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High-power committee to probe Goa mining scam

October 03, 2012 21:02 IST

The Goa government on Wednesday announced the formation of a high-level committee, to be headed by a retired high court judge, to probe the irregularities being pointed out by the Justice M B Shah panel in its report on iron ore mining in the state.

"The Independent High Level Investigation Committee will be headed by retired High Court Judge R M Khandeparkar, and will submit its report within two months," Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters after the Cabinet approved setting up of the panel.

Justice M B Shah commission, in its report tabled in Parliament, had pegged the iron ore scam at Rs 35,000 crore and indicted several private players, besides public servants for their acts of omission and commission.

"The committee will suggest measures for effective control, supervision and regulation of mining industry. It will also investigate the loss to the state exchequer due to pilferage of royalty, cess collection and will also investigate the encroachments pointed out in the commission's report," Parrikar said.

Prominent among its terms of reference, the Khandeparkar Committee will also identify offences and illegalities by public servants in passing orders making dead leases operational. It will also suggest remedial measures for coordination among various agencies, he said.

"The anti-corruption branch of police has also been attached with the committee so that they can help in holding criminal investigation against those who are found guilty during the inquiry. The committee has been given complete investigation and police authority," the chief minister said.

Parrikar said his government will proceed with the recovery of money from the mine owners involved in irregularities only after receiving the report from the committee.

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