Panaji Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) Jude Sequeira has fixed for November 15th the final arguments on the petition filed by Adv. Aires Rodrigues over the Portuguese nationality acquired by Canacona MLA and Deputy Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly Isidore Fernandes. Adv. Rodrigues had moved the Court on 13th August over the failure of the Panaji Police to act on the complaint filed by him against Isidore Fernandes on 4th August.
The Panaji Police filed their reply stating that the photocopy of the document in Portuguese submitted by Adv. Rodrigues is not sufficient to declare a person as foreign national.
The Police have in their reply further stated that Panaji Passport office has informed that Isidore Fernandes holds an Indian Passport issued to him on 14th October 2011 which is valid till 13th October 2021. Incidentally the Panaji Police wrote that letter to the Passport office seeking information on Isidore Fernandes only on 19th October 2019 which is over two months after the complaint against the Deputy Speaker was filed by Adv. Rodrigues.
The Police in their reply have further stated that Isidore Feranndes is an MLA of Canacona and occupying the post of Deputy Speaker but have however remained silent on whether they forwarded the document of Isidore Fernandes obtaining Portuguese nationality to the Consulate at Althinho for verification.
In his petition filed under Section 156 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, Adv. Rodrigues sought Court directions to the Panaji Police to register an F.I.R against Isidore Fernandes under the Citizenship Act, 1955, and Section 177, 181, 419 and 420 of IPC of the Indian Penal Code and under the Representation of People’s Act.
Adv. Rodrigues further sought that the Police be directed to investigate the matter properly and that the Court monitor the investigation as the accused Isidore Fernandes is politically very influential.
Adv. Rodrigues in his petition submitted that the inaction of the police in not registering an F.I.R is not at all in accordance with law, and is patently coloured, arbitrary, illegal, capricious and malafide use of the statutory powers, obligations and duties vested in the Police by the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Adv. Rodrigues on 4th August lodged a complaint at the Panaji Police station pointing out that Isidore Fernandes is a Portuguese National and not an Indian Citizen. Adv. Rodrigues in his complaint further stated that the birth of Isidore Fernandes was registered in the Civil Registration Office of Beja in Portugal as Assento de Nascimento No.2043/2014 on 22nd April 2014.
Adv. Rodrigues further stated that Isidore Fernandes is by Indian law prohibited from holding constitutional positions representing a Government of which he is not a citizen and that this misrepresentation attracts penal action.
In his complaint Adv. Rodrigues also submitted that Isidore Fernandes was also getting monetary benefits from the State Government now as MLA and Deputy Speaker besides drawing pension for his earlier terms as MLA and that this amounts to gross violation of the very law itself and that Isidore Fernandes had committed a mockery of law by hoodwinking the authorities.
Adv. Rodrigues stated that Isidore Fernandes who is a Portuguese national since the April 2014, has suppressed his Portuguese Nationality and managed to have his name continue illegally in the electoral roll, and fraudulently and dishonestly made use of the illegal entry in the electoral roll, to pose as an Indian citizen.