'Act against magistrate who ordered search of Parrikar's house'

Panaji, May 16: Goa's BJP-led coalition government has demanded that Bombay High Court should examine the conduct of a trial court judge, who on April 22 directed the police to search the official residence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for a 'missing' convicted ruling MLA.

A letter written by the state Chief Secretary R.K. Srivastava to the Registrar of the Bombay High Court has also described the April 22 order by Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) Bosco Roberts, instructing the police to search the 10, Akbar Road residence of Parrikar, as "illegal" and one having alleged "political overtones".

BJP demands action against magistrate

"This order seems to be an exercise which smacks of over enthusiasm on the part of the learned JMFC and has got political overtones. Accordingly this government desires that the conduct of the aforesaid learned JMFC should be investigated by the Honourable High Court of Bombay for taking appropriate action against him as deemed fit," says Srivastava's letter.

While the letter was written by Srivastava on May 5, it was available in the public domain only on Saturday. IANS has a copy of the letter.

On April 22, JMFC Roberts had issued a warrant to search 10, Akbar road, the official residence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, after an activist-lawyer Aires Rodrigues, a petitioner in the case alleged that Francisco Pacheco, a ruling MLA and former Archives and Archeaology minister, was hiding there.

The search warrant was stayed later that day, after the state government appealed to the District and Sessions Court arguing, that searching Parrikar's residence would cause embarrassment to the country.

Pacheco has many criminal cases registered against him dealing with extortion, assault, bigamy, money laundering and human trafficking. He has been missing since April 9 this year.

Police have been unable to serve an arrest warrant on him, ever since the Supreme Court last month upheld his conviction in a 2006 assault case.


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