Herald: Mining company owner Melwani’s office searched

Mining company owner Melwani’s office searched

12 Sep 2018 06:17am IST

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Team Herald

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12 Sep 2018 06:17am IST

Report by
Team Herald

PANJIM: H L Naturmal mining company owner Harish Melwani has again come under the scanner of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the mining scam, with his office being searched on Tuesday. 

In what could spell more trouble for him, SIT recovered challans indicating that he allegedly paid royalty 250 times more than the actual production from the period 2006-2012. The revelation has also set the focus on Mines Department for overlooking the illegality and moreover, allowing him to pay revised royalty for that period thereafter, which is against the law. 

“Melwani paid royalty much more than the actual production of iron ore, from 2006 to 2012. He thereafter applied to Mines Department to revise the royalty payment which was allowed, despite knowing it was against the law. This was also clearly an attempt to cover up his illegality and Mines Department allowed it to happen,” said an officer, claiming that Melwani and the mines officials involved in the activity will be quizzed. 

Melwani is also likely to be served a 48-hour notice as SIT now intends to take him into custody for interrogation. As per an anticipatory bail order, the court has asked SIT to give him 48 hours notice in case it wants to arrest him.

The search at his office in Rizvi Towers in Panjim led by Police Inspector Dattaguru Sawant and his team also brought to the fore that the mining lease was not transferred in the name of another trader (which the suspect had earlier claimed so) despite which the Mines Department accepted the royalty from Melwani. The department also deemed mining extension to him in 2016, which is when the present Director Prasanna Acharya was holding the same position then. 
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