Goa CM says no politics in chargesheet against ex-CM Kamat

Panaji, Oct 28 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Friday denied any politics behind the timing of filing a chargesheet against former Chief Minister and Congressman Digambar Kamat in connection with the $976,630 Louis Berger bribery scandal.

Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of a media event at the State Secretariat, Parsekar admitted that there was a delay in the filing of charges against Kamat, but also added that the corruption case was complex and needed a thorough investigation, which took time.

“The law takes its own course. I feel it is delayed… But for not any…” Parsekar said, when asked if the delay in filing the chargesheet, until a few months before the state legislative assembly elections, could give rise to speculation that the move was political.

Digambar Kamat was the Chief Minister of a Congress-led coalition government, who along with then state PWD Minister Churchill Alemao and other government officials, has been accused of allegedly accepting a $976,630 bribe in 2010 from officials of US-based Louis Berger consultancy firm.

While Alemao was arrested in 2015 and formally charged subsequently before a special court, Kamat has managed to evade arrest, even as his anticipatory bail has been challenged by the state Crime Branch before the apex court.

Kamat has been charged with criminal conspiracy and tampering with evidence under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Kamat is also being probed by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Louis Berger scam.

Parsekar said that the corruption case was complex, and added that another reason for the delay could have been Kamat’s constant petitioning to courts for bail.

“The matter had even reached the Supreme Court,” Parsekar said.