Former Goa ministers told to fight litigations on own expenses

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Corruption
Panaji, Apr 19: Former ministers in Goa, who are fighting litigations of personal nature through government-paid advocates, will now have to shell out money from their own pocket.

A circular issued by the Manohar Parrikar government to this effect this week states that there is no "justification" in providing state-paid counsels for the ministers fighting their personal cases. Law Secretary Pramod Kamat has ordered that all such lawyers be withdrawn forcing these ministers to foot the expenses on their own.

"This order is not applicable where cases have been filed against the ministers or government servants for acts of the commission or omission in the course of discharge of their duties," Kamat has said.

In such cases, the circular reads, the government advocates will continue defending them in various courts. The Parrikar government, which dislodged Congress to come to power in March, has observed that scores of cases are pending against highly-placed politicians, VIPs and others in different courts of Goa, including at the Panaji bench of the Bombay high court.

The Law Department's order has withdrawn all government advocates, public prosecutors, assistant public prosecutors and others from appearing in such cases. Several cabinet ministers in the erstwhile Digambar Kamat government had been facing court cases filed by individuals, RTI activists and civil society groups. Then public works department (PWD) minister Churchill Alemao has been facing criminal case for rigging the tenders.

Even former chief minister Digambar Kamat himself was also named in several cases concerning scams, which are being fought in various courts across the state.

PTI

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