Though the BJP-led government in Goa has suspended both the GIDC officials arrested by the Goa Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) for accepting a bribe of Rs One Lakh, a senior ACB official told IndyaWire.com journalist Jonathan De Souza in Panaji today that the ACB officials were initially under great pressure from some “top departments” in the government to keep the case under wraps. For more than 24 hours, the Goa ACB did not breathe a word about the arrests and tried to keep the entire case away from the media glare. However, the news leaked on the social media – apparently the news was leaked by some upright and honest ACB
Both the accused were remanded to four-days judicial custody by a local court.
Field mangers Dilip Malwankar (CM’s brother-in-law) and Ajit Gaunekar of Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) were arrested for taking bribe to give possession of a plot at Tvim Industrial Estate to an industralist Sanjay Kumawat.
The Goa ACB, which as a norm issues a written media statement following graft-related arrests, did not formally inform the press and media about Malvankar’s arrest. The news of Malvankar’s arrest broke first on social media on Wednesday evening almost 24 hours after Malvankar was arrested. As reported by IndyaWire.com yesterday in other cases, the ACB also holds an impromptu press conference and invites both print and TV reporters to cover the arrest. The arrested persons are also paraded before the media.
The question therefore is – was the Goa ACB trying to shield and protect Malvankar from public and media glare? While the arrest could not have been avoided as the complainant in this case was also well-connected, and Malvankar was caught red-handed, was the Goa ACB under pressure from someone, including the CMs office to sheild Malvankar?
Jaipur-based industrialist Sanjay Kumawat had approached the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Goa police as the plot allotted to him two years ago to manufacture Ayurvedic medicines at Tevim Industrial Estate was not getting transferred in his name. The GIDC has 13 industrial estates across the state.
Both of the field managers had demanded total bribe of Rs two lakh, out of which Rs 50,000 were paid yesterday, which cost them dearly.
The Goa ACB team led by SP Bosco George had moved into action by laying trap and caught Malwankar red handed. CM Laxmikant Parsekar called a press conference, and told media persons that this is a clear signal that nobody would be taken lightly. He tried to impress upon the media that his government would not spare anyone, no matter who was involved.