthaman granted the interim injunction on a petition by Tamil Nadu Pottery Workers Association challenging the GO issued in 1981.
The State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority of Tamil Nadu had issued the G.O which mandated people collecting clay in lake areas to deposit a sum of Rs one lakh as seigniorage fee.
In the backdrop of recent Supreme Court order on sand mining, Vellore District Collector had imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on a pottery worker who had collected the clay from a lake area for making idols of Lord Ganesha for the upcoming Vinayaka Chathurthi festival.
The Association in its petition submitted that though pottery workers, who were very poor, were exempted from the fixed fee, officials were penalising them citing the apex court order.
The judge, who admitted the petition, granted the interim injunction and posted the matter for further hearing to September 26.