Goa illegal mining case: Congress comes out in defence of former chief minister Digambar Kamat

Panaji: The Congress in Goa on Sunday came out in defence of its former chief minister Digambar Kamat, facing police investigation in a case arising out of the multi -crore mining scam.

A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Crime Branch has summoned Kamat for questioning on 21 November. Kamat, a sitting MLA, has moved an application for anticipatory bail before the District Court. The petition would be heard on Monday.

 Goa illegal mining case: Congress comes out in defence of former chief minister Digambar Kamat

File image of Former Goa CM Digambar Kamat.

The Congress leader has been accused of condoning, as chief minister, delay in submission of applications for renewing iron ore mining leases in the state. Goa Congress president Shantaram Naik told reporters that it seems Kamat, prima facie, used his quasi-judicial powers to condone delay in renewing mining leases.

"As a quasi-judicial authority, the chief minister has powers to condone delay (in renewing mining leases). I have heard for the first time that doing so is a crime," Naik said.

"It was a quasi-judicial act, not a crime," he adding, the case against Kamat was purely political in nature.

The Justice MB Shah Commission, which investigated the mining scam, had observed that several mining companies were allowed to fraudulently use the clause of "condonation of delay" for renewal of their leases.

The SIT filed a case in September 2014 against mine owner Prafulla Hede in this connection. The SIT has questioned several government officials, including former Goa principal secretary (mines) Rajiv Yaduvanshi, in connection with the case

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Updated Date: Nov 19, 2017 17:21:10 IST