The appointment of Kabir Makhija and Kishore Sastry as co-opted Councillors is in total breach and violation of the City of Panaji Corporation Act 2002. Section 9 (b) of the CCP Act makes a provision to nominate up to five Councillors. But in terms of the Act, the nominated Councillors should be persons having special knowledge or experience in municipal administration, engineering, architecture, archaeology, heritage etc. This provision was incorporated in the Act so that the CCP could get the professional advice and guidance of experts in the designated fields and not to misuse the provision to politically rehabilitate former defeated Councillors.

In clear breach of law, after the recent CCP election results on March 23rd the Panaji MLA Babush Monserrate swiftly initiated the process of nominating two of his chosen persons as Councillors who both do not meet the requirement of Section 9 (b) of the Act.

Former Councillor Kishore Sastry who was defeated at the recent election by his own admission in his nomination papers has stated that his educational qualification is having passed the I.T.I diploma course as an Electrician. Both Kishore Sastry and Kabir Makhija who is also a former Councillor do not meet the requirement to be nominated as Councillors as they do not have the necessary special knowledge or experience in the required fields.

On directions of the Panaji MLA, his son the Mayor Rohit Monserrate proposed these names which were recommended to the Government by the then Commissioner Sanjit Rodrigues who merrily acted as a postman without a fair and independent application of mind while stating that  the two being former Councillors have the required special knowledge and experience in Municipal Administration.

The intent of the law to create these posts of nominated councilors was to have senior persons with vast experience in the fields specified in the Act so that they could through their long experience and enhanced knowledge contribute their ideas at meetings and deliberations of the Corporation. For example in Municipal Administration, personalities like Mr. Daulat Havaldar, Dr. H.Y.Karapurkar, Prof Ketan Govekar, in Engineering, Eng. Shirish Kamat, Eng. Milind Khanolkar, Eng Vivekananda Sawkar, in Architecture, Arch.Edgar Ribeiro, Arch.Radha Pamnani, Arch. Pravin Sabnis, in Archaeology, Prof Pratima Kamat, Mr. Laxman Pitre, Dr. Sila Tripathi and in Heritage Dr. Celsa Pinto, Prof Vasco Pinho, Prof Prajal Sakhardande.

By flexing his political muscles Babush Monserrate managed to swiftly within a few days get the nomination of these two approved by the Government and that to ironically during the current pandemic when the entire administration has otherwise come to a standstill. Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.  

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