The Karnataka High Court has restrained the custom department from allowing export if iron ore through Belekeri, Karwar and Mangalore ports. A `green bench' headed by Justice N K Patil passed the interim order on an interlocutory application filed by the state government.
The state intervention came at the head of a crusade against illegal mining that feed illegal exports of iron ore from the country.
"Nearly 57 lakh tonnes of iron ore have arrived there of which only 21 lakh tonnes ore have proper documents. The rest (35.32 lakh tonnes) is said to be illegal, some of which is exported without paying royalty or duty. We have to look into those documents. To enable this, export of iron ore should be stopped till completion of the Lokayukta probe," advocate general Ashok Haranahalli said in plea before the court.
The state has also moved separate applications seeking impleading itself and also the Lokayukta in petitions filed by ore companies which had sought permission to export the material.
Karnatak chief minister B S Yeddyurappa yesterday made the startling disclosure in the state assembly that over 30 million tonnes of iron ore were illegally exported from Karnataka ports in the past seven years.
He said the actual shipment of iron ore from the Karnatak ports was found to have far exceeded the permits given during the years from 2003-04 to 2009-10, he said.