THE COKING COAL MINES (EMERGENCY PROVISIONS) ACT,1971

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The enactment of the Coking Coal Mines (Emergency Provisions) Act of 1971 was enacted in relation with nationalisation of Coal mines. On 16th of October, 1971, this Act came into force, with the purpose of taking over administration of coking coal mines and coal oven plants, in public interest, as a part of nationalisation of mines and plants. The Act contains 4 Chapters and 22 Sections.

A coking coal mine is a coal mine which has one or more seams of coking coal. The Act included coking coal mines and coking coal ovens of all types. According Sec 2(b) of the Act, a coke oven plant is the plant and equipment that manufactures hard coke. This includes, all property owned by the coke oven plant such as the land, building, tramways, machinery, equipment, etc.; its workshops and al property belonging to these workshops; all stocks of hard coke whether in stores or in transit; all power stations owned by the coke oven plants; the property adjacent to or belonging to the place where coal is washed; and all movable and immovable property belong or adjacent to the coal oven plants, like cash balances, reserve funds, investments and any money lawfully belonging to such coal oven plants.

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From 17th October, 1971 the administration of all coking mines were to rest with the Government. All persons authorised with the administration of the coking coal mines should deposit documents of all titles and securities in a Scheduled Bank or Nationalised Bank in which the title-holder has an bank account or in any branch of the States Bank where the prime office of the coking coal mines is situated. Also, no such securities or documents of titles may be allowed to be withdrawn, except with the consent of the approve           d person. They should also submit the minutes book to the appointed day of the person in control of these mines, the existing cheque book recitation to the coal mines, and all registers and other books containing records of investments made, all loans approved or advances made.

Section 5 of this Act provides the Central Government, power to appoint Custodians for the management of coal mines nationalised. They may also appoint a Custodian General and a Deputy or Assistant Custodian General, to administer all the custodians and the working of all the coal mines nationalised. The custodian has to administer the functioning and the working of their respective coking coal mines and the former person in charge of the same job has to hand down all books of accounts, registers or any other document in their possession. Every owner of a coking coal mine shall be given an amount by the Central Government for vesting it with the mine. For every month that the right to manage the mine remains with the Central Government, the owners shall be given an amount at the rate of twenty five paisa per tonne of coking coal mined out.

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The Act also repeals The Coking Coal Mines (Emergency Provisions) Ordinance, 1972. The need for nationalising aroused because exploitation of the coking coal reserves by private owners. They also never provided the required capital investment to meet the rapidly increasing energy needs. They used unscientific mining practices and provided poor working conditions to the labourers. Hence, the Central Government decided to nationalise the mines. This nationalisation was done in two