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Congress refuses to comment on FIR in Goa mining scam

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Fri, Mar 29, 2013 07:20 hrs

Panaji, March 29 (IANS) The Congress in Goa Friday declined to comment on a Bombay High Court order directing the state government to file complaints against 151 people indicted in the Justice M.B. Shah Commission report, including two of the party's former chief ministers.

"We have no comment to offer," Congress spokesperson Sudip Tamhankar said when asked about the court order that was issued Tuesday.

Tamhankar, however, said that Justice Shah would be the first person who would depose before the police investigating team once a First Information Report (FIR) is filed.

"Once the FIR is filed, Justice Shah would have to be the first to come to Goa and depose before the police here."

The order for FIR was issued by Bombay High Court Chief Justice Mohit Shah after Kashinath Shetye, junior engineer in the state electricity department, filed a petition. Shetye had requested a criminal investigation in the Rs.35,000-crore illegal mining scam exposed by Justice Shah, who led a commission of inquiry into Goa's mining sector.

The chief justice in his order asked the Goa government to file an FIR within six weeks. The Crime Branch had initially refused to register Shetye's complaint.

The Shah Commission report covers illegal mining during the rule of two Congress chief ministers -- Pratapsing Rane and Digambar Kamat.

The Supreme Court has banned mining in Goa since October last year. It is hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer Prashant Bhushan along with green NGOs from Goa.



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