Monday 17 December 2018

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North Goa lawyers go offensive, decide to attend courts ‘under protest’

 

North Goa lawyers have decided to go offensive against shifting of four courts of Panaji to a highly-paid rented building at Patto Plaza, by attending the court, but ‘under protest’.

A general body meeting of the North District Lawyers’ Association held in the city today decided to attend courts by wearing ‘white band’ on black coats while also challenging the high court order in the Supreme Court.

The lawyers have been consistently opposing shifting four courts to a new building ‘Spaces’, owned by BJP supporter Nilesh Amonkar, spending almost Rs 48 lakh per month on rent and electricity.

Even after totally boycotting the court proceedings for almost a month in the newly shifted fully air-conditioned building, the high court last week dismissed the lawyers’ petition with an oral order.

“We are still waiting for the written order”, said Adv Sanjay Rane, president of the Association.

 As per the action plan drawn out at today’s meeting, lawyers will attend the four JMFC courts located on four different floors in the new building, by wearing white band on black coats while women lawyers would wear black bands on white Chudidar.

The same action would be extended further from Monday to all the six courts of North district in Panaji, Mapusa, Ponda, Pernem, Bicholim and Valpoi, said Adv Rane.

The Association would also seek solidarity from the South Goa Advocates’ Association, which had earlier supported the protest.

 

The lawyers have also decided not to provide any legal aid to the needy clients and free legal camps in the villages.

“Why should we render our services when the government authorities are not sensitive enough to our demands and public coffers”, asked the president.

As the administrative judge of Bombay high court at Goa was reportedly not taken into confidence while shifting these courts, the Association has also urged Chief Justice of Bombay high court not to have the administrative judge if his position is not honoured.

According to Adv Rane, shifting four courts on four floors at Patto Plaza and retaining two district and sessions court at the old building is not at all necessary when the existing old building has ample space to run all the six courts.

Adv Rane informed goanews.com that the government has paid Rs 13 crore in last two years towards the rent of the eight-storeyed building without occupying a single floor.

For the four courts on each floor, he said, the government would pay Rs 42 lakh towards the rent and almost Rs 6 lakh towards the electricity bill when the old building pays hardly Rs 25,000 per month towards the electricity bill.

He also noted that the remaining four floors, which are still vacant but the rent is paid, are not occupied by a single government department, whom it is meant for. 






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