Ensure compliance to SC guidelines: HC

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, May 22: High Court today disposed of bunch of petitions filed by stone crushers of Jammu division challenging the controversial SRO-105 dated March 31, 2016 by which the Government had planned to give lease of huge mining blocks of several hectares in one go and directed the respondents to ensure compliance to the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court.
The petitioners challenged the validity of SRO-105 of 2016 dated 31.03.2016 insofar as it discriminates against the smaller units of the petitioners to benefit the big business houses and leaves the small scale industrial units at the mercy of mighty businessmen. The petitioners are small scale industries which were granted licences for extraction of major and minor minerals including crushing stones and sand used for construction purposes on payment of royalty.
After hearing Advocate Vikram Sharma for the petitioners whereas Government Sudesh Sharma and Advocate Pranav Kohli appearing for the private respondents, Justice Alok Aradhe observed, “respondents have submitted that the State Government shall ensure compliance with the directions issued by the Supreme Court in the case of Deepak Kumar and the recommendations made by Cabinet Sub-Committee while issuing the tender notice”.
“In view of the categorical stand taken by the respondents and in view of the recommendations of the Cabinet Sub-Committee in its meeting held on 14.12.2016 and taking into account the fact that licences in favour of the petitioners to extract the minerals have already expired on 31.03.2017, it is not necessary to examine the validity of SRO 105 of 2016. However, as suggested by counsel for the petitioners, the writ petitions are disposed of with the directions to the respondents to ensure compliance with the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in the case of Deepak Kumar while holding auction with regard to grant of mining leases/quarrying leases”, Justice Aradhe said.

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