The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its verdict on a plea by mining companies to allow resumption of the export of iron ore from mines in Karnataka.
The Apex Court directed the Karnataka government to file a clear stand regarding the issue by tomorrow.
CJI Justice N.V. Ramana said, “Please submit the cabinet decision of the state also and submit it before tomorrow. Say in yes or no. Nothing in between.”
Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, who appeared for the petitioners said, “The objective of the writ petition was to protect the country. It has been achieved.” He further said that the illegalities in the mining sector have been removed. It is about time export should be permitted.
Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who represented the NGOs, said that coal is a natural resource for the entire country. Bhushan drew attention towards the fact that the Ministry of Steel affidavit states 120 MT of steel produced annually, requires 192 MT of iron every year and thus export cannot be permitted.
The Centre, however, claimed that iron ore mining was permitted, but the Karnataka government is opposed to the export of iron ore. The Additional Solicitor General, who appeared for the Centre, briefed the Apex Court that barring Karnataka, the export can be allowed anywhere.
While the Centre claimed that iron ore mining is permitted, Karnataka government opposed allowing the export of iron ore. The ASG appearing for Centre told the top court that export can be allowed and is restricted only in Karnataka so far.