SC declines Goa legislator's plea for more time to surrender

New Delhi


The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined the plea of Goa legislator Francisco Xavier, alias Mickky Pacheco, seeking four weeks' time to surrender after his conviction and sentencing for assaulting a government servant in 2006.

He was booked in July 2006 for assaulting Kapil Natekar, a junior engineer in the state power department, after summoning him to his own cabin.

Asking Pacheco to surrender to undergo six month sentence, the apex court bench of Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh said that as it is he got nearly one month's time as his application seeking four weeks' time to surrender was filed on April 15.

Noting that Pacheco was a "proclaimed offender", the court said that law was equal for all.

"You are already a proclaimed offender. A sitting MLA is an absconder. What applies to others will apply to you. All are equal", the court said as senior counsel Surendra Desai urged the court that his client be shown some consideration given his position as a politician, and an elected representative.

Faced with an unrelenting court, Desai scaled down the reprieve period from four weeks to one week and finally to two days.

As Desai sought to persuade the court that Pacheco be given some time to surrender, the counsel for Goa government said, "he is a proclaimed offender" and is evading arrest.

The apex court on March 30 had upheld a Bombay High Court judgment sentencing Pacheco to six months' imprisonment for assaulting a government servant in 2006.

Upholding the High Court order, the apex court March 30, 2015, had dismissed Pacheco's plea against his conviction for assault by the Bombay High Court bench in Panaji in July last year.

Pacheco is the de facto chief of the Goa Vikas Party, which is a partner in the state's ruling coalition headed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, and is one of 12 cabinet ministers.

A legislator from Nuvem, Pacheco has a string of cases against him related to alleged extortion, assault, bigamy, and money laundering, among others. - IANS