New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday granted two weeks to Karnataka government for filing appeal against a high court decision that paved the way for the resumption of iron ore mining by some firms from certain mines in the state.
The Karnataka High Court on 16 November last year had set aside the state's notification of 29 June, 2018, on demarcating certain mining areas as "revenue land".
Following this, firms can now commence mining of iron ore on revenue land, which cannot be done on forest land.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Sanjiv Khanna was informed by the state government that it would be filing an appeal in the apex court against the decision of the high court.
The Supreme Court is already seized of a PIL and various interim pleas since 2009 on the mining issue in the state and had earlier said that miners cannot be allowed to mine iron ore in excess of 35 million tonnes in a year.
On Thursday it said: "The effect of the order of the High Court is that the notifications under the Karnataka Forest Act, 1963, dated 4 August, 1994, and 4 September, 2014, are no longer in existence.
"This, prima facie, may go in support of the claim of the lessees (mining firms) to allow them to commence mining in the leased areas."
Taking note of the submission, the bench said, "We, therefore, adjourn the hearing of these applications to a subsequent date, which will be notified once the special leave petition filed by the State of Karnataka against the judgment and order of the High Court...comes up before this court".
Meanwhile, lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for NGO Samaj Parivartana Samudaya, said that the iron ore export should not be allowed keeping in mind the impact of mining on the environment in the state.
It had also said that mined iron ore cannot be exported and will be kept for domestic use.
Updated Date: Jan 24, 2019 21:54:05 IST