Current Affairs

Court To Decide Fr. Newton’s Withdrawal Application Tomorrow

The Judicial Magistrate First Class Sarika Faldessai who is hearing the Ribandar church case, will on 5th July pronounce the order on the application made by Fr. Newton Rodrigues to withdraw the complaint lodged by him in 2004 based on which the charge sheet was filed.
15 parishioners of Ribandar including Advocate Aires Rodrigues have been charge sheeted due to Fr. Newton’s complaint that they had trespassed into the church premises and disrupted a parish committee meeting and the case has been going on for the last seven years.
Adv. Rodrigues was leading an agitation against Fr. Newton at that time following allegations that he had molested a minor girl. In fact, the police had registered a case against Fr. Newton following a complaint from the minor girl’s mother but the complaint was subsequently hushed up due to the intervention of then Governor of Goa.
The Goa Archdiocese subsequently relieved Fr. Newton of his duties and responsibilities and his now working as Pastor for the St. Bernadette Church at Calgary, Canada.
The court has already issued a warrant of arrest against Fr. Newton as he has consistently remained absent in the court despite being served the summons of the Court.
Even though a warrant of arrest was issued against him, Fr. Newton moved the application seeking to withdraw his complaint on grounds that he had “forgiven” those who had trespassed in the church premises.
However, Adv. Rodrigues vehemently objected to the application stating that Fr. Newton should first honour the summons of the court before any of his application is entertained.
He also accused the then Public Prosecutor Frances Noronha of acting as Fr. Newton’s agent following which the public prosecutor has been changed for this case.

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