Mauvin, power guzzlers chargesheeted

| 06 November 2001 22:04 IST

Former power minister Mauvin Godinho, along with ex-chief electrical engineer and three officials of two different power guzzling firms, have been chargesheeted by the crime branch of Goa police in a multi-crore power rebate scam.

Investigations in this regard had gained momentum after Godinho, presently a Congress legislator, was arrested on 16 May, followed by arrest of retired chief electrical engineer T Nagarajan on 24 May.

Along with the duo, crime branch DySP Omprakash Kurtarkar has also chargesheeted three officials of two power guzzlers, besides making both the firms - Mormugao Steel Ltd and Goa Gas Fibre Ltd - parties to it.

The chargesheet was filed after seeking sanction from the governor Mohammed Fazal last week. They have been charged under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act as well as for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.

Giving rebirth to a dead notification during his tenure as the power minister in 1996, Godinho granted 25 per cent rebate to hundreds of industries and later amended it further to include these two power guzzlers, creating extra high tension category, without even seeking cabinet approval.

The state government, in 1991, had issued a notification granting 25 per cent subsidy on power for the new industrial units, which had applied for availing power connection since October '91, for the period of five years. Subsequently, the state had rescinded the notification on 31 March 1995, due to financial crunch.

The multi-crore scam was exposed by chief minister Manohar Parrikar, when he was in the opposition. The matter was then referred to the high court, which quashed Godinho's illegal notifications this year, while ruling that Godinho's action cannot be considered as government decision. The court had also directed the authorities to take consequential action in this regard.

Besides this, Godinho is also facing another case of similar nature, where he had favoured yet another firm - Balaji Rolling Mills - to the tune of Rs 19 lakh by forging documents in collusion with another retired chief electrical engineer. The state is presently also probing into disproportionate assets of Godinho.

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