Sunday, March 1, 2009

Casino Royale! A Goan political gamble?

The mud slinging match has begun in the Casino Royale imbroglio. The Opposition leader MR Manohar Parrikar has almost declared war on the methods of issuing licences to all Casinos in Goa and has singled out the Casino Royale as one of special interest

Amid allegations that the Commissioner of customs and central excise Mr Chandrahas Mathur was pressurized by bureaucrats and politicians alike, to grant  the licence  to operate the casino, Mr Parrikar demanded that the Chief Minister should cancel the licence within days or face a legal notice under the prevention of corruption act 1987 for misuse of power  so as to enable criminal proceedings to be initiated against the government .

The Chief Minister Mr Digambar kamat on his part has refuted all allegations and instead has indicated that he would take up the matter with the union finance Ministry to question the alleged disrepute brought by Mr Mathur to the office of the Chief Minister..

However Mr Parrikar Maintains that the Casino royale is an illegal ship possessing an illegal licence issued by the state government despite it  not being in possession of a licence from the a director  general shipping or a certificate from the Captain of Ports. Mr Parrikar also mentioned the prospect of kickbacks in the case of licences issued to Goa casinos and indicated that under the Goa public gambling act 1976 even the customers patronising the Casino Royale vessel for gambling are liable for criminal action.

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