Goa assembly to go by procedure for Pacheco’s attendance: Speaker

Panaji, June 10 (IANS) Convicted legislator Francisco Pacheco’s attendance during the coming monsoon session of the Goa assembly would be facilitated as per the procedure, Speaker Rajendra Arlekar said on Wednesday.

Pacheco, a former minister for archives and archaeology in the BJP-led coalition government in the western state, heads Goa Vikas Party that has two legislators, including him.

He is serving a six-month jail term in an assault case.

An official procedure was prescribed for a convicted legislator to attend the assembly proceedings, Arlekar told reporters at the assembly complex.

“There is no additional procedure. The only thing is, since he is not a minister, his seating arrangement will be changed; that is all,” Arlekar said.

Pacheco was forced to resign as minister in May after the Supreme Court upheld a lower court order that sentenced him to six-month jail and a fine.

Arlekar said that prison authorities will have to hand over Pacheco to officials of the legislative assembly during the session.

“Police or jail authorities will hand over the MLA to us. We have our own watch-and-ward system. Once the MLA is handed over to us, we will take care of him,” Arlekar said.

“If he attends the assembly every day of the session, the procedure will be repeated everyday,” the speaker said.

The Goa government will issue a notification on the dates of the assembly monsoon session in a few days.

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