Two Written Petitions were heard in this judgement. The question was whether the requests of nine candidates for the award of the quarrying lease might be taken into account. It was also held by order of 20.06.2018 that the Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession Rules of 1994 only allows a private respondent party to be elected. The contested order said that the other petitions overlapped and hence the request of the respondent was prioritized. Therefore, only the demands of the respondents were permitted through the refusal of other requests.
The Learned advocate of the petitioners had argued that it was wrong for only one applicant out of 10 applicants to be qualified since all of them were eligible in the relevant case according to the requisite rules. The Rules have been modified with effect from 12/08/1016. It was further contended that all the applicants may benefit from the 'no objection certificate' obtained by the respondents.
The Petitioners' arguments were contested by the Respondent's lawyers. The attorney emphasized the language of the laws, stating that a No-Objection certificate was required to get a quarrying lease on a minor pink granite site. It was stressed that only the respondent party had the aforementioned certificate, making it the only applicant whose application was complete in every way. As a result, it was claimed that no additional applicants were qualified.
In its ruling on the Petitioners' and Respondent's applications, the Karnataka High Court stated that they were both invalid because all pending applications as of August 12, 2016, had been declared invalid under the guidelines. They were concerned that the applications would be covered by exceptions to the rules. The purpose of the 'no objection certificate,' according to the court, was to determine if the area was subject to any quarrying prohibitions under forest and environmental laws. As a result, the court determined that the no-objection certificate applied to the land rather than the applicants. It was also pointed out that if this interpretation was not accepted, licensing authorities' activities would be exposed to accusations of violating Article 14. In addition, the court emphasized the principles outlined in Rule 12. Finally, the Court stated that the State Government's approach was improper.
The Karnataka High Court's two-judge panel partially granted the Writ Petition and set aside the impugned order, while instructing the State Government to reconsider the application under the law and issue a new ruling before the end of September 2021.