Supreme Court imposes 100% fine on illegal mining in Odisha


Highlights

  • The court directed mining lease holders to pay the fine by December 31, 2017
  • it refrained to direct a CBI inquiry into the mining scam

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Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the mining companies that had been operating without necessary clearances in Odisha to pay 100% penalty on the price of the ore that had been illegally extracted.

It asked the mining lease holders to pay the fine by December 31, 2017.

The direction of the court came on the basis of a PIL filed by an NGO named Common Cause.

The state government imposed about Rs 60, 000 crores penalty on mines for illegal mining during 2000 to 2010. However, the Central Empowered Committee appointed by the Supreme Court recommended that at least 30 per cent notional value may be collected from the mining companies.

The court also refrained to direct a CBI inquiry into the mining scam in Odisha. It suggested the formation of an expert committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to look into the factors that made rampant illegal mining possible in Odisha and elsewhere.

Reacting to the Supreme Court order, Steel and Mines Secretary R.K. Sharma said, “After receipt of the judgment copy, we’ll take the future course of action.”

Mines director Deepak Kumar Mohanty said, “The 114-page judgment that has come today will be discussed in detail by us along with Forest Department, Pollution Control Board, Environment Clearance Authority, etc. Now we can’t comment on the exact amount to be collected as fine.”