Churchill and 5 others chargesheeted, not Digambar, in Berger bribery case

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 28 September 2015 15:38 IST

Former PWD minister Churchill Alemao and five others have been chargesheeted by Goa police in the Louis Berger bribery case, but not former chief minister Digambar Kamat. He is still a suspect.

As per the legal requirement of filing within 60 days of registering the First Information Report, the crime branch of Goa police today filed the preliminary chargesheet in the court.

Kamat has not been named along with the six accused since the police are pressing for his arrest while he is still out on the anticipatory bail.

The petition challenging his anticipatory bail continues to be heard before the high court since 20 August.

The other five accused named in the chargesheet are JICA-funded project director - A M Wachasundar, former Asia head of Lois Berger - James McClung, former India head of Louis Berger - Satyakam Mohanty, hawala operator Raichand Soni and Margao municipal chairperson Arthur D'Silva.

Among these, police have still not been successful even to interrogate McClung while Alemao and Wachasundar are still in the lock up.

Mohanty and Soni were released on a bail after arresting them while D’Silva was granted anticipatory bail by the court.

The police had filed FIR in this case on 21 July, following which Wachasundar was the first one to be arrested.

The case came to the fore with McClung admitting before the Department of Justice in New Jersey that the Louis Berger International Inc, the US-based consultancy firm, had given a bribe of total Rs six crore to ‘a’ minister and other officials to get the project in Goa.

 

Goa government is executing a project of water supply and sewerage, funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), worth Rs 1031 crore.

During the investigation, the police charged that two heavyweight politicians – former CM Kamat and former PWD minister – during the Congress rule accepted the bribes on different occasions and made them main co-conspirators in the case.

The police then managed to arrest Alemao on 5 August, but Kamat managed to prolong his arrest by seeking anticipatory bail on 19 August while challenge to this bail order is still being heard by Bombay high court at Goa for over a month.

The police are planning to file a supplementary chargesheet later, claiming that investigation is still on.

Perhaps they are waiting for the outcome of the hearing on Kamat’s anticipatory bail granted by the CBI court, after which they hope to arrest Kamat and then name his as the accused.

The six accused are charged under section 120 B and 201 of IPC and sections 7, 8, 9, and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act. 

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Previous Comments

So now Digambar Kamat is not an accused but a "suspect" . What the people of Goa need to know is if the police have a case against him or if this is another political game.

- Ajay, Madgao | 02 nd October 2015 10:31

 

The case should be run on day to day basis and these heavy weight corrupt people should be sentenced to imprisonment as per IPC. These people should not be released on bail as they are influential and can tamper with evidences and witnesses.

- Vinay , Ponda | 29 th September 2015 16:16

 

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