The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a Bombay High Court order directing Goa government to file FIRs against all miners named in the Justice M B Shah Commission report for alleged violation of lease conditions.

Without the stay, the state would have been forced to take action against top politicians such as Pratapsing Rane, Digambar Kamat and Ravi Naik’s son Roy besides several top miners and officials in the state.

The Supreme Court’s decision to let gram sabhas decide the fate of Vedanta’s Niyamgiri mining project will make it difficult for the government to divert forestland for industry without the consent of tribals and local population.

The apex court’s ruling on Thursday puts gram sabhas or village assemblies virtually at par with statutory and regulatory bodies, and gives a broader prism of rights to indigenous communities by defining the Forest Rights Act as more than just heritable property rights.

In an affidavit to the SC, coal ministry says state governments may own blocks but it has the final say

The coal ministry, in an affidavit to the Supreme Court, has said that it has the sole legal right to allocate coal blocks even as the state governments own the blocks and eventually grant the mining leases. In response to the query of the apex court, which questioned the ministry’s authority in this regard, the coal ministry said that though there was no express statutory provision, a combined reading of the Coal Mines Act and a later amendment in the MMDR Act, introducing competitive bidding, gave it the final say in the matter of allocating all major minerals.