Shah Commission submits final report on illegal mining

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 23:33

New Delhi: Justice M B Shah Commission, appointed to probe illegal mining across the country, has submitted its third and final report which is mainly on the menace in Goa.

"The M B Shah Commission has submitted its report to the Mines Ministry, which will be tabled in Parliament after following necessary procedures," a source close to the development said.

The panel has submitted a few reports together, the source said.

Detailed contents of the final reports were not immediately available.

The report would prove crucial as it dwells upon the financial transactions and losses through illegal mining from 2006-2011, another source said.

The Commission has made a thorough probe into the bank transactions of exporters, traders and mining lease owners to track down the exact financial transaction, the source added.

The term of the Commission expires tomorrow.

The one-man panel had earlier submitted two interim reports based on which the Supreme Court imposed a temporary ban on mining activities in Goa, the largest exporter of iron-ore in the country.

Of the two reports, one was on illegal iron ore mining across the country and the other was on illegal mining in Goa.

The Commission had also recommended a total ban on iron ore and manganese ore exports. It had also made a few other suggestions on which the Mines Ministry has already initiated some actions.

The Goa government had suspended its former Director of Mines and Geology, Arvind Lolienkar, for his alleged involvement in the illegal mining scam. Two different cases had also been filed, one with the local crime branch and another with Lokayukta, in connection with the illegal mining scam which is pegged at Rs 35,000 crore.

On reports of large scale illegal mining and failure of states to effectively curb this menace, the Centre had set up the one-man panel in November, 2010.

It was initially supposed to submit the final report within 18 months from the date of first sitting.

The Commission had its first sitting on January 17, 2011 and thus was required to submit the final report on or before July 16, 2012.

However, Cabinet in July, 2012 had decided to give it a one-year extension given the voluminous data the Commission had to collect and compile on mining from seven states-- Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Goa and Madhya Pradesh. It was required to submit its report by July 16, 2013.

The Shah Commission has also been empowered to recommend remedial measures to prevent illegal mining, trade and export done illegally or without lawful authority.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 23:33

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