The Goa police today filed a charge sheet against former chief minister and Congress leader Digambar Kamat for condonation of delay in renewing a mining lease that caused a loss to the state exchequer.
The charge sheet filed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the crime branch also names a mine owner and a state mines department official as accused.
The SIT had filed a case in September 2014 against Kamat, owner of the mine at Collem in south Goa Prafulla Hede and Mines and Geology department officer A T D’Souza under section 19 of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act. The FIR was registered on a complaint by the state’s Mines and Geology Department.
“The chargesheet, running into more than 1500 pages, against Kamat, Hede and D’Souza was filed before the district and sessions court in Margao by the SIT for condonation of delay in renewing the iron ore mining lease,” a senior crime branch official said. He said the action caused a loss to the exchequer, but did not specify the amount.
The officer said the investigating agency examined 40 witnesses in the case. Justice M B Shah Commission, which investigated the mining scam in the state, had observed that several mining companies were allowed to fraudulently use the clause of condonation of delay for renewal of their leases.
Kamat was the minister for mines when the alleged illegality happened. He later the chief minister from June 2007 to March 2012. Kamat was granted a pre-arrest bail by a local court in November last year.