The Supreme Court
(SC) on Monday rejected a request by the Federation of Indian Mining Industries (South) to sell iron
ore and manganese ore
without recourse to the e-auction conducted by the monitoring committee set up by the apex court.
The court also rejected the support given to the federation by Vedanta Ltd. The court also declined to accept suggestions of the committee of the court and also the Karnataka
government in this matter.
The court has passed several orders in the past five years following a mining lease scam in the state. Recalling them in Monday’s judgment, a bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the enormity of illegal mining and consequential damage to the environment led to the SC’s intervention.
The state government and the committee had recommended setting up of another panel to supervise the sale of iron
ore and establishment of a hybrid e-platform for all trade activities. Rejecting the suggestion, the court said it was the seized of the matter and time had not yet come for return to normalcy. “The experience of the past has been horrific, it cannot be allowed to come back,” the judgment said.
“Sale and purchase of iron
ore had been conducted in the most outrageous manner and on wholly unacceptable terms resulting, inter alia, in huge leakage of government revenue. Such experiences and events cannot be allowed to resurface. Taking an overall view of the matter, we are of the opinion that time has not come to dispense with the existing policy of sale and purchase of iron
ore in Karnataka
through the Court Appointed Committee by e-auction,” the court said.
The public interest petition had been moved by Samaj Parivartana Samudaya in 2009.