Goa SEZ scam: Kamat still to read court order

December 8th, 2010 - 8:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Panaji, Dec 8 (IANS) Over a fortnight after the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court pointed to large-scale irregularities in the allotment of 32 lakh sq mts of land to seven SEZ promoters in Goa, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat claims he “still has not read the order”.

Based on the Nov 26 high court order, the opposition has already called for criminal investigation of two former Congress chief ministers - Pratapsing Rane and Luizinho Faleiro - for favouring the SEZ promoters in what Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has termed a “Rs.100 crore scam”.

“I have not even read the order, how can I comment,” a smiling Kamat told IANS when asked how the state government would respond to the damning observation made by the court, which said that the government agencies had acted “in undue haste without proper scrutiny of their applications” and “arbitrarily” while allotting land to the SEZ promoters.

The court order also said that the “procedure adopted in the allotment is not fair and transparent. The allotments made by the GIDC (Goa Industrial Development Corporation) do not stand the test of reasonableness”.

“The file is so thick,” Kamat added.

Picking up another bulky file for demonstrative effect, the chief minister said, while mockingly shuffling the pages: “See, the high court order is this thick. How do you expect me to go through it?”

Parrikar has claimed that both Faleiro and Rane, currently the speaker of the Goa assembly, had been “hand in glove” with the SEZ promoters and had gone out of their way to allot them huge tracts of land in violation of norms.

The BJP leader has already said that he would summon the seven SEZ promoters to probe the graft angle in the land allotment scam.

The SEZ promoters in question are Meditab Specialities Pvt Ltd, Cipla group, Peninsular Pharma Research Ltd, Paradigm Logistics & Distributors, Planetview Mercantile Pvt Ltd, Inox Mercentile Pvt Ltd and Maxgrow.

The state government was forced to de-notify the allotment of 32 lakh sq mts of land to the SEZ promoters in the face of stiff civil society protests some years ago. The SEZ promoters had then approached the Bombay High Court challenging the government’s denotification decision, before the court quashed and set aside their application on Nov 26.

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