Millennium Post

Lokayukta recommends CBI probe against ex-CM

Panaji: The Goa Lokayukta has recommended a CBI inquiry against former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and two other officials for renewing iron ore mining leases, which were later quashed by the Supreme Court in February 2018.

Responding to the petition filed by NGO Green Foundation, the Goa Lokayukta on Monday gave a 41-page order, in which it also indicted then state mines secretary Pawan Kumar Sain and then director of Mines and Geology Prasanna Acharya. Goa Lokayukta Justice P K Misra observed that the institution is satisfied with the investigation and the public functionaries concerned have committed criminal offence punishable under the Prevention of Corruption Act of 1988 and the Indian Penal Code.

The complaint with allegations against Parsekar, Sain and Acharya,has been substantiated and the public functionaries concerned should not continue to hold office held by them, the Lokayukta stated. However, since Parsekar of the BJP has ceased to be the chief minister/minister, no such declaration is made with respect to him.

In February 2018, the Apex Court had quashed renewal of 88 mining leases, resulting in the closure of the iron ore extraction and export industry in the state.

According to the petitioner, the renewals that were carried out from November 2014 appeared to be a "result of corrupt acts" by then chief minister and officers of directorate of mines. Advocate Claude Alvares had claimed in the petition that "the above persons entered into an unholy conspiracy to renew 88 mining leases to several persons (companies) in Goa".

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