Court acquits AAP member in property defacement case | Goa News

Panaji: A north Goa court has acquitted Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Mapusa candidate for the 2022 assembly constituency elections, Rahul Mhambre, in public property defacement case.

“From the records it is unclear whether defacing public property is an offence or failure to deface public property by political party as soon as the election process is over is an offence,” the court stated.

The prosecution stated that Mhambre painted hoardings of AAP on the walls of overbridge at Karaswada to attract voters during the assembly elections, and hence committed an offence under Section 3 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

The court stated that it couldn’t understand how a person would attract voters upon completion of the election process as the same was already over.

It added that there were no witnesses who saw Mhambre defacing the public property and there was nothing on record to show that he caused damage.

“A perusal of the letter dated Dec 16, 2022 shows that the police were directed to register FIR against the political party under The Goa Prevention of Defacement of Property Act 1988 and not under Section 3 of The Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984, which the prosecution has invoked,” stated JMFC, Mapusa, Jude T Sequeira.

The additional collector’s letter dated Dec 16, 2022 on which the complaint was filed, directed the SP or police to register an FIR, and spoke about the failure to deface public property by the political party as soon as the election process is over.


A complaint was filed by head constable of Mapusa police station, Umesh Naik who stated that he found the painting on an overbridge wall at Karaswada junction which was partially defaced and covered with black and white painting.

According to him the act violated order of the competent authority by defacing public property.

The action was initiated on a letter of deputy collector dated Aug 29, 2022 addressed to the collector informing it that there was a painting of AAP on the bridge wall at Karaswada junction.

The additional collector on the basis of the letter, issued a communication to the SP, north stating that posters for election campaign were not defaced by the political party after completion of election process and therefore FIR needs to be registered against the outfit under The Goa Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1988.

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