Sessions judge suspension triggers protests in Goa

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 14:01

Panaji: Suspension of Additional Sessions
court judge, Desmond D`Costa, who acquitted serial killer
Mahanand Naik in a murder case for want of evidence, has
sparked protests here with lawyers and social activists
seeking `justice` and are demanding his re-instatement.

While lawyers boycotted majority of the lower courts for
three days, social activists have rallied behind D`Costa,
resolving to fight against the `injustice` meted out to him.
His suspension last week has triggered a lot of
discontent among people and the legal fraternity.

South Goa Bar Association`s President Anacleto Viegas
claimed D`Costa`s suspension came after senior Principle
Sessions Judge, U V Bakre, gave a report complaining against
him to the High Court.

Following this, lawyers from South Goa decided to boycott
court of Judge Bakre to express solidarity with D`Costa, an
erstwhile students` leader and a judge with 20 years of
experience.

"We will continue boycotting his courts till D`Costa is
re-instated," Viegas said.

Social activists joined hands with lawyers on Monday to
protest the suspension of D`Costa and a rally was held here
for seeking `justice to a Justice`.

"This is a not challenge for judiciary but in fact, its a
reaction of outrage about what happened to Desmond," Oscar
Rebello, renowned social activist, told a gathering on Monday.
The public movement has also rendered its support to
Industrial Tribunal Judge Anuja Prabhudesai, who was suspended
in a similar fashion like D`Costa.

"This battle is not about judges, its about us because
for us these are our icons for truthful judiciary. If they
fall, we fall," Rebello said.

D`Costa`s suspension came after he disposed off one among
the 16 murder cases against serial killer Mahanand Naik.

As per the report by Principle District and Sessions
judge, Utkarsh Bakre, copy of which is available with the PTI,
D`Costa was instructed not to hurriedly dispose off any
matters.

Bakre had proceeded on 15 days leave last year when
D`Costa was handling his cases including that of Naik.

"Though the case was a custody matter, however, it could
not be said to be such an urgent matter to be disposed off in
the manner, as is done by D`Costa," Bakre in his report dated
April 12, 2010, to the Registrar General of Bombay High Court,
has said.

Bakre says that accused Mahanand Naik was in judicial
custody in many murder cases and hence disposal of sessions
case would not have resulted into his liberty from custody.

Judge D`Costa in his reply to the court said that his
anxiety was to do justice. "As I found no material in the
evidence on record, I pronounced the judgement on the same
day," he added.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 - 14:01

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