HC adjourns Fiona matter to Oct 10

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Panaji, Oct 6 (UNI) Public Prosecutor C A Ferreira today informed the Bombay High Court at Panaji that Goa Police were investigating the complaint filed by a city-based voluntary organisation against Fiona Mackeown, a British national and mother of slain teenager Scarlett Keeling.

Following which, Justice A P Lavande directed the public prosecutor to file a written statement to this effect and adjourned the matter to October 10.

Utt Goenkara spokesman Adv Aires Rodrigues has filed the complaint against Ms Mackeown for negligently leaving behind Ms Keeling in the custody of a stranger a day prior to the rape and murder of her minor daughter in February.

Adv Rodrigues has in his petition submiitted that Ms Mackeown was fully aware that her daughter, Scarlett, was a minor and that the law mandates that all children within the state be provided a safe environment. It is the responsibility of the parents to ensure that the child is not abused.

Mr Rodrigues further submitted that the conduct of Fiona, who left her daughter in the custody of an adult stranger before leaving for Gokarn in neighbouring Karnataka on holiday was in violation of sections 8(1)(2) and section 8(12) of the Goa Children's Act 2003 and needs to be investigated.

Earlier, on August 11, the president of the Children's Court Desmond D'Costa had disallowed the complaint filed by Adv Rodrigues 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.

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