Thursday 30 May 2024

If A Raja was sent to jail, why not Kavelkar?

The man who made fiery speeches as an opposition leader, asking the ruling party to bite the bullet and get real on various scams, has both the bullet and the trigger in his hand.

Sujay Gupta | AUGUST 01, 2012, 11:42 AM IST
If A Raja was sent to jail, why not Kavelkar?

While the scams get stacked up, the GIDC easily is way upthere among scam ranking organisations. At the AGM of the Goa Small IndustriesAssociation on July 1, the Chief Minister said "It would need a will oftitanium or the strongest metal to straighten out things at the IDC,"adding that the process of cleansing was on and would begin to show resultssoon.

GIDC needs cleansing on two fronts. One for looting thestate by allotting plots for industries in the proposed SEZ (now scrapped) athugely undervalued rates and the other one of allotting plots in the GIDC, tocompanies fronted by relatives, friends and well-wishers of GIDC staff,including the then Chairman Babu Kavlekar. The cleansing needs to have a clearblueprint and needs to address specifics. The GIDC has been held hostage to thegreed of its former chairman Babu Kavlekar, and his team of merry men ridingthe gravy train -- The not so hidden hand of former industries ministerLuizinho Faleiro and the then Chief Minister PratapSingh Rane looms large overthe SEZ scam.

The cleansing has to begin along the following lines:

  • The Chief Minister has a moral responsibility toorder a judicial or a CBI inquiry into the scam. He might settle for an ACBinquiry but the scale of this is higher
  • An inquiry against senior police officers forrefusing to register even an FIR on the criminal conspiracy of GIDC officials,since Oct 22, 2007. On July 7, 2008, the police replied that no FIR was lodgedsince there were no material facts in record. This lie was nailed by the Highcourt which relied on the same documents to reach the conclusion that theallotments to seven companies were illegal.
  • The accounts committee of the assembly shouldimmediately conduct an inquiry based on the findings of the CAG report, which hasspecified all the irregularities and illegalities in the SEZ allotmentamounting to a loss of over a 100 crores.
  • The GIDC should stop making any furtherallotments until rules are framed under section 51 of the GIDC act thatspecifies the mode and allotment of lands under GIDC.
Manohar Parrikar might recall, that as opposition he had commented “The file submitted to the vigilance department has gone missing, which had all evidences of the IDC scam , while the vigilance minister is not at all bothered about the transparency in its’ functionality ”.

Manohar Parrikar has all the power to correct that. The factthat the IDC was used as a venue of loot is not debatable. Immediate, harsh andbrutal retribution for this is non-negotiable. If a Union Telecom minister, ARaja, can go behind bars for looting the state, why not Kavlekar and the othersresponsible?

Meanwhile a criminal petition has been filed on the issue ofGIDC’s other scam, of plot allotments to kith, kin and friends of GIDC honchos.A criminal petition filed in the sessions court last week states suchactivities were done even after a ban from GIDC for transferring the barrenplots. The petition has given several instances of illegalities and misuse ofpower by Chief General Manager Ajit Naik, who was the acting managing directorduring the period, including transfer of plots in the name of family membersand quoting fictitious names. The government has to allow the Anti CorruptionBureau to investigate this.

By all accounts, GIDC bosses led by Babu Kavlekar should bein jail. And nothing stops the government from pursuing this.

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