Crime Branch busier with courts than probe in corruption cases

PRASAD SHET KANKONKAR, PANAJI | 03 September 2015 21:32 IST

Crime branch of Goa police seems to be busier in the courts these days than investigating the widely debated corruption cases of Louis Berger and mining scam.

In the high court, the CB is busy with the bail application matters of former chief minister Digambar Kamat and former PWD minister Churchill Alemao, related to Berger bribery case.

In the CBI court, the investigating agency is tied up with both the cases – Berger bribery case as well as the mining scam.

Alemao hearing on, Digambar order tomorrow

The Bombay high court at Panaji today evening heard the petition filed by Alemao, challenging rejection of his bail application by the lower CBI court, on two occasions.

Alemao is locked up since 5 August, presently at Colvale jail, almost for 30 days.

The hearing on his petition would continue tomorrow.

Adv Ashok Mundargi, Alemao’s lawyer from Mumbai, argued once again on the ground of parity since Kamat has been granted anticipatory bail while his has been rejected.

Both Kamat and Alemao are accused as ‘main co-conspirators’ with a charge of accepting huge amount of bribe from Louis Berger International Inc., a US-based consultancy firm.

The CBI court’s order of granting anticipatory bail to Kamat however was challenged by the crime branch and argued last week, on Thursday and Friday.

The high court had fixed only two days for criminal matters – Thursday evening and full day on Friday.  

The high court is pronouncing the order on Kamat’s matter tomorrow morning, not on anticipatory bail but whether the petition could be admitted.

Order on Alemao’s matter however could come early next week as the high court has now shifted back to hearing criminal matters daily evening from next week.

Wachasundar’s bail matter on 5 Sept

The CBI court, on the other hand, will hear another bail plea of A M Wachasundar, project director of JICA-funded project of Goa’s water supply and sewerage, on 5 September.

Louis Berger is the consultancy firm, executing this project in Goa since Congress was ruling in Goa, headed by Kamat.

Wachasundar, the first arrest of the crime branch on 27 July, is also in the judicial lock up for the last 40 days.

Salgaoncars’ bail matters on 15 Sept

The Special Investigation Team of the crime branch is also investigating another case of illegal mining, involving Alemao’s younger brother and former urban development minister Joaquim Alemao.

Along with him are the accused Sameer and Arjun Salgaoncar, sons of Goa’s leading miner and former MLA Anil Salgaoncar.

While they were quizzed by the SIT after Joaquim, both of them had applied for anticipatory bail.

Their matter was today postponed till 15 September.

All three of them are accused of extracting ore in Sanguem without procuring any licence. 

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