It is not unusual that stories which hit headlines and remain in news for days and weeks vanish from the media narrative for months and sometimes even years for a variety of reasons: changed political circumstances, lack of interest of the characters involved or simply because of the truism that public memory is short.
One such case is the infamous sex scandal involving ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) senior politician and Mormugao MLA Milind Naik.
For more than a year after the story rocked the State and even cost Naik his job as a minister in Chief Minister Pramod Sawant's previous cabinet and was the reason in chief for his defeat in the February 2022 assembly election, it had entirely vanished from the public and media memory.
But suddenly it has made a comeback earlier this week when the Bombay High Court bench at Goa on Monday slamming the Crime Branch of the Goa Police for failing to register an FIR based on the complaint of Naik's political rival Sankalp Amonkar.
The circumstances may have changed. Naik was the politician in the saddle then and Amonkar his challenger. After the last assembly election the roles have reversed -- Amonkar is the MLA in the saddle while Naik his rival on the sidelines.
But politics and the changed political circumstances do not matter for the long arm of the law and Monday's proceedings in the High Court, ironically in the petition filed by Amonkar himself, then seeking a FIR be registered against the minister, has now come to haunt the ruling dispensation with the two rival characters involved, sailing in its own boat.
The story first made it to the news after sexually explicit videos went viral in early January last year. In it, the ex-minister is seen and heard making lewd comments in a conversation with a woman said to be a widow who lost her husband in a mishap and had approached him for assistane.
Quick to pounce on the opportunity, Amonkar flogged the issue and escalated it given the assembly polls were round the corner.
After fending off the allegations for a few days, Naik eventually threw in the towel and resigned from the cabinet after Amonkar and the Congress launched an attack in the media and legally. He however insisted he was innocent and will prove it in the courts.
Interestingly, a few weeks ago the story did make a comeback but it was just a flash in the pan. Amonkar, who defected from the Congress to the ruling the side in September last year, approached the High Court with a plea that he be permitted to withdraw the petition.
Politics of convenience may be a potent tool for the likes of Amonkar's and Naik's but not so for the esteemed members of the bench in the High Court. Amonkar's plea was summarily rejected and the discomfiture of the ruling dispensation over the infamous sex scandal lingers on.
Now, with the Bombay High Court Bench coming down hard over its inexplicable conduct of failing to register the FIR on Amonkar's complaint before it, the Crime Branch has managed to buy time saying it will file its final report in the case.
The media and sundry, however, will not be at liberty to forget this story for too long. For, the bench of the Bombay High Court has fixed the next hearing in the matter for March 13, when beat journalists will have no option other than report the proceedings.
(The Goan, every Thursday, will revisit stories which had persistently hit headlines and were the topic of animated discussion in public squares and high-traffic social media platforms but have faded away to obscurity. Readers are invited to write to us at email@example.com indicating such stories that merit a retelling.)