Digambar offers to surrender passport to evade arrest

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 14 August 2015 16:03 IST

Former chief minister Digambar Kamat has offered to surrender his passport, but not to arrest him.

Adv Surendra Desai, Kamat’s lawyer, today morning concluded his counter-arguments, offering to surrender his passport as well as to inform the police when he goes outside the state.

He has strongly pleaded to grant anticipatory bail to the former chief minister.

The outcome of two-day long arguments and counter-arguments would be now known on Wednesday, 19 August, when the court delivers its order in the morning.

In the bargain of putting forward his arguments, Adv Desai had to face a question from judge B P Deshpande, heading the special court dealt with corruption cases:

“Are you casting aspersions on the judgement this court has delivered”, the judge asked him.

Adv Desai was arguing that accused like A M Wachasundar (suspended director of JICA-funded office in Goa) had deposed before the magistrate only after he was sent to judicial custody.

Wachasundar was remanded to judicial custody by Judge Mr Deshpande.

While humbly submitting that he was not casting aspersions on the honourable court, the senior lawyer requested the court to also consider in what background people have deposed before the magistrate.

The strongest ground on which the police are demanding Kamat’s custody are the confessional statements of five persons, who have deposed before the magistrate that Kamat and Churchill Alemao (ex-PWD minister) have accepted huge amount of bribes from time to time.

Both Kamat and Alemao are charged of accepting huge amount of bribes from the officials of Louis Berger International Inc., the US-based consultancy firm.

The firm was awarded consultancy contract to execute augmentation of water supply and sewerage project, worth Rs 1031 crore, funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Adv Desai brought to the notice of the court that Wachasundar as well as Satyakam Mohanty, former vice president of Louis Berger (India), had deposed before the magistrate that bribes were paid to Kamat and Alemao, only after they were sent to the judicial custody.

The rest three, who deposed before the magistrate and admitted of having paid the bribes, were never arrested, said Adv Desai.

“They have not deposed in normal circumstances. The depositions are not voluntary, but engineered”, he argued.

The other three persons include two former mangers of Louis Berger (India) and a partner in the consultancy consortium.

Adv Guruprasad Kirtani, the police counsel, however vehemently opposed this argument, asking how a confession before the magistrate could be engineered.

“It’s understood when the confession is made while being in the police custody is doubted. But is the confession while being out of police custody –that too in the judicial custody – also doubted?”, he asked.

Stating that Kamat’s contention of being innocent is nothing but crocodile tears, Adv Kirtani said the police had ample clinching evidence in the form of confessions as well as documents to prove that Kamat is the main conspirator in the bribery case.


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Previous Comments

I think the corruption show will go on, it is only the matter of turning jails into 5 star hotels. Long live our innocent Goan politicians.

- John W D'Souza, Margoa Goa | 15 th August 2015 21:20


Kamat don't want to go to jail but rob Goa of it's exchequer. If he is innocent, why is he afraid of jail? Jail is meant only for crooks and thieves like Kamat. Talking about status, what status does thieves have? Surrendering his passport won't entitle him to show himself clean. Congress has looted Goa and now BJP is doing the same thing.

- Satu, Goa | 14 th August 2015 18:26


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