Newly-appointed Goa Lokayukta Justice (Retd) Prafulla Kumar Misra will begin hearing into the illegal mining cases lodged with it from the stage where the ombudsman body discontinued hearings due to resignation of its former head Justice (Retd) K Sudershan Reddy.
“In case of illegal mining, there are some cases which are pending. They would be pursued from that stage onwards,” Misra, who was on Thursday sworn-in as the Lokayukta of the coastal state filling the position which was vacant for two and a half years, told PTI.
“I understand some cases (about illegal mining) are also in the court. If some matter is in court we are not supposed to interfere. I will get update of each case. If court has already decided then we can’t hear,” he said.
Justice M B Shah Commission, in its probe on iron ore extraction and export industry of Goa, had pointed out rampant illegal mining in the state in 2010.
The then Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had announced that the file affixing civil liabilities on various people, including mine owners and government officials, was sent to Goa Lokayukta.
The then Lokayukta Justice (Retd) Reddy had resigned in October 2013 virtually crippling the functioning of this institution.
“(For) two and half years those cases were in cold storage. (In) all those matters we will have to give a fresh date and issue them notices,” Misra said referring to 22 general cases (including that of illegal mining) which are currently pending before the ombudsman body.
“I have asked the staff to get all those files and the dates would be fixed depending on what should be done (in those cases). In some cases they were waiting for the reply of public functionary, in some cases they are waiting for issuance of fresh notice to the competent authority, in some cases they were waiting for the rejoinder of the complainant,” he said.
“So, all those cases have to be taken up. We will have to go through record of each case,” the Lokayukta said.