PANJIM: In yet another hindrance in the murder trial of British teenager Scarlett Eden Keeling, a defense counsel has opposed that the new President of Goa Children’s Court has no powers to carry out the trial.  In his application, legal counsel Jos Peter D’Souza representing Placido Carvalho, one of the two accused in the case, said that Judge Paul Sherin Gerturde has no powers to carry out the trial as she is an Assistant Sessions Judge. 
“The President of the Children’s Court can be a Sessions Judge or additional session Judge. In the circumstances it is respectfully submitted that appointment to post of President Children’s Court is ultra vires the provisions of section 28 of the Goa children Act 2003 and has no powers to act under the said Act,” Adv Jose said in his application before the Court.
As per notification by the High Court of Judicature Appellate Side, Bombay dated April 27, 2011 Judge Sherin was posted as District Judge 1 and Assistant Judge, replacing Judge B P Deshpande.
The trial earlier came to a standstill when CBI Public Prosecutor S Rivankar pulled out from the case in February 2011. He was later replaced by Mumbai CBI PP E Khan.  Semi-clad bruised corpse of the 15-year-old Scarlett was found on Anjuna shore on Feb 18, 2008.
Goa police had chargesheeted two local businessmen – Samson D’Souza and Placido Carvalho alias Shana Boy for drugging, raping and murdering the teenager.  The CBI in their supplementary chargesheet in August 2009 watered down charges against the pair and booked them for culpable homicide and molestation. Both are facing trial in the juvenile Court. – IBNS


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