A verbal spat between the presiding judge and the Assistant Public Prosecutor during the hearing of the Ribandar church case resulted in the APP being reprimanded and asked to respect the presiding officer’s position.
Assistant Public Prosecutor Frances Noronha passed some disparaging comments on the functioning of the court when one of the 15 accused Aires Rodrigues was cross examining Police Inspector Braz Menezes who had investigated the case.
The Judicial Magistrate First Class Sarika Faldessai while pointing out to Noronha that she could raise objections to the questions being asked if she felt they were necessary also reminded the Assistant Public Prosecutor to “respect the chair” occupied by the judge.
As Inspector Braz’ cross examination could not be completed, it will now be taken up on 5th July. However, it was brought on record during the proceedings that the then Chief Minister Pratapsing Rane had directed that the charge sheet be filed against the parishioners of Ribandar.
Meanwhile, arguments on the application filed by Fr Newton Rodrigues seeking to withdraw his complaint based on which the charge sheet was filed, will be heard on 30th June.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues has opposed the application arguing that Fr. Newton should not be permitted to file any application until and unless he remains present in the court as the court has issued non bailable warrant of arrest against him.