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SC refuses to set up bench for hearing plea seeking resumption of Goa's Mopa airport construction


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to set up a special bench to urgently hear the pending petition of the Goa government seeking resumption of construction of a greenfield airport at Mopa in the state.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer was told by Attorney General K K Venugopal that the construction of the airport has been stalled for the last ten months and the petition of the state government is pending before the apex court.

"We are not in a position to constitute a special bench now. Mr attorney, our present situation does not permit us to do this," the bench said.

One of the lawyers appearing for the firm, GMR, said that a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud has already heard this petition partly and the matter needs to be concluded at the earliest.

The bench asked the lawyers to request the presiding judge "to release the matter". Justice Chandrachud was part of the five-judge Constitution bench which had reserved the verdict in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case on October 16 after hearing it for 40 days.

Earlier the apex court had suspended the environmental clearance granted to the airport project leading to the stoppage of the construction work there.