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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

2016 BRICS Summit food scam: Petition to be heard by division bench





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Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu of the Bombay High Court at Goa has directed that the petition filed by the Bicholim based M/s Amonkar Classic Caterers be heard by a Division bench. When the petition came up for hearing today Adv. Aires Rodrigues pointed out to the Court that in terms of the High Court rules the petition has to be heard by a Division Bench as it challenges a penalty imposed.

M/s Amonkar Classic Caterers has challenged before the High Court the show cause notice issued last year by the South Goa Superintendent of Police as to why the Rs 42, 21,420 claimed towards supply of food should not be forfeited for having provided unhygienic food to the police personnel on duty during that 2016 BRICS Summit which was hosted in the State.

The Goa Human Rights Commission (GHRC) on 30th April last year in its final order on the complaint filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues while directing the Director General of Police to impose appropriate penalty on M/s Amonkar Classic Caterers, had pointed out that  Article 21 of the Constitution of India provides that every individual has a right to life which includes right to live with decency and human dignity and that on account of unhygienic food supplied to the police personnel during the 2016 BRICS  summit there was a clear infringement of Article 21 thus violating the basic human rights of the police personnel to live with decency and human dignity.

Adv. Aires Rodrigues in his complaint to the GHRC on 14th October 2016 submitted that the contract for a whopping Rs 51, 60,000 was given to Amonkar Classic Caterers without a proper tender for supply of food to police personnel posted on duty for the BRICS summit and that the contract was sub-let to a road side contractor who clandestinely prepared the food in an open space at Verna.

Pointing out that road side laborers were engaged for cooking that substandard food in most unhygienic conditions with water stored in open plastic barrels and used for cooking, Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint further submitted that with thick bushes around the insects and cockroaches found their way into the food served to the police personnel.

Adv. Rodrigues also stated that despite the GHRC having more than once reminded the Government that police personnel are Human beings and should so be treated, the authorities had failed to make any proper arrangements including food, water and toilet facilities for the police personnel.

Adv. Rodrigues further stated that while the Government had gone overboard in making all arrangements for those visiting dignitaries, it had conveniently neglected to cater to the basic fundamental and human rights of its own police personnel.

Stating that the authorities had lost sight that police personnel too have a personal life, Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint pointed out that the Government could not be allowed to be a cause for ruining their health and lives. The GHRC by an interim order on 18th October 2016 had directed that no payments should be released to the Caterer pending inquiry into the entire episode.

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