After over a decade the Supreme Court has finally cleared the decks for Mauvin Godinho to face trial in the infamous 1998 Power Scam case. The case against then Power Minister Mauvin Godinho who is now Panchayat Minister was pending before the Supreme Court since 2007. It was on Manohar Parrikar’s complaint that the power scam case was registered against Mauvin Godinho while ironically the Complainant and Accused are now part of the same cabinet.
A bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice N.V.Ramana and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer on 17th January while declining to give Mauvin Godinho any relief asked him to argue all his defences during the trial before the Special Court under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
As foes now turned friends, Mauvin Godinho and Manohar Parrikar may connive to sabotage the trial, there is a need to appoint a Special Public Prosecutor to ensure that Mauvin Godinho’s trial is not derailed and proceeds strictly in accordance with law.
On October 26, 2007, Justice Nelson Britto of the Bombay High Court at Goa had directed framing of charges against Mauvin Godinho under Section 13(1) (d) (i) and (iii) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 read with Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code.
Justice Nelson Britto had in his order also noted that the charges against Mauvin Godinho came to be investigated and charge sheet filed based on a complaint filed by Manohar Parrikar and that it appeared that the case took different turns depending upon which government was in power in Goa.
With the trial of Mauvin Godinho now set to start propriety demands that he should not continue as a Minister. Infact the BJP while in the Opposition had successfully demanded the resignation of then charge sheeted Minister Dayanand Narvekar. So Manohar Parrikar should now Walk the Talk as there cannot be double standards.
The corrupt and criminal minded need to be uprooted from the political spectrum for there to be a ray of hope for our polity. The Supreme Court has rightly observed that in the interest of the nation the criminal cases involving politicians must be speedily disposed. Expressing the need for decriminalization of politics, the Court has exhorted the necessity to create Special fast track Courts to deal with cases against politicians.
In a landmark Judgment the Supreme Court in 2014 advised not to induct as Ministers charge sheeted persons facing trial. The Court said that criminalization of politics destroyed people’s faith in democracy and persons, howsoever high could not be exempted from equal treatment. It said constitutional morality, good governance and constitutional trust expected good sense not to recommend any person with criminal charges from being appointed as a Minister. The Court further observed “criminalisation of politics is anathema to the sacredness of democracy. It is worth saying that systemic corruption and sponsored criminalisation can corrode the fundamental core of elective democracy and, consequently, the constitutional governance.” The Court also said “A democratic republic polity hopes and aspires to be governed by a Government which is run by the elected representatives who do not have any involvement in criminal offences”.