Citizens' Issues
'On-the-run' Goa minister also a loan defaulter

Pacheco, whose conviction in an assault case was upheld by the Supreme Court in May, has been untraceable for more than a month

 

Troubles have compounded for the "on-the-run" former Goa minister Francisco "Mickky" Pacheco with the AAP now accusing the state government of allowing him to get away with a loan default of around Rs.5 crore taken from a government-run corporation.
 
Pacheco, whose conviction in an assault case was upheld by the Supreme Court in May, has been untraceable for more than a month.
 
The opposition, across party lines, is now accusing the government machinery of aiding him in his escape.
 
Pacheco first defaulted on a loan of Rs.4 crore he had taken to buy a river barge.
 
The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) filed an application in the court of the district judge, who passed an ad-interim order attaching the hypothecated barge, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson Valmiki Naik said. 
 
What's worse, Pacheco and his wife Viola Fernandes, both directors of Ms. Giovanni and Zebronni Shipping, which had taken the loan, gave a cheque of Rs.50 lakh as an initial repayment but it bounced.
 
"If it was you and me who had given a bounced cheque, we would have been in jail. Instead Pacheco was rewarded with a minister's berth in the government," Naik told IANS.
 
The AAP also questioned why the EDC did not subsequently pursue the matter despite an order from the court to do so.
 
"The EDC instead made a suo moto offer to the minister of a special one-time settlement scheme under the settlement of accounts of mining affected. Pacheco even failed to make the down payment which was a prerequisite to avail the scheme," he said.
 
"What is the government doing to recover these dues and why are they not moving to attach Pacheco's assets despite a court order to do so," Naik asked.
 
According to documents supplied by the AAP, both Pacheco and his wife have assets of Rs.12 crore while the outstanding amount is Rs.5 crore.
 
While Pacheco is "missing", his wife was unavailable for comment.
 
Pacheco was the minister for archives and archaeology in the BJP-led coalition government until he was forced to resign when the Supreme Court upheld a Bombay High Court order sentencing him to six months imprisonment and a fine.
 
Pacheco, who has a history of criminal cases against him ranging from extortion, assault, bigamy, money laundering and human trafficking, loan default, has been missing since April 9.
 
He has failed to pay heed to an order asking him to surrender, and police have been unable to serve the arrest warrant issued against him.
 
A local court had also issued a warrant to search 10, Akbar Road, the official residence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for Pacheco, but the order was stayed after the state government appealed against the order.
 
Inspector General of Police Sunil Garg told IANS that efforts to trace Pacheco were still on.
 
"We are still on the lookout for him. A reward of Rs.25,000 for any information on Pacheco has been announced. A police team is also in Delhi to arrest him," Garg said.

User

Passive euthanasia not enough, say activists
Although the Supreme Court had rejected a plea for euthanasia filed by Aruna Shanbaug's friend, journalist Pinki Virani in 2011, it passed a landmark judgment allowing passive euthanasia with safeguards
 
The death on Monday of Aruna Shanbaug, the nurse who lived in a vegetative state in a Mumbai hospital for 42 long years, has renewed the debate on euthanasia, with some demanding that the judiciary and the government should engage on the issue proactively.
 
Although the Supreme Court had rejected a plea for euthanasia filed by Aruna Shanbaug's friend, journalist Pinki Virani in 2011, it passed a landmark judgment allowing passive euthanasia with safeguards.
 
Virani told IANS India needs a comprehensive debate on the issue.
 
"There is not enough legal literacy in India. The court has allowed passive euthanasia for special cases. It is possible in three scenarios -- if the patient is brain dead, or is in a persistent vegetative state, or on ventilator support," she said.
 
"Aruna Shanbaug, all her life, never received justice, right from the night she was brutally raped," she added.
 
The apex court had ruled that the passive euthanasia would require the permission of the high court which should ensure that the decision was in the patient's best interest. It also needed the opinion of three doctors who had examined the patient.
 
Although passive euthanasia is yet to become a law, the apex court on July 16 last year reopened the debate when it issued notice to all states seeking their views on whether a terminally ill person can execute a 'living will' that his or her life support system be withdrawn if he or she reaches a vegetative state with no hope of revival. 
 
"Living will is a declaration made by a person in the event of deteriorating health conditions or terminal illness. It could be presented to a doctor. It is a document in which the person states his/her wish to end life if normal life is not possible," Swapna Jha, a lawyer for NGO Common Cause, told IANS.
 
The apex court acted on a petition filed by Common Cause seeking voluntary passive euthanasia, including withdrawal of life support system to a terminally ill person and stopping medication.
 
Lawyer Rebecca John said Shanbaug's was an extreme case of injustice, and there was a need for a robust debate on the right to euthanasia.
 
"Aruna's issue was not resolved legally. It is far deeper than what it looks like. You cannot allow a person to live like a vegetable for so many years," John told IANS. 
 
She said passive euthanasia was not an answer to the issue.
 
"The idea of passive euthanasia is not practical in India. It is only skirting the actual problem. How many people will go for a living will while they are healthy? The court is only taking a short cut by allowing passive euthanasia," John added.

User

COMMENTS

MOHAN SIROYA

2 years ago

Since time immemorial, we are taught that our world liberally showers respects and honours only when the person is dead. This also applies to the case of the brave heart nurse Aruna Shanbaug.
No doubt we are happy that after she is no more, honours, awards and memorials galore for her not only in Mumbai but in other States too ( Madhya Pradesh announced an award of Rs. 1 lakh). I only wish that when she was alive , had a part of this accolade was seen by her ,perhaps she would have had a stronger will to recover or live longer.

Assessing one-year's performance of the Modi government
The Narendra Modi Modi government, which completes a year in office on May 26, had won last year's general elections on the plank of development and its promise to bring in ‘Acche Din’. Here is a performance snapshot of the major initiatives undertaken by the government in various broad areas. These include the economy, foreign engagement, agriculture, infrastructural development, social security schemes, urban development, industrial development, health and environment, education and entrepreneurship and employment.
 
Let's first turn to the economy. The economy observed three broad level trends. First, there was the global fall in commodity prices that lead to a gain for oil importing countries as their import costs suddenly reduced from approximately $120 a barrel to $60 a barrel. Second, was the government's acceptance of the Fourteenth Finance Commission's recommendations in the context of devolving more funds to the states. The figure now stands at 42 percent of the total revenue collection, up from the earlier 32 percent. Third, was the revived economic growth forecasts lead by IMF, which in its April 2015 report, revised its forecasts for India to 7.5 percent ahead of any other major developing economy, including China. The ADB similarly pointed to a bettering economy with core inflation down to 5 percent. With an overall bettering situation, the economy scores 7.5 out of 10. 
 
Let's now turn to the area where there was much "sound and fury" - namely foreign engagement and defence. But unlike the phrase, it did signify India’s increasing global stature and aspirations. It included, among other things, trips by many domestic/foreign dignitaries to and from India. The resolve to talk and negotiate contentious border issues was also observed. The passing of the Bangladesh Land Accord Bill was a historic step aimed at transferring enclaves with a clear demarcation of territory. In the defence sphere, there was the decision to acquire 36 Rafale fighter jets that was again an imperative since the squadron strength of Indian Air Force is already down to 35 against a sanctioned strength of 42. Adding two more squadrons will help India protect, to some extent, its skies. Overall a score of 8.5 out of 10 foreign engagement and 7.5 out of 10 on defence. 
 
The agricultural sphere witnessed erratic weather and the lack of urea availability made the overall condition bad. Added to this was the land acquisition bill that made matters worse for the government as well as the farmers. The land bill will help the farmers with alternative sources of income and provide employment to the youth. The government’s focus seems to be on irrigation schemes and helping farmers in distress. But much more could have been done and communicated appropriately. An overall score of 6.5 on 10. 
 
The industrial, FDI and power sectors saw varying degrees of success, the most successful being the power sector with an increase in coal production as well as an increase in power capacity and generation. The FDI inflows also saw a spurt in the equity inflows as well as the fact that defence and insurance have been opened up to 49 percent foreign participation bodes well for the economy. The industrial sector was a bit subdued in spite of the Make in India programme. Some more steps need to be taken for Make in India to be successful. Overall a score of 6.5/10 for industries and a score of 8/10 for power. 
 
The education sector saw many schemes being launched like the GIS mapping of schools, the Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan and the like. However, the historical legacy of the education system fails to let go. Therefore, parents prefer private schooling to government schools. Also, with respect to higher education, mere opening of institutions will not serve the purpose. Quality and quantity should be the twin pursuits. An overall score of 6.5 out of 10. 
 
In the context of infrastructure, the primary purpose seems to be the creation of new infrastructure as well as upgradation of existing infrastructure. Infrastructure development is a must since the speed of business relies on it. The upgradation of railways and creation of new highways all fall under infrastructure’s ambit. Also included are ports, airport, waterways and canals. The clearance of projects worth Rs.6 lakh crore makes it amply clear that infrastructure growth is likely to be expected in the coming years. Overall, a score of 7.5 on 10.
 
The social schemes have been very impressive and in the reach of the common man. The Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jivan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and Atal Pension Yojana schemes together have close to 19 crore takers. The government seems to have a social focus on benefitting the poor. An overall score of 8 on 10.
 
In the context of urbanization, the 100 Smart Cities project has not seen that much activity, barring the launch of GIFT city and the development of DMIDC cities. An overall score of 6.5 on 10. Health is an area where the government has not been able to do much, apart from increasing the prices of cigarettes. The state of rural health delivery remains decrepit. Pollution of air, water and land, as also the rise in noise levels, has ensured that people continue to face serious health issues. An overall score of 6 on 10.
 
With respect to entrepreneurship and employment, this is the first time a ministry has been created with a focus on entrepreneurship. Skilling of youth and entrepreneurship are crucial areas for realizing the demographic dividend. Further, a draft policy on skill development and entrepreneurship has already been drafed and put out for public consultation. The direction and intent seem to be good. Overall a score of 7.5/10. 
 
The government’s plans, policies and functioning seem to be in line with the country’s overall growth and trajectory. With respect to the challenges, the government seems to be prepared with adequate steps. In the coming years, most of the things will depend on the pace of decision-making and speed of implementation.

User

COMMENTS

LALIT SHAH

2 years ago

Loot fat government nothing else. Refer modis statement on protocol & petrol desiel prince.
Dual speaking goomrah karnewalo ki SARKAR.
Hard Hindus abuseinig MAHATA GANDHI AND ALL OTHER LT.NATIONAL LEADERS
WHO ARE NOT FROM RSS TRYING TO ESTABLISH GODSE AS FATHER OF NATION.
BUT I CAN'T UNDERSTAND THAT WHY MODI BUILT "MAHATMA MANDIR" IN GANDHINAGAR GUJARAT.
DOUBLE STANDARD GOVERNMENT
PUBLIC UNDER STAND THAT THIS IS TOTALLY JOOMLA SARKAR
FINDING NEW SORCIES HOW TO TEL OIL NIKALE PUBLIC KA
LIKH LO EK AUR NAVNIRMAN JAISA ANDOLAN HOGA. DUNIYA BHAR ME JAKE BESHARMI SE PICHHLI SARKARO KO CHHOR BOL RAHE AUR SARI DUNIYA JANTI HEY 51 YEARS TAQ KAHA THEY JUMLA 14 SAL ME HINDUS KO MURKH BANAKE DELHI KI SEHNSHAHAT HASIL KAR 10 LAKHU SUIT PEHRI SAFAI MARI DESH KE KATTER DUSMAN PAK CHAINA SE HATH MILAKE APNE KHUD KE ELECTION PEHLE KE BAYANO KI DHAJIA UDAI
GANGOO TELI magnolia KO 100000 CRORES dollers ka donation kiya bat hai public Se vasoole tax ke paise udana agar sidhi hai to think hai
TOTALLY FAIL
Sending to video clips before election which modi deliverd

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Online Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine)