The Goa bench of Bombay High Court has asked the state government to ensure that the special investigation team (SIT) formed against matka gambling works under a retired judge as per its earlier order. The Goa government has formed the SIT following the high court order in October.
However, a bench of Justices Prithviraj Chavan and N M Jamdar noted that the government order on SIT said that the retired judge's function would be only to give advise as and when required by the team, which was not in consonance with its direction. Though former high court judge A P Lawande was appointed to the SIT, public prosecutor S R Rivonkar told the bench yesterday that the judge had "withdrawn his willingness", and the government was in the process of appointing another person in his place. The bench then pointed out that as per the government's order constituting the SIT, the retired judge's function would be only to give advise, as and when required by the team. This was not "in consonance with the earlier order passed by the court", the high court said during yesterday's hearing on the issue. Rivonkar said the government will take note of the court's concern, and adequate "participatory and supervisory role" will be given to the former judge. The bench said that as per the earlier HC order, the SIT should work under a retired judge, so that he will be able to effectively monitor the investigation not only on the request of the SIT but on his own.
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