Supreme Court, in Common Cause vs. Union of India has held that that lapse of mining lease as contemplated under Section 4A(4) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 is not automatic, and that, for a lease to lapse, express order needs to be passed.
Apex Court Bench comprising of Justices J.S. Kehar and C. Nagappan observed that Rule 28(4) of the Mineral Concession Rules, caters to a situation wherein a leaseholder has moved an application, that his lease be permitted to continue even though mining operations could not be carried on (or had actually not been carried on) for a continuous period of two years. The proviso under Rule 28(4) is clear and categoric to the effect, that in cases where the State Government, on receipt of such application,does not pass an order, the lease would be deemed to have been extended, until an order was actually passed by the State Government.
The Court issued the following Guidelines.