Friday, August 26, 2011

Mining in 2 more K’taka districts hit SC roadblock

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered suspension of iron ore mining in Karnataka’s Chitradurga and Tumkur districts based on the Central Empowered Committee’s finding that rampant illegal mining has caused serious damage to environment there.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia clarified that the suspension was an interim measure taken to protect environment, which was intrinsically linked to the citizen’s right to life.
It said right to mining was also a fundamental right under Article 19, but right to life under Article 21 was a higher right.
The court said the need of the steel industries in the interim period would be met from the 25 million tonnes of iron ore stocks lying with the mining lease holders. It asked the attorney general and amicus curiae Shyam Divan to finalize the regulated release of the iron ore after consulting the industry.
In future, mining would be permitted only after the court examines the rehabilitation plan with a promise from all lease holders to carry out digging scientifically.

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