'Privatisation has to 'go along' with Constitution' SC

'Privatisation has to 'go along' with Constitution' SC

“Maybe new economic thought has developed, but the privatisation in our country has to go along with our Constitution,” the Supreme Court today said.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik, hearing the PIL of NGO Goa foundation against illegal iron ore extraction in the state, referred to certain news reports which suggested adverse impact of its decision to halt mining on the economic growth.

“We (judges) have taken oath to uphold this Constitution and not western economic model,” the bench, also comprising justices S S Nijjar and F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, said.

The bench also observed that it has to consider Article 21 (right to life) and Part IV of the Constitution in deciding such pleas.

The bench, which on October 5 last year had halted the mining operations in all the 90 mines in Goa, recently agreed to accord expeditious hearing to the petition after Sesa Goa, a Vedanta group firm and country’s largest producer and exporter of iron ore in the private sector, approached it.

Mining was halted considering the Justice Shah Commission report that had indicted almost all the miners saying the illegal extraction of iron ore during last 12 years had caused a loss of Rs 35,000 crore to the state exchequer.

The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee today told the bench that miners should get fresh environment clearance certificates from the Ministry of Environment and Forests.