The Leader of the Opposition in Goa Assembly, Chandrakant Kavlekar, has been booked by Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the state police for allegedly amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.
The ACB, which has been investigating the matter since 2012, registered the First Information Report (FIR) under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act last evening against the Congress leader and his wife.
When contacted, Kavlekar said he has done nothing wrong and is ready for inquiry by the ACB or any other agency. He alleged that it was a tactic by the government to “demoralise” the opposition.
A senior ACB official today said the possibility of custodial interrogation of Kavlekar could not be ruled out.
“Kavlekar has still not been able to satisfy the investigating agencies about the additional source of income to the tune of Rs five crore,” Superintendent of Police (ACB) Bosco George told reporters here.
“If he fails to give a satisfactory reply, we might need his custodial interrogation,” he said.
George said the FIR also names his wife Savitri as a co-accused as she is the director in his company.
“As of now the disproportionate assets have been valued at over Rs 4.78 crore excluding the unexplained amount of Rs 5.50 crore,” George said.
He said Kavlekar’s wife might also be summoned for questioning by the ACB as a part of the investigation.
The couple have been booked under Section 13 (2) (any public servant who commits criminal misconduct) of Prevention of Corruption Act.
Kavlekar was chairman of Goa Industrial Corporation from 2005-2012, George said, adding, assets amassed during this period are under scanner.
During the investigation, Kavlekar was questioned but “he had not been able to give satisfactory replies because of which we had to register the case,” the officer said.
The Kavlekars had filed their assets as Rs one crore each before the institution of Lokayukta.
Elected representatives are bound to file the details of their assets with the Lokayukta.
George said that it took time for the police to file the FIR as some of his properties are in Kerala and the documents about them are in Malayalam, which needed to be translated.
He said the searches are going on at his residences and offices of his companies.
George claimed the legislator owns four companies, including a firm that takes up civil works contracts.
Reacting to the development, Kavlekar said, “I am not on the wrong side. I am ready for inquiry,”
The state government was trying its best to demoralise the opposition through such tactics, he alleged.
Kavlekar is a third time member of the Goa assembly. He was the Chairman of state run Goa Industrial Development Corporation when his party was in power.
In 2012, Goa police had filed a case against Kavlekar under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, taking cognisance of media reports alleging his involvement in illegal allotment of plots.
The investigations had revealed that Kavlekar owned a plantation worth Rs 32.5 crore in Kerala, officials claimed.