Leader of Opposition in the Goa Assembly and Congress MLA Chandrakant Kavlekar and his wife Savitri, were booked by the the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in a disproportionate assets case dating back to 2013. ACB conducted raids at the house and offices of the duo today.
Superintendent of Police (ACB) Bosco George, told reporters that, an FIR has been filed against Kavlekar under sections 13(ii) read with 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. While his wife Savitri has been booked for abetting the crime. Savitri unsuccessfully contested the 2017 assembly polls from the Sanguem constituency on a Congress ticket.
“The raids were conducted on Saturday morning in connection with the disproportionate assets case where 14 properties worth crores of rupees were purchased in the state of Kerala. Kavlekar and his wife have amassed disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 4.78 crore, which is around 59.21 per cent above their known sources of income,” George said at a press conference in Panaji.
SP George further informed that the properties were purchased between January 2007 and 2013. During the period, Kavlekar thrice served as the Chairman of the Goa Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) on three occasions.
“He has been questioned in the past. We might call him for interrogation again,” a senior ACB official told PTI.
The ACB has conducted raids on Congress leader’s residence in Betul and his office premises in Margao.
“I have been co-operating with the ACB and yet this is the fourth occasion when I have been raided. I know I have not done anything wrong,” the Leader of Opposition told reporters on his reaction to the raids.
Shantaram Naik, Goa Congress President claimed that the raids were political in nature. “The raids are clearly political in nature. This government fears it might come into a minority soon and therefore has been trying to use police action to threaten Congress MLAs into joining the BJP government’s fold,” Naik told IANS.
Naik further claimed that the BJP-led coalition government was misusing state machinery for political purposes.
“The disproportionate assets case goes so many years back. Any investigation does not take so long. The timing and intent of the raids is condemnable,” Naik added.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar defended the ACB’s action terming it as standard procedure. “It’s a standard procedure. They probably have found disproportionate assets, therefore, have acted,” Parrikar said.
Upon being asked his reaction to the Congress’ claim that the ACB raids on Kavlekar were politically motivated, the CM said, “Does Congress refute factual position? Whether there is a disproportionate asset or not?”
Parrikar further said, “He should not, until court finds him guilty. Actually the FIR is just basically for purpose of investigation. As far as his resignation is concerned, it is for the Congress and him to decide.”
Information credit: IANS and PTI
Image credit: The Goan