Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant withdrew an application filed by him to be declared as Mundkar in Survey No. 60/8 at Cotombi in Bicholim Taluka. This has been revealed in information obtained from Mamlatdar of Bicholim under the Right to Information Act.
Pramod Sawant within six months of becoming Chief Minister filed an application on 26th September 2019 seeking declaration as Mundkar under Section 8A of the Goa Mundkar Act 1975 which was promptly registered with three hearings swiftly held in three months. But when the news of the Chief Minister claiming mundkarship became public, Pramod Sawant hurriedly on 4th December 2019 moved an application before the Mamlatdar seeking to withdraw his claim for Mundkarship and it was allowed to be withdrawn.
The Mundkar application filed by Pramod Sawant was totally untenable and Mamlatdar ought to have rejected it at the very threshold. Pramod Sawant had not even stated the name of the Bhatkar and had also not revealed since when his parents or he was inducted by that mysterious Bhatkar into the property where the claim of mundkarship was made. Pramod Sawant claimed that he had reconstructed the house at his cost, but was silent on how that reconstruction was done and whether Panchayat licence was obtained. The “Proposed repair of house” plan annexed to the application for declaration of mundkarship was obviously to get a stamp of approval for an illegal reconstruction.
The annexed House tax receipt issued by Village Panchayat was dated 13.09.2019 just a few days before the mundkarial application was made showing payment of House tax for 2018-19 and 2019-20 but no house tax of the previous years dating back to “the appointed date” when the Mundkar Act came into force. No details were given as to when the house tax was transferred in Pramod Sawant’s name and having been born on 24th April 1973 he could not have made any claim in respect of a right prior to the appointed date required under the Mundkar Act. Pramod Sawant in his application stated that the Electricity connection continued in the name of Bhatkar and was not transferred due to ignorance of law on the part of his parents. This was a story hard to believe and it was clear that they were not occupying the house and hence the electricity connection was rightly not transferred in his parent’s or his name.
And as Pramod Sawant’s father was alive, how could the Chief Minister have made the application for mundkarship in his name. Pramod Sawant had falsely claimed that he along with his family was staying in that so-called mundkarial house when for the last many years he had been residing in his bungalow at the Housing Board Colony in Sanquelim. Pramod Sawant, having built a bungalow elsewhere could not have claimed to be a mundkar at another place. It was disgraceful that a Chief Minister had stooped to such low levels in attempting to illegally grab land by misusing his Power and the provisions of the Mundkar Act to enrich himself.