Companies & Sectors
Supreme Court favours steps for opening of mines in Karnataka

The apex court said it will pass order on the issue on 17th August after going through the action taken report submitted by the CEC

 
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday favoured initiation of immediate steps for opening of iron and ore mines in Karnataka saying their closure has resulted in the slowdown of the steel industry, reports PTI.
 
"The industry is going low. The production should not be shut," a special forest bench comprising justices Aftab Alam, KS Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar said.
 
The bench was hearing the application filed by Karnataka Iron and Steel Manufacturing Association seeking direction for taking immediate steps for opening of 16 iron and ore mines in which the apex court appointed expert panel, central empowered committee (CEC), had found minimum irregularities.
 
The apex court said it will pass order on the issue on 17th August after going through the action taken report submitted by the CEC in which it has dealt with the issue of Reclamation and Rehabilitation (R&R) plan.
 
However, the bench said, in the meantime the various stakeholders including the representatives of the state-owned National Mineral Development Corp (NMDC), Karnataka government and others will hold a joint meeting on Monday to evolve the mechanism for the production and supply of the iron and ore.
 
During the hearing, the NMDC counsel Arvind Datar said there was no difficulty in production of the minerals but the area of concern was the shortage of rakes for its transportation and absence of long time contract was coming in the way of extracting large-scale iron and ore.
 
He said long term e-auction will help in solving the contract for extraction of the mineral.
 
The court also said it will go through the CEC report on R&R to ascertain that it was brought to the site and was not limited to the paper.
 
The Supreme Court on 13th April had accepted the CEC recommendations suggesting that no new mining leases should be granted in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka unless rehabilitation plans for the existing leases were executed.
 
Further the bench had also asked CEC whether work could be made operationalised in the category 'A' mines in which the irregularities were least.
 
Earlier in its report the CEC had distinguished mines in the area in three categories as A, B and C.
 
The mines in which there was least or no irregularities in was categorised as 'A' and those with maximum illegalities as 'C' category.
 
Offering to talk to the government on the issues, Ramdev also demanded a change in the process of appointing Election Commissioners, CAG, CVC and CBI Director.
 

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Baba Ramdev launches fast, declares fight for Lokpal on

Returning to Ramlila Maidan where he was bundled out in the middle of night in June last year after a police crackdown, Baba Ramdev claimed his agitation was neither against any individual nor targeted at any political party

 
New Delhi: Yoga guru Baba Ramdev on Thursday launched a three-day fast along with his supporters demanding immediate action to enact a strong Lokpal and steps to bring back black money stashed away in foreign banks failing which he will announce his future strategy, reports PTI.
 
Returning to Ramlila Maidan in the heart of the capital from where he was bundled out in the middle of night in June last year after a police crackdown, the yoga guru claimed his agitation was neither against any individual nor targeted at any political party.
 
Taking his supporters by surprise, Ramdev announced he would go on a fast for three days over demands that also include an independent CBI.
 
"We will go without food and water for three days. After that, we think about our future strategy," he told his supporters.
 
Offering to talk to the government on the issues, Ramdev also demanded a change in the process of appointing Election Commissioners, CAG, CVC and CBI Director.
 
He also shed some light on his association with the erstwhile team led by Anna Hazare, saying he was supportive of the agenda being pursued by the social activist but was not part of the team.
 
"The fight for Lokpal has not ended but we will take it forward. All corrupt people have to be punished," he said and demanded that a strong Lokpal Bill be passed in the ongoing monsoon session of Parliament.
 
Ramdev's comments assume significance as they come days after Hazare called off his fast and disbanded his team which has decided to take a political plunge.
 
"We are not against any individual or party. Our intention is to make India a great nation. This is not to overthrow someone from power," he said.
 
Ramdev said he has no political agenda and the second phase of his protest will be announced if the government does not agree to his demands on blackmoney, Lokpal Bill, appointment procedures and making CBI independent.
 
Referring to Union Minister Harish Rawat's statement that the government was ready to talk to him, he said that he was also open to dialogue with it.
 
"Somebody in power is saying they are ready to talk to us. I am telling Sonia Gandhi that our doors are also open for dialogue," he said.
 
Anna Hazare was not there at the fast venue though he had earlier declared that he will join the protest.
 
"Many have questioned about this 'andolan' (movement). We are with Anna's social agenda but not with the team. We will not cement and trigger controversy. No body from the dais will talk," Ramdev said.
 
He reached the venue this morning to a thunderous welcome from his supporters. Before coming to the venue, he visited Raj Ghat, Mahatma Gandhi's memorial.
 
Ramdev's previous protest in Ramlila Maidan from June four, last year ended in a midnight police crackdown on the morning of June six with authorities claiming that he violated the norms agreed upon. He was caught by the police while trying to flee from the venue in a woman's attire.
 
A poster of Ramdev's close aide Balakrishna, who is in CBI custody in connection with a fake document case, alongside freedom fighters at the protest venue triggered a controversy following which it was removed.
 
"We respect all freedom fighters," Ramdev said.
 
As Ramdev arrived at the venue, all those present on the dais moved out of the dais.
 

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Company Law Board stops Uninor from auctioning its asset

Uninor on 1st August invited potential bidders and said its majority owner, Norway's Telenor, is willing to pay Rs4,190 crore for its 30 million customers and assets in case no other bidder turns up

 
New Delhi: The Company Law Board on Thursday stopped telecom operator Uninor from auctioning its assets, reports PTI.
 
"I allow the application and injunct the respondent (Uninor) from taking any steps whatsoever in pursuance to the auction notice published on 1st August or similar notices that may have been published," CLB Chairman Justice DR Deshmukh said in his order.
 
Uninor is a joint venture telecom company between Norway's Telenor and realty major Unitech.
 
Uninor on 1st August invited potential bidders to express interest by 6th August and said its majority owner, Norway's Telenor, was willing to pay Rs4,190 crore for its 30 million customers and assets in case no other bidder turns up.
 
This move was opposed strongly by Unitech, which hold 32.75% stake in Uninor, and approached CLB against the notice.
 
Telenor wants to scrap the joint venture with Unitech and migrate its business to a new company to seek fresh operating licences as the JV's 22 telecom permits were among the 122 quashed by the Supreme Court in February.
 
Uninor had said it wanted to auction the company's business, including its assets, while it is a going concern before the 7th September deadline set by the apex court for winding up of operations of all the firms whose licences had been cancelled.
 
Uninor has approached Delhi High Court which modified CLB stay order on the auction and allowed Uninor to receive till August 8 the expressions of interest (EoI) from bidders interested in purchasing the company's business.
 
"Let the auction process continue and it would be clarified (in the order) that nothing will be confirmed till the CLB finally decides the matter," the High Court said on the application filed by Uninor.
 

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