India: Dalmia mining op lease stayed

India: Dalmia mining op lease stayed
Published: 18 December 2009

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed mining operation in stage-II of the mining lease awarded to Ramghad Minerals and Mining Ltd (RMML), an entity of Dalmia.

The mining field was allegedly allotted "illegally" by the Karnataka government by reviving a "surrendered" lease of Dalmia Cement after 18 months of forfeiting its right and even without the mandatory approval of the Central government required for the protected forest areas.

While issuing notice to RMML, the Karnataka government and the Centre, a bench, headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan said, "status quo" be maintained in respect to the stage-II of the mining lease so far as the mining activities were concerned. The revival of Dalmia Cement’s surrendered lease and its subsequent transfer to RMML was okayed by a "green" bench of the Karnataka high court, headed by Justice P.D. Dinakaran in a judgment on August 26, 2009.

The verdict had overturned a single-judge bench order quashing the state government’s decision approving the revival of Dalmia’s surrendered lease and its transfer to RMML. The bench’s verdict was challenged in the top court by Muneer Enterprises, which had applied for the surrendered leased area as it was adjacent to the field allotted to it.