Fr. Chico Monteiro

Early life
Sebastiao Francisco Xavier dos Remedios Monteiro was born in Candolim on February 1, 1918. He was a lineal descendant of Jose and Maria-Helena Monteiro, who were honoured with a "brazao"(coat of arms) by the Portuguese King Dom João VI in 1802. He was ordained a priest on October 3, 1942 and conferred the title of Monsignor by Pope Pius XII in 1957.

Rev. Msgr. Chico Monteiro v. The State of Goa
The territory of Goa was a Portuguese colony for about 450 years until it was seized on December 19, 1961 by the Indian Armed Forces following a short military action. It then came under Indian Administration from December 20, 1961 and was governed under the Goa, Daman and Diu (Administration) Ordinance 1962, promulgated by the President of India.

After the annexation of Goa by India, Fr. Chico Monteiro had the option of becoming an Indian national or retaining Portuguese nationality. He chose the latter and was registered as a foreigner. He also obtained a temporary residential permit which allowed him to stay on in India till November 13, 1964. However, when his residential permit expired on November 13, 1964, Fr. Monteiro refrained from renewing it, thus resulting in a deportation order issued by the Lt. Governor of Goa to leave the country. Fr. Monteiro defied the order on the grounds that he was protected by the Geneva Conventions Act, 1960, and furthermore, that the order of the Lt. Governor of Goa for his deportation was ultra vires the Act and that, he had committed no offence.

Fr. Monteiro remained in judicial custody while his appeal against the Lt. Governor’s deportation order wended its way through the appellate courts. On March 26, 1969, the Supreme Court of India upheld the deportation order and Fr. Monteiro was sentenced to solitary confinement in a jail in Patiala, Punjab.

In 1970, the Holy See intervened for the release of Fr. Monteiro. In a quid pro quo, Fr. Monteiro was exchanged for Dr Telo Mascarenhas, a Goan freedom fighter who was deported and jailed in Peniche, Portugal.

Fr. Monteiro was represented by the Queen’s Counsel, Mr. Edward Gardner.
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