Land scam: Goa Chief Secretary summoned

Panaji: Goa Lokayukta Justice (retd.) P.K. Misra on Wednesday directed the Chief Secretary to remain personally present on November 23 for the recording of his statement in connection with the ₹70 crore land scam involving former Shiroda MLA Subhash Shirodkar. Mr. Shirodkar recently joined the BJP after quitting as Congress MLA.

The Chief Secretary has also been asked to bring all the records pertaining to the Shiroda land acquisition. The summons to the Chief Secretary came after he failed to file his report and produce all land acquisition records by November 14, as directed by the Lokayukta on October 22.

Advocate Aires Rodrigues, in his complaint, alleged that Mr. Shirodkar, who resigned as MLA on October 16 and joined the BJP, has benefited from a land deal with the government. The complaint has named Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and the Chief Secretary as respondents. Pointing out that the government has acquired 1,83,524 square metres of orchard land in Shiroda from Mr. Shirodkar for ₹70 crore, Mr. Rodrigues said this deal is suspected to be a reward for Mr. Shirodkar for changing sides.

The complaint said Vedanta Real Estate Developers owned by Mr. Shirodkar and his three brothers Amit, Umesh and Sattesh had purchased the land on October 19, 2006, for a mere ₹45 per square metre, which the government has now acquired for ₹3,500 per square metre.

Alleging that the rate paid for Mr. Shirodkar’s land was exorbitant, the complaint said another land owner had by a letter dated April 5, addressed to the Chief Secretary, offered the government 1,40,650 square metres of land in Shiroda for ₹350 per square metre. A copy of the letter had also been sent to the then Cabinet Advisory Committee comprising Ministers Sudin Dhavalikar, Francis D’Souza, and Vijai Sardesai, it said.

Stating that any land acquisition by the government is always for a purpose and that Mr. Shirodkar’s land was acquired by the industries department without any plan, the complainant wanted to know for what purpose the land would be used.

Mr. Rodrigues said he had filed a complaint against the land acquisition with the Chief Secretary on May 29, but no action was taken.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 3:05:53 AM |

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