June 15, 2020   |   by admin

CEC indicts Karnataka for illegal mining. The report claimed that the decade- old problem of illegal mining of iron ore and manganese would probably exhaust . The Supreme Court will examine the report by the Central Empowered Committee, which while indicating large-scale illegal mining of iron ore in Karnataka,has. The CEC report submitted to the Supreme Court has established that the Karnataka tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy is indulging in illegal.

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The Supreme Court on April 18 allowed reopening of the remaining category A mines, numbering 27, and 63 of the 72 category B mines in three districts of Karnataka—Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur—subject to certain conditions. Earlier on September 3 last year, the court had allowed 18 of the 45 category A mines to reopen.

The court, however, cancelled all the 49 category C leases and two category B leases, where the leaseholders were found to have flagrantly violated the Forest Conservation Act of The cancelled leases will later be auctioned through bids by calling tenders. The court has also put a ceiling on the total production of iron ore from the cex at 30 million tonnes a year.

While delivering its final verdict on the petition filed by Dharwad-based non-profit, Samaj Parivartana Samudaya SPSagainst the Karnataka government, the court accepted almost all the recommendations submitted by the Central Empowered Committee CEC appointed by the court that looked into illegal mining in the region.

The court has suspended operations in seven mines along the border of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, till the boundary is reestablished under the supervision of the Geological Survey of India. SPS filed its petition in after the failure of the state government to curb indiscriminate and illegal iron ore mining in the region. There were many reports by CEC, interlocutory applications by the petitioners and interim orders by the Supreme Court.

The interim report submitted by CEC in April revealed large-scale illegal mining and consequent damage to the forests, water bodies and to kranataka ecosystems. CEC had noted that there was not even a single mining company that did not violate the law. In Julythe court banned mining activities in Bellary and within four weeks extended the ban to the other two districts, based on the illdgal by SPS.


The court then exempted minimg National Mineral Development Corporation NMDC from the ban on mining marnataka the company was allowed to mine one million tonnes a month. Conditions for resuming mining Mines which have been allowed to resume operations will have to get all clearances afresh.

They have to pay fine for their illegal actions: Rs 5 crore for each hectare of forest they encroached for mining and Rs 1 crore for encroaching for dumping waste and other purposes. As per the Supreme Court order of September mininb last year, which has been reiterated in the final judgment, this is the absolute first step. CEC has to constitute a committee to determine the exact national loss from illegal mining.

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Category B mines will have to pay additional fines later and they have to give written undertaking that they will pay the additional amounts. As for category A mines, 10 per cent of the sales proceeds will be retained by the monitoring committee.

In the case of category B mines, 15 karnztaka cent of sales proceeds will be retained. In the case of category C mines, the committee will retain the whole amount obtained through selling old stocks of ore. All these will go to a special purpose mjning led by the chief secretary of the state, which would implement a comprehensive environment management plan for “mining affected zones”.

The verdict has its positive aspects but it will not transform the culture of lawlessness prevailing in the mining sector, he says.

More importantly, as he points out, the judgment will set precedent for all mining cases. The categorisation by the CEC may be applied in those cases, too.

The petitioners had argued in court that the categorisation of mines into three groups on the basis of rwport forest encroachments was faulty. Almost all the companies have committed crimes like illegal transport, under-voicing the sales, illegal export and violation of approved mining plans, he points out. Some of them in category A have leases falling in category B and category C.

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Those who have committed crimes need to be prosecuted and punished, he says. As per the September 28, order of the court, the CEC was supposed to constitute a committee to determine the exact amount of ore that has been taken out by each company. The Supreme Court has also said the order will not affect any ongoing investigation in the region.


The Central Bureau of Investigation is at present is probing a few cases connected with illegal iron ore mining and exporting. In fact, CEC was supposed to constitute the committee within three months but it has not done so.

Going may get tough for mining firms Though the court has allowed resumption of operations, it will not be easy for many companies which are fighting cases in lower courts among themselves. There are leases where the Archaeological Survey of India ib obtained stay order on mining in Bellary since it affected an ancient temple.

Also, it may not be economical for many companies to resume mining since the approved quantity of the ore that can illega, extracted will be much lower due to the cap on the total annual iron ore production, points out Kamath.

Though embargo on new leases has been lifted, the state government may not be able to issue many new leases because of the cap. The court has not said anything on this. Now a new system is going to be implemented. We have to wait and see what is going to happen on ground. We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless.

You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the karnstaka so that we can make change together. Illegap use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Supreme Court allows reopening of 90 more mines in Karnataka subject to conditions Leases of 51 mines cancelled; embargo on new leases lifted By M Suchitra Last Updated: Monday 17 August Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter:.

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