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The Supreme Court lifted mining ban imposed by NGT, in State of Meghalaya, subject to holding all requisite permissions.

Supreme Court of India

Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice K.M. Joseph

The Supreme Court of India partially modifying the judgement of the National Green Tribunal { State of Meghalaya Vs. All Dimasa Students Union & Ors.} holds that in case of privately owned/ community land it is not the state Government which shall grant the mining lease under chapter V of Rules, 1960, but it is the private owner/ Community owner of the land, who is also the owner of the Mineral, who shall grant lease for mining of coal as per provisions of Chapter V of Rules, 1960 after obtaining previous approval of the Central Government through the State Government. The private owner held to have surface right as well as sub-soil rights in the land by the SC.

Further, the SC upholds the Jurisdiction of NGT to decide the mining issue and environmental damage ensued out of it, and also power to appoint committee, and direction to constitute a Fund. The illegal mining of coal was also held to be proved in State of Meghalaya. It was further held that w.e.f. 15/01/2016, the environmental clearance is required for a project of coal for mining of any extent of area, and the State of Meghalaya has to ensure compliance of not only MMDR Act, 1957 but Mines Act, 1952 as well as Environment Protection Act, 1986.

Also the Supreme Court lifted ban imposed by NGT vide order dated 17/04/2014 in State of Meghalaya, in case of mining by the person, who holds valid requisite permissions.

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