Contribution to SPV from iron ore sales: SC bins review plea

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea for review of its direction for deposit of 10% of sale proceeds from every lease holder for the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for extracting iron ore from Ballari, Chitradurga and Tumkuru districts of Karnataka.

A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, R K Agrawal and A M Khanwilkar rejected a review petition filed by Federation of Indian Mineral Industries, Southern Region, against the apex court's judgement of March 21. "We have perused the review petition as well as the grounds in support thereof. In our opinion, no case for review of judgment dated March 21, 2017 is made out. Consequently, the review petition is dismissed," the bench said in its order.

Karnataka government has constituted a Special Purpose Vehicle known as Karnataka Mining Environment Restoration Corporation on June 13, 2014, following a direction by the apex court in a PIL filed by NGO Samaj Parivartan Samudaya. Declining to modify its order, the top court had earlier noted that every mining activity resulted in baneful effects which need to be corrected and destruction of environment that inevitably occurred in the process required to be mitigated.

"Even the new lessees who may not have been involved with such degradation are contributing to the process of reclamation and restoration. In such a situation, we do not see how we can vary or modify our earlier orders that require all existing lessees to pay 10% of the sale proceeds and/or to depart from the requirement of payment of what has been already ordered, namely, 10% of the sale proceeds to the Monitoring Committee/SPV," the court had then said.

FIMI, and others sought modification of the apex court's orders. They contended the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act 2015 had brought in Section 9B in the Act with effect from January 12, 2015 that required a District Mineral Foundation to be set up in every district affected by mining related operations. In consequence, the court can dispense with the direction to deposit 10 % of the sales proceeds for the SPV.

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