Steel producers fail to get SC relief over mining

Steel producers fail to get SC relief over mining

They wanted the court to clarify an order passed on May 6, directing formation of a joint team to conduct a survey and demarcate the boundaries of 99 iron ore mines.

The team comprising Karnataka’s geology department officer, representations from Lokayukta and court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) was directed to find out if any encroachment was found.

Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the association, submitted that the miners have been directed to stop mining activities even before the Committee’s survey of the mining areas.

The Vacation Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and C K Prasad, however, refused to entertain the application saying that the matter was being heard by a three-judge forest bench headed by Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia.

“It is before a special three-judge bench. We have nothing to do in this matter,” the court said. The Bench asked the petitioners to approach the special forest bench which would resume sitting in July after summer break.

In its plea, the Karnataka Iron and Steel Manufacturers Association, contended that most of its suppliers have been forced to shut down their mines as the directions were issued by the mines department on May 13 contrary to the order of the apex court passed on May 6.

The plant owners would be forced to shut down their operations if the supply of iron ore was stopped in Bellary district, they contended.