Published On: Sat, Apr 4th, 2015

Goa Guv accepts convicted minister Pacheco’s resignation, who slapped govt servant

Panaji, Apr 4 (PTI) Goa Governor Mridula Sinha today accepted the resignation of convicted minister Francisco Pacheco, a day after he quit from the state cabinet.

Goa’s controversial Minister Francisco  Pacheco, convicted by the Supreme Court for slapping a government servant, resigned from the BJP-led coalition government.

Goa’s controversial Minister Francisco Pacheco, convicted by the Supreme Court for slapping a government servant, resigned from the BJP-led coalition government.

“Governor has informed the chief minister’s office that Pacheco’s resignation has been accepted. We had forwarded his resignation to Raj Bhavan yesterday,” said a senior officer attached to CMO.

With the acceptance of his resignation, the size of the state cabinet has shrunk to 11, leaving one post vacant.

Yesterday, Pacheco tendered his resignation to Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar who is currently in Bangalore to attend BJP’s national executive.

The minister was inducted in the state cabinet in November last year, after then chief minister Manohar Parrikar was elevated to the post of union defence minister.

Pacheco, Goa Vikas party legislator and Nuvem constituency MLA, was given the RDA and Archaeology-Archives portfolio in the BJP-led 12 member state cabinet.

The minister ran into trouble after Supreme Court dismissed his petition seeking to stay the conviction order by Goa Bench of Bombay High Court for slapping a government servant on duty.

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices F M I Kalifulla and Shiva Kirti Singh this week had dismissed the special leave petition of Pacheco against the July 17, 2014 High Court verdict.

As per the order, the minister will have to undergo six months imprisonment.

The Goa bench of the High Court had set aside the verdict of a revisional court, which had “brought down” the conviction of the MLA under Section 323 (causing hurt) from the harsher section 353 (assaulting public servant to deter from duty) under the IPC and, instead of sentencing him, ordered his release on ‘admonition’ under the Probation of Offenders Act.

The High Court, which had given two weeks’ time to the MLA to surrender, had upheld the decision of a lower appellate court to award him a jail term of six months besides a fine of Rs 1,500 in the case.

The apex court, in July last year, had admitted the MLA’s Special Leave Petition for hearing and exempted him from the surrender to undergo imprisonment.

An FIR was lodged on July 15, 2006 by Kapil Natekar, a junior engineer of the government’s Electrical Department, against then minister Pacheco, alleging that he was abused and slapped by the lawmaker in his chamber.

A court of Judicial Magistrate at Margao had convicted the lawmaker and sentenced him to one-year jail term and a fine of Rs 5,000. However, an appellate court partly allowed the appeal of the MLA and reduced the jail term to 6 months and the fine to Rs 1,500.

However, a revisional court brought down the conviction under milder section 323 of the IPC and allowed the convict to walk free on ‘admonition’ under Section 3 of Probation of Offenders Act. This was reversed by the High Court.

PTI

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