A local court on Monday extended the police custody of former Goa Education minister and expelled Congress legislator Atanasio Monserrate by three days in connection with the case of buying and raping of a minor girl.
The state Crime Branch produced Monserrate before District and Sessions Judge B P Deshpande as the three-day remand granted to him by Judicial Magistrate First Class expired on Monday.
Monserrate, who has been booked under POSCO Act, has been arrested for allegedly buying and raping a 16-year-old girl.
However, he has denied the charges claiming them to be politically motivated. The Crime Branch today told the court that Monserrate has not been cooperating with them.
The police had sought ten days custody which they said was required for thorough investigations but the judge allowed only three days (till May 11).
Defence Lawyer Saresh Lotlikar representing Monserrate said the accused has been completely cooperating with the agencies.
“The agencies had three-day custody which they failed to utilise. The accused has surrendered before police out of his own wish so he trying to influence witnesses is out of question,” he said.
Advocate Rajiv Gomes, another lawyer representing the accused, told reporters outside the court that the probe agency has failed to collect proper evidence in the case.
“The investigation is biased. Statement of the girl is manipulated. The process of manipulation has started from child welfare committee of state-run Apna Ghar,” he claimed.
“There is no question of accused not cooperating as he has surrendered before the police,” he said.
The mother of the girl and another woman Rosy Ferros have also been arrested for selling the victim to the St Cruz lawmaker for Rs 50 lakh, following which he has moved for a bail application before Goa Children’s Court which would be heard on May 12.
Gomes said the girl has given her statement before the magistrate under pressure. The lawyer also objected to the police unnecessarily subjecting Monserrate to psychiatric tests.
The girl in her statement to the police had alleged that she was raped by Monserrate in the second week of March.
Police during the investigation has claimed to have recovered the blood stained linen and clothes of the girl which she wore during the incident.
Both would be sent for forensic examination. Monserrate has already been subjected to medical examination including psychiatric test at Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour near Panaji.
The legislator was arrested on May 5 and was produced the next day before Judicial Magistrate First Class which had remanded him to three days police custody.