Charge-sheet filed against Goa ex-CM Kamat in Louis Berger case

Panaji, Oct 27 (IANS) The Goa Police’s Crime Branch on Thursday filed a supplementary charge-sheet against former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 1.2 crore from Louis Berger India officials for securing contracts for a water and sewerage augmentation project funded by the Japan International Co-Operation Agency (JICA).

Heading a Congress-led coalition government, Kamat, along with then state PWD Minister Churchill Alemao and other government officials have been accused of allegedly accepting a $976,630 bribe in 2010 from officials of US-based consultancy firm.

While Alemao has already been arrested last year and charge-sheeted subsequently before a special court, Kamat has managed to evade arrest. However his anticipatory bail has been challenged by the Crime Branch in the apex court.

Top officials linked to the JICA project as well as senior Louis Berger employees have been arrested by the Crime Branch.

Kamat has been charged for sections relating to criminal conspiracy and tampering with evidence of the Indian Penal Code and other sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. He is also being probed by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the scam.

The FIR was first filed after Louis Berger headquarters in the US, discovered during its internal audit that bribes had been paid to elected representatives and government officials in Goa for securing of contracts in the Rs 1,031 crore project.