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Can't Extend Tenure of Shah Panel: Centre

The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that the tenure of the Justice Shah Commission, which is looking into the illegal mining issue in the country, cannot be extended as it is unwarranted and not required. 

Published: 27th January 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th January 2014 12:34 AM   |  A+A-

The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that the tenure of the Justice Shah Commission, which is looking into the illegal mining issue in the country, cannot be extended as it is unwarranted and not required. 

The government, in its application filed before the court, has refused for the time being to place reports of the commission on illegal mining in Jharkhand and Odisha and stated that Parliament will have to see it first. The court will hear the application on January 27.

“It is respectfully submitted that as per the statutory scheme, the report submitted by the commission is to be placed before  Parliament along with the action taken report within a period of six months,” it said in its affidavit, adding “The report is required to be placed before the Cabinet.”

“It is for the government to take a decision either in the matter of extension of the term of the commission or such other decision as it may deem fit to take on the report as and when it is submitted,” the affidavit said.

“It is submitted that the commission has already submitted six reports which contain materials and are being effectively and expeditiously examined by the Central government to strengthen the legal framework and remedial measures to deal with illegal mining, trade and transport in the country.

“Therefore, the Ministry is of the view that further extension of the tenure of the commission is unwarranted and has taken the decision accordingly since the terms of reference of have been substantially met by the commission,” it said.

On January 13, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre to place the 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 had also directed the Centre to provide a copy of the reports to Central-empowered committee.

The Bench had 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.



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