Paving way to register DMF as trust: govt submits draft of rules to HC

The state government has submitted draft of Goa District Mineral Foundation (Trust) Rules 2018, before the High Court of Bombay at Goa.

The High Court has allowed the petitioner NGO to make submissions over the draft rules. The High Court by its order in October 2018 had barred office bearers of District Mineral Foundations of both North and South Goa districts from taking any financial decision or dealing with amounts of Foundations.

The court had observed, “It is clear that these randomly put together groups, operating without legal sanctity, cannot be entrusted with the public funds of Rs 180 crore. We direct the District Collectors of both North and South Goa districts to forthwith take charge of the funds of the District Mineral Foundations in their respective jurisdictions. Till further orders it will be the task of the Collectors of both the Districts to supervise the work of the Mineral Foundations. Secretaries of the District Mineral Foundations, who are ex-officio members of the state government, will co-ordinate with the District Collectors to achieve the objects of the Foundations laid down in the Rules of 2016 and as contemplated in MMDR Act, 1957 and to spend the amounts available with the District Mineral Foundations.”

The High Court had held that District Mineral Foundations do not have legal sanctity as it has not been constituted as trusts as mandated by law. Now, the state government has come up with draft of Goa District Mineral Foundation (Trust) Rules, 2018 required to be enforced to register DMF as a Trust. The High Court supplied a copy of draft ‘Rules’ to the petitioner NGO for making any objection or suggestion.

The state government has also submitted before the High Court that it will not be possible to supply water free of charge to the mining-affected families as pleaded by the petitioner.

Courtesy: The Navhind Times