The North Goa Principal District & Sessions Judge Irshad Agha on Friday directed that the criminal trial of Former Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar and two others in the infamous Serula Comunidade cheating and land grab case filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues be transferred to the Court of Mapusa Judicial Magistrate First Class Sarika Faldessai with the next hearing scheduled on 20th April.
Seeking that the case be transferred to any other Court for a speedy trial, Adv. Rodrigues in his petition to the Sessions Court last week had pointed out that case pertains to a complaint filed by him in the year 2013 and that the Court handling the trial had been vacant since December last year after the transfer of Mapusa JMFC Ms Shantashri Kudchadkar.
Drawing the attention that the case after having travelled through various Courts was finally by an order passed by the Bombay High Court at Goa on 22nd June last year sent to the Mapusa JMFC, Adv. Rodrigues stated that the proceedings commenced before the Mapusa Judge and that it was last heard on 1st December last year after which the Judge was transferred and the Court remained vacant till date.
Stating that the case is against accused who flouted the law as public servants and that the law laid down by the Supreme Court requires that proceedings of crimes committed by public servants have to be expedited, Adv. Rodrigues in his petition also stated that some of the witnesses in the case are elderly and if things are delayed it would defeat the purpose of upholding the Rule of law.
Justice C.V.Bhadang of the Bombay High Court at Goa on June 22nd last year had directed Dilip Parulekar and the other two accused Peter Martins, then attorney of Comunidade of Serula and Irene Sequeira, then Administrator of Comunidade of Bardez to face trial for offences under sections 119, 120, 420 read with 120-B of the Indian Penal Code. If convicted Dilip Parulekar and the other two accused could face up to seven years of imprisonment and fine.
On a petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues, the Mapusa JMFC on 16th January 2014 had directed the Porvorim Police to register an FIR against Dilip Parulekar, Peter Martins and Irene Sequeira for offences under sections 119, 120, 420 read with 120-B of the Indian Penal Code.
Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint had drawn the Court’s attention that the 599 sq mt of prime land on the Chogm Road at Porvorim was given away to Dilip Parulekar without any auction and without following the procedure contemplated under the Code of Comunidade and that the whole intention was to fraudulently facilitate the doling out of prime Comunidade land to Dilip Parulekar.
Adv. Rodrigues further stated that the Comunidade of Serula granted the 599 sq. mts to Dilip Parulekar for a mere Rs. 3,41,320/- though the value of the land was otherwise worth more than a crore and that Dilip Parulekar in connivance with Peter Martins and Irene Sequeira had grabbed that Communidade land at a throw away price by illegal means.
The case against Dilip Parulekar was initially probed by the Porvorim Police and later transferred to the Crime Branch which in 2016 sought to close the case against Dilip Parulekar but the then North Goa Principal District & Sessions Judge B.P. Deshpande had rejected that move by the Crime Branch.
Strongly opposing the move to close the case, Adv. Rodrigues had submitted to the Court that the Crime Branch in an attempt to shield Dilip Parulekar had derailed and vitiated the investigation by falsely and malafiedly portraying to the Court that Dilip Parulekar was a poor victim who was misled by the Communidade officials to grab the land.