Current Affairs

RTI Activist challenges Goa Speaker to file defamation charges

RTI Activist Adv. Aires Rodrigues has today challenged the Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly Rajendra Arlekar to initiate breach of privilege and defamation proceedings against him.

Suggesting that Rajendra Arlekar should first take some lessons on the laws of breach of Privilege and defamation, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that Rajendra Arlekar may have been able to high-handedly muzzle the other 39 MLAs but could not silence the people of Goa.

Stating that for over four decades he had been fighting against corruption and nepotism in public life, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that he would never be cowed down or intimidated by such threats and consequences that he may have to  face for speaking out fearlessly.

Accusing Rajendra Arlekar of misusing his office as Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly to scuttle the current probe against him, Adv. Rodrigues has challenged Rajendra Arlekar to a public debate on the disproportionate assets allegation as persons holding public offices should be open to public scrutiny.

Stating that he had committed no breach of privilege or any wrong by placing the relevant documents before the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) and seeking a probe, Adv. Rodrigues has welcomed Rajendra Arlekar’s decision to file a defamation case while recommending that he should seek the services of former Advocate General Subodh Kantak who had hands on experience of the defamation law.

Demanding that Rajendra Arlekar reveal the details of the blackmailing and so called feelers he has claimed he received, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that if even an iota of the allegations made by the Speaker are proved he would step aside from the noble legal profession and that Rajendra Arlekar on the other hand would have no moral authority to continue as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly if he could not corroborate the reckless and false allegations made.

Pointing out that the case against Rajendra Arlekar was now before the Special Court under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Adv. Rodrigues has demanded that the current probe being conducted by the Anti- Corruption Bureau and the Income tax authorities should get to the bottom of the rot.

Disputing Rajendra Arlekar’s claim that the Rs 72 lakh plot was purchased on a bank loan, Adv. Rodrigues has pointed out that the ACB needs to probe whether there was undue favour shown to Rajendra Arlekar in the granting of the 57 lakhs loan he claims he obtained.

Stating that any sale deed with a bank loan would have the date and number of the cheque or draft incorporated in the sale deed, Adv. Rodrigues has stated that Rajendra Arlekar’s sale deed surprisingly was silent on whether the 72 lakhs claimed to have been paid was paid by cheque, draft or cash.

Adv. Rodrigues has further stated that Rajendra Arlekar has to also account for the balance 15 lakhs and a further Rs 4, 8,280 he paid towards stamp duty and registration charges.

Adv. Rodrigues has also sought to know as to how and why on that sale deed the address of the Vendor Dharmanand Kamat was shown as Merces Goa, when Rajendra Arlekar was fully aware that he was a permanent resident of Delhi.  

Adv, Rodrigues has stated that the people of Goa have the right to know as to how Speaker Rajendra Arlekar has suddenly become so wealthy when for the last nine years he was unable to pay up the costs of Rs.10,000 imposed on him by the Bombay High Court at Goa on 27th May 2005 in the election petition 2/2002 while setting aside his then election as MLA.

Meanwhile,  Judge Anuja Prabhudessai of the Special Court under the Prevention of Corruption Act today adjourned to 6th Feb the petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues seeking directions to the ACB to immediately register an F.I.R. against Speaker of Goa Assembly Rajendra Arlekar in the disproportionate assets case.

As directed by the Court Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) Superintendent of Police Bosco George and Dy SP Bossuet D’Silva appeared in Court today and sought time to appoint a Special Government Counsel.

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