Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Union Government on Wednesday sought time to file a statement of objections to the grant of mining lease to firms coming under the Kumaraswamy Range in Bellary district.

The court had during an earlier hearing directed the Union Government to place before it records relating to the approval of the State Government for grant of mining leases to two private firms in Eddinpada coming under the Kumaraswamy Range in Bellary district. It had also sought for other records.

Justice D.V. Shylendra Kumar had passed the order on a petition by MSPL of Hospet, which had challenged the grant of mining lease on land it had sought for two other companies, Jindal Vijayanagar Steel and Kalyani Steels.

The company said it had on May 24, 2001, applied to the Department of Mines and Geology seeking grant of mining lease over 298.4 hectares of land in Eddinpapa. This land was held on lease for mining by Sandur Manganese and Iron Ore limited. The State, in turn, requested the Union Government to relax the condition on mining by two companies in the same area and grant it to MSPL.

It said on October 12, 2004, it had submitted a proposal to the State for taking up projects. The proposal had been made before the then Chief Minister who also held the portfolio of Minister of Mines and Geology.

When the matter came up today, the Union Government sought more time to file its statement. Mr. Shylendra Kumar adjourned the case to January 5.