ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Illegal Coal Mining in Eastern India:Rethinking Legitimacy and Limits of Justice

Commonly presented as arising from poor policing and corruption, and as destroying the environmental commons, "illegal" production and marketing of coal is a significant aspect of everyday life in eastern India. Representations of illegality hide unpleasant social realities of the coal mining tracts: poor environmental performance of the state-owned mining sector, social disruption and displacement of communities, and a general decay in the traditional subsistence base. This paper works through the complex layers of mining laws and investigates whether the laws protect the interests of the disadvantaged. It offers a rethinking of what causes and constitutes illegality when a large number of people's livelihoods depend on this kind of mining.

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