I want to highlight major issues confronting the legal system in South Goa. Earlier, we had special court for handling cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act right here in Margao. Suddenly the government decided to constitute a CBI court at Mapusa. And all the matters from South Goa and North Goa i.e. from Panjim were referred to that court.
After some time, again for reasons best known to them, the government disbanded the Mapusa CBI court. Instead of reverting back to the previous system, the South Goa cases were referred to the Panaji court. Now South Goa matters are represented in North Goa before the Panjim Judge.
This means , if a citizen wants to file a complaint under the Prevention Of Corruption Act, instead of having the facility of filing it in Margao he now has to travel to Panjim. Lawyers , litigants, witnesses , complainants everyone associated with these cases have to go all the way to the capital city. I feel this is an unnecessary harassment of people from South Goa. Given the fact the court was earlier running smoothly in Margao, government should take a decision to restart it. This will give relief to a large number of people from South Goa and save them from a lot of inconvenience and money too.
The second issue is about children’s court. We have separate courts for North Goa and South Goa as far as NDPS i.e. drugs act , SC/ST Special court etc are concerned.
However, there are no separate courts for North Goa and South Goa for Goa children’s court , which is handles about 400 odd cases. We have made a representation to the government to look into the matter and constitute a bench over here for us in South Goa.
The worst part is that small children are made to go all the way to Panjim to depose. Imagine the hardships faced by people from Sanguem, Canacona and other far off areas. It is so difficult for them. If one is guilty fine, but if one is innocent and falsely implicated the add-on expenses of taking lawyers , witnesses etc all the way to Panaji amounts to quite a bit. That is why from the social point of view appropriate action is expected from the government at the earliest in this regards.
(The writer Adv Rajeev Gomes is a dedicated advocate and social activist from Margao. He is also the President of South Goa advocates association (SGAA) )