New Delhi: Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) Monday informed the Supreme Court that it has withdrawn its show cause notices issued to steel producer ArcelorMittal to terminate lease-cum-sale agreement of November 14, 2018, for setting up a steel plant at Ballari.
Senior advocate S Muralidhar along with advocate Nishanth Patil representing KIADB, submitted before a bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia that a decision has been taken to withdraw the show cause notices.
The apex court recorded a submission by senior advocate A M Singhvi, representing the steel company, to withdraw its writ petition against the backdrop of the latest development. The bench said the prayer made by the steel company stood "worked out" as show cause notice has been withdrawn, and added, “no purpose would be served to keep the matter alive”. Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board had issued February 4 and March 3, 2023 show cause notices issued to the steel producer.
In October this year, against the backdrop of uncertainty over land acquisition, ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel producer, told the Supreme Court that it is “not desirous of keeping the land and will return the entire land of 2643 acres”, acquired for its proposed six-million tonne steel plant in Karnataka. The steel producer said the amount paid of Rs. 267 crores can also be forfeited by the Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB). The apex court had then asked KIADB to respond to the plea.
The counsel, representing ArcelorMittal India, had then submitted before the top court that in view of the changed scenario, the petitioner is not desirous of keeping the land and will return the entire land of 2643 acres. “Learned counsel for the petitioner, on instructions, states that in view of the changed scenario, the petitioner is not desirous of keeping the land and will return the entire land of 2643 acres. The amount paid of Rs. 267 crores can also be forfeited by the development board”, said the bench, in its order.
The apex court in February this year had ordered ArcelorMittal to pay enhanced compensation of more than Rs 30 lakh each for about 300 acres of land acquired by KIADB in 2010 for setting up a steel plant of the company at Ballari. A farmers’ group then moved the apex court against a decision to re-examine their plea for enhanced compensation for their land out of 4865.64 acres acquired in Ballari.