Congress nominee for Panaji by-election Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate is the first candidate in the state to advertise criminal cases lodged against him.
The details of the pending cases were published on Monday in English daily.
As per the published information, Babush has revealed two FIRs lodged against him in 2016 and 2008. The 2016 FIR registered at the Panaji police station was under the IPC Sections 376, 342, 506 and under the POSCO Act for allegedly enticing a minor and allegedly having sexual intercourse with her, while the 2008 FIR was under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 for allegedly damaging the police station in the presence of a mob and allegedly causing injuries to police personnel.
Both the FIRs did not result in conviction orders so far, as the cases are pending in court. Of the six candidates contesting Panaji constituency by-election, Monserrate is the only one with criminal cases against him.
In the ongoing 2019 elections, the Election Commission made it compulsory for all candidates contesting the elections to advertise their criminal antecedents on TV and in newspapers at least thrice before the polling date. Further, the political party, to which the candidate belongs, also has to provide details of the criminal cases on its website, said the poll panel.
According to the EC ruling, candidates will have to bear the cost of publishing the information from their poll expenses.
The state’s recently concluded elections on April 23 for the Lok Sabha and by-elections to three constituencies had a total of six out of 28 candidates with criminal cases against them. However, none published the information in the media which makes Monserrate the first to comply.
Meanwhile, an official of the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) revealed that pan-India only around 40-50 candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections had publicised their crimes to the electorate.
The election watchdog body is demanding that more candidates publish information before May 19, the last date for polling.
In Goa too, the ADR officials had submitted a letter to the state Chief Election Officer (CEO) asking that Monserrate publish his criminal cases considering that they are related to serious crimes relating to rape of a minor, child trafficking and sexual abuse.
Following the ADR letter, the state BJP party had also stepped up its demand for Monserrate to publish his pending cases in media.