To Desmond with love

By Prabhakar Timble
11 February 2011 16:33 IST

My dear Desmond,

Your news of suspension pending inquiry shocked me. I know you for your qualities of head and heart which are rarely found in your brother fraternity and I have great admiration for your unblemished record of over 18 years in judicial service.

I also know that suspension pending inquiry does not mean much.  It may be   a routine disciplinary action. I say routine because I had also heard about suspension of Mrs. Anuja Prabhu Dessai pending enquiry. I now understand that Anuja is reinstated, but I do not know the findings of the inquiry.

However, people view suspension with suspicion. It attaches a stigma even after one comes out clean from enquiry. Hence, any authority and particularly the High Court should use this in a legitimate, above-board, diligent and cautious manner. I need not teach the judges fair play and justice. We learn the meanings through their interpretations. But, certainly, the judges need lessons in human relations and public honour. Your Honour should know that every upright individual is honourable with or without the black robes.

At this stage, I do not know whether you are a subject or a victim. But, I am reminded of how the doctors who are on university boards of examination manipulate the oral, practical and written score of MBBS students so as to give a deliberate edge to sons and daughters of their brother fraternity to bag seats for post-graduate programmes. I think this will make you understand what I mean to convey.

I would have sent this letter to you in person but I have taken the option of communicating to you through the media because your news is burning there. I need to extinguish the fire and also immerse the ashes in the Mandovi.

I do not know the reasons for the suspension. Press reports state that it is related to the disposal of a matter concerning the alleged serial killer Mahanand Naik. However, it need not be so. You will of course know once the charge sheet is provided to you.

But, let me be clear. I am confident that there can be no lapse on your part warranting a suspension pending inquiry. Almost the entire Bar espoused that the action is unjust and unfair. They hold you in high esteem because you are committed and your hands are clean. In fact, the Bar always knows more than the Bench in respect of conduct, efficiency and integrity of judicial officers.

You now need strength and patience. As you know, the judicial authorities take their own sweet time to list out charges and also to finally decide on the matter. It is bound to be frustrating and killing. But, you need to digest that judiciary can act without responsibility, accountability, transparency and penalty.

I know your head is bloody due to the bruises inflicted by the Honourable High Court. Through such actions the Honourable High Court is also putting its Honour to test and its credibility under public scanner.  I know your legs are immobilised, hands tied, mouth sealed and you are flogged in public. An order of suspension gives such a feeling to the receiver and an elated feeling of attempting to put the house in order to the giver.

Despite all this and many other failings, I hold our higher judiciary and the system of judicial administration in high esteem. These are stray events and should in no way force the people to hold the Courts with contempt. However, nobody can stop any Court or high standing judicial officer from making its own contempt. A suspension of a highly respected judge may do damage to the already scandalised judiciary.

This open letter is to my friend Desmond. Our association dates back to 1975, commencing with a student-teacher relationship. I remember you and the Progressive Students Union (PSU). I recollect the sway that the PSU had over the social and political calendar of Goa during the late 70s and the early 80s. I am reminded of your fiery public speeches, resounding street-plays coupled with field action in the form of morchas and strikes. Goans used to say that the PSU was the only opposition to the establishment during those times. Arrest, jail, bail, going underground and always scoring a First Class for all the seven years     (graduation in Commerce and Law) under Mumbai University was an effortless journey for you.  Mathemathics, Law, Logic, a photographic memory and oratory are your natural strengths.

This letter in no way should be construed as one written to any judicial authority. I write to stand by ordinary people doing extra-ordinary things. I find no purpose in writing to extra-ordinary people doing ordinary things.

You know your worth. Do not be shaken. Do not get demoralised or de-motivated. With judiciary itself engulfed under a value and faith crisis, it needs you more than you need the robes. The association of people like you at the Bench gives hope and credibility to judicial administration.

Keep your head always unbowed. Fail Not!.





Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

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Prabhakar Timble

Mr Prabhakar Timble is an educationist and a legal expert. He has served several educational institutions, especially as the Principal of Government College at Quepem, Kare College of Law in Madgao as well as couple of Management Institutes. He was also the State Election Commissioner of Goa.

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Hon’ble Desmond sir,

You were insturmental in giving 50% concession to the student community in Goan transport. I wish that you had joined politics ! May be, Goans would have seen better days ! (Mr. Prabhakar Timble will prove me right ?)

By becoming a judge, you have been giving too much justice and doing too much justice to your post. You are shown the Orange signal. If it goes Red, I’d suggest you join politics and save Goa and every Goan. You are capable of doing so.You know that !

Those who have tried to block your ascension will be proved wrong. By your suspension, every Goan, whoever or wherever he/she is, has felt the humiliation. One wonders if the judiciary too follows the political sytem to get rid of dynamic, efficient, honest persons like you.

Where is our beloved Goa heading to ? I hope & pray that the day doesn’t come when every Goan will be chased from their jobs/homes and their beloved motherland Goa.

Prayers & best wishes to you!

Francis Fernandes, Switzerland

[email protected]

- Francis Fernandes, Switzerland | 19 th February 2011 23:47


Dear Prabhakar,

Brilliant and humanistic personal letter that deserves, as you have rightly decided, to be publicized. It takes people like you and Desmond and to make the world a better living place. Keep it up.

By the way Desmond is a close friend and has been one for years.

Warm regards.

- John Da Silva Collaco, California, USA | 16 th February 2011 21:31


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