Ex-Goa CM Kamat fails to turn up before SIT, cites ill health

21 Nov 2017

Goa's former chief minister Digambar Kamat today did not turn up before the special investigation team (SIT) of the crime branch, in connection with a probe in an illegal mining scam case, citing ill health.The SIT had earlier summoned Kamat, a sitting MLA, for questioning today.

Superintendent of police (crime branch) Karthik Kashyap today said the SIT received a letter from Kamat seeking time till Friday to appear before the investigating officer, owing to ill health. The former chief minister would be summoned again on Friday for the interrogation, Kashyap said. The district court had on Monday granted interim anticipatory bail Kamat in connection with the illegal mining scam case. The court said in case of his arrest by the SIT, he should be bailed out on a personal bond of Rs one lakh and a surety of the like amount.

The SIT is investigating Kamat's role in a case filed in September 2014 against mine owner Prafulla Hede. It has been alleged that the delay in the renewal of the lease for a mine at Collem in South Goa was condoned by the government in an irregular manner when Kamat was holding mining portfolio. Justice M B Shah Commission, which probed the alleged rampant illegal mining in Goa, had observed in its report that several mining companies were allowed to fraudulently use the provision of condoning the delay in renewal of mining lease.

Apart from Hede, some government officials are also named as accused in the case. The SIT has questioned several officials, including former principal mines secretary of the state Rajiv Yaduvanshi.