The High Court of Bombay at Goa has begun final arguments in a matter related to transportation of mining ore post March 15.
The counsel appearing for petitioner NGO while arguing before the High Court said that the Supreme Court in its February 7 order held that the mining lease holders who have been granted the second renewal in violation of the decision and directions of the High Court are given time to manage their affairs and may continue their mining operations till March 15, 2018.
However, they were directed to stop all mining operations with effect from March 16, 2018 until fresh mining leases (not fresh renewals or other renewals) were granted and fresh environmental clearances were obtained.
The counsel argued that the Apex court had said that the second renewal of the mining leases granted by the state of Goa was unduly hasty, without taking all relevant material into consideration and ignoring available relevant material and therefore not in the interests of mineral development.
The decision was taken only to augment the revenues of the state which is outside the purview of Section 8(3) of the MMDR Act. The second renewal of the mining leases granted by the State of Goa is liable to be set aside and is quashed.
The petition in the High Court has alleged that the state department of mines and geology, in collusion with some of the erstwhile leaseholders, enabled them to extract vast quantities of ore illegally between February 7 and March 15 and allowed them to dump this material outside the lease areas, despite Supreme Court directives prohibiting such an action.
The state government affidavit states that that the royalty paid ore at the other storage points outside lease area and the ore transported at the jetty after March 15, 2018 till March 28, 2018, in government’s assessment enjoys the protective equity of the Apex court clarification of April 4, 2018 and this should also be permitted to be treated at par with the ore.
The Supreme Court in its latest order has allowed Vedanta Ltd and some other firms to transport royalty-paid iron ore, which was extracted and lying on jetties on or before March 15. The apex court’s ruling followed the filing of a special leave petition by the mining companies, appealing against the March 28 verdict of the High Court, which had stopped all transportation of iron ore.
Source:: The Navhind Times