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Goa illegal mining scam: Former CM Kamat’s plea for relief turned down

IANS | Panaji |

A Special Court in Panaji, hearing an anticipatory bail petition filed by former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, on Saturday refused to grant him interim relief, even as an SIT of Goa Police raided his residence in Margao.

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, the hearing for which has been posted for Monday.

“After the court refused to grant the former Chief Minister any interim relief today, we raided his residence in Margao, but he was not there. We are on the lookout for his whereabouts,” a police official attached to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) said on the condition of anonymity.

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 the Health Secretary in the Delhi government, turned state approver on Saturday, which has added an edge to the police efforts to nab Kamat.

Kamat could not be contacted on phone for his comments.

The former Chief Minister, currently a sitting Congress MLA from the Margao assembly constituency, has also served as a minister in a BJP-led coalition government in the early 2000s.