SC cancels Karnataka's 49 mining leases

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday cancelled all the leases for iron ore extraction in 49 category C mines - with the highest degree of illegal mining - in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka.

The apex court's forest bench of Justice Aftab Alam, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Ranjan Gogoi, while accepting the recommendations of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on green matters in its Feb 3, 2012 report, said the "leases in respect of 'C' Category mines will stand cancelled...."

Category C mines are those in which the CEC detected the highest level of illegal mining and encroachment. Category B have lesser illegal activities and Category A have the least violations.

Justice Gogoi said: "The proceeds of the sales of the iron ore of the 'C' category mines made through the monitoring committee will stand forfeited to the state. The monitoring committee will remit the amounts held by it on this account to the SPV (special purpose vehicle) for utilisation in connection with the purposes for which it had been constituted."

The court confirmed its earlier order permitting mining activities in 18 category A mines. The court, however, put an embargo on the mining activities in seven mining leases falling in Karnatata-Andhra Pradesh border areas.

The court said the mining activities in seven mining leases would remain suspended till the demarcation of boundaries between the two states is cleared.

"The operation of the seven leases placed in B category situated on or near the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh inter-state boundary will remain suspended until finalisation of the inter-state boundary dispute, whereupon the question of commencement of operations in respect of the aforesaid seven leases will be examined afresh by the CEC."

The court said the "determination of the inter-state boundary between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh ... be made through the intervention of the office of Surveyor General of India."

The court vacated its earlier order restraining issuance of fresh mining leases.

Not accepting the recommendations of the CEC on the grant of fresh leases and in respect of pending applications for mining leases, the court said, "...This court's order dated 02.11.2012 placing an embargo on grant of fresh mining leases need not be continued any further."

"Grant of fresh mining leases and consideration of pending applications be dealt with in accordance with law, the directions contained in the present order as well as the spirit thereof," the court said.

The order read out by Justice Ranjan Gogoi accepted a number of recommendations of the court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on green matters given in its various reports from 2011 to February 2013.

The CEC divided mines in the area in three categories, A, B and C depending on the extent of illegal mining in the districts.

The court reiterated its earlier order on the reopening of the 18 category mines subject to conditions. The remaining 45 mining leases in category 'A' and category 'B' would commence their operation after completing their reclamation and rehabilitation and after obtaining necessary permission and environmental clearances.

"We also direct that all consequential action in terms of the present order be completed with the utmost expedition", the court said.

The court's order came on the petition by Samaj Parivartana Samudaya drawing court's attention to the large scale illegal mining and the nexus between miners the those in power corridors.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Hyderabad vs Rajasthan

On Now: Hyderabad vs Rajasthan

Disciplined Rajasthan bowlers restrict Hyderabad to 133 for 6. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

As two of the most glamorous sides in the Indian T20 league, the focus of the match between Mumbai and Bangalore will invariably be on the middle-order… More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »