New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday suspended
with immediate effect the mining of iron ore in 10,868
hectares in Bellary district of Karnataka.
"We are of the view that the mining of iron ore in Bellary
be suspended immediately till further orders," a special bench
headed by Chief Justice S H Kadia said.
The court said the Ministry of Environment and Forest
(MoEF) will, meanwhile, come out with an interim report on the
requirement of the iron ore for the country`s steel industry.
Secondly, the bench said, the MoEF will also spell out as
to how much of iron ore is required for the domestic industry
and how much needs to be imported.
The court issued the directions accepting Attorney General
G E Vahanvati`s submission that the MoEF will come out with
the report in consultation with other ministries concerned --
mines, steel and commerce.
The bench passed the order after perusing the latest
report of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) which had said
that the illegal mining was going on not only in a rampant
manner, but it was also causing irreversible environmental
The court took environmental degradation into account for
suspending the mining activities in Bellary.