Apex court refuses to lift ban on mining by OMC

Apex court refuses to lift ban on mining by OMC

State govt can carry out survey to determine the border in the area

Apex court refuses to lift ban on mining by OMC

A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which had given conditional order for carrying on mining activity by OMC, would be in the best position to decide the vexed issues of boundary dispute involved in the matter.

The apex court, which had stayed the high court decision, passed the order after both OMC and the Andhra Pradesh government consented to its suggestion. Earlier, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for OMC, alleged the apex court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) placed its report for stopping mining activity in the area without any authority.

He said there were orders by the apex court to make an inquiry of the area and submit the report which became the basis for the Andhra Pradesh government to come out with an order to stop the mining and transportation of minerals by the OMC.

The Bench accepted there were no such orders and allowed the contesting parties to raise objections to the CEC report before the High Court. It also allowed the CEC to make its case before the High Court.

The Bench said since the matter was pending before the High Court, the state government will be free to carry out survey for determining the border in the area which is near Karnataka.

The apex court asked Andhra Pradesh government to file its response within a week before the high court. It also asked the parties to the dispute to appear before the High Court, which has posted the matter for hearing on January 18.

The high court had stayed the order of Andhra Pradesh government restraining the company from carrying out mining activities in the area on the basis of the report of the apex court-appointed CEC.