FIMI Knocks Supreme Court to End Iron Ore E-Auction in Karnataka
Deccan Herald reported that Federation of Indian Mineral Industry Southern Region has approached the Supreme Court for discontinuing e-auction mandated by the top court for sale and purchase of iron ore in Karnataka through a 2013 judgement. The court, initially said the case would be taken up when physical hearings resume. However, when the counsel insisted the application can be considered in virtual hearing, the court, then said it would consider fixing a date.
In its plea, FIMI has asked the court to discontinue the compulsory sale of iron ore through e-auction and allow purchasers freedom to enter into contracts with lessees in Karnataka. FIMI said “The two-year period contemplated in the SC judgement has elapsed. The Central Empowered Committee has acknowledged in its report that e-auction has served its purpose to the extent that it had stopped illegal mining. In a report in 2019, the CEC has said the sale of iron ore through e-auction had no nexus with environmental damage.”
The plea also claimed that the rigid condition of e-auction was hurting trade along with its cascading effect on the state exchequer. Moreover, there have been changes, including introduction of satellite-based real-time mining surveillance system in a regulatory regime since 2013.