Panaji: 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.
Two weeks time for Fr Ferrao to appeal against his summons before the Bombay High court at Goa has been granted today by Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) of Panaji
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
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