The Supreme Court Thursday rejected a petition by former Goa tourism minister Mickky Pacheco seeking anticipatory bail in connection with the death of his alleged lover, 28-year-old Nadia Torrado.
Nadia died at a Chennai hospital May 30, 15 days after she allegedly consumed rat poison.
The vacation bench of the apex court headed by Justice R.M. Lodha and comprising Justice A.K. Patnaik, while rejecting his plea, said: “Unless your custodial interrogation is complete, nothing can be done.”
The court also asked his counsel about the nature of the relationship between Pacheco and Nadia.
“What was the relationship between them,” the court asked. It also inquired about the bruises that the deceased suffered about a fortnight before she died. The bruises were also mentioned in her postmortem report.
However, the court granted interim bail to Pacheco’s aide Lyndon Monteiro. He was an officer on special duty when Pacheco was the tourism minister.
The court issued notice, returnable in three weeks, on Monteiro’s plea for anticipatory bail. It restrained police from arresting him till then.
Earlier, the apex court told senior counsel U.U. Lalit appearing for Pacheco that he was an influential person with political clout and the “chances of tampering with the evidence could not be ruled out”.
Justice Lodha said: “What (evidence) was there has been destroyed.”
“Mobile phones and the laptop are missing and they have to be recovered,” the court said.
When counsel Lalit said that his client was innocent and was framed, Justice Lodha said: “We are restraining ourselves because of its implication.”
He further said: “We are circumscribed in making observations.”
“All along, you (Pacheco) were there. (The recovery of) All these (missing gadgets) may help in your exoneration or even implication,” the court said.
Senior counsel Lalit said that there was nothing against his client. He told the Court that neither the mother of the deceased nor any other relative has alleged anything against Pacheco.
The court was told that there was nothing to raise suspicion against the petitioner.
Lalit told the court that all along he was with the deceased during her treatment and had spent Rs.40 lakh on her treatment.
Pacheco, a Nationalist Congress Party leader, was tourism minister in Chief Minister Digamber Kamat’s coalition government in Goa. He had to resign after warrants were issued against him.