Jharkahand high court in a suo moto action, issues orders re Jadugora Mines. asks the state owned Uranium Corporation of India Ltd to disclose radiation levels and the presence of any heavy metals in soil and water in a cluster of villages with reports of unusual numbers of deformed and sick children.

High Court of Jharkhand – Text of Court Order by R. Banumathi, C.J. and Amitav Kumar Gupta, J. [I.A. No. 3814 of 2014]

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI
I.A. No. 3814 of 2014
in
W.P.(PIL) No. 1188 of 2014
Court on its own motion
….. Petitioner
– Versus-
Union of India and ors.
…… Respondents
CORAM :
HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE
HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE AMITAV KUMAR GUPTA

For the Petitioner : Mr.Ananda Sen, Amicus Curiae
For Respondent-Union
of India: :Mr.M.Khan, ASGI
For the State
: Mr.Rajesh Shankar, Govt. Adv.
For Respondent no.2/
Uranium Corp.of India : Mr.V.Shivnath,Sr.Adv.
For respondent no.9
Pollution Control Board: Mr. A.K.Pandey, Adv.
Order no.
05
Dated 7th August, 2014
I.A. No. 3814 of 2014

1. This Court has taken suo moto cognizance of the report
published in ’The Hindustan Times’ dated 23rd February, 2014
(Ranchi Edition) regarding the devastating effect of Radiation
emanating from the mining of Uranium on environment and
population in village Jadugora, district-East Singhbhum in the
State of Jharkhand.

2. This application has been filed to implead the Editor of
newspaper, Hindustan Times (Ranchi Edition ) dated 23.2.2014
and one Shri Chinki Shukla, Photo Journalist of the Hindustan
Times (Ranchi Edition) dated 23.2.2014 .

3. Mr.V.Shivnath, learned Senior Counsel for the applicant
has submitted that the news item published in the Hindustan
Times dated 23.2.2014 has no supporting evidence and the
same is without any scientific basis.

4. The learned Senior Counsel has drawn the attention of the
Court to Annexure-5, the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in
Special Leave Petition(C) No. 36179 of 2013 dated 8th May,
2014 and submitted that the effect of radiation by the Uranium
and others have been considered by the Hon’ble Supreme Court
and various directions have been issued and, therefore there is
no basis for the news item.

5. Suo motu cognizance of the news item had been taken
mainly on the health hazardous alleged to have been caused
due to radiation to the residents around the area and only to
ensure safety measures and also to provide health care to those
affected areas. Our main concern is only health care of the
people. Therefore, we do not find any reason to implead the
Editor of newspaper, Hindustan Times (Ranchi Edition ) dated
23.2.2014 and also the said Photo Journalist- Shri Chinki
Shukla of the Hindustan Times (Ranchi Edition). This
Interlocutory Application ( I.A. No. 3814 of 2014) is, accordingly,
dismissed.

6. In so far as the contention of the 2nd respondent that the
news item in the newspaper has no scientific basis, it is always
open to the 2nd respondent- Uranium Corporation of India to
put forth its case and satisfy the Court about the safety
measures that has been taken.

W.P.(PIL) No. 1188 of 2014

1. Dr.R.P.Acharya, Deputy Secretary, Department of Atomic
Energy and Mr. S.K.Shrivastava, Director(Technical), Uranium Corporation of India are present in the Court.

2. In the light of the order dated 28th February, 2014, a team
constituted by the 2nd respondent along with experts, including
some doctors made an inspection of Jadugora Uranium Mines
and also the surrounding areas and filed a detailed report . The
team shall examine whether any unprocessed and processed
radio-active materials are left in the pits and around and
whether the area is guarded with gate or boundary wall. The
team shall also examine the habitation around the tailing ponds
and whether sufficient precautions are taken to prevent local
resident from going near the tailing ponds. The team shall also
to examine the present radiation level and also the effect of
radio activity and Gama rays and other chemicals arising out of
the mining operation on health of the residents in and around
the area and environment.

3. The 2nd respondent shall also examine as of date
regarding the measures taken by the Uranium Corporation of
India at Jadugora to bring down the effect of nuclear radiation
emanating out of the mining operation, transportation and
disposal of the radio active waste and also the safety measures
taken in the tailing pond, where the nuclear waste are stored.

4. The 2nd respondent shall also examine the amount of
radium related heavy metals and other chemicals to go to local
environment like soil, water etc. around the place of mining and
whether it has affected the environment and also the health of
the residents in and around the area. The 2nd respondent is at
liberty to take assistance of any expert, as they deem fit.
[. . .].

Photographer: Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images Uranium Corp. of India Ltd., which employs about 5,000 people in the mining and processing of uranium, has been operating the mines in Jadugora since 1967.

Photographer: Manjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty Images
Uranium Corp. of India Ltd., which employs about 5,000 people in the mining and processing of uranium, has been operating the mines in Jadugora since 1967.