The noose around absconding former Goa minister Fransisco Pacheco tightened on Thursady with police registering a case accusing him of culpable homicide and destroying evidence in the death of a close woman friend and suggesting his arrest was imminent as his bail plea was rejected.
"A case has been filed against Pacheco under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) of IPC," the police said.
Goa Police spokesman Atmaram Deshpande said Pacheco and his aide Lyndon Monteiro will be arrested once they appear before crime branch as their custodial interrogation is crucial to unearth further evidence in the death. A sessions court earlier rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Pacheco, who is on the run fearing arrest in connection with the death of 28-year-old Nadia, who allegedly consumed poison. The former minister is now likely to approach the high court with the anticipatory bail plea. Monteiro approached the high court after his anticipatory bail was rejected by the sessions court. Public Prosecutor Sarojini Sardinha appearing on behalf of the state told the sessions court that the poison could not have been consumed by mistake by Nadia. Considering the marks of injuries on her body, there is a possibility that she must have been given poison, police said.
The Crime branch, which had earlier named 46-year-old Pacheco as a main accused in the case, said there is enough evidence on record to accuse him of being involved in thecrime. "From the statements of the witness, post mortem reports, circumstantial and scientific evidence, it is clear that Pacheco has been involved in this crime and is evading his arrest," the crime branch submitted in the court. Presenting the post-mortem report conducted on Nadia's body at Chennai, where she died during treatment, before the court, police said that her death was due to poisoning and complications, with multiple contusions.
Police said they wanted to record the weapon of assault for which the custodial interrogation of Pacheco was a must. "There is a strong possibility that the applicant accused may tamper with the evidence," the crime branch said. Alleging that Nadia's family members had destroyed vital evidence in this case, police quoted the statement of a maid servant who told the investigating officer that she burnt three plastic polythene bags on June 2, just before the funeral procession of the deceased as told by her mother. According to the Crime Branch, Nadia's brother had conceded in his statement that huge money was spent on her treatment by Pacheco and an unknown person.
The police have said Pacheco knew Nadia even before her marriage. Nadia married Wilson Barretto in 2007 and thereafter their relation ran into rough weather.