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Elvis Gomes deposes before ACB

Panjim: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief ministerial candidate Elvis Gomes was quizzed by Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) for almost three hours on Monday at the bureau office, while hundreds of party volunteers demonstrated outside the office claiming the move was politically motivated.
Gomes arrived at ACB at 10.40 am and left at 1.45pm. Police Inspector Rahul Parab questioned Gomes on his alleged role in the Goa Housing Board land scam. The offence was registered against him and former Housing Minister for housing Nilkanth Halarnkar prior to Gomes’s entry into AAP.
Halarnkar skipped the summons and sought anticipatory bail at the Mapusa additional sessions court. The court granted him interim relief (not to be arrested) till the next hearing fixed on January 10, 2017. Gomes, while leaving from ACB office, said he has honoured the summons and deposed. “I have given all satisfactory replies to the investigation officer, I have faith in the judiciary,” Gomes said.He claimed the move to call him for questioning when elections are approaching is politically motivated.
ACB summoned Gomes two days after AAP announced him as their Chief Ministerial candidate. Besides Gomes and Harlankar, ACB has also summoned NCP Goa Chief and former Revenue Minister Jose Philip D’Souza on Tuesday. All three are likely to contest the 2017 Assembly polls.
Halarnkar was chairman of the Goa Housing Board, while Gomes was its managing director and are accused of converting land by acquiring it and then handing it back to the original owner. The offence alleged occurred between 2007 and 2011 and involves 30,226 square metres of land in Margao.The board completed all the formalities, changed the zone from orchard to settlement, applied for final settlement under section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act from the Revenue Department but in an interesting twist, after the land was converted it returned the land to the original owners, based upon a single application from one Vincent Gracias that he is a cultivator of the land. [H]

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