Arguments commenced today before the Bombay High Court at Panaji on the petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues challenging the appointment of Senior Counsel Saresh Lotlikar to appear for the Anti Corruption branch in the corruption case against Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar. Justice R.C.Chavan today adjourned the further arguments to 13th August to hear the Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni in the matter.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues today argued before Justice Chavan that the appointment of Adv. Saresh Lotlikar to appear in the matter to appear for the Anti Corruption branch was not in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code.Pointing out that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was a party to the appointment of Adv. Saresh Lotlikar in the case, Adv. Aires Rodrigues further argued that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who is an accused in the could not have participated nor had any say whatsoever in the appointment of a Government advocate in the case against him.
Adv. Rodrigues also submitted that police officers cannot be represented by Government advocates during proceedings under Section 156 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
In his petition moved under Section 156 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure before the Prevention of Corruption Court, Adv. Aires Rodrigues had demanded that an F.I.R be registered against Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar for offences under Section 13 (d) (ii) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 punishable under Section 13(2) along with Section 193 of Indian Penal Code and Section 420 for cheating and causing loss to the State exchequer.
Adv. Rodrigues had stated that the failure of the Anti Corruption Branch to register an F.I.R. against the Chief Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar smelt of political interference obviously because of the high position he holds.
Adv. Rodrigues in his petition accused Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar of having misused his office as Chief Minister to high-handedly appoint Soniya Phadte as Programme Officer at the Institute of Public Assistance (Provedoria) by abusing his position as a public servant, in obtaining illegally for Soniya Phadte, a plum appointment, at the cost of the State exchequer.
On 27th June 2012 Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar moved a note directing that an order to the effect of appointing Panaji based 27 year old Soniya Phadte as Programme Officer be issued immediately. It was also directed that the appointment be on contractual basis initially for a period of one year and that she be appointed on a consolidated remuneration of Rs 40,000 per month. The appointment was made despite there being no post of Programme Officer in the department and neither a proposal from the department requiring such an appointment neither was there approval of the finance department and the cabinet as required.