In a setback to the Reddy brothers, the Supreme Court on Monday stayed all further mining activities by the Obulapuram Mining Corporation (OMC) owned by the Karnataka minister-cum-mining magnates in Andhra Pradesh.
A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Deepak Verma appointed an expert committee headed by the Survey of India to review the mining areas and ascertain allegations of largescale encroachment of reserve forest areas allegedly by the powerful mining lobby.
The apex court granted two weeks to the committee to file its report and said no further mining activities would be permitted at the site until further orders.
The apex court also issued notices to the Reddy brothers, including G Janardhan Reddy and his brother Karunakara Reddy, on the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the Andhra Pradesh government challenging the February 26 state High Court order quashing the cancellation orders passed by the state.
Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati submitted that the High Court ignored the findings of the apex court-appointed Central Empowered Committee and the high level inquiry committee of the state government.
Both the Committees after conducting independent inquiries had arrived at concurrent conclusion that the Reddy brothers have encroached into vast hectares of reserve forest areas in the state.
The apex court said the committee headed by the Survey of India would also include members drawn from the state department of Forest, Mines and Revenue.(PTI)