Current Affairs

Timblo Mining partnership operating on Pakistani Power of Attorney: CEC

The CEC (Central Empowered Committee) in its report to SC on Friday said, “It is seen that the mining lease was granted in the name of an individual who had migrated to Pakistan and died there. He was never involved in operating the mining lease or seeking renewal of it. The lease has been allowed to be operated illegally by a partnership firm comprising Timblo Pvt Ltd, Ms Radha S Timblo and others.

The mining lease has been renewed by the Goa government in favour of the partnership firm owned and controlled by Timblo family by disregarding and in blatant violation of Rule 37 of Mineral Concession Rules, 1960.”

The CEC pointed out that the renewal of mining lease was allowed on the basis of an unregistered power of attorney, stated to have been executed by the lessee while staying in Pakistan and whose genuineness and validity was highly dubious and doubtful.

“Even though all facts in the matter were available with the state government, it chose to ignore them and the lease granted in favour of an individual was illegally allowed to be converted into a partnership firm owned by Timblo family,” the CEC said.

On the Timblo family-owned partnership firm, the environment panel said the original lease was granted to one Badrudin Bavani and the first renewal of the lease was allowed in the name of a firm ‘Badrudin Hussain Bhai Mavani’, who neither has any financial stake nor any control in the said firm controlled by the Timblo family.

“The state of Goa was fully aware of the serious illegalities involved. However, instead of taking punitive action in accordance with the law, it disregarded the serious illegalities and chose to grant renewal of the mining lease in favour of the partnership firm owned and under control of Timblo family, which should not have been permitted,” it said.

The ownership and control of the said lease by the Timblo family (through the partnership firm) was justified by them by producing before the state government another power of attorney dated November 5, 1997 stated to have been executed by Mavani in favour of Ms Radha S Timblo. In the said power of attorney, it is mentioned that Mavani is staying in Karachi, Pakistan. This document is not registered, not notarized or signed in presence of witnesses, the CEC report stated.

The special secretary (development) found that the signature of Mavani in the power of attorney executed in 1979 did not tally with the 1997 document. It is mandatory for general power of attorney (GPA) signed abroad and received in India to be routed through the district magistrate or verified by the Indian embassy/consulate, neither of which was done in this case, the CEC found.

In another deed of partnership dated March 27, 2002, Abdul Sultan Mavani (son of the original lease holder) was included as partner in place of his father though the death of the earlier lease holder was no where mentioned in the partnership deed.

By another reconstitution of partnership deed on April 7, 2005, Abdul Sultan Mavani was stated to have retired from the partnership, the CEC said.

Amicus curiae A D N Rao informed the court that the CEC found many more such cases of grant of mining lease in violation of Mineral Concession Rules.

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