SC nod for inviting global tenders to revive KGF mines

Sets aside the order of K'taka High Court

SC nod for inviting global tenders to revive KGF mines

The Supreme Court on Tuesday approved the Centre’s decision to invite global tenders for re-starting Bharat Gold Mines Ltd (BGML) at Kolar Gold Fields, shut down more than a decade ago due to depleting gold deposits.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir set aside the Karnataka High Court order passed in February 2010. The high court had asked the Union government to take up the revival of the mines rather than inviting international players.

The apex court’s order came on a batch of appeals filed by the Centre, BGML employees and others against the high court order.

The bench, also comprising Justices Vikramjit Sen and M Y Eqbal, directed the Centre to proceed with the global tenders in accordance with a 2006 Cabinet decision.

The court asked the government to indicate that the lease was granted to BGML, which in turn had subleased 1,109 acres out of total 12,095 acres to Bharat Earth Movers Ltd. The sublease is coming to an end in April 2014.

The high court division bench had asked the Ministry of Mines to take steps to revive the once world famous BGML in KGF without global bidding or entrusting the revival to workers’ co-operative.

After the government had ordered closure of the PSU in 2001, its employees, officers and others had moved the court seeking quashing of the closure orders.

The single judge in December 2009 had permitted the government to go for only global miners for reviving the mines. However, it had ordered that only companies involved in gold mining should be considered. 

BGML challenged the single judge order on the ground that all mining companies should be eligible to bid and not merely gold mining firms.

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