April 13, 2010
Ignorance of law is no excuse - is an age old adage. Ignorance (of law) is bliss - is an equally old, if not an older, proverb, which can be termed as a self prescribed remedy for the lack of legal knowledge. We are in a knowledge economy and since knowledge is power it pays to have some knowledge in all fields especially when it comes to legal matters. Over the years the law is becoming increasingly complex which sometimes goes beyond the realm of common people. Moreover it is difficult to find authentic literature in our mother tongues that can help even common people understand the intricacies of laws in simple terms.
When it comes to the mother tongue there are not many who take the trouble of writing by finding every conceivable jargon for all the technical terms used in civil and criminal laws. In Konkani language there is a dearth of an authentic book that deals with civil or criminal laws. For the first time an attempt has been made by advocate Stanley R D Costa as his book “Kanoon Daiz” (legal treasure) (Ashling Publication, first editon Rs. 50/-), which deals with a multitude of legal subjects that have bearings in our day today day lives and can be best described as a treasure trove of legal knowledge. In his message author says lack of legal knowledge and procedures were a major stumbling block for Catholics in dealing with the after- effects arising out of the unsavory episodes of church attacks and the ugly incidents that followed thereafter. He says this ignorance of law proved costly for many Catholics who were caught up in the clutches of law and it was this incident that goaded him to come out with this book.
“Kanoon Daiz” is a wonderfully readable book for the simple reason that its simple lucid language is easily comprehensible and is a must for those who want to be armed with some fundamental legal knowledge to read in their mother tongue. Even for those who are comfortable in other languages the book gives a brief knowledge on a plethora of subjects which even the educated class chooses to ignore though there are enough books on the subject in English and other languages.
What is commendable is that Stanley has chosen very relevant topics and has put in intensive efforts to explain them in the common spoken language of the people. There are 21 topics the authors deal with in this 108 page book relating to fields as diverse as the complex but useful Right to Information Act to the very must know by everyone Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. With most of us using a few modes of transportation it is in our own interest we know the basic differences between First Party or Comprehensive Insurance Policy and third party insurance, what are the benefits available and why it is necessary to have vehicle insurance, which sometimes goes beyond the level head of common people even when they are faced with such an eventuality. Reading the book gives one enough information to deal with the crisis as and when it arises.
Stanley has dealt with this very important and useful topic in detail which helps even an ordinary person to know how to deal with insurance claims, implications of not having a driving license or insurance to the vehicle or on how to seek compensation from the court of law in case of accidental injury. For those who take it easy driving vehicles without license or insurance or allow their minor children to drive without license the book serves as a basic guide on the implications of such an act of omission.
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It was a pleasant surprise to find a chapter on the most current topic under discussion on section 377 of Indian Penal Code, a hot topic since Delhi High Court’s landmark decision on this subject. The author is forthright in his views as he welcomes the High Court’s decision as a right step keeping in tune with the changing situations and time.
There is also another chapter on the important subject i e. Indian Christian Marriage Act, 1872, giving us an insight into the issues related to Christian marriages, which again comes in handy for all Catholics as marriages are inseparable part of our society and concerns the entire community.
The books deals extensively with Human Rights Act and Indian Human Rights aAct of 1993 which is little elaborate as compared to other subjects and may not hold the interest of the readers vis-à-vis other subject covered in the book. In toto the book deals with a variety of laws relating to children, women, senior citizens and their rights, minority institutions and their special status and such other topics which are always in the public domain. In one chapter Stanley says there is an urgent need of a constitutional revolution in our country due to increased violence, intolerance and unrest and such other evils plaguing our nation.
It is indeed heartening to know that Stanley has put in his heart and soul to come out with this book on laws which will serve as a catalyst to arm the common man having the capability of reading Konkani with the basic knowledge of law in brief. With so much happening with regard to matters such as property and divorce information on these matters would have been a good idea. Nevertheless, that should provide him the necessary impetus to come out with another book in Konkani. This 108 page book can be finished in a day or two and that is a good incentive to get knowledgeable in matters of law. A commendable effort indeed !
For more information on book - Please contact author Stanley D'Costa - firstname.lastname@example.org