The government on Wednesday filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court, in the mining review petition matter, stating that the mining leases in Goa are valid till 2037.
“As the concessions were converted into mining leases on May 23, 1987, this would be the date of original grant for them,” it adds, arguing that, therefore, the 50 years of granting of these leases would only end in 2037.
The affidavit states that the second renewal of mining leases was granted as per the Mineral Policy of the government, in the interest of mineral development of Goa.
The Supreme Court has also been told by the state government that the benefit of second renewal, which is available and granted to the rest of the country, is denied. The government maintained that “judgment of court cannot give unequal treatment to different states under one law.”
The affidavit further informs the apex court that auction of mining leases is not possible till its constitutional bench decides on the lease concession case.
It states that leases cannot be auctioned, as the related Special Leave Petition (SLP) is still pending before the constitution bench of the Supreme Court. Mineral concessions conflict petition continues and the
matter is still undecided.
In early 2018, the Supreme Court had quashed 88 mining leases in Goa for violation of mining procedures and asked the state government to issue fresh leases instead of renewing existing ones while directing the government to recover around Rs 350 billion from the mining leaseholders.
The government in its submission before the Supreme Court has also mentioned as to how the apex court has overlooked its April 2014 judgment in which the three-bench court had granted powers to the state to decide in what manner iron ore mining leases are to be granted in future.