Chargesheet filed against ex-minister Monserratte in rape case
Panaji, Jul 19 (PTI) Goa Police have filed a chargesheet against former minister Atanasio Monserratte in connection with the alleged rape of a minor girl in 2016. The Women's Police Station filed the 250-page chargesheet in North Goa district court yesterday after the investigation in the case was completed. Monserratte, 54, has been named as an accused in the case, a senior police official said. The girl, then aged 16, had filed a complaint in May 2016 alleging that the politician had drugged and raped her in March that year. She had also alleged that her mother "sold" her to Monserratte for Rs 50 lakh. Monserratte was arrested on May 5, 2016 and is out on bail. At that time, the politician had claimed that he was innocent and the case against him was "politically motivated". The girl's mother was not named in the chargesheet as there was no sufficient evidence that she sold her daughter, the police official said. Monserratte has been charged under section 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. He has also been booked under provisions of the Information Technology Act for use of cellphone in the alleged crime, the police official said. Monserratte was previously in the Congress and served as the education minister in the Digambar Kamat-led government between 2007 and 2012. He was later expelled from the party. He then floated his own outfit called the United Goan Party, and on its ticket contested the state Assembly election from Panaji constituency last year but lost. He is currently a leader of the Goa Forward Party, an alliance partner in the BJP-led state government.
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