The Orissa High Court has stopped operations by those mines that are operating on deemed renewal. The court has directed not to operate mines on deemed renewal without its permission.
A division Bench comprising chief justice V Gopal Gowda and justice BN Mohapatra, while admitting a PIL, has directed not to operate mines on deemed renewal without its permission till the disposal of the case.
The PIL, filed by Transparency International member, Biswajit Mohanty, has stated that the amendments done in 1994 by the Central government to the Mineral Concession Rules 1960 has been grossly misused by people in power, resulting in excess extraction of millions of tonnes of ores and staggering loss of revenue to the exchequer.
Rule-24A(6) says, “If an application for renewal of a mining lease made within the time referred in sub-rule (1) is not disposed of by the state government before the date of expiry of the lease, the period of that lease shall be deemed to have been extended by a further period till the state government passes order thereon."
The PIL said the rule in question empowers a mine to operate even after expire of its lease period.Taking advantage of the Rule, it PIL pointed out, as many as 80 mines are operating in the state beyond their lease period, including some since last 20 years, the PIL has given an estimation that 72 mines have extracted 23,26,91,851.920 million tonne of ore over the years.