PANJIM: Panjim Judicial Magistrate First Class Mrs. Sarika Faldessai today dismissed the application filed by former Parish Priest of Ribandar and now Pastor of St. Bernadette Church at Calgary in Canada by which he had sought to withdraw the complaint that was filed by him in 2004 against Adv. Aires Rodrigues and 14 other Ribandar residents. The Court today also directed that a fresh warrant of arrest be issued against Fr. Newton Rodrigues to be executed against him by the Crime Branch
Fr Newton Rodrigues through his application to the Court had sought to withdraw the complaint filed by him in 2004 stating that he has now forgiven Adv. Aires Rodrigues and the other accused who had allegedly trespassed and disturbed a meeting of the Parish Pastoral Committee.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues had strongly opposed the application stating that he does not need forgiveness from Father Newton Rodrigues and that he would prove his innocence beyond doubt in Court. Adv. Rodrigues also drew the attention of the court to the ordeal that he and 14 others including a 80 year old widow have had to endure over the last seven years due to this false and malicious case filed by Father Newton Rodrigues.
It was on Fr. Newton Rodrigues’s complaint that Adv. Aires Rodrigues and 14 others were charge sheeted for allegedly trespassing into the church corridor and disturbing a Parish Pastoral Committee meeting
Meanwhile, as there was Power failure in the Court today the cross examination of the last Prosecution witness Police Inspector Mr. Braz Menezes who had also investigated the case while at the Crime Branch will now continue on July 12th. The State was today represented by Assistant Public Prosecutor Mrs. Tema Narvekar who has now replaced APP Mrs. Frances Noronha who was accused of alleged misconduct in Court and acting as an agent of Father Newton Rodrigues.
The government has over the last seven years been aggressively pursuing this case against Adv. Aires Rodrigues with the State having even challenged before the Sessions Court and later in the High Court Adv. Rodrigues’s earlier acquittal in the same case.
It may be recalled that Panjim Chief Judicial Magistrate Mr. P.M.Shinde had on 22nd December 2009 directed that proceedings against Adv. Rodrigues in this case be stopped. The government however after unsuccessfully challenging that order before the Sessions Court later moved the High Court for which even a Special Public Prosecutor was appointed. Then Bombay High Court Justice N.A Britto while ruling that the trial proceed however conceded to Adv. Aires Rodrigues’s request that the case be expedited.
In 2004 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. Aires 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 was closed after then Governor of Goa Mr. S.C Jamir reportedly intervened to save Fr. Newton Rodrigues from being charge sheeted.


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