SC gives State four months to consider mining lease pleas

Four companies had challenged the Karnataka High Court ruling

A two-judge bench headed by Justice P Sathasivam quashed the ruling of the Karnataka High Court and directed the state to consider afresh the applications of Sandur Manganese and Iron Ore Limited, MSPL Ltd, Jindal Vijaynagar Steels Ltd and Kalyani Steel Limited.

“The impugned order of the Division Bench of the High Court dated June 5, 2009, in Writ Appeal No 5084 of 2008 and allied matters as well as the decision of the State government dated February 26/27, 2002, and the subsequent decision of the Central Government dated July 29, 2003, are quashed,” said the judgment.

“We direct the State government to consider all applications afresh in light of our interpretation of Section 11 of the Act(Mines Act) and Rules 35, 59 and 60 of MC Rules and make a recommendation to the Central Government within a period of four months from the date of receipt of the copy of this judgment,” said the bench.     
Sandur Manganese and Iron Ore Ltd and MSPL had challenged the ruling of Karnataka High Court that had upheld the decision of the state government to allot lease of the mines to Jindal and Kalyani.

Sandur, in its petition, said the state government had decided to grant of mining lease on lands in Eddinpada coming under the Kumaraswamy range that it had sought to two other companies—Jindal Vijayanagar Steel and Kalyani Steels.

Sandur Manganese and Iron Ore Ltd is owned by Y R Ghorpade, ex-ruler of former Sandur State who had 29 sq mile mine area with him from 1954 to 1974. The state government had not renewed the whole area for mining Sandur.
The MSPL said they on May 24, 2001, applied to the Department of Mines and Geology of State government for grant of mining lease over 298.4 hectares in Eddinpapa which were earlier given to Sandur.

The land was earlier held on lease for mining by Sandur Manganese and Iron Ore Limited, according to the judgment.
DH News Service

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