SC seeks panel report on illegal mining in Bellary

A forest Bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia gave one week further time to the high-powered panel which probed mining activities in the State.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, who appeared for the CEC, sought time from the court while claiming that the findings of the Committee would largely be in conformity with the Lokayukta’s report.

He sought urgent hearing and suspension of mining activities in the State saying it was necessary and required priority. The Bench also comprising Justices Aftab Alam and K S Radhakrishnan, however, said: “You first submit the report then we would issue notice and would see it.” The SC had earlier in February directed the CEC to submit its report after conducting the probe in alleged illegal mining in the State within six weeks.

NGO Samaj Parivartan Samudaya had alleged before the court that mining activities were going on in the forest land areas as well as per the Lokayukta report.

It had claimed that the Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh governments had failed to stop the rampant illegal mining of iron ore, adversely affecting the livelihood of locals, especially the rural poor. The NGO further claimed that illegal mining had resulted in “an encroachment of 1,114.8 hectares of forest land in Karnataka.

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