Judicial Magistrate First Class at Panjim Sarika Phaldesai on Thursday morning directed Fr. Newton Rodrigues, former parish priest of Ribandar to be present in the court on 9th June at 10 am.
The direction was given when the judge was hearing the infamous Ribandar Church case of 2004 where the state filed a charge sheet against Advocate Aires Rodrigues and 14 other parishioners following a complaint lodged with the Old Goa police by Fr. Newton.
Villagers of Ribandar were demanding action against Fr. Newton who had allegedly molested a minor girl and the priest retaliated by lodging the complaint against his detractors.
Since then, the Archdiocese of Goa, Daman and Diu has relieved Fr. Newton and he has now settled in Calgary, Canada where he functions as a pastor to the St. Bernadette parish.
The Judge’s order was due to Fr. Newton’s failure to be present in the Court despite being served summons of the court.
Meanwhile a television journalist Anil Patil who was present at the church at the time of the alleged incident of trespass by the parishioners, was examined by the court.
However, the pancha witness Ajay Naik turned hostile and claimed to have no knowledge about the panchanama signed by him.
The case is now posted for hearing on 31st May when yet another witness Connie Rosario will be examined while another witness Cynthia Fernandes will be examined on 9th June.