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Home department asked to take action on demand to appoint SPP in Mauvin Godinho trial

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Panaji: The Vigilance Department has asked the Under Secretary Home to take necessary action on the demand made by Adv. Aires Rodrigues to appoint a Special Public Prosecutor in the infamous Power Scam case in which the main accused is Goa’s Panchayat Minister Mauvin Godinho.

Additional Director Vigilance Dr. S.P.Goltekar has forwarded to the Home Department the representation made by Adv. Rodrigues to the Chief  Secretary seeking that a Special Public Prosecutor be appointed in the Power scam case which is set to commence on 15th June before the North Goa Principal Sessions Judge.

In a letter to the Chief Secretary on 26th April, Adv. Rodrigues pointed out that as the Complainant in the case Manohar Parrikar who is now the Chief Minister and the accused Mauvin Godinho having now become strange bedfellows there was serious apprehension that the two in collusion would derail the due process of law in this very serious case of corruption where loss to the State exchequer was to the tune of crores of rupees.

Stating that any act of corruption is a very serious crime against the State and those politically well connected cannot be allowed to go scot free in any act of Corruption, Adv Rodrigues in his letter stated that the Goa Government which has conveniently been appointing Special Public Prosecutors even in petty cases should prove its bonafides by appointing a Special Public Prosecutor in this multi crore Power Scam Case.

Adv. Rodrigues also stated that for this trial to be free and fair propriety demands that a Special Public Prosecutor be appointed in this case as the accused Mauvin Godinho being politically well connected and a Minister in the Government should not be allowed to derail the due process of law.

Stating that Mauvin Godinho should have infact resigned or be sacked, Adv. Rodrigues in his letter drew the Chief Secretary’s attention that in a 2014 landmark Judgment the Supreme Court had advised not to induct as Ministers charge sheeted persons facing trial and held that criminalization of politics destroyed people’s faith in democracy and that persons howsoever high could not be exempted from equal treatment.

The Supreme Court further observed that constitutional morality, good governance and constitutional trust expected good sense not to recommend any person with criminal charges from being appointed as a Minister and held that “criminalisation of politics is anathema to the sacredness of democracy and that it was worth saying that systemic corruption and sponsored criminalisation can corrode the fundamental core of elective democracy and, consequently, the constitutional governance.”

The Supreme Court also opined that “A democratic republic polity hopes and aspires to be governed by a Government which is run by the elected representatives who do not have any involvement in criminal offences”.

On 17th January this year while disposing Mauvin Godinho’s petition which was pending before the Supreme Court for over a decade, a bench comprising of Justice N.V.Ramana and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer while upholding the High Court order directing framing of charge declined to give any relief to the former Power Minister Mauvin Godinho in the Special Leave Petition which he had filed in 2007.

Mauvin Godinho had challenged the order passed by the Bombay High Court directing framing of charges against him in the multi-crore power scam case. By an order dated October 26, 2007, then Bombay High Court at Goa Justice Nelson Britto had directed framing of charges against Mauvin Godinho under Section 13(1) (d) (i) and (iii) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 read with Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code.

Justice Nelson Britto had in his order also noted that the charges against Mauvin Godinho came to be investigated and charge sheet filed based on a complaint filed by Manohar Parrikar and that it appeared that the case took different turns depending upon which government was in power in Goa.

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