Iron ore miners may take Karnataka govt to court over export ban

Iron ore mining companies in Karnataka are considering moving court against the state government's recent order banning the transportation and export of iron ore exports, which they term as ''unconstitutional and invalid''.

With effect from 26 July the state government banned the export of iron ore, and stopped issuing permits to transport iron ore for export from 28 July.

"We will first prevail upon the government to rescind the order by explaining the deleterious impact it is having on the industry, investments, business and employment.

If the government does not respond, we will have no alternative but approach the courts,'' D V Pichamuthu, director, Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI)-southern region, told reporters in Bangalore on Tuesday.

He said the economic consequences of the ban will render about 5,000 people directly employed in mining operations jobless and affect about 50,000 people engaged in ancillary works such as truck drivers, attendants, loaders and un-loaders at mines, rail yards and ports. He said the government has no right to trample on the fundamental right of a citizen guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

He also questioned the powers of the state in issuing the twin notifications, as a major mineral like iron ore and its exports come under the jurisdiction of the central government. "The knee-jerk action of the government illustrates its helplessness and inability to curb illegal mining of iron ore in the state,'' he said.