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THE COAL MINES (NATIONALISATION) ACT, 1973

Title : THE COAL MINES (NATIONALISATION) ACT, 1973

Year : 1973



(1) On the appointed day, the right, title and interest of the owners in relation to the coal mines specified in the schedule shall stand transferred to, and shall vest absolutely in the Central Government free from all in cumbrances.

1[(2)***]

2*[(3) On and from the commencement of the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Act, 1976,-

(a) No person, other than-

(i) The Central Government or a Government company or a corporation owned, managed or controlled by the Central Government, or

(ii) A person to whom a sub-lease, referred to in the proviso to clause (c), has been granted by such Government, company or corporation, or

3*[(iii) A company engaged in-

(1) The production of iron and steel,

(2) Generation of power,

(3) Washing of coal obtained from a mine, or

(4) Such other end use as the Central Government may, by notification, specify,]

(b) Excepting the mining leases granted before such commencement in favor of the Government, company or corporation, referred to in clause (a), and any sub-lease granted by any such Government, company or corporation, all other mining leases and sub-leases in force immediately before such commencement', shall, in so far as they relate to the winning or mining of coal, stand terminated;

(c) No lease for winning or mining coal shall be granted in favor of any person other than the Government, company or corporation, referred to in clause (a):

Provided that the Government, company or corporation to whom a lease for winning or mining coal has been granted may grant a sub-lease to any person in any area on such terms and conditions as may be specified in the instrument granting the sub-lease, if the Government, company or corporation is satisfied that-

(i) The reserves of coal in the area are in isolated small pockets or are not sufficient for scientific and economical development in a co-ordinated and integrated manner, and

(ii) The coal produced by the sub-lessee will not be required to be transported by rail.

(4) Where a mining lease stands terminated under sub-section (3), it shall be lawful for the Central Government or a Government company or corporation owned or controlled by the Central Government to obtain,4[***] a prospecting licence or a mining lease in respect of the whole or part of the land covered by the mining lease which stands so terminated.]

5*[(5) If, after the appointed day, the Central Government is satisfied, whether from any information received by it or otherwise, that there has been any error, omission or misdescription in relation to the particulars of a coal mine included in the Schedule or the name and address of the owner of any such coal mine, it may, by notification, correct such error, omission or misdescription and on the issue of such notification, the relevant entries in the Schedule shall be, and shall be deemed always to have been, corrected accordingly:

Provided that no such correction in relation to the ownership of a coal mine shall be made where such ownership is in dispute.]

3A 6*Mining operation by company and others

(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, any person being-

(a) A Government company or corporation or a joint venture company formed by such company or corporation or between the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, or any other company incorporated in India; or

(b) A company or a joint venture company formed by two or more companies, may carry on coal mining operations in India, in any form either for own consumption, sale or for any other purpose in accordance with the prospecting licence or mining lease, as the case may be.

(2) The Central Government may, with a view to rationalise such coal mines so as to ensure the coordinated and scientific development and utilisation of coal resources consistent with the growing requirements of the country, from time to time, prescribe-

(i) The coal mines or coal bearing areas and their location;

(ii) The minimum size of the coal mine or coal bearing areas;

(iii) Such other conditions, which in the opinion of that Government may be necessary for the purpose of coal mining operations or mining for sale by a company.

Explanation.-For the purposes of this section, "company" means a company as defined in clause (20) of section 2 of the Companies Act, 2013 (18 of 2013).]

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1. Sub-sec. (2) omitted and deemed to have been omitted with effect from 1-6-1973 by the Coal Mines Nationalisation Laws (Amendment) Act (57 of 1986), Section. 11 (1)(a). The omission of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Coal Mines Act by clause (a) of sub-section (1) of this section shall not affect the previous operation of the provisions of the said sub-section (2) or anything duly done or suffered under.

2. Inserted by the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Act (67 of 1976), Section. 3 (w.r.e.f. 29-4-1976).

3. Sub-section (3) substituted by the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Act,1993(47 of 1993) w.e.f. 09.06.1993.Prior to substitution it read as under:

"(iii) a company engaged in the production of iron and steel, shall carry on coal mining operation, in India, in any form"

4. Words and figures, "notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (2), or in the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Coal Mines (Taking Over of Management) Act, 1973", omitted by the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Act (67 of 1976), Section. 3 (w.r.e.f. 29-4-1976), Section. 11(1)(b) (w.r.e.f. 1-5-1973).

5. Inserted by the Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Act (67 of 1976), Section. 11(1)(c) (w.r.e.f. 1-5-1973).

6. Inserted by the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 w.e.f. 21.10.2014.

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(1) Where the rights of an owner under any mining lease granted, or deemed to have been granted, in relation to a coal mine, by a State Government or any other person, vest in the Central Government under section 3, the Central Government shall, on and from the date of such vesting, be deemed to have become the lessee of the State Government or such other person, as the case may be, in relation to such coal mine 1*[as if a fresh mining lease] in relation to such coal mine had been granted to the Central Government and the period of such lease shall be 1*[the maximum period] for which such lease could have been granted by the State Government or such other person under the Mineral Concession Rules, and thereupon all the rights under such mining lease, including surface, underground and other rights granted to the lessee shall be deemed to have been transferred to, and vested in, the Central Government.

(2) On the expiry of the term of any lease, referred to in sub-section (1), such lease shall, if so desired by the Central Government, be renewed, 2[****] by the lessor, for the maximum period for which such lease can be renewed under the Mineral Concession Rules.

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1. Words "as if a mining lease" and "the entire period" in sub-sec. (1), substituted respectively by the Coal Mines Nationalisation Laws (Amendment) Act (57 of 1986), Section. 12 (w.r.e.f. 1-5-1973).

2. Words "on the same terms and conditions on which the lease was held, immediately before the appointed day" omitted, in sub-sec. (1), substituted respectively by the Coal Mines Nationalisation Laws (Amendment) Act (57 of 1986), Section. 12 (w.r.e.f. 1-5-1973).

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(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in sections 3 and 4, the Central Government may, if it is satisfied that a Government company is willing to comply, or has complied, with such terms and conditions as that Government may think fit to impose, direct, by an order in writing, that the right, title and interest of an owner in relation to a coal mine referred to in section 3, shall, instead of continuing to vest in the Central Government, vest in the Government company either on the date of publication of the direction or on such earlier or later date (not being a date earlier than the appointed day), as may be specified in the direction.

(2) Where the right, title and interest of an owner in relation to a coal mine vest in a Government company under sub-section (1); the Government company shall, on and from the date of such vesting, be deemed to have become the lessee in relation to such coal mine as if a mining lease in relation to the coal mine had been granted to the Government company and the period of such lease shall be the entire period for which such lease could have been granted under the Mineral Concession Rules; and all the rights and liabilities of the Central Government in relation to such coal mine shall, on and from the date of such vesting, be deemed to have become the rights and liabilities, respectively, of the Government company.

(3) The provisions of sub-section (2) of section 4 shall apply to a lease which vests in a Government company as they apply to a lease vested in the Central Government and references therein to the "Central Government" shall be construed as references to the Government company.



(1) All property which vests in the Central Government or in a Government company under this Chapter shall, by force of such vesting, be freed and discharged from any trust, obligation, mortgage, charge, lien and all other in encumbrances affecting it and any attachment, injunction or decree or order of any court restricting the use of such property in any manner shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.

(2) Every mortgagee of any property which has vested under this Act in the Central Government or a Government company, and every person holding any charge, lien or other interest in or in relation to any such property shall give, within such time and in such manner as may be prescribed, an intimation to the Commissioner of such mortgage, charge, lien or other interest.

(3) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that the mortgagee of any property referred to in sub-section (1) or any other person holding any charge, lien or other interest in, or in relation to, any such property shall be entitled to claim, in accordance with his rights and interests, payment of the mortgage money or other dues, in whole or in part, out of the amount specified in relation to such property in the Schedule, but no such mortgage, charge, lien or other interest shall be enforceable against any property which has vested in the Central Government or the Government company.



(1) Every liability of the owner, agent, manager or managing contractor of a coal mine, in respect of any period prior to the appointed day, shall be the liability of such owner, agent, manager or managing contractor, as the case may be, and shall be enforceable against him and not against the Central Government or the Government company.

(2) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that--

(a) Save as otherwise provided elsewhere in this Act, no claim for wages, bonus royalty, rate, rent, taxes, provident fund, pension, gratuity or any other dues in relation to a coal mine in respect of any period prior to the appointed day, shall be enforceable against the Central Government or the Government company;

(b) No award, decree or order of any court, tribunal or other authority in relation to any coal mine passed after the appointed day, but in relation to any matter, or dispute which arise before that day, shall be enforceable against the Central Government or the Government company;

(c) No liability for the contravention, before the appointed day, of any provision of law for the time being in force, shall be enforceable against the Central Government or the Government company.

Last updated on June, 2016

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