SC scraps mining leases of 2 firms | delhi | Hindustan Times
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SC scraps mining leases of 2 firms

delhi Updated: Sep 14, 2010 22:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Jindal Vijayanagar Steel Ltd

In a setback to two domestic steelmakers, Jindal Vijayanagar Steel Ltd and Kalyani Steel, the Supreme Court has scrapped their mining leases granted by the Karnataka government.

A bench headed by Justice P. Sathasivam, however, allowed the companies to apply for fresh lease in accordance with law. The court also permitted the petitioners, MSPL and Sandur, to apply for the lease afresh and gave four months time to decide whether the parties are entitled to the lease or not.

MSPL and Sandur had challenged the Karnataka High Court judgment passed by the bench headed by controversial Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran last year.

Sandur and MSPL challenged the state government’s decision to grant lease over an area of 298.5 hectares in Eddinpada area in Kumaraswamy range of Karnataka. The petitioners argued before SC that the local government was pre-determined to grant the lease in favour of Jindal and Kalyani.

When contacted, JSW played down the decision. ‘‘Whenever a recommendation is made in favour of the industry, the traders object to it and vice versa, hence this is nothing new,’’ said a JSW spokesperson.

Law catching up
The single bench of Karnataka High Court observed that the mining leases were granted without complying the provisions of the Karnataka Forest and Forest Conservation Act.

But the bench headed by then Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran last year set aside the verdict and said: ‘‘We must not overlook the basic aim to make India an industrialised nation.’’

MSPL and Sandur had challenged the Karnataka High Court judgment.