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Supreme Court imposes 100% penalty on illegal mining in Odisha

LiveMint logoLiveMint 02-08-2017 Priyanka Mittal

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday imposed a 100% penalty on illegal mining on account of lack of forest and environment clearances, mining outside lease/permitted area and for mining in excess of what has been allowed.

Applications by four mining companies, namely Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), Rungta Mines Ltd, Sarda Mines Pvt. Ltd and Essel Mining and Industries Ltd, for resumption of mining will be heard separately by the court.

A bench headed by justice Madan B. Lokur also noted that the National Mineral Policy (NMP) of 2008 required review and would accordingly be relooked.

The court’s direction had come in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Common Cause.

“Big mining companies will be forced to shell out lakhs of crores as a result of this direction. The quantum that would be payable is yet to be ascertained,” said Prashant Bhushan, who is counsel for the petitioner.

During the course of hearings, the court had appointed a Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to look into illegal activities by mining companies and furnish a report on it.

The CEC had sought to ascertain the factual position of mining lessees that obtained approval under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and secured environment clearances in Odisha.

The copy of the judgment is awaited.

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