Goa mining scam: Two Congress ex-CMs named in FIR
Panaji: Goa`s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Monday filed an FIR against two former Congress Chief Ministers Digambar Kamat and Pratapsingh Rane and others in connection with the iron ore mining scam in the state.
Besides Kamat and Rane, the others named in the FIR are Arvind Lolienkar and J B Bhingui, both former Directors of Mines, ex-former Chief Conservator of Forest Shashi Kumar, Mining Department officials and NCP leader Praful Hede who is also a mine owner, police said.
Superintendent of Police (ACB) Bosco George said all have been charged under IPC Sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and relevant provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act and Mines and Minerals Act, 1957.
Last year, the Supreme Court had temporarily banned mining activities in Goa after massive irregularities, causing heavy losses to the state exchequer, came to light.
Both the former Chief Ministers have been accused of shielding illegalities in Goa`s lucrative mining industry while in office. Kamat was Chief Minister from June 2007 to March 2012, while Rane had held the top post multiple times. Both of them are currently MLAs.
The FIR is an outcome of a complaint filed with the ACB by Congress spokesman Sudip Tamankar early this year.
George said a clarification was sought from the Mines Department after receiving the complaint. The ACB has handed over the case to Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe mining-related matters.
Justice M B Shah Commission of Inquiry, set up by the Centre in 2010, has put the illegal mining scam in Goa at Rs 35,000 crore. Goa is a major exporter of iron ore.
The illegalities related to mining without licence, mining outside lease area and transporting minerals illegally.
Goa Congress leaders were not available for comment.
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