| TNN | Updated: Feb 7, 2018, 11:10 IST

Highlights

  • In a major set back to mining companies operating in Goa, the Supreme Court quashed the second renewal of lease granted by the state government
  • It also asked the Centre to grant fresh environment clearances to the companies

NEW DELHI: In a major set back to mining companies operating in Goa, the Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed the second renewal of lease granted by the state government.

Almost all companies in Goa are operating under the second renewed licences and the apex court order will bring iron ore mining operations in the state to a standstill.

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said that the state government renewed the iron ore mining leases of the companies in violation of the law and of the apex court’s earlier order. It directed it to grant fresh licences through the bidding process.

The SC also directed the setting up of an SIT comprising chartered accountants for the recovery of the amount from mining companies which were allowed to extract ores in violation of the law. It asked the Centre to grant fresh environment clearances to the companies.

There are about 88 mining leases which were renewed for the second time by the Goa government in 2015 for 20 years, with retrospective effect from 2007.

The court also directed mining companies to wind up their operations by March 16, and asked the government to initiate bidding for granting of lease.

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