GS Paper - 2 (Polity)

The Supreme Court on 20 May 2022 permitted mining firms to export their excavated iron ore from mines in districts of Ballari, Chitradurga, and Tumakuru in Karnataka. A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli took note of the stand of the Central government and lifted the curb on export of iron ore and asked the firms to observe the conditions imposed by the authorities.

What

  1. Permission granted to applicant to export iron ore produced in Karnataka to countries abroad but in terms of Government of India policies.
  2. Iron ore exports from Karnataka were banned in 2012 by the apex court with an aim to preventing environmental degradation and to ensure that the mineral resources of the state are preserved for future generations as part of the concept of inter-generational equity.
  3. The order was passed on pleas of mining firms seeking the lifting of curbs on sale and export of iron ore imposed earlier on account of rampant violations.
  4. The court said that it would be expedient to obtain an opinion from the Oversight Authority appointed by the top court on 21 April 2022 about the issue relating to the lifting of the ceiling limit for production of iron ore for mining leases in the three districts of the state.
  5. As the Centrally empowered committee (CEC) has indicated, the demand/supply and price of iron ore are best left to be determined by the market forces, this Court is of the opinion that the time has come to review the system that was put in place over a decade ago, on halting the unchecked excavation of iron ore in the three prime districts in the State of Karnataka.
  6. The Ministry of Mines had also given its no objection to export of iron ore to other countries in terms of the prevalent policy of the Government of India.