Guinea pigs for technology #UID #Aaadhaar


Cash transfer would be a test for Aadhaar but the poor would pay the price
Cover photo
Sreelatha Menon / New Delhi Dec 16, 2012,, business standdar
 
Technology can be good. But should it be first tested on the poor, who can barely read and write? Then, leave them at the mercy of unkind banks and other agencies?
There are basically two requirements to be eligible for the cash transfer scheme. One, you should have a bank account. Two, you should have an Aadhaar number. Both are scarce and the government is in a tearing hurry.
These factors make a recipe for disaster. The only consolation for the government that hopes to ride on cash transfer in the next election is that benefits of many schemes, which will come under cash transfer, will never reach the poor. So, most people would not find out what they are missing.
For instance, half of the ration card holders never got anything. May be half of those who needed ration cards never even got the cards. Migrants in urban areas are excluded from benefits because their ration cards, issued by their states, don’t work in other states. Getting a new ration card is out of question, considering their inability to produce a local address proof.
Now, they are required to produce a new document — an Aadhaar card. In Thrissur district in Kerala, some people had to return from an Aadhaar enrolment camp because they were too old and their biometric mapping could not be captured on machines.
When technology fails, it is not the technology that gets rejected. It is the people who are rejected. So, these people – mostly old – with no income, and dependent on their children, would now be deprived of rice and gas subsidies.
As these cases multiply, they add up to even more poverty, malnutrition and hunger, and above all, anger — a fact that the ruling Congress must bear in mind.
Aadhaar and the cash transfer scheme, therefore, despite their possibilities would now act as measures to exclude a large number of people from whatever subsidies are available now, as in the case of cylinders and kerosene.
If this experiment was being conducted in a society ensured of some kind of social security such as pension – good enough to support the people in their old age – then this may not have hurt the poor. The best thing in these circumstances is to give people an option to choose between cash and kind.
This will ensure that no one will get excluded – not even Nandan Nilekeni and his project Unique Identification – or those who are staunch believers in cash transfer.
The only ray of hope is that the Centre cannot force state governments in implement the scheme. As Food Minister K V Thomas said states were free to give cash in place of food and other benefits, or just transfer the subsidy component in cash-to-bank accounts.
That would at least prevent jeopardising the existing system in many states, where genuine efforts have been made to make it work. Thomas offered another possibility that could make cash transfer less painful. He said instead of insisting on an Aadhaar card, documents like national population register card or ration card could be considered.
The pilot cash transfer project in Kotkasim in Rajasthan is a warning. The delays in cash transfer by nearly a year and the exclusion of over 5,000 ration card holders, who did not have accounts, expose callousness. Even a single case of a penurious old labour in Kotkasim having to go to a bank seven to 17 km away to inquire about the subsidy transfer to his bank, and the loss of his wages, are enough to condemn the scheme.

 

Dalit forum seeks ban on ‘made snana’ in all forms


pci courtesy – express

SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT, The Hindu Managalore, Dec 16.,2012

‘Ede snana’ is also a symbol of slavery of the downtrodden: Shivaramu

Karnataka Rajya Hindulida Vargagala Jagrutha Vedike president K.S. Shivaramu has sought an end to made snana (rolling on the plantain leaves on which Brahmins have partaken meal) or its modified form of ede snana (rolling on plantain leaves on which food offered to deity is kept) at Kukke Subramanya Temple.

The ritual, termed “castiest” and scheduled to be held for three days from Sunday on the premises of the famous temple in Subramanya, symbolised the exploitation of Dalits by upper castes, said Mr. Shivaramu at a press conference here.

Mr. Shivaramu, who was assaulted during the last year’s ritual when a group led by him staged a protest against it, said merely because the Supreme Court had stayed any modified ritual, it did not mean that the authorities of the temple, which is in the control of the Muzrai Department of the government, could resort to continue the “ugly and inhuman” practice. He said all facts had not been placed before the Supreme Court. He expressed the confidence that the Supreme Court would ultimately rule in favour of a ban on it once all details were submitted to it.

He said a committee of the State government’s Social Welfare Department had concluded that thepankti bhedha (serving food separately on the basis of caste) and untouchability were being practised in the temple. This had not been brought to the notice of the Supreme Court, he said.

His forum would do the needful.

He said the modification of the ‘made snana’ into ‘ede snana’ was done at the behest of Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji of the Pejawar Math and a government under the control of proponents of Brahminism had accepted this.

He said because of the efforts made by his group and other supporters similar practices in Tumkur and Ankola had come to an end.

HC order stayed

The Supreme Court has stayed the Karnataka High Court order allowing modification of the ritual ‘made snana, practised on the premises of the Subramanya temple in Kukke in Dakshina Kannada district.

Following a petition filed before the High Court by Channamalla Deskindra Mahaswami and others, the State government had proposed to allow devotees to roll over plantain leaves on which the food offered to the deity is placed.

The High Court had permitted this in its order on November 9. Passing an order on Friday on an appeal filed by Adivasi Budakattu Hitarakshana Vedike Karnataka, the bench of justices D.K. Jain and Madan B. Lokur said “the operation of the impugned order shall remain stayed”.

 

Rape ‘victim’ killed by accused #Vaw #WTFnews


Faiz Rahman Siddiqui, TNN Dec 16, 2012,

 Faiz Rahman Siddiqui, TNN Dec 16, 2012,

KANPUR: A minor girl, who had accused a local goon of raping her, was strangled to death by the hoodlum in full public view in a Fatehpur village after she refused to withdraw the complaint against him.

The incident took place in Sidhaav village in bordering Fatehpur on Saturday morning when the accused, Narvada Nishad, barged into the house of the 16-year-old girl, Radha Sonker (name changed) and after beating her brutally, strangled the hapless girl to death even as the villagers looked on.

The killer managed to escape unchallenged.The villagers later informed the Bahua outpost police about the incident who reached the village and sent the body for postmortem.

The girl was allegedly raped by the accused in December last. Subsequently, the girl’s father had lodged a case in this regard with the district’s Lalauli police station alleging that Narvada Nishad had raped his daughter. The matter was sub-judice.

Village sources said about a week ago, the accused had threatened the victim and her family members of dire consequences and pressurized them to withdraw the complaint, but they refused to do so. Moreover, the statement of the rape victim was recorded before a magistrate three days ago.

Police claimed that angered over this, Narvada Nishad barged into the girl’s house when her parents were away at work. Radha, who was sitting near the main entrance of her house, tried to run inside but the accused pounced upon her and dragged her outside the house.

After brutally assaulting her, he strangled her to death in full public view and escaped.

The rape victim’s kin said they had informed the police about the regular “threats” from the accused but they failed to take any action.

Police said a search has been launched for the absconding accused.

Deputy superintendent of police Santosh Kumar Singh said: “A case has been registered under relevant sections of the IPC. We are on the lookout for the accused and will nab him soon.” However, he had no reply when asked why the police didn’t take any action on the girl’s complaint.

Tension prevailed in Sidhaav village over the murder of rape victim. “Additional police personnel have been deployed at the village as precautionary measure,” informed another senior police official.

 

#India -2 tribal women die post ligation surgery #Westbengal #Vaw


pc courtesy indiamike

statesman news service

DURGAPUR, 14 DEC: Two tribal women died today post ligation surgery  at a rural block hospital in Asansol today. Chandmoni Hembram of Kalipathar village and Radharani Tudu of Gaurangadihi village, who underwent ligation at Kelejora Block Primary Health Centre along with 12 other tribal women, died while they were taken to Asansol District Hospital in the late afternoon.

The Asansol administration apprehended that the casualties might provoke the tribals residing in the villages surrounding the rural hospital to unleash attack on the block medical officer and his family. The ADM, Asansol, Mr Jayanta Aikat said: “We have asked police to beef up security surveillance across the hospital area to prevent any untoward situation.”

Tribal housewives queued up at the Kelejora Block Primary Health Centre in Baraboni, about 15 km from Asansol town today where a mass ligation camp was organised. In all 14 women from the adjoining villages underwent tubal ligation surgery at the Kelejora Hospital today.

Chandmoni Hembram and Radharani Tudu, both aged around 40 were also taken to the camp and according to the hospital authorities:

“Their cases became complicated as both complained of gradual deterioration within an hour of operation.” The ADM, Asansol, Mr Jayanta Aikat said: “The medical officers told me that both the women were physically weak, so the rural hospital referred them immediately to the Asansol District Hospital.” On their way to the hospital, both the women died triggering panic among the medical staff. The bodies were kept under supervision at the Asansol Hospital for the night. MLA, Baraboni, Mr Bidhan Upadhyaya said: “Baraboni is a block having 43 villages under eight panchayats and the tribal and downtrodden mass contribute a significant percentage of the demography. The casualties, besides making ligation a fear factor among the backward communities, would also create tension in the area.”

Tubal ligation is a surgery performed to block woman’s fallopian tubes for permanent birth

control.

The district administration has engaged the BDO, Baraboni to table a report on the matter at the earliest.

 

#Delhi- Medical Student gangraped in moving bus , thrown off bus, critical condition #vaw #WTFnews


Edited by Abhinav Bhatt | Updated: December 17, 2012  NDTV

Student gangraped in moving bus in Delhi, male friend beaten up; both thrown off bus

New DelhiDelhi reinforced its reputation as one of the country’s most unsafe cities when a young woman was allegedly raped by five men in a moving bus last night. The woman, 23, and her friend were then thrown off the bus, semi-naked, at a flyover. The victim is at the Safdarjung Hospital in critical condition.

The uncle of the man accompanying the victim said they had boarded a whiteline private bus at around 11 pm from Munirka in south Delhi to go to Palam, where she lives. The whiteline buses ply for schools, offices and also as chartered buses in the Capital. About 10 minutes later, a few people on the bus began harassing her, he said, and when her friend objected they allegedly beat him up. “They took out a rod and beat him badly and then dragged her to the bus cabin where they raped her,” the uncle said.

The men then allegedly took off much of the victims’ clothing and threw them off the moving bus near the Mahipalpur flyover in south Delhi. The woman is a student of medicine in Delhi University. Her friend, who used to work in a software firm, was escorting her home after watching a film at the Select City Walk mall in Saket. They had taken an auto from there till Munirka.

The police said they received a phone call at 1:15 am about the incident. A first information report or FIR has been lodged.

The male friend of the victim is at the Vasant Vihar police station. The police said it was not clear yet whether the five assailants were passengers or bus staff.

No arrests have been made so far; the police have seized two buses and are checking to see if either is the one that the woman was raped in last night. They are also creating sketches of the accused based of the friend’s description and are monitoring CCTV

No arrests have been made so far; the police have seized two buses and are checking to see if either is the one that the woman was raped in last night.

 

#India- a ray of hope for Afzal, other death-row prisoners


V. VENKATESAN , The Hindu, New Delhi Dec 17, 2012

  • A recent Supreme Court ruling could make the government give the benefit of the doubt to 14 death-row convicts including Afzal Guru. File photo
    The HinduA recent Supreme Court ruling could make the government give the benefit of the doubt to 14 death-row convicts including Afzal Guru. File photo

Supreme Court ruling gives the benefit of the doubt to accused

The Supreme Court judgment, in the case of Sangeet v. State of Haryana, delivered on November 20 could make the government give the benefit of the doubt to 14 death-row convicts including Afzal Guru, whose mercy petitions have been turned over to it by the President for fresh advice.

The one mercy petition presently pending with President Pranab Mukherjee, after the receipt of advice from Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, also carries the taint of flawed death sentence by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution Bench judgment in Bachan Singh v State of Punjab (1980) is the source of contemporary death penalty jurisprudence in India. It limited the death penalty to the rarest of rare crimes, and laid 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 has been very uneven and inconsistent.

The Sangeet judgement has reaffirmed that Bachan is the correct precedent for awarding death penalty. The relevant findings of the two-Judge Bench comprising Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Madan B. Lokur in Sangeet, to paraphrase, are:

1. The reliance on Machhi Singh v. State of Punjab, delivered by a three-Judge Bench in 1983, as a valid legal precedent by many subsequent Benches to justify death sentences is flawed. Machhi Singh sought to compare aggravating circumstances pertaining to a crime with the mitigating circumstances pertaining to a criminal. These are completely distinct and different elements and cannot be compared with one another. A balance sheet cannot be drawn up of two distinct and different constituents of an incident. Bachan Singh resolutely refrained from balancing these elements, because it leads to arbitrary decisions by a Judge.

2. Machhi Singh sought to standardize crimes into five absolute categories, in order to identify the rarest of rare crime deserving death sentence. These five categories are manner of commission of murder, motive for commission of murder, anti-social or socially abhorrent nature of the crime, magnitude of crime and personality of victim of murder. These categories enlarge the scope for imposing death penalty that was greatly restricted by Bachan Singh.

3. Despite Bachan Singh, primacy still seems to be given to the nature of the crime. The circumstances of the criminal, referred to in Bachan Singh, appear to have taken a bit of a back seat in the sentencing process.

The Hindu has scrutinized each Supreme Court judgment in the 15 cases and found that applying Sangeet the executive could recommend commuting the death sentences in all the cases.

 

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