Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Aug 8:
The Odisha High Court has reserved its verdict on the dispute over the lease of Thakurani B iron ore mines in Keonjhar district.
After hearing arguments by all parties on a petition filed by Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and other intervening petitions in the matter, a division bench of the High Court comprising Justice Indrajit Mohanty and Justice B N Mohapatra kept its judgment reserved in the matter on Thursday.
Advocate General Ashok Mohanty, appearing o9n behalf of the state government, argued that the decision taken by the state government was appropriate. The state government’s counsel contended that since the lease had been cancelled, Jindal cannot take away/shift minerals.
According to available case details, Thakurani B iron ore mines was leased out to Sarada Mines, which had later handed over the mines to JSPL. JSPL, which was extracting minerals from the mines, could not take away the extracted mineral from the mine site after the state government cancelled the lease.
The Jindals had challenged the state government’s order in the High Court.
Journalist Jyotiranjan Mohapatra, Keonjhar District Journalists’ Association and social worker Sanjay Pradhan had filed three separate intervening petitions had moved the court seeking to be made parties in the case.
Senior lawyer Sanjit Mohanty, advocates Khirod Rout, Srinibas Mohanty and Kaliprasad Nanda conducted the case on behalf of different parties in the case.
It may be mentioned that the state government had received a lot of flak from the opposition in the matter in the last Assembly session.
On the last day of the session, the state government, in a written reply to a special mention notice on the issue by the Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra, had admitted to violation of law in extraction and transaction of iron ore from Thakurani-B mines in Keonjhar district but sought to wash its hands of the matter by claiming it had taken appropriate steps as and when the situation demanded.