After eluding arrest for 2 months, ex-Goa minister goes to jail

Panaji: Former Goa minister Fransisco Mickky Pacheco, convicted for assaulting a government officer, was sent to the Sada sub-jail in the state after he surrendered before a local court this evening.

Magistrate Pooja Kavlekar ordered that the former rural development minister be sent to Sada prison near Vasco. Pacheco, whose wife Viola was present in the court, then walked with the police to the prison van. Pacheco, leader of Goa Vikas Party and MLA from Nuvem, had been "missing" after his conviction was upheld by the Supreme Court two months ago.

He has been sentenced to six months's prison term for slapping Kapil Natekar, a junior engineer with electricity department, in 2006. Pacheco, who had to resign as minister following the conviction, drove to the court of Judicial Magistrate, Margao, just when court hours were ending.

The Supreme Court in April had dismissed his appeal against the July 2014 High Court verdict. The Goa bench of Bombay High Court had set aside the verdict of a revisional court, which had "brought down" his conviction to under section 323 (causing hurt) from the harsher section 353 (assaulting public servant to deter from duty) of the IPC and had ordered his release on `admonition' under the Probation of Offenders Act.

The High Court upheld the lower appellate court's decision to award him a jail term of six months and fine of Rs 1,500. The magistrate (the trial judge) had awarded him one year jail term and fine of Rs 5,000. According to Natekar, the complainant, Pacheco, then a minister, summoned him to his chamber for not attending a telephone call from his personal assistant. During the meeting the minister slapped and abused him, he said.

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