Law, Orders (CIC) & Judgements
- National Mineral Policy, 2008
- The Metalliferous Mines Regulations, 1961
- The Mines Act, 1952
Disclosure Liability of Mining Plans
The CIC after clubbing 13 appeals on the issue of information disclosure on mining plan took the opinion of Ministry of Mines to ascertain whether disclosure of certain elements of a mining plan would be prejudicial to commercial / competitive interest of a third party (Mining Lease applicants). The Ministry of Mines clarified that the following parts of the Plan could be disclosed:-
- ‘General Information’ and ‘location and accessibility’ in Chapter 1 & 2 in introductory Notes of the Mining Plan.
- ‘Mine Drainage’, ‘Stacking of mineral rejects and disposal of waste’, ‘Use of Mineral’ and ‘Other information’ in Chapters 6, 7, 8 and 9 respectively of the Part ‘A’ of the Mining Plan
- ‘Environment Management Plan’ in Chapter 11 or Part ‘B’ of the Mining Plan
CIC in its order dated 07.06.2010 (point 10) says ‘The Ministry of Mines is advised – under Section 25(5) of the RTI Act – to have all public authorities under it put-up the above (disclosable) parts of the Mining Plans on their respective websites to obviate repeated RTI-Queries in the matter’.
Disclosure of Part V of Form H-1 under MCDR, 1988
Form H-1 under Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 1988 pertains to Annual Returns. The CIC in its decision dated 08.05.2012 File No.CIC/SS/A/2012/000098 & 99 ordered for providing information under form H-1 (www.mines.nic.in) Part V which it felt is similar in nature to the information included in the Mining Plan which has been allowed earlier.
In so far as compliance to this order, only a Status of Mining Plan Approval is provided by IBM which is no way near to put up disclosable parts of a Mining Plan.
Inspection Reports of IBM
While hearing to an appeal asking for non-disclosure of inspection report prepared by Indian Bureau of Mines dated 05.11.2007, the CIC observed ‘Since the report was about ‘illegal mining’, there is obvious public interest in its being made public. The common citizen is entitled to know all about the theft of nation’s resources.’ Further it said ‘Nothing what the respondents (IBM) had stated would show that this information attracted any of the exemption sections of the RTI Act and, therefore, would warrant non-disclosure.’
Sub soil Rights
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NOS.4540-4548 OF 2000 Threesiamma Jacob & Ors… Appellants Versus Geologist, Dptt. of Mining & Geology & Ors…. Respondents J U D G M E N T Chelameswar, J. 1. These appeals are placed before us pursuant to the Order dated 8th December, 2004 of a Division Bench of this Court which opined that the points involved in these and certain other appeals “need to be decided by a three Judge Bench.
Attachments: Sub soil
Deepak Kumar etc. Vs State of Haryana and Others
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (C) NO. 19628-19629 OF 2009 </ br>Deepak Kumar etc. Vs State of Haryana and Others
The backdrop of this case relates to minor minerals in the State of Haryana. Like any other state, minor minerals or commonly known as river bed minerals like sand, bajri, stones etc. are auctioned or given on quarry lease for short terms. These are large in numbers and states are the sole decision makers in terms of minor minerals. The EIA notification, 2006 stipulates categorization of projects into Category A and B but the minimum threshold for inclusion of a project to go through environment clearance is >5 hectares. With most of the minor mineral leases less than 5 hectares, environment clearance is not required by these mines but if one looks at it cumulatively, there could be a series of such mines which are contiguous but fragmented for avoiding going through environment clearance process. The court ordered that ‘leases of minor mineral including their renewal for an area of less than five hectares be granted by the States / Union Territories only after getting environment clearance from the MoEF.
Date of Judgment: February 27, 2012
Jagpal Singh & Others Vs State of Punjab & Others
CIVIL APPEAL NO.1132 /2011 @ SLP(C) No.3109/2011 Jagpal Singh & Others Vs State of Punjab & Others
The case pertains to a situation where village pond (commons) was being encroached upon for construction activities in the State of Punjab. The court underlined the fact that even if the vesting of the property with the state did not mean that the common rights of villagers were lost by such vesting. The court also made it clear that regularization should only be permitted in exceptional cases like where lease has been granted under some Government notification to landless labourers or members of SC / STs or where there is already a school, dispensary or other public utility on the land.
Date of Judgment: January 28, 2011