Herald: Activist group alleges cover up in Housing Board land scam

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Activist group alleges cover up in Housing Board land scam

17 Apr 2019 06:11am IST

Report by
Team Herald

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17 Apr 2019 06:11am IST

Report by
Team Herald

Takes exception to A-summary report filed in court; To file written objection on May 2

MARGAO: United Goans Foundation while taking strong exception to the A-Summary filed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau in the infamous Housing Board land scam case involving the then managing director Elvis Gomes informed the Principal Sessions Judge, North, that they would be filing their written objections before the next date of hearing which is on May 2.

Briefing media persons, Dr Ashish Kamat accused the ACB of investigating only those cases where something can be extracted from the accused and said in the land scam case also Gomes has been used for political purpose.

Terming ACB as Associated Corruption Branch, he said, “Most of the cases taken up by them do not head anywhere; and the officer involved in the land scam case has at least two other cases against him that have headed nowhere.”

Explaining the case, he said around 30,200 sq mts of Margao comunidade land that was mentioned as afframento of D’Mello family had one Jose Gomes as a tenant and despite it being a tenanted land it was converted from paddy field to settlement.

Drawing the timeline, he said that on March 23, 2007 a memorandum of understanding was signed by Marquis Xavier with the owners of the land to purchase the same. Interestingly, nine months later on December 17, 2007 the Goa Housing Board decided to acquire the land for a housing colony.

Even though the Housing Board had initiated the land acquisition process, a Deed of Sale was executed on November 25, 2019 based on the MoU of 2007 without obtaining NOC from SGPDA.

Interestingly, the tenant of the property Jose Gomes was not a signatory nor was his name mentioned in the Sale Deed. What is significant is that the Inspector of Survey and Land Records deleted the tenant’s name from the records of the property vide an order dated April 8, 2011 which was much after the Sale Deed was signed.

Further on March 18, 2011 one Vincent Gracias claiming to be one of the owners of the land wrote to the Housing Board MD claiming that he gets monthly income from the property and pleading to drop the land acquisition proceedings.

At the board meeting held the next day on March 19, 2011 the land acquisition proceedings were dropped based on just that one letter. “We had submitted all the documents obtained under RTI from the investigating officer and yet he claims that they could not join the dots and hence filed A summary report,” said Dr Ashish.

Pointing out that Marquis Xavier is a known friend of Deputy Chief Minister Vijai Sardessai, he said that the dropping of the land acquisition was nothing but a political game to help Marquis grab the land at a throwaway price.

Also pointing out that A-Summary means there is truth in the case only evidence cannot be traced, he said if there was no truth in the allegations made by them the police would have filed for B summary which it has not done.

“Elvis should well stop telling people that there is nothing in the case as the police have filed for A-Summary and we shall take this matter to its logical conclusion,” he said while disclosing that an advocate had filed an intervention plea on behalf of Elvis Gomes that was however rejected by the court.

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