SC reopens Sandur mining case, admits govt review plea

Written by Indu Bhan | Indu Bhan | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 5 2012, 06:05am hrs
The Supreme Court on Thursday decided to reopen its 2010 judgment that had ruled against granting of mining lease to JSW Steel and Kalyani Steel in Karnataka. The reopening of the case gives some hope to these companies which are keen to do mining of iron and manganese ores at 380 hectares in Sandur.

The apex court had on September 15, 2010, quashed a December 2004 recommendation by the Karnataka government later endorsed by the Centre to allow mining by JSW Steel and Kalyani.

A bench headed by P Sathasivam while admitting the Centres review plea on Thursday said the same was maintainable as the ministry of mines was not duly represented and served during the hearing earlier.

The ministry had contended that it did not get a chance to put forward its case when the apex court had interpreted various provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and the Mineral Concession Rules framed under it. However, MSPL and other companies had objected to this saying that the ministry was party before the HC and the apex court as Attorney General GE Vahanvati had appeared on behalf of the Centre.

However, the court did not comment on other five cross-appeals filed by different companies seeking review of the September 15, 2010, judgment.

JSW, which has also filed its review plea, has said that the apex court failed to consider that it had already invested close to R20,000 crore on the firm commitment from the state government for provision of mining lease for captive consumption.

The state government had, in March 2003, notified availability of a large area for regrant of mining lease which was referred to as the Held Area Notification.