SC allows e-auction of extracted iron ore in Goa

New Delhi, Nov 11: The Supreme Court on Monday constituted a three-member committee to carry out e-auctioning of the 11.46 million tonnes of extracted iron ore in Goa, even as it turned down the state government's plea for auctioning of the ore.

The apex court green bench of Justice A.K. Patnaik, Justice S.S. Nijjar and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla also set up a six-member expert committee that would carry out macro-environment impact assessment study on the mining activities.

It will also suggest the cap that has to be imposed on the quantum of mining, keeping in view the inter-generational equity.

The court said that both the committees would submit their report to the court by Feb 15, 2014 and thereafter the matter would be listed for further hearing.

The apex court reiterated its order reserving the verdict on a cross-petition seeking restoration of mining activities, currently under ban and another seeking permission for mining activity with a ceiling keeping in view inter-generational equity.

The court said that by that time, the Dhanbad-based Indian School of Mines and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) too would submit their reports.

The court directed the listing of the matter after the receipt of two reports.

The court said that the three-member monitoring committee would have a member to be nominated by the chief secretary of Goa, Karnataka's Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest U.V. Singh and former member of the Central Board of Direct Taxes M. Sheikh.

The member to be appointed by the chief secretary would not be less than the rank of the joint secretary at the Centre.

The court said that the monitoring committee would submit its report in a sealed cover.

Directing the e-auctioning, the court in its interim order said that after deducting taxes and royalty, the committee would deposit the rest of the money as ad-hoc Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) in a separate account.

The six-member expert committee to undertake the macro-environment impact assessment study would comprise an ecologist, geologist, mineralogist, an expert on forests, a member to be nominated by the chief secretary of Goa and one by the secretary in the ministry of environment and forests.

The court sought the names of an ecologist, geologist, mineralogist, and an expert on forests, which would be incorporated in the order on Nov 18.

The court said that travelling and other expanses, including paying the remuneration of the members of the two committees who are not in government services, would be drawn from the money that would come from e-auctioning of the iron ore.


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