Bhubaneswar: In a major blow to mining companies which were involved in illegal mining in Odisha, the Supreme Court today directed 152 mining lease holders to deposit 100 percent of the penalty amount latest by December 31 failing which will lead to the closure of their mines.
The apex court issued the directive after rejecting a petition filed by the mining lease holders seeking an extension of the deadline of December 31 for depositing the penalty of Rs 17,576 crore levied on them by Odisha government.
Apart from seeking an extension of the deadline, the mining lease holders had sought the apex court to exclude royalty, taxes and logistics cost borne by them from the penalty amount.
Further, mining lease holders had also sought for paying the penalty in installments.
“The Supreme Court has rejected their prayer for deduction of rent, royalty and tax already paid by them. So now they are bound to pay compensation by 31st December failing which the Supreme Court has ordered for closing their mining operations,” informed Deepak Mohanty, Director, Mines.
“They had sought for deduction of royalty, income tax and raising cost which doesn’t come under their profit. It was rejected by the court. There was another prayer for paying the penalty in instalments. It was also rejected by the court,” said Manas Mohapatra, counsel for mining lease holders.