Former Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar will get a notice from the state’s Lokayukta on Tuesday in connection with allegations that his government violated rules while renewing 88 mining leases three years ago, PTI reported.
Lokayukta Justice PK Misra on Monday ordered that notices be issued in the case to Parsekar, Pawankumar Sain who was then the mines secretary and current Director of Mines and Geology Prasanna Acharya. They will have to reply to the notices by May 7, unidentified officials told PTI.
Goa Foundation, a nonprofit, had moved the Lokayukta, claiming that the renewal of 88 mining leases between November 2014 and January 2015 had caused a loss of Rs 1,44,000 crore to the state exchequer. The organisation alleged that Parsekar, Sain and Acharya had granted the leases, violating a Supreme Court judgement and provisions of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.
On February 16, the Supreme Court quashed the Goa government’s order to renew the licences, and said they could carry out mining activities only till March 16. The court asked the government to start a fresh auction process. The court was acting on a petition filed by lawyer Prashant Bhushan against the renew of the 88 mining leases. He had alleged that a number of the lease-holders were illegally mining iron ore.