SC terms Reko Diq contract illegal
07 January, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Monday has announced the short verdict of the Reko Diq case terming the deal with TCC as null and void, our sources reported.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary announced the short judgment having 16 pages in the Reko Diq lease case.
Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry read out the paragraphs 11 and 12 of the short verdict according to which the agreement between the parties was termed illegal as it did not follow the rules and regulations.
Paragraph 12 of the order stated:
"The Chagai Hills Exploration Joint Venture Agreement dated 23.07.1993 is held to have been executed contrary to the provisions of the Mineral Development Act, 1948, the Mining Concession Rules, 1970 framed thereunder, the Contract Act, 1872, the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, etc., and is even otherwise not valid, therefore, the same is declared to be illegal, void and non est. The Addendum No. 1 dated 04.03.2000, Option Agreement dated 28.04.2000, Alliance Agreement dated 03.04.2002 and Novation Agreement dated 01.04.2006, which are based upon, and emanate from, CHEJVA are also held to be illegal and void".
"All these instruments do not confer any right on BHP, MINCOR, TCC, TCCP, Antofagasta or Barrick Gold in respect of the matters covered therein. It is further held that EL-5 is tantamount to exploration contrary to rules and regulations as the claim of TCCP is based on CHEJVA, which document itself has been held to be non est. Therefore, before exploration it was incumbent upon it to have sought rectification of its legal status."
The SC had reserved its judgment on December 21 as counsel of all the petitioners and respondents had completed their arguments.
A number of identical petitions were filed in the apex court against the lease of gold and copper mines in Reko Diq, Chaghi district, to the Tethyan Copper Company (TCC).
Khalid Anwar, counsel for the TCC, defended the lease deal reached between the company and the Balochistan government.
The TCC also invoked the jurisdiction of the International Chambers for Commerce and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputed against the Government of Pakistan for not renewing the prospective Reko Diq minerals licence in accordance with Balochistan Mining Rules 2002.