SC turns down miners’ plea to extend date for payment of fine
In a major blow to the companies involved in illegal operations in Odisha, the Supreme Court had in August imposed 100% penalty on them for operating without obtaining necessary clearances.india Updated: Dec 13, 2017 23:36 IST
The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to extend the deadline for depositing the penalty it had imposed on mining lease holders for operating without the necessary clearances in Odisha.
Rejecting the lease holders plea seeking a six-month extension , a bench headed by Justice MB Lokur said the December 31, 2017 deadline fixed by the top court in an August 2 judgement would remain in place.
Advocate ADN Rao, who is assisting the bench in the case, told Hindustan Times that there are 135 companies who need to follow the order. “Overall these companies have to deposit around ₹23,000 to ₹24,000 crore. If they don’t pay then they will have to stop mining operations,” Rao said.
In a major blow to the companies involved in illegal operations in Odisha, the Supreme Court had in August imposed 100% penalty on them for operating without obtaining necessary clearances.
While the state government imposed about ₹60,000 crore as penalty on the firms for illegal mining between 2000 and 2010, the Central Empowered Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court, had recommended that at least 30% notional value may be realised from the mining companies.
“The amounts determined as due from all the mining lease holders should be deposited by them on or before December 31, 2017. Subject to and only after compliance with statutory requirements and full payment of compensation and other dues, the mining lease holders can re-start their mining operations,” the court had said.
The court’s direction came on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by organisation Common Cause, which demanded action against the lessees.
Expressing concern over the fall in the female sex ratio in the country, the SC asked a nodal agency set up by the Centre to initiate effective steps to remove the advertisements that promoted sex determination test from the internet.
“The expert committee under the nodal agency will take appropriate steps so that the mandate of the PNDT Act (Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994) is not violated and the female sex ratio which has fallen in the country shall not further fall down,” a bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said. The order came while the top court disposed a PIL filed by activist Sabu Mathew George.
The bench directed the Nodal agency to convene a meeting of the representatives of the search engines and the petitioner in six weeks to derive a mechanism and arrive at a solution.
George’s advocate Sanjay Paikh submitted that despite various court orders, search engines were not taking any action to stop the ads.