You are here: Home » Economy & Policy » News
Business Standard

SC completes hearing on Odisha illegal mining case

Reserves interim order on mines operating under deemed extension clause

BS Reporter  |  Bhubaneswar 

The Supreme Court today completed hearing on a crucial case of illegal mining in Odisha. The apex court, has, however, reserved its interim order.

The state government had earlier drawn flak from the Supreme Court appointed central empowered committee (CEC) for misuse of Rules 24-A (6) of Mineral Concession Rules-1960 allowing the mine owners to operate under 'deemed extension' for long periods after expiry of their lease period.

In its last hearing on April 21, the Supreme Court had directed the CEC to submit a report on the probable interim orders that it could issue to deal with problems posed by illegal mining in Odisha. The court's direction was in the wake of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO (non governmental organization) Common Cause.

Acting on the court's direction, the CEC had asked for a detailed information on the mining leases in a letter to Odisha chief secretary J K Mohapatra dated April 21. The CEC had sought to know the factual position of mining lessees that have obtained approval under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and secured environment clearance. It had also called for information on mining leases operating within one km radius of national parks and sanctuaries and the ones functioning under directions of the Supreme Court or the Odisha High Court.

Later, the CEC submitted its report to the apex court on April 26 after conducting a hearing with top Odisha government officials and representatives of mine owners on April 24.

In its response, the Odisha government had clarified that all the 53 operating iron ore and manganese mines have the necessary statutory clearances.

Out of these, nine were within the original lease period, three were operating after first and second renewal and one lease was in operation after third renewal.

As many as 37 mines are working under 'deemed extension'. While 13 mines were operating under first deemed extension, 10 are under second, 12 are under third and two mines are operating under fourth extension respectively.

In its recent judgement on iron ore mining in Goa, the court had said that all mining activities under the deemed extension clause, after the end of first renewal period of 20 years, are illegal.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, April 28 2014. 20:28 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.