Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's son Abhijat, accused of committing illegalities in the construction of an eco-tourism project, told the Bombay High Court that the petition against him is "political in nature" and masterminded by Congress leaders who want to "gain political mileage" ahead of elections.
"I say that the present PIL is a politically-motivated petition and has been filed on the eve of elections to get political mileage in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. The petition smacks of malice," Abhijat said in the reply submitted to the court, while also calling the litigation a 'pseudo PIL'.
In order to prove his point about the petition being political in nature to the judicature, the accused told the court that details about the PIL were publicly announced at a press conference in Panaji in February where the Goa's senior Congress leaders were also present.
"Before the present PIL Writ Petition came up before this Hon'ble Court, the Advocate for Petitioners along with certain MLAs, Ex-chief Minister and the Office bearers of the Indian National Congress (Goa) held a Press Conference on 6/2/2019 and the Petition was actually argued by the Advocate for the Petitioners before the Press. I crave leave of this Hon'ble Court to produce the recorded C.D. of the Press Conference held by the Advocate for the Petitoners which depicts the arguments conducted by the Advocate for the Petitioners before the Press," he told the Bombay High Court.
On March 12, deputy sarpanch of the Netravali panchayat, Abhijit Dessai, had filed a petition seeking a stay on the construction of the eco-resort promoted by Parrikar.
Dessai alleged that the project had caused the destruction of forested areas and that several laws had been by-passed and an ordinance had been especially moved by the Goa government to ensure fast-tracked facilitation of the project, which is spread over nearly 90,000 sq. mts, adjoining a wildlife sanctuary.
The notices were issued based on a petition filed against Abhijat for alleged destruction of forest area to construct an eco-resort located near the Netravali wildlife sanctuary in South Goa district, Carlos Ferreira, advocate of Dessai, told ANI.
Besides Abhijat, notices were also issued to six others involved in the case.
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