Mangalore, Sep 29, 2014: He has chief ministers - former and present in hi courts . If Uma Bharti, then former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh learnt this in October 2004 in the Hubli Idgah Maidan case, Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa met her fate at the hands of John Michael D’Cunha on September 27. Judge D’Cunha, was then principal district and sessions court judge in Dharwad and is now the special judge of the court that convicted Jayalalithaa.
John Michael D’Cunha, an alumnus of SDM - Sri Dharmasthala Manjunateshwara Law College, Mangalore. Amrith Kini, his earlier partner at MANU Advocates saidis a no-nonsense upright person, who is only focused with the job on hand. Having passed out in 1984, Michael started independent practice before joining hands with Amrith, M P Nornoha and S K Ullal in 1995. "MANU’" is an acronym of the letters in the names of each of these advocates.
Amrit said that while he along with Michael and Ullal started practicing in 1985, M P Noronha joined them in 1990 and the four got together five years later one day at their office in Takshila Building here. "He always showed inclination to be in the judiciary even in the early days and has consistently proved himself ever since when he joined as a district judge in Dharwad. The Uma Bharti case in October 2004 proved he is not influenced by pressure and status," he said.
As the first additional district and sessions court judge in Hubli, Michael John D’Cunha accepted a criminal revision petition filed on behalf of KPCC questioning a decision of the lower court discharging former Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Uma Bharti, and others from a criminal case (Idgah Maidan case). The case came up for hearing before Michael D’Cunha on November 6 that year, recalled advocate Kallige Tharanath Shetty.
Incidentally, Tharanath Shetty, who was then vice-president of Dakshina Kannada district Congress committee, had filed the petition on behalf of then MLC Ugrappa as per a decision of the KPCC to challenge the decision of the lower court to its logical end. Michael had also taken up review petitions filed by journalist Gouri Lankesh and four others against the lower court’s decision, for hearing November 6, Tharanath Shetty pointed.
D’Cunha, from Mangalore was selected to the post of district judge in 2002. He served in Dharwad, Bellary and Bangalore in various positions, including as secretary to the chief justices and as registrar (Vigilance) of the high court prior to his present posting. P Ashok Ariga, president, Mangalore Bar Association, a junior of Michael at the Bar said Michael was a person who was obsessed about law and justice. "He showed this in the Jayalalitha case," Ariga said. It is indeed now a strong fact that Kannadigas and Mangaloreans are a faithful lot.