Goa January 10, 2017: A bench of the Supreme Court of India comprising of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit today directed that Goa’s former Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane should face trial in the 2007 threat to kill in advocate Aires Rodrigues case.
Allowing the Special Leave Petition filed by advocate. Aires Rodrigues, the Supreme Court set aside the 21st July 2010 order of a Division bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa comprising of Justice A.S. Oka and Justice F.M. Reis which had quashed the charge sheet against Vishwajeet Rane while holding that an offence under Sec 506 (threat to kill) of Indian Penal Code was non-cognizable.
In his petition before the Supreme Court, Rodrigues had challenged that decision of the High Court which had held that the Goa government had no powers to issue a notification making Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code cognizable.
Incidentally Sec tion506 was made cognizable by a notification issued by the Goa Government in 1973 when Pratapsingh Rane, father of Vishwajeet Rane was the Law Minister. Over the years hundreds of persons have been charge sheeted and prosecuted under that section.
However when the Old Goa Police charge sheeted Vishwajeet Rane under Sec 506, the Goa Government suddenly took a stand that the section is non-cognizable. A controversial proposal was hurriedly moved on 30th June 2009 by then Advocate General of Goa Subodh Kantak to instruct all Public Prosecutors to withdraw all cases filed by the police under Sec 506 of I.P.C as the section was non-cognizable.
The 73 page charge sheet was filed by the Old Goa Police against then Health Minister Vishwajeet Rane under Sec 506 of Indian Penal Code for allegedly having on 31st July 2007 threatened to kill Goa High Court advocate Aires Rodrigues. The Old Goa Police in their charge sheet against Vishwajeet Rane named nine witnesses including his wife Divya Rane.