MINING PROBE REVOLVES AROUND KAMAT’S RELATIVES AS SIT UNEARTHS SHELL COMPANIES
Ribandar (Goa): After beleaguered Congress’ sitting legislator Digambar Kamat’s son Yogiraj and brother-in-law Satish Lawande being dragged into the mining scam investigation, the politician’s son-in-law Govindraj Dempo and Yogiraj’s parents-in-laws besides a notorious mine trader Prasanna Ghodge have come under the radar of the special investigation team (SIT) (Mines).
While Satish will be quizzed today, a day after Yogiraj was grilled for two hours; the others are likely to be summoned in the days to come. These close relatives of former chief minister have caught the attention of the SIT incidentally after Kamat managed to get interim anticipatory bail and subsequently skipped his summons on Tuesday.
These depositions come in the wake of investigation unearthing that Kamat’s ‘close relatives’ have been directors of several shell companies. “Yogiraj, Satish and others connected with Kamat are directors of shell companies. These companies opened and shut down in short span of time, which is why we are intending to question more from Kamat’s family circle who are directors. Also, Ghodhe, who is also booked in another mining scam will be probed,” an officer said. Govindraj, incidentally is the son of one of the richest business families in Goa Dempo.
The SIT has found as many as 25 such companies, some of which deal with mining-related business. Kamat, facing investigation into almost all the illegal mining cases, is presently being probed for his role into illegal condonation of delay of 40 mining leases. After being issued with a summons letter last week, he had moved for anticipatory bail in the Special Court which was granted on Monday. Armed with interim relief, Kamat still skipped summons on Tuesday citing ill-health and proposed to depose before the investigation agency on Friday.
His close aide, former Principal Secretary Mines Rajiv Yaduvanshi has deposed under section 164 CrPC alleging he allowed illegal mining as he was pressurized by Kamat, who was then CM and Mines Minister. The illegal condonation occurred between 2006-11 when Yaduvanshi held the post and Congress-led government was in the ruling.
The Congress party has however smelt foul into the entire investigation alleging it is political vendetta against the senior congressman.