Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar‘s brother-in-law Dilip Malvankar – a field officer attached to the Goa State Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) was arrested late on Tuesday by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) while accepting a bribe of Rs.1 lakh to facilitate allotment of a plot at an industrial estate in North Goa.
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. 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?
Another officer, Ajit Gaunekar, attached to GIDC was also arrested along with Malvankar, ACB spokesperson John Aguair said.
Parsekar has confirmed that Malvankar was his relative, but also added that the family ties would not impede the police investigation.
“He is my relative, I cannot deny it, but law will take its own course,” Parsekar said.
Jaipur-based industrialist Sanjay Kumawat had been allotted an industrial plot to manufacture Ayurvedic medicines at Tuem Industrial Estate in 2012. However in a compalint to the Goa ACB, he alleged that Malvankar and Gaunekar were creating hurdles in giving the possession of the land.
The duo has been booked under section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, Aguiar added.