Why did Special PP Kirtani quit Berger bribery case?

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 21 August 2015 18:24 IST

Did special public prosecutor Adv Guruprasad Kirtani quit the Louis Berger bribery case on Independence Day because his ‘freedom and independence’ was curtailed?

He started appearing in the case from 27 July and put down his papers on 15th August, within 20 days.

Did he quit because he failed or the government failed him?

“The government did not come for my rescue when needed”, he told goanews.com.

In fact his resignation letter, signed on 15th August, clearly states:

“Certain developments have taken place, without my consent, which has led to unwarranted criticism of my competency in a section of the press, as also in social media and surprisingly, there has not been a single statement on behalf of the government clarifying the government’s stance on the said issue.”

What was the development that had taken place without his consent?

Adv Kirtani does not hesitate to disclose.

He was upset that Adv Rajiv Gomes was appointed as another special public prosecutor in the same case, without even informing him.

“I have nothing against my colleague Rajiv. And government is also free to take any decision. But a simple courtesy demanded that I was informed about it. I come to know about it through media. That’s not fair. This is a very important case”, he says.

When contacted, Neetal Amonkar, under secretary (home), said their duty is to issue orders, as and when asked for and not to inform others about the appointment.

“We issued the order and sent a copy to the police department as per the procedure”, she said.

Adv Gomes started appearing along with him from 12th August, when hearings on bail applications had begun and arguments of Kamat’s counsel went on for a full day.

In fact Adv Gomes had to apologise to the judge on 13th August, when he argued for the first time at the hearing on anticipatory bail application of former CM Kamat.

Adv Surendra Desai, Kamat’s counsel, showed a comment on a WhatsApp group by Adv Gomes, related to the case.

Judge B P Deshpande had warned him to restrain from making such comments in future.

Adv Desai, on the other hand, dubbed arguments of Adv Gomes as a political speech than legal arguments.

Adv Gomes had made a brief statement, after lengthy argument of Adv Kirtani.

The authorities were also surprised with Adv Kirtani’s stance and tried to contact him to get his resignation letter withdrawn.

Sources say that even chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar tried to contact him to persuade, but he was not available.

Adv Kirtani however says he did not run away from his responsibility.

“I argued for all the bail hearings and then told the home department as well as the police to make alternate arrangements”, he said.

Did the government decide to appoint additional hand because Adv Kirtani was not effective enough to convince the court about former CM Kamat’s anticipatory bail?

That is what everybody thought because Kamat was finally granted bail. But the facts speak otherwise.

Adv Gomes was appointed much before even the hearing on Kamat’s bail plea had started on 12th August.

And Adv Gomes made hardly any arguments during Kamat’s bail hearing, probably because he had just stepped in.

Till that date from 27th July, Adv Kirtani had in fact managed to get all the accused remanded to police custody, may it be former PWD minister Churchill Alemao, former vice president of Louis Berger (India) Satyakam Mohanty, suspended JICA project director A M Wachasundar or hawala operator Raichand Soni. Even bail applications of some of them were rejected by the court.

It is still not known why the home department thought of appointing Adv Gomes as a ‘helping hand’ to Adv Kirtani, without even informing him.

However, Adv Kirtani has all the praises for the crime branch team for cracking the case so fast.

“The crime branch team led by SP Kartik Kashyap has painstakingly, with great professionalism, investigated and collected all possible incriminating material/evidence and that too at the breakneck speed which squarely points to the guilt of the persons accused”, he states in his resignation letter.

Now, Adv Gomes argues Louis Berger bribery cases on behalf of the crime branch. 

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Previous Comments

Only reason the Goa Govt. took up this case was because some Berger guy went to jail in the US and that led to a lot of media noise. So the Goa Govt. tried to show they are doing something, may be just, surely they don't want to come down on the criminals with an iron hand, and you know it why, after all, all are 'maagele', 'tugele, ani 'aamgele', and there are big and I mean really big interests at stake.

What happened to mining frauds, PWD scams?? no one has gone to the custody thus far, and you know it why.

- Rajeev Kamat, UAE | 21 st August 2015 21:08

 

Appointment of additional counsel without the knowladge of Adv Kirtani was not fair. Something fishi-fishi.

- Pratap Mardolkat, Dabolim Goa | 21 st August 2015 20:36

 

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