A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Goa crime branch has summoned former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat to appear before it in connection with an illegal mining case of 2013. “Former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat has been summoned to appear before the SIT on April 18,” Superintendent of Police, Goa crime branch, Priyanka Kashyap told PTI today. This is the second summon issued to Kamat in connection with the illegal mining case. He was first questioned by the SIT in February 2014.
According to a senior crime branch official, Goa Mines and Geology Department’s former director Arvind Lolienkar has also been summoned along with Kamat.
Lolienkar was arrested by the SIT in connection with the case in March 2014. He is currently out on bail.
A report of Justice (retd) M B Shah Commission had earlier stated that illegal mining to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore took place in Goa from 2005 to 2012, when the Supreme Court banned iron ore extraction in the state.
A complaint was filed by the Mines and Geology Department in July 2013 seeking to fix criminal liability on those involved in the illegal mining as pointed out by various committees, including the Centre-appointed Shah Commission.
The crime branch then registered an FIR in August 2013 against those named in various reports (Shah Commission and other committees) including Kamat, Lolienkar, and some other officials of the department, mining firms and others.
The FIR was registered under various IPC sections, 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.
Based on the complaint, the SIT was formed by the then BJP government to probe the case.
An apex court appointed Central Empowered Committee and state Legislative Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee had also confirmed illegal mining in the state.