Monday 22 October 2018

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9 adjournments, 1 hearing; Digambar hearing now on 30 March

 

Hearing on the petition filed by the BJP government before the Supreme Court, challenging the anticipatory bail granted to former Congress chief minister Digambar Kamat, is adjourned once again.

The final hearing is now expected to be held on 30 March.

The crime branch is seeking former chief minister Kamat’s arrest in the Louis Berger bribery case, in which he is one of the prime accused of having received huge amount of kickbacks.

This is the ninth time the hearing has been adjourned while arguments are heard by the apex court only once.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of Goa government, had argued for almost one hour on 24 February, seeking Kamat’s arrest.

Adv Kapil Sibal, Kamat’s counsel, was then supposed to argue on 3 March, following which Adv Mehta was supposed to put forth his counter arguments once again, possibly the same day.

The hearing was however adjourned since Adv Mehta could not attend it. Now, Adv Sibal was not available today, due to which it is now once again adjourned for 30 March.

It is almost four months now the matter is pending before the Supreme Court since November last year, the day the petition was filed.

DETAILS

Goa government had filed a petition before the apex court, challenging the anticipatory bail granted to Kamat in the Louis Berger bribery case by the CBI court and then upheld by the high court.

Goa’s BJP government is desperately trying to arrest Kamat, who has been inducted in the bribery case along with former PWD minister Churchill Alemao as co-conspirators.

The crime branch of Goa police could nab Alemao and send him behind the bars for over two months (68 days), but could not succeed in taking former Congress CM into custody.

While Alemao was arrested on 5 August, Kamat filed the anticipatory bail before CBI court the same day and managed to get reprieve from the court on 19 August.

The crime branch immediately moved to the high court, challenging the lower court order, but the Bombay high court at Goa upheld the order on 16 October, as the hearing prolonged for almost two months.

BACKGROUND

Kamat, the Margao MLA and Alemao, who lost 2012 election, were indicted in the Louis Berger bribery case by filing a FIR on 21 July.

Since then, crime branch of Goa police arrested five persons, including Alemao but did not succeed in taking Kamat into custody.

Both the Congress heavyweights are charged of taking huge amount of bribes, on more than two occasions, from Louis Berger International Inc, a US-based consultancy firm.

The firm is executing a water supply and sewerage project worth Rs 1031 crore, financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The bribery case came to light when James McClung, Asia head of Louis Berger, admitted before the Department of Justice in New Jersey of having paid total bribe of Rs six crore to ‘a’ minister and government officials for getting the award of work.   





Total Comments :2

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This is joke. Speaks ill about our judicial system. Once and for all this matter should be closed. Either he is guilty or not. Why can't the court just issue an ultimatum to the respective parties? The BJP is playing a cruel joke on the people of Goa, that is the bottom line.

 
Jaret de Silva , Chandor

Digu bab,

Why keep it pending, just go and come back. the game will be a draw with Churchill bab.

then you and Churchil bab continue your business as usual.

 
John W DSouza , Margoa Goa

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