Panaji, Nov 20 (IANS) A Panaji special anti-corruption court on Monday granted interim relief to former Chief Minister and Congress MLA Digambar Kamat, who is embroiled in an illegal mining case.
The court, while granting Kamat interim relief, also set the next hearing for his anticipatory bail application for November 27.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Goa Police, which is probing the illegal mining case, has also been directed to file a reply by November 27.
Kamat, who is one of the key accused in a multi-crore illegal mining case, had filed for anticipatory bail before a special anti-corruption court in Panaji on Saturday.
Kamat, along with then Principal Secretary Mines Rajiv Yaduvanshi and several other bureaucrats, is accused of allowing mining companies to fraudulently avail of the “condonation of delay” clause to renew their iron ore mining leases.
Yaduvanshi, who is currently Health Secretary in the Delhi government, turned state approver on Saturday, which has added an edge to the police efforts to nab Kamat. A police team had raided Kamat’s residence in Margao in a bid to arrest him, but the Congress leader could not be traced.
The former Chief Minister, who is currently a sitting Congress MLA from the Margao assembly constituency, has also served as a minister in a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led coalition government in the early 2000s.
State Congress chief Shantaram Naik on Monday told IANS that condonation of delay is a quasi-judicial function of a government minister and police were targeting Kamat because he was a Congress leader.
“A minister has the power to pass a quasi-judicial order. Even if you consider that it is an erroneous order, why you hold him to be a criminal, unless there are other things which I am not aware of?” Naik said.
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