24 Jun 2022  |   06:55am IST

FIR lodged against Cavelossim ex-Sarpanch, others

Team Herald


MARGAO: Sessions Court, South Goa refused to grant the 'A' final summary filed by Anti-Corruption Bureau and directed the investigating officer to carry out further investigation in the matter pertaining to desilting/excavation of the mud from a fish pond. The court states that the issue is sensitive as environment is involved.

Based on the inquiry report of the Lokayukta, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has lodged an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act against former Sarpanch Viola Costa, four ex-panchas, former secretary of Cavelossim Panchayat, along with ex-officials of the Water Resources Department (WRD) for desilting/excavation of the mud from a fish pond. 

However, later ACB had filed 'A' final summary before the Session Court for the closure of the matter, which the court refused to grant in the order passed on June 17. 

The ACB has also booked the owner of the plot from Cavelossim under Section 13 (1) (d) r/w 12(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, and 120-B of the IPC, who had applied for the permission to desilt a fish pond. 

In the FIR, ACB mentioned the names of Lazarinho Miranda, ex-deputy sarpanch, Lumena Rodrigues, Brenda Passanha and John Barretto, all former panchas, Joaquim Rodrigues, the then panchayat secretary, Vijaikumar S Honawad, former executive engineer of WRD, Reagan D'Souza, ex-technical assistant of WRD, Franklin Fernandes, the then assistant engineer of WRD.  

Court order stated that it appears that the authorities who are listed and named in the charge sheet have misused their powers and helped the accused persons in damaging the property. 

"According to the intervener, the violators have filled part of the salt pans, which is an eco- sensitive area. Accordingly to the investigating agency, the violators had filled part of the salt pans. There is violation operating without any technical clearance", order further stated. 

Court pointed out that the issue involved in the present case is a sensitive issue. The property bearing survey number 150/4 of village Cavelossim is illegally developed by filling part of the salt pans which comes under the category of environment and eco-sensitive zone as per the ODP plan. 

Earlier, SP Serafin Dias stated in the FIR that ACB has been registered offences upon enquiry in a report dated September 15, 2020 into Lokayukta proceedings number 06/2020. 

The FIR stated that all the accused have caused loss to government exchequer to the tune of Rs 12.22 lakh. 

The owner of a plot in Cavelossim had submitted an application dated April 25, 2014 to the Cavelossim Panchayat along with another resident and others requesting to grant permission to do desilting/excavation of the mud from a fish pond. 

It further stated that the above mentioned persons along with the officials entered into criminal conspiracy with the owner/applicant, wherein it was resolved to take up the work of desilting of pond by portraying that the said work is being taken up by the panchayat in public interest. 

During the investigation it was revealed that Joaquim Rodrigues, then secretary of Cavelossim panchayat, despite knowing that the proposed work of desilting of pond is to be carried out in a private property belonging to the applicant, illegally forwarded the proposal to higher authorities to get the said work done through WRD.  

Later, WRD had taken up the said work through M/s MP Engineers and incurred an expenditure of Rs 12, 22,140 from government funds for carrying out the said private work and thereby caused undue loss to the government exchequer to the tune of Rs 12,22,140. 

 


IDhar UDHAR

Idhar Udhar