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Goa Lokayukta to launch probe against ex-CM Parsekar

The Goa Lokayukta will probe Laxmikant Parsekar, PK Sain and present director of mines and geology Prasanna Acharya, in suspected corruption in renewing 88 mining leases in 2015.

india Updated: Sep 07, 2018 23:40 IST
Gerard Desouza
Gerard Desouza
Hindustan Times, Panaji
goa lokayukta,laxmikant parsekar,former Goa chief minister
The Goa Foundation, an environmental action group, had filed a complaint before the Lokayukta alleging that Laxmikant Parsekar and the two others, had in "flagrant abuse of power and conspiracy” given illegal renewals of mining leases “to benefit private persons.(HT Photo)

The Goa Lokayukta will probe former chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar, former mines secretary PK Sain and present director of mines and geology Prasanna Acharya, in suspected corruption in renewing 88 mining leases in 2015.

After conducting a preliminary inquiry, the Lokayukta PK Misra ruled that sufficient grounds existed to proceed with a more detailed investigation.

The Goa Foundation, an environmental action group, had filed a complaint before the Lokayukta alleging that Parsekar and the two others, had in "flagrant abuse of power and conspiracy” given illegal renewals of mining leases “to benefit private persons.”It said the renewals were “on account of corrupt acts which resulted in colossal losses to the public exchequer.” It said the renewals had been “wilfully made in violation of the provisions of the The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and the SC judgement.”

In his defence, Parsekar filed preliminary objections before the Lokayukta claiming that the decision to grant the renewals was a policy decision by the government and the Cabinet and added that the renewals were based on an order by the Bombay high court. Parsekar also claimed that by singling him out, the Goa Foundation was acting maliciously. Similarly, the secretary of mines and the director of mines had both also opposed the inquiry on grounds that “merely because the top court has quashed and set aside the renewals granted it cannot amount to criminality.”

Parsekar was not available to comment on the Lokayukta’s decision.

“...the former chief minister has faulted the Goa Foundation for ignoring the role of Manohar Parrikar, CM at the time that the renewals were initiated, we will now file an application to make Parrikar a respondent in the case as well,” Claude Alvares, director of the Goa Foundation said.

The Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association declined to comment on the development

First Published: Sep 07, 2018 23:30 IST