Panaji MLA Babush Monserrate and Revenue Minister Jennifer Monserrate who are the main accused in the 2008 Panaji Police Station attack case today appeared before the Mapusa Additional Sessions Judge Sherin Paul to face trial.
As some accused were not present today with three of them currently residing in London, the Court adjourned the trial to 17th February.
The case was pending in the High Court for last seven years but Justice Manish Pitale of the Bombay High Court at Goa on 22nd December last year in a 31 paged judgment while dismissing the applications of the accused seeking quashing of the proceedings directed that the trial should commence as there was prima facie evidence against the accused.
If convicted they could face a jail term of up to ten years. The charge sheet against the Monserrates and 35 others was filed in 2014 by the CBI.
In a letter petition to the Administrative Judge of the High Court on 9th November it was pointed out by Adv. Aires Rodrigues that the Supreme Court being concerned about the criminalization of politics had directed that the criminal cases against politicians should be fast tracked but that it had not happened in Goa at least in the Panaji Police Station attack case in which Babush Monserrate and his wife Jennifer stand charge sheeted by the CBI for having on 19th February 2008 attacked and damaged the Panaji Police Station.
Adv. Rodrigues also stated that the very questionable stay of the criminal trial granted by the High Court on 4th December 2014 that had continued for seven long years was contrary to a Supreme Court order that any stay granted by the High Court expires in six months and that unless extension is granted the trial must go ahead.
Adv. Aires Rodrigues had also sent a copy of his letter petition to the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.