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Above: A TV grab of a coal mine in Lalmatia, Godda. Photo: UNI

The issue of rampant illegal mining in the state of Karnataka, particularly in the district of Bellary, has been going on for a long time. The Supreme Court has been hearing a writ filed by Samaj Parivartana Samudaya in this regard and it was only on Wednesday (October 11) that the Government of India seems to have awakened to file an interlocutory application (IA). Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh submitted before the bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Abhay Manohar Sapre and Navin Sinha: “We are considering constituting a committee which will look into it.”

In 2006 the Justice UL Bhat Committee was appointed to go into the issues, but did not yield any tangible result. Thereafter, the matter was referred to the Lokayukta of the state and a report dated December 18, 2008 was submitted which, prima facie, indicated indiscriminate mining of unbelievable proportions in the Bellary district of the State.

It is in these circumstances, that the petitioner had instituted the present writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution, complaining of little or no corrective action on the part of the state.

Following the ASG’s submission the bench asked under which statute this committee is going to be constituted. The ASG replied that the process is going on and whatever happens, “we will place it before lordships.”

Senior counsel Diwan said this step is totally immature.

Bench reserved its order related to this.

India Legal Bureau

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