The Supreme Court has been true to type and protected the sanctity of its decisions. It has also highlighted the mala fides of the two Review Petitioners: the State of Goa, and the Vedanta Co. The Review Petitions were filed to recall the judgement of Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta dated 7.2.2018, cancelling the grant of second renewal of 88 mining leases in Goa. The State Government waited for Justice Lokur to resign before filing its Review Petition. Vedanta waited for Justice Deepak Gupta to retire before filing its RP. As a result of these manipulations, a RP which should have been filed in 30 days, was filed in 650 days, without any explanation by the State Government. The Vedanta RP was filed after 907 days (instead of 30 days). There was simply no chance that the Court, which has been strict about the statute on limitations, would condone such monumental delays. So the responsibility for the rejection has to be laid at the door of the State Government.
No doubt, this gross delay has meant that the state government is now three years behind re-start of mining operations in Goa and for this it has no one to blame but itself. Please leave the Goa Foundation out of this.
The order rejecting the RPs also holds there are no grounds made out in any case for reviewing the judgement dated 7.2.2018.
The dismissal therefore brings closure to the history of mining in Goa under the old lease-holders (who called themselves mining barons). We expect the appeals filed by Vedanta and Fomento against the Bombay High Court dismissing their petitions — claiming rights to mining on the grounds that the leases are entitled to a 50 year period — will be rejected shortly as well,
It is clear that the Supreme Court loves Goa and the Goans. Its first judgement on 21.4.2014 held all mining in Goa over a period of 5 years (2007-2012) as illegal. Its second judgement on 7.2.2018 cancelled the second renewal of 88 leases illegally granted. Its third judgement dated 30.1.2020 declared that the directions given in the two earlier judgements must be implemented. Now, on 9 July 2021, the same Court has said it has not changed its mind on Goa mining, and neither does it intend to. Goa and Goans, thank the Supreme Court of India today for this.