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Common Cause v. Union of India and others - (Supreme Court) (04 Apr 2016)

Mining leases do not lapse automatically for lack of activity, non-renewal

Mines and Minerals

Mining activities having not been conducted for consecutive years and the absence of an order by the State Government accepting renewal of the mining will not lead to an automatic lapse of the mining lease. Before the court was a follow-up application to its earlier decision that had restrained over 100 mining leaseholders from carrying on mining activity till all clearances and permissions were obtained from the government. As leaseholders approached the court to indicate compliance with the order, they faced a government claiming their leases to have lapsed automatically, either for non-activity or for lack of renewal. The court rejected the government’s arguments for automatic lapse of leases. It provided instead a clear formula for determining if a mining leaseholder had retained its rights, or if its rights were actually abrogated.


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