Goa BJP seeks parole for ex-minister jailed for assault

Panaji, July 3 (IANS) The Goa BJP on Friday demanded parole for jailed ex-minister Francisco Pacheco to let him attend upcoming assembly session on the lines of former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda and Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt.

Speaking to IANS, Bharatiya Janata Party’s state president Vinay Tendulkar said Sanjay Dutt was also granted parole regularly by the Maharashtra government.

“(Goa) government should allow him (Pacheco) to attend assembly…I have seen many MLAs… Jharkhand CM Madhu Koda would come from prison to attend assembly sessions. He (Pacheco) is the representative of the people,” he said.

Pacheco was the minister for archives and archaeology in the BJP-led coalition government until he was forced to resign in May this year, when the Supreme Court upheld a lower court order sentencing him to six-month imprisonment and a fine for assaulting a government servant in 2006.

He heads the Goa Vikas Party, a partner in the ruling BJP-led alliance government in Goa, and has two members in the state legislative assembly, including himself.

Tendulkar said that the government should decide on the issue of parole depending on the behaviour of the legislator in prison.

“It will depend on the reports on his behaviour in prison,” he said.

Goa Speaker Rajendra Arlekar has already said if requested by the state government, arrangements would be made for Pacheco to attend the forthcoming monsoon session of the state assembly, which begins on July 27.


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