Current Affairs

Judge Desmond’s Suspension Saga Continues

Even as advocates in Goa continued their protest against the suspension of Additional District Judge Desmond D’Costa, another Additional District Judge Anuja Prabhudesai has been issued a fresh show cause notice.
It may be recalled that Judge Anuja Prabhudessai was placed under suspension pending an enquiry last year and after the enquiry officer I K Jain, Registrar of Bombay High Court absolved her of all charges, she was reinstated.
However, a fresh show cause notice has been issued to her as the special disciplinary committee of judges of the Bombay High Court has rejected the enquiry officer’s report.

Meanwhile, continuing their protest against Judge Desmond D’Costa’s suspension, advocates held a dharna at the Colva circle junction on Saturday where they also demanded an independent High Court for Goa.
The South Goa Advocates Association has asked all Advocates in the State to go on mass leave on Monday and march to Panjim where a special meeting is convened to discuss the issue and what further steps should be taken to intensify their agitation.
What has apparently irked the advocates is that the suspension orders has been issued based on a complaint lodged by the Principal Sessions Judge Utkarsh V Bakre under the guise of regular report.
According to media reports, Judge Bakre in his report dated 12th April 2010 noted that Judge Desmond had disposed off the Mahanand Naik murder case despite instructions from him not to dispose off  matters in a hurry.
Judge Bakre has also reportedly pointed out that since Mahanand Naik was accused in many murder cases, the question of “liberty from custody” did not arise as even if acquitted in one case, he would continue to be in prison for the other cases.
Judge Bakre has apparently also noted in his report that Judge Desmond disposed off the serious case of murder in “great haste and hurry for reasons best known to him” and further observed that “material evidence on record” that would have resulted in a conviction was ignored and further noted that some other necessary witnesses were not examined.
However, the South Goa Advocates Association President Anacleno Viegas shot down these grounds cited by Judge Bakre by pointing out that the Prosecution had closed its cases clearly stating that it had no more witnesses.
“The presiding Judge is not supposed to ask the prosecution to bring in more witnesses,” he said asserting that there was nothing wrong in pronouncing the judgement after the prosecution had closed its case.

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