Case Name – Samatha vs. State of Andhra Pradesh & Ors.
Citation No: 4601 of 1997(Civil) Appeal
This case relates to the granting of mining licence of the schedule area to a non tribal and also State Government’s activities in contravention to Environmental Protection Act 1986.
Facts of the case:
- Borra Reserve forest area consists of 14 Villages in a schedule area of Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh. One K.Appa.Rao ,M.Swamy ,R.K.Deo was grated mining lease in that reserved forest being a non-tribal along with few others viz ; M/s Perclase India Ltd, M/s Unirock Minerals Pvt Ltd, M/s Kalyani Ltd etc.
- All these leases were granted for 20years and after expiry was to be renewed as per the orders of State Government.
- One lease to M/s Trowall Cements Ltd got transferred from Madan Mohan Reddy because the mine was not being worked.
- An affidavit was added for the same purpose.
- But on the counter affidavit filed by the government admitted that the mines are being worked out and calcite with silica was found.
- It was also admitted in the counter affidavit by the government that u/s 11(5) of The Mine & Mineral Regulation and Development Act 1957, no mining leases shall be granted in favour of non tribals. Also the tribal’s have their patta lands there.
- After the re survey the entire land was identified as scheduled tribal area.
- The Appellant protecting the interests and life of STs in the area filed W/P challenging the power of the government for granting the leases in favour of non tribals.
- Was the government eligible to transfer the land to a non tribal?
- Whether the government could grant mining lease to a non tribal?
- Whether the grant of the leases violative of Environmental Protection Act 1986?
- This appeal by special l leave is therefore granted and that the mining activities shall be immediately stopped.
- The grant of mining leases is in contravention to the Andhra Pradesh schedule area Land Transfer Regulation 1959.