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Appointed retired HC judge to probe land scams because  Goa Police investigation wasn’t up to the mark: Dr. Pramod Sawant



Panaji: Police investigation simply would trail off after registration of complaints about illegal land-grabbing, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Monday, justifying his government’s decision to appoint a retired High Court judge to probe the spate of illegal land-grabbing cases in the coastal state.

Sawant also said that over the last two decades, nearly 110 land-grabbing cases were registered in Goa, where fraudulent means and even forgery were used to grab prime land in Goa’s real estate market, especially in coastal parts of the state.

“Since the last three months, we have received 306 complaints (related to land-grabbing) and 70 per cent of the complaints have been addressed. What forced us to establish the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the land scams, is that people used to lodge their complaints with respective police stations who used to keep it as it is after the investigation,” the chief minister said.

“In the last 15 to 20 years this was happening and around 110 properties were grabbed. Hence we need to alert our staff about such things and resolve people’s problems. There is a need to resolve the cases within the time limit,” he also said.

Sawant’s comments come days after retired High Court judge VK Jadhav took charge as the lone-man commission to probe illegal land-grabbing incidents in Goa. The Commission has been tasked with probing complaints related to land-grabbing and submit a report within four months.

Previously, the Goa government had formed an SIT headed by top officials of the Crime Branch and other police and civilian departments to probe the increasing cases of illegal land grabbing in Goa, especially the state’s coastline, where booming real estate demand has led to a sharp escalation in land prices.

In September this year, British Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s father, Christie Fernandes, who hails from the upmarket Assagao village in North Goa, complained to the state government about his ancestral property being taken over by unknown persons using fraudulent documents.