Retired High Court judge M F Saldanha retired from service in 2004. But, continues to use the emblems of Karnataka and Bombay High Courts in the letters, e-mails and his other written communication.
Days before Bishop of Mysuru K A William’s fair name was tarnished, he had received a letter from retired judge of Karnataka and Bombay High Court Justice (Retd) M F Saldanha seeking favours. The retired judge, after bringing to the Bishop’s notice his “high position” in judicial circles, asked the Bishop to virtually bend the rules and retain a Parish priest in the same position even though he was due for a transfer just because he could assist a couple in Mysuru, who happened to be the retired judge’s acquaintances.
The retired judge asked the Bishop to retain the parish priest so that he could assist Peter, a cancer patient, and his wife Maria, as the couple had no children or relatives in Mysuru. The parish priest was the only one whom the couple could count on for help, Justice (retd) Saldanha said while “fervently asking” the Bishop to retain the priest in the same place.
Justice (Retd) Saldana’s contention that there is no one to take care of Peter or Maria is far from true. For, Maria has been working in a local, but influential newspaper in Mysuru and enjoys a good rapport with the reporters of the publication. Would it be fair on the part of the Bishop to succumb to pressure from the retired justice and violate the rules to retain the priest in the same place? Clearly No. It would send a wrong signal to other priests and lead to indiscipline, besides causing a flood of similar requests from other priests. The Bishop, however, was willing to help Peter, but without cancelling the priest’s transfer.