Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Friday said the government would not relieve director of municipal administration Elvis Gomes till the time the enquiry into the alleged land conversion scam is expedited.
The senior most state public service officer submitted his request for voluntary retirement on Wednesday.
“My frank opinion is that if there is an ongoing enquiry vis-a-vis an officer then the government should expedite the enquiry and until then the officer should not be relieved,” Parsekar stated when asked if the government would accept the request of Gomes.
Responding to the claim by the officer that he is innocent, Parsekar said, “Just because an FIR has been lodged it does not make one a criminal. There will be an investigation and findings of the investigation will decide whether he is innocent or not.”
Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza came out in support of Gomes stating that victimization could be the reason behind the officer seeking VRS.
But Parsekar refuted that the officer was meted out injustice.
He said that Gomes is a good officer and therefore the government had given specific responsibilities.
“I have praised him publicly on a couple of occasions. I had given the responsibility of jails and he has handled it very well. All the suggestions were implemented. It is not a simple task to get jail inmates to register for higher education and study. They appeared for exams and passed,” he added.
However, the Chief Minister pointing at the case said the incident in question goes back to the previous Congress government.
He further said that one would wonder what all the previous government had made the officials do during its rule.
Gomes and former tourism minister Nilkanth Halarnkar have been booked by the anti-corruption bureau in connection with an alleged land conversion scam between 2007 and 2011, involving 30,000 square metres of land in Margao.
Speculations are rife that Gomes has decided to quit the service and join the Aam Aadmi Party in the state and in all probability would contest the forthcoming assembly elections from Cuncolim constituency.