PANJIM: The trial of Adv. Aires Rodrigues and 14 other Ribandar residents in the 2004 Ribandar Church case will now resume on May 19th at 10 am before the newly appointed Panaji Judicial Magistrate First Class Ms Sarika Phaldesai.
With the transfer of Assistant Public Prosecutor (APP) Mr. Ralston Baretto, Ms Tema Narvekar will now be handling the case for the prosecution. Adv. Aires Rodrigues had accused APP Ralston Baretto of intentionally trying to delay the trial in connivance with the Ribandar Church authorities even though the High Court had directed that the trial of the case be conducted as expeditiously as possible.
On 19th May the court will examine two prosecution witnesses who were a part of the church committee headed by then Ribandar Parish Priest Fr. Newton Rodrigues.
Judge Sarika Phaldesi will also have to decide on whether to issue a standing non-bailable warrant against former Ribandar Parish Priest Fr. Newton Rodrigues who is currently the Pastor of St. Bernadette Church at Calgary in Western Canada.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues has moved an application before the Court seeking that a non-bailable standing warrant be issued against Fr. Newton Rodrigues for having failed to remain present in Court despite summons having been served on him in Canada.
It was on Fr. Newton Rodrigues’s complaint that Adv. Aires Rodrigues and 14 other Ribandar residents were charge sheeted for entering the church and disturbing a church committee meeting.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues was leading an agitation demanding action against Fr. Newton Rodrigues for having allegedly molested a 13 year old girl from Ribandar.
While Adv. Rodrigues and others were charge sheeted for confronting Fr. Newton Rodrigues, the case filed against Fr.Newton Rodrigues by the mother of the 13 year old girl who was allegedly molested by Fr. Newton has been closed.
A First Information Report (F.I.R) was registered at the Old Goa Police Station on 18th August 2004 against Fr. Newton Rodrigues for having allegedly molested the minor girl. The F.I.R was registered against Fr. Newton Rodrigues under Sec 354 of Indian Penal Code and Section 8(2) of the Goa Children’s Act. The mother in her complaint to the police had stated that Fr. Newton Rodrigues had taken the minor girl to his bedroom on the pretext of confession and had molested her.
The then Senior Superintendent of Police (Crime) on 30th August 2004 had opined that the Fr. Newton Rodrigues be charge sheeted. The Director of Prosecution had also opined that it was a fit case for charge sheeting Fr Newton Rodrigues.
However then Governor of Goa Mr. S.C Jamir reportedly intervened to save Fr. Newton Rodrigues from being charge sheeted. On 14th July 2005 the case file was sent to Governor S.C. Jamir and on 31st August 2005 the police submitted a report to the Children’s Court that the case against Fr. Newton Rodrigues be closed. Fr. Newton Rodrigues was later relieved from the Archdiocese of Goa and moved to Canada.


N.Fernandes-London said...

Aires has fought many a battle for justice for Goans. 
I take this opportunity to wish him success with this case.
Considering he has won many of his cases, I am sure this one too, will go that way.
Priests in Goa are highly respected.However in the Modern day and age, they too succumb to temptations and pleasures of the flesh.
Most recently,Catholic Priests around the world, have been convicted of crimes against children(paedophillia).Many were underage boys.
This has given them & the catholic faith  a bad name.


Post a comment