File FIR in mining scam, HC tells Goa government

Panaji, March 26 (IANS) The Bombay High Court bench in Panaji Tuesday directed the Goa government to file an FIR against over 150 people – including politicians, mine owners and bureaucrats – who have been indicted in the Justice M.B. Shah Commission report.

The order was issued by Bombay High Court Chief Justice Mohit Shah following a petition by an electricity department employee, Kashinath Shetye, who said that the Rs.35,000 crore scam exposed by the judicial commission should be probed by police.
Justice Shah directed the state government to “file an FIR (First Information eport) in respect of offences alleged to have been committed by persons responsible for illegal mining in the state of Goa, including the lessees of the mines and all those who permitted such illegal mining of iron ore and manganese ore, in contravention of the relevant statutory provisions”.
The chief justice said that the FIR had to be filed “within a period of six weeks”.
Shetye had first filed a complaint with the Crime Branch, which had not filed an FIR, forcing the petitioner to complain before the high court.
The M.B. Shah Commission report had exposed a Rs.35,000 crore illegal mining scam, in which politicians, bureaucrats and mining companies were indicted.
Mining in Goa has been banned for over five months now by the Supreme Court, which is hearing a petition filed by lawyer Prashant Bhushan and local environmental NGOs.