Supreme Court on Monday rejected the plea filed by the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI), Southern Region. In this instant petition FIMI, Southern Region seek to Supreme Court to stop the e-auction of iron ore and manganese ore by the monitoring of court appointed central empowered committee in Karnataka. Monitoring committee was set up by the Supreme Court as per order dated 02/09/2011 taking into account the unauthorized and indiscriminate mining and sale of iron ore in Karnataka. In order to put a cap on kmini8ng activities, and thereby to limit the depredation on environment and also to ensure that no revenue leakage happens, the monitoring committee was set up. Miners plead before t5he court that the situation in 2011 was no longer persisting and that normalcy have been restored, thereby rendering any further monitoring unnecessary. Through plea the applicant suggested monitoring by another committee comprising state government officials.

Supreme court while rejecting the plea observed that it is correct that any trading process has to be fair and free with liberty to the contracting parties to work out their own terms of sale and purchase, what can’t be ignored are the circumstances which had prompted the court to conceive of and continue with a departure from the normal rule and purchase of iron ore. Sale and purchase of iron ore through the court appointed monitoring committee and by e-auction is not a singular but a connected facet of what was visualized by the court in its bid to check, control and regulate mining and also to restore nature and environment to its earlier pristine purity so far as possible.

The court was of view that it was pre-mature to dispense with the monitoring system and held that the restoration of ‘normalcy’ in the process of sale and purchase of iron-ore must wait for the future and that till then the present arrangements should continue.

By Sandeep

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