Dismissing Subodh Kantak’s application to summon Law Department Section Officer S. Kumar as his witness, Judge Joshi ruled that Kantak’s application was very vague as it did not state the purpose why the witness was required and why his name did not figure in the list of witnesses earlier submitted.
Declining to issue the summons, Judge Joshi has directed Subodh Kantak to pay Adv. Aires Rodrigues Rs 300 by way of costs.
It may be recalled that on March 19th Judge Kshama Joshi had imposed costs of Rs 200 on Subodh Kantak for seeking an adjournment in the defamation case.
Demanding that costs be imposed, Adv. Aires Rodrigues submitted before Judge Kshama Joshi that the conduct of delay tactics by Subodh Kantak could not be accepted more so because he is a Senior Counsel and a former Advocate General.
After Adv. Aires Rodrigues highlighted the exorbitant fees being paid to the Advocate General, Subodh Kantak in 2008 initiated two defamation cases against Adv. Rodrigues. One case from the JMFC’s court moved to the High Court and later to the Supreme Court which later came to be dismissed by the JMFC after Subodh Kantak failed to appear in Court after being fined on several occasions for his absence by then JMFC Edgar Fernandes.
In the present case pending before Judge Kshama Joshi, Subodh Kantak has sought Rs 15 crores by way of compensation for defamation from Adv. Aires Rodrigues and has vowed to use the money for charitable causes like old age homes, orphanages and towards the welfare of animals.
Subodh Kantak who had been accused by Adv. Aires Rodrigues of being the country’s highest paid Advocate General was paid by the then Government over Rs 5 crores by way of fees over five years.
It may be recalled that after his infamous appearance in the Saleli case, the Goa Government had by an order directed that the Advocate General would be entitled to only a single fee if two or more cases involving an identical question are heard together.
The order to the Advocate General was issued after Adv. Aires Rodrigues complained to the Governor of Goa that Mr. Subodh Kantak as Advocate General had on 27th January 2006 appeared before the High Court in the batch of 102 Saleli bail applications and was paid 102 times Rs 8000 i.e. Rs eight lakhs sixteen thousand though it was a common argument for the batch of bail applications and that Subodh Kantak could have charged only a single fee of Rs 8000/-.
The Goa Government by another written order also directed that the Advocate General should refrain from accepting any cases from private parties even where the State Government was just a formal party.
Ironically the Goa Government has now further hiked the fees of the current Advocate General Atmaram Nadkarni to eight lakhs a month while he also continues to appear in cases against the Government.