SC lists case of Goa mines' shutdown on Feb 7

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Goa government, returnable in four weeks, and listed the petition of Vedanta Limited on February 7 for hearing on its plea to extend its iron ore mining lease for 50 years from 1987 to 2037, citing the Mines & Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act of 1957. Vedanta has challenged the Supreme Court's judgment because of which all iron ore mines in Goa were shut down since March 2018 on an NGO's petition. The court noted that the notice was accepted by the concerned advocates on record. The Goa government was represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Advocate General Devidas Pangam, while the company's case was argued by senior advocates P S Narasimha and Shyam Diwan, along with 11 lawyers. –Our Bureau

The company knocked the Apex Court's door after the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court knocked out its plea on November 25, in view of the Supreme Court cancelling all mining leases in Goa from 16.03.2018 and ordering fresh mining leases and fresh environment clearances. The High Court noted that the pending Goa government's petition for review of the Supreme Court order which is "clear and categorical" on "fresh" steps. The High Court had also pulled up the company for not making Goa Foundation a party on whose petition all iron ore mines were shut by the Apex Court.

The case came up before the Bench of Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde and Justices Bhushan Gavai and Surya Kant, who had adjourned it to January 8 on December 17. Goa's Director of Mines and Geology had filed a caveat to prevent any ex-parte order.

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