Other States

ACB winds up illegal mining case probe against Digambar Kamat

While the Crime Branch of State police is chasing former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat as 'the main mastermind' in the Louis Berger bribery case, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has wound up its investigation against Mr. Kamat and others in an illegal mining case recently.

These include another former Chief Minister of the Congress Pratapsing Rane and several politicians and officials. In a written reply to an unstarred questioned tabled by Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco on Tuesday in the on-going session of the State Legislative Assembly, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar who holds Home portfolio has said that investigations into the case, which involved illegal mining spread over 8,25,229 hectares of land, had been closed because of a technicality.

“The ‘C’ final summary report has been submitted before Special Court North, Panaji on April 24 as the complaint was not filed by the competent authority as required under section 22 of MMDR (Mines and Minerals Regulation and Development) Act,” said Mr.Parsekar.

Mr. Kamat, along with Mr. Rane, former Directors of Mines Arvind Lolayekar and J.B. Bhingi, former Mines Minister Somnath Zuwarkar, chief conservator of forests Shashi Kumar, miner and Nationalist Congress Party office bearer Prafulla Hede and other officials had been accused of illegally granting a no objection certificate for a mining lease called ‘Godoavadea Javaichen Upor and Negnin Buroda’ in Sanguem sub district of south Goa.

Justice M.B. Shah Commission of Inquiry which probed illegal mining in the State had accused successive Congress-led coalition governments from 2005-2012d of allowing a Rs. 35,000 crore illegal mining scam in which politicians, bureaucrats and private sector mining companies are linked. It had called for a detailed probe in the illegalities and irregularities in mining of iron ore and exports in the State fearing massive loss to State exchequer.

Significantly, the BJP, which while in Opposition had accused the Kamat-led government and its Ministers of masterminding the illegal mining scams, has been accused of going slow on Mr. Kamat and other indicted miners once the party came to power in 2012.

After coming to power, the BJP, then led by Manohar Parrikar, presently Defence Minister, had rubbished Shah Commission findings, and a Special Investigation Team formed by the State government in 2012 to probe the mining scam took up nearly 12 cases for probe in a dramatic manner but so far failed to nail a single person of consequence indicted in the Shah Commission report.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 6:24:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/acb-winds-up-illegal-mining-case-probe-against-digambar-kamat/article7529823.ece

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