08 Apr 2021  |   05:45am IST

Letters to the editor (08 April 2021)

Letters to the editor (08 April 2021)

Goa’s own High Court

A few days back a new building has been inaugurated for the High Court Bench of Bombay at Goa. It is a majestic one, occupying over 30,000 sq mtrs of land. It is on a hillock, overseeing the Mandovi River. It is in the midst of lush greenery, remaining out of the lot one which has been cleared to make way for it. It was inaugurated by CJI, accompanied by a large retinue of the higher judiciary, who found time out of the overload of cases, which they could have attended to in the meantime. There was also a number of Union Ministers who took a respite from the election campaign in Bengal; Union governance, with the PM to start with, has ground to halt these days.

But why only a bench of the Bombay High Court in Goa? Art. 214 of the Constitution says: “There shall be a High Court for each State”. So, Goa, being a State, should have had its own High Court. However, the Parliament, making use of Arts. 230 and 231, which are excepting laws, extended to Goa the jurisdiction of the High Court of Bombay. What is the reason for recourse to an exception? Once, in a conversation with a senior High Court lawyer, who spoke Portuguese, I expressed my view that Goa should have its own High Court, because, unless it has one, it cannot be called to have acquired fulness of statehood. His contrary view was that, if Goa has its own High Court, there will not be the necessary neutrality among judges, and besides, there would not be sufficient work. I answered that the alleged first reason is applicable to any State High Court, and the second alleged reason simply flies in the eyes of reality. Then I realized that lawyers thrive on a load of cases.

My opinion is that there should be a popular movement for establishing in Goa a High Court of its own, so that the statehood may reach its fullness.

Mousinho de Ataíde, Saligao 

Man-made scarcity of fish

Fish supply to the wholesale fish market at Margao, which is Goa’s lone wholesale fish market, was disrupted for the past several days reportedly following a face-off between the wholesale fish traders and the sopo contractors. Most of the fish-markets across the State wore a deserted look. The scarcity of fish has led to the price of the available fish sky-rocketing. Fish happens to be the staple diet of Goans.

Citizens are used to shortage of fish during the monsoon season when there is a ban on fishing activities which is needed for breeding. However the present scarcity is man-made and could have easily been avoided. The deadlock appears to over the appointment of a sopo contractor.

Goans cannot be deprived of their daily fish over such a minor issue. It is understood that vehicles carrying fish from other States were not allowed to enter the wholesale fish market. Fish being a perishable food item, the fish present in the trucks could have gone stale if proper cooling is not maintained.

The issue needs to be sorted out amicably by resorting to talks across the table between the various parties concerned. It is claimed that local fishermen, including boat owners, ramponnkars and fish farmers brought several truckloads of fish to the wholesale market on Tuesday. This is a welcome development. However, it remains to be seen whether the demands of the fish-loving population of Goa can be met by the local catch alone without depending on the fish coming from the neighbouring States. 

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Credible deterrence under new MV Act

The amended Motor Vehicles Act which kicks into effect from May 1 has almost skyrocketing fines for violators, deterrence would hopefully be ensured by the stiff penalties envisioned. Most of the common violations like unauthorised vehicle alterations, use of cellphone while driving, racing, driving sans registration/fitness certificate shall attract a fine of Rs 10,000 for cars and proportionately higher lower amounts for other vehicles.

In a wise move, educational drives by transport officers to create awareness about the implementation of the new provisions shall commence from today onwards, also on the anvil are seminars for students and the general public.

Transport officials are slated to visit schools, colleges and other educational institutions to stress upon the need to not break traffic rules and avoid retribution. Extra efforts would be made to widely publicise the higher amounts so that potential violators think twice before falling foul of the rules. Hopefully this would lead to better adherence to road discipline, lesser accidents and consequently fatalities.

Vinay Dwivedi, Benaulim

Malady and remedy

The second wave of Covid-19 is spreading at a faster pace than last year and the Health ministry has given the alarm that the next 4 weeks is very critical. Now who is to be blamed for such a situation? The public and the authority in one way or the other are responsible for such a situation. As lockdowns came to an end and strict prohibitions and orders were lifted, the public began to flout the norms to be followed.

Further the vaccination drive gave the people a false sense of safety and security that "if the remedy is ready why fear the fatal malady?" The election campaigns in some States saw leaders, party workers and all completely forgetting and ignoring Covid protocol, their only aim being to amass votes rather than caring for the safety of the people. Protocol during religious festivals and congregations were simply flouted in order to appease the religious sentiments of the people. 

Now the Central Government has stressed on people's participation to control the second wave of the deadly virus and definitely people's participation is vital to control the second wave as harnessing the pandemic spread is possible only with each and every individual's support and help. As lockdowns only break the economical spine of the nation the only other alternative is to follow the norms and safety measures faithfully and get along with the chores of day today life keeping in mind that negligence and irresponsibility is equal to welcoming peril to oneself, the society and the nation as a whole. 

M Pradyu, Kannur 

New MV rules set from May 1

Traffic Rule Violators be ready to pay more fines with implementation of MV amendment Act. The implementation of the new Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, which includes enhancement of penalties for traffic violations, decided to strictly enforce in Goa from May 1, 2021. The implementation of the MVA 2019 will bring down the number of road fatalities in Goa.

The awareness is required at a large level by State government who should promote the MVA Act and its provisions. The level of patience and indiscipline among road users is decreasing and this is root cause of road accidents. The State government has directed traffic police and transport department to strictly enforce the MV act, which means that offenders will have to pay steep penalties. Post implementation of new MVA on September 1, deaths in road accidents have reduced drastically in some states and union territories. Some states have reduced penalties in accordance with the powers granted to them under the Act.

The Act with stricter provisions and higher penalty amount came into force in the country from September 1, 2019. Those who obey traffic rules have no need to fear the increase in penalties. Now it is hard for citizens to own a motor vehicle for a speedy run. The days of the cycle and the bullock cart seem to be returning as there is not enough difference in coughing up penalties and the sum spent on buying a new vehicle.

KG Vilop, Chorao