While convicts in jails all over India have to wear the official jail attire (or uniform) for convicts, Goan MLA Mickky Pacheco can be seen in this photograph attending the I-Day event in Sada Jail wearing shorts and a T-shirt. While many convicts do not wear the uniform during their free time, the uniform is compulsory during inspection and other internal jail events.
Not just MLA Mickky Pacheco, even the jail officials are not in uniform. A senior jailor (in the centre) can be seen wearing sports shoes without socks.
According to an NDTV report, the Goa Government Employees’ Association (GGEA) recently met Governor Mridula Sinha in Panaji and urged her not to pardon convicted MLA and former minister Mickky Pacheco.
In the two-page letter handed over to the Governor, the association writes that “government servants in various ranks have started feeling insecure and fear that if assent is given to the said proposal, assaulting a government servant while discharging a duty will become a rule of the day.” They also warned that there would be lawlessness in the state and the “one who is stronger and mightier will rule.”
“The Cabinet has the powers. But we were shocked that the government went ahead and urged that Mr Pacheco be pardoned. Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar should have known that this will affect the morale of thousands of government officials,” Mr John Nazareth, President of GGEA told NDTV.
Mr Pacheco’s conviction for assaulting a junior engineer in 2006 had been upheld by the Supreme Court this March and was sentenced to six months imprisonment. After being untraceable for two months, he finally surrendered on June 1 and soon after sought a pardon from the governor. His appeal was then forwarded to the government and the Cabinet unanimously recommended that Mr Pacheco be pardoned. Incidentally, Mr Pacheco, is the leader of the Goa Vikas Party and is an ally of the ruling BJP in the state.
Shockingly, Goa’s Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza had even defended his government’s controversial decision by saying slapping a government official was only a “minor offence”.