PANJIM: With the 10 day deadline having ended today the Crime Branch Police Inspector Sunita Sawant failed to clear the High Court registry’s objections in the revision petition filed by her against the acquittal of Adv. Aires Rodrigues in the 2004 Ribandar Church case.
The 10 day deadline was given by Bombay High Court Justice N.A. Britto to Police Inspector Sunita Sawant to clear the objection raised by the Registry.
The matter will now be placed before the Registrar of the Bombay High Court at Goa Ms I.K. Jain for further orders.
The High Court registry had raised an objection as to how Inspector Sunita Sawant had filed the revision petition as it should have been filed and presented by the Public Prosecutor.
The government’s search for a Special Public Prosecutor for the case began after High Court Public Prosecutor Carlos Ferreira declined to appear against Adv. Aires Rodrigues and sought that he be recused from the matter for personal reasons.
The government later decided to appoint Panaji based lawyer Mahesh Amonkar as Special Public Prosecutor for the case but he too declined to handle the petition against Adv. Aires Rodrigues.
Another hurdle the government faces is that Section 397(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code does not permit two revision petitions being filed in the same case. It may be recalled that the earlier revision petition filed by the Government against Adv. Aires Rodrigues was dismissed by the Sessions Judge Mrs. Vijaya Pol on 4th June while upholding Panaji Chief Judicial Magistrate Mr.P.M.Shinde’s order discharging Adv. Rodrigues from the 2004 Ribandar Church case. Judge Pol in her judgment stated that Adv. Rodrigues was rightly discharged.
Panjim Chief Judicial Magistrate Mr. P.M.Shinde had on 22nd December last year directed that further proceedings be stopped against Adv. Rodrigues in the second charge sheet filed against him in connection with the 2004 Ribandar Church incident.
Earlier, Panjim Judicial Magistrate First Class Mrs. Sharmila Patil on 9th April last year had acquitted Adv. Aires Rodrigues in another case filed by the police against him regarding the same Ribandar Church incident. Judge Sharmila Patil had in her order stated that the possibility of the complaint against Adv. Rodrigues having been lodged due to political interference could not be ruled out. Judge Patil in her judgment also stated that the allegations against Adv. Rodrigues seem to have been manipulated and that Adv. Rodrigues was falsely implicated in the case.
Along with Adv. Aires Rodrigues, 14 other Ribandar residents have been charge sheeted in connection with an incident that took place in 2004 at the Ribandar Church premises when Adv. Aires Rodrigues was leading an agitation demanding action against the then Ribandar Parish priest Fr. Newton Rodrigues who had allegedly molested a minor girl from the village.


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