Crucial 'missing' file not with CB, admits JICA office

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 13 August 2015 22:58 IST

The Public Information Officer at the JICA-funded office has finally confessed that the information under RTI was provided without verifying that Goa police had not taken the ‘missing file’ of the project with them.

Former chief minister Digambar Kamat had told the court, showing reply to his RTI application, that the crucial missing file of JICA project had actually been taken by the crime branch of Goa police, when they had searched the office.

As the RTI reply was produced by Kamat’s lawyer Adv Surendra Desai in the court, the crime branch immediately moved into action, recording statement of PIO and surveyor Udaykumar Mandevalkar.

After filing FIR in the Louis Berger bribery case on 21 July, the first action of the crime branch was to search the office of JICA-funded project on 22 and 23 July.

Meanwhile, Kamat asked for the JICA file under RTI on 23 July. He got a reply on 11 August that all files regarding JICA, including the file of notings, were taken away by the crime branch officials.

On the other hand, crime branch had told the court that they want custody of Kamat as well as former PWD minister Churchill Alemao because the missing JICA file could have been either destroyed or hidden by them.

In fact that was the prime reason to arrest both of them.

Obviously, the RTI reply turned the tables in favour of Kamat and against the investigating agency.

The crime branch immediately moved into action and submitted to the court today the statements of PIO Mandevalkar as well as two subordinate officers.

Mandevalkar in his statement said the reply was prepared by two of his subordinate officers and he simply signed it.

He also admitted of not verifying the facts even with the crime and the crucial JICA file with notings was actually not taken by the CB officials.

The PIO also said he was pressurised to give reply to the RTI as fast as possible, due to which the error had occurred.

Margao municipal chairperson Arthur D’Silva had personally gone to the JICA-funded office to enquire about the RTI, said the lawyers of Goa police.

The police also recorded statements of two subordinate to substantiate PIO’s claim.  

The police now once again maintain that the file is not with them and it’s missing. 

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