HC quashes Govt decision to cancel Arjun Lodha mining lease


Cuttack: Orissa High Court has quashed state government’s dismissal of mining lease order of Arjun Lodha Company.

A bench constituted by justice Biswanath Rath and Indrajit Mohanty ruled out the government’s cancellation of permission granted to Lodha Company for carrying out their mining activities on grounds that the National Mining Tribunal had already cleared the company for carrying out quarrying and so the government’s opposition to the move is unwarranted.

As per sources, Lodha Company had taken mining lease for 326.5 hectare land way back in 1966 for tenure of 30 years and after completion of its term it reapplied for the lease and got it during 1996.

With highly controversial accusations on severe illegal mining activities erupting in state assembly during 2009, the government had initiated a joint probe against Lodha Company.

The probe committee comprising members from Mines Directorate, Forest and Environment Department investigated into the different aspects of the mining activities of the company and submitted the report to the government which led to the cancellation of the lease.

The suspension of lease was challenged by the Lodha which approached the National Mining Tribunal. The tribunal questioned the cancellation decision and repealed it after which the State Government moved the High Court to challenge the decision of the tribunal.

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