Ore export ban plea gets Govt a rap from HC

Hearing a petition by ILC Industries Limited and others who had moved the High Court seeking directions to allow them to export their iron ore stored here, the division bench comprising Justice N K Patil and Justice A S Bopanna rejected the State Government’s plea.
The bench rapped the Additional Government counsel. “Why should you expect from us to pass the orders, when you have power to ban?” they asked.

In his objections, counsel for the petitioners said the respondents have no locus standi to seek impleadment of State Government or Lokayukta to the proceedings, especially after the Lokayukta’s press statements that it will amount to interfering with administration of justice.

Mentioning about the application to withdraw the petition, the counsel said the respondents had misconstrued the petitioner’s withdrawal as a hasty retreat and said that the decision is to avoid an embarrassment to Lokayukta.

“Moreover, the Government cannot seek relief against the customs authorities who are not even parties before this court,” the petitioners submitted.

Pointing out that the special investigation team has adequate powers to take actions when a prima facie case made out against any persons, the petitioners said that  there is no need to implead the officer of Lokayukta, who is not even party to the petition.

The petitioners had obtained a High Court direction to permit them to lift the iron ore from Belekeri. However the State not only failed to implement the order but also had filed a criminal petition alleging of illegal mining.

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