The Orissa government has filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the Orissa high court's order disapproving the grant of permission to South Korean steel major Posco to mine iron ore in Sundergarh district.
A division bench of the Orissa high court comprising justices BP Ray and BP Das had, in their judgment on 14 July, set aside the decision of the state government in granting prospecting licence to Posco.
The high court had also directed the state government to dispose of all pending applications of the petitioner within four months.
The high court had delivered the judgement on a petition filed by Geomin Minerals & Marketing Ltd, which held that the grant of licence to Posco was arbitrary. Geomin Minerals in its petition had claimed that the state government overlooked its application to favour Posco.
The Orissa government in its petition said the high court should not have quashed the state government's grant of licence to Posco as it was well within the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development And Regulation) Act, 1957, which allowed it to award prospecting or mining rights to a later applicant.
Posco signed a pact with the Orissa government in 2005 for setting up a 12 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) steel plant at Jagatsinghpur in Orissa. The project, however, is stuck in various regulatory hurdles and public opposition to mining in forest areas.