A local court in Panaji has asked the Goa police to file in a case of alleged financial irregularities in the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) held in Goa in 2014.
In a complaint filed in 2015, Goa Forward Party (GFP) General Secretary (Organisation) Durgadas Kamat had alleged illegalities in the bills raised for IFFI causing a loss of Rs 5 crore to the state exchequer. He said he filed a private complaint before the magistrate after the police did not act on his complaint.
“The allegations made in the complaint are of serious nature involving huge money and therefore, the respondent is required to do detailed investigations based on documentary evidence available. The manner in which the inquiry already done by the respondent appears to be mere eye wash and not seriously done. The authority under which said inquiry done is also not known,” wrote Chief Judicial Magistrate, ‘A’ Court, Panaji Ram Subrai Prabhu Dessai, in his six-page order of June 8.
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The court ordered that an FIR under sections 408 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and 419 (cheating with knowledge of wrongful loss) be registered. “I find that there is absolute need for thorough investigation in the matter in order to unearth the truth in respect of the allegations made in the complaint,” the magistrate said.
On April 6, the court had asked the state government to produce all the case files related to this complaint. The court was informed that they were handed to a special public prosecutor who died in 2018. The court noted that the special public prosecutor died and “the case papers remained with him and inspite of efforts made by the police the file could not be traced.” The court said that there was no documentary evidence to show that the files were handed over to the prosecutor and it was not the specific case of the police that the files of the case were destroyed.
“Even otherwise, during the pendency of the present proceedings, the respondent ought not to have destroyed the records pertaining to the investigation in this crime. It is also not the case of the respondent that final report has been filed in the said crime and therefore, the question of destruction of the investigation papers does not arise at all,” the court said.
The court also asked the police to file a monthly report in the case.