Former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat has now been charged with disappearance of evidence in Louis Berger bribery case in addition to various sections of Prevention of Corruption of Act and IPC already against him in the FIR by the Crime Branch which is searching crucial files in the matter.
“Section 201 of IPC (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) has been added in the FIR against Kamat yesterday,” a senior Crime Branch official told PTI.
Kamat is already booked under IPC section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and sections 7, 8, 9 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act in connection with the case.
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The Crime Branch is investigating the alleged payment of bribe by officials of US-based Louis Berger company to an Indian minister to win consultancy for water augmentation and sewerage project funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The section pertaining to disappearance of evidence was added in the FIR against Kamat after a senior official in JICA’s Goa office told police that the former CM had allegedly forced him to give wrong information about the crucial file, which is being searched by the Investigating Officer, he said.
Kamat was allegedly helped by Margao Municipal Council chairperson Arthur D’Silva in pressurising the officer to give false information, the official said.
The Crime Branch has already interrogated D’Silva, he said.
The investigators have been searching for crucial files pertaining to award of the consultancy work.
Former state Public Works Department Minister Churchill Alemao and three others, including former vice president of Louis Berger Satyakam Mohanty, head of JICA-aided project in Goa Anand Wachasunder and alleged hawala dealer Raychand Soni were earlier arrested by the police in connection with the bribery scandal.
Fearing arrest in the case, Kamat, who has been questioned by the investigators twice, moved the district court for anticipatory bail. The arguments on his bail plea are over and the court is scheduled to pronounce its order on August 19.