SC to hear coal case on Nov 12

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday took up the submission of Meghalaya Government on the ban on coal mining by the National Green Tribunal which will be heard together with a similar case coming up on November 12.
Amit Kumar, Advocate General, and Shekhar Naphade, Senior Advocate, representing Meghalaya submitted that the order of the Tribunal is not in accordance with law.
They sought to stay the order and pointed out that the Compensatory Afforestation Act, 2016, has come into effect to compensate for the damage caused to the environment due to coal mining.
Naphade made it clear that he would press for stay of the order of the Tribunal on November 12 again.
Altogether four special leave petitions are pending in the Apex Court regarding ban on coal mining, including those brought by the state government and Meghalaya Co-ordination Committee of Coal Owners, Miners and Dealer’s Forum.
The advocate representing state also referred to Section 9B of Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act by which a Mineral Foundation has to be set up in each state.
The compensatory afforestation scheme is aimed at replacement of loss of green cover if any.
Justice A K Sikri upon submission of the senior counsel observed that similar matters are pending before the Supreme Court. He was informed by the senior counsel that the case is coming up for hearing on November 12 and he decided to take up the case the same day.
Meghalaya government had challenged the final order of NGT whereby the Tribunal confirmed the stay on coal mining in the state subject to the order of the Supreme Court.
NGT in its order passed on August 31 appointed a Committee headed by Justice B.P.Katoki, former judge of Gauhati High Court to decide on matters related to restoration of environment and rehabilitation.
T. Dkhar, Secretary Mining, was also present in the Supreme Court. The appeal of Meghalaya along with the appeal filed by the private party against the same NGT order came up for hearing before the Bench of three Judges headed by Justice Sikri.
Earlier, the NGT’s Principal Bench while disposing of all pending matters related to the case filed before the Tribunal in 2012 and 2014, maintained that the ban on coal mining and transportation of the already mined mineral will continue.
The NGT order also said that the Meghalaya government will be the receiver/custodian of the available extracted coal, subject to further orders of the Supreme Court.

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