Saligao Panchayat peon wins battle to keep job

Nandalal Kerkar, recently won a legal battle to keep his job as peon at the Saligao village panchayat when the High Court of Bombay at Goa set aside the order terminating his services.

The services of Kerkar were terminated on 24 July, 2018 on grounds that they were “no more required”. Along with the termination letter, he was also furnished a copy of the resolution passed by the panchayat.

The court in its judgement noted, “such order of termination, which, undoubtedly visits the Petitioner with civil consequences, could not have been made without compliance with the principle of natural justice as also, the compliance with any further statutory provisions, if at all applicable.”

Advocate for the panchayat, C A Ferreira argued that compliance with statutory rules did not arise as there was a basic infirmity in the appointment, but it was not accepted by the court, which noted that Kerkar had worked for the panchayat for two years prior to the termination.

The court set aside the termination letter and ordered reinstatement of Kerkar with all consequential benefits. Kerkar was represented by Devidas Pangam.






Court stops proceedings in matka case

JMFC Margao stopped proceedings against Neeraj Jain, a native of Delhi residing at Colva, Salcete in a matka case after discovering that the evidence was insufficient to convict him.

According to the prosecution, Neeraj was caught accepting bets on 7 December, 2018 near Joseph Restaurant, Colva and was charged under the Public Gambling Act.

During the course of the hearing it came to light that there was not enough evidence to convict the accused and arguments for stoppage of proceedings were initiated under Section 258 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The judgement, dated 8 April, noted that although Neeraj was charged with accepting matka bets, nowhere in the Act is the game of matka defined. It further emphasized that mere acceptance of money and issuing to slips cannot be termed as gambling activity. Therefore the offence against the accused is not made out.

While Advocate Vernekar appeared for the accused, the state was represented by APP R Dessai.








Time period for TCP to reconsider Curtorim hotel licence up


The six weeks granted by High Court of Bombay at Goa to the Town and Country Planning Department (TCP) to consider the application made by Ira Exotica private Limited for construction of a hotel at Curtorim, Salcete ended a few day back.

The directive was given on a writ petition filed by the company challenging the 19 January, 2018 order of the TCP which maintained that the width of the road leading to the hotel was less that 8 mts. The order was however, silent on whether Ira Exotica was entitled to a licence or not.

The company had obtained technical clearance for the project from the TCP, but on 29 September, 2015 it was revoked on grounds that the road width was not 8 mts in certain areas.

Ira Exotica approached the high court and on 3 July, 2017, TCP was directed to consider the application of the company on merits within three months. Accordingly, on 19 January, 2018 the TCP passed an order acknowledging that the road width had been reduced due to construction of illegal walls, but was silent on whether a licence could be granted or not.

While setting aside the 19 January order of the TCP, the court noted that Clause 6A.4 (16) states that, “while computing the width of the right of way available at the site the following structures shall not be considered as reducing the available access; illegal structures, religious structures, illegal encroachments, culverts, trees, public utility installations and the like. In case the proposed development is affected by any bottlenecks such as an existing compound wall old structures which do not exceed 75 meters in length at any given point, permission may be granted.”

The court order, dated 4 March, 2019 has given the TCP a last chance to consider the application even though it obliquely noted that the TCP had ignored its earlier directive to consider the application on merits.

Court throws out Curchorem drug case

A person (not named in the order) was discharged from the offence under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic substances Act 1985 by JMFC, Quepem, thanks to a serious error committed by the police.

According to the prosecution, the accused was arrested on 21 August, 2017 near Curchorem railway station after a search revealed that he was in possession of 8 gm of ganja.

However, when the matter came to court the lawyer of the accused argued that the charges should be dropped as the police did not comply with Section 50 of the Act.

Section 50 makes it mandatory for the accused to be searched in the presence of a gazetted officer or magistrate. This was further clarified and reinforced by the Supreme Court in the Arif Khan versus the State of Uttarakhand.

While Advocate S Gaonkar represented the accused, assistant public prosecutor A Chimulkar argued for the State. The judgement was passed on 11 April.