Family court matters taken away from Justice Bhakthavatsala #Justice #Victory


Press Trust of India / Bangalore September 08, 2012

Following an outrage over certain remarks made by a judge of Karnataka High Court on women in an open court, all family court matters, including child custody and guardianship, have been shifted from him and another judge.

The matters have been shifted to the court of justices K L Manjunath and V Suri Appa Rao from the court of Justice Bhakthavatsala and Justice B S Indrakala.

There was no other change in the subjects listed against the name of justices Bhakthavatsala and Indrakala. The changes will come into effect from September 10, official sources said.

The shifting of the matters comes in the wake of the outrage expressed by women lawyers and activists to certain oral remarks made by Bhakthavatsala in an open court.

The modification of subjects assigned to the Judges of the high court normally happens to those judges who return from their sittings at the circuit benches.

Karnataka has two circuit benches — in Gulbarga and Dharwad. Subjects are normally modified after summer vacation until Dussehra holidays, post Dussehra holidays to Christmas holidays and Christmas holidays to summer holidays.

The unusual modification of taking away just one subject relating to family court matters is an indication of the impact of the campaign that went right up to the level of the Chief Justice of India.

Justice Bhaktavatsala had yesterday expressed his displeasure about the reports appearing in certain sections of the press about the oral observations made by him while hearing a marriage dispute.

While hearing a case, Justice Bhaktavatsala rapped the media for “misinterpreting” his oral observations and said “I have not permitted to beat wife. I never approved such kind of things… In the interest of protecting family, marriages I put forth my efforts… I asked couples to forget their past and live their life peacefully… But reports are otherwise… While hearing family matters we try to conciliate between parties. The papers have taken in a different perspective.”

Certain statements made by him last month had appeared in a section of press wherein while hearing a matrimonial dispute he was reported to have told a woman lawyer that she was unfit to argue the matter as she was unmarried.

Another observation by him was while advising a techie couple who reconciled for the sake of their child, wherein he asked the wife as to why she was talking about the being beaten by her husband, when he could take good care of her as he was doing well in his business.

Women advocates led by noted senior lawyer and former Chairperson of Karnataka State Commission For Women Pramila Nesargi had recently given a representation to Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen expressing serious objection to the remarks passed by Justice Bhaktavatsala.

VICTORY !!!-Agreement with Christy Friedgram cancelled #Goodnews


Bageshree S., Bangalore , The Hindu

Government Order  issued in the light of ‘several instances of lapses’

The Government Order says that the food supplied by the company did not have stipulated amount of protein and calories.— FILE PHOTO: M. Subash

The Government Order says that the food supplied by the company did not have stipulated amount of protein and calories.— FILE PHOTO: M. Subash

The controversial agreement between the Women and Child Welfare Department and Christy Friedgram Industry on supply of supplementary nutrition food to anganwadis has finally been cancelled in the light of “several instances of lapses”.

The Government Order (GO) of May 31 admits that there had been serious flaws in the execution of the agreement by the company, ranging from deviously retaining control over Mahila Supplementary Nutrition Production and Training Centres to flouting stipulated standards in maintaining quality of food supplied to anganwadis under the Integrated Child Development Scheme.

While the department officials previously maintained that company was not hired as a contractor for food supply but only as a capacity builder, the Government Order makes it clear that it (the company) had indeed been indirectly working as contractor.

As per the April 2009 agreement, the company was to set up mahila training centres and train the staff to work completely independently before May 2012. These centres were to produce nutritional food, package and supply it to anganwadis for feeding children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

“Even after three years, the mahila training centres are not capable of working independently,” says the Government Order.

The members of these centres are neither technically nor administratively competent, according to the Government Order.

More importantly, it admits that the company continued to have control over the mahila training centres even though the company was only meant to hand-hold them.

It says that the project facilitators were employees “in the pay of the company” and the raw material too continued to be supplied by the company.

“Rather than procure material from the local market, items such as sambar powder, ragi malt and high protein mix were supplied from units set up by the company in Nelamangala, Davangere and Gulbarga,” the Government Order says and adds that the setting up of these units was not brought to the attention of the department.

Low quality

The Government Order says that the food supplied by the company did not have stipulated amount of protein and calories and used colours that were not permitted.

An earlier inspection had found that there was no hygiene maintained and food contained ‘coliform bacteria’. Contrary to the terms of the agreement, the food quality and infrastructure was not certified by a competent authority.

Several of the mahila training centres have been running under loss, which again is the responsibility of the capacity builder, and the government has been giving them loans of Rs. 10 lakh each at an interest rate of four per cent, in an attempt to help them revive.

Child rights and civil society organisations have for long been campaigning against the company being involved in the supply of food to anganwadis, pointing to several loopholes now admitted in the Government Order. Cases of child malnutrition in the State had further fuelled this controversy.

Three officials, the former Director of the Department Shamla Iqbal, Deputy Director Usha Patwari and Assistant Director Muniraju, are being investigated by the Lokayukta in connection with the scam.


  • The company was supplying supplementary nutrition food to anganwadis
  • Under the agreement, it was to have set up mahila training centres

 

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