human rights

Corporate Terrorists of India

S.O.S   e – Voice For Justice – e-news weekly
Spreading the light of humanity & freedom

Editor: Nagaraja.M.R.. Vol.07..Issue.50….….10 / 12 / 2011

Justice  Hanged

 

 

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Who will  BELL  the corrupt fat cats in Indian judiciary ? http://sites.google.com/site/eclarionofdalit/who-will-bell-the-corrupt-fat-cats-in-indian-judiciary  ,                                                                                                                                                       http://e-clarionofdalit.blogspot.com/2011/11/who-will-bell-corrupt-fat-cats-in.html                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

 

Threats  to  RTI  / Human  Rights  Activist

https://sites.google.com/site/sosevoiceforjustice/rti-judgement-fixing

 

Judgement  Fixing in Indian  Courts of Law / Justice

http://e-clarionofdalit.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-09-20T06%3A30%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=1

 

 

Editorial : CORPORATE CRIMINALS /  CORPORATE TERRORISTS /  TAX THIEVES  RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL ILLS IN INDIA

In India , a small shop owner to big industrialist have mastered the art of TAX EVASION . their teachers – some corrupt tax officials & auditors. The black money thus created
is causing inflation, feeding the mafia , underworld. Some industrialists lobby ( bribe ) with the government & gets favourable laws enacted. This black money is the main source of funds for political parties , religious bodies & terrorist outfits.


The recent raids by C.B.I & KARNATAKA LOKAYUKTHA have proved how the tax officials have become multi-millionaires. The sad part is that some of the police officials who are on deputation to C.B.I & LOKAYUKTHA themselves are utterly corrupt.


This scourge can only be cured by corporate accountability intoto. However , all the industrialists , traders who are demanding for more flexible labour reforms , economic reforms , infrastructure , etc are not at all concerned about their own accountability with respect to tax , environment , other laws. The MNCs coming to India are not coming here for best Indian talents or infrastructure alone. In their own countries they are feeling the
heat of strict environment laws , consumer laws , share holder disclosures , corporate accountability. Some of these MNCs are being kicked out of their countries , by it’s own people .These MNCs are aware that in India , by greasing the palms environment laws , labour laws , tax laws , etc everything can be flouted , cases in courts can be dragged on for years . share holder disclosures , corporate transparency is minimum.

 

However when a concerned citizen complains about the crimes of guilty corporates , organizations or corrupt public servants , immediate action is not taken. The file is kept pending for months , years together  , allowing the criminals to manipulate all the evidences , records , ground situations. Finally even if action is taken guilty will be let out due to favorable  evidences , there are chances that the concerned citizen himself is falsely implicated & put behind bars . in all such cases all the involved parties must be subjected to lie detector tests .

 

Bottomline : development is a must , it must be all around . but not at the cost of majority to make a few richer.

 Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.

 

Your’s sincerely,

Nagaraj.M.R.

 

 

 CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY IN INDIA
CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY Scandals related to the appalling practices of multinational corporations like Union Carbide (now DOW), Enron, Coke, Cadbury, and
others may have shocked the nation and the world in the recent past, but the media rarely highlights corporate crimes that extend to murders, destroying habitats, threatening indigenous cultures, causing disease, contaminating the planet’s food supply, poisoning
our groundwater and even destroying the very air we breathe.


You think this is an exaggeration? Well consider this. In Bhopal, India more than 8,000 people died in the first three days after 40 tonnes of lethal gas spilled out from Union Carbide’s pesticide factory in December 1984. People woke in their homes to fits of coughing, their lungs filling with fluid. 520,000 people were exposed to poisonous gases. 150,000 victims are chronically ill, and even now one person dies every two days. Union Carbide merged with Dow Chemical Corporation two years ago and has ceased to exist as an entity while the present owners Dow refuse to accept any pending liabilities in Bhopal including clean-up of the abandoned site.


In Kodaikanal, India, Hindustan Lever, a subsidiary of Unilever Plc, an Anglo-Dutch multinational dumped mercury waste from its thermometer factory in the surrounding forests and on an innocent local community. When the scandal was exposed, first the company denied that there was a problem and later fudged facts and figures until the Indian authorities forced them to come clean. Since then Unilever has retrieved and sent back to USA some of the waste for disposal but are shying away from compensating affected workers and further environmental remediation measures.


Monsanto, one of the world’s largest pesticide companies, continues to sell its genetically engineered seeds to farmers around the world despite growing evidence of failure of crops like Bt cotton, that has reduced once well-to-do farmers in the developing world to penury and poverty while the threat of contamination of indigenous species by GE
seeds increases everyday.


Bayer AG, a German transnational continues to manufacture and sell phased out pesticides like Methyl Parathion (brand name Folidol/Metacid) in Asia despite an assurance to their European investors and stake holders that they would stop manufacturing these organo-phosphate poisons.


Ship-owning companies (and indeed, their countries) like Bergesen (Norway), and Chandris (Greece) meanwhile, regularly violate international and national laws and dump their hazardous wastes at ship-breaking yards in India, Pakistan, China, Turkey and Bangladesh. The voluntary guidelines issued by International Marine Organisation
are not enough and it is imperative that these guidelines are made mandatory to make the ship-owners liable and responsible.


In the era of globalization, multinational companies increasingly move around assets, products and wastes on a global chessboard to maximize their profits and minimize their costs. These companies are using differences and loopholes in national environmental and health laws for example to export pesticides and destructive technologies to
poorer countries to the detriment of local communities. What international body oversees them, or sets rules for their behaviour, or holds them accountable when they transgress?


It is no longer just the conspiracy theorists who believe our world is increasingly ruled and ruined by large multinational corporations. The World Trade Organisation has supplanted environmental treaties and regulations. Corporations have become accountable only under the rules of a free market, free trade and a free for all on human rights and the environment.


The state of our environment has not improved, in fact it has deteriorated. The gap between the world’s rich and poor has widened. Instead of providing developing countries with the tools for sustainable development, corporations have pushed their dirty
technologies and polluting industries on to some of the world’s poorest countries.


A recent UN report revealed that Exxon, with $63 billion, is worth more than Peru or New Zealand. General Electric more than Kuwait. Shell is worth more than Morocco or Cuba.


In the past ten years, corporations have not only resisted
environmental challenges, they have lobbied to water down
international treaties and even succeeded in getting countries to
pull out of environmental agreements altogether. They have maintained
their unsustainable practices in all sectors. It is apparent that
more than just voluntary measures are needed to control these
corporations.


A recent report by WWF states that if we continue at current levels
of consumption we will use up all of the Earth’s resources within 50
years, and we will need two more planets to meet our resource needs.
We either take urgent action to save the planet, or we get off.
The UN Environmental Programme agrees that “the state of the planet
is getting worse.” They say “there is a growing gap between the
efforts of business and industry to reduce their impact on the
environment and the worsening state of the planet.”


At the root of our environmental problems are the unsustainable
practices of the corporations that shape our economies. But what is
the good of a short-term healthy economy if we can’t drink the water,
eat the foods in the fields or breathe the air?


Current systems of governance in Asia (as elsewhere) are proving to
be deficient against the activities of abusive multinational
corporations. To roll back the excessive powers of corporations and
to pressure governments to check corporate abuse and prosecute
corporate crimes, greater public participation is a must. The Rainbow
Warrior’s Corporate Accountability Tour of India is part of a global
movement to change the climate of opinion against abusive
corporations and to turn the tide in favour of fundamental human
rights.


Corporations need to be held accountable for their actions that are
destroying the planet, destroying people’s lives around the globe.
There is only one answer. We must stand up to the corporations. Our
governments must agree on international, legally binding rules for
corporate responsibility, accountability and liability: a set of
rules that business must follow, and governments must enforce.
The list of rules is long, but so are the crimes.


The world needs corporations to be held accountable to the following
laws – no matter where they operate in the world. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
is calling upon the Indian Government to endorse the Bhopal
Principles on Corporate Responsibility, which call on Multinational
Corporations to:
• Accept liability for environmental damage and compensate victims of
pollution;
• Accept liability for the damage, no matter when it happens, what
the cause or who in the corporation is responsible;
• Accept responsibility for damage and injury beyond national borders
including accidents in the oceans and atmosphere;
• Ensure that they do not infringe upon basic human rights;
• Disclose all information regarding releases into the environment to
the public;
• Protect human and social rights including the highest standards for
rights to health care and a clean environment;
• Avoid influence over governments, combat bribery and practice
transparency;
• Allow states to maintain their sovereignty over their own food
supply;
• Implement a precautionary principle and take preventative action
before environmental damages or health effects are incurred; and
• Promote and practice clean and sustainable development

 

 

 

CORPORATE FRAUDS IN INDIA

 

Corporate  fraud is nothing new to india    , satyam company is just a new addition to it. Satyam co was able to commit such a huge fraud & keep it under wraps for years goes to prove the honesty , integrity of our public servants , government officials belonging to SEBI , RBI , tax dept , pollution control , labour  depts. , etc & the honesty of auditors & company secretaries. Ofcourse , still there are few honest people in public service , auditing & company secretaryship , but majority of them are hand in gloves with corporate criminals. Definitely , this fraud will also be brushed under the carpet after certain time as other frauds happened , afterall these frauds are the money spinners for political party funding , mafia , underworld & other criminal activities.          

 

IN INDIA , government reports , records , everything can be bought for a price. During Karnataka lokayukta raids huge wealth amounting crores of rupees were found with each of the corrupt government officials like police , engineers , tax officials ,  etc. How those government officials with few thousands of salary earn so much , by compromising with their government duties , by  creating fake government reports , records , etc . The government & the courts of justice treat those government reports , as sacrosanct like TEN COMMANDMENTS DIRECTLY FROM THE MOUTH OF GOD HIMSELF.      

 

The CORPORATE CRIMINALS & RICH CRIMINALS buy favourable government reports , records from the government officials commit bigger crimes , escapes from legal prosecution by proving their innocence , honesty with the aid of BOUGHT GOVERNMENT REPORTS & RECORDS. The courts of justice lacks broad vision , it has only narrow vision as  a riding horse’s vision is narrowed . courts of justice is only bothered about technicalities , evidences , records , it lacks the spirit of QUEST FOR TRUTH , it lacks  truth finding mechanism out of massive reports , records , evidences. The rich criminals are in a position to manipulate , buy out evidences , government reports , so definitely they will escape from hook. Today , I  can convincingly state that our legal system is such that , even the terrorists who attacked our TEMPLE OF DEMOCRACY –  THE INDIAN PARLIAMENT will be let free , when they can fully buyout evidences , reports , etc.

In this backdrop , the corporates technically maintain clean public image although privately they are frauds , criminals. If anybody makes a statement of truth against them , those corporate criminals will slap defamatory & other criminal charges against such persons. The courts of justice upholds the claims of not the speaker of truth but the corporate criminals , on the basis of  bought evidences , government reports. The courts doesn’t go into the truthfulness of those reports , evidences & sends the speaker of  truth to prison. If any person has made any complaints of fraud against Satyam Co , two months back he would have definitely faced criminal prosecution &  jail term. As all the records , auditor reports , company secretary report  , reports of  ministry of company affairs , reports of tax departments , everything was in it’s favour.  The courts are only bothered about evidences , records which were all in satyam’s favour , the courts are least bothered about quest for truth & justice. In this manner in India , there are hordes of private companies where frauds have taken place & taking place & wiil be.

Just recently after Ramalinga raju’s own statement , does it became public that the reports of auditor , company secretary , related governmet records are all false. Base linbe everything was bought. Do remember that whether it is SATYAM FRAUD , ENRON SCAM or XEROX SCAM , those were not found , revealed either by our investigating agencies or the government. Satyam’s Fraud came to light due to pressure created by the recession , market forces on the company’s promoter Mr.RAMALINGA RAJU & his resultant confession , Enron scam was unearthed by US investigators in USA during the corse of their investrigation , It is the same with XEROX Co . till those revealations , those companies were good , legally abiding cos in govt records. THAT MEANS THEY HAVE BOUGHT OUT INDIAN LEGAL SYSTEM EFFECTIVELY.

 

In this manner , in India most of the entrpreneurs small shop owners to big corporates buy out tax officials , labour department officials , pollution control board officials  , etc & openly indulge in unfair , illegal trade practices , labour practices , legal violations , etc , still go unpunished , as as per book , the government records they are law abiding , persons , corporates.     

 

Entrepreneurs , promoters of big corporations collect public money either through shares , debentures  , bank loans or all . so ideally public are also stake holders in such companies . The criminal entrpreneures , promoters  siphon-off  companies resources in various ways like selling company assets to their sister cos  at a lesser value or purchasing assets from sister cos at a higher value , giving loans to sister cos at low interest rate or taking loans from sister cos at higher interest rate , etc. in this way they siphon-off resources of public companies / enterprises with bank loans  to their own family owned sister cos. We at e-voice of human rights of watch are ready to catch such corporate criminals & help the government , ofcourse subject to conditions , are you ready ?

 

In india , tax compliance is worse. In our criminal justice system, there is rigorous imprisonment for a pick-pocketer stealing Rs.10. even the authorities spend thousands of rupees in legally prosecuting him & the thief spends a year or more as punishment behind bars. Where as there is no commensurate investigation nor  legal prosecution nor punishment  for corporate thieves , evading tax to the tune of crores of rupees. In contrast, those tax thieves pay a part of that booty to the ministers & political parties and get crores of rupees tax exemptions , incentives from the government. Government is rewarding corporate criminals.

                    The tax officials of central & state governments are hand in glove with these corporate criminals & traders. For a price, they are helping corporates & traders in evading tax. Most of the tax officials are wealthy & leading luxurious  lifestyles , much beyond the scope of their legal income. The black money thus generated every year by tax evasion , is many times more than our total annual budget allocation. As a result, all our fiscal reforms fail & inflation is soaring. This black money is the source of illegal funding of political parties , terrorist outfits & underworld. It is a greater threat to national unity & integrity.

                    Both the central government & karnataka state government  have failed to collect the full , actual tax dues from corporates & traders. As a result , the governments don’t have enough money in their coffers  even to provide basic needs like health care , education , safe drinking water , etc to the poor & needy. For every Rs.100 tax evaded , one poor patient is dying without medical care , 10 poor persons lack education , 100 persons don’t get safe drinking water , 100 persons barely survive on a single piece meal per day , 20 persons starve. Most of The government officials , ministers & people’s representatives who have deliberately failed in their duties of tax collection & welfare of poor citizens , SHAMELESSLY indulge in luxurious lifestyle at the expense of poor tax payer . they live in paltial bungalows , chauffer driven AC cars , all living food expenses paid by exchequer , dine at 5-star hotels , only drink bottled mineral water ,  eat non-vegetarian dishes , drink alcohol  sitting before mahatma gandhi’s photograph & preaching mahatma’s ideals. Mahatma preached & practiced simple living , vegetarianism & he was teto teller , he paid for his expenses from his earnings . these public servants are parasites , who are making merry at the expense of tax payer.

                    Some non government organisations ( NGO) have formed trusts and under the aegis of those trusts are running educational institutions , hospitals , community halls , etc , in the name of providing free / subsidised services like education , health care , etc to the poor. It is only in record books , they conduct fake medical camps , self employment training camps . in practice they are running these educational  institutions , hospitals & community halls as commercial enterprises & collecting huge fees. they are not even  remitting full fees collected to the trust account & swindling the money. no outsider is allowed to become a member of these NGOs , only their cronies & their family members are in these trusts.

                   Numerous NGOs promoted by religious bodies , mutts  are swindling public & government money to the tune of crores of rupees. Nobody dares to question  the heads , pontiffs of these mutts , as at his feet VVIPs , ministers fall down. These religious bodies are hot beds of fundamentalism , terrorism  & mafia.  Hwere is the accountability of religious bodies & political parties in in india ?

                    Inspite of bringing specific cases to the notice of authorities , they are mum ? hereby , E-VOICE OF HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH offers it’s services ( subject to conditions ) to the governments of india & karnataka , in apprehending the criminals – tax evaders. Are you ready mr. singh sir & mr.Yediyurappa sir ? If you are ready to do your duty look into the following cases , take appropriate action & kindly inform me about the outcome.

 

WHY MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES ARE INVESTING IN INDIA?

We condemn the brutal massacre by police on farmers – who are going to loss all their lands , sources.of livelihood for the sake of special economic zones , industrial parks , etc in various states of India.

 

In every mega projects undertaken by government , both the state government & central government have functioned  like  REAL ESTATE / COMMISSION  AGENTS for the rich & mighty . the government says it is acquiring lands for development of industries , for public good. In reality there is only good of rich & mighty.

 

For forming S.E.Zs , corporates gets speedy single window approvals from government , lands at concessional rates – lower than market value  , soft loans from Indian banks , tax exemptions for years from the government , dedicated power supply , etc , from the government . these corporates are even given free hand to raise share capital in the Indian market. the government has enacted flexible labour laws specifically for S.E.Zs , they can hire & fire without bothering to pay gratuity , etc and they are exempted from providing P.F / E.S.I  coverage to their employees ie they need not worry about the occupational health hazards of their employees , they can employ them till they are fit & throw them on streets afterwards. These corporates take our own money,  employ our own people , use our own natural resources & finally  take away the net profits to their home countries  – what they give back ? – environmental pollution , tax evasions , low paid occupational hazardous jobs to locals , stock market scams .

 


During Previous License Regime foreign, investment was not directly welcome in India. As people at that time perceived it as “Neo colonisation” & detested it. There were various restrictions on foreign investments. The local industrialists under monopolistic
environment thrived, who were no way better than day light robberers, of course with a few exception. Under the political patronage, the cunning industrialists looted public money, cheated the government of tax, cheated lending banks & cheated the investors
too. They easily flouted labour laws & made labourers to work in inhuman conditions.

During 1990’s under the international pressure India signed GATT & slowly started opening it’s economy. Now, from 01/01/05 even product patent has come into force in India. Are MNCs bringing high technology intensive industries to India? No, not at all. They are actually denying sophisticated technologies to India. They are only
bringing the FMCG industries – salt, chips, ketch-up, colas, for which India is a huge home market. They are into services like Hotels, medical care, marketing. In other cases, they are just marketing the products manufactured at their bases in U.S.A. or Europe.

 

They are not bringing in new production technologies in the areas like space research, nuclear energy, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals or pollution control, to India. Also, some MNCs are relocating their highly polluting industries to India, as they are subjected to stringent environmental protection standards in their own home countries. Whereas, In India the Government is highly corrupt & can be bought for a price. The attractive points for foreign direct investment (FDI) in India are,


1. There is lack of comprehensive environmental norms.


2. The enforcement of environmental norms is lax.


3. The cost of health coverage, social security net to be provided to the workers exposed to the occupational hazards is less.


4. The cost of compensation to be paid to the persons-who died or suffered damages due to occupational hazards/environmental pollution is meager.


5. The enforcement of labour laws are lax.


6. Public money can be easily raised through lending Banks, primary market within India & the public can be easily cheated.


7. The tax can be evaded through various loopholes like transferring money to holding companies situated at Mauritius or countries which have double taxation avoidance agreement with India.


8. The tax can be evaded, company money can be cheated by lending money to sister / holding concerns at low interest rates or by selling shares, materials to their private companies at low rates or by buying shares, materials from their holding/sister concerns at exhorbitant rates, etc.


9. The corporate governance laws are almost absent in India & it’s enforcement nil.


10. Above all, the time can be bought by very slow Indian legal system, if any dispute arise.


11. On top of it, well trained, technically qualified people are available at low rates through contractors.

Just consider the following cases which highlight the apathy, irresponsibility of  government of India and emboldened the cunning, MNCs:-

1. The India which boasts of so much scientific/technological advancements, is till date has been unable to provide potable water to it’s people. People of west Bengal , Karnataka , Andrapradesh states are forced to drink Arsenic, Fluoride poisoned water.


2. The people living near the mines of R.E.M.P. in Kerala are suffering due to exposure to the radio active materials, Same is the case with the people of Jadaguda, Jharkhand, living near the U.C.I.L. plant. Both M/S R.E.M.P & M/s U.C.I.L are department of atomic energy enterprises.


3. Few years back, In Mysore railway station containers of radio- active materials were left unattended. The dome of reactor building at construction stage collapsed in nuclear power plant at Kaiga. A fire tragedy occurred in Kakrapar nuclear power plant. In the recent Tsunami waves onslaught, certain important facilities of Koodakulam atomic plant were damaged near Chennai.


4. In 1984, U.S. based MNC union carbide mass murdered nearly 20,000 people, injured lakhs who are still suffering health problems. The polluted poisonous accident site i.e. Union carbide plant in Bhopal is not yet cleared off toxic materials even after 20 years.
This is still further damaging the residents of Bhopal.


5. In the above union carbide disaster, the Government of India didn’t present the case properly before supreme courts of India & U.S.A.. As a result the MNC just paid a pittance as compensation. As per that the cost of Indian lives are just a fraction of cost of
American lives. Just imagine if a same disaster occurred in U.S.A. at the plant of a MNC headquartered in India, what would have been the consequence?


6. In India, hazardous chemicals laced with food additives are passed through the drinks, beverages like pepsi, cola, coco cola very easily.


7. The medicines like nimesulide, paracetamol, etc. with hazardous side effects which are banned in U.S.A.& Europe, are easily marketed by the same U.S.& Europe based MNCs in India.


8. In India spurious drugs, medicines, food stuffs are easily marketed.


9. In India, the clinical trials of new medicines under research are done without proper compensation structure to those being tried upon ie. Virtual guinea pigs.


10. In India, the genetically engineered BT crops are being introduced without paying attention to formers, ecology or eco-system.


11. In India, during setting up of large projects, scant attention is paid to environment, eco-system & the displaced persons.


Most of the times, in government projects itself the displaced persons are cheated by the government in numerous ways.


12. In India, various Government as well as private hospitals dumps hospital wastes with deadly viruses in the open, with scant regard to public health.


13. In India, aged ships belonging to foreign countries are breaked down to scrap in ship breaking yards of Gujarath , Maharashtra & AP. Various toxins like the Asbestos, lead, etc & the hazardous, dirty water, Oil inside the ship are drained into Indian seashore. The labourers here are forced to work without any safety gears.


14. When specific cases of human rights violations were brought before the government & Judiciary by us , both of them didn’t respond at all.

All the above cases highlight the fact that, government of India & Indian judiciary treats it’s citizens lives as cheap, dispensable at will. This is the major attracting force for MNCs to India.

 

 

INDIAN CAPITALISM ALWAYS HAD A CRIMINAL SIDE  – By Praful Bidwai

 

 

The Satyam [ Get Quote ] scandal has been wrongly called ‘India’s Enron’, after the gigantic fraud at the US energy-trading company, which came to light in 2001 and became a metaphor for corporate crime.

In fact, the Satyam scam is much bigger in absolute magnitude and likely impact. The amount stolen from Enron was Rs 2,866 crores (Rs 28.66 billion) at current exchange rates. In the Satyam case, according to its promoter-chairman B Ramalingam Raju, Rs 7,136 crores (Rs 71.36 billion) were involved. Also greater are the number of defaulting agencies and their failures.

The impact of the Satyam scandal won’t be confined to the 53,000 people on its payroll — a number higher than the 40,000 Enron employees. The entire Information Technology industry will be singed by the swindle just when the global economic slowdown is already hurting it. The World Bank’s ban on IT-India’s No 3 Wipro [ Get Quote ], and Megasoft, besides Satyam, for unethical practices will further aggravate the industry’s difficulties.

The Satyam swindle has tarnished the image of India’s [ Images ] IT industry and cast a shadow over its remarkable 30 percent annual growth, which is generally attributed to virtuousness, brainpower and hard work, not inherited wealth. It has lowered the profile of Andhra Pradesh as a land of gutsy businessmen — fondly paraded by successive chief ministers as ‘Andhra-preneurs’ — who combine a robust native business genius with a modern extrovert outlook.

Above all, the scam has exposed huge cracks in India’s corporate governance structures and system of regulation through the Securities and Exchange Board of India, SEBI, ministry of corporate affairs and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office. Unless the entire system is radically overhauled and made publicly accountable, corrupt corporate practices will recur, robbing wealth from the exchequer, public banks and shareholders.

The Andhra Pradesh government has treated Mr Raju with kid gloves. It failed to arrest him for three days after he made a public confession, thus giving him time to sanitise/destroy incriminating evidence. His detention by the state police means that SEBI has been effectively barred from questioning him. This has bred speculation that Mr Raju has cut a political deal under which his family would be protected and certain officials rewarded. The Centre too is preparing to spend Rs 2,000 crores to rescue Satyam and public sector units haven’t shifted their IT operations to other companies.

Mr Raju’s January 7 confession and surrender to the police should fool no one. Contrary to his earlier claim that ‘neither me, nor the managing director (his brother) took even one rupee/dollar from the company…’, he now says he has been cooking Satyam’s books for seven years.

He is estimated to have made Rs 2,065 crores (Rs 20.65 billion) by artificially jacking up the price of Satyam’s shares and selling his holdings (14 percent of the total). Satyam’s Chief Finance Officer Vadalamani Srinivas has said the fixed deposits shown in the books were fictitious.

We still don’t know the scam’s true dimensions. But two things are abundantly clear. First, it’s extremely doubtful that Mr Raju inflated Satyam’s income by Rs 5,000-plus crores (Rs 50 billion) and even put in Rs 1,230 crores (Rs 12.30 billion) of his own money. It simply doesn’t stand to reason that he would do this and not siphon off large sums. Equally dubious is his claim that Satyam’s operating margin was as low as 3 percent, compared to the 25 to 30 percent for top-ranking IT companies.

If Satyam’s margin was indeed higher, then thousands of crores were spirited out of the company. It is imperative that this trail is rigorously traced. It would be surprising if it doesn’t lead to real estate scams or to benami accounts held by politicians. Former Union revenue secretary E A S Sarma, a public-spirited civil servant of exceptional integrity, has tried to find some of these tracks through the Right to Information Act, RTI.

He looked at a private company which is building Gangavaram Port in Andhra and found that 18 percent of its equity is held by Lakeside Investments Ltd, a Mauritius-based company, ‘apparently… a smokescreen for tax evasion.’ Mr Raju reportedly owns a company with a similar name, Lakeview Investments, and with the same address.

Mr Sarma has also raised serious questions about the way the state has handed out thousands of acres without competitive bidding to Maytas (Satyam spelt backwards) Properties and Maytas Infrastructure. Maytas Infra alone has projects worth Rs 30,000 crores (Rs 300 billion) in Andhra, including the Rs 12,000-crore Hyderabad metro rail and irrigation projects worth Rs 13,000 crores (Rs 130 billion). All this warrants an in-depth investigation.

Secondly, surrendering to the police in India was Mr Raju’s best guarantee against extradition to the United States, where numerous criminal cases have been filed against him and where the punishment will be more rigorous and prompt than in India. For instance, Enron’s Kenneth Lay was charged on 11 counts and set to be sentenced to 45 years in jail when he died.

If Mr Raju is tried for criminal breach of trust in India, he could get away with as little as three years. Even if he gets a life sentence, he may end up spending 10 years or less in prison.

The Satyam swindle became possible because all supervisory mechanisms failed, including the statutory auditor, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, PwC, independent directors, and SEBI. PwC didn’t verify the authenticity of the account-books. It had similarly failed with Global Trust Bank, which collapsed. Irregularities were noted in PwC’s handling of Satyam accounts in 2001, but mysteriously, no probe was conducted.

Similarly, a complaint was filed with SEBI by Member of Parliament Ramdas Athavale in 2003. But under political pressure, this was not pursued.

PwC, which has audited Satyam’s accounts since 1991, is guilty of grave misconduct and should have faced punitive action from the Institute of Chartered Accounts of India, ICAI. Ironically, PwC has two members in the ICAI disciplinary council!. The council met, but failed to take action against PwC. ICAI, like the Bar Council or Medical Association of India, shields, and rarely acts against, even the most errant of its members.

Satyam’s independent directors did no better. They asked no questions about the accounts When the board met last month to approve the scandalous proposal to invest $1.6 billion in Maytas, it didn’t even refer to the conflict of interest in buying a company in a completely unrelated business, floated by the promoter. It only went into technicalities of conformity with SEBI guidelines, and valuation of assets. Indeed, one of the independent directors, Krishna Palepu of the Harvard Business School, waxed eloquent on the merits of real estate investment.

These directors collect fat annual fees ranging from Rs 13 lakhs to Rs 92 lakhs (Rs 1.3 million to Rs 9.2 billion) just for attending a few meetings, but clearly lack independence. Many independent directors in India see board memberships as sinecures or lucrative pastimes unrelated to corporate governance and public responsibilities.

Even worse was SEBI’s failure to investigate Satyam and refuse to approve its patently foul transactions including the Maytas deal, which was aborted by investor protests. SEBI also ignored a December 18 letter on Satyam sent by Mr Sarma. Other authorities also turned a blind eye to various complaints about the illegal allocation of 17,000 acres of land to Satyam group companies in different cities, in violation of their master plans.

India lacks adequate corporate regulation, and its enforcement is pathetic. For instance, as many as 1,228 of the Bombay Stock Exchange’s [ Images ] 4,995 listed companies have failed to submit reports required by Clause 49 of the Listing Agreement, including information on their boards’ composition, audit committees, CEO/CFO certification of accounts, and related-party transactions and subsidiary companies.

Corrective action is overdue if corporations are not to cheat stakeholders and the public. Indian capitalism has always had a criminal side to it. Our corporate nabobs often milk their companies by appointing procurement and distribution agents, by under- and over-invoicing imports/exports, evading taxes, indulging in insider trading, and dressing up balance-sheets. Satyam fits this pattern, which is widely prevalent in most brick-and-mortar companies.

Some corrective steps are self-evident. Statutory auditors aren’t enough. We need a Board of Audit, which like the Comptroller and Auditor General of India, is authorised to conduct surprise audit on its own or on whistle-blower complaints. Besides, no auditor should be allowed to continue beyond three years.

The government should create a pool of independent directors from amongst citizens of high integrity. Impartial authorities, not company managements, should appoint them and fix their remuneration. Cross-directorships must be banned. All agent appointments must be thoroughly scrutinised. Penalties must be stiffened. The conviction rate in corporate frauds, currently under 5 percent, must be improved.

Breach of trust and fraud must be heavily penalised. If an auditor fails in his duty in India, he faces a ridiculous penalty of Rs 10,000 and maximum imprisonment of 2 years. The US Sarbanes-Oxley Act, passed after the Enron and WorldCom scandals, awards imprisonment for 20 years. The US has greatly improved fraud detection by reforming audit methods and offering incentives to whistle-blowers.

We must learn from all this and acknowledge that deregulation promoted in the name of ‘trusting’ CEOs and creating a ‘favourable investment climate’ is dangerous.

 

Satyam fraud: More than accounting skullduggery

Raghuvir Srinivasan

Is the Satyam scandal just about a promoter manipulating the financial statements of his company to show a superior performance? Or is it about systematic siphoning of funds from the company over the years? Emerging events seem to increasingly point to the latter.

Let’s start with the so-called “confession statement” of Mr Ramalinga Raju, the disgraced chairman of the company. Lawyers have already expressed doubts over whether the statement can actually be deemed a confession and enough to implicate Mr Raju. Indeed, they say that it is a very well drafted document designed to draw attention to the hole in the finances without implicating himself anywhere for any act of commission.

Deflecting attention?

A careful reading of the statement shows that there is indeed merit in this view. Mr Raju has pointed to cash balances not being the same as reported in the audited financial statements, he has said of how revenues were inflated, and so on. But nowhere has he said that he was responsible for this nor has he pointed his finger at anyone else. Of course, as the chairman, the buck stops with him but that is not the same as saying “I did it”.

If anything, he has tried to project himself as the saviour by pointing out how he “arranged” Rs 1,230 crore for the company and how neither he nor the managing director “took even one rupee/dollar from the company and have not benefited in financial terms on account of the inflated results”.

Mr Raju appears to have attempted to deflect attention from what is possibly the more serious crime of siphoning of funds to the relatively lesser one of accounting skulduggery. This is being clever by half. How on earth did he think that the shareholders, lenders, legal agencies and the world at large would believe him on this?

People who were and are working in responsible positions in Satyam say that the company has a real business going and some of its divisions are extremely profitable and there is no question of doubting the revenues from them. There is no way that operating margin will be as low as 3 per cent, they say, unless of course, if money had been sucked out of the company.

The second event that raises doubts is the carefully orchestrated arrest of Mr Raju. He surrendered himself to the police the night before he was to appear before the SEBI investigating team. The arrest and remand ensured that SEBI was unable to interrogate him.

The market regulator will eventually be able to quiz him, but the question is: Will there be evidence destroyed before that? As it is, there is the possibility that Mr Raju may have destroyed crucial evidence implicating him before he went public with his “confession”.

Political angle

And then, there is the political angle to the scandal. Mr Raju and his companies (Maytas group) have been beneficiaries of large public contracts for transport systems and irrigation projects in Andhra Pradesh. Nexus between businessmen and politicians is an accepted reality in this country. So is someone powerful attempting now to protect Mr Raju? Or is it that he knows too much about wheeling-dealings and hence needs to be kept away from investigators?

Allegations and counter-allegations have been flying thick and fast from both the ruling and Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh over favours, secured and shown, to Mr Raju by both. The government appointed board has a task on its hands. It will have to dig, and dig deep to unravel the scandal in all its dimensions. What is now out in public is probably just one dimension and it may be the least scandalous one. Mr Raju has himself said that the irregularities have been happening for years. Therefore, it is only correct to assume that more skeletons will come tumbling out once SEBI and the Company Law Board bury their noses into the books of Satyam.

There is the danger though that political pressure will be brought on to scuttle the investigations or obfuscate the findings. This is where the government-appointed board will assume importance. Not only will the government have to appoint people of integrity and high standing but these people will have to discharge their responsibility of getting to the bottom of this scandal without hesitation or fear.

ICAI to take stock

Finally, a word on the auditors, Price Waterhouse. The Central Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), regulatory body of the accounting profession, is set to meet on Monday to take stock of the developments from the Satyam scandal on the profession.

Interestingly, two members of the Central Council, Mr S. Gopalakrishnan and Mr Harinderjit Singh, are senior partners of Price Waterhouse. Mr Gopalakrishnan signed the 2006-07 balance sheet of Satyam. Will the two gentlemen sit in on the deliberations on Monday at the ICAI? Or will they opt out on grounds of conflict of interest? Or better still, will they resign from the Central Council, which is the policy-making and governing body of the ICAI? Is it too much to ask for the last?

Source / courtesy: The Hindu

 

 

India: Descent Into Darkness

By Colin Gonsalves

 

In the 61st year of the republic, surely, India has transited into Kalyug. Surveys of the Union of India as well as expert reports published by the Arjun Sengupta committee and the NC Saxena Committee appointed by the Central government reveal that almost 77 per cent of the population in India are below the poverty line in terms of the food intake minimum standard of 2,400 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day, a standard set by the Planning Commission in 1979.

Over 50 per cent of all women and children are malnourished with 17 per cent of the child population being so severely malnourished that a whole new generation of Indians will become adults with malformed brains and stunted growth. Even in the urban areas where conspicuous consumption is always on display, malnourishment of children is upwards of 50 per cent.

This is the spectre of starving India.

For the top 20 per cent of the population (and less than 3 per cent of the sensex/stock market) who have experienced the licence to loot, corrupt and cheat during the ongoing period of globalisation, this is Satyug. Since the beginning of the decline of Nehruvian social democracy in the early 1990s and the establishment of what is called the liberalisation regime, the rich have never had it so good.

A seismic shift has taken place in the thinking of politicians, corporations, administrators and judges, fuelled partly by international capital and the devious planning of the World Bank and the IMF. Whereas earlier and in accordance with the constitutional mandate, the country was to be taken along as a whole, the resources of the State were to be used to subserve the common good and a reasonable part of the gross domestic product (GDP) was to be kept aside to subsidise education, health, food, housing and transportation for the working people. With globalisation all this began to change drastically, systematically and with abject cold-blooded deliberation.

Education for all was quickly jettisoned with the argument that it is impossible to educate so many poor children, that it is inadvisable and unproductive to spread resources thinly and that since in any case the middle classes are the engines of change, State resources ought to be concentrated on them if the GDP is to be pushed up. Thus, while fancy educational institutions multiply and students’ fees rise many times over, poor students learn under trees or in the open (in freezing cold or scorching summer) without schools, textbooks and often without teachers and the officially promised mid-day meals.

The Supreme Court in TMA Pai’s case, made a disgraceful decision opening the doors for commercialisation and privatisation of education and casting a shadow on the earlier decision in Unnikrishnan’s case correctly providing for strict State regulation and prohibition on commercialisation.

Similarly, while some of the finest health facilities in the world sprung up in the cities of India, government public health facilities went into a tailspin. The public health centers lacked medicines, doctors, testing equipment, beds and food for poor patients. As the despair with public health care is increasing, the World Bank merrily came along with its prescription for “user fees” requiring people below the poverty line to pay for health services. Dalit or poor women delivering on the pavements outside government hospitals became a common sight.

Despite the jurisprudential exhortation that the right to public health care, free drugs and indigenously manufactured medicines is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution, the rot set in and is too deep to reverse. How does it matter and what effect could it possibly have on the GDP if tens of thousands of poor people suffer ill health or die of malaria or tuberculosis? From the GDP point of view, health care for the poor simply does not matter.

The shift in ideology away from social democracy towards what was quaintly called ‘globalisation’ affected the judiciary as well. Senior judges who were derisive of the post-independence emphasis on ‘egalitarian socialism’ used the enormous power of the judiciary to undermine social policies of the government, bypass binding precedents and generally stripped the working people of constitutional law protections.

In the Steel Authority of India Limited case, the Supreme Court made it possible for capitalists to convert their entire labour force into contractual labour, thus effectively taking away all their protection under labour laws. In Uma Devi’s case, persons who were employed and were working for decades in permanent work positions on a pittance, were denied regularisation, thus giving a legal cover to slave labour.

Marvelous environmental jurisprudence meticulously put in place by Justice Kuldeep Singh and others in the Supreme Court was systematically dismantled by subsequently appointed judges in the superior courts who had a pro-capitalist bend of mind. They saw environmental law and environmental activism as an irritant which hindered the ‘development’ of the country. They, therefore, used the quite dubious doctrine of ’sustainable development’ in an even more suspect way to allow for all kinds of environmentally destructive industrial activity, quite unmindful of its catastrophic and long-term effect on the environment.

As a result, India today is in the process of being completely devastated. The forests have been decimated in many parts indiscrimately for big projects, the cities are polluted, lush green areas have been mined, the rivers of India turned into sewage drains and water shortage has become so acute that in the years to come social upheavals will centre around this acute deprivation. The great Indian nation is being turned into a desert with its sacred rivers becoming dirty drains.

When the tribals, dalits, workers, slum dwellers and the dispossessed of this country protested, often feebly, they were met with fierce repression. Police torture is widespread and has become the principle forensic tool for the investigation of crimes. Nowhere in the world, perhaps, has the police force turned into such an awesome body of ruthless creatures in uniform, as in India.

The average rate of conviction in the country in cases of atrocities against Dalits has sunk to 1 per cent. As a result, rape of Dalit women, murder of Dalits, destruction of their houses, burning of standing crops, robbing of cattle, destruction of Dalit temples, throwing excreta inside wells, untouchability and practices such as the two tumbler system, continues unchecked till this day while the justice system seems immune.

Despite the right to housing being declared a fundamental right by the Supreme Court in Nawab Khan’s case and although the UPA manifesto specifically includes a ban on forced evictions of slums, about a million of the urban poor every year have their homes bulldozed without notice, compensation or rehabilitation to make way for the skyscrapers of the rich.

All this does not auger well for the legal system in India, one of the main pillars of the democratic State. The working people shy away from the courts and participate reluctantly when they are dragged into the legal system through coercive proceedings. Labour court proceedings throughout the country have shrunk by 75 per cent and the once vibrant institutions that balanced the interests of capital and labour have become stultified. Tribals shun the courts. Even the most serious of crimes like rape and murder make the victims approach the courts with grave reluctance.

This is not difficult to understand as the legal system operates just like a colonial power, as an engine of oppression. Probably, one million false or trivial cases are pending in the Indian courts against innocent tribals who are forced to attend court and loose their wages day after day. It took a Maoist uprising for PC Chidambaram, the Union Home Minister, to understand this elementary truth and announce the withdrawal of one lakh cases filed by the State against tribals in Jharkhand alone.

Decisions of the Supreme Court under the Land Acquisition Act have made possible tyrannical state acquisitions of land throughout the country making the vast majority of Indian farmers suspicious of the legal system. With regard to as elementary and established a right as a woman’s right to maintenance, the woes of women in family court matters seems never ending.

The State just can’t get its act together to enforce the appointment of judges although it is now well settled that India has one fifth the number of judges that it needs. Delays are not accidental, they are intended. The legal system is designed to tie the litigant up in endless and expensive proceedings where justice is illusory.

Public Interest Litigation, which is the only lifeline between the judiciary and the people of India, is being denigrated time and again and not unexpectedly because there are those who believe that the legal system is best used for sorting out property disputes and commercial matters. Legal aid has been reduced to a farce of seminars with the presentation of bouquets. In death sentence cases involving destitute persons, the legal aid lawyer may even miss a cross examination or two.

It is sometimes all too easy to blame judges for the ills of the legal system. If one turns to the quality of the Bar, one would notice all kinds of elements wearing bands and gowns and committing all kinds of illegalities. Criminality pervades many parts of the legal system.

Between democracy and darkness stands the judiciary. It stands heads and shoulders above the judicial systems in Asia. But it is in rapid decline. Ahead is pitch darkness.

This is the period of Kalyug. The lust for money that globalisation brought with it has decisively depleted spirituality, morality, collective sharing, equality and social justice. It has only institutionalised a spiraling network of stark and relentless injustice. Only a national uprising will reverse this trend.

[The writer is a senior lawyer, Supreme Court of India, and Founding-Director, Human Rights Law Network]

 

 PRICOL VP MURDER , SATYAM CO FRAUD , SINGUR AGITATION & GRAZIONO CEO MASS MURDER

–          An eye opener to irresponsible corporate India & GOI

 

Few Years back , in the state of tamilnadu India , some of the sacked laboureres of M/S PRICOL INDUSTRIES mass lynched & murdered a higher management official , for sacking them from their jobs. This act of laborers is a heinous crime , illegal & inhuman act. In India , nowadays the labour movement  has been hijacked by lumpen elements , rowdies , criminals. These criminal elements are there in the posts of union leaders just to further their self interests rather than the welfare of the workers whom they represent. These lumpen elements , so called leaders thrive on controversies & creates disturbances , vitiates harmonious relations between the management – workers. The company as an organization needs team work to survive & thrive in business. These labor leaders even oppose for example OUTPUT BASED PRODUCTION INCENTIVE SCHEME – which is a win win  situation for  both the management & workers. These leaders go to the extent of killing the hen which lays golden eggs , all for their selfish gains. These rowdy leaders become leaders just to make money , to make political entry , to shirk-off work , to escape night shift work , etc. In the midst of these rowdy elements the genuine concerns of  ordinary workers are not at all heard. The ordinary workers who depend on the organization for their livelihood , who work hard to earn more incentive , are the ultimate sufferers.

 

In the same manner , the management of companies must be sensible to the genuine concerns of  it’s workers , it must properly balance the worker’s concern & company’s position . some of the managements enforce harsh rules on workers , o.k , the management personnel of those very same companies function without discipline , misuse company properties , siphons of  company money , take commission from vendors , cheat the government of tax dues , violate environmental laws , tax laws , labor laws  by bribing officials , etc. Finally this kills the organization as a whole – the end losers shareholders , lending banks , government & our economy.

 

  The recent  public agitation  at singur west Bengal , India against the TATA NANO project , is nothing but a struggle for survival by the land loosers. The public of singur are living there since ancestral times , they fully depend for their livelihood on the vegetables & other small crops grown there by them. The livelihood , their survival is at stake. The irresponsible west Bengal government , to favour the corporate lobby ,  acquired the lands forcibly dirt cheap & gave it away at dirt cheap price to TATA’S. why such a cheap  , long term lease period  has been given to TATA’S ? The government literally has thrown the land loosers on street , it didn’t bother about their survival nor about their proper rehabilitation . Basically , TATA’S is a business house , their only intention is to make profits , more money , not the welfare of people. Why not TATA’S acquire land in open market ? the acquire of lands by state or central government for public good like for building dams , roads ,  channels  are at least justified  however the rehabilitation is more important. Other than for the projects concerning public good , for all the projects of private enterprises like pay & use roads , airports , industries , etc , the lands must be acquired in the open market at market prices . For some industrialists bid to make riches , lives , livelihood  of thousands should not be sacrificed. It is not alround development. In a democracy , the voice of the public , locals should be honoured but not the diktats of ministers or babus in secretariats. The present corrupt system in India leading to rise of naxalism , underworld , separatist movements are all due to the government policies since independence till date according to the wisdom (?) of ministers & babus , totally dishonouring the public voice.

 

Now , take the case of Graziono CEO mass murder in noida , it is nothing but  fallout of hire & fire policies. Every human being works for survival , on his meager salary there will be family dependents , all of a sudden if  a person is fired from service , his whole family will be on streets. O.k , all corporates nowadays preach & breath the mantra of USA , for everything be it infrastructure , flexible labour  policies , it compares itself  with  those prevailing in the USA. Now , the corporate India is getting infrastructure at dirt free prices ( very high in the USA ) , has got hire & fire mechanism by employing contract labour , very lenient environmental norms , very lenient food & drugs safety rules , relaxation in Factory Act , ESI & PF acts , etc add to it the rampant corruption in all govt departments by which you can get any certificate for a price.

In the USA , of course there is hire & fire policy , however the minimum wage levels are also very high , so that during good times workers can save money for their future. Also , there is social security net to take care of ousted workers , then why not Indian corporates paying good salary to workers during good times ? why not corporate India making good contribution to social security net ? in the USA , there are good  infrastructure facilities they take pride in paying taxes to the government ,  the corporate India always lobbies for tax cuts , subsidies , loan waivers , etc. in the USA the environment norms are very strict , the companies manufacturing hazardous chemicals which were ousted by the US government have set up shop in India . Government of USA treats lives of people as precious , where as Indian government treats lives of it’s people as dispensable. In the USA , the food safety & drugs , medicines safety standards are very high , the drugs , high level adulteration food products banned by Government of USA are sold in the India , this is the difference between government of USA & India , the way they treat their people’s lives. Loan recovery , investor safety norms are very high in the USA , where as in India , loan defaulters , share holder swindling , Non Performing Assets is very high.  Inspite of  all the strict norms we have seen enron , Xerox debacles in the USA  & recent bank fallouts in the USA. In India with such lax norms , only you can guess.

The lesson here for the government of India is , development must be allround , must not be at the cost of thousands. Listen to the voice of public but not to the commands of greedy selfish corporates , lobbies . Do stop thinking that only babus , IAS officers  & minister are brilliant knowing all and the public people are fools fit to be herded by IAS officers. Do remember that India is a democracy not a BANANA REPUBLIC.

The lesson for corporate India , aping the USA intoto  is O.k , but not by parts & bits , follow corporate USA in every aspect of corporate duties & responsibilities , transparency.

Final word , when it comes to the question of survival , life  , livelihood , it know no bounds . After all STRUGGLE FOR SUVIVAL is a basic animal instinct , it is a basic human right of every individual .

 

Top 10 Financial Scams in India

– Siddharth Singh

 

Financial scams have a habit of cropping up with an alarming regularity in the Indian financial system. We have reconciled to financial irregularities to such an extent that we simply do not pay heed to smaller scams that take place around us on a daily basis. I am, or rather was, a part of the financial machinery for a few years, and trust me, even the private sector is not entirely free of the machinations of unscrupulous and enterprising scamsters. The scope of the money involved multiplies manifold in the public sector, with a corresponding drop in accountability.

 

Financial Scamsters Are Rarely Punished

Despite a plethora of scams that surround us on a daily basis, frequently scams of large proportions come to light, and manage to stun even our jaded sensibilities. Then, there is the usual round of allegations, counter-allegations, enquiries and legislation. Some of our most notable regulations and financial institutions are the results of such scams.

I have compiled a list of ten leading financial scams in India, which have affected a large population of investors, and involved huge sums of money. They managed to shake the very foundations of our financial system, and were driven by that most basest of human instincts – GREED. In most cases, it was the greed of just one individual, or a very small group of individuals, who managed to pull of such huge scandals.

Insurance Scam – This scam had originated and prospered in the period immediately following Independence in 1947. At that time, the insurance sector was not nationalized, and a handful of private companies ruled the roost.  These companies were more concerned with providing benefits to selected industrialists, and ignored the interests of the common man. The government responded by nationalizing the insurance sector, and the LIC was founded under an special Act passed by the Parliament. This scam laid the foundation of the nationalization culture in India.

Securities Scam – Harshad Mehta – This is perhaps the most well known of all financial scams – probably because it happened in a highly visible period – economic reforms had just been started in 1991. Harshad Mehta was quick to understand the weaknesses of the banking system, and exploited these weaknesses to the hilt. He managed to procure huge amounts of money using the so called “Ready Forward” deals, and used this money to purchase large amounts of shares at hugely inflated prices. He earned the sobriquet of “Big Bull” due to this penchant. Later, the banks got a clue of his shady deals, and demanded their money back. The house of cards collapsed, and the rest, as they say, is history!

CRB Scam – This scam took place in the years 1992-1996, the period immediately following the Harshad Mehta fallout. This makes the scam even all the more daring and surprising. CR Bhansali, the perpetrator of this scam, floated more than 100 companies, such as CRB Mutual Funds and CRB Capital Markets. The primary purpose of these companies was to attract huge funds from the public by promising high rates of interest. This interest was later paid form further borrowings, and so on.  In 1995, the stock market collapsed, and this proved to be the undoing of CR Bhansali. He was investigated, and later arrested. After a brief 3-month stint in jail, he has disappeared without a trace, and nobody is asking!

UTI Scam – The UTI scam involved the flagship US-64 scheme of UTI, which was meant to channel the funds of small investors into instruments bearing high returns. Gradually, US-64 developed a investor base of around 2 crore investors. The economic liberalization in India, coupled with the absolute opacity in the operations of UTI, led to a situation wherein the Government was forced to announce a huge bailout of about Rs 3,500-4,000 crores in an order to prevent default in payments to the investors. The consequences of such a situation are unimaginable. But the story does not end here. Later, it turned out that the UTI Chairman appointed at this time, Mr P S Subramanyam, along with a couple of executive directors, acted wrongly to selectively benefit a powerful coterie of brokers and industrialists, while at the same time, jeopardizing the interest of lakhs of small investors.

Home Trade – Around the year 2000, a finance portal emerged on the financial landscape, and gained quick recognition on the back of endorsements by personalities like Hrithik Roshan, Sachin Tendulkar and Shahrukh Khan. The portal, owned by Sanjay Agarwal, claimed to deal in gilts. Soon, RBI got suspicious of activities of some cooperative banks in the gilt market, and a scam was uncovered. The same old saga – brokers and bankers combining to rob people of their hard earnings – was repeated. Funds from Seaman’s Provident Fund and PPF were affected. The total scam size was reported to be around Rs 300 crores, and more than Rs 200 crores were spent on publicity costs alone.

 

Ketan Parekh

Securities Scam – Ketan Parekh – That our system never learns its lessons was proved by this scam. Ketan Parkekh, a qualified CA, and a stock broker, identified a number of stocks (popularly called the K-10), and took up huge positions in these. For this purpose, he used a large number of Benami accounts and smaller stock exchanges, such as the Kolkata and Ahmedabad stock exchanges. He also borrowed heavily from banks such as Global Trust Bank and Madhavpura Mercantile Cooperative Bank. Unfortunately, he was stuck in a bear cartel, and was soon pounded to pulp on the stock exchange. The extent of the scam was estimated to be around Rs 1,500 crores.

 

Abdul Karim Telgi

Fake Stamp Papers – This scam promised to be the mother of all scams in India, with the initial reports quoting a figure of Rs 30,000 crores as the scam size. Later, RBI clarified that this figure was “rather exaggerated”, and the “correct” figure was around Rs 200 crores. Again, this scam exposes how the India system works – Mr Abdul Karim Telgi, the scam kingpin, paid bribes to get access to the security press in Nasik, where stamp papers and currency notes are printed. He later used this knowledge to print fake stamp papers. At the height of the scam, Telgi’s network spanned 14 states, 125 banks and more than 1,000 employees.

DSQ Software – Though this scam was modest in terms of money involved (only Rs 600 crores!), and did not affect the general public to a great extent, yet it is notable for how it came into being. The main player in the scam was Mr Dinesh Dalmia, who was the MD of DSQ Software Ltd. This company issued around 1.3 million shares in 2001, and these shares were allotted to four companies on a preferential basis. NSDL, a stock depository, dematerialized and helped in delivering the shares. Nothing wrong in that, except that the shares were not even listed on any stock exchange! Oops!

IPO Scam – A number of key operators, including corporate stock brokers such as Karvy and Indiabulls, were involved in the IPO scam that spanned the years 2004 – 2005. The modus operandi was simple – the operators would open thousands of fake accounts to purchase shares in IPOs, in the hope of selling later at huge profits. A spate of IPOs issued during this period were heavily oversubscribed due to this scam, sometimes by as much as 40 times!

Satyam – On a cold January morning in 2009, Ramalinga Raju, chairman of Satyam Computer Services, admitted to falsification in the company accounts and various other irregularities, and sent a chill down the collective spine of the Indian financial system. Coming on the back of the global recession, this incident promised to bust the Indian outsourcing industry and the stock market, but for some deft bailout work by the government. The matter is still under investigation and litigation, and the true extent of the scam will be known in the future, perhaps. Mr Raju himself had admitted to irregularities worth around Rs 12,000 crores.

An analysis of the scams reveals a common script  – greed, corruption, unscrupulous brokers, colluding bankers, irresponsible authorities and hapless investors, who refuse to learn their lessons. But then, these are the essential ingredients of a worthy financial scam!

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A brief about Top 10 Investment Scams in India

 

  1. The Securities Scam
    The capital market witnessed its foremost investment scandal in the form of securities scandal in the year 1992. It revealed the utter anarchy and lack of administration in the prevailing fiscal market. The money market at that time permitted funds to be relocated with impunity from financial institution and corporates into equity and consequently witnessed crores of bank’s capital to transfer into brokers’ account. This illegal market practice was later asserted as “legal and acknowledged”.

    In an attempt to punish the tricksters, a special court was initiated and scrutinized around 70 cases registered by CBI. Surprisingly, not even a single trickster was found guilty by the dreadfully sluggish judicial system. As a matter of fact, the scamsters made frequent attempts to re-enter the market with same set of traps and resulted in losses to investors.

  2. The IPO scam Soon after the entry of international organizational investors, the Control over Capital Issues was banned as the market saw heavy bull trend resulting in the revitalization of the secondary market from the previous scandals. The ban of Control over Capital Issues unlocked the prospects of massive scandal in Initial Public Offerings (IPO). The scam was executed in two parts; the first part was carried out by the firms that increased their market costs to incur profits in order to sponsor lucrative projects. The second part saw the unison of small time merchants, CAs, investment bankers and traders to hoist new firms and heave public capitals.

    The IPO scam prevailed for three long years from 1993-1996 and finally saw its downfall when the costs of the registered firm started deteriorating.

  3. Favored share scam
    The scandal was an outcome of the extensive cost fixing on the derivative market. Besides increasing fresh capital, advocates of Indian firms promptly coordinated general body authorizations to transfer shares to themselves on a privileged basis and at a considerable reduction to the market, thinking that the share prices would never see the ground. Conglomerates started this trend and accrued profits of nearly 55o crores until Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) formulated strict guidelines to abandon the market practice.
  4. CRB’s cardboard scam
    The Rs 1000 crore finacial multinational named as Chain Roop Bhansali (CRB) was the only biggest firm and most impudent of all to benefit and disappear in the loosened market ambiance of mid-1990s. The services offered by his firm entailed FC collection, mutual fund, banking, etc. The clearances obtained by the firm for the trading of these services required sufficient inspection by SEBI and the RBI and the fact that they managed to qualify shows the supervisory weariness of the regulators. Facilitated by the clearances and profitable credit ranking, CRB accrued greater profits based on high value financing. The CRB collapse not only affected the investors but also the other finance firms.
  5. Plantation firms’ scam
    Since few firms in mid-90s were subject to no guidelines, the plantation companies during that time also got away with profit protrusions. The plantation firms projected themselves as a part of IPO and assured massive returns. The investors were lured and the companies accrued profits from fake campaigns of around Rs 8000 crores plus.
  6. Mutual Funds scam
    After several mutual fund scams, the UTI bailout reflected the lack of proper guidelines in the Indian capital market. Since UTI was initiated under its own regulations, it was the tax payers who suffered the loss of Rs 4800 crore in the process. After three years, the company was back purchasing Ketan Parekh’s controlled scrips and incurring massive losses in the process. The evidence of the private mutual funds performance has also been inconsistent after hitting the downfall in 1999 and 2000. It took a considerable amount of time for capital market to win back the trust of mutual fund investors.
  7. The 1998 scam
    The scamster of 1992 scam, Harshad Mehta came back with a bag of tricks again in 1998. This time he lured investors through a website by trading stock tips. His unremitting manipulation of several shares resulted in the much expected collapse of Bombay Stock Exchange.
  8. Home Trade scam
    Initiated in 2000, Home trade invested rs 24 crore in promotional campaigns to attract investors. The scam affected 8 co-operative banks that lost Rs.82 Crore in EPF scheme. The Chief Executive of Hometrade, Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal was convicted by Nagpur Police later.
  9. DSQ Software Scam
    In the year 2000 and 2001, the Managing Director of DSQ Software, Mr. Dinesh Dalmia, was held responsible for ambiguous mergers and prejudiced allocation of the amount of upto Rs.595 Crores. He was later convicted in the year 2006.
  10. Satyam Scam
    After manipulating the firm’s documents for several financial years, the former Chairman and Chief Executive of Satyam Computers, Mr.Ramalinga Raju, was arrested for committing scam, following unethical practice and forgery. He showed greater profits and committed fraud of Rs 700 crores.

 

Shame! India sold its dead cheap Shobhan Saxena,

 

Around 22,000 dead. More than 1,20,000 injured.  Rs 1 lakh for each
body. Rs 25,000 for every poisoned lung and damaged heart and blinded
eyes. 26 years of long wait. And just 2 years in jail for the men who
committed the worst crime against the people of this country. And this
mockery of justice after such a long wait. Twenty six years after 40
tonnes of lethal gas seeped into the lungs of Bhopal, families of some
17,000 men, women and children are still waiting for the so-called
compensation. Thousands more are still waiting to be accepted as
victims. People of Bhopal are still drinking toxic water poisoned by
Union Carbide in December 1984. And the main culprit is living life
kingsize in a mansion in New York.

No country sells its people so cheap.
No country sells its poor so cheap.
No country sells its dead so cheap.

Today – on the day of Bhopal disaster judgment — if there is a failed
state in the world, it’s India. It’s not Iraq. It’s not Somalia. It’s
not Sudan. It’s India.

India – its government, judiciary and corporates – accepted the
ridiculous amount of $450 million dollars for the people killed and
maimed by methyl isocyanate leaked from the Union Carbide factory in
the heart of Bhopal three decades ago. In all these years, the poor
victims have done everything they could to get justice and
compensation. They have cried and died on streets, sat hungry and
faced police lathis on roads and filed court cases in the hope that
one day they will get justice.

Today, they were denied justice. Today, they were told that they
should be happy with the peanuts thrown at them by Union Carbide.
Today, India proved once again that it doesn’t care for its poor.
Today, it was proved all over again that those who do politics in the
name of poor in this country, always rule for the rich.

What justification does CBI have for not being able to produce Warren
Anderson in court. The chairman of UC at the time of the gas attack
(it was not an accident, the gas leak was caused because of cost-
cutting steps taken by him) on the people of Bhopal, Anderson was
arrested and later released on bail. He ran off to US in 1986 and we
have not been able to find him or ask the US to extradite Anderson to
India. Why? The government says it doesn’t know where Anderson is.
What a lie. What a shame.

Last year, on a balmy July day, a bunch of victims danced on the
streets after hearing news that the Chief Judicial Magistrate of
Bhopal had ordered the CBI to arrest Anderson and produce him before
the court without delay. The court also asked the CBI to explain what
steps it had taken since 2002 to enforce the warrant and extradition
of Anderson, who was declared an absconder in 1992. Though the CBI and
US government failed to track Anderson, supporters of Bhopal victims
traced him to the elite New York neighbourhood of the Hamptons. In
2003, Greenpeace activists paid Anderson a visit at his home and
handed him an arrest warrant.

Today’s ridiculous judgment in Bhopal didn’t say anything on Anderson
as he is a “proclaimed offender”. This status suits him fine because
he doesn’t have to bother about coming to India and answer some very
crucial questions:

*Why did Union Carbide not apply the same safety standards at its
plant in India as it operated at a sister plant in West Virginia, US?

*On the night of the disaster, why did the six safety measures
designed to prevent a gas leak fail to function?

*Why was the safety siren, intended to alert the people living close
to the factory, turned off?

The victims have always alleged that Bhopal happened because of
negligence by the Union Carbide and that was caused by cost-cutting
measures taken by Anderson. Is it because of this reason that Anderson
has been ‘hiding’ in the US?

A criminal has a reason to hide, but what reason does our government
have to let a mass murderer like Anderson go scot-free. Is it because
he is an American? Can an American come to India kill people in this
country and run away with no consequences? That seems to be the case.
We are still struggling to get a chance to question David Headley
Coleman, an American citizen responsible for the worst terror attack
on an Indian city in 2008. Will we succeed in getting Headley
extradited to India? No way. Never.

Today, India proved that it doesn’t really care for its people,
particularly if they have been slaughtered by powerful people from the
most powerful nation in the world. Instead of taking on America and
fighting for justice for its poor, India is more than happy to sell
its dead cheap.

Rs 1 lakh for every body. Rs 25,000 for every blinded eye. This is the
cost of poor life in a failed state.

 

 

BP and Union Carbide:
Corporate Responsibility or Corporate Liability

by Mukesh Williams

 

Two momentous events separate in time and location have seared our consciousness—the British (Beyond) Petroleum Gulf Coast oil spill on April 20, 2010 and the American Union Carbide Bhopal Gas Tragedy in December 3, 1984. Twenty five years separate these two environmental and human disasters but the greed of big multinational corporations in connivance with state and central agencies still remains insatiable. With a keen eye on profit, big companies compromise safety standards, falsify data, overstate their strength, underestimate their drawbacks, bribe officials, lobby for protection and misinform the public. It is rather difficult to fuse ethical economic standards with ravenous profit-making schemes. Though oil and gas stink most multinational corporations love it.

 

The neo-classical model of economics has reduced our land and environment to a mere abstraction that can be exploited in terms of supply and demand without compunction. Big companies continue to wreck havoc on our human and natural systems devastating our lives in the name of human progress and development. At such moments we often wonder where is the fashionable concept called social corporate responsibility that is often taught as a philanthropic and ethical tool in business management departments to unsuspecting students. Corporate greed like all other forms of human greed need to be kept under strict check by international pay czars or up-to-date legislation based on global standards with teeth for swift punishment. Also the rhetoric of corporate companies must be separated from what they actually do, how long they do what they do, and what they hide. A constant monitoring system both on the part of governments and private groups must be effectively installed in collaboration with the media to thwart their nefarious activities and ulterior motives.

Union Carbide Bhopal Gas Tragedy 1984

Early this month the Indian Supreme Court passed a verdict indicting the American CEO of Union Carbide Warren Anderson who was allowed to escape to the United States twenty five years ago possibly with the connivance of either the state or central agencies in India. Now both the Congress government and state ministries are trying to escape their involvement in the murky plot. Who wanted the truth then? And who wants the truth now? The declassified CIA report of December 8, 1984 and recent revelations by the principal secretary of Rajiv Gandhi, P. C. Alexander, point to political intrigue involving both state and center in releasing Anderson. Now some leaders claim that the worsening law and order situation in Bhopal in the wake of the accident forced Chief Minister Arjun Singh to provide a safe corridor to Anderson out of the country. Some like Rajinder Puri even see the direct hand of Rajeev Gandhi himself. It seems that US President Ronald Reagan phoned Rajeev Gandhi to release Anderson. The media would like us to believe that even P. Chidambaram and Kamal Nath were campaigning for Dow Chemical to get special concessions so it could invest in India. The chief minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi criticized Sonia Gandhi for the complicity of the Congress Party in the murky affair but it has come to light that he had signed an MOU between state public sector company Gujarat Alkalies and Chemicals Ltd and Dow Chemicals in April 2008. This is the case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Seemingly neither the American nor the Indian establishments saw the industrial disaster as the responsibility of the MNC Union Carbide. The company was bought by Dow Chemical Company in 1999 further camouflaging accountability. Dow Chemical was the second biggest Texas polluting company in 2009 and paid 1.14 million USD on eight counts of pollution. Now it is investing again in India with the syrupy connivance of people in power.

Even after 25 years the public would like to know if it was Arjun Singh the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh or influential persons in Rajiv Gandhi’s government at the center or the prime minister himself responsible for giving a free passage to Anderson to fly back to the U.S. India has an extradition treaty with the United States and under changed circumstances today when America itself is suffering from another MNC BP, there might be possibility of bringing the fugitive CEO back to justice if India can put together enough evidence. Greenpeace believes that in the 1982 safety audit of the Bhopal factory in the US addressed thirty safety hazards. Anderson knew about them and compromised safety standards causing the death of 20,000 people and affecting 578,000 to date. To make the tragedy reprehensible the out of court settlement made Union Carbide pay a sum of 470 million USD instead of 3.5 billion initially demanded, with each victim getting a measly sum of 550 USD in 1989. In the same year Exxon oil spill in Prince William Sound Alaska forced the company to pay 5 billion USD of which it paid half. Even today there is 425 tons of hazardous waste in Bhopal left by Union Carbide that needs to be cleaned. Who will do it—Dow Chemical or the Indian state government?

Anderson now 90 years lives in a luxury home worth 900,000 USD at 929 Ocean Road, Bridgehampton, Long Island, New York. He is now less of a fugitive and more of a monarch (Sonnenfeld, 1991). It is obvious that in many cases justice delayed is justice denied. Should we stop big companies from doing business? Should we impose heavy penalty on erring foreign companies? Or should we reform the slow and cumbrous judicial system? Jeremy Kahn writing in The Faster Times calls for judicial reform rather than protectionism (Kahn, 2010). The Indian Parliament is debating a law capping liability for foreign nuclear power companies involved in disasters to pay 100 million USD a pittance when compared to the US demand of 100 billion USD from BP. Then Indian law capping liability lacks teeth and may not cover non-nuclear companies. So they can pollute as of before.

British or Beyond Petroleum 

The British are desperate to save BP from going down by bringing silly arguments like BP has been a part of America since it merged with American energy Amoco in 1998 and acquired the Gulf of Mexico drilling rights (The Independent, “Cameron Warns Obama over Criticizing BP” 13 June 2010). The new British Prime Minister David Cameron has also chipped in underscoring the sustained “economic importance” of BP to both Britain and America. American President Barrack Obama however is needled by US senators, whose states have been ravaged by oil spills, to push for 100 billion USD compensation, which if realized would force BP to go bankrupt. The British media believes that Obama’s anti-British rhetoric is testing Anglo-American relations. Obama claims that American relation with Britain has not been affected. The environmental disaster caused by a British multinational company should have nothing to do with national identity but corporate liability. Obama has called BP the Swedish Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, who earns a fat cat salary of 3.8 million USD, to the White House for consultations.

The British are cut up with Obama’s off the cuff remark that he would have fired BP’s chief executive Tony Hayward if the latter had worked for him. With US pressure rising BP may not pay its quarterly dividends which are essential to maintain equilibrium for UK pension funds. The 6.7% shares lunge in the FTSE has adversely affected pension funds in the UK. If the status quo is not altered by American pressure groups BP might only have to pay 20 to 37 billion USD provided it can be proved that BP failed to meet safety regulations in the deep sea oil drilling.

Now BP is using two kinds of dispersants manufactured by Nalco—Corexit 9500 and Corexit EC 9527A. Corexit (deodorized kerosene) is banned in the United Kingdom as even 2.61 ppm can kill 50% of fish in 96 hours. The dispersants turn the oil slick into small particulates which settle on the sea bed and make things look clean on the surface, but they destroy marine life below. Corexit however is on the approved list of dispersants by the US Environmental Protection Agency though the EPA has advised BP to use less toxic dispersants. BP however refused citing lack of availability. The toxicity of the present dispersants increase when they get mixed with oil. BP has links with Nalco. BPs has poured 1,621,000 gallons of dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico to contain the oil spill and has ordered for an additional 805,000 gallons. The ill effects of the dispersant on humans can result in various diseases, reduced growth, kidney failure and death.

The British rely on BP as the national icon and savior of British deficit. Last year BP paid 1.4 billion dollars in taxes on its profits. The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is too far away for the ordinary Britons but the pension funds and BP dividends are closer home.

It stands to logic that a “large, wealthy company” which is eager to pay 1.8 billion quarterly dividends to its shareholders and whose last year’s sales and operating revenues were 239 billion USD, should pay 100 billion USD in damages. Since the oil spill began on April 22, 2010 till June 15, 2010, 55 days have gone by. And if we estimate the oil spill at 50,000 barrels a day it comes to 27500000 gallons. If each gallon spill is fined 4300 USD as the US is suggesting the actual fine would come to 118,250,000,000 that is about 118 billion USD. These figures may not be exact and are vigorously contested by BP which would like to work with half the numbers. However the end is not in sight. According to BP officials it would not be before August that the spill can be contained. If this is true then the figure could be doubled and BP would have to pay damages amounting to all the revenue it earned through sales last year.

Both the American government and public are hopeful that since earlier erring companies like Texaco was forced into bankruptcy in 1987 after paying 10.53 billion USD claim, BP too would have to cough up huge sums. And BP’s reputation does not help a wee bit whatever they claim to the contrary in those daily briefings on the Internet. BP is known as one of the “ten worst corporations” in the world when evaluated on their environmental pollution and infringement of their human rights record. It also has the dubious distinction of being the most polluting company in the United States vis-à-vis EPA toxic release data of 1991. It has been fined 1.7 million USD for burning polluted gases at its Ohio refinery. It also paid 10 million USD fine to the EPA in July 2000 for mismanaging the US oil refineries. The US Public Interest Research Group or PIRG claims that between Jan 1997 and March 1998, BP was involved in 104 oil spills. Obviously a lot of wealthy shareholders, 37% on the British and 31 % on the American side do not want this to happen.

BP’s propaganda regarding its CSR is highly effective as it tries to highlight only the positive aspects of what it has done. In the past BP has invested some money in alternate fuel and green technologies but it has been criticized for proving private funds to public universities of the California Bay Area and closing down its green technology office in London. Its critics call its green technology projects as green washing projects. BP is also a leading producer of solar panels and holds 20% of the global market in this area and it uses this fact to great advantage for image building. It operates the ampm convenience store chain in the US and other countries and is the leading producer of wind power. It is also involved in funding local and international politics. It gave 5 million USD to democrats and republicans in 1990 and spent 16 million USD in lobbing at the US Congress. The moral of the story is that it is not as clean as it claims, nor concerned with the lives of common people unless it serves its purpose or national interest.

BP in its regional spill plan for the Gulf of Mexico and site plan for the Deepwater Horizon rig understated the dangers and overstated its preparedness in the eventuality of a leak. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal criticized BP for being ‘reactive’ and not ‘proactive’ from the very beginning. Now BP’s report is examined quite critically and it has been discovered that an expert professor listed in its 2009 response plan died in 2005. It lists walruses, sea otters, sea lions and seals as “sensitive biological resources” when none inhabit the Gulf of Mexico. Also names and phone numbers of marine specialists and marine network officers in Louisiana and Florida are not correct. The Justice Department has to find evidence that BP destroyed key documents or lied to the government (The Daily Yomiuri, June 11, 2010).

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility is one of the modern movements like environmental or tribal movements that have become the buzz word in both business and academic circles. Both businessmen and academics are cashing upon the divine benefits of CSR making more money for their companies and jobs for their departments. Middle level managers and professors have extolled about the virtues of CSR with other buzz words such as people friendly, eco friendly and sustainable. We have come to hear about the unselfishly egalitarian aspects of CSR. It is really a wondrous transformation of the greed-driven capitalist economy of which the corporate system is a byproduct.

Most critics of CSR are not against it per se but against the recent hype associated with it as a panacea of all corporate evils. It is hard to believe that companies are out there not to make profit. We are not talking of basket cases but any company worth its salt aggressively markets itself to make real profit. And what’s wrong in it. Companies are floated for this very purpose both by the shareholders and managers. But in a changed climate of political advocacy of human rights against corporate greed, CSR seems to a new combative tool for companies to be both politically correct and make money as usual. The problem however is that if business corporations give an inch they take a mile.

Definitions and Objections to CSR

In the United States CSR is seen as philanthropy while others see it as improving society, workforce and government. There are arguments in favor of CSR where it is believed that it can support the social fabric of society and promote responsible business practices. But CSR is usually presented as a marketing strategy that articulates business performance rather than encompass social and ethical standards. The recent collapse of American business and manufacturing sectors has revealed the gap between CSR and actual self-regulation. Some CSR models take the company beyond the law into providing public benefits, increase sales, market shares, brand position, retain employees, reduce operating costs and increase investments (Baron, 2001 7-45). There are models of CSR that take into account competitive advantage, positioning, commitment, organizational integration, shareholder’s cooperation and self-correction. CSR helps to create a positive image of a company and brings it rich dividends. Though there are many definitions of CSR we must see CSR as the way business companies conduct their core business not the sops they give to society.

A common objection leveled against CSR comes from the advocates of the laissez faire system who complain that CSR infringes upon the human rights of company shareholders as company managers unilaterally divert company resources to society in the name of better management (Sternberg, 1999). Detractors of CSR complain that there should be a stakeholder claim in CSR as to how it is done. A business corporation should be fair and honest to both the shareholders and customers. CSR therefore depends on the model a company chooses and the reasons for its choice. If a company uses CSR for image building through philanthropy it leads to both ethical and human rights problems. You cannot give away money which ultimately belongs to someone else. On the flipside it also follows that if stakeholders possess sole rights they also should bear full responsibility when there are environmental or social disasters. However if a CSR model seeks a consensus of both stakeholders and company managers then it must become more open to the public. CSR must concentrate upon building customer relationships, attracting talented people, conducting risk management and building the company’s reputation.

Corporate Reputation and CSR

Corporate business companies such as BP or Coca Cola cannot ignore their reputation as about 90 to 95 percent of their assets are intangibles and the remainder immovable property. Big companies such as General Electric, IBM or Motorola use the rhetoric of CSR to show public responsibility and environmental concerns but while conducting hard-nosed bullying business practices are not so transparent in their dealings. A few years ago Sir John Browne of BP was praised for his aggressive promotion of BP while providing environmental leadership but now we come to know that all along BP compromised on safety costs in oil drilling. This is happening in a powerful country like the United States where both politics and laws are strong. Had it happened in a developing or a poor country, things would have been quite different. BP would have gotten away cheaply and Union Carbide once did.

CSR invariably works for companies and countries with resources and political clout. It is not for companies which are small and weak. Small companies fight for survival, cut costs to make ends meet and do not possess precious resources to waste on CSR. Nor can they follow up on legal battles if they come under the scanner. They function in a world of poverty, deprivation and loss.

Conclusion

It is no longer tenable to follow neo-classical economics of Smith, Mill and Bacon that the world is made for us and for us alone. We must eschew the economic theories of Pareto and Hayek as we can no longer treat nature as a mere variable and commodity. Depreciation of ecological assets has taken place at an increasing fast rate. Economics should no longer be about inflation, economic value of goods or maximization of income. It should take into account our natural world as property that belongs to every one of us (McNeill, Padua, Rangarajan, 2010 1-3). We must learn new lessons from ecological economics and environmental history and change the way we do business. We must rein in corporate greed by modifying corporate social responsibility (CSR) to corporate legal liability (CLL) and connect it to governmental deterrence, legal action and international treaties to scare the hell out of the merchants of greed and death who have many supporters in different parts of the world.

 

 

 ARE YOU SINCERELY READY TO CATCH TAX THEIVES ?
– AN APPEL TO UNION FINANCE MINISTER & KARNATAKA STATE FINANCE MINISTER

In india , tax compliance is worse. In our criminal justice system, there is rigorous imprisonment for a pick-pocketer stealing Rs.10. even the authorities spend thousands of rupees in legally prosecuting him & the thief spends a year or more as punishment behind bars. Where as there is no commensurate investigation nor legal prosecution nor punishment for corporate thieves , evading tax to the tune of crores of rupees. In contrast, those tax thieves pay a part of that booty to the ministers & political parties and get crores of rupees tax exemptions , incentives from the government. Government is rewarding corporate criminals.
The tax officials of central & state governments are hand in glove with these corporate criminals & traders. For a price, they are helping corporates & traders in evading tax. Most of the tax officials are wealthy & leading luxurious lifestyles , much beyond the scope of their legal income. The black money thus generated every year by tax evasion , is many times more than our total annual budget allocation. As a result, all our fiscal reforms fail & inflation is soaring. This black money is the source of illegal funding of political parties , terrorist outfits & underworld. It is a greater threat to national unity & integrity.
Both the central government & karnataka state government have failed to collect the full , actual tax dues from corporates & traders. As a result , the governments don’t have enough money in their coffers even to provide basic needs like health care , education , safe drinking water , etc to the poor & needy. For every Rs.100 tax evaded , one poor patient is dying without medical care , 10 poor persons lack education , 100 persons don’t get safe drinking water , 100 persons barely survive on a single piece meal per day , 20 persons starve. Most of The government officials , ministers & people’s representatives who have deliberately failed in their duties of tax collection & welfare of poor citizens , SHAMELESSLY indulge in luxurious lifestyle at the expense of poor tax payer . they live in paltial bungalows , chauffer driven AC cars , all living food expenses paid by exchequer , dine at 5-star hotels , only drink bottled mineral water , eat non-vegetarian dishes , drink alcohol sitting before mahatma gandhi’s photograph & preaching mahatma’s ideals. Mahatma preached & practiced simple living , vegetarianism & he was teto teller , he paid for his expenses from his earnings . these public servants are parasites , who are making merry at the expense of tax payer.
Some non government organisations ( NGO) have formed trusts and under the aegis of those trusts are running educational institutions , hospitals , community halls , etc , in the name of providing free / subsidised services like education , health care , etc to the poor. It is only in record books , they conduct fake medical camps , self employment training camps . in practice they are running these educational institutions , hospitals & community halls as commercial enterprises & collecting huge fees. they are not even remitting full fees collected to the trust account & swindling the money. no outsider is allowed to become a member of these NGOs , only their cronies & their family members are in these trusts.
Numerous NGOs promoted by religious bodies , mutts are swindling public & government money to the tune of crores of rupees. Nobody dares to question the heads , pontiffs of these mutts , as at his feet VVIPs , ministers fall down. These religious bodies are hot beds of fundamentalism , terrorism & mafia. Where  is the accountability of religious bodies & political parties in  india ?
Inspite of bringing specific cases to the notice of authorities , they are mum ? hereby , HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH offers it’s services  ( subject to conditions )  to the governments of india & karnataka , in apprehending the criminals – tax evaders. Are you ready Mr. Mukherjee  &  Mr.Gowda ?

 

QUESTIONS FOR MONEY – PARLIAMENTARY ACTS/LEGISLATIONS FOR ????                       -improper functioning of democracy in india

 

 the vohra committee report has proved the criminalisation of politics in india. There are many number of criminals in the parliament & state legislatures. Some of those criminals are cabinet ministers as well as members of vital parliamentary committees. Thereby, they are in a position to manipulate , enact laws favouring , benefitting the criminals their cronies.
Just see how the GOI gave export incentive of Rs.1800 crore to reliance petroleum although it didn’t even export a barrel. Reliance infocom & tata teleservices were CDMA mobile service providers & have paid license fee of few crores only equal to landline fees without any competitive bidding . They were supposed to provide mobile service to operate like fixed phones within a radius of 40k.m. however they were providing service like mobile service from one state to another like GSM mobile service providers. By this act of RIC & TTSL , the GSM providers who have paid thousands of license fee in competitive bidding were economically hurt , the dispute went to court. The court was on the verge of pronouncing it’s verdict awarding damages worth Rs.18000 crore to GSM players & Rs. 3000 crore of license fees with penalty to GOI. The government announced a unified telecom license regime with retrospective effect. Thereby, the GOI lost thousands of crores of rupees & the share holders of GSM players lost thousands of crores. Onceagain the RIC was charged by PSU bsnl THAT RELIANCE IS RE-ROUTING INTERNATIONAL CALLS AS LOCAL CALLS & SWINDLING THE GOI. This time too, GOI bailed it out. during the dispute between ambani brothers the younger ambani mr. Anil ambani director of reliance himself has stated that for the favours received from the GOI , the company gifted some shares to then IT & COMMUNICATIONS MINISTER mr. Pramod mahajan.
Various indian & multinational companies are looting indian exchequer to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees , through lobbying / bribing.
In india, indirect democracy is the form of governance. In this form, people’s representatives are bound to raise the questions , issues concerning their constituents on their behalf , on the floor of the house. However the sad part in india even after 58 years of democracy , is the lobbying is at it’s peak. The lobbying is a gentleman’s white collared crook’s way of forming favour seeker’s group , creating a corpus to pay lumpsum bribe & influencing decision making. The people’s representatives are bound to represent their people first , then their party & party think tanks. India has come to this sorry state of affairs , widespread corruption , huge black economy & rampant poverty, all due to inefficient legislations & enforcements. These think tanks & IAS lobby, consider themselves as most super brains on earth & gives out suggestions . the present state of affairs is a barometer of their brilliance. These think tanks & IAS lobby are the hand maidens of lobbyists / bribers.

 

 

Xeroxing Corruption

By Ashutosh Sinha
Special to India Resource Center
September 30, 2002

 

Not many in India might have actually seen the field gun from Bofors AB, either standing sentinel on the borders or in operation. The guns played a key role in the skirmishes at Kargil in 1999. The same anonymity does not hold good for Xerox, which has now entered the dictionary as a verb in its own right for photocopying documents.

Since its name has become synonymous with the allegations of kickbacks, few companies would like to be compared with Bofors. But since the deal was a big commercial success for arms dealers, some companies would, perhaps, be tempted to employ the same tactics as the Bofors middlemen.

The Swedish firm Bofors AB allegedly paid Rs.640 million ($13 million) in bribes to middlemen to get the contracts for the deal signed in 1986. Nearly a decade later, Enron India spent US$ 20 million in “educating” Indian bureaucrats about the role of private companies in power generation, an euphemism for bribes. Two telecom companies, Essar and Swisscom, were alleged to have paid a former minister, Sukh Ram, a hefty amount during early 1996 to help change the original license conditions, which it had signed with the Department of Telecommunications. There was no case against Sukh Ram, simply because this deal was never investigated.

Significantly, none of the allegations made above have yet been proven in a court of law.

Xerox India was treading on familiar path, something which its US headquarters got to know later. According to the parent company’s own admission, which emerged during its audit, it paid over $600,000 as bribes to various government employees to win contracts. In essence, the modus operandi was just a ‘photocopy’ of the way some other companies operate.

Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), it is a serious criminal offence for a US company to pay bribes in a foreign country to obtain contracts. Being managed by the BK Modi group, one of Indias oldest family run business empires, at the time when the bribes were paid, it is now like a sword hanging at the neck of Xerox. The BK Modi group has denied having paid any bribes. Xerox Modicorp Limited (as the company is now called) completes 19 years in India this September. It changed its name from Modi Xerox Limited to Xerox Modicorp Limited in 2000.

The Indian government was quick to order an inquiry. A promise that accompanied the order was that the inquiry would be completed in two weeks. Over a month later, the two weeks are not yet over. Now, the million-dollar question – for a company that calls itself ‘The Document Company’ – is there enough documentary evidence to prosecute the company?

The Department of Company Affairs (DCA), the arm of the government that wields the stick to ensure that companies meet their stated objectives and do not dupe the shareholders, is looking into the details. Xerox was not duping shareholders, much the same way as the military hardware company AB Bofors. Both were, in fact, trying to reward their shareholders by giving the extra edge to their sales team by “taking care” of those taking a final decision on the purchase of their products. DCA is still not sure whether the bribes were actually paid or if the amount was pocketed by Modi or his men.

There is a stark difference between the two cases, though. Bofors is a European company, Xerox an American. Their products are proverbially as different as chalk and cheese – one sold military hardware, the other office automation products. While the Bofors payoffs involved the government official right at the top in the government, the Xerox payoffs appear to have been made to the operations level people in government. Besides, the nature of arms deals is such that the best deal has to be sewn in one shot. Office automation products are regularly purchased by companies and governments. So, if a few people can be identified, their palms can be greased regularly to put the product. The agents who helped Bofors are still trying to block investigations and any information into their money laundering. The amount involved in the Xerox case is far smaller.

Xerox, however, does deserve a pat on the back for having the courage to admit the payoffs in public.

There are some parallels between the two companies. Bofors money found its way to exotic places that you would find difficult to locate on the world map – Luxembourg, Bahamas, Liechtenstein, Channel Islands. The Xerox India payoffs did not have such exotic addresses. Two of the companies to which payments were made had slum areas of Delhi as their addresses while two others were located in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

While the Bofors deal had strong political linkages, there is talk of the involvement of a Samajwadi Party politician, who has interests in the paper business, in the Xerox case. That allegation is yet to be probed, though.

AE Services, Svenska, Lotus, Tulip and Mont Blanc are some of the names of bank accounts that are associated with the alleged Bofors payoffs. The money has gone into a variety of accounts before disappearing various pockets. Officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s premier investigating agency, suspect that these people include the late Win Chadha, an Italian called Ottavio Quattrochchi and the Hinduja brothers. If the Xerox India deal had been bigger, with international ramifications, it would not have chosen names like Charu Paper Ltd., Chadha Paper Ltd., Pioneer Enterprises and Elite Commercial Services.

At the time when these bribes were paid, the company was controlled by the BK Modi group, which owned majority shares in the joint venture. When Xerox acquired control of the company (it now owns 68 per cent while BK Modi controls 28 per cent in the joint venture) in 2000, it ordered an inspection of the books by the audit firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which raised disturbing questions. The audit firm said that it was not sure the organizations existed and, if they did, who owns or controls them. BK Modi Group has interests in telecom, entertainment and manufacturing.

Xerox has over 50 per cent market share in photocopiers in India. 1998 was a landmark year for the photocopier industry. Of the estimated 40,000 machines sold that year, an estimated 27,000 were Xerox machines. However, that was an aberration and nearly 30,000 machines are sold in the market each year at present. Nearly 60 per cent of the sales are made to government organisations.

Incidentally, the bribes are alleged to have been paid in 1998 and 1999. In 1998, the 15-year tie-up between Modis and Xerox ended. Xerox had entered India after a tie up with the BK Modi Group and Modi Xerox Limited was incorporated in 1983.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), which had looked into the Bofors deal before CBI started its investigations of bribery charges, had similarly not given a clean chit to the Rajiv Gandhi government. The government survived the day but since then, the Congress party has never won a majority in the Indian Parliament. Bofors has also entered India’s political lexicon as a synonym for bribery.

DCA officials are tight-lipped about the direction in which their Xerox investigation is meandering. These are just four names that have tumbled out of the closet. Reports suggest that it is a web of 85 companies through which payments have been made. The challenge before DCA is to verify whether payments were made to individuals in the government or did some officials of Modi Xerox (as the company was then called) pocket the money.

While it is still to be established where the money actually went, DCA officials admit in private that siphoning money out of the company is a routine affair. Just like every official worth his salt in the CBI knows that big arms deals do have an element of an underhand deal.

Since payoffs are now a part of business, this is where the interest of the average person comes in. Hapless investors have seen scores of cases where the companies get sick and promoters healthier by the day.

For all the arms deal that have happened in India, whose defence spending is over US$ 14 billion every year, only one case has been brought to light. None have been prosecuted. Of nearly 7,000 publicly listed companies in India, a little over 2,000 actively trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange. The rest are companies which have turned sick, while some of their promoters get healthier.

 

Radia lobbied to get Raja telecom ministry

 

 

Union Communications Minister A. Raja has been caught on tape lobbying with a corporate PR agent for a place in the Manmohan Singh cabinet during the second term of the UPA.

Headlines Today is in exclusive possession of taped conversations between Raja and powerful corporate lobbyist Nira Radia just days before the swearing-in of the cabinet.

The conversations, which were recorded by investigators for the income tax department, raise serious issues about ministerial propriety.

The income tax sleuths had sought permission to tap the telephone of Radia, who was being investigated by the CBI and the income tax department in the telecom spectrum scam.

Radia is one of India’s most influential power-brokers and has the biggest corporates of India as clients.

These conversations were recorded over 300 days, starting from August 20, 2008. Raja was lobbying hard to become the next telecom minister and was being helped in this endeavour by Radia.

Here are excerpts from a conversation recorded on May 24, 2009 at 11.05 am.

Raja: My name is cleared?
Radia: Yeah, your case was cleared last night itself. No, what is happening with Daya?
Raja: Textiles or fertilisers?
Radia: Not for Daya though, Azhagiri or Daya only one can come in?
Raja: No, two can come…
Radia: Both?
Radia: Baalu, will be the problem, I hope.
Radia: It will be difficult for the leader to justify three family members.
Raja: (laughs) Yeah, but everybody knows…
Radia: No she said that, Kani told me last night, that is what her father told her yesterday, that for him to justify three family members would be very difficult; he recognises that problem…
Raja: Let us see what we can do…let us fight.

This was how Radia informed Raja that his name had been cleared for the telecom minister’s post. The conversation had been recorded just four days before Raja’s name was officially announced as the UPA’s telecom minister.

So how does a corporate lobbyist get to know who is getting which portfolio? And why was Raja discussing portfolios with a corporate lobbyist?

Not just Raja, the tapes have Radia talking to DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi as well.

In these conversations, Kanimozhi – referred to as Kani – is heard telling Radia that the DMK must get the telecom portfolio. Here are excerpts from the conversation recorded on May 21, 2009 at 8:41 pm.

Kani: Hello
Radia: PM has already clarified that the deal has not been done. They are still in the middle of discussing it.
Kani: They’ve already promised to give us telecom…but it cannot become that they shift…
Radia: What?
Kani: They have already told us that they will give us telecom. Now it shouldn’t be given to him because he’s going around planting stories.
Radia: He’s planting it on all the channels while you were on the plane.
Kani: Ya I know that.
Radia: But Kanni, the PM has just made a statement that I have no problems with Raja and Baalu and they are my esteemed colleagues.
Kani: He can make a statement. But whoever’s going to come and talk to dad shouldn’t talk otherwise.. See what people say outside and what actually they mean is different… And all of us know that in politics.

Not just telecom, Radia and Kanimozhi had a long conversation about who is getting what portfolio. What was surprising is that Radia seemed to know exactly what is happening and who was getting which portfolio.

Here are more excerpts from the conversations:

Radia: Kani there’s feedback from the Congress. They say we recognise that the problem with the DMK is an internal problem. It’s a problem between the family. It’s a problem between their own people. They have given us a list of five people. This is not acceptable to us.
Kani: Ya
Radia: It is for them to resolve. We have told them what is the best that we can do.
Kani: Three and four…
Radia: We appreciate that the dialogue has broken down but it is not for us to get back to them. As far as we are concerned, Maran has been calling Ghulam Nabi Azad on the half hour demanding all sorts of things and they have told him that there is no point in you calling us.
Kani: But what is the demand he’s got.
Radia: He has been making the same demands that you give us five portfolios or we will not join or give us railways, otherwise he has also demanded coal and mines. So they are saying as far as we are concerned this is an internal DMK problem. It has nothing to do with the Congress at all. They have taken a decision that it is for Karuna to decide who he wants and who he doesn’t want in the formula. That has been provided to him. It’s up to Karuna to decide but they feel that there are far too many people calling him including Maran.

The question is, is it proper for a senior leader of the DMK and a minister in the past UPA government to be talking to a known corporate lobbyist? Why is it that the lobbyist seems to know everything about the allocation of portfolios, and long before the information is made public?

 

REAL STORY  OF   Late  DHIRUBHAI  AMBANI  of  Reliance  Industries

http://www.scribd.com/doc/3924530/Polyester-PrinceThe-Real-Story-of-Dhirubhai-AmbaniBanned-in-India

 

 

Another Major Scam : Govt. Favours Reliance In KG Basin

 

 

The CAG draft report that nails the connivance between Government agencies and Reliance Industries Ltd. leading to huge losses to the Government exchequer is yet another example of the power of corporates in the UPA Government to subvert rules and regulations in their favour.

The CAG has noted that the former Director-General of Hydrocarbons (DGH) permitted Reliance to inflate its “development costs” on the gas extraction in the D6 block of KG basin from 2.47 billion dollars to a whopping 8.84 billion dollars. This money taken by RIL affected the revenues of the Government. Government should prosecute the former DGH without any delay.

The Government’s connivance with RIL has a direct impact on the aam aadmi because increased claims of development cost get reflected in the price of gas given to consumers and also affect the prices of fertilizer and power.  Letters have been written to the Prime Minister to institute an independent enquiry into the complaint of artificial jacking up of the capital expenditure by RIL for D6 KG Basin and its hasty approval by the concerned authority to find out the actual cost before gas price is fixed.

In a repeat of the 2-G scam, the Prime Minister’s silence on the issue,  has again exposed the UPA Government’s acquiescence to corporate manipulation.

Related posts:

  1. The Great Billion Dollar Drug Scam
  2. Supreme Snub : Court SIT A Major Embarrassment For Govt
  3. Now A Petroleum Scam?
  4. The -Reliance KG Gas Scam Prabir Purkayastha, Newsclick
  5. Way to Rural Self Reliance: National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM)
  6. Demand For JPC On Spectrum Scam :Go Beyond Rhetoric
  7. THE ADARSH SOCIETY SCAM A Shocking Exposure of Congress govt Venality – Ashok Dhawale
  8. SUPREME COURT VERDICT ON KG BASIN GAS -Dipankar Mukherjee
  9. AMBANIS ROW : GOVT HAS LAST WORD ON KG BASIN GAS PRICE : SC
  10. POOL PRICING FOR KG BASIN GAS TO HARM ANDHRA PRADESH INTERESTS
  11. PRODUCTION OF GAS IN KG BASIN
  12. FINDINGS OF ICAI IN SATYAM SCAM CASE

 

 

RELIANCE INDUSTRIES LIMITED – WHERE IS ACCOUNTABILITY?


Dear mukesh & anil ambani,


The reliance industries has always got a favourable treatment from the state & central governments.there are allegations that ,
1.years ago, the central government gave import concessions for import of certain raw materials of textile sector ,which hugely benefitted the P.F.Y & TEXTILE projects of your’s ie reliance industries.
2.the O.N.G.C which has painstakingly surveyed the oil & gas reserves & prepared a list of lists,gave that list & you got godavari basin oil & gas project from the government .O.N.G.C could have developed it & earned millions.
3.few months back you were charged both by the government & cellular operators (GSM) that you are giving S.T.D & ROAMING FACILITIES to your reliance phone subscribers.your’s was only a W.L.L. they even claimed that you are misusing a legal loophole & causing crores of losses to the government & other GSM operators. however while the issue was before the T.R.A.I, the trai legalized your actions by announcing unified licence for telecom operators.
4.now you are charged by the government of re-routing ISD CALLS as local calls,thereby causing crores of losses to the government & BSNL.this time also you may get the reprieve from the government. the government ,if a commonman does not pay his electric bills in time slaps interest & cuts down the electric supply immediately.
however the same government ,even if your company has been alleged of causing crores of rupees losses to the government & other players, always enacts favourable laws for you like a SANTA CLAUS.
WILL YOU PLEASE CLARIFY mr.mukesh ambani & mr.anil ambani?
the TRAI announced unified licence regime in haste that too with retrospective effects.so all the charges against reliance were dropped. in the same vein as unified licence got retrospective effect , why not the government re-imburse the differece amount out of hefty fees collected from other cellular operators ? take the reliance fees as bench mark.anyway , finally commonman is the looser.

 

Doctors Aiding  Police to inflict 3rd degree Torture on  detainees 

By Stephen Lendman

In  April 2009, a confidential February 2007 ICRC torture report was publicly released. Titled, “ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen ‘High Value Detainees’ in CIA Custody,” it detailed harsh and abusive treatment from their time of arrest, detention, transfer, and incarceration at Guantanamo where ICRC professionals interviewed them.

Besides detailed information on torture and abusive treatment, they obtained damning, consistent detainee accounts of medical personnel involvement, including:

— their monitoring of and direct participation in torture procedures;

— instructing interrogators to continue, adjust, or stop certain ones;

— informing detainees that medical treatment depended on their cooperation;

— performing medical checks before and after each transfer; and

— treating the effects of torture as well as ailments and injuries during incarceration.

Condoning or participating in torture grievously breaches medical ethics and the 1975 World Medical Association (WMA) Declaration of Tokyo “Guidelines for Physicians Concerning Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Relation to Detention and Imprisonment.” It states:

— in all cases at all times, “physician(s) shall not countenance, condone or participate in” torture or any other form of abuse;

— they “shall not use nor allow to be used (their) medical knowledge or skills, or health information” to aid interrogation in any way;

— they “shall not be present during any procedure during which torture or any other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is used or threatened;”

— they “must have complete clinical independence” in treating persons for whom they’re medically responsible; and

— WMA encourages the international community and fellow physicians to support medical professionals who face “threats or reprisals resulting from a refusal to condone” all forms of torture and abuse.

Protocol I of the 1949 Geneva Conventions states:

“Persons engaged in medical activities shall neither be compelled to perform acts or to carry out work contrary to, nor be compelled to refrain from acts required by, the rules of medical ethics or other rules designed for the benefit of the wounded and sick, or this Protocol.”

On July 7, 2005 in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Gregg Bloche and Jonathan Marks published an article titled, “Doctors and Interrogators at Guantanamo Bay” in which they cited evidence that “Health information (was) routinely available to behavioral science consultants and others” engaged in interrogations, in violation of strict medical ethics.

In early 2003, detainee medical records were readily available, and since late 2002, psychiatrists and psychologists were involved in crafting extreme stress techniques “combined with behavior-shaping rewards to extract actionable intelligence from resistant captives.”

“Wholesale disregard for clinical confidentiality” seriously breaches medical ethics “since it makes every caregiver into an accessory to intelligence gathering.” It also “puts prisoners at greater risk for serious abuse.”

In July 2006, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) published a report titled, “Report on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba” that included evidence of medical personnel involvement in torture.

Detainee Othman Abdulraheem Mohammad was told that medical treatment would depend on his cooperation. Lakhdar Boumediene said every time he requested care he was told to ask permission from his interrogators. They “controlled his access, (and it) was granted or denied based on the interrogator’s assessment of his level of cooperation.”

Bosnian prisoner medical records confirmed that medical staff were present during their interrogations “and authorized (them) to proceed.”

Medical personnel monitored Mohammed al Qahtani’s interrogation during nearly two months of “severe sleep deprivation and physical stress.” At one point, they rushed him to the base hospital when his heart rate dropped dangerously low. After stabilization, they returned him the next day for more interrogation.

Other prisoners described doctors performing unnecessary and abusive procedures, including forced amputations, after which they were denied proper treatment.

Psychiatrists and psychologists designed “extreme interrogation techniques as part of the Behavioral Science Consultation Team (BSCT).” In late 2002, it was tasked “to torment detainees in interrogations….”

International and US Laws Prohibiting Torture

Numerous international and US laws unequivocally ban torture under all conditions at all times with no allowed exceptions ever, for any reasons, including in times of war.

The Third Geneva Convention covers war prisoners and detainees. It prohibits torture and protects their right to be treated humanely against “violence to life and person (and) humiliating and degrading treatment” as well as to judicial fairness and proper medical treatment. The Fourth Geneva Convention affords the same rights to civilians in times of war.

The federal anti-torture statute (18 USC, 2340A) prohibits its use outside the US and defines it as “an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering….upon another person within his custody or physical control.”

The 1991 Torture Victims Protection Act authorizes civil suits in America against individuals, acting in an official capacity for a foreign state, who committed torture and/or extrajudicial killing.

The 1984 UN Convention Against Torture bans all forms of torture, cruel and degrading treatment in all circumstances at all times with no exceptions ever allowed.

The US Constitution’s Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

The US Army’s Field Manual 27-10 states that military or civilian persons may be punished for committing war crimes (that include abusive interrogations) under international law. Army Field Manual 34-52 outlines interrogation procedures and specifically prohibits force, mental torture, threats, and inhumane treatment.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) bans cruelty, oppression, actions intended to degrade or humiliate, and physical, menacing, and threatening assaults. Army Regulation (AR) 190-8 protects detainees from violence, assaults, and insults, and directs that they be treated humanely with respect.

The 1996 US War Crimes Act prohibits grave Geneva Convention breaches, including (as stipulated under Common Article III) “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture (as well as) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.”

Other binding international laws also prohibit torture, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1992 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with no exceptions or justifications allowed, such as orders by field commanders, Pentagon officials, or the President of the United States.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)

Founded in 1986, PHR “mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice and promotes the right to health for all.” It also “investigates human rights abuses and works to stop them” in conflict zones, US prisons, and offshore detention facilities where torture is routinely practiced.

In 2005, it published a report titled, “Break Them Down: Systematic Use of Psychological Torture by US Forces,” which it called the first comprehensive examination of “the use of psychological torture by US personnel in the so-called ‘war on terror,’ ” including sensory deprivation, prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation, forced nudity, using fierce dogs to instill fear, cultural and sexual humiliation, mock executions, and threatened violence against loved ones.

It called the effects devastating and longer-lasting than physical torture, and said psychological abuse is morally reprehensible and illegal under international and US law.

In August 2009, PHR published a new report titled, “Aiding Torture: Health Professionals’ Ethics and Human Rights Violations Revealed in the May 2004 CIA Inspector General’s Report,” including ethical misconduct not previously known. It revealed the role of health professionals involved “at every stage in the development, implementation and legitimization of this torture program.”

It explained that doctors and psychologists actively participated in abusive interrogations and contributed to the physical and mental suffering of detainees. It called their actions “an unconscionable affront to the profession of medicine,” made worse by experimenting on inmates, then “aggregat(ing) data on (their) reaction to interrogation methods.”

PHR’s Steven Reisner said “They were experimenting and keeping records of the results,” a war crime under Geneva and the Nuremberg Code that requires “voluntary consent” of human subjects and prohibits experiments:

— that inflict “unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury;”

— if there’s “an a priori reason to believe death or disabling injury will occur;” and

— from being implemented if there’s reason to believe they’ll cause “injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.”

PHR’s report detailed the psychological and medical effects:

— forced shaving inflicts psychological harm “by means of humiliation, both personal and religious;”

— hooding disorients and causes acute anxiety depression, depersonalization, and abnormal behavior;

— dietary manipulation inflicts discomfort and psychological stress;

— prolonged diapering causes physical and psychological stress and harm;

— walling inflicts physical injuries as well as psychological stress, rage, and helplessness;

— confinement in a box in extreme stress positions causes extreme physical and psychological pain and trauma; and

— other abuses, including waterboarding that simulates drowning and the feeling of helplessness to prevent it.

Involvement of Medical Professionals

They help develop, implement, provide cover for, and justify torture and abusive practices. They’re actively involved in designing harmful interrogation techniques in clear violation of the law and medical ethics. They’re “complicit in selecting and then rationalizing (methods) whose safety and efficacy in eliciting accurate information have no valid basis in science.” Their actions constitute “a practice that approaches unlawful experimentation.”

CIA guidelines require health professionals, including a doctor and psychologist, to be present during enhanced interrogations, “thereby placing (them) in the untenable position of calibrating harm rather than serving as protectors and healers as” their ethical code demands.

They also participate in initial physical and psychological assessments, then monitor all subsequent interrogations. They know their actions are harmful, unethical, and illegal, yet they serve willingly.

PHR believes they should be investigated on charges of “alleged criminal conduct.” Those proved guilty should be prosecuted, lose their license, professional society memberships, and any standing in the medical community henceforth.

 

An Act Of Torture

By Arun Ferreira

12 May, 2010
Countercurrents.org

 

A critical appraisal of the proposed Prevention Of Torture Bill, 2010

The government is attempting to pass the PREVENTION OF TORTURE BILL, 2010 after it has received the nod from the cabinet on April 8, 2010. Although the Government of India signed the United Nations Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) almost 13 years ago, it has failed to ratify it till date. Coming under heavy pressure from the International community and civil society this proposed Bill is an attempt to “amend prevailing laws” so as to make torture a punishable offence. But as we shall see further, such a proposed legislation is only playing lip-service to the obligations set by the UNCAT and is nothing but a mere eyewash. The proposed legislation is not only a climb down from the standards set by the UNCAT but in many ways is in direct opposition to the basic norm of non-derogability of the Right of Freedom from Torture.

A watered down Definition of Torture

The definition of an act of torture specified in the proposed Bill has narrowed the scope of acts to be considered as offences amounting to torture. The definition of torture is elaborated in Article 1(1) of the UNCAT, which states:

“…torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”
While on the other hand the proposed Bill defines torture as

“TORTURE

3. Whoever, being a public servant or being abetted by a public servant or with the consent or acquiescence of a public servant, intentionally does any act which causes –

(i) grievous hurt to any person or

(ii) danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of any person, is said to inflict torture.


Provided that nothing contained in this section shall apply to any pain hurt or danger as aforementioned caused by an act, which is justified by law.


Punishment for Torture

4. Where the public servant referred to in section 3 or any person abetted by or with the consent or acquiescence of such public servant, tortures any person –

(a) for the purpose of extorting from him or from any other person interested in him, any confession or any information which may lead to the detection of an offence or misconduct;

(b) on the ground of his religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.”

Given that the words and expressions of this proposed Bill have the same meanings as the Indian Penal Code (IPC) read with the comments added in the draft Bill, it is necessary to critically examine the implications of such a proposed definition. First of all, there is a drastic narrowing down of what constitutes an act of torture. The UNCAT lays emphasis to the infliction of “severe pain or suffering”, whereas the proposed Bill uses phrases such as “grievous hurt/danger to life, limb or health”. These expressions have a much narrower interpretation. For instance, acts of beating the victim with a stick, inserting chilli powder or petrol in the rectum of the victim, stretching the victims legs apart to an unbearable extent; application of electric current to the victims body or private parts; hanging the victim upside down from the ceiling, waterboarding; illegal detention, etc. currently practiced by our security agencies would cause “severe pain and suffering” but may not amount to “grievous hut/danger to life, limb or health” even in its broadest sense. Such acts which have conveniently evaded prosecution under the existing penal laws will continue to do so, even more, under the proposed Bill.

Secondly, certain acts which are already considered as torture under IPC (Section 330) have been consciously evaded in the proposed definition. Here, simple “hurt” by a public servant would call for a punishment of a seven year term and find. Thirdly, the purposes of torture included in the definition of the UNCAT are as (1) obtaining information/confession (2) punishment (3) Intimidation/coercion and (4) based on discrimination. On the other hand the proposed Bill restricts itself to only two of these i.e. the first and fourth. By such a restrictive definition torture committed by over-zealous public servants who see themselves as extra judicial penal authorities would not be liable for punishments. In such cases, like the Bhagalpur blindings, torture is committed for the sole purpose of punishment. Similarly in areas of mass resistance, acts of torture are committed on the protesters for the only purpose of forcing them into submission. Here to,, such an act would not attract any punishment under the proposed Bill. Finally, on the question of quantum of punishment there is no advancement to the existing provisions under section 331 IPC, which punishes grievous hurt with imprisonments upto ten years and fine. But for an act causing “danger to life” which would be prosecutable under section 307 IPC and attract punishment for life, the proposed Bill in fact seeks to reduce the punishment.

Overall, the proposed Bill rather than providing effective punishments for torture is instead a climb down from the International anti-torture standards and has even gone to the extent of diluting existing penal laws with regards to torture.

No change in the existing systems of Impunity

A major obstacle in punishing those who are responsible for acts of torture is the fact that they are “public servants”. The prosecution of a public servant becomes virtually impossible due to the existence of section 197 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) which provides that they cannot be prosecuted without prior permission from the government, either State or Central, which employs them. In the areas of Jammu & Kashmir and the North-East, where the writ of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) runs, prosecution of Armed forces personnel responsible for torture is equally impossible, given the provision of section 6 of AFSPA, which reads:

“No prosecution, suit or other legal proceeding shall be instituted except with the previous sanction of the Central Government, against any person in respect of anything done or purported to be done in the exercise of the powers conferred by this Act.”

Without any concrete step to repeal section 197 CrPC or the draconian AFSPA one cannot envisage any purposeful prevention of torture legislation.

Another impediment in the prosecution of public servants responsible for acts of torture is the fact that they enjoy immense power, authority and patronage in the administrative setup. They are therefore in a position to influence the investigation of an act of torture. Also given the fact that most acts of torture are committed within the walls of a lockup or detention centre it is extremely difficult to find reliable and trustworthy witnesses. In such a situation there is a strong possibility that corroboration of the victims’ testimony may be weak. This should not be used to the victims’ disadvantage.

Thus, if the fact of pain or suffering is proved and the victim testifies that the same has been caused by a public servant the court should presume the same. The proposed Bill lacks such an approach.

The proposed Bill in section 5, in fact creates another obstacle for the prosecution of the public servant. It introduces a limitation for cognizance of an offence by the Court which hither to didn’t exist in existing Criminal procedural law for offence punishable over 3 years. This limitation for cognizance by the Court is given as six months in the proposed Bill. Existing procedural law under section 468(2) (a) Cr.PC gives such time limitation for offences punishable solely by fine. Such as Jaywalking, spitting on the payment, etc. Such a time limit, in cases of torture is a judicial impossibility given that it would first of all take the victim quite some time to free himself from the public servant’s custody and administrative grip and thereafter build the confidence to file a complaint. Procedures of filing an FIR, obtaining sanction for prosecuting the public servant, arresting him and filing a charge sheet for the court to take cognizance would follow. Anyone well versed with the realities of the functioning of our judiciary will blatantly claim such a limitation as not only absurd but rather a malafide sleight of hand by the drafters of the bill (who see an act of torture as “serious” as pitting on the pavement) This in effect ensures that practically no case of torture will ever reach the stage of trial.

Silence on the use of “Scientific” tests

The proposed legislation also maintains silence on the governments legally accepted practice of conducting Narco-analysis, Polygraph and Brain mapping tests. Such tests are conducted for the purpose of extorting information, confession, by a public servant, and amounts of intentionally inflicting. Physical / mental suffering and degrading treatment. All these aspects amount to an act of torture as defined by the UNCAT. Such so-called scientific tests have also violated other International Human Rights standards such as Article 7 of the International Covenant pf Civil and Political Rights (ratified by the Govt. of India) which states;

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no one shall be subjected without his free consent to medical or scientific experimentation”.

Such tests are already banned in the US and European countries. This matter is currently before the Supreme Court in a petition filed by the All India Lawyers Joint Action Committee praying for a ban on Narco-analysis. The National Law commission has proposed similarly. The FSLs in Bangalore, Gandhinagar, Mumbai and Chennai have stopped conducting these tests since the past two years. Even a committee appointed by the Union Home Ministry (headed by NIMHANS director D. Nagaraja) has questioned the very scientific basis of use of Brain mapping tests. It is therefore only logical that the proposed Prevention of torture legislation ought to unequivolly ban the practice of such tests.

Torture of terror suspects legally sanctioned

The most dangerous provision of this proposed Bill is that it would not apply when the victims of torture are covered by special laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Presently, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA is the foremost specialized anti-terror laws being used by the government. UAPA has been used indiscriminately on Muslims, Adivasis, Dalits, Journalists and other political, social, cultural and human rights activists. Such accused have been picked up on mere suspicion, tortured into submission, encountered, etc. for their alleged involvement in movements against the State or for their political convictions. This provision, if incorporated in the proposed Bill, while effectively closing the doors for redressal to all the above sections, gives a blatant signal for intensifying torture in such cases.

It is a well known fact, documented by numerous Human Rights organizations, that incidents of torture are systematically practiced by the security forces as part of a counter insurgency policy. In Jammu & Kashmir itself nearly 8000 to 10,000 persons have been tortured and thereafter “disappeared” since 1989. Many cases of custodial rape and murder have take place in Manipur and other North-East states: Instances of torture of Naxal suspects are quite common especially in areas of mass resistance. The Andhra government itself admitted that several innocent Muslim accused of the Hyderabad Bomb blasts of 2007 had been tortured. By such derogation the government attempts to present the “threat of terrorism” as a pretext for denying such suspects the right to remedies under the proposed Bill. This is indirect opposition to the very letter and spirit of the UNCAT, which states in Article 2(2) that:

“No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture”.

Here the government could very well draw lessons from the efforts of our Prime Minister’s daughter, Amrita Singh’s documentation along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on reports of torture inflicted on terror suspects in US run overseas detention centers. The Bush administration faced severe criticism for such treatment of terror suspects and the Obama administration had been forced to take cognizance. No government whatsoever can invoke the bogey of terrorism as reason for the systematic practice of “special interrogation techniques” or other such forms of torture. This part of the proposed Bill is nothing but a blatant violation of the non-derogability of the basic right of freedom from torture.

Other serious shortcomings

The proposed Bill has provided for the setting up of Independent panels to deal with complaints of torture, both at the Central and State level so that such complaints would be forwarded to such panels. One can only envisage the future of such panels in the light of the implementation of the Protection for Human Rights Act, 1993. Similar provisions for setting up of State Human Rights Commissions and special Human Rights courts were provided for. But even after 17 years such bodies are absent in many states. The proposed Bill also does not after any right to compensation and rehabilitation to the torture victim. It also lacks any provision for mandatory unintimidated visits by the local judiciary to all detention centres and lockups within its jurisdiction. Both these are essential remedial measures put forth by the Human Rights movement for the Prevention of torture.

There, no doubt exists a need for a special and effective anti-torture programme. Historically, torture has been institutionalized in India. During the British rule, it had been used as a weapon to keep the “natives in submission” and suppress any National Liberation movement. The present ruling classes continue using this inherited institution for similar purposes i.e to counter people’s movements. Here torture is not an exception perpetuated by some “evil subordinates”, but rather a deliberate practice sanctioned by top ranking officials and policy makers. Special draconian laws such as TADA, POTA, UAPA, AFSPA etc. have further institutionalized torture. The proposed Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 seems to be an attempt to preserve the foundation of this institution. It is a sham with the only objective of playing to the international audience an effort to establish the façade of being the “world’s Largest Democracy”.

 

Arun Ferreira is curently an undertrial in the Nagpur Central prison, arrested in May 2007 on charges of being a “naxalite”, charges which have been disputed in the court of law; but he still continues to languish in jail on the remaining trumped up charges.

 

FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF CITIZENS Vs PRIVILEGES OF CONSTITUTIONAL FUNCTIONARIES IN INDIA

Let the Legislators of states, members of parliament, High courts & Supreme Court Judges & other constitutional functionaries answer the following questions which are vital in a democracy.

1) What are the fundamental rights of a citizen guaranteed under the constitution (Article 21) ?

2) What are the privileges conferred on legislators & parliamentarians by the constitution of India?

a) Inside the House b) Outside the House

3) What are privileges conferred on constitutional functionaries, like

a) President of India b) Prime Minister of India

c) Chief Justice of India d) Chairman of NHRC

e) Central Vigilance Commissioners.

4) Are the privileges legal immunity conferred on above mentioned constitutional functionaries ?

a) Cover all their official actions irrespective of merit.

b) Cover both their official & personal actions.

5) Are the privileges defined & codified ?

6) Are these privileges above freedom of the press ?

7) Are the liberty & fundamental rights of the citizens guaranteed by the constitution, above the privileges of the constitutional functionaries or equal or below ?

8) Can the Indian legislatures & parliament be equated to the House of commons in England which is considered to be a superior court and court of records ?

9) Can the division of powers, namely the legislature, the executive and the Judiciary, be equated to the functioning of the House of commons and House of Lords in England ?

10) Can a citizen be said to have committed breach of privilege of the House or court and causing contempt of the house or court by raising the issues of accountability of constitutional functionaries ?

11) Can a Legislature or Parliament enact a new law, to circumvent or to nullify the Judicial orders with respect to wrongdoings by peoples representatives & executive ? does not it amount to infringement of Judicial powers & contempt of the court by the House.

12) Are the FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES of a citizen more important than constitutional duties of a constitutional functionary or equal in importance to it ?

13) Can a constitutional functionary commit crimes, anti-national activities in the name of constitutional duties, behind the legal veil of official’s secret act & go unaccountable for his actions and go unpunished by his legal immunity privileges ?

14) Are the Legislators members of parliament, High court & Supreme court Judges and other constitutional functionaries not willing to codify their privileges for the reason that if codified their privileges would be curtailed and their action would be subjected to legal scrutiny. ?

15) By votes of citizens Legislators and parliamentarians get seats in the legislature and Parliament out of tax payer’s money, they get their pay, perks & lead 5-Star luxurious lifestyles. Hence whether a vote of a citizen is above (More valid) or a seat of legislator or parliamentarian is above or more valid in a democracy ?

16) Judges & Constitutional functionaries are indirectly appointed by voters / tax payers. Out of tax payers money, they get their pay, perks & lead 5-star luxurious lifestyles. Hence, whether the vote of a citizen, fundamental duties of a tax payer is above (more valid) or a seat of judge / constitutional functionary is above (more
valid) in a democracy ?

17) If there is a vacuum in the Legislature or parliament, who is to fill up that vacuum till such time that the legislature or parliament acts provide a solution by performing its role by enacting proper legislation to cover the field (vacuum) ?

18) While it is an unhealthy practice for a Judge to claim to be a Judge in his own cause, is it not worse for the members of the legislature and parliament to be judges in their own cause ?

19) Are the Technicalities of the case more important to a judge or Justice to a citizen, protection of fundamental rights of citizen.?

20) Why not the constitutional functionaries initiate suo moto action with respect to numerous cases of injustices reported in Media ?

21) Why not the Judges admit various cases of Injustices affecting public, as the Public Interest Litigation” ? In some cases, the Public or the person representing them is unable to afford the high cost of the case. Why not free legal aid is given ?.

22) What is the criteria for admitting a P.I.L. & giving free legal aid ?

23) Communication – free flow of information is the lifeline of a democracy. Why the constitutional functionaries are not honouring the Right to Information of Citizens ?

 

Mechanics of Corruption in Indian Judiciary

http://www.livemint.com/2007/05/02160432/8F771B83-547A-4758-BA01-0C2C57B70065ArtVPF.pdf

 

List of scandals in India

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.

The following is a list of alleged scams and scandals in India since independence. These include political, financial, corporate and others.

Entries are arranged by date, from most current to less recent. The year is the one in which the alleged scam first reported or came into knowledge of public.

Contents

[hide]

[edit] 2011

[edit] 2010

[edit] 2009

[edit] 2008

[edit] 2006

[edit] 2005

[edit] 2004

[edit] 2003

[edit] 2002

  • Kargil Coffin Scam[8]

[edit] 2001

[edit] 1997

[edit] 1996

[edit] 1995

[edit] 1992

[edit] 1989

[edit] 1982

[edit] 1971

[edit] 1957

[edit] See also

 

Threats  to  RTI  / Human  Rights  Activist

https://sites.google.com/site/sosevoiceforjustice/rti-judgement-fixing

 

Judgement  Fixing in Indian  Courts of Law / Justice

http://e-clarionofdalit.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2011-09-20T06%3A30%3A00-07%3A00&max-results=1

 

REPEAL ARMED FORCES SPECIAL POWERS ACT in Manipur – An Appeal to H.E.Honourable President of India

 

 

 

Your Excellency,

 

I am writing to express solidarity to the ten-year-long fast of Ms. Irom Sharmila Chanu, the Iron Lady of Manipur and her cause.

 

I am informed that Sharmila has started the fast on 5 November 2000, protesting against the violence committed by state and non-state actors in Manipur. I am aware that the protest also demands an immediate end of impunity in the state, for which the withdrawal of the martial law, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA), from Manipur is a prerequisite.

 

I am worried about the sufferings of the ordinary people of Manipur at the hands of the underground militant organisations as well as the state agencies.

 

I am aware that the AFSPA is enforced in Manipur to support government actions in the state in countering secessionist activities and underground militant acts. Yet, it is now certain that the AFSPA has not helped in countering militancy in Manipur, but in fact has enraged it.

 

I am informed that the climate of impunity is one of the reasons why conflict continues in Manipur.

 

The AFSPA, as far I understand is an addition to the overall impunity framework that has contributed to the deterioration of the state of rule of law in Manipur. My opinion is also shared by national bodies including Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee; the Second Administrative Reforms Commission; and the Prime Minister’s Working Group on Confidence-Building Measures in Jammu and Kashmir. I am informed that these eminent bodies have recommended the government to withdraw AFSPA from operation since they are of the informed opinion that a law like the AFSPA will only facilitate violence and not prevent it.

 

I am convinced that under the current circumstances in Manipur the withdrawal of AFSPA will not in itself solve the Manipur crisis.

 

Yet, it could be a bold and open step by the government to show that it is determined to find solution to an armed conflict that has haunted an entire generation in the state. The withdrawal of AFSPA from Manipur will be recognition to the sufferings of the state’s people and an expression of respect and acknowledgment of their rights.

 

Additionally, withdrawing AFSPA from Manipur will be a catalyst to end the climate of impunity in the state.  Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.

 

Your’s sincerely ,

 

Nagaraj.M.R.

 

INDIA: Use of torture to extract confession, anyone surprised?

 

 

The latest news by the WikiLeaks claims that India has systematically used torture to extract confessions and has allowed its armed forces to resort to brutal human rights abuses like extrajudicial executions and disappearances to instil fear, and thus control the population in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The report asserts that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was concerned about New Delhi’s despicable tolerance of the issue and that the government practically did nothing to prevent torture and has consistently condoned it. The lack of action by the government and the impossibility of the government soldiers to be investigated or punished for engaging in torture has contributed in no less terms towards the alarmingly high number of extrajudicial executions and disappearances in that state, the leaked wires claim.

 

Torture, extrajudicial execution and disappearances are no news to Indians though. The diplomatic wires leaked by the WikiLeaks and the sudden news value it has attained in India and abroad is similar to someone expressing surprise after hearing that the earth’s shape is very close to that of an oblate spheroid and not a perfect sphere. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), AHRC’s national partners, as well as other civil society groups in the country and aboard have been contenting for years, with sufficient proof, that the practice of torture and encounter killings – a euphemism for extrajudicial executions in India – is consistent and widespread in the country. During the past six decades, the practice of torture and the number of encounter killings have only increased steadily and it never showed a tendency to decrease.

 

The AHRC has analysed this issue, and has been arguing that torture is used as a tool for social control in India. The AHRC has contented that similar is the state of affairs in other South Asian states like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. In fact more than 80 percent of AHRC’s human rights interventions on its engagement in South Asia is against torture, all of which is available at http://humanrights.asia The AHRC has consistently argued that the widespread use of torture in the region is the result of the failed domestic institutions, in particular, the police, prosecution and the judiciary and hence is the central deficit in realising human rights in the region. The AHRC has been drawing the attention of national governments as well as that of the international human rights community to this issue, and has been consistently urging the international community in particular, to work with the national governments and the civil society in the region to address this perennial issue, without which there can be no visible improvement to the protection, promotion and fulfilment of human rights in the region.

 

Concerning India, the AHRC has reported, in the past six years, more than 500 cases with meticulously documented details, including names, dates, places and even affidavits of victims of torture. Each of these cases, reported through the Urgent Appeals programme of the AHRC, has been reported to the Government of India, the respective state governments and the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Torture calling for an immediate intervention and necessary action. The AHRC has reported when the elected representatives and the law enforcement officers in the country have publically stated that they believe in torture as an effective and necessary tool for crime investigation. The national media has reported at least a dozen incidents in the past 36 months where uniformed police officers where documented torturing suspects in full public view. The AHRC has consistently argued with evidence, that today torture in India is not a mere tool for crime investigation, but it is more often used for extracting bribes, that it promotes corruption, is used for silencing political dissent and to instil fear in the population. The AHRC has argued with proof that torture is most often used against the poor and members of the minority communities. The Supreme Court of India, over the years and on several occasions, has held that the practice of torture is widespread in India and the Court has repeatedly ordered the government to take remedial actions to contain it. The National Human Rights Commission and the short-lived National Police Commission has recommended the Government of India that unless the police is trained and equipped to discharge their responsibilities, that meets the operative standards of a civilian service in a democratic state, the police will continue to use torture as a crude tool to meet their ends. Yet, the government of India has done nothing to address the issue so far.

 

The farcical approach of the Government of India concerning this serious issue that has made disastrous dents upon the very notion of democracy in the country is evident from the 242-worded law that it passed in the lower house of the Indian Parliament – the Lok Sabha – this year and claimed it to be the law that would suffice the need of the time and will enable the country to ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) and is thereby equipped to end torture in India. The AHRC’s analysis of the issue is now available in its most recent issue of Article 2, which is available here.

 

In states like Chhattisgarh and Orissa, where the national government as well as the state administrations are engaged in countering modern India’s product to the region – the Naxalites – resulting out of the despicable neglect of the needs of its rural population, the police as well as state sponsored private militia like the Salwa Judum, are engaged in widespread use of torture with impunity. Conditions in Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir is the several folds multiplied effect of the same nemesis, where the Indian armed forces, armoured with the statutory immunity provided by the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 is in operation. It defies commonsense and insults intellect to expect a government that has done practically nothing to prevent torture in rest of the country where it has to fight no armed insurgents, not to allow its armed units stationed in Manipur or Jammu and Kashmir to practice torture or murder civilians.

 

Those who are from these states, including human rights defenders who have dared to speak against the government, have faced the wrath of the Indian administration. Internationally acclaimed human rights defender and lawyer, Mr. Parvez Imroz, from Jammu and Kashmir is yet to be allowed to travel outside India, since the government has denied him a passport. Human rights defenders in Manipur are afraid that they would be arrested, tortured and even murdered at the behest of the central government or the absolutely corrupt state administration, should they dare to speak about torture or about state-sponsored murders. Environmental activist and human rights defender, Mr. Jiten Yumnam, in Manipur was arrested last year and charged with a fabricated case registered under the non-bailable provisions of the draconian National Security Act, 1980 only because he has been vocal against corruption within the Manipur state administration. Jiten was arrested from Imphal airport, while he was preparing to travel to New Zealand to participate in an international human rights consultation.

 

Yet, in response to the WikiLeaks news, the government of India has officially responded that torture in India is its internal affair. The government spokesperson has claimed that the government views the news as not serious enough to make a detailed response. Indeed this is expected. It is the same response of the government whenever it is questioned about yet another brutal form of human rights violation practiced in India, caste-based discrimination. What the government fails to admit is that discrimination has never been an internal affair of India, though India still has a caste-enslaved population estimated to constitute 20 percent of the country’s population, unable to free from this brutal social and structural evil. Neither are torture or extrajudicial executions, issues remote and irrelevant, to remain as a miniscule family feud between Indians. These are crimes having universal jurisdiction, that today, the rest of the world consider these crimes as crimes against humanity.

 

If the arguments advanced by the government of India are to be accepted, by condoning apartheid, India was interfering in South Africa’s internal affairs and thereby breaching international law. India could also be held responsible for violating state sovereignty and international law for participating in the UN intervention in Rwanda. Lt. General Shiva Kumar, the third and the last Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda could be then held for leading an international invasion of Rwanda.

 

A government that condones caste based discrimination, or torture or extrajudicial executions disserve only contempt. Any government that obstructs the punishment and prevention calls for global humiliation. Its leaders can be prosecuted and punished if they travel to civilised jurisdictions.

 

Or is it that the government of India believes that Indians are not human. Conversely, is it that the government of India that is inhuman?

 

 

 

INDIA: Can there be a partially honest judiciary?

 

 

The simmering debate between three senior judges in India, involving the suspect in a criminal case and a former Union Minister from Tamilnadu state, Mr. A. Raja, and his alleged attempt to influence the court to obtain bail for the suspect with the assistance of the former Chairperson of the Tamilnadu and Pondicherry Bar Council, Mr. R. K. Chandramohan, has once again brought the lingering question of judicial independence and accountability in the country into the forefront of national debates. Of the three judges involved in the debate, one is a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, Justice H. L. Gokhale, the other is the former Chief Justice of India who is now the current Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission and the third judge is a former judge of the Madras High Court, Justice Regupathi. Chandramohan, the lawyer involved in the case has been temporarily suspended from practice and from the powerful post he occupied at the Bar Council, as it’s Chairperson.

 

Four central questions that should be addressed and clarified in this issue are:

 

(1) Why did the courts — the Madras High Court, when one of its judges were approached in his chamber, by none other than the Chairperson of the State Bar Council intervening criminally in the judicial process, and the Supreme Court of India, when its Chief Justice was addressed by the Chief Justice of Madras High Court at the request of the judge who was approached by the lawyer — fail to immediately take actions against the bail petitioner, the lawyer and the minister?

 

(2) What prevented Justice Regupathi from initiating criminal proceedings against the lawyer, the accused and the minister when they tried to interfere with the court proceedings? The judge was empowered to do so. The courts in India have done it on several occasions in the past. The Indian courts have even misused the contempt of court proceedings often when the judges faced public criticism. Most of these cases involved, in lay language, ‘small fries’. But in this case, which involved a powerful lawyer and a minister in the Union Cabinet, the judge appeared to be seeking consensus from his senior colleagues. One cannot be blamed if it is said that in cases involving powerful persons the court hesitates to act.

 

(3) What prompted the minister or his lawyer to engage in this otherwise audacious attempt of illegally approaching a High Court Judge to decide a case in favour of a particular person? Is it a practice that in this instance got exposed? It is difficult to believe that any lawyer worthy of his salt will dare to do such a task, risking his career. In this case, the lawyer involved is not a novice. He is the Chairperson of the State Bar Council.

 

(4) Why did not the State Bar Council take action when the judge himself first exposed the case, by his remarks in open court? The Bar Council is a statutory body empowered to take disciplinary actions against lawyers for misconduct. How did such a person become the Chairperson of the Bar Council? Is this the standard of the Bar Council? Now that the case has been exposed, what action has been taken to find the truth behind the matter other than the suspension of the lawyer from the Bar? Why no enquiry is initiated into the case?

 

Indeed these are some of the many questions that anyone could ask, coming to know the details about the case. Unfortunately, it is a sad irony in India that none in the country would dare to ask such questions, since that could amount to contempt, the way this miserably misused law is practiced in India.

 

The case not only casts shadow upon a former Union Minister or a retired Chief Justice or other judges in the country. The incident is one more indicator to the fact that it is time to seriously consider looking into the state of affairs within the Indian justice system. The country’s judges must know that accountability, transparency and honesty are virtues that they can afford to insist upon the rest of the world only if they practice it among themselves.

 

The judiciary, irrespective of the geopolitical and legislative environment in which it works, has an inherent problem. It is the very notion of justice. In that, there cannot be a ‘partially honest’ judiciary. The nature of the institution demands absoluteness. It can be only either completely open, transparent and honest or absolutely dishonest. Justice cannot be 80 percent honest.

 

Those judges in India, who claim that 20 percent of their colleagues are dishonest, also have the responsibility to disclose the names and details of those judges who are corrupt, so that the litigants and lawyers can avoid such judges. There can never be percentages of honesty and dishonesty awarded to justice. Sadly, in India, it is so. Even worse is the fact that many in the country feel contented about the so-called 80 percent honest judges and thus about the judiciary as an institution. Any comments against it, other than from judges of the Supreme Court, warrants immediate contempt of court action.

 

This leads to the following additional questions. Can India continue to afford to have a judiciary that house judges having their names tainted with corruption? How long can the Supreme Court afford to have judges who will be transferred to High Courts in Sikkim or Guwahati, whenever their names and credential starts appearing in every place where a judge or his name should not be mentioned? How long can the Indian judiciary expect the people in Assam, Sikkim and Manipur to face the burden of having some of the tainted names in the country’s justice system?

 

What would have been the approach of the higher judiciary, had the judges involved are from the lower courts, like a Magistrate or a Munsiff? Would the Supreme Court or the High Court allow a retired lower court judge to make such remarks like those made by the senior judges in this case? If not, what additional rights do these senior judges have than their colleagues in the lower courts?

 

Last but not least, how long can India continue to have this mess, what Indians today call as their judiciary?

 

 

 

 

 

INDIA: 10 questions to Chidambaram on Manipur

 

 

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) appreciates the effort taken by the Home Minister of India in undertaking a visit to Manipur. Manipur is one of the states in India with a poor human rights record. During the past three years the number of encounter killings reported from the state has steadily increased, until the state administration faced severe criticism for the public execution of two persons on July 23, 2009 by the state police. Mr. P. Chidambaram and a team of officers from the Union Home Ministry are visiting Manipur today and tomorrow.

 

The Home Minister is known to be having a professional as well as no-nonsense approach in work. Many in India hold him at a high esteem, referring to the Minister as a person who assesses officers and institutions under his command on the basis of their performance. Based on these references, the AHRC wishes to place before the Home Minister the following questions, so that the Minister will be able to help the state administration and the people of Manipur in finding a sensible solution to the six decade long internal conflict in that state.

 

1. Can the state administration account for the money that it has spent in the past five years for countering insurgent activities in the state? Can it provide the exact details as to who was paid what amount? It is not required for the state government to publically account every single Rupee of the tax money that it has spent on countering insurgency. But it must be able to produce records to the satisfaction of the Union Home Ministry for at least those expenses, where the spending was Rs. 200,000 or above in a single payment.

 

The AHRC appreciates the value and sensitivity of ‘human.int.’ in counter insurgency work. Yet, the state administration must be able to account to the Union Home Ministry that supports the release of such ‘Central Funds’ to state government.

 

2. What training was provided to the Manipur State Police and its State Police Commando Unit in the past two years to deal with insurgency? Does it meet the requirements of training offered to a civilian police force that is to undertake counter insurgency activities respecting the rule of law? How many police officers have received such training?

 

3. What is the process of recruitment to the state police in Manipur? What is the guarantee that the candidates selected for training and appointment in the state police are not selected on the basis of bribes paid to the Chief Minister or to his party’s MLAs?

 

The AHRC has credible information that to secure appointment as a Trainee Sub-Inspector in Manipur, a candidate is required to pay Rs. 1,400,000 to Rs. 1,800,000 as bribe to the Chief Minister or to a designated MLA as of 2010. The AHRC is informed that the officers upon appointment, realises through various means from the public the bribe they have paid to secure a job in the state police service. The AHRC also has credible information that in the process police officers are engaged in extortion, conniving with some of the criminal elements that are also listed in the prohibited organisations’ list by the Union Government. It is reported that such widespread corruption is one of the important reasons for a high number of encounter killings and unabated criminal extortion in the state.

 

4. How many police officers have been investigated in the past three years for crimes alleged to have committed by them, in particular torture and criminal extortion? If any such investigation has been conducted, who has been prosecuted?

 

If not why?

 

5. How many instances of encounter killing — other than the July 23 incident — have been investigated in the past three years in Manipur? What prevents the state from complying the recommendations made by the National Human Rights Commission concerning encounter killing? If the state administration has conducted such investigations, why is that the reports not sent to the Commission?

 

6. Why is that most cases of encounter killing show the same pattern?

 

Most of the cases of encounter killing documented by human rights organisations in Manipur, shows the following pattern: a person is arrested by unidentified police commandos who are often accompanied by officers from a para-military unit or from a military detachment stationed in the state; the arrested person is detained in custody illegally, often for days; later the person found dead at a distant place; the state police immediately release a press note saying that the person was shot dead in an armed encounter; weapons (mostly 0.9 mm pistols, grenades, live cartridges) are shown as recovered from the deceased insurgent.

 

It would be interesting for the Union Home Ministry to verify how many such recovered/seized articles are produced in courts as material objects recovered from armed insurgents. How many of such recovered materials are kept in police custody? Do they all have separate identification marks? Does the articles and their number tally with the statements issued by the state police in each case? Does the state police have any such accounting system? If so, will the state police dare to make the list public? If not why?

 

Will the Home Ministry be willing to undertake an impartial accounting of recovered articles? The AHRC is willing to collaborate in such a process with the Union as well as State administration.

 

In 2009, between January and November, the state police have reported 272 executions, which was publically admitted by Mr. Joykumar Singh, the current Director General of Police. In most of the cases, the above pattern has been noted.

 

This proves two things. One, it defies logic. Further it could also suggest that the state police are ill equipped and ill prepared that many persons they arrest escape from their custody. Or, it has to be assumed that the state police is well informed that at least 24 times each month in 2009, the state police were able to intercept and engage an armed insurgent invariably resulting in the murder of the armed insurgent. If the latter were the case, there must be no more armed insurgents operating openly in the state, or the insurgents are so naïve that they always expose their armed presence to the state police. None of these would satisfy commonsense or the acumen of a lawyer, which Mr. Chidambaram is.

 

7. Will the state administration put an end to the illegal tax collection of some of the armed insurgent groups in Manipur? It is common knowledge that in Manipur many armed insurgent groups prohibited by the Union Government have setup illegal tax collection (criminal extortion) counters adjacent to police check posts on public roads. Every person, particularly drivers in Manipur know this or are their victims. Why have the state police not stopped it? Or are they hand-in-glove with the insurgents? Or is it the police themselves posing as insurgents?

 

The Home Minister must know that today in Manipur, it is hard to distinguish between an insurgent and a police officer. Both kills with impunity, extorts money by force from the people and are unaccountable to everything under the sun. Can the Home Minister contribute to change this situation?

 

8. What plans has the state administration made and executed to regain the confidence of the public? At the moment, Manipur is like a volcano that could erupt anytime. Has the state administration taken the effort to make public its public confidence building plans if they have any? If not, what prevented them in doing so?

 

9. Will the Home Minister meet Ms. Irom Chanu Sharmila? Reports from India inform that the Home Minister will meet human rights activists in Imphal. Does the Home Minister see Sharmila as a threat to the peace of Manipur or a unifying factor to its fragile social fabric?

 

10. Will the Home Minister make a public report about his visit to Manipur? The public need not know the nuances of the state’s security scenario. But every Indian, especially each person in Manipur has a right to know what is their future in terms of their safety and security. Today they have only stories of fear and anger to say about their Chief Minister and the administration he leads. Can the Union Home Minister bring a difference?

 

If not what hope does Manipuries have of being part of the world’s largest democracy?

 

 

INDIA: The banality of it all and the inability to mourn

 

 

The allegations of corruption involving a former Union Minister, some corporate entities, the judges of the Madras High Court and the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India reported by the national media this week, in essence, indicates the state of affairs of the rule of law institutions in the world’s largest democracy. In addition to widespread corruption, three other important issues that continued to negate the functioning framework of a mature administration essential for a democratic republic to perform are the use of torture with impunity, caste based discrimination and the failure of the government to address widespread malnutrition and hunger.

 

None of these concerns are new in the Indian context. In fact it is these evils that sustain the country’s internal power structures. What is alarming however is the banality with which these serious concerns are perceived in India. Today, the torture and extra-judicial execution of a person or the death of an infant from acute malnutrition or the brutal discriminatory practices committed against the members of the Dalit community have no ‘news value’ in the country. Neither are India’s justice institutions in a position to address any of these fundamental negations of justice and equality.

 

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in its 2010 Human Rights Report on India has analysed these issues. A pre-print release of the full country report on India titled ‘Democratic pretentions and administrative follies’ can be downloaded here:

http://www.humanrights.asia/resources/hrreport/2010/AHRC-SPR-004-2010.pdf

 

Corruption alone is not that diminishes the efficacy of the justice institutions in India. These institutions are plagued with a series of hurdles, most importantly, the absence of a proper legal framework and resources, unreasonable delay in adjudications and unbridled political interference. To top it all, the intellectual framework with which the country’s justice institutions operate is either retarded or in a state of suspended animation. This has made important state institutions like the police, prosecution and the judiciary in India unable to withstand or counter malicious attempts upon their independence resulting in their appalling inability to respect, protect and promote human rights. This has led to a situation where the defective elements within the justice institutions being able to considerably damage the inner core of these institutions from the inside.

 

The democratic institutions in India, including its large body of elected representatives of all tiers, are today a shadow of their past. They resemble a termite-ridden and wilted tree waiting for a strong wind to collapse. Those who benefit from this, including national and international entities, are a minority who are privileged to use every possible opening to unsympathetically exploit a weak democratic structure for private profits.

 

Therefore today, forced eviction of the tribal communities in India from their hearth and hut is considered to be essential and justifiable to feed the greed of a selected few. Repressive laws like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 are increasingly used to smother political dissent. Even the highest court of the country condones the brute force, inhumanness and injustice behind this draconian law.

 

The elected representatives, irrespective of the political parties they represent and the position they occupy, unethically benefit from the situation by reining the government and leading it into directions that suit short-sighted political equations, once again at the cost of pushing millions of Indians to peril. The absence of justice in India’s weakening and narrowing democratic space is literally denying the country’s poor even their right to mourn.

 

However, India is yet not like some of its neighbours where the hope for a better future is virtually lost. The report submitted yesterday by the Parliamentary Select Committee that reviewed the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010 in the upper house of the Indian parliament, the Rajya Sabha, is an indication to the fact that the inner ember of reasoning and justice is still not dead in India. While the complete text of the report is awaited, credible reports suggest that the Committee has taken the bold and essential step to literally rewrite the law from its original draft to a meaningful legislation that could contribute considerably to end the culture of injustice in India.

 

The frail life within the foundations of this seriously ill democracy must be recovered. This requires the vigil and determination of the Indians to save the country from its present drifting along the downward spiral of destruction, and bring it ashore to repair and develop it into a mature democratic republic that India resolved to become 64 years before.

 

……………………..DECLARATION………………………

N
ame : ………………………NAGARAJA.M.R.


Address : ……………….LIG-2 / 761 , HUDCO FIRST STAGE , OPP
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ontact : naghrw@yahoo.com , nag…@hotmail.com   ,

 

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I ,NAGARAJA.M.R. hereby do declare that information given above are true to the best of my knowledge & belief. If i am repeatedly called to police station or else where for the sake of investigations , the losses i do incurr as a result like loss of wages , transportation , job , etc must be borne by the government. prevoiusly the police / IB personnel repeatedly called me the complainant (sufferer of injustices) to police station for questioning , but never called the guilty culprits even once to police station for questioning , as the culprits are high & mighty . this type of one sided questioning must not be done by police or investigating agencies . if anything untoward happens to me or to my family members like loss of job , meeting with hit & run accidents , loss of lives , death due to improper medical care , etc , the jurisdictional police together with above mentioned accussed public servants will be responsible for it. Even if criminal nexus levels fake charges ,  police file fake cases against me or my dependents  to silence me , this complaint is & will be effective.

If I or my family members or my dependents are denied our fundamental rights , human rights , denied proper medical care for ourselves , If anything untoward happens to me or to my dependents   or to my family members    – In such case Chief Justice of  India together with the jurisdictional  revenue & police officials will be responsible for it , in such case the government of india  is liable to pay Rs. one crore as compensation to survivors of my family. if my whole family is eliminated by the criminal nexus ,then that compensation money must be donated to Indian Army Welfare Fund. Afterwards , the money must be recovered by GOI as land arrears from the salary , pension , property , etc of guilty police officials , Judges , public servants & Constitutional fuctionaries.  

date :  03/12/2011…………………………..your’s sincerely,

place : India…………………………………Nagaraja.M.R.

 

 

 

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