SC refuses to let Bellary Iron Ores resume mining
Buoyed by the permission given to the Reddy brothers to resume mining on the Andhra border, Bellary Iron Ores today moved the Supreme Court for permission to resume excavations in the Bellary reserve forests.delhi Updated: May 13, 2010 21:08 IST
Buoyed by the permission given to the Reddy brothers to resume mining on the Andhra border, Bellary Iron Ores on Thursday moved the Supreme Court for permission to resume excavations in the Bellary reserve forests.
Bellary Iron Ores (BIOL), which has six leases and some of them share boundary with the controversial Reddy brothers-owned Oblapuram Mining Company mines, requested the court to grant it permission to mine in the same area in accordance with the recent Survey of India report.
However, a bench comprising chief justice SH Kapadia and justices KS Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar declined to give any interim relief and directed it to list the matter before the forest bench in July.
The bench also slammed BIOL for keeping quiet for more than a six months after the controversy with OMC started. The court enquired the firm whether it had approached the high power committee appointed by it consisting persons from the Survey of India to ascertain the facts.
"You (BIOL) were sitting on the fence and watching the show for a considerable time and when the things are over you have come before us," the court said rejecting the contentions of the firm that now survey of the region was completed and it should be allowed to work.
OMC and BIOL were jointly stopped by Andhra Pradesh from mining in its Anantpur district last November. However, OMC moved the apex court and got relief, while BIOL keep quiet.
Senior advocate Krishna Venugopal appearing for BIOL submitted that the survey work was almost done and it should be allowed to mine as per the survey report. "The survey is done by the committee...boundary is almost worked. Now we should be allowed to mine as per the lease and the report," said Venugopal.
On being enquired by the bench that whether it had approached the Survey of India, he replied that the firm had written to them.
However, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for OMC opposed any kind of permission and said it was the same firm that approached the supreme court appointed committee (CEC) and complained against OMC. "Yes, we share common boundaries in some of the mines in which we have dispute with the government... but he kept quiet since November. SLP was filed in the apex court in March," he said.
The apex court had on May 10 allowed OMC to resume mining in the undisputed areas in the Anantapur district, 150 meters away from the inter-state border of Karnataka and Andhra.
However, the court had said as and when the SoI would carry the work for demarcation of boundary between the two states, it can can ask the OMC to temporarily stop its activity in the region.