Will Mickky quit or run minister's office from jail?

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 31 March 2015 12:54 IST

Will RDA minister Mickky Pacheco resign honourably or will chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar allow him to function from the jail, creating a new history in Indian politics?

Though Supreme Court has confirmed the six-month long jail term of the Goa Vikas Party supremo in a case of assaulting a government servant nine years ago, there is no legal compulsion to step down as the minister or even as the MLA.

“There is no liability to resign as the minister. He can continue clearing the files from the jail”, opines Adv Cleofato Almeida Coutinho, Goa’s constitutional expert.

He also says that any MLA or the MP has to resign as the member of the House only if the jail sentence is for the period of two years or more.

“This jail term is hardly six months, thus Mickky can continue as the MLA”, said Adv Coutinho.

Mickky, who was sworn in hardly three and a half months ago in the BJP-led government, has been hauled up by the Supreme Court for assaulting an electricity junior engineer Kapil Natekar on 15th July 2006.

Mickky had challenged the Bombay high court order, convicting him in the assault and abuse case, with six-month imprisonment and fine.

The apex court has finally upheld the high court order.

Sources close to Mickky disclosed to goanews.com that he would take a decision only after returning today evening from the national capital.

The RDA minister had rushed to Delhi yesterday to consult top legal luminaries to find out an escape route after the apex court also refused to pardon him.

However, disclosed top sources, the legal experts have apparently opined that no other legal discourse is available to skip the jail term.

 

The possibility of filing review petition is also being dismissed since it would go to the same bench of the apex court, which has passed the verdict.

Pacheco’s two-member Goa Vikas Party has been supporting the BJP-led coalition government right from the day the ongoing Assembly was elected in March 2012.

However, he was inducted in the cabinet only in November last year, after former chief minister Manohar Parrikar stepped down to take over larger responsibility as the defence minister of India.

Laxmikant Parsekar, who succeeds Parrikar, had filled the vacant post by accommodating Mickky in the cabinet.

However, the sword of assault case had been hanging over his head for all these years and he has been challenging all the orders from JMFC level to the final resort of the Supreme Court.

The ball is now being thrown in two courts simultaneously – Mickky and the BJP.

If Mickky does not resign, then chief minister Parsekar has to decide whether to drop him, but ‘purely on moral grounds.’

“There are hardly any morals remaining in today’s politics, thus you cannot say what would the politicians of today would do”, feels Adv Coutinho.

But he admits that no politician has continued as a minister while being in the jail.

“Even Laloo Prasad Yadav had resigned as the chief minister after he was convicted in the fodder scam”, recalls Adv Coutinho.

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