Writ Petition (Civil) No. 114 of 2014. Case: Common Cause Vs Union of India (UOI) and Ors.. Supreme Court

Case Number:Writ Petition (Civil) No. 114 of 2014
Party Name:Common Cause Vs Union of India (UOI) and Ors.
Judges:A.K. Patnaik, Surinder Singh Nijjar and Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, JJ.
Issue:Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980; Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 - Sections 8(2), 8(3); Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 - Rule 24A(6)
Judgement Date:May 16, 2014
Court:Supreme Court
 
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Order:

A.K. Patnaik, J.

  1. This writ petition relates to mining in the State of Odisha. When the writ petition was heard on the preliminary point on 21.04.2014, we found from the averments in paragraph 14 of the writ petition that several lessees were operating without clearances under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, and without renewal by the Government and we were of the opinion that an interim order needs to be passed in respect of the lessees who are operating the leases in violation of the law. On 21.04.2014, therefore, while issuing notice in the writ petition, we directed that the matter be listed on 28.04.2014 for consideration of the interim order that should be passed in the writ petition. On 21.04.2014, we also directed that the CEC, in the meanwhile, will make out a list of such lessees who are operating the leases in violation of the law and granted liberty to the parties to produce their papers before the CEC and directed that the State of Odisha and the Union of India will cooperate with the CEC to prepare the list.

  2. Pursuant to the order passed on 21.04.2014, the CEC examined the matter during a meeting held on 24.04.2014 with the Chief Secretary, the Commissioner-cum-Secretary (Mines), the Principal Secretary (Forest), the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and other senior officers of the Government of Odisha as well as Dr. V.P. Upadhyay, Director IA (Non-Coal Mining) and Mrs. Bharati, Director (AOHQ), of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Secretary General, Federation of Indian Mining Industries (FIMI) and also examined the representations received by the CEC on behalf of the lease holders, and has submitted a report dated 25.4.2014.

  3. We have considered the report dated 25.4.2014 of the CEC, and the submissions made by learned Counsel appearing for different parties, and we find that 102 mining leases do not have requisite environmental clearances, approvals under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, approved Mining Plan and/or Consent to Operate. A list of these 102 mining leases is annexed to the report of the CEC as Annexure R-2. The CEC has, however, stated in the report that mining operations in these 102 mining leases have been suspended and these 102 mining leases have been classified as non-working leases. We direct that mining operations in these 102 mining leases listed in Annexure R-2 of the report of the CEC shall remain suspended, but it...

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