BASURI DESAI checklists Shetye's cases
Even as the anti-corruption crusader Kashinath Shetye who is a government junior engineer at the Electricity department is facing a government probe over his activism, the government's attempts to curb/control him appears to be futile.
“I am not afraid of anyone. I will continue fighting against the wrong deeds of the governments and public servants. Let them inquire and investigate me. I am not a thief,” Shetye told Herald outside the High Court two days after the Assembly session came to an end in which an inquiry was ordered against him.
Shetye was present in the High Court arguing personally on petitions filed by him against Casinos and quashing of Regularisation of illegal structure bill.
His one of the recent and very important victory was seen in the ‘Matka’ gambling petition which was filed by him in the High Court following failure of Goa Police to nab the source of ‘Matka’ gambling.
In July, this year, Goa’s Bench of Bombay High Court constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) only to probe the Matka gambling in the state which has tentacles outside Goa.
In another case of Dual Citizenship, his petition led to registration of cases against around 500 people, including MLAs and government servants who had obtained Portuguese nationalities despite being Indian citizens which is a gross violation as per National Security Act. His efforts have also made some of Goans who had procured Portuguese nationalities to surrender their Indian citizenships. The issue is still being debated and is pending with the Union ministry.
In another major case by Shetye, both the BJP and Congress had been served FIRs. Based on his complaint over illegal political funding by a corporate, office-bearers of both the parties in Goa had been booked for accepting election funds.
The Goa Police had registered a case against both the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress office-bearers under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act for accepting political funding from Sesa Goa Ltd, Sterlite Industries India Ltd. and Madras Aluminum Company Ltd, all group companies of its London-based parent company Vedanta Resources. Shetye had named Manohar Parrikar, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and other state Congress leaders.
The illegal mining scam of Goa that was even used as weapon during the campaigning of 2012 Assembly polls by the BJP, was first unearthed by Shetye following indictment of former ministers and officers. Based on his petition, directions were issued to register FIRs against 151 people, including former ministers, MLAs and government servants. He had moved the court after his complaint with police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against those indicted by the Justice Shah Commission had failed to evoke any response.
He has filed dozens of cases against real estate developers, restaurants, developmental projects, hospitality projects and even against the Casinos. It is his crusade that forced the revocation of certain projects.
Shetye has even approached the National Green Tribunal against a couple of developmental projects which are in violation of CRZ rules. He had even moved NGT to stall the wine festival and Goa food and culture festival hosted by GTDC on Dayanand Bandodkar ground Campal. GTDC and GCZMA is facing a tough time for not following the laws laid while allowing the festivals in CRZ jurisdiction.
It is his complaint on which prominent Congress leader from Pernem Jitendra Deshprabhu was arrested in illegal mining case of Korgao. He has even filed complaints against illegal extraction of sand from Goan rivers which has also led to the mining department and district collector to streamline the trade.