Narvekar-Zuwarkar to be chargesheeted

| 30 June 2001 22:08 IST

Chargesheets against two former ministers, involved in two different scams, will be filed by next week, before the month-long monsoon Assembly session begins on 5 July.

Former deputy chief minister and MLA Dayanand Narvekar, as the president of the Goa Cricket Association, was indicted and arrested subsequently in the bogus ticket scam related to the final ODI played here between India and Australia on 6 April.

Somnath Zuwarkar, a Congress legislator and former minister, was also arrested for his alleged involvement in a bank scam, as the chairman of the Goa State Co-operative Bank Ltd, the apex co-operative bank of the state.

Chargesheet against Mauvin Godinho, the third former minister, for his involvement in a power rebate scam however would be delayed a bit, state the police, since it requires governor's sanction. Godinho had committed the scam as the minister.

Though corruption in public places had reached its height in Goa for over a decade now with series of defections and topplings to seize ministerial positions and make money through illegal means, this is the first time former ministers are indicted into illegalities and being chargesheeted.

Political circles here feel that the BJP government is in a hurry to file chargesheets in order to make the matters sub-judice and avoid embarrassment during the session. Karnal Singh, the DIG of Police, however claims that investigating agency has to file a chargesheet after investigations are complete.

In fact the Panaji police are filing a provisional chargesheet against Zuwarkar, claiming that the final chargesheet would be filed step by step. "There are 10 different loan scams involved in one case. I cannot file everything together", claims DySP Allan D'Sa, the investigating officer.

The provisional chargesheet, to be filed by early next week, would contain only one such case. "I will be adding one case each every fortnight", states D'Sa confidently. In case of Narvekar, however, the Margao police plan to file a final chargesheet, pending some additional evidence to be attached at later stage.

The CID (Crime branch), in the meanwhile, is presently busy preparing a request to Governor Mohammed Fazal for prosecuting Godinho, along with other former electricity department officials. They are charged for giving rebirth to a dead notification, to grant power rebate worth crores of rupees to several industries.

The opposition Congress however appears to be in a mood to make a hue and cry over arrests of opposition legislators, during the session. It was visibly felt at one-day sitting held on 20 June, when members including Narvekar and Godinho pounced upon the BJP government on the issue, terming it as political harassment.

"In fact I will not be surprised if the Tamil Nadu episode of arresting former chief minister Karunanidhi and others repeats in Goa when the Congress comes to power here", states Jitendra Deshprabhu, the Congress spokesman.

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