Former Louis Berger India head released on bail

Panaji, Aug 17 (IANS) A special court in Goa on Monday granted bail to former Louis Berger India head Satyakam Mohanty in the multi-crore-rupee Louis Berger scam.

The court, however, rejected the bail pleas of former minister Churchill Alemao and retired government official Anand Wachasundar, both of whom are allegedly involved in the scam.

Mohanty has been asked, by the court to furnish a personal bond of Rs.1 lakh along with a surety of a similar amount.

He has also been instructed not to leave Goa for a period of one month without the permission of the court and directed not to meet any of the witnesses involved in the bribery case.

Special Court Judge B.P. Deshpande, who passed the three one-line orders, is now expected to hear former chief minister Digambar Kamat’s anticipatory bail plea on Wednesday.

Kamat has been on interim bail, even as the prosecution has alleged that Kamat received more than Rs.1 crore in bribes in multiple instalments, including one at the official residence of the chief minister, to allot the consultancy project to Louis Berger in 2010, when he was heading a Congress-led coalition government.

Kamat, along with Alemao, a former PWD minister and other government officials have been accused of allegedly accepting a $976,630 bribe in 2010 from officials of US-based Louis Berger consultancy firm to secure implementation rights of a multi-billion dollar water and sewerage project in Goa worth Rs.1,031 crore funded by the Japan International Co-Operation Agency, which was cleared in 2010.

Those who have been arrested so far are Alemao, Mohanty, Wachasundar, director of the JICA funded project and an alleged hawala dealer Raichand Soni.

All the accused were arrested in August, a few days after media reports, first emanating from the US, brought to light the bribery scandal quoting US justice department documents.

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