Panaji: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said he was surprised after a local court issued a warrant to search his official residence in Delhi to trace former Goa minister Francisco Miccky Pacheco, who is reported to be absconding after conviction in a 2006 assault case. “It was a surprise to me. I had moved into my official residence the earlier day,” said Parrikar, responding to a question today.
The local court which was hearing the petition on Pacheco, who is missing after being convicted for slapping a government servant, had on April 23 ordered the search of 10, Akbar Road in New Delhi after social activist and lawyer Aires Rodrigues had petitioned the court against delay by police in tracking down the ex-minister.
The order came after Rodrigues submitted to the court that there was “information” that Pacheco was “hiding” at 10, Akbar Road. It was, however, stayed by a higher court in Goa the same day. “The order is quashed… so I don’t want to comment further. It is an issue which probably the investigating agency should work on. How does Defence Minister’s residence come in the picture?,” Parrikar replied.
“How do you stop people who have flight of imagination and slight bent of crooked behaviour?” Parrikar asked, making an apparent reference to Rodrigues who had moved the court seeking the order.
“It is for the police to work on it… This is not for the first time that such thing (politician absconding) that has happened. Earlier too, someone was not traced and ultimately he was found. If police want they can take help of counterparts from other states,” he added.
When asked whether Pacheco should surrender, Parrikar replied, “Any wise person should go by the law. I will not like to specify on a particular person… you should follow the law.”
Pacecho has to undergo a six-month sentence for assaulting a junior engineer of the electricity department in 2006.