SC cancels iron ore mining leases of 88 firms in Goa

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Feb 2018 08:32:05



SC directs Centre and Goa Govt to set up an SIT and a team of chartered accountants to recover the amount from mining companies, which were allowed to extract ore in violation of the law

THE Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed the second renewal of iron ore mining leases given to 88 companies in Goa in 2015. The apex court directed the Centre and the Goa Government to grant fresh environmental clearances to them.

It said the State Government was obliged to grant fresh mining leases in accordance with law, in view of its previous judgement, and not second renewals to mining lease holders.
The apex court had said in previous judgements that only fresh leases were to be granted by the Goa Government, not second renewals. A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said mining lease holders, who have been granted a second renewal in violation of its previous decision and directions, are granted time to manage their affairs and may continue mining operations till March 15 this year.

“However, they are directed to stop all mining operations with effect from March 16, 2018 until fresh mining leases (not fresh renewals or other renewals) are granted and fresh environmental clearances are granted,” bench said. “The second renewal of the mining leases granted by the State of Goa was unduly hasty, without taking all relevant material into consideration and ignoring available relevant material and therefore not in the interests of mineral development,” it added.