The district and sessions court, Panaji, on Monday ordered framing of charges on June 12 against Panaji MLA Atanasio ‘Babush’ Monserrate in the alleged 2016 minor girl rape case.
Public prosecutor Roy D’Souza confirmed that the court ordered the framing of charges against Monserrate. “On June 12, the charges will be framed against Babush under Section 376 of IPC (rape), section 506 of IPC (criminal intimidation), under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act and also under the Information Technology Act,” D’Souza said, adding that “the charges will also be framed against the second accused Rosy Ferros under Section of 108 of IPC (abettor).”
Monserrate and Ferros were present in the court when the order was issued for framing of charges.
Later speaking to media persons, he said, “I am not going to challenge this order. I am going to face the trial… we will approach the High Court for expediting the trial in the case.”
“I still maintain that I am innocent and I have been telling this from day one,” he asserted.
In July last year, the Panaji women police had filed a chargesheet against Monserrate and Ferros, who had reportedly introduced the minor girl and her mother to the Panaji MLA.
However, the police probe had found no evidence against the mother of the minor girl as such she was not named as an accused in the case.
Besides arresting Monserrate and Ferros in the case, the police had booked the mother and arrested her.
They were later released on bail.
Sources said the probe had also found no evidence to prove the allegation that Rs 50 lakh had been paid to the girl’s mother.
Also, there was no evidence to prove the allegation that the minor girl had been administered stupefying substance.
The alleged rape was disclosed by the victim girl to the child welfare committee, Apna Ghar. Subsequently it was brought to the notice of the police.
The FIR was registered on May 4, 2016 on the basis of the statements given by the girl in the presence of the committee.
The FIR was registered at the Panaji police station and subsequently transferred to the Panaji women police station.