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FIMI to challenge HC decision on 50% mandatory sale of iron ore inside Odisha

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Reported by Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar, April 3:

The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has decided to move the Supreme Court challenging the Odisha High Court verdict, which upheld the state government notification making sale of  a minimum of 50% their iron ore in the domestic market mandatory for the sustenance of the steel industries in the state.

Orissa High Court

“We will move the Supreme Court against the verdict of the High Court as the interpretation of High Court regarding Mineral Concession Rule (MCR) is not correct. We will challenge the decision as we feel the notification is invalid,” said an official of the mining body.

It is to be noted that the High Court on Wednesday had upheld the notification of the Odisha government issued on December 5, 2012, which directed all miners to reserve half of their monthly iron ore output for sale in the domestic market after captive consumption.

While the Centre had termed it as against the rules of MCR, many miners had moved High Court challenging the legal validity of the notification.

The Centre had stated that such a norm could be introduced only through appropriate legislation or amendment in the existing law.

However, the High Court, in its verdict, said that the government had the right of preemption on minerals as mentioned in the Section 27 of MCR and hence the notification was legally valid.

According to Section 27 (1) clause (m) of MCR, “the state government at all times have the right of preemption of the minerals won from the land in respect of which lease has been granted, provided that fair market price prevailing at the time of preemption shall be paid to the lessees for all such minerals.”