Court issues summons against Goa Health Minister and his wife

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Panaji, Sep 24 (UNI) A local court today issued summons to Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane and his wife Divya Rane in the criminal complaint filed against them by 'Utt Goenkara' spokesman Advocate Aires Rodrigues for allegedly threatening him with dire consequences over phone.

City Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Edgar Fernanes, after hearing arguments of Rodrigues, directed the Ranes to be present in the Court on October 15 at 1000 hrs to answer charges under Section 506 (II) of the Indian Penal Code, read with section 34.

The magistrate, in his order, stated that from the material before him produced by the complainant and the Police Inspector, Old Goa, prima facie, brings out the offence under these two sections.

Mr Rodrigues, in his complaint with the Old Goa Police, stated that on July 31, while he was at his Ribandar office, received a call on his mobile from Mr Viswajit Rane. ''This is Viswajit Rane.

Be careful. I will get you shot,'' he cited the Minister as saying to him.

As the Old Goa Police, were dragging their feet in the investigation and even registered the FIR against the Health Minister 22 days after the complaint, due to ''political pressure,'' Mr Rodrigues filed this criminal complaint before the Magistrate.

The Health Minister, who had earlier taken a stand that he did not know Mr Rodrigues and had not telephoned him, had now on interrogation, reportedly confessed to the Old Goa Police of having called the advocate from his wife's mobile in the evening of July 31.

However, the Health Minister, in his statement to the police, had claimed that he had called Mr Rodrigues to tell him not to send him derogatory SMSs'.

The Health Minister has however not been able to explain to the police as to why he did not use his own mobile and chose to call Rodrigues from his wife's phone.

Divya Rane, in her statement to the Old Goa Police, stated that her mobile phone was in the possession of her husband Vishwajit Rane and that she did not know details of calls made from her mobile.

Enquiries have revealed that Old Goa Police Inspector Vishwesh Karpe incidentally also hails from accused home town of Sanquelim and that the police officer's grandfather Subray Karpe was an employee of the Rane household which may explain the delay of 22 days in filing the FIR against the Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, according to Mr Rodrigues.

UNI

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