The present St. Cruz legislature Babush Monseratte, who was Taligao MLA when the Panjim police attack took place has been discharged by the Chief Judicial Magistrate due to the lack of evidence again him. The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) had charged him with assault and using the criminal force preventing the police from discharging their lawful duties into the most infamous 2008 stoning incident at Panjim police station. Read complete report here.
According to the sources, St. Cruz MLA Babush Monseratte has been discharged from the 2008 Panaji police station stoning case due to the failure of the prosecution to establish the evidence. Babush will have the smooth sailing towards the 2017 assembly poll after coming out clean from the criminal charges level against him by the CBI in 2008 stoning case. The prosecution has failed to provide enough evidence of the offence in this case.
This incident took place following the big mob headed by Babush and his supporters had allegedly taken Morcha at the Panaji police station and subsequently the attack took place. In the charge sheet against Monserrate and the two others, it was alleged that on February 19, 2008, at 7.35pm, about 1,000 people gathered in front of the Panaji police station under the leadership of Monserrate demanding suspension of the police inspector of the Panaji police station. Monserrate allegedly gave a provocative speech against the police, after which the mob indulged in violence, causing damage to the police station as well as injuries to several police officers. At about 11pm, the Panaji police sub-inspector lodged an FIR against Monserrate and others.
The CJM has directed the lower court to discontinue the proceedings against the St. Cruz MLA and two others that include the former CCP Mayor Tony Rodregues and Rajesh Ravindran alias Raju. The CBI that took over the sensational probe from the Panjim police, had charge sheeted the trio for allegedly storming into the police station and attempting to release Babush’s wife and present local MLA Jennifer, and others, who were earlier put behind bars. Some policemen were also injured in the melee and rushed to the Goa medical college and hospital.
Advocate Arun Bras de Sa, the defence lawyer of has argued the matter on behalf of Babush Monseratte. During the arguments, he submitted that statements of the witnesses did not even the prima facie disclose commission of the crime. “As per the statements, none of them have seen all the accused enter into the police station in order to attempt to take the accused and obstruct the informant and hence, the story of the prosecution has fallen apart,” he told the magistrate urging to drop the proceedings under section 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) read with 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
The order passed by CJM Ashley LC Noronha observed that prosecution failed to place on record material evidence to suggest the commission of the offence. “As per the statements of the witnesses, none of them have stated that the accused had entered Panaji police station and attempted to take away the earlier arrested accused or obstruct the complainant police inspector S Naik of Panaji police station and other police personnel in discharging their duties,” observed chief judicial magistrate, Panaji, Ashley Noronha.
The chief judicial magistrate observed, “Upon the perusal of all the statements of the witness recorded in the present case, the same do not disclose any commission of the offence punishable under Section 353 read with section 34 of IPC.” The judge also observed that the case of prosecution has fallen apart on this count itself as there is no material placed on record to suggest the commission of the said offence punishable under Section 353 read with section 34 of IPC against the accused. “The accused stand discharged. The accused shall, however, execute bail bonds under section 437A of CrPC,” he added.