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Louis Berger bribery scam: Order on Digambar Kamat's bail plea reserved till August 19

A local court on Friday reserved till August 19 its order on the anticipatory bail plea filed by former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat whose custodial interrogation was sought by Crime Branch in connection with Louis Berger bribery case.



Panaji: A local court on Friday reserved till August 19 its order on the anticipatory bail plea filed by former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat whose custodial interrogation was sought by Crime Branch in connection with Louis Berger bribery case.

After hearing the arguments on the bail plea, District Judge B P Deshpande reserved the verdict till next Wednesday.

Defence lawyer Surendra Desai said the FIR against Kamat was filed even before obtaining a copy of the judgement from the US court.

"Preliminary inquiry should be conducted before registering FIR. How can FIR be registered without obtaining documents from the US? In a way there is no evidence, no direct link with the prosecution. Should a (former) head of state be treated like this?" Desai argued.

Officials of Louis Berger had admitted in the US court that they had paid bribe to an Indian minister to win consultancy contract for water augmentation and sewerage pipeline project under JICA in Goa in 2010 (when Congress was in power).

The alleged bribery scam of USD 976,630 for the project included kickbacks to a minister, the details of which have not been disclosed by the US Department of Justice.

Special public prosecutor GP Kirtani said Goa Police have clear evidence against Kamat.

"The statements have clearly mentioned that the money was delivered to you," he said referring to the arguments by the defence lawyer.

Yesterday, Kamat, in a submission made through his lawyer, during a hearing on his bail plea had said that he has nothing to do with the bribery case as he was not holding the top post when the water project at the centre of the scandal was conceived and the related contract signed.

Desai had told the court that Kamat was not the chief minister when the project was conceived between 2004-05 and a consultancy contract for it signed in 2007.

"There is more to it than meets the eye. I had nothing to do with the entire scope of (project) negotiation," he had said on behalf of Kamat.

"When I (Kamat) had no role to play, there is no question of anyone coming to meet me (and discuss issues related to the project)," he added.

The 61-year-old Congress leader has been booked in the scandal which took place in 2010 when he was the chief minister heading a Congress-led government but came to light this year. Police have already arrested four people, including then Public Works Department Minister Churchill Alemao, and questioned Kamat twice.  

From Zee News

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