The Great Goan Mining Heist: Implications of the 2014 Supreme Court Judgement Ruling

Over the last ten years mining losses have been variously reported and unsubstantiated estimates touted. In among all of this, one thing is certain: the trend is consistently upwards. Amounts have been quoted from Rs. 3,500 crores due to non-payment of royalty (PAC Report) to Rs. 35,000 crores due to mining outside lease areas (Shah Commission). However the latest official …

AAP : what about the lease renewals scam?

Arvind Kejriwal, AAP conveynor, recently mentioned in Goa that AAP will initiate action against those implicated by the Shah Commission in the mining scam. This is welcome. While many investigations have commenced, not one person has been convicted so far. We hope that Arvind Kejriwal will also raise the issue of the much larger Goa’s mining lease renewal scam, which …

Minerals – who are the beneficial owners

In an earlier post, we had discussed who owns minerals in India under the Constitution. In broad terms, state governments usually own onshore minerals, all offshore minerals are owned by the union government. There are two additional aspects of minerals to consider, the public trust doctrine and the intergenerational equity principle. The Public Trust Doctrine, an integral part of common law …

Scroll : Goa mining judgement is a first

A beautiful, albeit dated, summary by Mridula Chari of the unprecedented nature of the Goa mining judgement for we the people, our children, and our future generations. “Observing that natural resources belonged to the state, which is a trustee of its citizens, the court ordered that a part of the profits from the sale of iron ore be set aside for a permanent …

Who owns title to minerals in India?

Across the world, the sovereign / federal / union government usually owns title to all minerals. The big exception is the USA where land owners also own the minerals beneath the earth. Even there, the federal government owns 1/3rd of the land. For India though, it is a simple question with a complex answer. Under Article 297 of our Constitution, offshore minerals are …