ON his last day in office, Goa Lokayukta, Justice P K Misra, on Thursday initiated proceedings against ruling BJP legislator Pandurang Madkaikar in a disproportionate assets case, and also pulled up the state government and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) officials for dereliction of duty.
On Wednesday, Justice Misra had initiated proceeding based on another complaint and had pulled up the Labour Department and directed ACB to file an FIR against people who allegedly siphoned off money from the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Welfare Fund.
He asked the CBI to intervene if preliminary probe found “possible involvement” of any politician.
On Thursday, Justice Misra initiated proceedings on a complaint by advocate Aires Rodriques, alleging that the BJP MLA had had a huge building – “valued around Rs 200 crore” – constructed under his real estate business, Nikitasha Realtors Private Limited, while his income was shown at less than Rs 1.5 lakh in the election affidavit.
The complaint was filed in 2018, when Madkaikar was a minister in the Manohar Parrikar-led government.
Madkaikar had denied the allegations and stated in his reply to the Lokayukta that the building concerned was constructed by Nikitasha Realtors, “which is a separate private company” with real estate business. “Madkaikar, being MD of such company, was only allowed to stay in such building,” the reply stated.
Justice Misra noted that Parrikar had then endorsed that since the complainant had approached the Lokayukta, the ACB did not need to pursue the matter, thus avoiding any further probe.
In his order, Lokayukta Misra wrote, “It is evident that ACB and the then Chief Minister have shirked and shied away from their responsibility by not registering FIR and conducting any investigation on the pretext that the matter was pending before the Lokayukta….. There is no doubt Respondent No 3 [Madkaikar] belongs to the ruling party and the ACB may become sluggish in its investigation.”
He suggested that the complainant could approach relevant authorities for a CBI probe if the investigation is not done properly.
The Lokayukta has also initiated suo motu proceedings against the then Superintendent of Police, ACB, for “dereliction of duty”.
In another order on Wednesday, Justice Misra came down heavily on politicians, ordering an FIR to be registered by the state ACB “against unknown persons for conspiracy to siphon out funds of Goa BOCW Welfare Funds to members of the public with a view to distribute largesse…”
The ACB will now probe both cases, and any gaps in probe will allow the complainants to approach the CBI, the Lokayukta’s order said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines