Saturday 15 June 2024

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Lawyers suspect a ploy behind judge Anuja's suspension

 

Legal fraternity in Goa is suspecting a conspiracy behind suspension of District & Sessions Judge Anuja Prabhudesai. She was to be elevated as the High Court judge.

She is widely regarded in legal circles as an upright and impartial judicial officer during her 17-year tenure

She is charged with using her discretion in awarding compensation in a motor vehicle accident claim petitions and disbursing amount awarded by another judge.

Though she has been suspended by the judicial authorities belonging to the Bombay high court, quite a few lawyers have come forward fearlessly to voice out their protest.

According to them, justice delivery system has failed a very senior, knowledgeable and distinguished judge.
Adv Mario Pinto Almedia, an eminent Margao-based lawyer and member of the Goa State Law Commission, has vouched for her loyalty. He expressed surprise over the decision.

"Attempts to keep her away from the elevation as a high court judge by suspending her cannot be ruled out," he opined.
Saresh Lotlikar,  another senior high court lawyer from Panaji, has expressed deep concern about the development. He called the decision 'unfortunate' and said that entire legal fraternity is worried with the decision.

‘Her suspension could be a very systematic ploy to sideline and abort her hopes of elevation as the judge of Bombay High Court', noted social activist and high court advocate Aires Rodrigues said.


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FACE(T) OF JUSTICE

“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;

Where knowledge is free;

Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;

Where words come out from the depth of truth;

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;

Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action ...

Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake. ”

(Rabindranath Tagore)



The scales have fallen from our eyes. For the blindfold has slipped from the eyes of Justice. Justice is no longer blind – it is blinding. Not because it coruscates but because it obfuscates. Justice can now look; but it still cannot see.



Tagore’s timeless thoughts stirred me and steered me into the legal profession. Like him, I hoped then: “Into ever-widening thought and action/Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”. I coped with the law that it might ascend to a heaven of fundamental legal conceptions – of liberty, equality and fraternity. Wiser and wizened now, I try to adjust my vision to the darkness of an abyss.



In six short decades we have reduced our lengthy Constitution to rack and ruin, all because of governance. Desiccation has beset every organ of State: The Legislature, the Executive and, not the least, the Judicature. It comes from depravity. These institutions are no better than the actors who man them; and these actors are none the better for these institutions which were meant to make them better men and women.



Thus it is that we now have legal education in the time of venality. Avarice requires moral and intellectual bankruptcy. Oppression feeds on immoral cowardice. These two combine in a deadly mix that constitutes governance today: Governance by the Legislature goes to the misrepresentation of the people; governance by the Executive goes to the subversion of the Legislature; and governance by the Judicature has become effete. That is why faith is shaken in the first, belied in the second and lost in the third. Yet, all three seem quiet unabashed and uncaring.



It is here that the budding legal mind must be without fear. Having chosen to be actors in the core of the justice system, we must consciously and incessantly question ourselves, our motives and our methods in every act and in every omission such that the truth is preserved at all costs and that it may prevail. The triumph of truth is release from the bondage of fear. This terse thought process encompasses myriad cases of injustice: of gender; of tribals and traditional forest dwellers; of the caste-oppressed; of project displaced persons; of farmers driven to suicide by a sense of dignity matched only by the chill of their penury;of manual scavengers; and generallyof every form of disguised personal prejudice and bias that afflicts every arm of the State and those who man its institutions. There are yet sober voices in this wilderness. More than ever before, it is imperative for lawyers to become true leaders – leaders of incisive thought about justice and fairness as justice.



“The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”

(William Wordsworth)

 
Adv Mario Pinto Almeida , Margao

I know Anuja Prabhudesai since her college days. She adheres to ehics with sense of what is rightful and incapable of making any fraudulent actions.

 
Kalidas Sawkar , Goa-India

Ideals, values, integrity, ethics – all synonymous with Anuja Prabhudesai. She has withstood harassment from a senior person for the last 10 years, only hoping that ‘truth would someday prevail’ and a firm belief in the system of which she is an integral part. What irony, that the very custodians of the justice system in India inflict indignities and harass their very own for some ulterior motive. And yet, it is heartening to see the support from another branch of the same system, from the ones who know and actually deal with the ‘person’ herself. Thank GOD for the people of Goa, its lawyers, they lead the way.

“He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. “

(Psalm 24:4,5)

 
Freda Moraes , Canada

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