Status quo in Dalmia's Bellary mining case

Status quo in Dalmia's Bellary mining case

A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said, “Status quo as regard to mining activities, but the authorities could process the documents.’’ The case was heard by Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran and he alleged to have followed judicial impropriety while dealing with the matter charged Forum for Judicial Accountability in its petition to the political parties seeking his impeachment.

It is alleged that Justice Dinakaran ordered for placing the matter before his bench by bringing it from another bench, which was hearing the matter for the past several occasions and passed the order without even hearing the arguments of affected parties. Muneer Enterprises, mines owners from Hospet in Karnataka, in a petition challenged the Karnataka High Court order saying that the court should have dismissed the petition as Dalmia Cements had surrendered the lease and forest clearance was not obtained from the Centre for renewal.

Advocate Harish Salve submitted that the lease was transferred to a sister concern of Dalmia Cements within 24 hours of application before the state authorities. In 1986 Dalmia Cements’ lease was renewed for 20 years over an mining areas of 331.44 hectares. The company surrendered 197 hectares of the total area in 1999 and finally surrendered rest of the mines in 2001.

“However, in an application in February 2002, Dalmia Cements made a request to the state government to transfer its non-existing and surrendered mining lease no 2010 in favour of M/s Ramghad Minerals and Mining Pvt Ltd (RMMPL), the first respondent herein,’’ the petition said.

JSW Ltd, another mining company owned by Jindal group has also filed an intervention application saying that it was an interested party and had applied for a lease of the mine which was granted to RMMPL.