SC bans mining activities of 19 Bellary companies

SC bans mining activities of 19 Bellary companies

A forest Bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia reli­ed upon the reports submitted by the Central Empowered Co­mmittee (CEC), pointing out large-scale illegal mining, and passed its order as an interim measure.

The Bench, also comprising Justices Aftab Alam and K S Radhakrishnan, took into consideration the submission of the state government expressing its willingness to curb all illegal mining activities in the state as per the recommendations of the CEC.

“In view of the said response of the State government, we direct, by an ad-interim order, that no mining operations and tr­ansportation in respect of mining leases given to 15 mini­ng lease holders shall be carried out till further orders,” the Bench ruled, relying on the CEC’s first report submitted on April 15. The court passed a similar order for the suspension of mining activity by four other companies mentioned in the CEC’s second report.
It said it would take up on May 16 the hearing pertaining to the remaining 68 mining lease holders mentioned in the third and fourth lists of the CEC report for allegedly violating environmental norms in mining operations.

No parallel orders
Since about 30 of them had got some interim orders from the Karnataka High Court, “we would decide about them after the CEC filed transfer petition against those firms here,” the Bench said. “There cannot be two parallel orders, one allowi­ng mining and the other to stop it.”

The Bench declined the plea of amicus curiae A D N Rao to re­strain 68 firms from any mining operation. The report had mentioned details of illegal mi­ning in the Bellary region during 2003 and 2010. It had all­eged that Karnataka had failed to take any action despite a rep­ort by the Lokayukta. The rep­ort said 304.91 lakh tonnes of iron ore valued Rs 15,245 crore was exported without va­lid permit between 2003 and 2010.

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