Panaji, Nov 4 (IANS) The Bombay High Court on Wednesday issued notice on a plea that challenged a decision of the Goa Governor and Chief Minister to reject a Lokayukta order for a criminal probe into the renewal of 88 mining leases by the past BJP-led regimes.
The writ petition was filed by NGO Goa Foundation after the offices of the Governor and Chief Minister rejected the Lokayukta’s recommendation. The petitioner prayed for setting aside of the two impugned orders.
In January, the Goa Lokayukta had recommended that the state government to order a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the illegal renewal of 88 mining leases in 2015, by then Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and other officials.
Two key officials indicted in Lokayukta PK Mishra’s report were Pawan Kumar Sain, a former Mines Secretary, and Prasanna Acharya, a former Director of Mining and Geology Department.
The Lokayukta only has recommendatory powers and implementation of his order requires a nod from the Governor and the Chief Minister.
The Lokayukta recommendation followed a complaint by Goa Foundation, which alleged that the trio, through illegal second renewal of 88 mining leases, had defrauded the exchequer of Rs 1.44 lakh crore.
Parsekar in his defence maintained that the decision to grant the second renewal was a policy decision of the state government led at the time by him and his predecessor late Manohar Parrikar.