AIR 2004 SC 4016

Provisions Involved

Article 48A & 51A (g)


The Badkal and Surajkund lakes are located in Haryana near the Delhi border. The mining activities in the Aravalli hill area causes environmental degradation and is harmful for nature. M.C. Mehta filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking the appropriate directions regarding this issue as it causes degradation of the environment. The area of mining is located about 5 kms from the Delhi-Haryana border on the Haryana side of the ridge.


  • Whether the mining activity in areas up to 5 kilometers from the Delhi-Haryana border on the Haryana side of the ridge and Aravalli hills causes environmental degradation?
  • Whether the mining activity deserves to be absolutely banned or permitted on compliance of stringent conditions and by monitoring it to prevent the environmental pollution?


Haryana Pollution Control Board (HPCB) stated that explosives are being used for rock blasting for the purpose of mining, which resulted in soil erosion and was causing ecological disaster. It was recommended that the mining companies for their mine operations should follow a proper plan after the approval from HPCB. It was also recommended that the mining operations must completely stop within the radius of 5 kms from Badkhal Lake. 

According to the mine operators, the pollution that was generated by the mining activities, cannot go beyond 1 km and hence, the stoppage of the operations was unjustified and unfair. 

After considering the reports of HPCB, Supreme Court concluded that all the mining activities in the vicinity of resorts in Surajkund area will have a serious impact on the local environment and ecology. Such mining operations tend to change the natural land and ecology. The mining operations also pollute the air by the dust generated by vehicular movement, blasting operations, loading, unloading and the gases from machinery and the equipment. Hence, it was necessary to stop all the mining activities within the radius of 2 kms of the tourist resorts of Badkhal Lake and Surajkund. The activities within the area from 2 kms to 5 kms can continue their operations but had to follow the recommendations of HPCB and failure of that may result in the closure of the activities.


The Supreme Court held that the mining activities can only be permitted on the compliance of stringent conditions and on the basis of sustainable development. The activities within the area of 2 km had to be stopped while the activities within the area of 2 kms to 5 kms may continue but have to strictly comply with the conditions as specified by the HPCB. Violation of such conditions would lead to cancellation of mining lease.