Health Minister Vishwajit Rane's appeal dismissed

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Panaji, Dec 14 (UNI) A local court today dismissed a Criminal revision application filed by Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane in a case against him for allegedly making a threat call to 'Utt Goenkara' spokesman Advocate Aires Rodrigues.

North Goa Sessions Judge U V Bakre, however, discharged the second accused in the case Ms Divya Rane, wife of the Health Minister, from whose phone Mr Rane made the alleged threatening call to Mr Rodrigues.

The Sessions Judge directed the Health Minister to appear before the JMFC, Panaji, Edgar Fernandes at 1000 hrs on January 11 to respond to the charges under section 506 (II) of IPC in a criminal case filed by Mr Rodrigues.

In his 11-page order, the Judge stated that there was sufficient ground for proceeding against Mr Rane under section 506 (II) of IPC as there was prima facie evidence against him.

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

Be careful. I will get you shot''.

In his private criminal complaint to the JMFC, Mr Rodrigues stated that the Old Goa Police, acting only under political pressure, had dragged their feet in the investigation and had registered the FIR against the Health Minister 22 days after the complaint was made.

Mr Rane and his wife, in their Criminal revision application before the Sessions Court, had stated that the complaint filed by Mr Rodrigues was to harass them on account of political rivalry.

They, however, had not given details or the nature of the alleged political rivalry.

The minister had initially stated that he did not even know Mr Rodrigues and denied having made the call. Later, on interrogation, he made a volte-face and confessed to the Old Goa Police of having called Mr Rodrigues from his wife Divya Rane's mobile on July 31.

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

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

UNI

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