Supreme Court refuses to halt e-auction of iron, manganese ore in Karnataka
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stop e-auction for sale of iron and manganese ore in Karnataka.
“The application is dismissed,” said a bench headed by justice Ranjan Gogoi, while rejecting an application by Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) seeking to halt the e-auction process.
FIMI, a mining industry body, had sought a halt on e-auction for sale of iron and manganese ores in Karnataka, as per the apex court’s 2013 directions.
In April 2013, the court had ordered that all sales of iron and manganese ores in Karnataka should be only through e-auctions that will be monitored and overseen by the Central Empowered Committee. It also ordered several measures to prevent environmental damage due to mining.
The court’s ruling came in a 2003 case filed by non-profit Samaj Parivartana Samudaya against large-scale depletion of forests in Karnataka due to massive illegal mining.
The apex court in its April 2013 order had also directed Karnataka to cancel 51 C-category leases for being involved in rampant illegal mining and re-allot them to end users through a transparent bidding mechanism. Karnataka in January 2016 announced e-auction of 11 of the 51 C- category mines.
FIMI and the state government have also sought the court’s nod to increase the cap on the quantity of iron ore that can be mined in the state by at least 10 million metric tonnes.