Stating that the people’s struggle for land had been vindicated, the SEZ Virodhi Manch (SVM), on Monday, wanted a judicial inquiry to “unearth the whole land allotment scam” and appropriate action taken against all the police officers who failed to register a FIR against the GIDC board members.
A complaint was lodged in October 2007 by villagers with documents to substantiate the illegalities and irregularities in the allotments, claimed the convener of the manch, Mr Charles Fernandes.
The manch also wanted the GIDC board of directors, and “conniving bureaucrats,” who it claimed were instrumental in the fraudulent land allotments, to either resign immediately or necessary action should be taken by the Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat to ensure their removal.
Alleging that there was a considerable loss to the public exchequer amounting to crores of rupee, the manch demanded an inquiry based on the 2008 CAG report to be conducted by the Accounts Committee of the Legislative Assembly.
Another pertinent argument brought up by the manch was that the GIDC should frame rules under Section 51 specifying the mode and method of allotment of lands as per the GIDC Act and preference should be given to small and medium local entrepreneurs for setting up micro industries in interest of self employment.
It also reiterated its earlier demand that the GIDC should revert back the land acquired to the villagers for them to decide the nature of its use.
Stating that the SVM rejoices with the people from Loutolim, Kerim- Ponda, Verna, Sancoale over their victory in the SEZ case that was filed in the High Court of Bombay, Goa Bench, the manch acknowledged the assistance by the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) represented by senior advocate, Mr Mihir Desai, senior advocate, Mr Colin Gonsalves (senior counsel of Supreme Court), Mr Krishnendu Mukherjee, and Mr Ajit Singh Rane Sardessai.
It may be recalled that the Court had quashed the allotments of lands to the promoters of SEZs – Meditab Specialities at Kerim, Peninsula Pharma at Sancoale and Raheja Corporation, Paradigm Logistics, Inox Mercantile, Planetview Mercantile and Maxgrowe Finlease at Verna and Loutolim and also passed strictures against the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) board for allotting approximately 39 lakh square metres “illegally and in undue haste”.