A division bench here comprising justices U V Bakre and Ranjit More directed the state government to execute the lease deeds under Mines and Minerals Development Regulation (MMDR) Act.

The petition was filed by the aggrieved mining lease owners.

The state government had collected the stamp duty from these 28 mining leases, much before the Supreme Court judgement which had raised question mark on the non-renewed leases through its judgement in April.

"The state of Goa is directed to execute the lease deeds under section 8(3) of the MMDR Act in favour of the lease holders who/which have already paid the stamp duty pursuant to the orders of the Government, in accordance with the Goa Mineral Policy, 2013 placed before the Supreme Court and subject to the conditions laid down by the apex court in the said writ petition," the judges noted in the order.

The bench also directed the state to expeditiously decide on the renewal applications of those lease holders who have not paid the stamp duty, preferably within a period of three months from the date of receipt of copy of this order.

The Supreme Court had imposed ban on mining industry in the state in September 2012, following allegations of illegal mining.

The ban was subsequently lifted in April 2014 by the Supreme Court which asked the state government to decide on the mining leases, which were not renewed till 2007.

"The Supreme Court has neither declared section 8 (3) of the MMDR act (under which the stamp duty was collected) invalid nor unconstitutional, nor has taken section 8(3) of the statute book. On the contrary, the supreme court has affirmed the power of the state government to grant second renewal of the leases under section 8(3) of the MMDR Act," the bench said in its order.

Goa government had 92 working leases before the industry faced the ban, two years back.

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