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It has taken ten years for the alleged misbehavior and trespassing by former Goa Tourism minister Francisco Mickky Pacheco (cover image) and one other in the ‘Treasures Casino’, a licensed casino operated inside Majorda Beach resort, to evoke a legal reprimand.
But what comes as a relief for the management of Treasures, Judicial Magistrate (first class) Ashwini Kandolkar has ordered that criminal charges be framed against Pacheco and his friend Mathew Diniz for trying to enter the casino without purchasing entry tickets in 2008.
Hearing the case on Tuesday, Kandolkar directed to initiate legal proceedings for “putting the casino personnel in fear, exhorting money and threatening them with dire consequences in 2009”. He made the ruling after scrutinizing the video footage and photographs on the incident, brought forth by public prosecutor Coleman Rodrigues.
Pacheco, who is a member of Goa Vikas Party and was Goa Tourism minister in the Laxmikant Paresekar – led BJP government for a short while in 2015 before he had to step down after being convicted in a 2005 case of assault against a junior engineer, was earlier a regular at Treasures.
However, his relationship with the management started to run into troubled waters and in 2008, Update Recreation and Gaming Pvt Ltd (URGPL), which operates the casino lodged a complaint against him for alleged non-payment of ₹30 Lakhs in dues, and allegedly assaulting the Managing Director of the Casino.
Countering this, Pacheco who was then the legislator from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), filed a case against Treasures staff and management in June 2009, charging that they denied him a major portion of ₹1.53 Crores won by him in the casino between May 15 and May 22, 2008.
Recently, in March 2018, Pacheco’s video clip chasing and abusing a Portuguese political rival identified as Melroy D’Silva on the Utorda beach in South Goa went viral.
On Tuesday, dismissing Pacheco’s application seeking discharge from the case, Kandolkar observed that the prosecution has successfully shown the court that there is a prima facie case against Pacheco and Diniz. This is the second case charge-sheeted against them by the crime branch on the same incident. The first had been discharged at a lower court and both the accused were hopeful of receiving a discharge in the second case as well.