Infosys to pay Rs.20 lakh as compensation to ‘Jaipur blast suspect’ #goodnews


Tuesday March 12, 2013 , Agencies

New Delhi: India‘s leading IT firm Infosys has agreed in the Rajasthan High Court to pay Rs.20 lakh as compensation to Rashid Husain, an IT Engineer, whom it sacked after he was detained in the 2008 Jaipur blasts.

Rashid Husain was detained by the Jaipur police for questioning in connection with the serial blasts that killed around 60 people on 13th May 2008. He was neither arrested, nor charge-sheeted for the blasts.

Infosys however terminated him within weeks of the detention without issuing any show-cause notice and without giving him an opportunity to defend.

He was kept in detention for 10 days and was later released as no evidence against him was found.

Rashid Husain challenged the termination order in the local labor court in August 2008. After three years of hearing, the labor court delivered judgment in his favor in March 2011.

According to Rashid’s counsel Prem Kishan Sharma, the court had observed there were “mala fide” intentions behind his termination.

“The applicant was not offered any opportunity to explain or give evidence on charges levelled against him about concealment of facts and submission of wrong facts.

“The termination is in violation of the Rajasthan Shops and Commercial Establishment Act, 1958. Therefore, he is entitled to be reinstated in service,” the order had said.

Infosys moved the Rajasthan High Court in April 2011 against the labor court judgment. But, the company agreed after 20 months in the High Court to pay a compensation of Rs.20 lakh to the sacked engineer.

After the settlement between Infosys and Husain, the High Court disposed of the case on 21st Jan 2013.

#India- Rape jurisprudence has hardly changed over the past two decades #Vaw


 #India- Chastity, Virginity, Marriageability, and Rape Sentencing #Vaw  #Justice #mustread

COVER STORY, Distressing Chronicle

Frontline Volume 30 – Issue 01 :: Jan. 12-25, 2013

On December 17, Additional Sessions Judge-01 (North), Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, Savita Rao, pronounced an order in a rape case, but it went largely unnoticed amid the angry protests against the brutal gang rape of a girl in a moving bus the previous night. In her order in State vs Tarkeshwar Yadav & Ors, the judge made scathing comments against the government for giving the nod to withdraw prosecution against the accused.

The case was that the accused had attempted to rape his landlady. The judge was not convinced by the prosecution’s suggestion to withdraw the case in the public interest. The judge said: “In the instant case, the court is yet to examine the truthfulness of the case of complainant or the pleas of defence, whereas this application has been moved [by the prosecution] in utter disregard of the sacrosanct duty towards the society that no injustice is done.”

The judge brought on record the copy of the letter written by the Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) addressed to the Director of Prosecution. The letter says that the “allegations [against the accused] are serious in nature. The offence attached to are of moral turpitude, as such it is not a case fit for withdrawal as it will be against the interest of society.”

The judge concluded that the APP had sought the withdrawal of the case, as directed by his higher ups, “contrary to his independent opinion…. [R]emote control seems to be in unseen hands of someone in establishment….” The judge dismissed the application for withdrawal and also directed the Chief Secretary, Delhi, to take action against those who recommended it.

There appear to be only a few judges like Judge Savita Rao in the country. Often there is huge pressure on complainants and victims to compromise. In many cases, the state is incapable of resisting this pressure, and this makes the victims and the judicial system vulnerable. Frontline’s examination of a few rape cases suggests gross negligence by appellate courts in resisting such pressures. In Sajina T. vs State of Kerala (2008), the rape survivor alleged that the investigators were more interested in persuading her to agree to a compromise rather than bring the offenders to book. The High Court, however, rejected her plea for a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

In K. Venkateshwarlu vs State of Andhra Pradesh decided by the Supreme Court on August 17, 2012, Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai and Justice Aftab Alam acquitted an accused, who was a police constable, even though the High Court had found him guilty. In her judgment, Justice Ranjana Desai said the needle of suspicion pointed to the appellant because he was a police constable, and in the small village where the incident took place witnesses could be scared to depose against him. She said: “There are certain circumstances which do raise suspicion about the appellant’s involvement in the crime…. The demeanour of Prosecution Witness-2 [the victim], …the tears in her eyes, her walking out of the court after looking at the appellant, pricks the judicial conscience. But convictions cannot be based on suspicion, conjectures and surmises…. For want of legal evidence, we will have to set aside the appellant’s conviction and sentence. But we make it clear that we are doing so only by giving him benefit of doubt.” Was the Supreme Court declaring its helplessness over the prosecution’s failure to present cogent evidence?

In State of Punjab vs Gurmit Singh (1996), the Supreme Court held that while every latitude should be given to the accused to test the veracity of the rape victim’s version, the court must also ensure that cross-examination is not used to harass or humiliate the victim. “A victim of rape, it must be remembered, has already undergone a traumatic experience and if she is made to repeat again and again, in unfamiliar surroundings, what she had been subjected to, she may be too ashamed and even nervous or confused to speak, and the silence or a confused stray sentence may be wrongly interpreted as ‘discrepancies and contradictions’,” the court observed.

On August 7 last year, in Rai Sandeep@Deepu vs State of NCT of Delhi, the Supreme Court acquitted the gang-rape accused because of prevaricating statements of the victim in implicating the accused. Thus, according to the victim’s original version, the accused had forcible sexual intercourse one after the other. If that was so, the court said, it was hard to believe that there was no other injury on the private parts of the prosecutrix [victim]. The court found evidence on record that there was only a minor abrasion on the right side of the neck, below the jaw. Should rapes without any evidence of injury to the victim be disbelieved?

In Papuria@Rajesh vs State of Rajasthan, decided on March 2, 1995, Justice V. Palshikar of the Rajasthan High Court acquitted the accused because the statement of the victim—a nine-year-old girl whom the trial court found the accused had ravished—had not been corroborated. The judge ignored the medical evidence that there was injury, her hymen had ruptured and there was some blood oozing. Although the vaginal smear did not point to the presence of semen, the doctor had stated that the injury was due to a blunt object. During cross-examination, the doctor admitted that such injury was also possible if one fell on a hard, blunt object. The judge concluded that the benefit of reasonable doubt should go to the accused.

In Vijay Sood vs State of Himachal Pradesh, delivered on April 27, 2009, Justice Surinder Singh of the Himachal Pradesh High Court reversed the trial court’s conviction of the appellant for rape of the victim on many occasions when the victim was a minor. “Except her own self-serving vague statement, there is no other evidence on record to substantiate her allegation that the accused committed sexual intercourse with her many times against her will,” he held. After finding no corroboration from her mother, a prosecution witness, the judge concluded that the victim’s allegations had not been proved. He concluded that the victim’s testimony did not inspire confidence.

Yad Ram vs State of Rajasthan, decided by Justice Shiv Kumar Sharma and Justice G. Singh of the Rajasthan High Court on February 28, 2008, records the trial court’s proceedings. During cross-examination, the victim was asked in what posture she was raped. She was made to demonstrate it on a bench available in the court. While the victim was being cross-examined, the trial court was a silent spectator and did not control effectively the recording of evidence in the court.

These cases suggest that rape jurisprudence has hardly changed over the past two decades and that it suffers from serious attitudinal aberrations involving judges at all levels.

V. Venkatesan


Rape Cultures in India- #mustread #Vaw #Torture #AFSPA

DECEMBER 23, 2012,

Guest post by PRATIKSHA BAXI

Delhi has tolerated intolerable forms of sexual violence on women from all backgrounds in public spaces for decades. It is a public secret that women are targetted in streets, neighbourhoods, transport and workplaces routinely. There have been countless campaigns and appeals to all agencies concerned to think of safety of women as an issue of governance, planning and prevention. However, prevention of sexual violence is not something, which features in the planning and administration of the city. It is not seen as an issue for governance that extinguishes the social, economic, and political rights of all women.

It is a public secret that rape of women in moving vehicles is popularly seen as a sport. The sexualisation of women’s bodies accompanies the projection of cars as objects of danger and adventure. Private buses now participate in this sexualisation of moving vehicles as a site of enacting pornographic violence. In this sense, safety is not seen as a commodity that can be bought, purchased or exchanged. Men consume images of a city tolerant of intolerable violence. City planners enable rapists to execute a rape schedule. Streetlights do not work. Pavements and hoarding obstruct flight. Techniques of surveillance and policing target women’s behaviour, movement, and clothing, rather than policing what men do. The city belongs to heterosexist men after all.

The brutality of the assault on the 23 year old student who was gangraped and beaten mercilessly with iron rods when she resisted has anguished all of us—generating affect similar to the infamous Birla and Ranga murders decades ago. The nature of life threatening intestinal and genital injury has shockedresulting in angry protests in the city and elsewhere.Yet most remain unaware that the brutality accompanying sexual violence such as assault with iron rods, swordsand other objects; mutilating a woman’s body with acid;stripping and parading women; and burning them after a brutal gangrape routinelyscar the pages ofourbloodied law reporters. There is no political or judicial framework to redress such forms of aggravated sexual assault.

The judiciary, tall exceptions apart, construct rape as sex. This perspective from the rapist’s point of view, does not frame rape as political violence,which posits all women as sexual objects. Rape is repeatedly constructed as an act of aberrant lust, pathological sexual desire or isolated sexual deviancy.

Politicians for most part do no better. The parliamentary discourse on rape, after the brutal attack on the 23 year old woman who is fighting for her life, uses sexual violence as a resource for doing politics, and therefore re-entrenches rape culture. By arguing that rape is worse than death and rape should attract death penalty, rape survivors are relegated the space of the living dead. The social, political and legal mechanisms of shaming, humiliating, and boycotting rape survivors are not challenged. Nor are the mechanisms of converting rape narratives into a source of further titillation and excitement displaced. Rather most political actors convert rape into a technique of doing party politics. No one reflects seriously on why India sports a rape culture—surely the political and social toleration of intolerable sexual violence in everyday and extraordinary contexts of violence produces an effect of immunity and impunity to men who enjoy rape.

The right wing politician who is exhausting lung power on death penalty for rapists is not concerned with how a strident Hindu nationalism is built on violated bodies of women. Nor are such politicians concerned with what may happen to women if rape is punishable by death—surely there will be more murders and even more acquittals, since judges prefer to give lower than the mandatory sentence in rape cases. They have not marked the upsurge of the phenomena of burning and mutilating women after rape, as reported in the media, after a spate of such cases in Uttar Pradesh last year. Nor has any political party even acknowledged or apologised for the sexual violence during mass scale violence. Surely if chief ministers who get elected year after year dismiss mass scale sexual violence as a figment of imagination, this generates, endorses and even celebrates a new national rape culture.

The men (and even some women in positions of power) who lead India are successfully able to de-link the celebratory stories of neoliberalism, militarisation, nationalism,growth and development from the toleration of sexual violence as a sport, a commodity, as collateral damage, or a necessary technique to suppress women’s autonomy. Fact of the matter is that Surekha Bhotmange and her daughter were stripped, paraded, raped and killed in Khairlanji for expressing and asserting their autonomy. The men who assaulted and murdered them were not tried for rape.  Does anyone even remember that Bhanwari Devi’s appeal still languishes in the Rajasthan High Court? A courageous woman in whose debt all middle class women working in universities and everywhere else remain for the promulgation of the Vishaka judgment. We got the guidelines on sexual harassment in the workplace, but Bhanwari Devi did not get justice.  All of us remain in the debt of BilkeesBano who is perhaps the first survivor of mass scale sexual violence in Independent India to secure a prosecution in a rape and riot case but only after the trial was transferred. Manorama’s gangrape and murder by the army did not result in the withdrawal of AFSPA, which gives the army the licence to rape as ifto rape is in the line of duty. Can we de-link these issues from what Delhi protests today? Surely we must make these connections since we have benefited from the courageous litigation by women whose lives have been made absolutely abject.We must then equally resist the politics, which institutes public amnesia about these voices of suffering.

Alas, the brutality that Delhi witnessed is the effect of the toleration and celebration of rape cultures in India. Men and women, alike, from all classes, castes and communities must adopt a stance of solidarity that will not tolerate politicians, police officers, planners, judges and lawyers who build their careers on silencing the voices of raped women. Only a heightened intolerance for any kind of sexual violence as a social force will begin to chip away at the monumentalisation of rape cultures in India. Our collective melancholia must be far more productive.

Pratiksha Baxi is Assistant Professor, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University

WTF Jaipur – Paraplegic woman arrested for ‘kidnap’ and ‘sexual abuse’

Jaipur: In a shocking and bizarre incident in Jaipur, the police have arrested a 21-year-old paraplegic woman over charges of abuse. The police claim the woman is involved in the kidnapping and sexual abuse of another woman.

What is shocking is that the 21-year old herself is allegedly a victim of sexual abuse by three Rajasthan policemen.

Her parents alleged that she was being falsely implicated in another case so that the three arrested policemen could walk free.

She lost both her legs after she jumped in front of a train in January 2011, upset over allegedly being beaten and sexually humiliated by the policemen.

The woman is now at Jaipur’s SMS Hospital after being sent to judicial custody. Her father, who is a police constable himself, claimed she needed constant help and attention.

But police have said that they responded to the Rajasthan High Court‘s order seeking arrest of all accused in the other woman’s sexual abuse case.

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