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Bhubaneswar, March 4 (IANS) The Justice M.B. Shah commission, which is probing illegal mining in Odisha, Monday said it was unlikely to meet the July 16 deadline for submitting the final report to the state government.
"It is very difficult to say that we would not be in a position to meet the deadline," retired Supreme Court judge and head of the panel justice M.B. Shah told reporters after winding up his five-day hearing here.
"The reasons being repeated hearings as well as disputed facts," he added.
On the magnitude of illegal mining in Odisha as compared to Goa and Karnataka, he said: "I would say that after appointment of this commission, the state government has taken some steps."
The panel, appointed by the central government in November 2010, has been investigating allegations of illegal mining in several mineral-rich states. The term of the commission was extended for a period of one year after it expired on July 16, 2012.
Earlier in December 2011, Justice Shah had said the panel had found evidence of illegalities which would not have been possible without the connivance of bureaucrats in Odisha.
The commission representatives visited the state in October and November 2012 to examine files related to over 100 mines.
During its latest visit, the commission heard more than a 100 mining lease holders, including some state companies.