Goa Govt summons Fiona on complaint of criminal negligence

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Panaji, Sep 5 (UNI) Goa government today summoned Britisher Fiona Mackeown, mother of slain teenager Scarlette Keeling to explain why step should not be taken against her for criminal negligence of her daughter under the Goa Children's Act, 2003.

Acting on a complaint filed by social activist and NGO Utt Goenkara spokesperson Advocate Aires Rodrigues, Director of Child and Women Development Sanjit Gadkar, designated as competent authority under the Children's Act, sent the notice to Fiona's legal advisor Advocate Vikram Verma, directing her to be present before him on September 12.

''I am satisfied that there exists a prima facie case for enquiring into the said instance of violation of the provisions of the Goa Children's Act 2003 by Ms Fiona Mackeown,'' Mr Gadkar said in the notice.

Mr Rodrigues, in his complaint said Fiona had left her minor daughter with one 'Julio' with the idea that he would take care of the girl, while she along with her friends and other kids was holidaying in Gokarn, which is against the law that mandates that all children within the State of Goa be provided a safe environment wherein the parents are responsible to ensure that the child is not abused.

Mr Rodrigues also submitted that the conduct of Ms Fiona was in violation of Section 8 (1) (2) and Section 8 (12) of the Goa Children's Act 2003 and needed investigation.

Mr Rodrugues, in a petition before the Bombay High Court bench in Goa had also challenged the order of the Children's Court, which on August 11, disallowed the complaint filed by him on the ground that as per Section 20 of the Children's Act, cognizance of any offence under the Act could be taken only on a complaint filed by the child, her parents, guardians, close relatives, police or a competent authority under the Children's Act.

He also sought direction of the authorities to investigate into the offences under the Children's Act against Ms Fiona.

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