Giving full opportunity to mine lessees to express their views on shady activities in iron ore and manganese mining in Odisha, Justice M B Shah Commission on Thursday said illegal mining activities exist in the state.

“Unless there is illegal mining, there is no inquiry,” Chairman of the Commission Justice M.B. Shah said on the second day of hearing here.

Noting that the commission was giving full opportunities to mine owners to justify their activities, Justice Shah said all were being given a chance.

“Those who wanted to say more are called to come to Commission’s headquarters at Ahmedabad,” he said.

While the commission has asked Triveni Earth Movers Pvt Limited and others to attend a hearing on violation of Mining Concession (MC) Rules-37 at Ahmedabad on March 16, some other mine lessees are told to appear before the panel on March 15, if they wanted to prove their points.

Earlier, several mine owners organisations had requested the commission to give them a hearing before finalising its report on illegal mining activities in the state.

Justice Shah’s statement was significant as the Odisha government has all along maintained that there has been no illegal mining in the state though certain irregularities have been detected. Different steel and mines ministers since 2009 have maintained this stand of the government.