Helping the government arrest illegalities and prepare a roadmap for future of mining industry in the state is the Goa government-appointed Justice R M S Khandeparkar committee on illegal mining. He has decided to probe further the illicit tapping of iron ore in Goa.
“The terms of reference of the Committee are very clear. They are not just restricted to findings of Justice M B Shah Committee….It also includes the assistance to the government to decide on future of proper mining in the state,” Khandeparkar said.
The Committee will not only go through the findings of Shah Commission, but will also probe several aspects which were left untouched by them he said.
“The Shah Commission has not been able to do many things because of absence of material on record,” the former High Court judge said.
“Whatever they have left out would also be investigated,” he said.
The state government had informed Khandeparkar Committee to investigate more into the findings of Justice M B Shah Commission. This has pegged illegal mining in the state to Rs 35,000 crore.
The claim of illegality was refused by the mine owners. These mine owners had stated that they were not given hearing as a part of natural justice.
Khandeparkar said that he has already approved the first draft of the notice which would be issued for the public asking them to come forward with any information regarding illegal mining in Goa.
He said that everyone would be heard during the course of the investigation by the Committee.
“Whoever wants to be heard would be heard,” he said responding to a question whether mine owners would be called for hearing.
Khandeparkar said the first meeting of the Committee is yet to be held as they are waiting for the infrastructure to be put in place.
“The Committee will decide how to go ahead with the investigations,” he said, adding that there is no deadline set for submitting the final report to the government.
The former High Court Judge, however, said that the committee will continue with its investigation but will wait for the final judgement from SC on the mining matter.
“For forming any final conclusion we should have proper respect for the judiciary (SC),” he said.