Free Press Journal

Non-cognisable offence against ‘missing’ ex-Goa minister challenged


Panaji: A decision by Goa Police to register a complaint for non- cognisable offence against “missing” and convicted former minister Francisco alias Mickky Pacheco was challenged before a trial court on Monday.

Pacheco, who faces six months imprisonment and a fine of Rs.1,500 for assaulting a junior engineer of the state electricity department in 2006, has been “missing” ever since the Supreme Court upheld his conviction earlier this month.

On Monday, officials of the Colva police station in south Goa registered a non-cognisable offence against Pacheco for evading arrest, while also reporting to the trial court, Judicial Magistrate First Class (Margao) Pooja Kavlekar, that Pacheco was “missing”.

The trial court is hearing arguments over whether Pacheco, who was the cabinet minister for archives and archaeology in the BJP-led coalition government until earlier this month, should be declared an absconder, even as Pacheco has gone “underground” for more than a week now.

“Evading arrest is a serious offence. I have sought direction from the honourable court to direct the Colva police to file a first information report under section 172 of the Indian Penal Code instead of a simple non cognisable offence,” said lawyer-activist Aires Rodrigues, who has been following the case for nearly a decade.

While Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar has said he will not “interfere” in the police hunt for Pacheco, sources close to the convicted minister maintained that he wants to “surrender” and the police hunt aimed at formally arresting the former minister was only complicating the matter.