The public prosecutor (PP) in the high court of Bombay at Goa has expressed his inability to appear in the criminal revision application against social activist Aires Rodrigues in the Ribandar church case of 2004, stating that Rodrigues had consulted him in the case before he was appointed PP.
Social Activist Adv. Aires Rodrigues
When the home department directed public prosecutor Carlos Ferreira to file a revision petition in the matter, he wrote back stating that his appearance would constitute professional misconduct.
Ferreira replied to the director of prosecution (DoP) on September 2, 2010, saying, "It would be professionally unethical for me to appear... it would constitute professional misconduct, my suspension from the bar and consequently termination of my sanad."
Ferreira further said, "I am at a loss why this has not been understood unless of course somebody desires that I should cease to practice as an advocate."
This was in response to the direction issued by under secretary (home) Siddhivinayak Naik in a letter to director of prosecution on September 1, in which he had written, "Carlos Ferreira, PP (HC) be directed to prefer revision petition within the limitation period, since appointment of another public prosecutor in the high court is under process." This was communicated to Ferreira by the DoP.
"I have not shied away from filing matters for 'personal reasons'. The only time I recuse myself from matters is when I have been consulted earlier to my appointment as public prosecutor or I had appeared for any of the accused or if any of the party is very closely related to me," Ferreira wrote to the DoP.
The PP further added, "In the present case since I had been consulted in the matter, it would be professionally unethical for me to appear." The police have moved to appoint a special public prosecutor in the matter.
Meanwhile, PI Sunita Sawant (crime branch) has filed a revision petition before the high court challenging Rodrigues' acquittal. The case pertains to August 16, 2004, when Rodrigues along with 14 other Ribandar residents entered the Ribandar church premises.
Fr Newton Rodrigues of the church lodged a complaint with Old Goa police that Rodrigues and others had trespassed into the church, formed an unlawful assembly, abused and threatened them.
On December 22, 2009, chief judicial magistrate, Panaji, PM Shinde had, however, directed that further proceedings against Rodrigues in he case be stopped observing that he could not be tried twice for the same incident as this was barred by Section 300 of the Code of Criminal Procedure


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