Panaji, January 29: With a view to fast track illegal mining cases, the Goa State government has set up a Special Court under a provision of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act in Margao and appointed Additional Session Judge, Edgar Fernandes as the judge of the special court. The circular issued by the Directorate of Mines and Geology last week informed the formation.
“Government of Goa hereby constitutes the Court of District Judge -I and Additional Session at South Goa, for speedy trial of offences for contravention of the provisions of sub-section (I) or sub-section (IA) of section 4 of the MMDR Act,” the notification stated.
“The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Crime Branch is investigating over dozen of cases of which one main case pertaining to 88 leases is yet to be chargesheeted”, it added further.
The Supreme Court had ordered an early recovery of the crores of rupees in the mine scam case. But due to many cases being filed in court, it would have taken time to combat cases. Now a fast track court will hear the same. These chargesheets will have to be submitted to SIT soon.
The SIT had last year quizzed Congress MLA and former chief minister Digambar Kamat for his alleged involvement in a mining scam. The Justice M B Shah Commission had earlier probed the mining sector in Goa and its report in 2012 had pegged the alleged irregularities at around Rs 35,000 crore in the state.