Mining scam: Kamat gets interim anticipatory bail, appears before SIT

Mining scam: Kamat gets interim anticipatory bail, appears before SIT

Mining scam: Kamat gets interim anticipatory bail, appears before SIT
Former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat was today granted interim anticipatory bail in the illegal mining scam being probed by the Special Investigation Team of the state Crime Branch. He also appeared before the SIT for questioning in connection with the case. Kamat was summoned for the second time by the Goa Crime Branch this afternoon.

Prior to his visit to the Crime Branch, the former chief minister moved an anticipatory bail plea before the district court here this morning. The court granted him interim bail and fixed the next hearing for May 2.
While granting the relief, the court ordered Kamat to furnish a bail bond of Rs one lakh and a surety in like amount. "I have experience in the past about such cases. That is why I moved for anticipatory bail," Kamat told reporters outside the court.

He then went to the Crime Branch where SIT began questioning him in connection with the case. The veteran Congressman, who is named in the FIR filed by the Crime Branch in the case, was summoned last week on Tuesday (April 18) but had failed to appear before it, claiming to be out of station. He was first questioned in the case by the SIT in February 2014.

According to the report of Justice (Retd) M B Shah Commission, illegal mining to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore took place in Goa from 2005 to 2012 when the Supreme Court banned iron ore extraction in the state. A complaint was filed by the Mines and Geology Department in July 2013 seeking to fix criminal liability on those involved in the illegal mining as pointed out by various committees, including the Centre-appointed Shah Commission.

The Crime Branch then registered an FIR in August 2013 against those named in various reports (Shah Commission and other committees) including Kamat, former Mines and Geology Director Arvind Lolienkar and some other officials of the department, mining firms and others.

The FIR was registered under various IPC sections, including 120 (b)(conspiracy), 166 (public servant disobeying law, with intent to cause injury to any person), relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, Mines and Minerals Development Act, Mineral Conservation and Development Rules and Goa Prevention of Illegal Mining Transportation, Storage of Minerals Rules 2004.

Based on the complaint, the SIT was formed by the then BJP government to probe the case. An apex court appointed Central Empowered Committee and State Legislative Assembly's Public Accounts Committee had also confirmed illegal mining in the state.