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COAL MINES (CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT) ACT

Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 28 of 1974


  • Chapter I
  • Chapter II
  • Chapter III
  • Chapter IV
  • Act nº 28 of 1974

Preamble

THE COAL MINES (CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT) ACT, 1974

[Act, No. 28 of 1974]

[26th August, 1974]

PREAMBLE

An Act to provide for the conservation of coal and development of coal mines and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Twenty-fifth Year of the Republic of India as follows :--

Chapter I

Section 1. Short title

(1) This Act may be called The Coal Mines (Conservation and Development) Act, 1974.

(2) It extends to the whole of India.

(3) It shall come into force on such day,1as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint in this behalf.

1. Enforced on and from 1-4-1975.


Section 2. Declaration as to expediency of control by Central Government

It is hereby declared that it is expedient in the public interest that the Central Government should take under its control the regulation and development of coal mines to the extent hereinafter provided.

Section 3. Definitions

In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,--

(a) "appointed day" means the day on which this Act comes into force;

(b) "blending" means the process of intimately mixing different varieties of coal so as to provide a mixture which on carbonisation results in coke;

(c) "coal" includes coke in all its forms but does not include lignite;

(d) "Chief Inspector" and "Inspector" mean the persons respectively appointed as the Chief Inspector of Mines and Inspector of Mines under the Mines Act, 1952 and the provisions of that Act shall apply to the Chief Inspector and to all Inspectors while exercising their powers under this Act or the rules made thereunder;

(e) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

(f) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;

(g) "scheduled bank" means a bank for the time being included in the Second Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934;

(h) "railway" shall have the meaning assigned to it in the Indian Railways Act, 1890;

(i) "safety in coal mines" includes the safety of any railway situated on the surface above a coal mine;

(j) "stowing" means the operation of filling, with sand or any other material, or with both, spaces left underground in a coal mine by the extraction of coal;

(k) "washing" means such process or combination of processes as may be approved in this behalf by the Central Government by which the whole or any part of the shaley and mineral matter found in the coal is removed therefrom;

(l) "agent", "mine" and "owner" have the meanings respectively assigned to them in the Mines Act, 1952.

Chapter II

Section 4. Power of Central Government in respect of conservation of coal and development of coal mines

(1) The Central Government may, for the purpose of conservation of coal and for the development of coal mines, exercise such powers and take or cause to be taken such measures as it may deem necessary or proper or as may be prescribed.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, the Central Government may, by order in writing addressed to the owner, agent or manager of a coal mine, require him to take such measures as it may think necessary for the purpose of conservation of coal or for development of coal mines including--

(a) in any coal mine, stowing for safety, or

(b) the prevention of any factor which may adversely affect the conservation of coal or development of coal mine, or

(c) washing of coal with a view to benefiting and reducing the ash-contents of coal.

1[(3) The Central Government may, if it is satisfied after consideration of all the facts and circumstances that the recovery of the cost of measures, if any, undertaken by it under sub-section (1) or sub-section (2) in relation to a coal mine is justified, recover such cost from the owner, agent or manager of the coal mine, either wholly or partly, in the same manner as an arrear of land revenue.]

1. Inserted by the Coal Mines (Conservation and Development Amdt. Act, 1985 (55 of 1985) Section 2 (1-1-1986).


Section 5. Duty of owner to take steps for the conservation and development of coal mine

(1) The owner of a coal mine shall take, in relation to each coal mine owner by him, such steps as may be necessary to ensure the conservation of coal and development of the coal mine.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (1), the owner of a coal mine shall--

(a) execute such stowing and other operations as may be necessary to be taken in furtherance of the objects of this Act in so far as such objects relate to the conservation of coal or development of the coal mine or the utilisation of coal obtained from the coal mine;

(b) acquire such stowing and other materials as may be necessary for ensuring the conservation of coal, and safety in, the coal mine;

(c) undertake research in relation to conservation of coal, development of coal mines and utilisation of coal;

(d) plan and undertake development of the coal mines in a scientific manner;

(e) undertake such other activity as the Central Government may, for the furtherance of the objects of this Act, direct.

Section 6. Imposition of excise duties

(1) With effect from the appointed day, there shall be levied and collected on all coal raised and despatched, and on all coke manufactured and despatched, from the collieries in India such duty of excise, not exceeding rupees ten per tonne, as may be fixed from time to time by the Central Government by notification, and different rates of duty may be levied on different grades or description of coal or coke :

Provided that the Central Government may, by general or special order, exempt any special grade or grades or description of coal or coke from the levy of such duty of excise.

(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), coal shall be graded by the Central Government in accordance with such specifications as may be laid down by that Government from time to time.

(3) All notifications issued under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be, before both Houses of Parliament.

Section 7. Imposition of customs duty

During the period in which any duty of excise is being levied under section 6, the Central Government may, by notification, impose on all coal (including soft and hard coke), imported or brought into India from any place outside India, a duty of customs (which shall be in addition to any duty of customs for the time being leviable under any other law), at the rates equivalent to the rates of duty of excise levied under section 6.

Section 8. Collection of excise duties

1[(1)] The duties of excise levied under section 6 shall be collected by such agencies and in such manner as may be prescribed.

1[(2) Where any duty of excise referred to in sub-sec. (1) cannot be collected in the manner prescribed under that sub-section, it shall be recovered from the owner of the coal mine in the same manner as an arrear of land revenue.]

1. Section 8 renumbered as sub-section (1) thereof and after sub-section (1) so renumbered. Sub-section (2) inserted by the Coal Mines (conservation and Development) (Amdt.) Act, 1985 (55 of 1985), Section 3 (1-1-1986).


Section 9. Utilisation of proceeds of duties levied and collected under sections 6 and 7

In each financial year, a sum not exceeding the net proceeds (determined in such manner as may be prescribed) of the duties of excise and customs levied and collected under sections 6 and 7, respectively, during the preceding financial year or years shall be disbursed by the Central Government in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed, to the owners, agents or managers of coal mines or to any other person for one or more of the following purposes, namely :--

(a) conservation of coal and development of coal mines;

(b) grant of stowing materials and other assistance for stowing operations;

(c) execution of stowing and other operations for the safety in coal mines or conservation of coal;

(d) prosecution of research work connected with conservation and utilisation of coal; and

(e) any other purpose connected with the conservation of coal or development of coal mines, or transportation, distribution or utilisation of coal;

Provided that the Central Government may disburse to the owners, agents or managers of coal mines or to any other person, a sum not exceeding the aggregate of the net proceeds of the duties of excise collected under section 8 of the Coal Mines (Conservation, Safety and Development) Act, 1952, and remaining undisbursed before the commencement of this Act, for all or any of the purposes specified in this section.

Section 10. Duty of owner to open Coal Mine Conservation and Development Account

(1) The owner of every coal mine, to whom any money is disbursed under section 9, shall open a separate account in a scheduled bank, to be known as the "Coal Mine Conservation and Development Account" and shall credit to the said Account all sums so disbursed to him :

Provided that where it is necessary so to do in relation to the different groups of coal mines owned by an owner, separate accounts may be opened in relation to each such group of coal mines.

(2) The money standing to the credit of the Coal Mine Conservation and Development Account and accretions thereto shall be applied by the owner of the coal mine to--

(a) the furtherance of the objects of this Act;

(b) the acquisition of stowing or other materials needed for stowing operations in coal mines;

(c) the execution of stowing and other operations in furtherance of the objects of this Act;

(d) the prosecution of research work connected with the conservation, development and utilisation of coal and safety in coal mines;

(e) the planning and development of coal mines in a scientific manner; and

(f) any other expenditure which the Central Government may direct to be defrayed out of the money standing to the credit of the Account.

(3) The Account, referred to in sub-section (1), shall be kept in such manner and in such form as may be prescribed, and every such account shall be audited by the same person by whom the accounts of the owner of the coal mine are audited.

Section 11. Power of Inspectors

(1) The Chief Inspector or any Inspector may make such examination and inquiries as he thinks fit in order to ascertain whether the provisions of this Act or of any rules and orders made thereunder are being complied with.

(2) The Chief Inspector or any Inspector may, with such assistance, if any, as he thinks fit, enter, inspect and examine at any time by day or night any coal mine in order to ensure that stowing or any other operation has been, or is being, done effectively :

Provided that the power conferred by this sub-section shall not be exercised in such a manner as unreasonably to impede or obstruct the working of the mine.

(3) Without prejudice to the provisions of the Mines Act, 1952, the Chief Inspector or any Inspector may, by order in writing, addressed to the owner, agent or manager of a coal mine, require him to take such protective measures, including stowing, in the mine as the Chief Inspector or the Inspector may think necessary, if in the opinion of the Chief Inspector or Inspector--

(a) the extraction or reduction of pillars in any part of the coal mine is likely to cause the crushing of pillars or the premature collapse of any part of the workings or otherwise endanger human life or the coal mine or a railway, or

(b) adequate provision against the outbreak of fire or flooding has not been made by providing for the sealing off and isolation of any part of the coal mine or for restricting the area that might be affected by fire or flooding as the case may be.

(4) The powers conferred on the Inspector under sub-section (1), (2) and (3) may also be exercised by such officer of the Central Government as that Government may, by notification, specify in this behalf.

Chapter III