'Cops misuse difference between Canon, Civil laws'

'Cops misuse difference between Canon, Civil laws'

Addressing a news conference recently Justice Saldanha said that the difference between Canon laws and Civil laws is causing lot of inconvenience and confusion and is very often being misused by many, especially by the police.

In a specific case pertaining to one Godwin D’Souza v/s Shanthi D’Souza of Mangalore, the two tied the knot in 1999 at Cordel Church as per the Canon law.

Within few months, the couple mutually separated citing compatibility problems.
He said that Shanthi approached the Ecclesiastical Authority seeking dissolution of marriage.

The Ecclesiastical Court dissolved the marriage and said that this marriage was no longer an obstacle for either of the parties for entering into new marriage.
Despite this, in 2010, Shanthi pulled Godwin to court accusing him of bigamy and has even threatened Godwin and his father orally and in writing demanding them to pay her Rs 60 lakh.

Lapses from Police

Writing to Mangalore Police Commissioner about the lapses on the part of the police in this case, Justice Saldanha said that despite the evidences were placed before the Kulshekar police, two FIRs have been registered against Godwin himself, which is illegal and biased. The letter demands the Commissioner to respond within 15 days.

With regard to Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, Justice Saldanha said that there is marshal law at places where this Act is in force.

“With this Act in place, it has been evidently seen that there is infringement of personal liberties and there is absolutely no redressal for citizens. What happens is the wrong doers simply get away meting out atrocities. The situation is acute in Jammu and Kashmir and similar situation is cropping up in North Eastern patches. This must be discontinued,” said Justice Saldanha, expressing solidarity to the long fight of Irom Sharmila who has been demanding the Government to repeal the Act.

People’s Union for Civil Liberties District President P B D’Sa said that the organisation has held several seminars on the Act and from May 22 to August 18, PUCL has been organising various demonstrations asking for abolition of the Act.

With regard to the Sedition Act, Justice Saldanha said that time has come for the parliament to re-look at the Sedition Act and amend it.

“If this Act is applied loosely, it can create vulnerable situation,” he said.

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