PANJIM: With Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant directing Goa Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) to expedite the probe into the remaining mining leases facing FIRs, apprehensions are raised over the completion of the investigation into whopping 130-odd leases within a short duration.
Out of 16 cases with the SIT, some of which were transferred from police stations, two cases were finalised as “A” and “C” Summary after conducting the probe while three cases were sent back to the concerned police stations for, they were “petty cases.” In 8 out of 16 cases, the SIT arrested 29 persons while two accused were booked in more than one case.
As the matter is sub judice with 80 per cent cases in the court at different stages of the trial, the SIT with the assistance of experts is probing into one of the two main FIRs which have 130-odd mining leases under the scanner. Being a comprehensive investigation covering each of these leases, sources said, closure of the probe in haste will be an unfruitful process to bring the culprits to book.
“The probe cannot be completed in haste. The SIT is working on these cases since its inception in August 2013 when fresh cases were registered and transfers of FIRs from different police stations were examined. It is a full-fledged team comp[rising of mining experts, police, and chartered accountants working on it. Impossible to expedite the probe without application of proper mind,” government sources said.
The CM, in his recent statement, said that he has asked the SIT to expedite the probe and submit the report at the earliest as the government intends to initiate the auction process after two months. A meeting was also held thereafter where the government was informed about the disadvantage if the probe is closed without thorough investigation.
SIT does not have the power to prosecute an accused booked under other Acts such as the IPC or Prevention of Corruption Act, but only MMDR Act.