MARGAO: The Trial Court today has granted a permanent exemption to alleged rape accused Minister Atanasio Monserrate from appearing for the trial.
As per the information, Court will hear the trial every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from June 5.
The accused Panaji MLA and Minister Babush Monserrate week had filed an application seeking permanent exemption from attending the trial of the rape case.
The Court will also expedite the hearing from June and will accordingly hold 3 hearings per week.
Monserrate was charged under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act for allegedly raping a teenage girl in 2016.
He is the first sitting minister in Goa to face charges under the stringent POCSO Act besides the charges of rape, wrongful confinement, and criminal intimidation.
The survivor had alleged in May 2016 that she was drugged and raped by Monserrate after she was sold by her mother for Rs 50 lakh to him.
The case was recently transferred to the South Goa principal district and sessions court presided over by Judge Irshad Agha.
Monserrate is facing trial for the rape of a young girl and is charged with the offences of rape with section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, human trafficking, section 370 A of the IPC, Section 328 (poisoning) and section 324 of wrongful confinement.
The victim had, in a statement given to the police back in 2016, accused Monserrate of buying her, drugging her and sexually assaulting her.
The second accused, who happened to be related to the survivor, is undergoing trial for abetment.