Judge Anuja Prabhudesai of the Special Court under the Prevention of Corruption Act has issued notice to the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) on a pettion filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues demanding that an F.I.R be registered against Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar for his alleged criminal misconduct and cheating by causing financial loss to the State exchequer in the illegal appointment of Soniya Phatde as Programme Officer in the Provedoria department. Judge Prabhudesai has directed the SP of ACB to appear in Court on 14th February at 10 am.
In his petition moved under Section 156 (3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Adv. Rodrigues has drawn the attention of the Court that despite the complaint having been filed on 4th Feb the ACB had failed to register the F.I.R against the Chief Minister. Adv. Rodrigues has further pointed out that on 5th Feb he had also served a 48 hour deadline on the SP of ACB and yet there has been no action in accordance with law.
Adv. Rodrigues has stated that the failure of the Anti Corruption Branch to register an F.I.R. against the Chief Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar smells of political interference obviously because of the high position he holds.
Adv. Rodrigues has in his petition stated that the complaint against Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was for 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.
Adv. Rodrigues has also pointed out that the appointment of Soniya Phadte was done without the required approval of the Finance department and the Cabinet and that she was hastily allowed to join service without prior obtaining a medical fitness certificate and verification of antecedents and character.
Adv. Rodrigues has in his petition stated that Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was liable to be prosecuted 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 for fabricating false evidence about the previous employment of Ms Phadte and Section 420 for cheating and causing loss to the State exchequer.
Stating that no person howsoever high is above the law, Adv. Rodrigues has in his petition drawn the attention of the Court to various judgements of the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court requiring that police were bound to register an F.I.R and investigate the complaints filed.
Adv. Rodrigues has in his petition has alleged that ACB had not acted in accordance with law and that their conduct was patently coloured, arbitrary and illegal besides malafide for not having complied with their statutory powers and duties vested by the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Adv. Rodrigues has sought that that the Court now direct the ACB to forthwith register the F.I.R against Chief Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar and to speedily investigate the case.