In February 2018, a Bench headed by Justice Madan Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta had called off mining leases renewed in favour of 88 leaseholders by the State Government of Goa.
This decision was taken after discovering that the licences had been renewed in breach of Supreme Court orders passed in 2014.
The Court had observed that “rapacious mining was going on in Goa” and the private entity who was the mining leaseholder, was the benefice-holder of such uncontrolled mining.
According to the Supreme Court Rules, review petitions are to be heard by the same judges who delivered the judgment, if they are available.
Justice Madan Lokur who headed that Bench had retired from the Supreme Court in December 2018 and Justice Deepak Gupta had retired in May 2020.
In the order passed on July 9 in the review petitions, a bench of justice DY Chandrachud and MR Shah observed that the State of Goa had preferred its four review petitions, 651 days post the retirement of Justice Lokur while Vedanta had preferred its review petitions 907 days post the retirement of Justice Deepak Gupta.
“In accordance with Rule 2 of Order XLVII of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013, an application for review of a judgement has to be filed within thirty days of the date of the judgement or order that is sought to be reviewed. No cogent grounds have been furnished for the delay between 20 and 26 months by the two parties in filing their applications for review,” the Court observed.
Thus the Apex Court proceeded to dismiss the review petitions on grounds of limitation and merits.