SC permits Reddy brothers to resume mining

SC on Monday allowed the Reddy brothers to carry out mining in Andhra Pradesh.

Last Updated: May 10, 2010, 22:28 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In a major respite to the Reddy brothers - owners of the Obulapuram Mining Company Ltd - the Supreme Court on Monday permitted them to resume mining in Andhra Pradesh on the condition that it would only be in undisputed areas.

The court had last week reserved orders on the plea of the Reddy brothers of Bellary to allow them iron ore mining in Obulapuram on the Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka border.

The three Reddy brothers -- Gali Karunakar Reddy, Gali Janardhan Reddy and Gali Soma Shekhar Reddy -- are mining barons of Bellary, India`s richest mining town, and are considered politically influential. They own the Obulapuram Mining Company, which is engaged in mining and transportation of iron ore in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

The verdict was pronounced by a bench comprising CJI KG Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and BS Chauhan.

The bench earlier heard the matter in detail and examined the report of Survey of India and the maps prepared by the forest and mining departments of Andhra Pradesh government.

Andhra Pradesh has challenged the decision of the High Court allowing mining activities by Obulapuram Mining Company, which was later stayed by the apex court in an interim order.

Attorney General Mr GE Vahanvati appearing for the Andhra Pradesh government opposed any kind of mining activity till the survey work is complete in the disputed area.
He submitted that since there is a boundary dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka in the mining area and there was no reference points, it was not proper to lift the stay.

Vahanvati`s submission was similar to the Solicitor General Mr Gopal Subramanium, who was appearing for the Survey of India and was of the view that in the absence of complete survey, mining activities cannot be allowed.

However, senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for OMC, contended that there was no illegal mining by the firm and all is just because of the inter-state rivalry between the two Southern states ~ Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
"The report shows that there is problem between the state of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Both states are having different claims... OMC should not suffer from it. It`s a case of inter-state rivalry nothing else,” he said requesting the court to allow mining activities at least in the non controversial areas.