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Mine blowing: CM hints at handing over cases to CBI

Panjim:In what could spell further trouble for all those being investigated for illegal mining, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar hinted at handing over the cases to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).“Let the police (referring to special investigation team which is investigating the mining scam) give me the report. We will then take the call on handing over the investigation into these cases to CBI,” he told reporters on the sidelines of inaugurating MODI Fest in the capital on Monday.The government, he added has not taken any decision as yet stating, “There are complex issues involved in it. The government is going through the case,” Parrikar said.
The SIT of Crime branch is investigating into a series of complaints filed by Mines and Geology Department in connection with the illegal mining executed in the State from 2005-2012. The complaints filed in 2012 points fingers at the then Congress-led coalition involving former chief ministers Pratapsing Rane and Digambar Kamat, besides various mining companies and contractors.The Justice M B Shah Commission had exposed the mega scam to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore. The Public Accounts Committee report, then headed by Parrikar; and the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court had also pointed at massive illegalities and irregularities.
Based on the complaints, the SIT registered first information reports (FIRs) under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including 120-B (conspiracy), 166 (public servant disobeying law), relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, Mines and Minerals Development Act, Mineral Conservation and Development Rules and Goa Prevention of Illegal Mining Transportation, Storage of Minerals Rules 2004. The SIT is presently carrying out questioning of the officials of the companies concerned while the team also conducted a raid at the office of Arjun Salgaocar at Altinho, a week ago. Meanwhile, the anticipatory bail applications of some of them including Kamat and Haresh Melwani of H L Nathurmal are pending hearing. [H]

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