Shah panel`s full report on Odisha unlikely to be made public

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 - 16:19

New Delhi: The UPA government is unlikely to make public full report of the Shah Commission on illegal mining in Odisha, which has recommended recovering over Rs 59,203 crore from miners in the state for "illegally and without lawful authority" extracting iron ore.

Only first part of the Justice MB Shah Commission report, which is in 5 volumes and was submitted in July last year, will be tabled during the current session of Parliament along with the Action Taken Report (ATR), sources said.

The second part of the report on Odisha, which is in 3 volumes, a separate report (in 4 volumes) on illegal mining in Jharkhand, and a third and final report on Goa on the same matter, would not be made public at the moment, they said.

The three reports were submitted by the Shah Commission in October last year.

Despite the fact that the ongoing session is the last of the present Lok Sabha, government is taking time on the grounds that the 6 month`s mandatory period to table the report in Parliament along with the ATR, under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, is not yet over, the sources said.
"You know, the second part of the Shah Commission report on Odisha is equally explosive (as was the first part). Same is the case with the report on Jharkhand. So it is a politically sensitive matter," a source aware of the development said.

When asked for comments, Mines Secretary R H Khwaja said: "No, we have 6 month`s time for (making public) the second part (of the Shah Commission report). Whatever is the Parliamentary procedures, we will follow that."

He, however, did not comment when said that the second part of the report was submitted in October, 2013 and 6 month`s time will be over by April and there would be no Parliament session at that time.

The Mines Secretary, however, confirmed that first part of the Shah Commission`s report, along with the ATR, will be tabled in the ongoing session of the Parliament.

He further said that the Committee of Secretaries (CoS), which was dealing with the ATR on first part of the Shah Commission report on illegal mining in Odisha, has sent its recommendation to the Cabinet.

When asked about the violations reported by the Shah Commission in Odisha, Khwaja said: "If there is any violation, we will take action as per the law. We are not here to support wrong actions."

He, however, refused to comment on the contents of the ATR.

The Shah Commission, in its voluminous report, has said that "all modes of illegal mining" were being carried out in Odisha and "it appears that law has been made helpless because of its systematic non-implementation".

It has also said that there was a collapse of government machinery during 2008-2011 and it "looked to be ineffective and helpless in front of mining mafia, persons in political life, mighty lessees and some corrupt officials".

PTI


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