NGO files complaint against Goa education minister

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Panaji, Sep 13 (UNI) A city-based social oragnisation, Utt Goenkara, today lodged a complaint before the Deputy Collector&Returning officer against Education Minister and Taleigao MLA Atanasio (Babush) Monseratte for having filed a false affidavit about his educational qualification with the Election Commission in May last year.

The NGO's spokesman Adv Aires Rodrigues in his complaint has urged the Returning officer to inquire into the matter and take immediate action as per the law against the minister forthwith.

In his complaint, Adv Rodrigues stated that though every candidate was required to state the name of school/university and the year in which the course was completed, Mr Monseratte merely stated that he had done his Class X from St Theresa's High School at Bandra in Mumbai, without disclosing the year of passing.

However, the letter received from the school's Headmaster revealed that Mr Monseratte was admitted to the school on June 19, 1975, in Standard VI and left it halfway in Standard VII on September 7, 1978.

A perusal of the affidavit filed by Mr Monseratte and the letter from the Headmaster established that the information given on oath by Mr Monseratte was false, the complainant alleged.

Under Section 125A of the Representation of People's Act 1951, which deals with the provisions of furnishing false information in an affidavit, and Sections 177 and 199 of the Indian Penal Code, penal action can be taken against a person for furnishing false information and for making a false declaration to a public servant, Adv Rodrigues said.

He has also drawn the Returning Officer Mr Sabaji Shetye attention to the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India on June 2, 2004 that when any complaint regarding furnishing of false information by any candidate is submitted by anyone, supported by documentary evidence, then the Returning Officer should initiate action to prosecute the candidate concerned.

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