Stating that he has very high regards for the former Supreme Court judge, Mr Justice (retd) Santosh Hegde for being an upright judge,
the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, on Tuesday, said that the recent controversial statement of the ex-Supreme Court judge as regards the state government’s scheme for mining-dependent people could however, have come from either his ignorance over the issue, or the media might have quoted him wrongly.
Incidentally, this particular news was not reported by ‘The Navhind Times.’
“I will soon be writing a letter to him explaining the government scheme for helping mining-dependent people,” he added.
It may be recalled that a section of press had quoted Mr Justice (retd) Hegde as saying, “Illegal mining cannot be compensated on the basis that they (mining dependent people) have lost livelihood. I am totally against offering financial packages. People, who are indulging in illegal proposition, cannot claim protection. We cannot ask illegalities to be perpetrated because some people are going to remain hungry. Frankly speaking, if Dawood Ibrahim is arrested then many people will be left jobless.”
“If Mr Justice (retd) Hegde has said these things then as a judge he was expected to hear both sides,” Mr Parrikar observed, adding that linking the mining dependent people to the associates of Dawood Ibrahim was entirely wrong, as Dawood’s associates must have made illegal money enough to support their many, many generations.
“My government, during its previous tenure had kept a financial package ready for even commercial sex workers, once the red light area at Baina was demolished,” he recalled, maintaining that his government will not shy away from taking steps on humanitarian grounds.
Speaking further, the Chief Minister said that Mr Justice (retd) Hedge should not pass remarks on something, about which he has no idea, especially, the ground realities in the state due to the closure of the mining industry.
“I, however, agree that if illegal mining had continued in Goa, with the kind of money it was generating, the same would have attracted underworld here,” he opined.
Replying to a related Calling Attention Motion from the Bharatiya Janata Party legislator, Mr Nilesh Cabral, the Chief Minister said that Mr Justice (retd) Hegde could have probably also made such statements on the perception that all the mining activities in Goa were illegal.
“It is humbly submitted that his perception is far from reality, as a distinction needs to be made between legal and illegal mining, after conclusion of a fair inquiry following principals of natural justice by an independent Commission or otherwise, and till such time no baseless and unwarranted judgment can be passed regarding mining activities in Goa being completely illegal,” he added.
The Chief Minister and many legislators also observed that media should play its role with restrain and report things with more seriousness and responsibility. [NT]