Wednesday 9 July 2014

Supreme Court of India declarations and directions for Goa mining

Extracted below are points 70 and 71 containing Declarations and Directions of the Supreme Court Judgment on Goa mining in Goa Foundation v. Union of India delivered on 21st April 2014. These are key basis for the future of mining in Goa.

71. In the result, we declare that:
(i) the deemed mining leases o the lessees in Goa expired on 22.11.1987 and the maximum of 20 years renewal period of the deemed mining leases in Goa expired on 22.11.2007 and consequently mining by the lessees after 22.11.2007 was illegal and hence the impunged order dated 10.09.2012 of Government of Goa and the impunged order dated 14.09.2012 of the MoEF, Government of India are not liable to be quashed;

(ii) dumping of minerals outside the leased area of the mining lessees is not permissible under the MMDR Act and the Rules made thereunder;

(iii) until the order dated 04.08.2006 of this Court is modified by this Court in I.A. No.1000 in T.N.Godavarman Thirululpad v. Union of India & Ors., there can be no mining activities within one kilometer from the boundaries of National Parks and Sanctuaries in Goa;

(iv) by the order dated 04.12.2006 in Writ Petition (C) No.460 of 2004 (Goa Foundation v. Union o India), this Court has not prohibited mining activities within 10 kilometers distance from the boundaries of the National Parks or Wildlife Sanctuaries;

(v) it is for the State Government to decide as a matter of policy in what manner mining leases are to be granted in future but the constitutionality re legality of the decision of the State Government can be examined by the Court in exercise of its power of judicial review.

And we direct that:
(i) MoEF will issue the notification of eco-sensitive zones around the National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries in Goa after following the procedure discussed in this judgment within a period of six months from today;

(ii) the State Government will initiate action against those mining lessees who violate Rules 37 and 38 of the MC Rules;

(iii) the State Government will strictly enforce the Goa (Prevention of Illegal Mining, Storage and Tranportation of Minerals) Rules, 2013;

(iv) the State Government may grant mining leases of iron ores in Goa in accordance with its policy decision and in accordance with MMDR Act and  the rules made thereunder in consonance with the constitutional provisions;

(v) until the final report is submitted by the Expert Committee, the State Government will, in the interests of sustainable development and intergenerational equity, permit a maximum annual excavation of 20 million MT from the mining leases in the State of Goa other than from dump;

(vi) the Goa Pollution Control Board will strictly monitor the air and water pollution in the mining areas and exercise powers available to it under the 1974 Act and 1981 Act including the powers under Section 33A of the 1974 Act and Section 31A of the 1981 Act and furnish all relevant data to the Expert Committee;

(vii) the entire sale value of the e-auction of the inventorised ores will be forthwith realized and out of the total sale value, the Director of Mines and Geology, Government of Goa, under the supervision of the Monitoring Committee will make the following payments:
(a)    Average cost of excavation of iron ores to the mining lessees;
(b)   50% of the wages and dearness allowances to the workers in the muster rolls of the mining leases who have not been paid their wages during the period of suspension of mining operations;
(c)    50% of the claim towards storage charges of MPT.
Out of the balance, 10% will be appropriated towards the Goan Iron Ore Permanent Fund and the remaining amount will be appropriated by the State Government as the owner of the ores;
(viii) the Monitoring Committee will submit its final report on the utilization and appropriation of the sale proceeds of the inventorised ores in the manner directed in this judgment within six months from today;
(ix) henceforth, the mining lessees of iron ore will have to pay 10% of the sale price of the iron ore sold by them to the Goan Iron Ore Permanent Fund.
(x) the State Government will within six months from today frame a comprehensive scheme with regard to the Goan Iron Ore Permanent Fund in consultation with CEC for sustainable development and intergenerational equity and submit the same to this Court within six months from today; and
(xi) the Expert Committee will submit its report within six months from today on how the mining dumps in the State of Goa should be dealt with and will submit its final report within twelve months from today on the cap to be put on the annual excavation of iron ore in Goa.
70. With the aforesaid declarations and directions, Writ Petition (C) No. 435 of 2012 is allowed. The Transferred Cases and IA filed by MPT as well as other IAs also stand disposed of. The interim order dated 05.10.2012 of this Court is vacated. These matters will be listed as and when the Monitoring Committee and the Expert Committee submit their final reports and the State Government submits the scheme for the Goan Iron Ore Permanent Fund. The Parties shall bear their own costs.

A.K.Patnaik J.

Surinder Singh Nijjar J.

Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla J

New Delhi
April 21, 2014

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