The Court order today was issued after Adv. Aires Rodrigues filed an application before Judge Anuja Prabhudesai that he be heard before the Court decides on the fate of the move by the ACB to close the case against Shobha Dhumaskar.
While seeking to close the case the ACB has informed the Court that though the case against Shobha Dhumaskar was partly true the evidence was weak to charge sheet Dhumaskar.
On March 22nd a Division Bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice R.P. Sondurbaldota had given the ACB six weeks to complete the probe against Shobha Dhumaskar.
The Court directions came after Adv. Aires Rodrigues submitted that though the F.I.R of cheating was registered against Shobha Dhumaskar on March 24th last year that the ACB under political pressure was dragging its feet in the investigation.
Adv. Rodrigues had also drawn the attention of the Court that despite an F.I.R of cheating and corruption registered against Shobha Dhumaskar, that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar instead of suspending her had high-handedly given her two extensions in service along with a hefty pay hike in order to get her to withdraw criminal cases pending against ruling party politicians.
It may be recalled that The F.I.R was registered against Shobha Dhumaskar on the directions of the Special Court under the Prevention of Corruption Act after a petition was filed against her by Adv. Aires Rodrigues alleging corruption and loss to the State exchequer. The F.I.R was registered against Shobha Dhumaskar under Sections 420, 474 of the Indian Penal Code and also Section 13 (1) (d) (i) & (ii) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The complaint against Shobha Dhumaskar pertains to a 76 sq mts flat at ‘Mutual Apartments’, at Panaji leased by the Director of Prosecution in a manner showing undue favoritism and causing loss to the State exchequer.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues gave the ACB the entire noting sheets and the lease agreement which establishes that Shobha Dhumaskar went out of the way to lease that flat without issuing a public advertisement.
Adv. Rodrigues stated that Mrs. Shobha Dhumaskar permitted the owners of the flat undue financial advantage at the cost of the State exchequer and that she had intentionally caused a huge financial loss to the State Exchequer.
Adv. Rodrigues further stated that the Director of Prosecution had taken the flat on a five year lease for an initial rent of Rs 30,000/- a month with an annual rent hike of 10% every year, despite the PWD stating that rent is revised only every five years.
Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint also give the ACB documents obtained under RTI Act from the Corporation of the City of Panaji, showing that the premises taken on lease was a residential flat with no permission given to use the premises for any other purpose. Adv. Rodrigues also alleged that Shobha Dhumaskar misled the Government that the flat was an office premises.
It may be recalled that Director of Prosecution Shobha Dhumaskar had also in a very controversial legal opinion given on 22nd Feb 2010 opined that the son of Goa’s then IGP K.D Singh should not be charge sheeted in an accident case and that the case be closed as it would be difficult to prove the case in Court.
On 4th December 2009 Siddharth Singh, the former IGP’s son while driving his father’s official vehicle to a night club at Vasco, crashed the vehicle while also damaging two electricity poles. The repair of that damaged Toyota Innova itself cost the State exchequer Rs 4, 33, 200.