NEW DELHI: The Goa mines cases will come up for hearing on Friday before a Bench of Justices Dhananjay Chandrachud and KM Joseph instead of a 3-judge bench since the third judge, Justice Ms Indu Malhotra, is indisposed and not coming to the court. The hearing was actually listed on Wednesday but the Bench could not assemble since Justice Joseph was tied up in another bench and so an announcement was made that all deferred cases will be either listed on Friday or at any other date. The case is listed at Item No 40 but it may not be left out if the Bench rises before it is reached since a note on the cause list says: "Item Nos 30 to 41 will be taken up first."
Most crucial in Friday's hearing will be a decision on the Goa govt’s application to tag its review petition against the February 2018 judgment with the cases filed by the mining firms, including Vedanta Ltd. The state govt will have to explain why it waited for 21 months after the judgment to come up for a review and also why it did not pursue the review petition filed last November till now.
In an earlier hearing on August 18, Goa's advocate general Devidas Pangam, tried to raise the issue of the review petition, but Justice Chandrachud expressed inability to club the review petition with the cases in hand unless directed by the Chief Justice since no Bench can take up any new matter on its own.
On August 17, the Goa government had moved an application through its advocate-on-record Ms Mukti Chowdhary for tagging the Review Petition D.No. 41515 of 2019 in SLP (Civil) no. 32138 of 2015 with SLP (C) no. 29211 of 2019 & Writ Petition No. 21 of 2020 and the Registry has put it before the bench of Chandrachud for consideration.