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Parrikar led Cabinet decided to renew mining leases and not me; ex CM Parsekar to inform Lokayukta on Monday

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Panaji: Former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar will inform Goa Lokayukta that it was the policy decision of the then Manohar Parrikar led cabinet to grant second renewals to 88 iron ore mining leases.

Parsekar will also sought to know from the Lokayukta the intention of the complainant Goa Foundation, in not making Parrikar the respondent despite the fact that the entire renewal process had started during his tenure and total 18 leases were granted second renewal.

The Goa Lokayukta Justice (retired) P K Misra has initiated preliminary inquiry into the complaint filed by Goa Foundation against Parsekar, former Mines Secretary IAS Pawan Kumar Sain and Director Mines Prasanna Acharya in the illegal grant of second renewals to 88 mining leases, which are now being quashed and set aside by the Supreme Court.

Lokayukta has issued notices to the three respondents, answerable by May 7 that is tomorrow.  When contacted, Parsekar said that he will not be able to present before Lokayukta but his lawyer will make the submission. “Tuesday is my daughter wedding. Tomorrow, I have ceremony to perform. As such, I won’t be able to present before Lokayukat in person, though I want to,” he stated Former BJP MLA said that when the decision is taken by council of Ministers, how can only a Chief Minister be held accountable? “Also the decision was taken by Manohar Parrikar cabinet and not me. Then why is that only I have been investigated?” he questioned.

Parsekar said that during Parrikar tenure total 18 leases were granted second renewal and the process continued when he took over in November
2014 and more 70 leases were renewed.

“The complainant has accused me of corruption. Let him prove so. The Supreme Court has also rejected the same,” he said.

“While quashing the second renewals, though the Supreme Court has slammed Government for illegal grant of leases, no where it has spoken about corruption or criminal cases to be filed against Chief Minister,” he said.

“Something, which is not accepted by Court, it automatically turns out to be rejected in the court of law. And hence, the petition filed before Lokayukta will not stand,” former CM added. Parsekar said that Goa Foundation should had filed review petition in Supreme Court on these two aspects rather than going to Lokayukta.

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