SC directs Centre to place Shah Commission report before it

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to place the Justice Shah Commission’s report on illegal mining in Odisha and Jharkhand before it by January 27.

A green bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik also directed the Centre to provide a copy of the reports to Central Empowered Committee.

The bench passed the order after advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioners, alleged that contents of the reports, published in newspapers, are shocking and the apex court should analyse them.

The bench posted the case for hearing on January 27 on which it would also hear the plea of the petitioner seeking its direction to the Centre to extend the time period of Shah Commission of Inquiry by one year to enable the Commission to complete its inquiry and submit reports on mining related issues in accordance with its terms of reference.

“The decision not to grant extension to Shah Commission as was sought by the Commission itself is clearly mala fide since it had become clear that the work of the Commission was affecting the interest of the big corporate and mining barons, as well as of the top politicians and ministers in the country.

“Hence decision to close Commission prior to completion of investigation of gross illegal mining activities in these states is mala fide since it is feared that the Commission’s work, which is still to be completed in certain respects, will expose the collusion of government officials in the loot of public resources and the inability of the Ministry of Mines to control the situation,” the application, filed by one NGO Goa Foundation, said.

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