Cabinet puts on hold decision to sell 3,667 acres to JSW Steel

The State Cabinet on Thursday put on hold its earlier decision to sell 3,667 acres to JSW Steel Ltd., at Toranagal in Sandur taluk of Ballari district following pending cases in the High Court of Karnataka and the Supreme Court.

The Cabinet, at its meeting held on April 26, 2021, decided to sell the land to JSW Steel.

Briefing presspersons after a Cabinet meeting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the Cabinet has decided not to implement its earlier decision following a petition filed in the High Court and the pending case in the Supreme Court.

“The Cabinet has not confirmed its previous decision. The earlier decision is put on hold. It will not be carried out”, the Minister said.

The decision to sell the land was strongly opposed by leaders within the ruling BJP and Minister for Infrastructure Development Anand Singh. The party high command too had reportedly expressed its views against the sale of land and it was conveyed to the government during Mr. Bommai’s meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah during his Delhi visit a few days ago.

The Cabinet meet on April 26 decided to file a special leave petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court seeking pending dues of ₹ 1,172.79 crore to the Mysore Minerals Limited (MML) from JSW Steel Ltd.

MML and the steel firm have been fighting a legal battle over alleged breach of the MoU entered between them since 2012.

The then coalition government led by H.D. Kumaraswamy in May 2019 decided to execute an absolute sale deed in favour of JSW Steel Ltd, which operates a 12-million tonne steel plant in Toranagal, saying that the firm had fulfilled all commitments under the lease-cum-sale agreement. The BJP, then in the Opposition, opposed the sale of land.

Congress MLA H.K. Patil flagged the issue first when the Kumaraswamy government decided on absolute sale of land to the company.

The JD(S)-BJP coalition government headed by H.D. Kumaraswamy in 2006-07 executed the lease-cum-sale agreement with JSW Steel.

Mr .Anand Singh quit the Congress and resigned from the membership of the Legislative Assembly in 2019, opposing the Kumaraswamy government’s decision to sell land to JSW Steel.

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