New Delhi, Jan 14:
Hardly had the Naveen Patnaik recovered from the shock of the Justice MB Shah Commission of Inquiry, which made a scathing indictment of its role in the mining scam running into Rs 60, 000 crores at the minimum, when it has fresh trouble on its hands in the form of a Supreme Court intervention.
Acting on a petition seeking analysis of the Justice MB Shah Commission’s report on illegal mining in Odisha and Jharkhand, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to place the report before it by January 27.
A green bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik also directed the Centre to provide a copy of the report to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC).
The bench passed the order after advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioners, pleaded with the court to analyse the findings saying the contents of the reports, aspublished in newspapers, are shocking.
The bench posted the case for hearing on January 27 when 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 the 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 interests of the big corporate and mining barons, as well as of top politicians and ministers in the country.
“Hence, the decision to close the Commission prior to the 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 an NGO Goa Foundation, said.