After nearly six years of delay, Goa Police Saturday filed a first information report (FIR) against “unknown” people in connection with an alleged multi-crore rupee land allotment scam in special economic zones (SEZs).
According to a police spokesperson, the FIR was filed by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) against unknown private people as well as as yet unknown employees of the Goa Industrial Development Corp (GIDC), which was the nodal agency for allotment of plots acquired by the Goa government for setting up of seven SEZs. The complaint was filed with the ACB by Mandar Shirodkar in 2007.
According to the FIR, seven SEZ promoters – namely, Meditab Specialties Pvt. Ltd., Peninsula Pharma Research Centre Pvt. Ltd., K. Raheja Corp Pvt. Ltd., Paradigam Logistics and Distribution Pvt. Ltd.., Inox Mercantile Co. Pvt. Ltd., Planetview Mercantile Co. Pvt. Ltd and Maxgrow Finlease Pvt. Ltd. – were beneficiaries of the “arbitrary and illegal allotment of land” in 2006-07. The FIR said that the scam was effected by hatching criminal conspiracy, manipulation of documents and cheating the government in connivance with the officials of the GIDC.
The SEZs were allotted during 2006-07, when Pratapsingh Rane was heading a Congress-led coalition government. A subsequent Congress-led coalition government, headed by Digambar Kamat, was forced to scrap the SEZ policy in view of public outcry against the alleged fraudulent allotment of land to SEZ promoters.