PANJIM: Justice N.A.Britto of the Bombay High Court at Goa today questioned the Special Public Prosecutor Mahesh Amonkar as to whether the Police Inspector Sunita Sawant was authorized to file the Revision petition on behalf of the State of Goa challenging the acquittal of Adv. Aires Rodrigues in the 2004 Ribandar Church case.
Justice Britto further questioned Special Public Prosecutor Mahesh Amonkar as to on what basis the Revision petition against Adv. Rodrigues had been filed.
Can any police constable also file a revision on behalf of the State, asked Justice Britto.
Directing Adv. Mahesh Amonkar to produce all records including his appointment as Special Public Prosecutor, Justice Britto adjourned the matter to October 11th.
Though a Revision petition in the high Court is always filed and presented by the High Court Public Prosecutor, the petition against Adv. Aires Rodrigues was drafted and filed on 6th September by Crime Branch Police Inspector Sunita Sawant. She has not produced any order issued by the Government of Goa authorizing her to draft and file the revision petition. The Goa Government however on 23rd September appointed two Public Prosecutors Mahesh Amonkar and Milena Pinto to pursue the revision 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 this year 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. Panaji 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, Panaji 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 the case including an 80 year old widow who is now bedridden. The charge sheet had been filed 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.


Anonymous the VIII said...

What the Goa Government is doing is just wasting public money in making their cut. The stooges are Sunita Sawant & Mahesh Amonkar. Same as in 'River Princess' case. The stooges have to dance to the tune of their masters, or else, there will not be food in their plate.

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