Will Digambar be spared when Churchill nabbed with same evidence?

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 10 August 2015 21:18 IST

The crime branch of Goa police is aiming at recovering total Rs 2 crore - Rs 1.25 crore from former chief minister Digambar Kamat and Rs 75 lakh from former minister Churchill Alemao - based on corroborative statements gathered so far.

Arresting hawala operator Raichand Soni was thus a major crack for Goa police, to pin down Kamat and Alemao in the alleged Louis Berger bribery case.

And Soni has admitted of having performed hawala transaction from his Panaji shop – Midland Shop, Opp Hotel Delmon.

Keeping aside other occasions of having paid bribes to both the heavyweight politicians, the investigating authorities have fully concentrated on submissions of two ex-employees of Louis Berger and the hawala operator.

Both Kamat and Alemao are presently facing a charge of accepting huge amount of bribes, together on eight occasions, from Louis Berger International Inc., a US-based consultancy firm.

The firm was chosen to execute a water supply and sewerage project, worth Rs 1031 crore, financed by Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The consultancy fees were fixed at Rs 75 crore.

Based on this corroborative evidence, the police have succeeded today in getting police custody of Alemao by three more days, after arresting him on 5 August.

The special court dealing with corruption cases refused to send Alemao to the judicial custody or even hear his bail application, till 13 August, when his custody will get over.

The police have attached the same corroborative evidence while opposing Kamat’s anticipatory bail application, which will come up for hearing on 12 August.

It is to be seen whether the special court at Panaji, headed by judge B P Deshpande, delivers two different judgements and releases Kamat while extending Alemao’s police custody.

The police have placed the evidence before the court after getting the witnesses as well as Soni swear before the magistrate, under section 164 CrPC.

The corroborative evidence placed before the special court by the police, is as follows:

* One of the ex-employees of Louis Berger has confessed that he has witnessed total four transactions in 2010-11:

1. Paying Rs 60 lakh to Churchill Alemao at his Varca residence.
2. Paying Rs 15 lakh to Churchill Alemao at official Altinho residence in Panaji.
3. Paying Rs 60 lakh to Digambar Kamat on two occasions

* The second ex-employee of Louis Berger has confessed that he has delivered the bribe money on two occasions in  2010-11:

1. Paying Rs 60 lakh to Digambar Kamat at Chief Minister’s official Altinho residence in Panaji.
2. Paying Rs 60 lakh to Digambar Kamat at his private residence in Margao.

* Both the employees have identified the officials and private residences of Kamat and Alemao and a panchanama is recorded in the presence of independent witnesses.

* Hawala operator Raichand Soni has confessed that he paid Rs 60 lakh each on three occasions and Rs 15 lakh on one occasion in 2010-11 to one of the ex-employee of Louis Berger, from his Panaji shop, along with his employee Mukesh Bharati.

* Soni’s employee Mukesh Bharati has confessed that Rs 60 lakh on three occasions and Rs 15 lakh on one occasion were delivered to ex-employee of Louis Berger from their Panaji shop.

While calling both Kamat and Alemao ‘main criminal conspirators’ of the bribery deal, the police have said they want custody of both to recover the bribe money – total Rs two crore. 

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