Govt.Of A.P.& Ors. Vs M/S Obulapuram Minig.Co.P.Ltd.& Ors.
The Supreme Court vide this order handed over the investigations into alleged illegalities in respect of mining lease of M/s. Associated Mining Company (“M/s. AMC”) to be carried out by CBI.
Report of Central Empowered Committee (`CEC’) showed that serious illegalities have taken place. The Report showed serious illegalities having taken place in respect of the mining lease by way of illegal grant of renewal of mining lease; the existing locations of the boundary pillars being completely different from the sanctioned lease sketch and quantity of iron ore shown to have been produced and dispatched from the mining lease being far in excess of the quantity that could have been physically produced and dispatched from the mining lease area.
On going through the Report of CEC, the Supreme Court prima facie was satisfied that at the relevant time there existed linkages between the alleged illegal mining in Bellary Reserved Forest falling in District Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh and the illegalities in Bellary District of Karnataka. It appeared from the Report that amongst various illegalities, one of the cited illegalities was that the material illegally extracted by M/s AMC was routed (transported) to the nearest Port in Vishakapatnam through District Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh.
The Supreme Court also asked the CBI to investigate the illegalities including encroachment by M/s. Deccan Mining Syndicate (“DMS”) in the area leased out to M/s. NMDC as per the Report of CEC, it was pointed out that massive illegal mining by a third party was being done in mining lease of M/s. NMDC. That, despite various complaints to the numerous authorities in the State of Karnataka by M/s. NMDC no steps were taken to prevent that third party from resorting to massive illegal mining in mining lease of M/s. NMDC till the Supreme Court banned mining. The complaints were made against the third party, namely DMS for encroaching into M/s. NMDC’s mining lease area.
The Supreme Court further mentioned that there were other instances of illegal mining as referred to in the Report of the Lokayukta. The Court added that as and when reports are submitted by CEC alleging similar illegal mining activities and other illegalities committed by other companies, the Court would look into these reports separately and further directions would be given from time to time by the Supreme Court.