Bangalore: Expressing displeasure over
the government`s `inordinate` delay in curbing illegal mining
and export of illegally mined ore, the Karnataka High Court
today gave a week`s time to it to announce procedures to
address the issue.
Regretting that no orders have been issued despite the
state banning iron-ore exports a month ago, a Division Bench,
headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar in a special sitting
directed the government "to get its act together and put its
procedures in place in a week".
When writ petitions by nine mining companies, seeking
to quash the ban, came up for hearing, state Advocate General
Ashok Harnahally said procedures were being put in place to
curb illegal mining and theft of iron-ore and the Lokayukta
probing the matter would submit its report in six months.
On hearing this, Justice Khehar wanted to know how the
government would vest everything in Lokayukta and "say you are
not going to do anything about it. How can you just rely on a
report and ask us to wait for six months?
"It is fine if he is doing his job, let him do it, you
do yours. If Lokayukta, a retired Supreme Court judge can find
out where all illegal mining and theft of iron-ore is taking
place, to say that the entire police of Karnataka cannot find
this out, is just not accepted. It is the will which is
Khehar further said, "If somebody is in the wrong,
stall him do not stall everybody. If theft of iron-ore has to
be checked, it has to be done right where the mining takes
place not when it loaded onto trucks."
Earlier counsel for five mining firms including
Lakshminarayana Mining Co and Deccan Mining Syndicate, D L N
Rao contended that the Centre alone could impose such a ban.
After hearing the arguments, the bench adjourned
hearing to September 3.