Shah Commission`s probe nearing completion in Odisha

Taking note of mining activities outside lease hold areas Odisha, Shah Commission of Inquiry indicated its investigation was close to completion.

Bhubaneswar: Taking note of the mining activities outside lease hold areas in the state, Justice MB Shah Commission of Inquiry on Friday indicated its investigation in Odisha was close to completion unless any major complication arose during final scrutiny.

"Tomorrow is the last day for working here. We`ll go back to Ahemedabad and finalise things. However, we cannot say that the team will not return here again. We may come back for investigation if required. It depends on circumstances," said U V Singh, leader of the six-member Commission probing the alleged multi-crore mining scam in the state.

The team, which had so far verified documents of about 150 iorn ore mines allegedly involved in the irregular and illegal mining practices, is scheduled to end its third phase of investigation on November 11. The Commission started its probe in Odisha in December 2011.

Singh said the Commission was likely to complete verification of all iron ore mines and some crucial manganese mines in the state by tomorrow.

"We require about 20 days to say whether the team will revisit the state. We have to consult legal officers including some high court judges," Singh, also the Principal Conservator of Forest in Karnataka, told reporters.

Asked whether the team came across mining activities beyond lease hold areas by certain mining companies, Singh said "we are taking note of that also. We will examine it."

The team members met Chief Secretary B K Patnaik at the secretariat and refused to divulge anything about findings so far. However, Singh indicated that the Commission was likely to submit its report within 90 days.


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