HC stays trial of health minister from the stage 313 of CrPC

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Panaji, July 31 (UNI) Justice N.A Britto of the Panaji Bench of the Bombay High Court here today directed that the proceedings of the trial of Health Minister Mr Vishwajit Rane in the threat to kill Utt Goenkara spokesman Adv. Aires Rodrigues be stayed from the stage of Section 313 of Cr P.C.

The Court passed the order 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 Mrs Divya Rane in the case against her husband Mr Vishwajit Rane.

When the Petition came up for for hearing today Adv. 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 Mrs. Divya Rane in the criminal case filed by him against the Health Minister on threat to kill charges.

Adv 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 Mrs Divya Rane as a witness.

He had further submitted that 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.

Adv. Rodrigues has 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 needs to be struck down.

Adv. Rodrigues has in his petition also stated that since the alleged threatening call came from the mobile phone of the Mrs Divya Rane, the circumstances under which the instrument came in the possession of the accused Mr Vishwajit Rane is very relevant.

Adv. Rodrigues has further submitted that whether the mobile was given to Vishwajit Rane by Divya Rane at the time of the incident or earlier and whether Divya Rane was present when the call was made or heard the statements made in the call etc, are all facts within the knowledge of the Divya Rane and so she is a very material witness in the criminal case against Health Minister Mr Vishwajit Rane.

Senior Counsel Adv Mahesh Jethmalami will continue with the cross-examination of Adv. Aires Rodrigues on August 1.

UNI BM NC BD0135

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