Goa mining cos move SC for lease extension, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms


PANAJI: Mining companies have filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the high court of Bombay at Goa order dismissing their petitions against the state’s decision to ask them to vacate their leases.

The mining companies – not among the 88 whose second renewal was quashed by the apex court – had approached the HC seeking extension of their lease validity till 2037. However, last month, the HC dismissed their petitions thus clearing the way ahead for the planned auction of mining blocks by the state.

In the SLP, the mining companies have sought an “ad-interim ex-parte stay on the HC order” and direction to the state government “to maintain status quo” with regards to their mining leases.

The companies have sought a stay on the HC judgment stating that as a consequence “the state government is likely to consider auctioning of the petitioners’ leases”.

The SLP has sought that the matter be remanded back to the HC to decide on the year from which Section 8 of the MMDR Act is applicable to Goa, 1961 or 1987.

The HC in its order had referred to earlier SC and HC judgments on the validity of mining leases. A division bench comprising justices Sandeep Shinde and R N Laddha deemed it “appropriate not to re-examine the issue of extending benefit to the petitioners, referable to Section 8A of the MMDR Act”.

The Union government had abolished concessions and converted them into leases in 1987 and, in the HC, these mining companies had sought a declaration that their lease period stands extended up to 2037, plus the shutdown period, and sought to quash the notice dated May 4, 2022.

They had asserted that they were granted the original mining lease under the MMDR Act and Rules in November 1987, and it was the first full-fledged lease. They claimed that in terms of the provisions of sub-section (5) and (6) of Section 8 of the Amendment Act, 2015, they are entitled to treat the lease period as 50 years (from 1987 to 2037), and not from December 1961.





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