The Supreme Court issued a notice to the Central Government on Tuesday (14th July) seeking reply to the concerns raised by the Jharkhand Government through a plea against auction of coal blocks for commercial mining. The apex court has given 4 weeks to the Center to file its reply.
Jharkhand had filed a plea against the coal block auctions meant for commercial exploitation. One, in the plea it was argued that before any commercial coal mining can begin, its social and environmental impact needs to be assessed. It is pointed out that the regions with potential coal mines have a huge tribal population and vast forest areas, and the residents are likely to be impacted. The second point mentioned was about the negative global investment climate due to the pandemic means that the auction will not be able to fetch reasonable returns for the natural resources.
For the third point the plea red flags the legal vacuum since the lapse of Mineral Laws (Amendment) Act on 14th May. In the fourth point, the plea by Jharkhand claims statutory and constitutional rights flowing from the Bihar Land Reforms Act of 1950.