PANAJI: Goa Lokayukta has recommended that First Information Report (FIR) be registered by Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) against former Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, former secretary (Mines) Pavan Kumar Sain and former director of Mines and Geology Prasanna Acharya in connection with the second renewal of 88 mining leases. Lokayukta has also directed the State government to entrust the investigation in the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Goa Lokayukta has said that Sain and Acharya should not continue to hold office held by them.
“Appropriate FIR should be registered by the ACB of the State government against respondents - Parsekar, Sain and Acharya However, further investigation shall be made in accordance with law by an independent agency and the State government is directed to entrust investigation to CBI,” observed Goa Lokayukta Justice P K Misra.
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Goa Lokayukta has stated that it is satisfied that the complaint involving allegation against the three respondents has been substantiated and keeping in view the magnitude and seriousness in the dereliction of duty, a declaration as contemplated under Section 16A (1) is required to be made that the public functionaries concerned should not continue to hold office held by them.
“Since respondent No 1 (Parsekar) has ceased to be the Chief Minister/Minister, no such declaration is made with respect to him. Respondent No 2 (Sain) and 3 (Acharya) are still continuing in office. It is declared that respondent No 2 and 3 should not continue to hold office held by them,” it observed.
Goa Lokayukta said that it has experienced in the past that the ACB of Government of Goa is most reluctant to launch prosecution when influential political persons/public servants are involved. In several cases, ACB has failed to even register FIR when the allegations of bribery had been made against public servants and has been most slow and lackadaisical in its approach in investigating matters involving influential persons.
“There is no doubt that all the respondents are very influential by virtue of nature of offices held by them. In such view of the matter, it is recommended that after registration of the FIR, the investigation shall be entrusted to some independent agency like CBI. It goes without saying that before filing charge sheet, sanction as required to be obtained under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act or any other provision has to be obtained from appropriate authorities by the investigating authority,” Justice Misra observed.
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“This Institution is satisfied that the public functionaries concerned have committed criminal offence punishable under Section 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 before its amendment effected on July 26, 2018 as well as offence of criminal conspiracy as defined in Section 120-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) punishable under 120- B of Indian Penal Code and they should be prosecuted in the Court of Law for such offences. It goes without saying that prior sanction shall be obtained from appropriate authority before filing of charge sheet,” he observed.
The order was given in the complaint filed by NGO Goa Foundation.
Currently Pawan Kumar Sain is posted as director of administrative and establishment at the President's secretariat, Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.
Lokayukta order is only recommendatory: CM
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday said that the order of the Goa Lokayukta was only recommendatory, implying that the government was not bound to implement it. Reacting to the Goa Lokayukta order directing ACB to register FIR against former CM Laxmikant Parsekar and two officials for their role in renewing 88 mining leases, Sawant said, "Lokayukta report is recommendatory. Government will study the order and decide further course of action".
I'll take legal advice at my personal level: AcharyaFormer director of mines and geology Prasanna Acharya said, "Lokayukta has just given recommendation, but whatever may the direction I will take legal advice at my personal level and then decide the next step".