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“There is a higher court than the court of justice and that is the court of conscience It supercedes all other courts. ”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Editorial : RULE OF LAW IN THE HANDS OF SHAMELESS POLICE & SHAMELESS JUDGES – Can Poor dalits expect Justice From corrupt public servants ?
Dalits , Tribals , poor people in India are being meated out injustice by the corrupt police & bureaucrats. Even our judiciary has failed to provide justice. Go through the following articles & READ FULL ARTICLES AT FOLLOWING WEB PAGE
Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.
Bangalore jail warden supplies drugs to inmates, held
Bangalore: Bangalore Central Jail Chief Warden B Jyothiyamma has been caught supplying marijuana, SIM cards and liquor to inmates.
Jyothiyamma has guarded prisoners for over 15 years but it turns out that her priorities lay in supplying them with the luxuries of outside world, some of them illegal.
An embarrassed state police is now promising action against Jyothiyamma.
“We have registered a case under 20 (B) NOPS Act. Under this section the accused if found guilty can be punished unto 10 years imprisonment and fined up to Rs 1 lakh,” says DCP South East BNS Reddy.
Jyothiyamma’s lucrative business came to light after another warden Dilip Kumar caught her supplying a kilo of marijuana and SIM cards to a prisoner. Police are now investigating how long she has been running the drug supply business.
“We have to find out from where she collected the drugs and to whom she was giving it to. We have also informed the jail authorities about the usage of mobile phones and it would be better if in the prison the inmates could be frisked,” says Reddy.
Last year the city police had busted a chain snatching gang operating inside the jail, which was coordinating its operations through cell phones.
Jyothiyamma’s arrest shows that the effort to crackdown on contraband in jail seems to have had little effect.
JUDGE SENDING OBSCENE SMS TO WOMEN
Lucknow Taking cognisance of the allegation against a civil Judge (junior division) of Budaun court that he sent obscene SMSes to a woman lecturer, the Registrar General of Allahabad High Court today sought a report from the district judge into the matter.
The civil judge of Gunnor sub-division court of Budaun — Pramod Kumar Gangwar— was accused of sending obscene SMSes from his cellphone to a woman lecturer of Classic College of Law, Bareilly. A lecturer of the same college, Vivek Gupta, was named in the FIR lodged by the victim while Gangwar’s name surfaced in the primary investigation.
Registrar General Dinesh Gupta said, “The district judge of Budaun has been asked to send a detailed report into the allegations. Appropriate action would be taken on the basis of the report.”
District Judge Suresh Kumar Srivastava said, “I have asked the Bareilly district police to send a report about the matter. The report on the basis of the police inquiry would be sent to the Allahabad High Court Registrar General.”
“I am not aware about the matter, as the Bareilly police did not intimate me before initiating the probe against the civil judge. They should have informed me when they had received any such complaint,” the judge added.
Meanwhile, Bareilly CO II Raj Kumar, who is investigating the case, today recorded the statement of the victim. “I have collected the call details of the cellphone used for sending the SMSes, but I have yet to get the address of the person who is subscriber of the SIM card,” he said.
“The probe is on to verify if the accused in the case were present on the location recorded in the call details when the SMSes were sent. The details of the findings of the investigation would be sent to the Budaun district court to seek the direction,” the CO added.
Asked if the investigation was earlier conducted into the matter, Raj Kumar said, “The SP (Crime) had initiated probe into the matter, but I am not aware if the investigation had reached to any conclusion.”
The woman lecturer had lodged an FIR at the Mahila police station on Thursday alleging she had received obscene SMSes on her cellphone involving her colleague Vivek Gupta. The preliminary inquiry into the case by the police yesterday had found that the mobile phone used in the crime belongs to the civil judge.
Mumbai police chief recommends suspension of DCP, ACP
Mumbai Five police personnel, including an IPS officer, who allegedly attended a Christmas-eve party thrown by the Chota Rajan gang, face suspension.
The suspension of DCP V N Salve, an IPS officer, and ACP Prakash Wani, and three other police personnel, has been recommended by Mumbai Police Commissioner D Sivanandan on Saturday.
The Maharashtra government had on Friday ordered an inquiry into allegations that besides Salve and Wani, senior police inspector Tulsidas Khakkad, a police inspector of anti-extortion cell and a constable from Chembur police station had attended the party.
“I have recommended to the state government to initiate disciplinary action against the five policemen and suspend them pending inquiry,” Sivanandan said.
He said there were “CCTV footages and photographs which may prove” that the officials were present at the party held at a private gymkhana in suburban Chembur.
The party was reportedly organised to celebrate the release of some top-ranking members of the gang. Among them were dreaded D K Rao, who was released from jail after 13 years of imprisonment, Farid Tanasha and Sunil Poddar.
Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil had on Friday ordered the inquiry after photographs and grainy video footage purportedly showing them were aired on TV channels.
Meanwhile, Wani vehemently denied the accusation, claiming the video clippings and photographs were doctored.
“This is a conspiracy against me. I am a member of the gymkhana and had gone there with my wife for dinner and not to party with any gang members,” he said.
The party was reportedly thrown by Paulson Joseph, a close aide of Chota Rajan, who is said to be looking after the underworld don’s business interests in Mumbai’s suburbs.
Sources at the gymkhana said Joseph was a member of the upmarket club, which charges a membership fee of Rs five lakh, and used to go there regularly to play cards and party.
Speaking strictly on condition of anonymity, they said that a member could bring along any number of guests after paying Rs 30 for each of them.
“So many people visit the club on the Christmas-eve and it is not possible to ascertain the identity of each one of them,” they said, when asked if they had spotted any police officer at Joseph’s bash.
Rajasthan launches search for former DIG charged with rape
JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government has asked the Special Operations Group (SOG) to find former deputy inspector general (DIG) Madhukar Tandon who
has been absconding for the last 13 years after he was chargesheeted for raping a tribal woman.
“We have handed over the case to the SOG of the Rajasthan Police. It’s a serious matter that Tandon not been arrested since 1997. We want to arrest him and find out why he’s not been arrested so far,” state Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal told reporters here.
A Rajasthan Police party arrived in Noida in Uttar Pradesh Wednesday to investigate the matter and visited the property that earlier belonged to Tandon.
Dhariwal has also sought all the files relating to the case.
“I have asked the police to bring all the files relating to Tandon to me… I want to know the details,” he said.
Malli Devi, a resident of Bandikui in Dausa district has alleged that on Jan 21, 1997 she was abducted and taken to Noida where she was allegedly raped by former DIG Tandon, then posted in the police headquarters and who is now reported to be absconding.
Khayali Ram, the husband of the victim who was a constable attached to the DIG said: “It has been 13 years that he ruined me and my family.”
“Tandon had summoned my wife to Jaipur from the village on the pretext that an accident has happened in my family. When she arrived in Jaipur she was forcefully taken to Noida, to the DIG’s residence, where she was victimised,” said Ram.
“I was forced out of the service when I refused to withdraw the case against Tandon in 2000,” he added.
Tandon was suspended in 2002, five years after first FIR was lodged against him and a magisterial court in Dausa had ordered all his property including his house in Noida to be attached.
I am Rathore’s victim: Ruchika’s brother
Panchkula: Molestation victim Ruchika Girhotra’s brother Ashu, who was in hiding for the past 16 years since his sister’s suicide, emerged on Thursday evening and submitted a fresh complaint to the police of abetment to suicide against former Haryana top cop S P S Rathore.
Ashu’s complaint also seeks a case against serving Haryana Inspector General of Police (IGP) K P Singh, who was the Ambala district police chief when Ashu was booked in false car theft cases by the police at Rathore’s behest.
Rathore, former Haryana DGP, has been held guilty of molesting Ruchika 19 years ago. The teenager committed suicide three years later as her family was continually harassed when she filed a complaint against Rathore.
Ashu alleged the Haryana police tortured him on the former DGP’s orders. “Rathore used to come and see the torture himself,” he said.
“As you know, the molestation of my sister took place in 1990. Rathore unleashed torture on me and my family after that. False cases were put on me, leading to my sister committing suicide,” Ashu said.
§ CBI goes after Rathore, seeks stiffer punishment
§ Ruchika’s school faces the heat over her expulsion
§ CNN-IBN’s in-depth coverage of Ruchika case
“We were harassed, tortured in police custody,” Ashu told reporters.
“My demand is that Rathore should be arrested and put behind bars,” Ashu added before being taken away by family members and lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj.
Having lived a life in hiding ever since his torture by the Haryana police between 1990 and December 1993, Ashu walked confidently out of his house in Sector 12-A here.
Wearing blue jeans and an off-white jacket, Ashu was taken in a green-coloured Honda-CRV sports utility vehicle by lawyer Pankaj Bhardwaj to the office of Panchkula’s superintendent of police in Sector 1 here.
He was accompanied by his father, S C Girhotra, and Anand Praksh, father of Ruchika’s friend Aradhana, who fought the case relentlessly against Rathore in the last 19 years.
“We have filed a fresh complaint with the police seeking registration of a case of abetment of suicide against Rathore and others. In this petition, the complainant is Ashu himself,” Bhardwaj told reporters here.
Bhardwaj wondered why the Panchkula police was not arresting Rathore despite the registration of two new first information reports (FIRs) against him by the police Tuesday.
“Rathore has been booked under non-bailable sections of the IPC. Why is the police delaying his arrest,” the lawyer asked.
For the past 16 years, ever since teenaged Ruchika committed suicide, her father and brother preferred to avoid the public gaze surrounding the molestation case. Even after the verdict was out on Monday, they stayed away, refusing to come out of the shell.
Ruchika’s father Subhash Chander Girhotra and brother Ashu were nowhere to be seen in the court although they had been in constant touch with complainant Anand Parkash, the father of Ruchika’s best friend Aradhana, who fought the legal battle against the powerful former DGP S P S Rathore.
Ruchika’s father, who stays in Sector 12 Panchkula, refused to come on record. “He is satisfied with the verdict and had tears in his eyes when I told him that Rathore had been convicted. He has still not come to terms with the loss of his daughter,” said Anand Parkash. Ruchika’s mother had expired much before the incident.
Behind silence of Ruchika’s family, a tale of harassment
Harassed is too small a word to describe what the family went through these 19 years. Initially geared up to fight the case, the father and brother backed out, terrified with the chain of events that struck them one after the other.
Ruchika was suspended from the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association, which was then headed by Rathore. In September 1990, her school expelled her without citing any reason. Her father sold their house at Panchkula and Ashu, who was also in his teens, had six cases of car theft slapped on him.
Ashu was arrested by the Crime Branch of Panchkula police in October 1993, allegedly at the behest of Rathore, and kept in illegal detention for a period of more than two months. He was allegedly forced to sign on blank papers, which were used by the police to show his “confessions” that he stole 11 cars. One day when he was still in illegal confinement, Ashu was allegedly taken to his house and beaten mercilessly. Rathore allegedly asked him to tell his sister that if she did not take back the complaint, her family will face the same action.
On December 28, 1993, Ruchika consumed insecticide. She died the next day. She blamed herself for traumatising her family. The traumatised family left the state fearing more harassment. Ashu was acquitted by the court in all the cases later on.
Beyond the uproar
After all the media storm and fury in the Ruchika case subside, we may again be
left with the outdated laws and tardy process of justice, writes Aruti Nayar
ONCE all the media noise has subsided, with every one connected with the Ruchika molestation case getting their 15 minutes of fame or notoriety, what will remain will be the same outdated laws, the same dilatory tactics and the same subversion of the legal process.
August 11, 1990 — S.P.S. Rathore goes to Ruchika’s house and asks her father to send her the next day to the office of HLTA.
August 12, 1990 — Ruchika and Reemu go to the office in the`A0afternoon. Rathore asks Reemu to go and call the coach. When Reemu`A0returns, she sees Rathore molesting Ruchika. They flee and do not report the matter.
August 14, 1990 — Ruchika and Reemu change the time of tennis practice to avoid Rathore. He sends a man to call Ruchika.
August 16, 1990 — Ruchika and her father and Reemu and her parents, along with others, give a representation to the CM and Governor.
August 17, 1990 — They meet the CM and are assured that action would be taken within a week.
August 18, 1990— An inquiry is marked.
September 3, 1990— Inquiry report indicts Rathore. Along with 178 annexures and the girl’s statement, the report is given to the government. Action is sought under Sections 342 and 354. Rathore calls it a one-sided inquiry.
September 3, 1990-March 13, 1991— File is kept pending.
June 30, 1992-January 27, 1993 — Ruchika’s brother Ashu is implicated in as many as six cases of theft and tortured by the police.
December 29, 1993— Ruchika commits suicide.
July 1997 — Madhu Prakash manages to get a copy of the inquiry report and moves the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking registration of a case against Rathore.
August 21, 1998 — The High Court orders a CBI inquiry. Rathore challenges the HC order in the Supreme Court.
From September 10, 1998, to January 10, 1999 — After four months of`A0day-to-day hearing, the Supreme Court upheld the High Court order and directed the CBI to lodge an FIR.
November 17, 2000 — The CBI files charge-sheet against the Haryana DGP. During its probe, the CBI had written to the Haryana Government, urging it to remove Rathore in the interest of ‘‘free and fair deposition’’.
July, 2002—Rathore retires.
November 2009—Case transferred from Ambala court to the CBI, Chandigarh.
December 11, 2009—Court closes all final arguments and sets date for verdict.
December 15, 2009—Case adjourned till December 21.
December 21, 2009—CBI court gives six months’ jail and Rs 1,000 fine to Rathore.
There will be two sets of laws, one for the powerful and another for the powerless. And when the media attention fades away, so will the concern of the people and their involvement.
Why should it only require the media to keep alive our sensitivity toward issues that concern us all? If the media focuses on one case, that means the others, who do not have the fortune of being highlighted, will languish forever, waiting for justice.
In Ruchika’s case, the justice or rather the lack of it, was an eye-opener. Which young victim of molestation will muster the courage to confront and report against the offender, especially if he is as powerful as Rathore?
Apart from being dehumanising, sexual violence is an unlawful intrusion into the sanctity of a woman and her right to privacy. It offends her dignity and self-esteem and leaves behind a trail of traumatic experiences.
Whenever the law has been silent on any aspect, interpretation and gender-just judgements have provided a ray of hope for the people. That is why courts are expected to deal with crimes against women with the utmost sensitivity. As former Chief Justice of India, A.S Anand, in his book Justice for Women: Concerns and Expressions writes: “A socially-sensitised judge is a better statutory armour in cases of crimes against women than long clauses of penal provisions containing complex exceptions and provisos”.
Thus, one of the most important tasks a judge is expected to perform is to be sensitive, responsive and responsible. He must be creative and may create precedent where no law exists for women, but where it is needed. Judicial decisions can influence and under certain circumstances even compel the government to enact appropriate provisions to cover up the deficiency in the existing laws.
Even though the inquiry report conducted by former Joint Director of CBI, R. M. Singh, indicted Rathore, no action was taken and the young girl had to pay a price. Boys would pass obscene comments and often stalk her.
The Rajput Sabha— SPS Rathore is a member of the Rajput community—took out a procession in front of her house, shouting slogans. She was called a girl of “loose moral character”. In short, the victim had been, as it often happens, made out to be a culprit.
What does Ruchika’s story tell us? It is foolhardy to take on the powerful. What can a common man do if the process of law is obstructed? You can knock and knock at all doors for justice, but the procedures are so tardy and amenable to manipulation that the whole process is self-defeating.
Simple, ordinary, middle-class people (neither ideologues nor fire-brand activists), the Prakash family, fought on with the intention of bringing the guilty to book. In an age of apathy and declining social conscience, they persisted with the arduous legal battle, that, too, for somebody who was not even directly related to them. Had the law of the land been a deterrent and not subjective, had it not been arm-twisted by the likes of the ex-DGP, there would not be a travesty of justice, too little, too late, an example of the total subversion of the entire system.
Anand Prakash had spoken to Ruchika when she told him that she wanted to pursue the case against Rathore. He had warned her that she would have to be really bold and brave to take on the might of the police chief. But she did not flinch. Her answer was: “Unless he is checked, many more girls would face a similar situation”. Like the Prakash couple, for how many of us is it a matter of conviction that silence (out of fear or cowardice or both) is complicity?
How many of us have the courage and the daring to speak out and plough a lonely furrow? Perhaps that is why the collective voice is getting louder in the face of injustice. It affords us the anonymity, while giving us a chance to vent out our frustration, helplessness and rage against official apathy,
The media, in projecting this voice, is simply salvaging its conscience. But how many channels or newspapers are devoting their news space or airtime to digging up other such cases (which may run into thousands if not lakhs) of official apathy and/or exploitation, away from the comfort zones? There are so many people fighting battles, people who do not get either the support or the projection? Why should it take two decades for people to find their voice? The fact is that in the process of the commercialisation of the media, there has been a dumbing down and the space for discussion of social issues has shrunk considerably. Why should we, the people, too, wait only for the media to pitch in, light candles and launch signature campaigns? The middle class is so cosily ensconced in its own cocoon that once in a while it is shocked into the awareness of the flaws of the system. Otherwise, it is happy that its boat is not being rocked. What is wrong in activism as a citizen of civil society, even away from the TV studios?
The case should serve as an eyeopener for the common man. Even if the bureaucracy, politicians and the tedious process of law try to muzzle the voice of the common man, he should not capitulate. It is this abdication of social responsibility that fuels oppression. The refusal to speak out encourages the perpetrators of atrocities and they thrive on this fear. One must speak up even if it means putting up with inconvenience, facing trials and tribulations and putting one’s life on hold.
What is amazing is how a person, responsible for enforcing law and order in a state, refuses to respect the course of law himself and waits until he is “proved” guilty. Probably, moral conviction does not matter. Everyone kept capitulating, no one offered resistance to Rathore and his oppression, no wonder he could afford to smirk.
Had an FIR been lodged in 1990 itself, Ruchika would not have been harassed and, as a consequence, not committed suicide. We should start looking at juvenile laws because a lot still needs to be done to change regulations in this regard to ensure that children’s rights are protected.
Custodians of law need to understand that the law applies to them also. They are not above the law. Rathore has misused his position of power and also further abused the family by terrorising them. The overwhelming feeling is “public pressure can change things”. But we must not forget that public pressure is fickle, arbitrary and volatile. What will endure is enduring laws, implemented for all, without fear or favour.
Ten reasons why criminals in khaki get away
Former Haryana DGP S.P.S. Rathore and his advocate wife Abha Rathore coming out of special CBI court on Monday. Photo: Akhilesh Kumar
Behind every man like S.P.S. Rathore who abuses his authority stand the generals and footsoldiers who help and support him. We need to take them all down.
S.P.S. Rathore, the criminal former top cop of Haryana, may appear alone today but we must never forget that he was able to get away with the sexual molestation of a young child and the illegal harassment of her family for 19 years because he had hundreds of men who supported him in his effort to evade justice.
The fact that these men – fellow police officers, bureaucrats, politicians, lawyers, judges, school administrators – were willing to bend the system to accommodate a man accused of molesting a minor speaks volumes for the moral impoverishment of our establishment and country. Decent societies shun those involved in sexual offences against children. Even criminals jailed for ‘ordinary’ crimes like murder treat those serving time for molesting children as beyond the pale. But in India, men like Rathore have their uses for their masters, so the system circles its wagons and protects them.
The CBI’s appeal may lead to the enhancement of Rathore’s sentence and perhaps even the slapping of abetment to suicide charges, since his young victim killed herself to put an end to the criminal intimidation her family was being subjected to by Rathore and his men. But the systemic rot which the case has exposed will not be remedied unless sustained public pressure is put on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, two men who have it in their power to push for simple remedies in the way the Indian law enforcement and justice delivery system works.
First, abolish the need for official, i.e. political sanction to prosecute bureaucrats, policemen and security forces personnel when they are accused of committing crimes.
The original intent behind this built-in stay-out-of-jail card was to protect state functionaries from acts done in the course of discharging their duties in good faith. Somewhere along the line, this has come to mean protecting our custodians of law and order when they murder innocent civilians (eg. the infamous Panchalthan case in Kashmir where the trial of army men indicted by the CBI for murdering five villagers in 2000 still cannot take place because the Central government will not grant permission), or assault or molest women and children. No civilised, democratic society grants such impunity. It is disgusting to see former officials and bureaucrats from Haryana saying how they had wanted Rathore prosecuted but were prevented from doing so because of pressure. Such officials should either be made formally to testify in a criminal case against the politicians who so pressured them or they should themselves be hauled up for perverting the course of justice.
Second, stop talking about how making the police and army answerable to the law will somehow demoralise their morale. Does anybody care about the morale of ordinary citizens any more? Or the morale of upright police and army officers, who do not think it is right for their colleagues to be able to get away with criminal acts?
Third, bring an end to the cosy relationship between the police and politicians. Rathore was protected by four chief ministers of Haryana. He served them and they served him by ensuring his unfettered rise. It is absurd that the Indian Police is still governed by a colonial-era Act dating back to 1861. A number of commissions have made recommendations for reforming the police over the years; but no government or political party wants to give up its ability to use and misuse the police for their own benefit.
Fourth, ensure that police officers who abuse their authority and engage in mala fide prosecutions are dismissed from service and sentenced to jail for a long period of time. Mr. Chidambaram should use the considerable resources at his command to find out who were the policemen involved in filing 11 bogus cases against the teenaged brother of the young girl Rathore molested. He should then make sure criminal proceedings are initiated against all of them. The message must go out to every policeman in the country: If you abuse the law at the behest of a superior, you will suffer legal consequences.
Fifth, ensure that criminal charges against law enforcement personnel are fast-tracked as a matter of routine so that a powerful defendant is not able to use his position to delay proceedings the way Rathore did for years on end. The destruction or disappearance of material evidence in such cases must be treated as a grave offence with strict criminal liability imposed on the individual responsible for breaking the chain of custody.
Sixth, empower the National Human Rights Commission with teeth so that police departments and state governments cannot brush aside their orders as happened in the Rathore case. This would also require appointing to the NHRC women and men who have a proven record of defending human rights in their professional life, something that is done today only in the breach. The attitude of the Manmohan Singh government to this commission and others like the National Commission for Women (NCW) and National Commission for Minorities is shocking. Vacancies are not filled for months on end.
Seventh, ensure the early enactment of pending legislation broadening the ambit of sexual crimes, including sexual crimes against children. Between rape, defined as forced penetrative sex, and the vague, Victorian-era crime of ‘outraging the modesty of a woman’, the Indian Penal Code recognises no other form of sexual violence. As a result, all forms of sexual molestation and assault short of rape attract fairly lenient punishment, of the kind Rathore got. In his case, the judge did not even hand down the maximum sentence, citing concerns for the criminal’s age. Sadly, he did not take into account the age of the victim and neither does the IPC, which fails to distinguish between ‘outraging the modesty’ of an adult woman and a young child.
A draft law changing these provisions and bringing India into line with the rest of the modern world has been pending with the NCW and Law Ministry for years. Perhaps the government may now be shamed into pushing it through Parliament at the earliest.
Eighth, take steps to introduce a system of protection of witnesses and complainants. The fate that the family of Rathore’s young victim had to endure is testament to the fact that people who seek justice in India do so at their own peril.
Ninth, ensure that robust interrogation techniques like narco-analysis, which are routinely used against other alleged criminals, are also employed against police officers accused of crimes.
Tenth, the media and the higher judiciary must also turn the light inward and ask themselves whether they were also derelict in their duty. The Rathore case did not attract the kind of constant media attention it deserved, nor do other cases involving serving police officers accused of crimes against women, workers, peasants and minorities. As for the upper courts, their record is too patchy to inspire confidence. It was, after all, the high court which chose to disregard the CBI’s request for including abetment to suicide charges.
Court terms Rathore’s crimes ‘spine-chilling’, rejects bail plea
Panchkula (Haryana), Jan 8 (IANS) Declining anticipatory bail to former Haryana police chief S.P.S. Rathore in fresh cases registered against him, a court in Panchkula town Friday observed that Rathore’s crime had a ‘spine-chilling’ and ‘hair raising’ impact. The decision means Rathore could now be arrested any time.
Additional district and sessions judge Sanjeev Jindal, while dismissing Rathore’s anticipatory bail plea, said: ‘The applicant-accused cannot be entitled to the concession of anticipatory bail, especially in the circumstances when specific allegations in categorical terms have been leveled in both the FIRs.’
‘Serious non-bailable offences on his (Rathore) part not only prick the conscience of a common man, but also cast a spine-chilling and hair-raising impact on one’s psyche relating to the alleged inhuman torture meted out to the complainants at the diktat and behest of the applicant-accused on account of his alleged political clout and high official position in the official machinery of the state,’ the court observed.
Rathore moved the bail pleas against two fresh First Information Reports (FIRs), in the Ruchika Girhotra’s molestation case, which were registered Dec 29.
The judge said: ‘Applicant accused being an IPS (Indian Police Service) officer had held high official positions throughout his service, including DGP (director general of police) of the state and had a considerable political clout, the possibility of tampering with the evidence and intimidating the witnesses directly or indirectly cannot be ruled out.’
Referring to allegations levelled against the media by Rathore’s wife and counsel Abha Rathore, the judge said counsel for the accused ‘lambasted the media by saying that the media has assumed the role of prosecutor and judge as well and wants to publicly hang the applicant-accused’.
‘As a fourth pillar of democracy, the role and importance of the media cannot be denied or undermined, and further that in certain other cases, the media has come to the forefront to aid and help the most deprived and down-trodden segments of the society in a bid to protect them from the atrocities and high handedness of the system of the country and in order to secure justice for them,’ he observed.
Rathore was booked under non-bailable charges like attempt to murder, criminal intimidation, forging evidence, wrongful confinement, fabricating false evidence and criminal conspiracy.
He got interim relief Jan 1 from the court till Friday on his bail plea in the matter pertaining to the two new FIRs registered against him.
The court also rejected the anticipatory bail plea of another Haryana police official, Sewa Singh, a sub-inspector posted at Pinjore near here, who also has been accused of implicating Ruchika’s brother Ashu in false cases of car theft, allegedly at Rathore’s behest.
Sources in the Haryana police said after the court order that the state DGP and senior home department officials could now consult Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda before arresting Rathore.
The Haryana police, through the state government, have already recommended to the central government that the fresh cases, including a third FIR charging Rathore of abetment to suicide of Ruchika, be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for investigation.
‘I am happy and I have hope that justice will be done. We want him arrested immediately,’ Ruchika’s friend Aradhana, whose family fought the case against Rathore for over 19 years, said after the bail plea was rejected.
Aradhana alleged that state officials had already been supporting Rathore in the past and that she did not have much faith in the state machinery to take action against him.
‘The CBI is a more independent agency and I hope they will be able to investigate the matter properly,’ Aradhana added.
Rathore’s counsel said after the dismissal of the bail plea that they would move the high court to seek relief.
Ruchika, a teenaged budding tennis player, was molested by Rathore, then an inspector general of police, in Panchkula Aug 12, 1990. Three years later, Ruchika committed suicide.
Nineteen years after the molestation incident, Rathore was convicted by a CBI special court here Dec 21 and sentenced to six months’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000.
The light conviction led to uproar in different sections of society, forcing authorities to re-visit the case and seek justice for the molestation victim.
A magisterial inquiry by the Chandigarh administration Thursday indicted Ruchika’s school, Sacred Heart sSchool, and its principal for her expulsion on the flimsy grounds of non-payment of fee in 1990, just after her molestation incident.
Many other students, including Rathore’s daughter Priyanjali who was Ruchika’s classmate, who too similarly defaulted in fee payments were not expelled or subjected to any disciplinary action, the magisterial inquiry revealed.
Why Jury System is superior than judge system
1. What is judge system and Jury System?
2. How judge system has weakened India : A specific example
3. judge-lawyer nexus in judge system
4. Nexuslessness : KEY difference Jury System creates over judge system
5. Knowledge/information factor
What is judge system and Jury System?
In any nation, there will be disputes over many issues between two or more individuals, and if these disputes are NOT resolved by the state/nation in short time, the individuals will resolve to private retribution thereby causing a chaos. Such chaos could wreck the nation. So for stability, it becomes necessary for the citizenry to give judgements on these disputes, and use force to enforce that judgement.
A nation consisting of lakhs and crores of citizens would have thousands and lakhs of disputes a year. It is NOT possible for every citizen to personally take interest in each of the these individual thousands and lakhs of disputes. A citizen can at best take interest in 1-2 disputes a month or year. Therefore, the citizenry has not much option, but to appoint some individuals, for each dispute and take their decision has almost final in most cases, and scrutinize (via appeal) them in some cases.
So one of the procedure that a nation has to execute, implicitly or explicitly, is to choose individuals to give judgement on a perticular dispute. There are two broad systems depening on how individuals are chosen
1. The Jury System : Given any dispute, 5-10-15 citizens are chosen at random from the voter list of all adult citizens in that district/state, and these citizens, called as Jurors, hear the arguments, examine the evidences, and give a verdict
2. the judge system : some senior individuals in the state appoints some chosen individuals in a district and appointed as judges, who will have term for 2-4-more years. And these fixed small number of appointed individuals will resolve the disputes.
Other systems, which use BOTH, random selection of citizenry as well as appointed individuals are basically simple combitions of Jury System and judge system. And there are many other factors, like size of Jury, qualifications, screening rules etc which make one Jury System differ from another. But fundamental difference between Jury System and judge system is : Jury System depends on a few randomly chosen citizens from ENTIRE population, and DIFFERENT Jurors are used for different cases; WHILE judge system uses same appointed individuals for almost all cases that would come.
On the surface, this issue may look unimportant — what difference does it make whether cases are decided by randomly chosen citizens or a fixed judges? But this trivial looking difference plays a huge role in the strengthening or weakening the nation.
How judge system has weakened India : A specific example
Consider a specific kind of crime — street criminals (commonly called as Daadaa) collecting protection money from small shop-keepers etc every month, openly and fearlessly. There are places in US/Europe with high crimes, but nowhere can one see criminals opnely extorting money from shop-keepers.
There are many differential reasons for this. One of the factor why career crime is rampant in India, and less seen in West is the that India uses judge system, while the West uses Jury System. The judge system makes India’s courts very nexused, while the Jury System has drastically reduced the nexusproneness in Western courts.
Lets see how Jury System reduces the nexusproneness in Western Courts. Consider a mid-level career criminal with a gang of 50-100 criminals. He may be operating in some 5-10 areas. Now to sustain their operations, he and his gang members would need to pay monthly bribes to many MLAs, MPs, police officers, other officers, government lawyers, judges etc and would also need money to hire lawyers, mercinaries etc on time to time basis. All this, means a monthly FIXED COST of lakhs of rupees. Now such career criminal CAN NOT always find 5-10 victims that would cover all the costs and give profits every month. So almost always, a gang of career criminals has to victimise 100s of victims a month.
In short, a career criminal and his gang-member has to commit 100s of crime a month. Out of so many crimes, some 20-30 of victims would end up filing complain in the courts. This would generate some 300-400 court cases per year.
Now this is where judge system and Jury System would create difference in combating career crimes.
Career criminal in judge system
Career criminal in Jury System
· In the judge system, these 300-400 cases will go to just 5-10 judges, who have a term of 2-4 years in their areas.
· So in order to delay the case (to frustrate the complainers/witnesses) or get outright aquittals, the gang leader has to cultivate nexuses with ONLY 5-10 judges.
· He cultivates nexuses with 5-10 judges, and bingo … he can manage an acquital/delay in 99% cases.
· In the Jury System, EACH case goes to 12-15 DIFFERENT Jurors, randomly chosen from the district.
· So to get acquitals in 300-400 cases a year, the gang leader will need to cultivate nexuses with 3000-5000 Jurors a year.
· Long delay in Jury Trials are rare as each Jury is given ONLY one case, hearings are from 11am to 4pm on one and only one case, and mostly next date is next day.
· so managing acquitals in even 10%-20% cases is next to impossible, much much harder than it is in judge system
IOW, since a large number of cases in Indian courts are resolved by a small number of individuals (i.e. judges) the career criminal who have cultuvated nexuses with are having a field day. While West uses a very large number of individuals to resolve court cases, which makes establishing nexuses in a larger number of cases difficult.
judge-lawyer nexus in judge system
That was about judge-criminal nexus. The courts in India are sprawling with judge-lawyer nexuses. How does judge-lawyer nexus come into existance?
No Jury-lawyer nexus
· Say 3-5 senior lawyers have 10-20 junior lawyers working for them. Say they are togather taking 200-400 cases a year in a district
· Most of these cases would to same 10-20 judges posted in that district.
· Within 3-6 months these lawyers can cultivate nexuses with these 10-20 judges.
· No one in Western courts has even seen Juror-lawyer nexus. It simply cant exist as …
· the 3-5 senior lawyers, who are taking 200-400 cases a year will end up facing 2000-5000 Jurors a year
· there is no time to cultivate nexuses with even 5% of them.
Putting it other way
When a lawyer makes a nexus with a judge during the trial of a case, that nexus with that judge will be CERTAINLY useful to that lawyer in ALL his cases which will come up before that judge.
Even if a lawyer manages to form nexuses with say 7-8 out of 12 Jurors during the trial of a case, those nexus with those Jurors will be of NO USE at all in ALL other case of that lawyer, as Jurors change with each and every trial.
Nexuslessness : KEY difference Jury System creates over judge system
I will re-explain the difference Jury System creates.
1. There are 12 DIFFERENT Jurors for each case, and NO citizen is allowed to sit in Jury for more than once in say 5-10 years. (The judge’s role is to guide the Jurors, not to decide the guilt.)
2. So in the West, say there are 5000 cases a year in a district, the verdict is given by 50000 to 60000 Jurors. Where as in judge system, these 5000 verdicts will be given by mere 20-50 judges.
3. Lets look at it another way. Say a judge gives say 100 verdicts a year and say a judge’s career is 30 years long. So one individual, the judge, decides 3000 cases. Whereas, in The Jury System, EACH case goes to 10-15 DIFFERENT Jurors. So the judgements in these 3000 cases will come from 30000 to 40000 DIFFERENT Jurors.
4. So the number of ‘decision makers’ in Jury System is much much larger. The number of decision makers in courts go up by not just 10-12-15 times, but almost 20000 to 40000 times higher.
How does this make courts of West less nexusprone? While it is indeed possible to make nexuses with 7-10 out of 12 Jurors and get a favorable verdict, it is NOT possible for a lawyer or a career criminal to make nexuses with 1000 out of 2000 Jurors. Basically, in a district’s courts, when number of decision makers are small, such as just 20-50, it is possible for a lawyer or a career criminal to cultivate nexuses with them. But when number of decision makers are large, as large as 50000-60000, it is next to impossible for a career criminal or a lawyer to cultivate a nexuses with many of them.
The Jury System is the KEY reason why Courts in US are much less nexused than courts in India. But it is NOT the only reason. Following are the OTHER additional reasons why US Courts are less nexused than Courts in India
1. Grand Jury System : The public prosecutors in US are accountable to Grand Jury consisting of some 25-30 citizens. They are semi-randomly chosen from citizenry; term is 6 months to 1 year, and repeatations are NOT allowed. This makes Grand Jury a fairly less nexusprone body.
2. The public prosecuors in most states/district are elected. When not elected, they are appointed by PM/CM/Mayor, and appointment needs approval of majority of MPs/MLAs/Panchayat-Members. Where as in India, PPs in ALL districts are appointed by Law Ministers. The procedure is more nexus-prone compared to election procedure.
3. The police chief in most districts in US is elected. This makes police chiefs more responsible to citizenry and less nexused than appointed police chiefs.
4. The judges in many states/districts in US are elected. Election is less nexusprone procedure than appointment. When not elected, judges are appointed by PM/CM and appointment needs approval of majority of MLAs/MPs. This procedure is far less nexusprone than procedure used in India, where judges appoint judges without any public debate.
One objection often cited by anti-Jury pro-judge individuals is that Jurors have less knowledge/information about the law. This objection is partly incorrect — BOTH jurors and judges have SAME knowledge/information about basic concepts of justice, fairness, right/wrong etc. The ONLY difference is that judges have more TECHNICAL knowledge about specific details. eg both judges and Jurors know that violence is crime, crime done with specific monetary motive is more henious than spotaneous violence etc. But Jurors may or may not be aware of specific details like such and such act carries maximum punishment of say 5 years or 7 years or 6 months and so forth. Such specific details are easy to grasp and apply.
The pro-judge anti-Jury people do not mention the other point — i.e. judges progressively get more and more nexused. A newly appointed young Magistrate is relatively nexusless, and so he is bold, upright, straight forward and fair. But as days go, he cultivates more and more nexuses with lawyers, criminals, other judges, officers, Ministers, MLAs, local riches etc. Whereas each Jury is DIFFERENT and so un-nexused.
IMO, decisions from un-nexused Jurors will have more integrity and fairness than decisions of nexused judges, no matter how much more knowledgeable and informed they might be. Therefor, I prefer Jury System over judge system.
How to bring Jury System in India ?
The question is for all those, but ONLY those, who believe that decisions of inhererently ununexused Jurors will be better than decisions of the fixed permanent judges, who are nexusprone and often nexused. To those who believe that judge system is better than Jury System, this is a non-question.
Now following is are the steps I suggest using which citizens in India can expel the judges and bring Jurors onboard.
1. First citizens should get LM.01-03 passed in Panchayats, Assembly and Parliament. These procedures would reduce citizens dependence on MLAs/MPs etc in getting Jury related laws passed in Panchayats, Assembly and Parliament.
2. Next, citizens should pass a law in Parliament using LM.03, which would give full powers the State Legislatures to draft the laws related with appointments of judges in all courts which would takes cases on issues which are State subjects. The Central government would ONLY manage the cases that are related with Central subjects.
3. Next, citizens should pass a law in Assemblies using LM.02, which would give full powers the Districts to draft the laws related with appointments of judges in Lower Courts, whose power is restricted to maximum punishment of 3 years and fine of Rs 100,000, and would also empower Districts to have full control over administration of such LCs.
4. Using LM.03, citizens can expel all appointed judges in SC and ensure that SCs has ONLY 10 judges of which all 10 are DIRECTLY elected by citizens of India. And using LM.03, citizens can pass a law that would create Jury System in Supreme Court of India.
5. Using LM.02, citizens can expel all appointed judges in HC and ensure that HCs has ONLY 10 judges of which all 10 are DIRECTLY elected by citizens of the State. And using LM.02, citizens can pass a law that would create Jury System in High Courts of States
6. Using LM.03, citizens can expel all appointed judges in LCs and ensure that LCs judges get DIRECTLY elected by citizens of the District. And using LM.01, citizens can pass a law that would create Jury System in Lower Courts.
Basically, 1st step redeuces the need to convince MLAs who are hostile to Jury System due to a mutual understainding that whereby judges will not hurt MLAs and MLAs will not hurt the judges. The second step will allow each state to decide whether they want judge system or Jury System, and how they want to manage their State courts. The third steps takes it down to district level — for all crimes in which maximum punishment is below 3 years. Now citizens of districts are on their own — some district may decide to continue as is with appointed judges, some may opt for elected judges with no Jury, some district may opt for elected judges with Jury System and so forth.
This may reduce uniformity, but DOES NOT result into discrimination, as inside a court, all citizens are treated equally. Such uniformity does not exist even today, as some laws under state subjects vary from state to state. Also, since Criminal Procedure Code is joint subject in India, CrPC in different states does vary. Also, since the procedures to appoint judgfes in lower courts is left to HC chief judges, they vary from State to State. So we do NOT have uniformity today. So my proposed setup DOES NOT destroy uniformity, as we dont have uniformity anyway.
To enact Jury based procedures in India, I have proposed following procedures :
1. CT.01 – Jury for/against an employee staff of Municipality
2. CT.02 – Jury for/against Junior Policemen
3. CT.03 – Jury for/against State Govt officers related to taxation
4. CT.04 – Jury for/against State Govt officers related taxation
5. CT.05 – Jury in courts under Executive such as court of Executive Magistrate, District Magistrate, SSRD etc)
6. CT.06 – Jury in Lower Courts
7. CT.07 – Jury in High Court
8. CT.08 – Jury in Supreme Court
The officers and private citizens in India are supervised by judges who have a tenure of 15-30 years and a term of 2-3 years in a given court. Such a long tenure and term is quite a long time for criminals/lawyers and judges to establish nexuses amongst themselves and benefit at the cost of nation. We, the commons of India, MUST abandon this system for good. Instead, we MUST use a rotating group of 5-10-15 citizens, chosen at random from citizenry to decide upon a case. Unless we use this Jury System in departmental inquiries, quasi-courts and courts, the problem of judge-criminal nexus and judge-lawyer nexus will remain in our courts and will contitue to corrode the nation. Earlier we switch to Jury System, better it is for India.
Udit Raj’s Fast For Reservation In Private Sector
By Vidya Bhushan Rawat
Udit Raj on fast unto death against non implementation of reservation in private sector
Jantar Mantar in Delhi is witnessing numerous hunger strikes and fast unto deaths these days. The Telengana verdict has suddenly focused on the power of self sacrifice for people’s cause. Though essentially a Gandhian tool, fast unto death is becoming a new instrument to highlight the issue and compel the ‘insensitive’ authorities to activate it.
In the post globalised India, when the government job sector is shrinking, it is important the challenges are tackled in the new way. The reservation debate can not remain the same as it used to be. Now, private sector constitutes a big chunk and the government has itself disinvested many of its public sector companies. Though Dr Udit Raj and the organization that he is president off, namely All India Confederation of SC/ST Employees Associations have always opposed privatization and globalization, yet they feel that despite their political opposition, it is time that government accepts their demand for reservation in private sector.
Associations of SC-ST employees under the banner of Confederation as well as Indian Justice Party, are sitting on Dharana since November 19th in Delhi for speedy implementation of the quota, particularly completing the backlogs which are not being promoted. So, far no government official has visited them. Not a single member of parliament thought of this issue and political parties have not felt it an issue to be responded. ‘ it is rather unfortunate and painful, feel Dr Udit Raj, who decided to sit on fast unto death for this cause, which he feel is much bigger than being a prime minister or chief minister of a state. It empowers the entire community, it is not for some time and it does not just empower an individual, he emphasized.
Udit Raj has been in the forefront of campaign to save reservation. The Confederation has been organizing rallies and protest marches, meeting ministers, planning commission members, Member of Parliaments and Group of Ministers. The UPA government formulated a bill in the fag end of its previous term which was produced in Parliament in February 2009. It was passed by Rajya Sabha but the Lok Sabha did not pass it. There were many objectionable points in the bill which again re-emphasized the issue of ‘merit’, for the ‘creamy’ positions. So, according to the bill, many of the ‘expert’ positions would not have reservation in the name of ‘compromising’ with merit. The Confederation opposed it but now the government in the new term is not interested at all to bring the bill. Udit Raj feel that the bill for ensuring reservation must come in parliament but not in its original form. They have given their suggestions to the government.
In 2004, when the UPA government came to power, it had a lot of intention to listen to us. It started a dialogue on this with industries which were not supportive of quota but promised the following :
Creating 100 entrepreneurs
Supporting 500 professionals from SC-ST in better institutions nationally-internationally,
supporting 10,000 students for coaching.
The prime minister’s office had been monitoring this for long but now, feels Udit Raj, one does not know what the status of these promises made by the industries. What have industries done so far voluntarily which they emphasised so much? That is why, he says, we oppose to these voluntary efforts which end up voluntarily without any accountability.
‘Now, Congress party does not want to speak on the issue. The Dalit parties are unable to go beyond their castes and Muslim reservations. No question is raised in parliament. The issue is completely suppressed. CII and ASOCHAM, FICCI became proactive against quota and emphasized on voluntarism again.’
Udit Raj feel that government should bring reservation act in this session only after correcting anomalies in it particularly no reservation in class I post in the name of compromise with merit. Reservation is not a compromise with merit, he says. The government must implement reservation as per law and there should be no dilution in it. Now, we have information that it has dropped filling backlog posts which is in lakhs. Its various departments and bureaucrats are playing dirty games to stop implementation of reservation.
Udit Raj plunged into politics after much struggle for SC-ST employees and their rights. But the political games are different. At the grassroots, lot of issues, contradictions comes up and he too had to face these dark realities of caste and sub caste. Today he feel disgusted with all this though he continues to fight. He says ‘ Fighting for reservation in private sector is most important than fighting for becoming PM and CM, as it gives strength to entire community and not one individual. Secondly, it is permanent solution to our issues and all other positions are time bound and you may not be there the next time. He gives example of Sahara company which employ nearly 10 lakh persons. How many of them are Dalits ? If there is no fixed quota and no constitutional guarantee, there will not be many SC-STs. They may recruit one or two voluntarily but then who will stop the discrimination? Most of the HR people in private sector are dominated by high caste Hindus who have their own prejudices against us.
‘Why has he not been able to get political success’, I ask. ‘Sub- castism and blackmoney are the factors that are influencing activists and leaders today. He complaint against Mayawati government in Uttar-Pradesh is that it is promoting predominantly belong to one community and now helping the upper castes. Secondly, due to consumerism, radicalism is lacking among people. He challenges those who claim to be Ambedkarites and still promoting their own caste interests and talks of caste identities. He says that Ambedkar stood for total ‘annihilation’ of castes and caste identities do not help the Dalits at all. It may help them at first one to consolidate but at the end it helps the upper castes only. Dalits should come together under one identity of Dalits and not consolidate their own castes, as it would defeat Ambedkar’s broader perspective of a common struggle against brahmanical system.
He says that those who talk of identity politics among Dalits must understand the social struggles and movements and should not speak from ivory towers. ‘Do not divide dalits on caste and sub-caste identities as it will kill the movement? He feels those who are talking of sub caste identities are actually making irresponsible statements. They do not face ground reality. They should see it and then talk. Caste identity helps individual leaders but at the end of the day it harms. Dalit community is emotional and any appeal on caste identity is based on that emotion and the political leader is not responsible for any other work.
One of the major point of our discussion in the Jantar Mantar was about globalization. What do you think of globalization as many of our friends perceive it helping the Dalits, I ask. Udit Raj is very clear on these issues, actually much more then those who claim to have understood Ambedkarism. He says, not only as an individual but the Confederation and Indian Justice party is oppose to globalization and economic liberalization. Initially, some of us felt that globalization would help change in mindset of the people. People are adopting new technologies but not really changing their mindset. Secondly, the fact is that it is the Dalits and tribal who are losing their livelihood, their lands, their work, their forest, water and their jobs. So, how can we be insensitive to not think of this massive onslaught on our right by them? International corporate works in close cooperation with their Indian counterparts, so where is Dalits in this entire agenda. He admits that it is the similar mistake that we made in understanding communism. We thought caste and class was same but it did not happen. We felt that the same would happen with globalization that it would lead to change in mindset and liberate them but mind never got globlised and upper caste hatred and prejudices remained same against the Dalits.
Udit Raj also feels that the talks of smaller states are fraught with danger. How can any body who claim to understand the issue of Dalits think of dividing Uttar-Pradesh in to so many regions and disempowered them. Today, Dalits in Uttar-Pradesh are organized and can stand despite all our differences but if a Harit Pradesh come into being, will the Dalits remain the same. A Harit Pradesh is nothing but a dominant idea of a kingdom of high caste farmers who have always exploited Dalits and been ruthless in their violence against Dalits. Similarly it will happen in Bundelkhand where the Dalits remain predominantly landless. Both, western UP and Bundelkhand has high oppression of Dalits by the powerful farming communities. If these regions are made states, Udit Raj, says, the Dalits will go back to their early stages. Situation in Telengana is different then these areas. In Telengana, there is substantive Dalit presence and they have been part of the movement for long, fought different battles hence a demand for a separate state in Telenagna can not be equated to that of Western Uttar-Pradesh, Eastern Uttar-Pradesh and Bundelkhand. Dalits will have nothing in their hand politically, if these states come into being.
Today Udit Raj decided enough is enough. The government does not listen to the genuine demands of Dalits and their empowerment. One must not ignore the cause of Dalit representation. Like land, reservation is a potential weapon to empower the Dalits. It gives them leverage to power structure. So, far only upper caste used to sit on fast unto death for their cause, what is wrong with Dalits doing the same for their cause. It is important Dr Udit Raj as cause of reservation in these times, when the government is diluting and political leaders remain conspicuously silent to get upper caste votes, some body has to do the needful. Time has come for the government of India to make the private sector accountable for the cause of Dalits. We must have reservation in private sector.
Reservations and the Dalits at the Crossroads by Christophe Jaffrelot
India’s Dalits (the former “untouchables”) have risen considerably since Independence. The country has had Dalit chief ministers (such as Mayawati), Dalit ministers in the central government (beginning with Ambedkar as early as 1947), Dalit party presidents (like Bangaru Laxman of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Jagjivan Ram of the Congress), and one Dalit President of the Republic (K.R. Narayanan). Last year for the first time a Dalit (K.G. Balakrishnan) became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. This is all the more remarkable as the judiciary is one of the few Indian institutions without an affirmative action policy. Recently, Dalits have also acquired new positions of power in the university system, with S.K. Thorat at the helm of the University Grant Commission, and Narendra Jhadav as the vice chancellor of the University of Pune. This is a remarkable achievement that requires an explanation.
The emergence of some elite groups among the Dalits of India is primarily due to positive discrimination programs that have reserved a percentage of government jobs for Dalits (as well as Scheduled Tribes) since Independence. This is obvious in the case of the administrative and intellectual elites, but to some extent it is also true of the political elites. For instance, Kanchi Ram (the late founder and ideologue of the pro-Dalit Bahujan Samaj Party) was a beneficiary of the reservation system as a civil servant before turning to politics, and former President K.R. Narayanan was a member of the Indian Foreign Service before joining the Congress. The creation of such elite groups is precisely the first avocation of positive discrimination programs. Such programs are not aimed at developing a mass effect but to help the tiny “creamy layer,” consisting of the wealthiest and best educated members of the target group. Quotas, which reserve fifteen percent of central government jobs for Dalits, remained unfulfilled for decades in the upper classes of the administration, allegedly due to an insufficient number of qualified candidates. Since the 1980s, however, quotas are gradually being filled in the top three categories of the administration, as evident in Table 1.
Table 1: The Representation of Dalits in the Central Bureaucracy 1991 1991 1991 2001 2001 2001 Class Total Dalits % Dalits Total Dalits % Dalits A 62,560 5,689 9.09 104,642 11,950 11.42 B 102,532 12,115 11.82 158,154 20,274 12.82 C 2,402,089 376,015 15.65 2,468,060 400,978 16.25
This system of reservations has been extended over the course of time, such as the extension of reservations for promotions. Most recently, the Constitution of India has been amended three times in this respect.
If the reservations are to continue to sustain the rise of the Dalits, however, they will have to address three issues. Since quotas have only been observed in the public sector, Dalits have tended to become state-oriented and have turned their back on the private sector, where they could have instead shown some of their entrepreneurial skills (in the leather industry, for instance, which is the traditional occupation of the Chamar caste). This is all the more problematic as the number of employees in the private sector has expanded since the process of liberalization was initiated in 1991, whereas the public sector has shrunk. In 2002, the latter employed 18.2 million persons, against 19.5 million in 1995. During the same period, the private sector has slightly increased from 8.1 million people in 1995 to 8.4 million in 2002. This is only the beginning of a new trend that foreign direct investment will reinforce in both industry and the services.
The policy of positive discrimination, therefore, must target the corporate sector if it is to retain some meaning. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said so more than once.
Two strategies may be adopted in this domain. The first one is the introduction of quotas in the different categories of personnel, transposing the pattern at work in the public sector to the private sector. The second strategy would be the state’s purchase of a certain percentage of products and services from firms owned by Dalits. That was one of the items of the Dalit Agenda that Digvijay Singh, the then chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, started to implement in 2000. Such a policy, aiming to stimulate the sense of entrepreneurship among Dalits, directly draws its inspiration from similar American initiatives. But will the Indian capitalists, who are so fond of the United States these days, look at this component of their model as “relevant for India”?
The second problem posed by the reservation policies can be captured by one word: co-option. As mentioned above, these policies aim at generating elite groups; as a result, they are very vulnerable to the strategies of dominant groups, which can deprive the Dalits of their leaders by offering lucrative and prestigious posts in the establishment. This mechanism has been observed for decades in the political domain where the ruling party, the Congress, minimised the competition coming from Dalit parties by attracting the leaders of the latter in its rank. In the early 1970s, Indira Gandhi seduced B.P. Maurya, the most important leader of the pro-Dalit Republican Party of India, this way by promising him a ministerial portfolio. In one go, the Republican Party lost its momentum in Uttar Pradesh, the state where it had made its maximum gains in the 1960s. When the elite are tiny, such things can happen. And generating a tiny elite is in the nature of the positive discrimination programs.
The third issue concerns the ambivalent relationship that the beneficiaries of the reservations entertain with their caste fellow. The reservation programs enable Indians of lower castes to join the privileged classes at university and in the administration. Their lifestyle changes- not only in terms of material gains, but also in terms of values. They tend to be cut off from their original milieu; moreover, successful Dalit men tend to marry upper-caste women. Today, some Dalits who behave this way are no longer ashamed of their attitude. Instead, they argue that by their personal ways and means, they prove that a Dalit can be like any upper-caste individual. While that may be a great achievement, severing links with their caste may deprive them of any substantial leadership.
This last issue pertains to the notion of the “creamy layer.” Today, quotas are cornered by those Dalits whose father and/or mother have already benefited from positive discrimination policies. These Dalits often come from one special jati, or subcaste, in a given region. In Uttar Pradesh, the Jatavs are in the forefront; in Maharashtra, the Mahars play a similar role. Such a situation tends to defeat an important part of the whole purpose of quotas, since it prevents other Dalit jatis from gaining substantial access to the reservations. Bhangis and Khatiks in Uttar Pradesh, Mangs and Chambhars in Maharashtra remain massively under-represented in the state apparatus. In February, the Supreme Court suggested excluding the “creamy layer” of Dalits from the quotas. The whole political class objected to this move. However, to be fair to the non-elite Dalit groups, special provisions will eventually have to evolve.
Private Sector – Its obligations to Dalits
— By Rajindar Sachar
A lively but in my view, ill-informed, discussion is taking place in public on the question of job quota in the private sector. The controversy has become sharper by the weight of legal opinion of the Attorney General that it was not possible to provide reservation for SCs and STs in the private sector without amending the Constitution. I have my reservation on the correctness of this view. I realize that emphasis is made on job quota possibility because of our feudal and hierarchical social system which puts a job in an office whether in private or public sector as the highest achievement. However, I feel that though emphasis on job may be kept up, the real battle dalits need to fight is to have a share in the expanding business opportunities and that too in proprietary capacity. It is in this context that I put forward an alternative which is immediately available and which can give more affluence, recognition and opportunities to dalits not only for jobs in private sector but for expanding the opportunities to share in the growth of Indian economy, and that too without amending the Constitution.
It is well known that Central and State Governments award thousands of crores worth of public works and contracts to the private sector. All these activities flow from the Government playing a very crucial and significant role either to make a particular avenue open to the private sector like the privatization and modernization of airports, express highways Public Works Department, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi and similar ones in number of other States for roads or even construction of Govt. properties which are to be executed by the private contractors. I am of the view that if proper steps available even under the present legal set up are taken, a very large segment of dalits population can be absorbed and can take benefit of the rising economy.
It is in this context that a reference to USA legislation called the “Public Works Employment Act of 1997” would be apt. That Act had a minority business enterprise clause which provided that 10% (minority population of USA) of the federal funds granted for local public works projects must be used by state and local grantees to procure services or supplies from business owned and controlled by “minority group members”, the latter being defined in the Act as United States citizens who are “Negroes, Spanish-speaking, Orientals…….”.
This provision was challenged as denying an equal protection clause provided under the 14th amendment of the US Constitution (from which Article 14 of our Constitution has been adopted). The Court upheld the validity of the legislation as it contained provisions designed to uplift those socially-economically disadvantaged persons to a level where they may effectively participate in the business mainstream of USA economy.
The arguments raised as to why the private contractors should be compelled and limit their choice in this particular manner as to from where the supplies will be received and whom they will sub-contract was rejected, by holding that “legislation When effectuating a limited and properly tailored remedy to cure the effects of prior discrimination, such “a sharing of the burden by innocent parties is not impermissible”.
Question of constitutional objection is totally off the mark. After 44th amendment Right to Property is no longer a fundamental right. Only Parliamentary legislation is necessary to deprive a person of it without compensation. It is also well settled that Article 19 confers no right on an individual to carry on business with the Govt. – if it wishes it has to be on terms settled by Govt. As such, no objection can be taken by the private sector to the provision making it incumbent on it to share proportionately with Dalits the funds given to it by the Govt. or local body agencies.
Similarly, governments could prescribe conditions as a part of scheme of disinvestment of public sector. It would then be permissible for the Central and State Governments to provide that out of these amounts the private contractor will have to ensure that a certain percentage which, to start with, could be fixed at 10% (though it is low as compared to the dalits population of 15-16%) to be made available to them either in the matter of sub-contracting or executing some works or in the matter of employment. Such a course would require not only no constitutional amendment but not even an Act of Parliament. The reason being that the Government, being the spending authority, it is permissible for it by executive orders to direct that a certain portion of this money available will be utilized either for providing employment or for sub-contracts to the dalits. This is what was done in USA and which while upholding the said legislation very eloquently observed – “if we are ever to become a fully integrated society, one in which the colour of a person’s skin will not determine the opportunities available to him or her, we must be willing to take steps to open those doors.” The same principle aptly applies to the position of dalits in our country.
Our Supreme Court has held that “economic empowerment of the poor, in particular the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, as is enjoined under Article 46, is a constitutional objective as basic human and fundamental right to enable the labourer, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to raise their economic empowerment.”
I see no reason why our Supreme Court which is far more progressive and poor-oriented than the USA’s Supreme Court, will not reject similar challenge. But of course the overriding question still remains – is there a political will and determination in the Central and State Governments to take on the combined forces of Big Business.
I am convinced that it is not only jobs but business opportunities that need to be opened to Dalits, to make a real change in their social and economic set up.
India Is Divided Into Three Nations:
Manhattan, India And Bharat By Devinder Sharma
At a national seminar on ‘Challenges of Growing Rural-Urban Disparities’ in New Delhi the other day, I met a very impressive line up of distinguished economists and policy makers. The more opportunities I get to meet them, the more I become disenchanted. I think most of them have no idea of how the country looks like, and probably have no clue as to what needs to be done. For them, it is business as usual.
Speaking briefly in a session on ‘Challenges of Accelerated, Diversified and Inclusive Growth’, I drove home the point that the fundamental cause behind the worsening urban-rural divide (as well as climate change) is the model of growth economics itself. Unless the economists demonstrate courage to challenge the prevailing economic paradigm, it is futile to talk of inclusive growth.
In fact, mainline economists, like the agricultural scientists, have also failed the society.
The urban-rural divide in India is no longer to be seen through the lense of the popular two-nation concept: India and Bharat. The geographical borders of the country now comprise three nations: Manhattan, India and Bharat. Manhattan are the Special Economic Zones (SEZ), an euphemism for princely Estates that are being carved out in the name of economic growth. India comprise the urban centres, and Bharat of course denotes the poor and backward rural countryside.
While all resources (including natural wealth) of Bharat is being diverted to feed the growing demand of Manhattan and India, the nation feels satisfied that it has given the poor in the 600,000 villages of Bharat a magic potion in the form of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (popularly called NREGA), promising assured employment for 100 days in a year to the poor.
In other words, NREGA has become the Surf Excel for all ailments that the urban-rural divide exhibit. If you have seen the advertisement for the Surf Excel detergent, you would understand what I am trying to say. A child falls down and his clothes get dirty. He looks upto his mother, and she says: “Don’t worry. Surf Excel hai na.” Similarly, the poor have nothing to worry from the continuous onslaught over their resources, from increasing marginalisation, being pushed deeper and deeper into the cesspool of poverty and deprivation. NREGA hai na.
‘The Battle Of Bhima Koregaon’
By Pardeep Singh Attri
“If we wish to be free, we must fight. Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”
– Patrick Henry (March, 1775)
History of India is nothing but the fight/struggle between untouchables and so called upper castes. Historians those are ought to be rationalist, have always misled masses and never showed the true face of Indian History. Hence, this battle has also been lost into history and no reference is found in any history book.
January 1st 1818, when everyone around the world was busy in celebrating the ‘new year’, when everyone was in cheerful mood, but not for a small force of 500 untouchable soldiers were preparing them to for battleground. Who knows this battle is going to write future of ‘Brahmin Peshwa Baji Rao-II’? It wasn’t just another battle; it was a battle for self respect, esteem and against the supremacy of Manusmriti. This battle is important in history, as everyone know that after this battle rule of ‘Peshwa Rao’ ended.
In the early 19th century, the Maratha Empire led by Peshwa Baji Rao II was gradually diminishing due to internal dissents and setbacks in the previous Anglo-Maratha wars. Maharashtrian society under Peshwas had followed nastiest kind of social discrimination wherein the lower strata of society such as untouchables were confined to the stringent Brahmanical laws and subsequently their mobility and development were impaired. The untouchables had suffered the most in the 2000 year old caste system. But regimes such as of the Brahmincal Peshwas are the best examples where untouchables and the lower caste groups experienced horrendous and nastiest form of social humiliations to carry broom sticks on their backs and earthen pots hung on their necks wherein they released their spit.
This battle took place on January 1st, 1818, near the banks of Bhima River in Koregaon (north-west of Pune) between small forces of ‘500 untouchables’ (Mahars) soldiers of 2nd Battalion, 1st regiment of ‘Bombay Native Light Infantry’ and Peshwa soldiers. ‘Bombay Native Light Infantry’ was headed by ‘Caption Francis Staunton’. Compared to the ‘500 untouchables soldiers’ Brahmin Peshwa Rao’s force was large in numbers, they were more than 20,000 horsemen and 8,000 infantry soldiers. After walking down more than 27Miles distance from Shirur to Bhima Koregaon without rest or reprieve, without food or water ‘500 untouchables’ fought so bravely for 12 hours and won the battle. Battle ended not only with ‘victory’ over Peshwa but it become responsible for the end of ‘Peshwai’ in Maharashtra.
This battle had unusual significance for many reasons. First, British army fought this battle with a minuscule army expecting the worst, especially after their experience of the Pune Regency. Secondly, the battle of Koregaon was one of the most important events which helped tear down the Peshwa Empire and subsequently the Peshwa had to abdicate. Thirdly and most importantly, it was an attempt by the untouchables of Maharashtra to break the shackles of the age-old caste order.
The Peshwa’s troops inexplicably withdrew that evening, despite their overwhelming numbers, giving the British an important victory. The men of the 2/1st Regiment Bombay Native Infantry, who fought in this battle, were honored for their bravery. The official report to the British Residents at Poona recalls the “heroic valour and enduring fortitude” of the soldiers, the “disciplined intrepidity” and “devoted courage and admirable consistency” of their actions.
Much praise was showered on the Mahar Sepoys of the Bombay Army who endured the rigours of difficult marches when rations were low and disease was high among men and animals. Whether they were charging ahead or were besieged or taken prisoner-of-war, whether they were storming fortresses or making tactical withdrawals, they always stood steadfast by their officers and comrades, never letting down the honour of their Regiments. Similar anecdotes are recorded in the written histories of the Mahar Regiment and Bombay Army. All demonstrate that most Mahars soldiers were dedicated and courageous.
This Battle was commemorated by an obelisk, known as the Koregaon Pillar (Vijay Stambh), which featured on the ‘Mahar Regiment’ crest until Indian Independence. The ‘Vijay Stambh’ reminds us ‘together we can achieve anything’. The monument has names inscribed of twenty two untouchables (Mahars) killed there, erected at the site of the battle and by a medal issued in 1851. Today, the monument still “serves as focal point of Untouchable (Mahar) heroism”. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar used to visit Bhima Koregaon (Shaurya Bhomi) every year on 1st January to pay homage to great Mahar soldiers of The Bhima Koregaon Battle.
On New Year eve, rather than visiting pubs, dancing and enjoying over beer bottles, pay rich tribute to the heroes of ‘Battle’. This all will show respect, our commitment, courage and awareness towards our rich history. One step ahead we can suggest or request all of you that in remembrance of untouchable soldier who fought and died for self respect and esteem in ‘Bhima Koregaon Battle’ over the haughty, superior and arrogant ‘Savarnas’.
Governor ND Tiwari ‘SEX Scandal’ In Raj Bhavan
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In a stunning TV expose, Andhra Pradesh Governor, freedom fighter and Congress veteran N D Tiwari has been found in the middle of an alleged sleazy sex racket whose headquarters are the Raj Bhavan itself.
The 85-year-old with a glittering political career – he has been the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh thrice – has allegedly been abusing young women at the Raj Bhavan for several months, reports Telugu TV channel ABN in a highly judgemental exclusive, with what it claims is(pretty repulsive) visual proof. Andin true MMS-scandal style, Tiwari allegedly filmed it all and threatened the girls with exposing the films.
There are a lot of unfilled gaps in the entire story (e.g how can Tiwari blackmail them when he himself is in the films), which anyway goes like this.
Tiwari, from the channel’s story, is allegedly a sex addict who needs nubileyoung women for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A close friend of Tiwari’s from his UP CM days, a certain Radhika, allegedly approached him when he turned AP Governor, for mining licenses at Kadapa. Tiwari allegedly assured help, but his OSD Arvind Sharma asked for money.
Radhika paid up lakhs, but the licenses still did not happen, and Sharma, refusing to refund, asked her instead for women to work at the Raj Bhavan, in return for the licenses.
Radhika had girls transferred from the A P Bhavan in New Delhi, and upon a visit some time later,had the girls secretly visiting her in the night and crying over her shoulder about how they were being sexually exploited by the Governor, his OSD, and even several Congress MPs who were guests of the Governor.
Radhika apparently asked the girls to get out of there with the films immediately, which they did. However, the OSD Aravind Sharma started hounding her for the films, threatening to kill them if he did not get them.
A terrified Radhika eventually approached the media hoping exposure would save the lives of the girls and her. The channel was showing(until the Governor’s lawyer got an injunction from the A P High Court prohibiting the channel from airing the visuals anymore) several nauseating stills of – allegedly – the Governor receiving sexual favors from various girls, while maintaining that it is not airing worse stuff in its possession for fear of offending viewer’s sensibilities
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