PANJIM: Panjim Judicial Magistrate First Class Mrs. Sarika Faldessai will on July 5th at 10 am pronounce her order on the application filed by former Parish Priest of Ribandar and now Pastor of St. Bernadette Church at Calgary in Canada seeking to withdraw the complaint that was filed by him in 2004 against Adv. Aires Rodrigues and 14 other Ribandar residents. Adv. Aires Rodrigues has strongly opposed Father Newton Rodrigues’s application.
The Court has already issued a warrant of arrest against Father Newton Rodrigues for not being present in court despite being summoned. 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 church committee meeting.
The cross examination will also continue on July 5th of the last prosecution witness Police Inspector Mr. Braz Menezes who had also investigated the case while at the Crime Branch.. The Government has now directed Assistant Public Prosecutor Mrs. Tema Narvekar to appear in the trial on behalf of the State replacing APP Mrs. Frances Noronha who was accused of alleged misconduct in Court.
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 case.
It may be recalled that Panaji 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. 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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