Louis Berger bribery case: US firm says it will cooperate with Goa Police

Panaji: US-based Louis Berger Company today told the Bombay High Court that it will cooperate with the Crime Branch of Goa Police in connection with the bribery case which is currently under investigation.

The company had earlier challenged the notice issued by the Crime Branch asking for documents (in connection with the case) under section 91 of CrPC.

"The lawyer representing Louis Berger has agreed that the company will cooperate with the investigating agency (Crime Branch) as and when required. The lawyer pointed out that last time when Crime Branch had asked for the information, it was promptly provided," Public Prosecutor S R Rivonkar, who represented the state before the Goa Bench of the high court, said today.

The court was hearing a petition by Louis Berger challenging the notice issued to it earlier by Goa Police.

A division bench of the high court comprising Justices F M Reis and K L Wadhane fixed the matter after three weeks following arguments by both the parties.

Ivan Keogh, a senior official of the New Jersey-based Louis Berger company, had earlier challenged the notice issued by the Crime Branch claiming it was "bad in law and proceeds upon a total non-application of mind".

The company, in the petition filed before the HC, had also said that the notice by the Crime Branch was nothing but an abuse of the process of law.

Goa Police had earlier filed an FIR against former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, ex-PWD Minister Churchill Alemao and others in connection with the bribery case. Alemao is the only politician to be arrested in the case and is currently in jail.

All the accused are booked under relevant sections of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.

The Crime Branch has asked the company to produce the report of the internal inquiry conducted by it in connection with financial misconduct/bribery in respect of JICA (Japan International cooperation agency) projects undertaken in Goa. It has also sought names, designation, addresses and tenure of officials deputed for JICA projects in Goa.

The investigating officer has asked for the list of vendors, agents, intermediaries engaged or paid by Louis Berger with respect to JICA projects undertaken in the state.

The police have also sought the details of communication held by the company with JICA's project director in Goa.

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