SC judgement on Illegal Mining

Why In News ?

Recently Supreme Court has recently laid down a benchmark for action against illegal mining.

Facts ( for prelims)

1.Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojna (PMKKKY)-A scheme  meant to provide for the welfare of areas and people affected by mining related operations, using the funds generated by District Mineral Foundations (DMFs).

2.Important Legislations related to the Mining Sector

a).Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation Act),2015

b) Coal mines (Special Provision Act) 2015


The Supreme Court has ruled that-

1.Lease-holders should pay compensation to the extent of 100% of the price of the quantum of minerals they had illegally extracted, the Supreme Court has gone beyond a mere affirmation of the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

2.It has also set a significant benchmark for stringent action against those who indulge in mining without environmental or forest clearance

3.Court has firmly ruled that any excess extraction within the leased area would also amount to unlawful mining.

4.It has clarified that every renewal of a mining lease would require such clearance, even if there is no expansion, modernisation or increase in the pollution load.


  1. The apex court has been passing a series of orders on illegal mining activity, notably in Goa and Karnataka.
  2. It has often voiced concern over the extent to which mining laws are being flouted and how illegal mining is depleting the country’s natural resources.

3.Regulated mining operations are necessary to curb corruption and excessive exploitation of natural resources as well as to protect the rights of forest dwellers and tribals.

4.There is also a need to address the principle of inter-generational equity i.e the responsibility of every generation to conserve resources with subsequent generations in mind while exploiting nature