Archbishop allowed to appeal against summons

PTI, PANAJI | 02 August 2011 19:31 IST

Goa Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, who failed to appear before a local court today as a witness in connection with a trespassing case, got a relief to appeal against the summons on him in the High Court.

Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC), Panaji, Sarika Faldesai today granted two weeks time for Fr Ferrao to appeal against his summons before the Bombay High court at Goa.

The JMFC today fixed the appearance of Archbishop for August 16, if he fails to get reprieve from the High court.

When the matter came up for hearing today, Fr Ferrao moved the application to grant him time to appeal in the High Court.

The application was moved through Fr Victor Rodrigues, who holds the Power of Attorney of the Archbishop.

The Archbishop is amongst several witnesses including the former Goa Chief Minister Pratapsingh Rane, who is sought to be examined by activist-cum-lawyer Aires Rodrigues.

Rodrigues and others were chargesheeted by police for trespassing into the church property at Ribander in 2004.

Rodrigues was earlier acquitted by the court, but the acquittal was again challenged by the state government before JMFC.

In his defence, Aires Rodrigues had claimed that local church and priest Fr Newton Rodrigues, who is now posted in Canada, had filed a false complaint against him as he was following a case of molestation filed against Fr Newton Rodrigues by mother of a 13-year-old girl.

During the hearing today, Rodrigues also moved a contempt against the church.

He claimed that during last Sunday masses, the priest at Ribander Church, Fr Alcantra Rodrigues had appealed the people to rise against court's summons to the Archbishop.

The court has kept the order on the contempt plea for August 9, when other two witnesses including police inspector Sunita Sawant, who filed the revision petition against Rodrigues and social activist, Auda Viegas, would testify in the matter.

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