now challenged the decision of Goa Governor and Chief Minister to reject a Goa Lokayukta report, which had recommended a criminal probe into the controversial renewals, which has brought the mining industry in the state to a virtual standstill. The petition that led to the HC issuing notice has also sought cancellation of the order issued earlier this year by Raj Bhavan and the CMO rejecting the Lokayukta report.
Goa Lokayukta PK Mishra in his report in January had recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation to probe accusations of corruption in the second renewal of 88 mining leases, while also slamming the state government’s Anti-Corruption Bureau for shielding influential persons. The Lokayukta report had also questioned the speed with which a BJP-led coalition government led by Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar cleared as many as 56 mining lease renewals in a week, including granting of 31 clearances during one day, incidentally just before the Central government amended the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, which mandated that mining leases could only be auctioned afresh and not renewed in favour of existing leaseholders. Questions have also been raised about the manner in which the mining leases were renewed in the previous regime led by then Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar, taking the total tally of renewed mining leases to 88.
The Lokayukta report followed a complaint by Goa Foundation, which in its complaint in 2018 had said that illegal renewal of 88 mining leases in the State of Goa, had led to losses to the state government of INR 1,44,000 crore.