Mining closure: Ex-Lokayukta Hegde against financial aid



Panaji: Former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice (retd) Santosh Hegde on Sunday opposed granting financial assistance to people affected by closure of mining in Goa and expressed doubts over the state government's willingness to implement recommendations of Justice M B Shah Commission.

Hegde even invoked Underworld to support his argument that those indulged in illegal mining business cannot claim compensation.

"We cannot ask illegalities to be perpetrated because some people are going to remain hungry...Frankly speaking (this is like) many people losing their jobs if Dawood Ibrahim were to be arrested", he quipped.

Hegde was addressing reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on 'Global Business and Human Rights' organised by Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA), a UN-recognised NGO.

"People involved in illegal mining cannot be compensated on the basis that they have lost their livelihood due to closure of business", he observed.

Responding to a query on Manohar Parrikar-led BJP government offering compensation to those who lost jobs due to interim ban on mining in the state following the Supreme Court order last year, Hegde said he was totally against the government's action.

"I am totally against it. People who are indulged in illegal activities which amount to crime, cannot be compensated just because the future of their activity is taken away", Hegde said.

"It might be a livelihood in reality but is against law", the former Karnataka Lokayukta said.

Goa government is offering financial aid to those who have lost business due to closure of mining, besides a monthly compensation for truckers, rendered jobless after dredging was put in abeyance.

The compensation ranges between Rs 4,000 to Rs 12,000 depending on the type of beneficiary.

Hegde also raised doubts over Goa government's commitment in implementing the recommendations of the Centre-appointed Justice M B Shah Commission which had blown the lid off the widespread illegal mining in Goa.

PTI