Local Goa News

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Monserrate’s legal fightback is succeeding as gaping holes emerge in investigation; However, the MLA’s defence wall still has cracks and Herald identifies them; Crime Branch will have to cross first hurdle of denying him bail; Order to be pronounced today

PANJIM: Even the most obvious of rape cases have to be decided in court on the merit of investigations, even more than the merit of facts. And as the Crime Branch struggles to deny St Cruz MLA Atanasio (Babush) Monserrate the liberty to walk into the arms of his supporters on Wednesday May 18, it needs to figure how an unconscious rape victim made calls and sent texts from her mobile phone during the period when she was in a semi conscious stupor.
While this takes nothing away from the seriousness of the complaint and the need to protect and give justice to a complainant of rape, the list of mounting discrepancies do not corroborate the time, place and act, as detailed in the complaint. And while this could be a result of excellent legal work by Monserrate’s legal team, the prosecutions response thus far, leave the questions raised by Team Babush unanswered.
On Wednesday the court will pronounce its order on the bail applications of all three accused in the minor’s rape case.
1. March 8, 7.30 pm to March 9, 11 pm: CALLS MADE WHEN UNCONSCIOUS
The victim made calls and sent texts when she was supposed to be unconscious, apparently post the rape incident. Crime Branch states that purported rape took place on March 8, 2016 and the victim girl stated that she was unconscious from 7.30 pm to 10.00/11.00 am of the next day. However, Gomes has argued that during that period the girl made 12 calls and sent four text messages to friends between 7.00 pm and 9.00 am. The girl in her statement admitted she had taken her phone when the rape was alleged to have taken place at Monserrate’s farmhouse in Taleigao. Advocate Gomes has submitted the call records and message history to the court. Sources said the girl was using the SIM card belonging to Rosy Ferros.
Grey area: Victim made 12 calls and sent four text messages between 7 pm and 9 pm and made the next call at 9 am next morning. That still means that for 12 hours there was no activity on the phone. This is enough time for the alleged rape to take place and for her to be in a semi-conscious state till she woke up the next morning.
2. Dated questions: Alleged Rape on March 8, so how did she work in MLA’s showroom till March 18
Police have also recorded the statement of two others working in the showroom which proves that the girl was employed at the showroom till March 18. If that is the case then the defence asks how could a girl raped on March 8 work in the alleged rapist’s establishment for ten more days.
Grey area: Being in employment and coming to work in the establishment are different. Is there CCTV footage from the Hallmark store where she worked establishing that she was working there on or till March 18?
 3. Victim reportedly stole cash on March 14 from MLA’s establishment
She was caught stealing cash from the showroom on March 14 and this was admitted by the girl to the other two employees on WhatsApp conversations between March 14 and March 18.
Grey area: Again conclusive evidence of the stealing of cash is needed. Till then the WhatsApp chats will continue to be in favour of the defence.
4. CCP votes counted on March 8 and Monserrate was in public view
The argument is that since he was on the streets, how could he be in a room raping a minor.
Grey area: Defence needs to demonstrate that he was in public view at least between 8.30 and 11 pm on March 8 since counting of CCP votes and the celebrations were over by later afternoon
 5. Other points of defence
There is no mention in the girl’s statement on who removed the clothes, no mention of sexual intercourse with her, no mention of even the alleged accused having touched her, no mention of any pain in genitals to anyone, even not been stated in the FIR.
Grey area: While this may be an argument at this stage, under the stringent new anti-rape laws, the victim’s statement and the medical examination will have more value. Moreover if a minor girl says she saw herself without any clothes with the MLA in front of her, this specific argument of the Defence may not be strong enough.

Herald Goa News

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