The South Goa Advocates’ Association has taken its battle against judge Desmond D’Costa’s suspension to the doors of Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Supreme Court and the Bombay high court.
In a letter addressed to the president and the chief justices of SC and Bombay HC, SGAA has, besides praying for revocation of D’Costa’s suspension, demanded action against principal sessions judge U Bakre for filing an “incorrect, misleading and biased” report against D’Costa that is believed to have led to the latter’s suspension.
The SGAA’s prayers read: “D’Costa’s suspension be revoked forthwith. The report of the inquiry officer appointed in the inquiries against judge Anuja Prabhudessai be accepted. In the event any inquiry is to be conducted against D’Costa, the same be completed within 15 days. Inquiry be held against Bakre for deliberately filing incorrect, misleading and biased report against D’Costa and for false and misleading statements to the bar in connection with D’Costa’s suspension. Other action as deemed fit.”
Pointing out that D’Costa’s suspension was based on the judgment pronounced by him in a criminal trial, SGAA’s letter states, “The judge has been put in the dock while the accused and prosecution who closed the case for want of witnesses are let free.”
“No judge could be suspended on the basis of his judgment in a criminal trial be the judgment right or wrong, correct or incorrect, with or without jurisdiction. The South Goa district judge has clearly exceeded his administrative powers in a decided matter by reporting it to the HC in a biased and partisan way resulting in the suspension of D’Costa. The judgment ought to have been the subject of an appeal and not the suspension of the judge who conducted the trial. Perhaps the accused is having the last laugh as he has not only got away with the alleged crime but also got the trial court judge suspended!” the letter signed by SGAA president Anacleto Viegas states.
It raises doubts over the “fairness and judicial impartiality” of Bakre, while pointing out to cases where it says the judgments delivered by him were questionable. It has urged the president to examine Bakre’s record “as apparently his manner of working is likely to cause much heartburn in the judiciary as well as in the mind of litigants”.