HC stays health minister's trial from stage of Section 313 of CrP

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Panaji, Aug 1 (UNI) The Panaji Bench of Bombay High Court has stayed the trial of Health Minister Vishwajit Rane in a threat case.

Mr Rane is accused of allegedly making a threat call to 'Utt Goenkara' spokesman Advocate Aires Rodrigues.

Justice N A Britto of the Panaji Bench of Bombay High Court passed the order yesterday on a writ petition filed by Mr Rodrigues challenging the decision of the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) Panaji Mr Edgar Fernandes not to issue summons to Ms Divya Rane in the case against her husband Mr Vishwajit Rane.

It was from her phone that Mr Rane made the alleged threatening call to Mr Rodrigues.

When the petition came up for hearing today Advocate Shailendra Bhobe representing the Health Minister sought two week's time to file a reply. The matter has now been adjourned to August 25.

In his petition under article 227 of the Constitution of India, Mr Rodrigues challenged the order of the July 9 JMFC refusing to summon Ms Rane in the criminal case filed by him against the Health Minister on threat to kill charges.

Mr Rodrigues had in his petition submitted that the JMFC's order was in excess of jurisdiction with grave jurisdictional errors as the JMFC misdirected himself in law and traveled beyond his jurisdiction, in rejecting the application made to summon Ms Rane as a witness.

He further submitted that the JMFC's finding that Ms Rane was not a material witness to the case perversed and muzzled the criminal case against the Health Minister.

Mr Rodrigues has stated that an ordinary citizen's life had been 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.

He also said since the alleged threatening call came from the mobile phone of Ms Rane, the circumstances under which the device came in the possession of the accused Mr Rane was very relevant.

He said whether the mobile was given to Mr Rane at the time of the incident or earlier, and whether she was present when the call was made or heard the statements made during the call etc, were all facts within the knowledge of Ms Rane and '' so she is a very material witness in the criminal case against the Health Minister''.


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