MARGAO: Principal Sessions Judge B P Deshpande was on Friday forced to adjourn arguments on the anticipatory bail applications moved by Chandrakant (Babu) and his brother Babal Kavlekar as the Public Prosecutor L Fernandes could not argue the case in the absence of Investigating Officer, Police Inspector Vishwesh Karpe.
Responding to the Judge’s question the Public Prosecutor said the IO was on his way. Karpe arrived only after the judge adjourned the matter to October 4. The Public Prosecutor was not ready with his say when the matter was called out in the morning and the say was given at around 11.30 am.
Babal’s advocate admitted that the house where the matka slips and books were found belongs to his client and is in his possession. However, he said Babal had no knowledge how that material came to be in the two rooms.
Arguing that the two rooms were in the possession of the Anti-Corruption Branch from September 16, he said that it was quite possible for somebody to plant the material in the rooms given that the compound wall is quite low and has two unmanned gates.
He said that Babal’s sister-in-law had given the keys of the rooms to the police personnel on September 16 who later changed the locks and put their own locks. “Why did the ACB not seize the material if it had found it there on September 16?” he asked.
Further the advocate pointed out that ACB did not seal the locks put by them; the keys were not sealed in an envelope nor were any guards posted to watch over the rooms.
“The ACB did not even list out the material found in the room except mentioning that books and slips along with stapler and pens being found,” he said arguing that no material was found in the room by the ACB when it raided it on September 16.
He pointed out that the Crime Branch whose office is in the same premises as the ACB then raided the place on September 20 and seized the matka slips.
He pointed out that Babal has visited the police stations and is cooperating with the investigation. “Just because he is not agreeing to the charge leveled against him does not mean that he is not cooperating with the police as was said in the say,” he argued.
He pointed out that the case was based only on circumstantial evidence and there was no physical evidence of his client’s involvement and further argued that the case was on shaky foundation and questioned why a fresh FIR was not filed instead of adding it to the FIR of 2015 which was filed following High Court order.
He also argued that the Prevention of Corruption Act was not applicable as which government servant was involved is not mentioned.
Since the Public Prosecutor was unable to argue the matter, the case was adjourned to October 4 along with the arguments in Babu Kavlekar’s bail application.
Incidentally, PI Karpe who arrived after the case was adjourned submitted that he was held up at the State Police Complaint Authority where he had a hearing.