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The Supreme Court Monday refused to give three more months to the expert committee appointed in November to complete its study on the annual cap on iron ore to be extracted in Goa and other issues related to mining in the state.
A Green Bench led by Justice A K Patnaik said three months’ time could not be granted in view of prolonged operation of the court’s October 2012 interim order prohibiting mining activities in Goa. It directed the panel to conclude its study and file a report by March 15 to enable the Bench to rule on the vacation of stay on mining restrictions.
Appearing for some miners, advocate Mukul Rohatgi urged the Bench to pass an order allowing partial mining. The court asked the miners to wait until the study was over. “How can mining resume unless we modify our interim order? And that cannot happen until the study is complete. We are ready to pass an order within a week of receiving the report. Let the report come,” said the bench, fixing March 20 as next date of hearing.