Goa bench of the Bombay High Court has directed the government of Goa to take a decision on the recovery of an estimated Rs 65,000 crore from all 126 mining leaseholders not just Rs 21,000 crore from Vedanata alone.
Leading environmental organisation in the state – Goa Foundation – had last week filed a petition seeking directions on recovery of dues from Vedanta Ltd. for five years of illegal mining. The petition was based on a 2012 Supreme Court ruling declaring all mining in Goa between 2007 and 2012 as illegal as it was carried out without the benefit of a valid lease. It had ruled that the validity of all leases (some 127 at the time) which had worked during the period had expired on November 22, 2007.
The NGO had written to the Goa Government first in 2014 and then again in March 2018 requesting it to commence the process of recovery of ₹65,058 crore, the value of the ore exported in the five years (2007-2012). As Vedanta was responsible for 31% of mining extraction in the State and export during the period, the first petition was filed against the same company.
Goa Foundation also drew the attention of the High Court to recover ₹45,000 crore from the remaining 126 lease holders.