Speaker Pratapsing Rane who was then the chief minister, also chipped in to help the Special Economic Zone promoters who the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court observed were allotted land in an arbitrary manner undertaken in undue haste and even without scrutinizing the applications properly.
What has come to light is the fact that Pratapsing Rane besides endorsing then Industries Minister Luizinho Faleiro’s recommendation to allot land to Meditab Specialities Pvt. Ltd., at Keri, had on his own also forwarded cases of other SEZ promoters.
Surprisingly, in all these cases the business rules for conduct of governance were bypassed and junior level government officials were directly contacted in what is obviously an attempt to pressurize and intimidate them to do their bidding.
Any recommendation from a minister has to travel a certain route where it goes to the concerned Secretary and from there to the departmental head and lower then and has to travel back the same way for the minister to make the final noting.
However, this procedure was not adhered to while allotting land to SEZ promoters and probably that could be the reason why the allotment was done in “undue haste” and “arbitrary manner” to quote the High Court order.
Take the case of the K Raheja’s. Their letter seeking allotment of land was received by the then chief minister Pratapsing Rane on 11th April 2006. Three days later, Pratapsing Rane forwarded the letter with his note “Please help these people” directly to the Managing Director of Goa Industrial Development Corporation instead of marking it to the Chief Secretary or the Industries Secretary.
Pratapsing Rane also marked another note to the GIDC MD to allot land for Peninsula Pharma Research Centre even before the Chief Secretary could see the file. The company’s letter dated 13th March seeking for land at Sancoale was signed by the Chief Minster on the same date while the Chief Secretary saw it the next day thereby indicating that the business rules were violated once again as the file was sent to the chief minister without following the normal process.
Interestingly, the Chief Secretary on 14th March noted that the company should apply for the land under the SEZ Act and Rules as apparently the application was not made under this act. And yet, this observation of the Chief Secretary was ignored and land was allotted to the company.