Bribery case: Former CM Digamber Kamat gets anticipatory bail

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Panaji, Aug 19: A local court on Wednesday granted anticipatory bail to Goa's former Chief Minister Digambar Kamat in connection with the Louis Berger bribery case.

District Judge B P Deshpande, while granting bail to Kamat, also asked him to furnish a surety of Rs one lakh. The court also asked the 61-year-old Congress leader not to tamper with evidence and cooperate with the Crime Branch as and when summoned.

Digambar Kamat gets anticipatory bail

He has been questioned twice by the investigators in connection with the pay-off scandal. Fearing arrest in the case, Kamat had earlier moved the district court for anticipatory bail.

The Crime Branch recently slapped an additional charge of causing disappearance of evidence apart from those already brought against him under IPC and anti-graft law. Section 201 of IPC (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) was added in the FIR against Kamat on Sunday, police had said.

Prior to it, the beleaguered Congress leader was booked under IPC Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and Sections 7, 8, 9 and 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act in connection with the case, which took place when he was Chief Minister.

The court had earlier rejected the bail plea of former Public Works Department Minister Churchill Alemao and an ex-official arrested in the case.

The Crime Branch is investigating the case of alleged payment of bribe by officials of Louis Berger, a US-based firm, to an Indian Minister to win consultancy for a water augmentation and sewerage project funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Goa.

Alemao, who was PWD Minister in the Kamat government, and three others, including former Vice-President of Louis Berger Satyakam Mohanty, head of JICA-aided project in Goa Anand Wachasunder and alleged hawala dealer Raychand Soni have been arrested in connection with the case.

Mohanty was granted bail on Monday on a surety of Rs one lakh and barred him from leaving India. Kamat, who has rejected all charges against him as politically motivated, appeared before the Crime Branch which recorded his statement for over three hours on Monday.

PTI

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