Justice RS Endlaw of the Delhi High Court dismissed two petitions filed by Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) seeking continuance in dumping fly ash at the Gare Palma mine in Chattisgarh so that its thermal power plant in Dongamahua remains operational. Court also imposed a cost of Rs.1 lakh on JSPL.
JSPL was an allottee of the said mine, however after the apex court cancelled coal block allocations in September 2014, this meant that JSPL’s claim to the mine was no longer valid. The designated custodians of the said mine are Coal India Ltd(CIL) and South Eastern Coalfields Ltd(SECL). However, JSPL continued to dump fly ash on the 298.913 hectare of land at the mine. Fly ash was being generated form JSPL’s Dongamahua Captive Power Plant(DCPP).
Court held that the continued dumping of the fly ash on the land which a part of the coal block was in clear violation of the rights of CIL and SECL. Endlaw J also observed that JSPL was benefitting from dumping the fly ash on the said land as the company did not have make other arrangements for dumping it.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for JSPL in both the petitions. It was argued that although the allocation of coal block to JSPL was cancelled in 2014, the said land(298.913 hectare) was excluded from that cancellation order. Countering this, CIL and SECL argued that even though the environmental clearance for dumping fly ash had lapsed, JSPL continued to dump on the land.
It was also noted by Justice Endlaw that as there was no computation of losses suffered by respondents CIL and SECL if any, due to the dumping of fly ash. Liberty has been granted to the respondents to make any possible claims on account of losses suffered within three months by filing an application.
Read the Judgment here.