Goa govt will recover money from errant mine owners: Sawant

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Panaji, Mar 25 (PTI) Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday assured the legislative Assembly that the state government will recover money from mine owners indicted in the Shah Commission report on illegal mining in the state.

Responding to a question raised by Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai, Sawant said the crime branch's Special Investigation Team has filed a chargesheet before the court against mine owners and officials of the State Directorate of Mines and Geology who are indicted by the M B Shah Commission.

The Directorate of Mines and Geology has issued notices to the mine owners for recovery, he said.

'The government has submitted an affidavit before the High Court assuring to recover the amount mentioned in the Shah Commission report,' Sawant said.

Sardesai alleged that mine owners were running the State Directorate of Mines and Geology, which is clear from the fact that although the Shah Commission had indicted them in 2012, not a single rupee had been recovered from them till date.

The Shah Commission had pegged the mining scam in the state to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore.

The GFP MLA further alleged that the state crime branch, which had filed a case before the Goa bench of Bombay High Court, had requested the judges to stay the proceedings.

Refuting the allegations, Sawant said the state government had filed an affidavit before the High Court bench seeking to transfer the cases to a special court, following which the court had stayed the proceedings.

During the discussion, Sardesai pointed out that NGO Goa Foundation had filed a petition before the High Court pleading that state government should recover Rs 1,580 crore, which were identified by a team of chartered accountants and a demand notice for the same was sent to the mine owners. PTI RPS ARU ARU