IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION
W.P. (CIVIL) NO.562 OF 2009
SAMUDAYA & ORS. … PETITIONERS
STATE OF KARNATAKA & ORS. … RESPONDENTS
[REGARDING: CEC REPORT DATED 27.04.2012 AND CEC REGARDING R & R
I.A. NOS.68 OF 2012 AND 103 OF 2012 IN W.P. (CIVIL) NO.562 OF 2009
[REPORT DATED 29TH AUGUST, 2012 OF THE CEC REGARDING IMPLEMENTATION OF
THE R&R PLANS, RESUMPTION OF MINING OPERATIONS IN “CATEGORY-A” MINING
LEASES AND ASSOCIATED ISSUES]
O R D E R
1. The Central Empowered Committee has submitted a report dated
August 29, 2012 regarding implementation of the R & R Plans,
resumption of mining operations in “Category A” mining leases and
issues incidental thereto.
2. Heard Mr. Shyam Divan, the learned Amicus Curiae,
Mr. Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the applicant in I.A. No.68 of
2012, Mr. Krishnan Venugopal appearing for M/s. R. Parveen Chandra,
Mr. C.U. Singh, learned senior counsel appearing for the Association
of Indian Mini Blast Furnaces and other learned counsel.
3. The recommendations made in the aforesaid report of the CEC
dated August 29, 2012 are accepted subject to any modification that
the Court may feel necessary to make later on.
4. At Annexure R-1 to the report, there is a list of 16 “Category
A” mining leases in Bellary district and two in Chitradurga district
in respect of which the R & R Plans have been approved. One of the 18
“Category A” mines, namely, MEL (ML-2346) (103.81 ha) has all the
statutory sanctions, permissions and approvals in place and the rest
of the 17 mining leases, according to the CEC, are also likely to get
all the statutory sanctions, permissions and approvals within a few
months as indicated in the table at pages 15 and 16 of the report. It
is also stated in the report that the R & R Plan in respect of the 18
“Category A” mines has been duly approved and its implementation on
the ground has also commenced.
5. In light of the recommendation of the CEC, the ban imposed on
mining operations in all the mining leases (excepting two mining
leases of M/s. NMDC Ltd.) in the districts of Bellary, Tumkur and
Chitradurga by orders dated July 29 and August 26, 2011 is lifted in
respect of the 18 “Category A” mines as enumerated in Annexure R-1 to
the report. Mining operations in those 18 “Category A” may commence
to the extent of the permissible annual production as determined by
the CEC and as indicated in the table at page Nos.15 and 16 of the
report. The commencement of the mining operations shall be subject
(I) compliance with all the statutory requirements;
(II) the full satisfaction of the Monitoring Committee, expressed in
writing, that steps for implementation of the R & R Plan in the
leasehold area are proceeding effectively and meaningfully, and
(III) a written undertaking by the leaseholders that they would
fully abide by the Supplementary Environment Management Plan (SEMP) as
applicable to the leasehold area and shall also abide by the
Comprehensive Environment Plan for Mining Impact Zone (CEPMIZ) that
may be formulated later on and comply with any liabilities, financial
or otherwise, that may arise against them under the CEPMIZ.
(IV) The CEC shall, upon inspection, submit a report to this Court
that any or all the stated 18 “Category A” mine owners have fully
satisfied the above-mentioned conditions. Further, it shall be
reported that the mining activity is being carried on strictly within
the specified parameters and without any violation.
Such report should be filed within one month of leave to
commence mining activity by the concerned leaseholder.
6. It is made clear that no mining operation under any of the
mining leases shall take place unless all the statutory sanctions,
permissions and approvals are subsisting. In case, after the
resumption of mining operations in terms of this order any statutory
sanction, permission or approval is lapsed or is not renewed in time,
the mining operations would remain stopped until the required
statutory sanction, permission or approval is duly granted.
7. Similarly, in case the Monitoring Committee finds any slackness
in the implementation of the R & R Plan in leasehold area under a
mining lease, the Monitoring Committee shall apprise the CEC in that
regard and it would be open to the CEC to direct suspension of the
mining operations under the concerned mining lease and to report the
matter to this Court.
8. Among the 18 “Category A” mines, there are six mining leases to
which the general directions given above shall apply subject to
further conditions as indicated below.
8(i). In the case of mining lease, namely, RBSSN (ML-2576) (31.56 ha),
mining operations are stopped in terms of the orders passed by this
Court in Jambunathanahalli Temple Case. Further, in the case of this
mining lease, if the CEC wishes to re-examine whether it falls in
“Category A” or any other category, the directions given above in this
order shall apply in the case of this mining lease subject to its
retaining its position in “Category A” and further subject to any
orders passed by this Court in Jambunathanahalli Temple Case.
8(ii). In the case of three other mining leases, namely,
Kariganur Minerals (ML-2075/1799) (199.43 ha), RBSSN (ML-2524)
(76.09), RBSSN Beneficiation Plant, mining operations are stopped in
terms of an order passed by this Court in Jambunathanahalli Temple
Case. Therefore, the above directions shall apply to these three
mining leases subject to the further orders passed by this Court in
Jambunathanahalli Temple Case.
8(iii). In mining lease, namely, RMML (Dalmia) (ML-2010) (331.ha),
an order to maintain status quo has been passed by this Court in
SLP(C) No.32226/2009. Therefore, the above directions shall apply to
this mining lease subject to any further order passed by this Court in
8(iv). In mining lease, namely, MML-Timmappanagudi (ML-2605)
(136.97 ha), the general directions given above, shall apply subject
to the leaseholder abiding by the conditions stipulated in the CEC
report, as indicated in the table at page 40 of the report.
9. Among the 18 “Category A” mining leases M/s. R. Parveen Chandra
(ML No.2294) is cited as an accused in a criminal case registered as
PCR No.4/2011, re-numbered as Special CC 171/2011. Needless to say
that the investigation of the case shall proceed in accordance with
law and the permission for resumption of mining operations shall have
no effect on the pending investigation.
9(i). It is made clear that the permission for resumption of mining
operations shall not come in the way, in any manner whatsoever, in any
investigation, inquiry or proceedings that may be pending against any
of the 18 mining leases covered by this order or that may be
instituted against any one of them in future. The report of
investigation, inquiry or proceeding in respect of any of the 18
leases should also be submitted before this Court.
10. The interlocutory applications relating to the opening up of
“Category A” mines are disposed of.
11. Put up the report of the Central Empowered Committee dated
February 3, 2012 at an early date to expedite framing of the
Comprehensive Environment Plan for Mining Impact Zone and matters
September 3, 2012.