The saga over mining in the Dry Harbour Mountains is now expected to be heard before the Supreme Court.
This, as several residents in St. Ann are suing the government and mining company Bengal Development for what they say are breaches of their constitutional rights.
The eight claimants in the matter include farm owners, medical doctors and other business operators who all reside in that area of St. Ann.
They’ve retained the services of Queen’s Counsel Michael Hylton.
The three defendants in the matter are the Attorney General, Bengal Development Limited and the Natural Resources Conservation Authority, NRCA.
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The is the latest move by residents to stop Bengal Development from mining in the Dry Harbour Mountains.
The permit was granted recently for mining on 123 of the 569 acre property.
The permit was granted after Prime Minister Andrew Holness acting in his capacity as Environment Minister reversed a previous decision by the NRCA, not to permit mining in sections of the Dry Harbour Mountains.
The claimants are arguing constitutional breaches because they say they have a right to enjoy a healthy and productive environment free from the threat of injury or damage from environmental abuse and degradation.
Queen’s Counsel Hylton says the claim form that was filed is seeking for the permit that was granted to be declared null and void.
According to the claim, the claimants are seeking a declaration that neither the manner nor the extent of the breaches or likely breaches of their Constitutional rights is demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.
The claimants are also seeking an injunction.
The injunction being sought is to restrain Bengal Development from starting or continuing any mining, quarrying, or any other activity in the Dry Harbour Mountains.
Constitutional or vindicatory damages are also being sought.
The three defendants have already been sent copies of the claim form.
However, they’ve not yet been served because a date for the hearing of the matter has not yet been set.
Tauna Thomas for Nationwide News