Wednesday 21 August 2019

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Offence against Margao chairperson Arthur, with Digambar, in Berger case

 

Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender.

But the new offence is not for D’Silva’s direct involvement in taking bribe but conspiring with Kamat in getting false information to screen (or to save) the offender.

The offence relates to the information supplied by JICA-funded office of Goa’s water supply project under Right to Information Act to Kamat, stating that the file of notings of the JICA project is with the crime branch of Goa police.

Both of them have now been summoned to the crime branch tomorrow for interrogation – the Margao municipal chairperson at 12 noon and former CM and Margao MLA at 4 pm.

Police are perhaps trying to show the whole event of making RTI application and getting ‘false’ information as a conspiracy between the Public Information Officer of the JICA-funded office, applicant Kamat and D’Silva, who had gone to the office with Kamat’s RTI application.

The crime branch has thus added an additional offence before Kamat, under section 201 IPC, which relates to “causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender.”

The Goa police have asked for Kamat’s custody (arrest) mainly to search for the ‘missing’ file of JICA water supply and sewerage project, which they claim might have been either hidden or destroyed by the former chief minister.

Similar charge has also been made against former PWD minister Churchill Alemao, who was already arrested on 5 August and has now been remanded to judicial custody from 13 August.

The special court dealing with corruption cases is expected to deliver order on the anticipatory bail application filed by Kamat, on Wednesday 19th August.

Udaykumar Mandevalkar, the surveyor and PIO of the JICA-funded office, had later confessed before the police that he had given the information in haste without verifying as the Margao municipal chairperson was pressing for speedy reply.

Adv Surendra Desai, Kamat’s lawyer, had made it a major issue while strongly pleading for anticipatory bail, that the file is not missing but it actually with the crime branch.

Perhaps the police want to strengthen the case of Kamat’s arrest by registering offences against D’Silva and Mandevalkar, while involving Kamat as a conspirator in getting ‘false’ information under RTI.

The police wants to arrest Kamat also stating that he would use his 'influential' position to destroy the evidence, which the investigating authorities would now try and prove with the incident of RTI.

Meanwhile, the special court at Panaji will deliver orders tomorrow on bail applications of Alemao as well as Satyakam Mohanty, former vice president of Louis Berger (India).

Both are presently in the judicial custody.

Both Kamat and Alemao are facing a serious charge of accepting huge amount of bribe from Louis Berger International Inc., the US-based consultancy firm.

The firm has admitted before the Department of Justice in New Jersey of paying bribes of total Rs six crore to ‘a’ minister and government officials in Goa to get the consultancy contract of JICA project.

Louis Berger was selected for consultancy to implement the project, worth Rs 1031 crore, funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).






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