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HC sets aside order passed by GHRC in 2016 Brics summit food scam case

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A Division bench of the High Court of Bombay at Goa comprising of Justice Mahesh Sonak and Justice Bharati Dangre today set aside and quashed the order passed by the Goa Human Rights Commission (GHRC) rejecting the application filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues to cross- examine Pradosh Amoncar the owner of Bicholm based Amoncar Classic Caterers in the alleged food scam case during the 2016 BRICS Summit which was held in South Goa.

A full bench of the GHRC comprising of retired Justice U.V.Bakre besides retired District Judges Desmond D’Costa and Pramod Kamat on 9th December last year had rejected the application filed by Adv. Rodrigues seeking leave to withdraw the earlier application and file a detailed application to cross-examine Pradosh Amoncar.

While allowing the petition filed by Adv. Rodrigues the High Court has permitted him to file a fresh application giving reasons why he wants to cross-examine the Caterer Pradosh Amoncar.

A Division Bench of the High Court comprising of Justice Mahesh Sonak and Justice Nutan Sardessai on 18th February last year had directed the GHRC to rehear the food scam case by giving a hearing to the caterer Pradosh Amoncar who had moved the High Court stating that he was not heard by the GHRC. The Court also directed the GHRC to re-adjudicate the whole case after hearing the caterer and Adv. Rodrigues too.

The GHRC on 30th April 2019 in its final report on the complaint filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues while directing the Director General of Police to impose appropriate penalty on Amoncar Classic Caterers, had pointed out that  Article 21 of the Constitution of India provides that every individual had 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 had submitted that the contract for a whopping Rs 51, 60,000 was given to Amoncar Classic Caterers without a tender to supply food for 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 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 further stated that while the Government had gone overboard in making all arrangements for the visiting dignitaries, it had conveniently neglected to cater to the basic fundamental and human rights of its own police personnel.

The GHRC by an interim order on 18th October 2016 directed that no payments should be released to Amoncar Classic Caterers pending inquiry into the entire episode.

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