The Central Bureau of Investigation is in the process of closing the case against Leader of Opposition with regards to the hosting of the first International Film Festival of India in Goa in 2004 on account of lack of evidence to prosecute him vindicating Manohar’s claim that the case was politically motivated.
It may be recalled that CBI was asked to investigate the excessive expenditure incurred to prepare the infrastructure for hosting IFFI following observations made by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Incidentally, the CAG itself recently dropped all the charges made against Parrikar after all the issues raised by it were clarified.
However, Manohar Parrikar had always maintained that CAG was not provided sufficient and relevant information which resulted in the stringent observations and had claimed that the CBI would find no case against him.
The disclosure that CBI was in the process of closing the case was made by Union Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanswamy while replying to a question asked by Goa’s Rajya Sabha Member Shantaram Naik.
“The investigation against the ex-chief minister of Goa is complete and that the evidence has not been found to be sufficient to prosecute the case, and as such, a closure report is being filed,” said the minister in his reply.
The CBI as a part of its investigations had questioned the core committee members for IFFI 2004 which comprised of Manohar Parrikar, Digambar Kamat who was then the Power Minister and is presently the Chief Minister, Speaker Pratapsing Rane, Power Minister Aleixo Sequeira, Water Resources Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Education Minister Babush Monserrate amongst others.
Core-committee members for IFFI 2004 including Parrikar, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Speaker Pratapsing Rane, Power Minister Aleixo Sequeira, Water Resources Minister Filipe Neri Rodrigues, Education Minister Babush Monserrate and others were questioned.
The complaint against Manohar Parrikar was lodged by Mauvin Godinho who is now the Deputy Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly after a committee constituted by then Goa Pradesh Congress Committee President under the chairmanship of Shantaram Naik had submitted its report indicting Manohar Parrikar of spending huge amounts of money in developing the infrastructure.
Significantly, Manohar Parrikar had earlier filed a private complaint against Mauvin Godinho accusing him of causing losses to the public exchequer by announcing a subsidy to power guzzling units without getting cabinet approval for it. The matter went up to the Supreme Court which upheld Manohar’s contention and the Government of Goa has now initiated the process to recover the subsidy amount from the units.
Meanwhile, Shantaram Naik said the CBI’s decision to close the case would be opposed. He said handing over government property worth crores of rupees to a private party to set up a multiplex itself was a sufficient case for prosecution.