ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Wednesday summoned Balochistan's former and incumbent chief secretaries along with complete record of Reko Diq gold and copper mining project. The Chief Justice ordered Balochistan Advocate General Salahuddin Mengal that the case was very important therefore the former and the incumbent chief secretaries should be present in the court during the hearing of the case. He directed to bring a record of original application filed by the BHP, Australian company, for obtaining licence in 1992. A four-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Sair Ali, Justice Ghulam Rabbani and Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday was hearing a number of petitions challenging the award of the contract to the TCC - a Canadian consortium of Barrick Gold and Antofagasta Minerals - for exploring gold and copper in Reko Diq, a small desert town in Chagai district of Balochistan. Raza Kazim, counsel for petitioner Abdul Haq, informed the court that in 1993 a geological survey had confirmed the presence of gold in Chagai mountains but the federal and provincial governments remained in deep slumber, adding; "How a sleeping person could make good decision." He said the reserves of gold and copper were biggest in the whole world. He said according to Article 173 of Constitution, there is no provision of sale and transfer of ownership. But in this case the government did not realise its responsibility as 75pc share of the profit was given to TCC and only 25pc share to the Balochistan which is against the interest of the country, he said. The Chief Justice questioned whether the BHP company requested for the relaxation? Kazim replied, "Yes," saying he did not know how the authorities concerned made such relaxations. Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman Ramday reading out the provisions of Rules 1998 said that the term relaxation indicated individual hardship and under special circumstances which should be recorded in writing with terms and conditions. Justice Muhammad Sair Ali observed that there might be terms and conditions while in special circumstances, the justifiable terms had to be made. The Chief Justice observed that they had to see whether the treaty fell under the Article 172 (2). The Article 172(2) says: "All lands, minerals and other things of value within the continental shelf or underlying the ocean within the territorial waters of Pakistan shall vest in the federal government." The Chief Justice asked Kazim that 1999 Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) had achieved its objective and in 2000 a new company BHP came up but they wanted to see what was the position after 2002. Justice Ramday said BHP had the licence of reconnaissance but how come there was an agreement of mining between the TCC and the Balochistan government. The learned counsel replied that in 2002, BHP had sold its assets to TCC for $260 million. The Chief Justice said as the petitioners and the respondents had requested that as the JVA had to be renewed on February 10, 2011 therefore the court should decide before that date. Khalid Anwar, counsel for TCC, correcting the CJ that not February 10 but February 19, adding there was no issue of agreement but the company had to make an application for mining licence. The Chief Justice said, "On one hand there is talk of Joint Venture Agreement but you are talking about licence." The case was adjourned till Thursday (today). Earlier, the Supreme Court on Tuesday accepted the application of 26 Senators, majority among them belonging to JUI-F for becoming a party in the ongoing proceedings over award of mining contract of Reko Diq copper and gold mines in Balochistan to Tethyan Copper Company (TCC) to become party in the case.