New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday
restrained 19 mining lease holders in Bellary-Hospet region of
Karnataka from carrying out any mining activities, including
transportation of extracted iron ores, till its further
Acting on the two reports of the apex court-appointed
Central Empowered Committee (CEC), which has found large scale
of illegal mining in Bellary Forest area, the special forest
bench stayed any further mining operations in the 19 mines
mentioned in it.
"We make it clear that there would be no mining or
transportation of mined materials (in 19 mines) till further
order," the bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia said
while passing an interim order.
The bench said it would also consider about the rest 68
mining lease holders, mentioned in the third and fourth list
of the CEC report for violating environmental norms in mining
operations, in its next hearing.
The apex court said as around 30 of them have got some
interim orders from the Karnataka High Court, so it would
decide about them after the CEC files transfer petition
against those firms here.
"There cannot be two parallel orders, one allowing to
mine and the other to stop. We would have to call all of them
and asked to vacate," said the bench which also consisted of
justices Aftab Alam and KS Radhakrishnan, while declining the
request of amicus curaie to restrain the 68 firms also.
The apex cout also assured some of the mining firms and
their Federation of Mining Industries, which were present on Friday, that it would hear all of them.
However, it rejected their plea that the apex court could
not pass any order to suspend the mining lease as no interim
application has been filed by the CEC.
On this, the bench said "we are going to convert this
CEC report into interim application".
Some of the firms among the 19 mining lease holders are
SB Minerals, Muneer Enterprises, Trident Minerals, Veeyam,
Adarsha Enterprises, Sparkline Mining, VSL mining Co,
Kathikeshwar Mining & Iron Ore and Mithra Mineral Enterprises.
During the proceedings, the apex court asked Advocate
General of Karnataka Ashok Haranahalli why the state
government failed to stop rampant illegal mining that after
the report of Lokayukta indicated about it.
The apex court also said the state government has said
that CEC recommendations were acceptable to it.
"If you are aggrieved, then why do not you suspended the
mining? Just identify the illegal mining and take action. Why
are you not acting on it"? the bench said.
Replying to it, he told the bench that iron ore was a
major mineral and comes under the Centre`s subject and
Karnataka government cannot stop it.
"If you (Karnataka) do not stay, then we would stop it
and pass ad interim order," the bench said.