Goa's former Principal Secretary Mining, Rajiv Yaduvanshi, who is currently Health Secretary in Delhi's AAP government, on Friday turned state approver in an illegal mining case, which is being probed by the SIT of Goa Police, a senior official said.
Speaking to reporters in Panaji on Friday evening, Superintendent of Police (SIT) Karthik Kashyap said that the statement of Yaduvanshi, who was Goa's Principal Secretary mining at the time when the scam happened in the mid-2000s, was recorded in presence of a magistrate under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
"We have been questioning him for the last few days in connection with a illegal mining case," Kashyap told reporters, adding that Yaduvanshi was the key official in-charge of the mining department, when mining companies were allowed to fraudulently use the clause of condonation of delay for renewal of mining leases.
Yaduvanshi has been questioned by the SIT on several occasions for the last few days, along with former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, who was then Chief Minister in-charge of the mining portfolio.
Police sources said that Yaduvanshi in his statement to the police, has said that he acted under duress on instructions of the Chief Minister. Kamat however, has maintained that he has done "no wrong", when he was Mines Minister.
In 2012, the Justice M.B. Shah commission had exposed a Rs 35,000 crore illegal mining scam in Goa, in which top bureaucrats, politicians and mining companies were linked.