Court issues notice to CBI on Goa scam


Panaji : A Goa court Wednesday asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) why Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and some cabinet ministers were not being quizzed over an alleged scam linked to the 2004 International Film Festival of India (IFFI).

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The Panaji district and sessions court issued notice to CBI officials to appear before it within a fortnight in connection with the alleged multi-crore rupee IFFI infrastructure scam.

The court while issuing the notice asked the CBI why Kamat and several other high profile politicians who were a part of the IFFI’s decision-making core committee were not being quizzed in connection with the alleged scam.

The court notice follows an application filed by activist Kashinath Shetye Tuesday, arguing that all persons in the core committee be quizzed by federal investigators.

The CBI has already interrogated the then chief minister and chairman of the IFFI’s core committee Manohar Parrikar.

Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik, who headed a probe by the Congress party in 2004, had accused the core committee of financial irregularities and bias while creating infrastructure worth crores of rupees for the film festival held in the state.

“Choice of the (festival) site itself was made in suspicious circumstances,” Naik’s report said, indicting the core committee.

His report said: “Since political considerations and not the state, national or international outlook has been the prime consideration of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, that corruption is involved is apparent on the face of the record.”

Chief Minister Kamat, assembly Speaker Pratapsing Rane and cabinet ministers in the Congress-led coalition government Aleixo Sequeira, Filipe Neri Rodrigues and Atanasio Monserrate, were part of the core committee, which was headed by Parrikar.

Facing questions on the alleged scam, Kamat said: “I was a member of the core committee and I know the committee took correct decisions.”