Current Affairs

HC puts ‘Mining’ back in gear

The Bombay High Court has ordered the state government to execute 28 mining leases where the stamp duty had been collected. 

Sources in the mining sector have revealed that these 28 leases include mining leases of Sesa Sterlite, Fomento Resources and VM Salgaocar.

 

Several mining companies had filed writ petitions before the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court for renewal of their respective mining leases as they had applied for renewal on time.

These companies had paid stamp duty worth of Rs 376 crore much before the Supreme Court judgement which had raised question mark on the non-renewed leases in April. 

The mining companies had argued before the High Court that they were being punished unnecessarily as they had filed their renewal applications on time. 

The matter was heard by the High Court in last few months and on Wednesday, the judgment was pronounced by the Bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice U V Bakre.

“State of Goa is directed to 72 execute the lease deeds under Section 8(3) of the MMDR Act (Mines and minerals (development and regulation)] Act, 1957) in favour of the petitioners/lease holders who/which have already paid the stamp duty pursuant to the orders of the government,” the order said.

“For this (Implementation of this order), the Supreme Court order in WP 435/2012 (Goa Foundation Vs Union of India and Others of April 21, 2014) will not be an impediment,” the Bench said.

Iron ore mining in Goa has remained shut since past two years. Mining activities have not started in the state even after the apex court lifted the ban in April and put a cap of 20 million tonne annual production. The court order had ruled that all mining leases in Goa expired in 2007 and mining activity carried out post (deemed second renewal) were to be considered illegal.

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