SC bans mining activities in Goa
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Goa followed Karnataka on Friday when the Supreme Court imposed a complete ban on the mining activities as well as transportation of iron and manganese ore in the state till further orders.
A Forest Bench led by Justice Aftab Alam, which had in a separate matter put a ban on mining in Karnataka in the wake of several illegalities, passed the restraint order against Goa on Friday after lending credence to the Justice M B Shah Commission report.
The report, which was tabled in Parliament on September 7, alleged that iron ore worth Rs 35,000 crore was plundered at the expense of the public exchequer through illegal mining in the last 12 years.
Also issuing notices to the Centre and Goa government on a PIL, the Bench said that not only the suspension of mining activities in Goa shall continue till its further directives, the transportation of ores, whether lying in mining areas, in transit or stocked, will also be immediately suspended.
The Bench has now asked the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to submit its preliminary report on the illegal mining in the state in four weeks. Advocate A D N Rao, amicus curiae in the case, also supported the contention to completely ban the mining and its ancillary activities in Goa until the ground realities could be ascertained by the CEC.
The court passed the interim order on a PIL by NGO, 'Goa Foundation', seeking a probe into illegal mining activities. On Friday, advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, sought court's imminent intervention by claiming the Goa government had wished to resume mining activities after Diwali.
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