Tuesday 03 Aug 2021

Special courts to try ‘tainted’ past, present MLAs, MPs

THE GOAN NETWORK | JULY 23, 2021, 12:52 AM IST

MARGAO

Present and former MLAs and MPs from Goa, having criminal charges pending against them before various courts may now realize that the ongoing trials will now take place before Judicial Officers designated as Special Courts.

In pursuance to the Supreme Court directions in Writ petition (C) No 699 of 2016, the High Court of Bombay has identified and designated special courts in both the districts. In South Goa, District Judge-I and Additional Sessions Judge, South Vincent Milagres D’Silva and Judicial Magistrate First Class, Margao, Judge Carlos Rohin Santana Da Silva have been appointed as designated Judges to head the Special Courts to try criminal cases pending against the former and present MLAs, besides MPs.

Similarly, the High Court has appointed one of the District Judges, North Goa and JMFC, Panjim to head the special Courts in North Goa district.

Following the circular issued by the High Court in late June last, sources in the know informed that the two designated Courts in South Goa have put in motion the process to ascertain the number of criminal cases pending against the present and former MLAs and MPs from the district.

The Goan understands that since the district Judge-I, and Additional Sessions Judge, South was already hearing the mining case against former Chief Minister, Digambar Kamat and corruption case allegedly involving former PWD Minister Churchill Alemao, the same Judge, Vincent D’Silva will hear the pending cases against the two sitting MLAs given his status as Special Court per the High Court directions.

Sources informed that the JMFC, Margao Judge Carlos Rohin Santana Da Silva will be the Special Court to try criminal cases pending against the past and present MLAs and MPs from South Goa, in cases which are not triable by the Court of Session.

Sources in the know are trying to figure out whether the Tickegate cases, allegedly involving former MLA Dayanand Navekar and eight others, will now be tried before the Special Judge, Carlos Rohin Santana Da Silva since Narvekar is facing various charges, including cheating in the case.

The Supreme Court in its judgement had observed that a large number of criminal cases are pending against sitting MPs and MLAs across the country, even cases which are punishable with imprisonment for life.

Besides, the Apex Court had observed that other pending cases includes offenses under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, Prevention of Money Laundering Act 2002, Arms Act 1959, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984, Defamation under section 500 IPC, cheating under section 420 of IPC, large number of cases are for violation of section 188 IPC for willful disobedience/obstruction of orders promulgated by public servant.

It was observed that large number of cases are pending at appearance stage and even non-bailable warrants (NBWs) issued by the Courts have not been executed.

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