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Caitu Silva is an Indian, not Portuguese, rules MHA

Margao: The ministry of home affairs (MHA) of the government of India, in a fresh order passed on January 31, has pronounced Benaulim MLA Caetano R Silva to be a citizen of India “and not a Portugal national.”In the same order, the MHA has rescinded its earlier order dated November 20, 2013, which has already been quashed by the high court of Bombay at Goa, in its order dated October 20, 2016. The MHA’s earlier order had held that Silva was a Portuguese citizen as his birth was registered in Portugal.The order was challenged by Silva in the high court of Bombay at Goa. The court had remanded the matter back to the MHA asking it to once again to hear it “as expeditiously as possible and preferably within a period of three months from the receipt of this order”.
Varca-based John Fernandes was the complainant in the case. Valanka, daughter of former PWD minister Churchill Alemao, had filed an election petition for Silva’s disqualification on the grounds that a foreign national cannot be an elected representative in either the state Assembly or the Parliament. Valanka was defeated by Silva in the 2012 state assembly elections from Benaulim.Addressing mediapersons on Wednesday, Silva termed the latest MHA order as the “victory of Goans.””I had to devote my precious time towards this case all these years, which otherwise I would have utilized to work in my constituency. More development could have been brought in,” Silva said.Silva’s lawyer, Byron Rodrigues, said that a suit for claiming damages for “mental harassment and malicious prosecution” would be filed against Valanka and Fernandes. [TOI]

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