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People in mining areas know who is responsible for environmental destruction: Claude Alvares

By Vishnoo Jotshi


Reacting to the Supreme Court decision to dismissal of a bunch of review petitions filed by the Goa government and Vedanta seeking to renew the scrapped mining leases in the state on the basis of procedural irregularities, Claude Alvares of the Goa Foundation endorsed the decision of India’s apex court while stating that mining is a an important part of the Goa’s economy.

Speaking the The Daily Guardian, Alvares, expressed that the reviews petitions are supposed to be filed within thirty-days of the Court verdict, but the Goa government and Vedanta Limited took 650 and 907 days respectively with no convincing changes in the original petition. This in my opinion was merely a trick where both parties wanted Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta to retire or resign.

On being asked about the impact of the SC decision’s impact Goa’s economy, Alvares, opined, “There is no doubt that mining is an important part of the state’s economy. The Goa government and Vedanta Limited took a total of three-years to file a review petition. If this move affected the economy and was unavoidable, both parties would have prioritized this instead of waiting for this long. Since Goa is a poll-bound state, this issue is not what it seems. People in the mining areas know who is responsible for all the delay and environmental destruction.”

In their judgment Justice Dr. Dhananjay Chandrachud and Shah also hauled the petitioners for filing the review petitions after the retirement of two judges, Justices Madan Lokur and Deepak Gupta, who had chaired the Supreme Court bench which in 2018 had scrapped the renewal process.

“Keeping in mind the above, we are inclined to dismiss these review petitions on the ground of limitation alone. However, in any event, we also find that no legitimate grounds for review of the judgment in Goa Foundation II have been made out, and dismiss these review petitions on merits as well,” the judgment said.

The 2018 judgment was on a petition filed by a Goa-based-NGO Goa Foundation.

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