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Defiant Centre refuses to place Shah panel report in SC; says extension ‘unwarranted’


OST Bureau
New Delhi, Jan 25:

justice mb shah

A defiant Centre on Saturday refused to comply with the Supreme Court directive to place the report of the Justice MB Shah Commission of Inquiry into the mega mining scam in Odisha on January 27 saying it has to be first placed in the parliament.

“It is respectfully submitted that as per the statutory scheme, the report submitted by the Commission is to be placed before the Parliament along with the action taken report within a period of six months,” the Centre said in an affidavit filed in the apex court.

The Centre said placing the reports before the court would “impinge” upon the jurisdiction of Parliament and pre-empt the statutory provisions.

The Centre also told the Supreme Court that extension of the tenure of the Justice Shah Commission is “unwarranted”.

It said that it is for the Centre to take a decision on the extension and pleaded for dismissal of the application seeking to extend the tenure of the Commission.

The petition demanding extension of the Commission and placing of its report before the court was filed by eminent judicial activist and Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Prashant Bhushan.

“It is for the government to take a decision either in the matter of extension of the term of the commission or such other decision as it may deem fit to take on the report as and when it is submitted,” the affidavit said.

“It is submitted that the commission has already submitted six reports which contain materials and are being effectively and expeditiously examined by the central government to strengthen the legal framework and remedial measures to deal with illegal mining, trade and transportation in the country.

“Therefore, the ministry is of the view that further extension of the tenure of the Commission is unwarranted and has taken the decision accordingly since the terms of reference of the inquiry have been substantially met by the Commission,” it said.