A view of the Supreme Court of India. File

A view of the Supreme Court of India. File
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Supreme Court said on May 15 that continuance of mining activities within a radius of one km from the boundaries of critical tiger reserves would be in contempt of its April last year order.

The apex court had in its April 26, 2023 verdict directed that mining within a national park and wildlife sanctuary and within an area of one km from their boundary shall not be permissible.

A Bench headed by Justice B. R. Gavai was hearing an application seeking a direction to the Rajasthan government to stop all mining activities which were in alleged violation of the April 26 judgement.

The Bench, also comprising Justices S. V. N. Bhatti and Sandeep Mehta, noted that in this case, the critical tiger habitat was the buffer zone created in order to protect the Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary.

“In our judgement dated April 26, 2023, we had prohibited mining activities within a radius of one kilometre from all protected areas. At the cost of repetition, protected areas would not only mean national parks and wildlife sanctuaries but also critical tiger habitats, that is, tiger reserves,” the Bench said.

It further said, “In that view of the matter, we find that continuation of any mining activities within a radius of one kilometre from the boundaries of the critical tiger reserves would be in contempt of our order dated April 26, 2023.”

The Bench said in view of these observations, it doesn’t find that any specific direction was required to the State of Rajasthan to prohibit mining activities within a radius of one km from the boundaries of the critical tiger habitat (tiger reserves). It posted the matter in July for reporting compliance.

The Bench noted the applicant had claimed that mining activities were continuing within a radius of one km of the Sariska tiger habitat which is a protected area.

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