HC issues notice to Goa Health Minister

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Panaji, Jul 17 (UNI) City bench of Bombay High Court here today issued notice to Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane in the writ petition filed by Utt Goenkara challenging the decision of a local court not to issue summons to the minister's wife in a threat-to-kill case.

Justice Nelson Britto of the City Bench issued the notice to the Minister.

The petition, filed by Utt Goenkara spokesman advocate Aires Rodrigues under article 227 of the Constitution, submitted that the order of the Judicial Magistrate Edgar Fernandes was in excess of jurisdiction with grave jurisdictional errors as the JMFC had gone beyond his jurisdiction, in rejecting the application made to summon Ms Divya Rane as a witness.

He said the JMFC's finding that Divya Rane was not a material witness to the case was perverse and muzzled the criminal case against the Health Minister.

Advocate Mr Rodrigues, had stated that an ordinary citizen's life was threatened by a rich and powerful Minister and the nefarious attempts of the accused Minister to keep out relevant and material evidence by objecting to the witness summons had succeeded in view of the JMFC's order, which now needed to be struck down.

The petition also stated that since the alleged threat call was made from the mobile of Ms Rane, the circumstances under which the mobile came in the possession of the accused Mr Vishwajit Rane was very relevant.

Mr Rodrigues later submitted that whether the mobile was given to Mr Vishwajit Rane by Mrs Rane at the time of the incident or earlier and whether Mrs Rane was present when the call was made or heard the statements made during the call etc, were all facts within her knowledge and hence, she was a material witness in the criminal case against the Minister.

UNI BM GR PK CS1554

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