Modifying its earlier order that banned mining operations in the lease areas deemed to have been renewed, the Orissa High Court has asked the state government to decide applications of various companies and others seeking renewal of their mining leases within three months of their filing.
A bench comprising Chief Justice V Gopalgowda, and Justice BN Mohapatra passed the order after the Orissa government sought such modifications.
The High Court on December 19 had stopped mining operations in the lease areas deemed to have been renewed till the disposal of a PIL filed by Transparency International member Biswajit Mohanty.
Mohanty had submitted that mining lease holders in connivance with the state authorities were indulging in excess mining by taking advantage of the amendments made by the Centre in 1994 to the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960, thus causing huge loss of revenue to the state exchequer.
He had also sought quashing of the concerned rule — Rule 24A(6), as mine owners were continuing their mining activities even after the expiry of their lease period.
Mohanty’s counsel Aditya Das said the court had taken strong note of the deemed renewal rule.