Supreme Court of India on 16 May 2014 put an interim stay on iron ore mining by 26 firms in Odisha. The interim stay is put on those companies whose lease agreements have expired and not renewed by the State government.
The order was passed by a bench of Supreme Court headed by Justice AK Patnaik. The bench said that the mining operation of 26 leases would remain suspended till the companies get their agreement renewed by the state government.
The interim order of stay on mining was passed by the apex court after considering the report of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) and submissions on behalf of the parties. The court said that 26 firms leases would be not allowed to operate until the state government passes an express order in terms of section 8(3) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957.
Apart from this, the apex court also directed 102 mining leases to be suspended that do not have requisite environmental clearances and approvals, till they are not cleared by the authorities.
Odisha has a total of 56 iron ore mines of which 16 have all the lease renewals in place and thus can function normally. Of the remaining 40 mines, 14 are under deemed extension and 26 mines cannot mine and thus would have to apply for fresh lease extensions.
In its order the apex court also asked the Odisha government to consider and dispose off all renewal applications within six months.
When: 16 May 2014