#Bangalore- Dial 100, even for eve-teasing


By Sangeeta Bora – BANGALORE

10th December 2012 , IE

  • The Bangalore City Police Facebook page is a big hit with Bangaloreans. Police are urging the public to share their grievances online and promise to take action.
  • The Bangalore City Police Facebook page is a big hit with Bangaloreans. Police are urging the public to share their grievances online and promise to take action.

The Supreme Court, in its new direction to the state governments and Union Territories, has asked to establish Women’s Helpline in various cities and towns. In light of frequent eve-teasing cases in the city and country, City Express inquired about a possible helpline dedicated for this malaise alone in Bangalore.

The Joint Commissioner of Crime, East, B Dayananda said, “We do not have any separate number dedicated to eve-teasing issues. But people can definitely make use of the number 100 to report such cases.”

Explaining the effectiveness of 100, Dayananda says, “The best option for anyone is to call this number and you will get immediate response. These numbers are also manned by women police personnel and they have access to the movements of the police on Cheetahs in the city. They can immediately alert them and send help where ever needed.”

The police commissioner, Jyothiprakash Mirji have also opened up new avenues like anonymous letters or SMS options for women in Bangalore who are not keen on revealing their identity. Similarly, in a conference, Joint Commissioner of Police Crime (West Division) Pranab Mohanty had reminded about the Facebook page of Bangalore police where any affected woman can upload any complain. He had also highlighted the presence of women desks in all the police stations and the online system of filing complaints. But when City Express enquired about the SMS facility with the Joint Commissioner of crime west, Pranab Mohanty, he stated his ignorance and referred the matter to the control room (100). Suma, an employee in police control room said, “The SMS facility is still on the process. It will be activated in a month or two.”

 

हमरे गाँव में बिजली न आई – #poem


कैसा विकास और कैसी आज़ादी
आज़ादी के 65 वर्षो के बाद भी
हमरे गाँव में बिजली न आई
दिवाली की जगमग है चारो ओर
पर हमरे गाँव में अँधियारा है चहुँ ओर
भाजपा गयी कांग्रेश आई बसपा गयी सपा आई
पर हमरे गाँव में बिजली न आई
केबिनेट बदला, मंत्री बदले, बदला पूरा मंत्रिमंडल
पर न बदला हमरे गाँव का मुखमंडल
नए शासनादेश आये, नयी नयी विकास योजनाये आई
पर हमरे गाँव में बिजली की कोई योजना न आई
सुना है उ प्र के कुछ जिलो में 24 घंटे बिजली आती है
पर हमरे गाँव में तो एक सेकेण्ड के लिए भी बिजली नहीं आती है
हमरे गाँव से 3 किमी की दूरी पर आई आई टी कानपूर है कहते है जहाँ कभी अन्धेरा नहीं होता
पर हमरे गाँव का अन्धेरा कभी समाप्त नहीं होता
ये कैसा न्याय और कैसी समानता है
जहाँ एक तरफ शहर रोशनी से नहाये हुए है
तो वही हमरा गाँव रोशनी की एक किरण के लिए तरस रहा है
शहरो की सडको गली मुहल्लों यहाँ तक मैदानों में बिजली बेकार हो रही है
पर हमरे गाँव की गलियां माँ बिजली का नमो निशान नहीं
1947 में देश को अंग्रेजो के चंगुल से आज़ादी मिली पूरा देश खुश हुआ
लड्डू बटे फुल्जरियाँ फूटी रंग गुलाला उड़ा
हम भी खुश और हमरा गाँव भी खुश
सत्ता बदली शासन बदला अपना देश अपना प्रधानमंत्री
नयी नयी योजनाये नयी नयी नीतिया
पर हमरे गाँव के लिए न कोई विकास नीति और न कोई योजना
सन 1971 में राजीव गाँधी ग्रामीण विधुतीकरण योजना ने खूब नाम कमाया
पर 30 वर्ष बाद भी हमरे गाँव का विधुतीकरण न हो पाया
फिर आई डा आंबेडकर ग्राम सम्पूर्ण विधुतीकरण योजनां की बारी
पर हमरे गाँव में बिजली फिर भी न आई
ग्लोबल इंडिया और इंडिया सयिनिंग ने पुरे देश को चमकाया
पर हमरे गाँव में बिजली का एक खम्बा भी न गड़ पाया
एक बार फिर से लोहिया ग्राम समग्र विकास योजना ने सपना दिखाया
पर हमरे गाँव का नंबर फिर भी न आया
2012 जाने वाला है पर पता नहीं हमरे गाँव का नंबर कब आने वाला है
कभी फुर्सत मिले तो एक बार हमरे गाँव का भी चक्कर लगाना
तो पता चलेगा दिए की रोशनी में कैसे सपने पलते है और दिए बुझने के साथ ही बुझ जाते है
किस तरह अँधेरे में जिन्दगिया पल रही है
किस तरह अँधेरा हमरे गाँव में अपना घर बनाकर बैठा है
न कोई रोशनी है न कोई उम्मीद और न ही कोई विकास
बस सिर्फ अँधेरा ही अँधेरा है ……………………………
बस सिर्फ अँधेरा ही अँधेरा है …………………………….

के एम् भाई 

 

You can listen to recitation here

http://cgnetswara.org/index.php?id=15316

 

An appeal To The Voters Of Gujarat State


By R. B. Sreekumar

09 December, 2012
Countercurrents.org

I have been immeasurably grateful to the people of Gujarat for their abundant support and affection given to me in my policing job since my appointment in the Gujarat cadre of IPS in 1971. I deem it to be quite appropriate to make an appeal to the voters of Gujarat about the crucial matters to be kept in mind by them while choosing their candidates in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

The self-evident truth about the most deplorable facet of Modi rule since 2001 is that the Chief Minister Narendra Modi and his supporters from the Sangh Parivar, are responsible for the massacre of nearly 2000 Indian citizens in 2002 riots and destruction of many symbols of Islamic culture from medieval times. This man made communal holocaust has inflicted an indelible blot on our motherlands’ symbiotic syncretic heritage from the Vedic period.
Publicity specialists of Modi are projecting the so called “development” without progress, distributive justice and ecological sanity – as a monumental achievement that should overshadow and nullify the ghastly sin of mobocratic genocide of a section of Indian population in 2002. In this context the voters should ponder over the following questions before choosing their candidates and party on the polling day.

Do you know that the infrastructural foundations created by the Chief Ministers from the formation of the Gujarat state to the introduction of privatization, liberalization and globalization policies by Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh team had naturally motivated investors to start industries in Gujarat than in less developed states? Can Modi appropriate achievements of all his predecessors in Gujarat to himself?

Do you know that the rate of economic development in Gujarat was 15 – 20% during the tenure of CM Madhavsingh Solanki and now it has come down to 8 to 10%.

Do you know that construction of Narmada Dam was sanctioned by Rajiv Gandhi – long pending for ecological clearance – at the instance of the Gujarat CM Chimanbhai Patel, by cajoling the then Secretary Environment Shri T. N. Seshan?

Do you know that over 70% of targeted beneficiaries of Narmada irrigation schemes are bereft of their benefit due to delay in creation of channel system?

Do you know that many farmers are committing suicide due to multiple adverse factors including the inadequacy of feeder canals?

Do you know that nearly 90 types of untouchability are practiced in Gujarat as per a study by an NGO “Navsarjan”? The percentage of conviction in atrocity cases is reportedly lowest in Gujarat State.

Do you know that over 40% of tribals from districts of Panchmahal (Godhra), Dahod, Sabarkantha etc – a floating population – live in sub-human conditions in urban construction sites?

Why the Modi govt. had failed to create barrack type labour shelters for these half starved unskilled workers in construction areas?

What kind of vibrancy in Gujarat we should be proud of when the poorest of the poor – the original inhabitants of Gujarat – suffer in their own make shift tents in the open spaces by the side of major roads in the capital city of Gandhinagar?

Do not Modi and his Ministers experience foul smell emanating from these road side slums when they travel through Gandhinagar city roads?

What is the justification for non-appointment of Lok Ayukta in Gujarat even years after the relevant legislation was enacted by the Assembly?

Why report on high level corruption in Sujalam – Suphalam Project uncovered by the Public Accounts Committee is not released to the voters so far?

Do you know that people of Gujarat had lost one lakh and forty thousand crore rupees in land scams of Modi govt in which govt. land plots were given to big corporate groups on cheap rates?

Do you know that manual scavenging (people carrying human waste on their heads) is still prevailing in some parts of Gujarat?

Do you know that graft and corruption for getting legitimate services at the grass root level govt. officers – Police Station, Mamlatdar’s Office, Primary Health Centre, Taluka Development Office etc have unprecedentedly increased during the regime of Modi Govt, thanks to the postings of “favourites” of ruling party in important lucrative posts?

Do you know that about 10000 riot victims of 2002 communal violence live in sub-human conditions as govt. is not providing them even basic facilities?

Do you know that riots were state patronized, promoted, facilitated and enabled and that officers in two cities – Surat and Rajkot – and nine districts, out of twenty six, have maintained public order remarkably in 2002 communal riots by enforcing Communal Riot Schemes, Criminal Procedure Code, Bombay Police Act and the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in Gujarat Police Manual and numerous govt. instructions?

Do you know that all those officers – in charge of 11 areas – were treated badly by the Modi govt. – a few were transferred in the thick of riots, some were not promoted and charge-sheeted etc. Cases against some of these officers are still pending in the courts?

Do you know that officers (IAS/IPS) who acted as collaborators to the govt. to execute its anti-minority carnage were rewarded with good postings, out of turn promotions and post retirement assignments?

Do you know that 90% of riot cases reinvestigated on the Apex Court orders in 2002 by Gujarat police ended in filing of final reports and not in arrest and prosecution of accused persons?

Do you know that many riot cases investigated by Gujarat police ended in acquittal of accused because allegedly the police had pressurized the key witness to turn hostile?

Do you know that in many riot cases riot victims who registered FIRs against accused from the Sangh parivar were forced to go against their own complaints as a condition precedent for their rehabilitation in pre –riot places and vocations?

Do you know that the Special Courts, the Gujarat High Court and the Apex court had passed severe strictures against Gujarat Bureaucracy and police for their unprofessional, illegal and pro-riot accused posture? The Apex court called Gujarat bureaucracy “the modern day Neros“ in 2004.

Do you know that for the first time in the judicial history of India the Apex court had appointed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former CBI Director, Dr. R. K. Raghavan to probe into nine gruesome multiple murder cases during the riots?

Do you know that for the first time in the judicial history of India the Apex court was forced to appoint a Special Task force (STF) headed by justice Bedi to probe into alleged fake encounters killings?

Do you know that for the first time in the history of Gujarat police, many police officers including 4 IPS officers were arrested for extra judicial killings and are in jail since April 2007?

Do not you think that rewarding of officers who aided, abetted and enabled the rioters to kill people in 2002 and punishing those who enforced the Rule of Law would have adverse impact on the morale and motivation of well meaning policemen, loyal to the letter and spirit of the Constitution of India, from constable to DGP?

Do you know that for families of police officers in jail for their culpable role in riots (only two Police Inspectors) and fake encounters are orphaned and marginalized for no fault of theirs?

Do you know that Dr. R. K Raghavan the Chairman, SIT which gave a clean chit to Modi and police officers from the rank of Dy SP to DGP (only two Police Inspectors arrested) for riots allegedly has been serving TATA Group as a Paid Adviser?

Do you know that the TATA group allegedly got Rs. 5000 crore worth of benefits from Modi Govt?

Do not you think that there is clash of interests between the requirements of justice to riot victims and Dr. R. K. Raghavans’ alleged financial obligations and subservience to TATA Company?

Do you know that Dr. R. K. Raghavan, on an average stayed only 5-6 days in a month in Gujarat for supervising investigation of nine important massacre cases, though he has been paid Rs. 1.5 lacs per month by Gujarat govt. (since June 2008), besides other privileges?

Do you know that Dr. R. K. Raghavan, allegedly, had unauthorizedly got the traveling expenses spent on his journey from London (where he visited for private purpose) to Ahmedabad on 2 occasions – in August 2008 and July 2009 from Gujarat Govt?

Why the State govt. had refused to provide information on travelling expenses paid by it to Dr. Raghavan, on flimsy ground that SIT is not covered by RTI Act? What is the secrecy about Dr. Raghavan’s past travels?

Do you know that Dr. R. K. Raghavan did not record or verify the statement of a single witness of all important cases investigated by him?

Why Dr. Raghavan had refused to conduct Narco test on Shri R. B. Sreekumar and Shri Sanjeev Bhatt (police officers who gave a lot of evidence about the complicity of Modi government in riots), even though both had unconditionally volunteered for the same?

Do you know that Dr. R. K. Raghavan did not conduct reconstruction of crime of Godhra train fire on 27-02-2002, though Shri R. B. Sreekumar suggested for the same, to find out the veracity of conspiracy theory behind the train fire incident?

Do you know that Dr. Raghavan did not accept information produced by Tehelka journalist Ashish Khaitan in “Operation Kalank” as evidence though the court in Naroda Patia judgment had accepted it as extra judicial confession?

Do you know that the killing spree by Sangh Parivar supporters of 96 people including infants in Naroda Patiya on 28-2-2002 from 9 AM to 7 PM (10 hours) was not stopped by police – from Inspector to the Commissioner of Police of Ahmedabad City, as per Naroda Patia judgment by Judge Dr. Jyotsna Yagnik?

Do you know that SIT did not find anything wrong with the police officers, from Inspectors to CP Ahmedabad, whose criminal negligence of their mandated duties resulted in violent mobs moving in Naroda Patiya during curfew hours and killing innocent Muslims (58 were killed during the curfew hours)?

Do you know that Modi Govt. did not take remedial measures on intelligence inputs about prejudicial actions and posture of police officers against riot victims resulting in faulty registration of FIRs, not including names of prominent Hindu leaders responsible for violence in FIR , not recovering property looted by rioters etc. (these professional lapses of police are condemned by the Court in Naroda Patia judgement) submitted by Gujarat State Intelligence Branch (SIB), from 9-4-2002 to 17-9-2002?

Do you know that nearly 80% of 98 accused convicted (life imprisonment for anti-minority riots in 2002) do not have previous criminal records, and have been acting as programmed human robots on the motivation of the ruling party and support by collaborating and enabling police officers?

Do you know that the families of convicted persons for riots (all Hindus) are orphaned for nearly 20 years for no fault of theirs?

Do you know that for claiming excellent crime control by the Modi govt., police officers from police station level upwards are avoiding registration of FIRs of property offences particularly FIRs of property offence crimes like chain snatching, thefts etc and even murders in case of recovery of dead bodies with pre-mortem injuries?

Do you know that police are hesitant in taking actions against law breakers having support of the ruling party, and belonging to affluent sections and this approach of police has resulted in drunken teenage driving, killing many innocent people in hit and run cases; theft of cars, mobiles, computers etc. for fun by teenagers from richer sections etc.?

Do you know that Modi govt. from 2002 riot days had used mobs to carry out its hidden agenda like anti-minority violence, stoppage of screening films like Persania and Aamir Khan’s films, attacking NDTV office in Ahmedabad city for their “offence” of giving importance to the late artist M. F. Hussain?

Do you know that police morale in Gujarat is on the declining trend due to:

a) Encouragement given by the govt. to a coterie of officers who enjoy extra hierarchical accessibility to political leadership and de-facto undue authority.
b) Delay in promotions (4 DGP) posts kept vacant for two years (August 2010 to Sept 2012).
c) Inadequacy of staff.
d) Over deployment for VIP duties etc

Do you know that success in govt. programmes can be achieved only through efficacy of every employee and not through the oratorical skill and publicity drive of a single individual – Narendra Modi?

Do you know that bureaucrats and police are suffering from severe Modi-phobia and are reluctant to exercise their mandatory authority freely to ensure smooth functioning of the Criminal Justice System and prompt service delivery for distributive justice to the under-privileged and marginalized downtrodden sections?

Do you want to live in an atmosphere of fear of a domineering government which does not give any room for culture of democracy, tolerance to diversity of opinion, and different socio-religious cultures?

Please do not accept Modi govt’s propaganda on law and order, development , delivery of justice, efficiency and promptness of govt. services basing on macro level statistics projected by the govt., instead judge the govt. on your micro level personal experience and what you have seen at grass root level.

Please see that there is no mismatch between your answers to the above questions and your choice of candidates or party on the polling day.

Warm regards

R. B. Sreekumar (IPS Retd) Former DGP Gujarat rbsreekumar71@yahoo.com

 

When corporations abuse human rights


Can a corporation face civil liability in a U.S. court for aiding a foreign government’s acts of torture and murder of innocent villagers? That was the question before the Supreme Court on Oct. 1 when it heard oral arguments in Kiobel vs. Royal Dutch Petroleum.

The plaintiffs, all Nigerian nationals now living in the U.S., claimed that Dutch, British and Nigerian corporations affiliated with Shell (and engaged in oil exploration and production in Nigeria) assisted the Nigerian military in committing human rights abuses between 1992 and 1995 to quash protests over grave environmental damage caused by the oil operations.

The Supreme Court initially heard this case in its last term on the question of corporate civil liability under a U.S. statute that permits an “alien” to bring a civil action for violation of international law in the U.S. federal court. A divided Second Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that  customary international law does not recognize corporate civil liability and hence corporations are immune under the statute in question, the Alien Tort Statute. That reasoning was subsequently rejected by three other federal courts of appeal.

The Supreme Court asked the parties for supplemental briefing on whether the statute allows courts to hear a case concerning violations of international law “occurring within the territory of a sovereign other than the United States” — that is, whether the law applies extraterritorially.

The statute in question, enacted by the first Congress in 1789, lay dormant for two centuries until the Second Circuit decided a case in 1980 which involved a Paraguayan tortured and killed in Paraguay. The court held that since torture is prohibited under international law, jurisdiction is proper under the statute, and it found the defendant liable for huge damages. Subsequently, in another decision, the Supreme Court left the door open for a federal court to hear a case based on an international norm accepted by the civilized world as “specific, universal, and obligatory.” Torture and extrajudicial execution, as occurred in this case, fit that definition. But the court has not ruled on whether corporations can be sued under that statute.

The Kiobel case has broader implications. Will the Supreme Court with its conservative majority insulate companies from liability for human rights violations committed abroad? The five-member majority led by Chief Justice John Roberts has in the last few years issued a series of opinions favoring corporations, such as the 2010 Citizens United ruling.

What are the court’s options? It could rule that while the Alien Tort Statute applies to persons it does not apply to corporations. However, under American law, plaintiffs have been able to sue corporations for more than 200 years. Why should this principle not apply to claims against corporations under the Alien Tort Statute in the case of severe human rights violations? If corporations have constitutional rights, as Citizens United established, why should they not be held to the same standards as persons?

On the other hand, the court could hold that the statute does not apply to acts committed abroad and thus corporations committing human rights violations abroad are shielded from liability.

The United States must uphold its tradition of protecting international human rights by not allowing a corporation to avoid liability when it has committed heinous human rights crimes abroad.

Ved P. Nanda (vnanda@law.du.edu), Thompson Marsh Professor of Law and director, International Legal Studies Program, University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

“To those who believe in resistance, who live between hope and impatience and have learned the perils of being unreasonable. To those who understand enough
to be afraid and yet retain their fdenverpost.com

 

Science sans Humanity: India’s Pursuit of Nuclear Energy


Pradeep Kumar S., Dianuke.org

Pradeep is an M Tech final year student in Aerospace Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

He can be contacted at spradeepmahadeek @gmail.com

In this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.There is nothing divine about morality, it is a purely human affair  — Albert Einstein

The United State’s Department of Energy in 1991 commissioned a team of six experts- an architect, anthropologist, material scientist, linguist & archaeologist to design a marker for the nuclear waste repository that was proposed to come up in Yucca mountain, Nevada desert whose facilities would house waste at 1000 ft deep amounting tens of thousands of metric tons of nuclear waste.

The challenge for the team was that the marker should last for at least 10,000 years & it should convey the following meaning

” No esteemed deed is commemorated here. Nothing of value is buried here. This place is a message & part of a system of messages. Pay attention. We are serious. Sending this message was significant for us. Ours was considered an important culture.”

(strong opposition from the local communities & revelation of inconsistent reports caused US government to roll back its plan in 2009)

Ten thousand years !

Is it such a long time?. Yes indeed! About 10,000 years ago we were living as a hunter-gatherer communities. Back then, there was no language, no writing, no currency, no bank, no capitalism, hence no exploitation of weaker sections of society. The life was filled with love, compassion, affection and sharing that was harmonious with the other life forms of the world.No one would have dreamed then, that this human race would one day pose a serious threat to the only habitable planet in the solar system.Thanks to industrialization & capitalism of 21st century.

When a country like USA admits publicly the amount of nuclear waste produced in their plants & discuss with independent experts of the country to come up with a solution to protect their people from the radiation for next 10,00 years &  bring in a fair amount of transparency in their dealings, our India is busy in labeling the people who are questioning them as fools, illiterate and anti nationals funded by foreign NGOs.

The root of the problem might lie in the projection of modern science as reason of state. Science in India is advertised & sold, in the way consumer products are sold in any market economy, as a cure for all the ills of Indian society. In 60s & 70s it was atom for peace & green revolution , now it is turn for nuclear power plants and FDI. The common people are made to believe that  science is the only reliable source for information. people have started thinking that even if the politicians are not to be trusted & their newspaper are inaccurate, the scientists & science, at very least will provide them a correct perspective. But the problem is science cant do that.

Science is something that is alive & evolving. scientific theories are inherently falsifiable. That is what makes them scientific & not religious or moral proposition. History has shown us that scientists are no more exempt from the corruption of power than any other human being. Under right political conditions scientists claimed the right to experiments on black men , use poor people for medical trials as guinea pigs & torture Jews.The technologies are projected as an escape route from the dirtiness of the politics. Many sociologists agree that Science as a reason of state is inflicting violence in the name of national security or development.

The nuclear science establishment in India has taken advantage of the anxieties about the national security & developmental aspirations of this nation to gain access to power & resources. The poor records of the NPCIL and UCIL’s on protecting the people’s democratic rights and providing the necessary health care in Ketholai and Jaduguda speaks for itself. Their mainstream scientists have often been the most vigorous critics of civil right groups struggling for protection against the hazards of callous nuclear establishment.

The government’s recent flip flops on filing affidavit about the proposed nuclear waste repository in kolar gold fields & subsequent reactions of the Karnataka people and politicians makes two things clear time and again,

1. Politician’s double standard. The very same parties (DMK, ADMK, BJP) which supports Kudankulam nuclear powerplant in Tamil Nadu, opposes in Karnataka. Similarly the left party which opposes plants in Jaitapur and supports the Kudankulam plant.

2. Aam aadmi’s selective resistance to the draconian policies (i.e) opposing a policy only when it affects them, otherwise not bothering about that.  People of Karnataka didn’t care about the fate of the nuclear plant until they came to know that nuclear waste is going to be stored in Kolar fields. Similarly the Kerala people who opposed the proposal for nuclear plant in their place didn’t bother to follow up. Now when they realized that plant in Kudunkulam poses threat to them, they are fighting back.

The same can be said about the issues like FDI in retail price. Unless the emphasis is based on the draconian policies rather than its implementation in some particular locality, any protest will eventually help in strengthening the crony capitalism, making a mockery of our democracy, as we have seen in case of anti-nuclear agitation. If we agitate that we don’t want the plant in our locality, the government will simply change the location to  a place were people are more ignorant.

In a democratic country like ours (?), people’s duty and responsibility doesn’t stop at electing their representative. Constant vigilance and honest criticism only can keep the spirits of democracy high. Today’s education system is trying to rob this spirit by isolating the individuals from the society, so much that the so called intellectual elites of our country(sometimes true!) “IIT-ians” themselves are unaware that they are being exploited.The tax payer’s money is spent on these elite institutions only on the hope that they will solve the problems that is plaguing this country.

But what is the reality?. In my IIT Kanpur campus, mess workers are being randomly fired without any due compensations, 2 construction workers died due to inadequate safety measures in span of month. But the majority of the student community is ignorant about this. Even if they knew , they thing it is not their problem. Their goal being getting good grades and landing in MNCs which offers fat salary. Their idea of contributing nation is paying taxes (source). The students are not the one to be blamed. The society and government failed alike to educate them with social consciousness.

The culture of modern science in India has built an inverse relationship with culture of open politics & has began to produce new forms of secrecy, centralization, disinformation & authoritarian organizational structure. The way our present education system is designed & the way the mainstream media is controlled by corporates and political parties, without bringing this undemocratic coterie down, there is no hope of improvement in narrowing the gap between haves and have nots.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, wealth without work,pleasure without conscience,knowledge without character,commerce without morality,science without humanity,worship without sacrifice,politics without principle are the seven blunders that has the potential to wipe out the human race from the history of this planet. lets not make these mistakes and  be responsible for bringing Armageddon to this planet

References :

1. “About a mountain ” by John D’agata.

2. Science as a reason of state by Ashis Nandy

 

If only we had more Rekhas… #Vaw


 

19-year-old maid puts her life on the line to save minor from rapist dad

by-Sunchika B Pandey, DNA , Mumbai, Dec 10, 2012 

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A fortnight after a 3-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her father near Kalyan, it has come to light that it was the courage and concern shown by a 19-year-old domestic help, who was completely unknown to the girl, that saved the child.
On November 24 around 11pm, Rekha Timple first noticed the man sexually assaulting the child in a thicket of bushes near Kalyan station. Rekha, a Vashi resident, had just met her boyfriend in Kalyan and was on her way to the station to get home. However, she said she could not move ahead as she was too disturbed at what she had just seen.
DNA had reported about the sexual assault of the 3-year-old who is currently undergoing treatment at Sion hospital.
“I lunged forward to save the girl from her father’s advances. But I moved away he stared angrily at me,” recalled Timple. “The only thought on my mind was to save the child. But I knew that if I acted impulsively, he would attack or kill me. Not that I was scared of death, I just wanted to live to save that little girl from that torture.”
Timple slipped out of the place but said she couldn’t stop crying. “I lurked around the spot to look for the girl and her father,” said Timple, who let go of her train and stayed the night at Kalyan station.Around 2.30am and again at 4am, she went back to look for the girl.
“At first, I could not find her anywhere. Then, around 6am, I called my friend to join me. We found her near the Shiv temple close to the parcel office near Kalyan station. She seemed to be in pain; she was bleeding profusely,” said Timple.Timple and her boyfriend took the girl to a nearby washroom where they cleaned and dressed her and took her to the police. Just then the girl’s father spotted her with his daughter. “He tried to attack me, but there were people around. I raised an alarm and passersby caught hold of him and took him to the police,” said Timple.
The girl has now received several gifts

 

#India-For a moratorium on death sentence


V. VENKATESAN, Dec 10, The Hindu

There is a need to identify cases in which the courts might have erred in applying the Bachan Singh principle that limits the imposition of the death penalty

The Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution Bench judgment in Bachan Singh (1980) is the source of contemporary death penalty jurisprudence in India. Its major contribution was to limit the imposition of death penalty to the rarest of rare crimes, and for laying down the principle that the courts must impose the death sentence on a convict only if the alternative sentence of life imprisonment is unquestionably foreclosed. For achieving these twin objectives, the court held that judges must consider the aggravating features of the crime, as well as the mitigating factors of the criminal.

However, the application of its principles by the courts to various cases before them has been very uneven, and inconsistent. This has naturally led to the criticism that the jurisprudence suffers from a judge-centric approach, rather than a principles-centric approach.

Matter of concern

It is a matter of concern when this criticism emanates from the judiciary itself, as it smacks of its helplessness. The frequency of such criticism from the judiciary may appear to be exercises in genuine introspection but to the litigants, the very credibility of the court’s death penalty decisions is at stake.

The execution of death row prisoners in India might have come to a near standstill, with only one in the last decade, and another recently. Yet, the frequency of confirmation of death sentences by the Supreme Court has created a large pool of death row prisoners in the country, who may be living between life and death constantly for many years, till the executive decides on their mercy petitions. When the Supreme Court time and again admits that many of these prisoners might have been sentenced on the basis of erroneous legal precedents set by itself, the executive cannot pretend to be unconcerned.

The latest admission of such error is to be found in the judgment delivered by Justice Madan B. Lokur for himself and on behalf of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan, in Sangeet & ANR vs. State of Haryana, on November 20.

The genesis of Sangeet can be traced to another Supreme Court judgment delivered in 2009. In Santosh Kumar Satishbhushan Bariyar v. State of Maharashtra, a two-judge Bench admitted to error in the sentencing to death of seven convicts by the previous benches of the court. Similar error was immediately noticed in the sentencing to death of six more convicts, after the delivery of judgment in Bariyar, taking their total to 13.

The error was the reliance by the court on a legal precedent, which Bariyar declared as per incuriam. The term, per incuriam, refers to a decision which a subsequent court finds to be a mistake, occurring through ignorance of a relevant authority, and therefore not a binding precedent.

Erroneous precedent

The erroneous legal precedent was Ravji v. State of Rajasthan, decided in 1996 by a two-judge Bench. In Ravji, the court had found only characteristics relating to the crime, to the exclusion of the criminal, as relevant to sentencing. Bariyar noted with disapproval that the court had relied on Ravji as an authority on the point that in heinous crimes, circumstances relating to the criminal are not pertinent, in six cases. This was inconsistent with the Bachan Singh ruling by the five-Judge Constitution Bench in 1980, which had shifted the focus of sentencing from the “crime” to the “crime and the criminal”.

In Sangeet, the Radhakrishnan-Lokur Bench has continued the judicial scrutiny started by Bariyar of post-Bachan Singh death penalty cases, to see if they have complied with the requirements of the law. Thanks to this scrutiny, five other cases which resulted in the wrongful sentencing to death of six more convicts have come to light. They are Shivu, Jadeswamy, B.A. Umesh, Rajendra Pralhadrao Wasnik, Mohd. Mannan, and Sushil Murmu. The former President, Pratibha Patil, has already commuted Murmu’s death sentence to life imprisonment.

Back to 13

Five of the 13 convicts identified in and after Bariyar have already got their sentences commuted to life imprisonment by competent authorities. With Sangeet pointing to five more such convicts, the total number of prisoners to be taken off the death row is back to 13 again.

Unlike Bariyar, however, Sangeet has not declared the five erroneous judgments per incuriam. But the result of the scrutiny in both the cases is the same: no future Bench can cite these cases on a point of law, without inviting the Ravji taint. The recent appeal by 14 former judges to the President to spare the lives of the eight convicts, who have been wrongly sentenced to death by the Supreme Court must, therefore, apply equally to these five convicts identified in Sangeet.

It is not unusual to come across observations by the courts while justifying the death sentence, that there is extreme indignation of the community over the nature of the crime, and that collective conscience of the community is petrified by the extremely brutal, grotesque, diabolical, revolting or dastardly manner of the commission of the crime. After making these observations, it is easy for the courts to jump to the conclusion that the criminal is a menace to society and shall continue to be so and he cannot be reformed.

These are empty clichés repeated ad nauseam without any basis. Sangeet, therefore, gently reminds the courts about the need to back such observations with some material. The nature of the crime alone cannot form such material, it has held.

Sangeet has pointed out a grave infirmity with regard to the sentencing of Umesh and Sushil Murmu, to death. The Supreme Court found both Umesh and Sushil Murmu incapable of rehabilitation and, therefore, deserving of the death sentence because of their alleged involvement in crimes other than those for which they were convicted — turning upside down the doctrine of presumption of innocence, the cornerstone of our criminal jurisprudence.

Bachan Singh, delivered by a five-judge Constitution Bench, clearly discarded the proposition that the court must balance aggravating and mitigating circumstances through a balance sheet theory. The theory requires weighing aggravating factors of the crime against the mitigating factors of the criminal. In Machhi Singh (1983), however, a three-judge Supreme Court Bench, brought the balance sheet theory back, and gave it legitimacy. The theory has held the field post-Machhi Singh.

Sangeet has sought to revive the Bachan Singh dictum that the aggravating circumstances of the crime and the mitigating circumstances of the criminal are completely distinct and different elements, and cannot be compared with one another. Therefore, it has held that a balance sheet cannot be drawn up of two distinct and different constituents of an incident, as required by Machhi Singh.

Sangeet holds the balance sheet theory responsible for much of the arbitrariness in judging whether a case falls under the rarest of rare category, a test enunciated in Bachan Singh. It also endorses the proposition that by standardising and categorising crimes, Machhi Singh considerably enlarged the scope for imposing the death penalty, that was greatly restricted by Bachan Singh.

The Radhakrishnan-Lokur Bench, being a two-judge Bench, could not have overruled Machhi Singh, despite its obvious flaws, and the source of much of the inconsistency in our death penalty jurisprudence. A three-judge bench in Swami Shraddhanand II in 2008 had raised similar doubts about Machhi Singh; but the courts continue to invoke it.

In its judgment delivered on August 29, among other things, the Supreme Court relied on the flawedMachhi Singh for its reasoning, and used the balance sheet theory, arraigned by Sangeet, to sentence Ajmal Kasab.

The serious issues raised in Sangeet are incapable of being resolved by the judiciary itself. Any delay in their resolution will inexorably create more death row convicts, than what is justified legally. There is indeed a case for the government to immediately announce a moratorium on executing death sentences and set up a Commission to identify the cases in which any of the courts — trial courts, high courts and the Supreme Court — might have erred in correctly applying the Bachan Singh principles, while sentencing. The findings of the Commission will be useful for deciding the future of death sentence in the country.

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