The special court on Monday rejected the bail plea of former PWD minister Churchill Alemao on the grounds of his previous criminal background and the failure of his counsel to prove the political retribution involved into this issue. The court also kept in mind the overall interest of the society against the personal liberty of the accused while giving the judgment. According to the court the freedom of Alemao will lead to fiddle with the evidences and witnesses in the Louis Berger bribery scam.
Alemao was arrested on August 5 and has been in custody since then, though presently he is shifted to Colvale prison which according to him has a better facility. He will be produced before the court again on 19th August 2015. While delivering the judgment on the bail plea of Alemao, the special judge B P Deshpande observed that “the accused is allegedly involved in a conspiracy posing a serious threat to the financial health of the country/state”. Judge Deshpande also noted that Alemao in his reply did not deny that he has the previous criminal records “Which shows that the contention of the investigating officer that the applicant is capable of tampering with the witness and evidence in the case, which is to his exclusive knowledge, is having much substance and cannot be brushed aside lightly,” the judge remarked. He also observed that the investigation agency needs more time to “dig out the deep-rooted conspiracy in order to find out the truth“, and for the same accused is needed to be in custody.
“The accused is allegedly involved in a conspiracy which itself is ground to show that the same is a serious matter and affecting the economy of the state/country as a whole thereby posing a serious threat to the financial health of the country/state,” Deshpande observed. He also made out the point that there is no substance to show the involvement of political vengeance in this case. Everything is supported by the statements of the witnesses who had delivered he cash to the accused at his residence and even the US based company had admitted its guilt for paying the cash to the minister in Goa before the New Jersey Court.
Referring to the allegation of Alemao that witnesses were pressurized by the crime branch to give a statement regarding the bribe amount paid, the court stated that an FIR was lodged on the basis of the proceedings taken up in the US court where the Louis Berger company pleaded guilty to the misconduct of their managers in India. “This proposition of pressurizing witnesses is not helpful to the application,” the judge stated. The circumstances existing at present clearly show that it is the collective interest of the community which outweighs the right of personal liberty of the individual concerned and therefore the contention raised by public prosecutor G D Kirtani for rejection of bail has substantial force, the judge stated.
It looks like Churchill may remain behind the bars for quite some time as the matter is getting more complicated by the day, though it is very surprising to note that former CM Digamber Kamat whose involvement has been proved by the witnesses in this case is still scot free. The involvement of Kamat is at par with the Alemao as far as the Louis Berger case is concerned but his arrest is far from reality. How does our judiciary system works? Do they have different procedure for different people involved in the similar crime? Please do leave your comments and suggestions on this issue.
Source: Various Sources
Edited by: Goa Prism News Desk