By Bikram Vohra:
To my mind more important than the Modi bandwagon’s huge US success the Oscar for courage, conviction and commitment goes to a man called John Michael D’Cunha….
He is a judge in Bangalore and he is the first judicial official in the history of our country to remove a sitting Chief Minister and an icon in her state and have her locked up. To go against Jayalalitha on her turf in a politically passionate state required immense fortitude. The man risked his life and it is a seething indictment of all our media that no one appreciates the milestone in the realm of justice that man has created.
Sir, I don’t know you but I salute you. You risked your life. It is now incumbent upon the government to ensure your security and safety and that of your family. Instead of having all those black cat commandos ‘protecting’ third rate politicians a squad should be there ensuring that you are not a victim of harassment of any sort.
Please be safe for you are really an example to this country of a man who could easily have slipped past the risk and waffled on indefinitely.
Sir, you are a true Indian, an example of those rare individuals who comes out of nowhere and do the right thing for the right reasons. You have put yourself and your family and friends in jeopardy and it would be very sad if India did not appreciate this display of guts in a nation where political icons have total power.
It took 18 years for a man like you to give the rule of law meaning.
No one knows you, no one knows your history and the way our media is organised in its priorities its spearhead will babble on about diddley but won’t even notice how awesome a verdict you gave and what it must have meant to stand by the book.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Oscar goes to….John Michael d’Cunha.
Give this man a standing ovation.
John Michael D’Cunha- A profile
According to Wikipedia, John Michael D’Cunha, is the special court judge in Bangalore who on 27th Sep 2014 convicted Jayalalithaa , the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 18 year old Disproportionate Asset case He was appointed by the Supreme Court of India to the post in October 2013 as the 5th Judge to investigate the case, replacing judge MS Balakrishna.
D’Cunha is a native of Gurpur Kaikamba located 18 km from Mangalore. D’Cunha studied at SDM Law College in Mangalore. In 1985 D’Cunha started practice as a lawyer. In 1986, D’Cunha along with three other advocates, Amruth Kini, M P Noronha and Ullal S K formed the Manu Associates. The name “Manu” formed from the first letter of each partner’s name, ‘M’ for Michael, ‘A’ from Amruth, ‘N’ from Noronha and ‘U’ from Ullal. In 1999, he left Mangalore and started practising in the Karnataka High Court.
In 2002, D’Cunha was selected District Judge and has served in various positions in Bangalore, Bellary, Dharwad, Hubli courts, including secretary to the Chief Justice and Registrar (Vigilance) of the High Court, before taking up the present position in October 2013. He had also served as president of the Karnataka Judges Association.
Hoisting of the Indian National Flag case against Uma Bharti
Uma Bharti was one of the 21 persons accused in the hoisting of the Indian national flag in 1994 at Idgah Maidan in Hubli. Judicial Magistrate First Class 2nd Court, Hubli, had over a period of 2 years from 2002 to 2004 issued against Bharti, 18 non-bailable arrest warrants, which Bharti had evaded. Then, in August 3, 2004, the same court served a final arrest warrant with a proclamation for attachment of her property, was served on August 3, 2004. In August 2004, Bharti, then the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, approached the court of D’Cunha, then the First Additional District and Sessions Judge of Hubli, seeking quashing of charges against her in the Idgah Maidan case. D’Cunha rejecting the petition said Bharati’s plea has been “time barred” by laws of limitation by 697 day. D’Cunha also rejected Karnataka government’s revision petition seeking to reopen the case against its own earlier plea for withdrawal. The judge D’Cunha said it could not be pursued because it was defective and dismissed it. However, the judge said the government can approach Judicial Magistrate First Class 2nd Court hearing the case for reopening it, by citing “proper grounds”.
In September 2004 a revision petition was filed before D’Cunha, then the First Additional District and Sessions Judge of Hubli, seeking stay on the proceedings pending before the Judicial Magistrate First Class 2nd Court on the prosecution’s plea to withdraw the cases. On September 3, 2004, D’Cunha declined to intervene in the proceedings.
On September 6, 2004, Judicial Magistrate First Class 2nd Court, Mohammed Ismail allowed the application filed by the Additional Public Prosecutor in 2002 for withdrawal of the case against Bharti and 21 others.
Disproportionate Asset case against Jayalalithaa
D’Cunha was appointed by the Supreme Court of India to the post in October 2013 as the 5th Judge to investigate the case, replacing judge MS Balakrishna. On 27th Sep 2014 D’Cunha convicted Jayalalithaa , the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, sentenced for a prison term of 4 years and asked to pay a fine of Rs. 100 Crores.
During the conducting of the case, D’Cunha did not meet people related to the case inside his chambers and instead, to discuss everything in open court. In March 2014, D’Cunha imposed a fine of Rs 60,000 (a day’s fee for appearance) on special public prosecutor G Bhavani Singh for what he called “repeatedly seeking adjournments since January 27, 2014, without justifiable cause.” In May 2014, D’Cunha castigated Jayalalithaa, calling her conduct “highly reprehensible” due to what he described as “suppression of material facts and deliberate suggestion of falsehood”.