A court in Panaji has issued a non-bailable warrant against former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat. The warrant was issued after he failed to appear in the Japan International Cooperation Agency case. Neither the former Chief Minister nor his counsel appeared before the judge in the principal magistrate court on Thursday when the case came up for hearing. Judge Irshad Aga issued a NBW adjourning the case.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency is part of the probe in the Louis Berger bribery case where the US-based firm in 2015 admitted to having bribed Indian officials to get two major water developmental projects in Goa and Guwahati. One of the projects that the US-firm bribed to get was a Rs 1,031-crore project, funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency. The then Chief Minister of Goa Digambar Kamat had approved the project.
Louis Berger got the consultancy for the project for augmenting water supply in South Goa and laying sewerage lines in the state's major cities in 2009. The enforcement directorate in March this year had attached properties worth Rs 1.20 crore belonging to Digambar Kamat in connection with the case.
Kamat however, had denied links to the case and claimed that he was being framed. JICA director and Louis Berger's former vice president were arrested earlier in the matter. It was alleged that a sum of USD 976,000 was taken as bribe to grant this contract. The scam came to light when the firm admitted having violated US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and agreed to pay a penalty of 17 million dollars to resolve the case.
MLA Churchill Alemao whose properties were also attached was jailed for over two months for his involvement in the scam while the Crime Branch was tracking the money trail that leads to Kamat and him.