RIBANDAR CHURCH CASE: JMFC SUMMONS CRIME BRANCH INCHARGE

PANJIM: Panjim Judicial Magistrate First Class Mrs. Sarika Faldessai today directed that summons be issued to the incharge of Crime Branch Police Station to appear before her on 16th July at 10 am in connection with the 2004 Ribandar Church case. Deputy Superintendent of Police Chandrakant Salgaonkar is the current incharge at the Crime Branch
The JMFC has sought clarification as to how the Crime Branch intends to execute the warrant of arrest against the former Parish Priest of Ribandar who is now Pastor of St. Bernadette Church at Calgary in Canada.
The Crime Branch had asked the JMFC to issue a non- bailable warrant against Father Newton Rodrigues as the immigration authorities and the consulates overseas can only execute a non-bailable warrant. The police intend to also intimate all airports and check posts across the country and to also seek the help of the Interpol to arrest Father Newton Rodrigues and bring him to Goa.
The warrant of arrest against the former Parish Priest of Ribandar Father Newton Rodrigues who is now in Canada is for not being present in court despite being summoned. It was on Fr. Newton Rodrigues’s complaint that Adv. Aires Rodrigues and 14 other Ribandar residents were charge sheeted for trespassing into the church corridor and disturbing a Parish Pastoral committee meeting.
Father Newton Rodrigues is the last prosecution witness that remains to be examined after which Adv. Aires Rodrigues will commence examining his seven defence witnesses which include Archbishop of Goa Filipe Neri Ferrao and former Chief Minister of Goa Mr. Pratapsingh Rane.
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 the earlier acquittal of Adv. Aires Rodrigues in the same case.
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 Rodrigues 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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