human rights

Why NOT Punishment for RAPIST JUDGES & Police ?

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

Editor: Nagaraja.M.R.. Vol.09..Issue.27….….05/07/2014

 

 

 

Notice  to  CJI  Justice  R M  Lodha

https://sites.google.com/site/sosevoiceforjustice/notice-to-cji-justice-r-m-lodha  ,

 

Indian police ‘gang-rape woman after she fails to pay bribe’

Woman says she was attacked at a police station in Uttar Pradesh after going there to seek her husband’s release

 

An Indian woman has said she was gang-raped by four officers at a police station, the latest in a string of sex attacks in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

The woman said she was attacked when she went to the station overnight on Monday in the Hamirpur district to seek her husband’s release.

“At 11.30pm when there was no one in the room the sub-inspector took me to his room and raped me inside the police station,” the woman told CNN-IBN.

She filed a complaint with a senior officer on Wednesday over the attack, which allegedly occurred when she refused to pay a bribe to secure the release of her husband. Virendra Kumar Shekhar, a police official from Hamirpur, said: “The procedure will be followed. The victim has filed a complaint and the guilty will be arrested soon.”

Sub-inspector Balbir Singh said a criminal case had been lodged against four officers from the station.

The case is the latest in a string of rapes and murders in Uttar Pradesh, India‘s most populous state, where the chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav, is under growing political pressure over his handling of law and order.

Last month, two girls, aged 12 and 14, were gang-raped and lynched in their village. They were attacked after going into a field to relieve themselves at night because they did not have a lavatory at home.

Their families refused to cut the bodies down from the tree for hours in protest, saying police had failed to take action against the attackers because the girls were from a low caste.

The prime minister, Narendra Modi, , in his first comments on the issue since the hanging of the girls sparked public outrage, on Wednesday urged all politicians to work together to protect women. Modi warned politicians against “politicising rape“, saying they were “playing with the dignity of women” in his first speech to parliament since sweeping to power at last month’s election.

India brought in tougher laws last year against sexual offenders after the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi in December 2012, but they have failed to stem the tide of violence against women.

Also on Wednesday, a 45-year-old woman was found hanging from a tree in Uttar Pradesh. Her family said she had been raped and murdered. A police officer said five men were being questioned over the incident, which occurred several kilometres from her home in Bahraich district. “They [her husband and son] have alleged that the woman, before being strung up from the tree, was raped and murdered by these men,” the district superintendent Happy Guptan told AFP.

 

RAPIST   Judges   &   Rapist   Police  –  No  punishment  ?

When  a  Judge  Himself   Commits   Crime  ,  When  a  POLICE  Himself  robs , Murders ….

 

In  the  rape case of  Ms.Nirbhaya committed last year in New Delhi , all the accussed were from lower  middle class background. So , the whole society , media , police raised voiced against them and the guilty were rightly prosecuted.

But take the recent case of  Supreme Court Judges accussed of sexual offences Mr. A . S. GANGULY , Mr. SWATHANTER  KUMAR  or  DGP SPS Rathore involved in Ruchika case  or  some some  Ministers , MLAs , MPs, the media , society , police &  Prosecuting judges are  biased towards the accussed. Because  the accussed  are  rich & mighty , belong to ruling elite class.

 

Are  not  the laws & it’s enforcements  fair , equitable , just and same for one & all ?

The public servants & the government must be role models in law abiding acts , for others to emulate & follow. if a student makes a mistake it is excusable & can be corrected by the teacher. if the teacher himself makes a mistake , all  his students will do the same mistake. if a thief steals , he can be caught  , legally punished & reformed . if a police himself commits crime , many thieves go scot-free under his patronage.  even if a police , public servant commits a crime , he can be legally prosecuted & justice can be sought by the aggrieved.

 

 just think , if a judge himself that too apex court of the land itself commits crime – violations of RTI Act , constitutional rights & human rights of public  and obstructs the public from performing their constitutional fundamental duties , what happens ?

 

it gives a booster dose to the rich & mighty , those in power , criminals in public service to commit more crimes. that is exactly what is happening in india. the educated public must raise to the occasion & peacefully , democratically  must oppose this criminalization of judiciary , public service. then alone , we can build a RAM RAJYA OF MAHATMA GANDHI’S DREAM.

 

I  have  shown  in the following  attachment how  justice is bought , purchased , manipulated  in  INDIA  with  actual  cases.  Just  see the recent  examples  of  supreme  court  judges  involved  in  sexual  assault  case  &  ROOST  Resort  Mysore  Sex scandal involving  judges , if  any ordinary  fellow  had committed the same crimes  he would have been  hauled over the coal fire. Just take another  recent example of  Prisoner Movie actor sanjay dutt , TADA  provisions were diluted by the judge to favour him and now he is getting parole  week after week  while  the ordinary convicts never   get a single parole throught their sentence.  What  Brilliant  Judges , what  brilliant police  sirji.

 

Editorial : Hang  Rapist  Judges  to  Lamp  Posts  –  JUDGES & SEXUAL CRIMES

 

 

At the outset , we express our whole hearted respects to the honest few public servants

in public service including judiciary & Police. However, the corrupt in public service don’t deserve

respect as individuals – as they are parasites in our legal system. Still we respect the

chairs they occupy but not the corrupt individuals.

All the following articles / issues , past cases of sexual assaults on women by judges (hushed up ?) , whole articles published in the weblinks mentioned

below forms part of this appeal. The term “JUDGE” mentioned throught includes all public

servants discharging judicial functions right from taluk magistrates , quasi-judicial

officers to Chief Justice of India.

Indian Legal / Judicial System is manipulated at various stages & is for sale. It is a SHAME.

The persons who raise their voice seeking justice are silenced in many ways. The

criminal nexus has already attempted to silence me in many ways . If anything untoward

happens to me or to my family members , my dependents , Honourable Chief Justice of

India together with jurisdictional police officer will be responsible for it.

Hereby, we do once again offer our conditional services to the honourable supreme court

of India & other government authorities, in apprehending criminals including corrupt

judges & police. Herewith , we once again appeal to the honourable supreme court of

India , to consider this as a PIL Appeal in public interest.

Consider the cases of sexual assault by JUDGES , POLICE on women . The JUDGES

have legal immunity with respect to their official duties, official actions but not their

individual actions amounting to CRIMES.

The public servants & the government must be role models in law abiding acts , for others

to emulate & follow. if a student makes a mistake it is excusable & can be corrected by

the teacher. if the teacher himself makes a mistake , all his students will do the same

mistake. if a thief steals , he can be caught , legally punished & reformed . if a police

himself commits crime , many thieves go scot- free under his patronage. even if a police ,

public servant commits a crime , he can be legally prosecuted & justice can be sought by

the aggrieved. just think , if a judge himself that too of apex court of the land itself

commits crime – violations of RTI Act , constitutional rights & human rights of public and

obstructs the public from performing their constitutional fundamental duties , what

happens ? it gives a booster dose to the rich & mighty , those in power , criminals in

public service to committ more crimes. that is exactly what is happenning in india. the

educated public must raise to the occassion & peacefully , democratically must oppose

this criminalisation of judiciary , public service. then alone , we can build a RAM RAJYA OF MAHATMA GANDHI’S DREAM.

 

Hereby , we request the honourable court to reopen all hushed up old cases of sexual assault involving judges  and to punish the guilty judges.

 

Read Is CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA above LAW ???

https://sites.google.com/site/sosevoiceforjustice/chief-justice-above-law  ,

 

 

 

Is CHIEF JUSTICE OF INDIA above LAW ???

https://sites.google.com/site/sosevoiceforjustice/chief-justice-above-law  ,

 

Law student sexually harassed by ex-Supreme Court judge:  case is not unique, but speaking out is nearly impossible

 

http://www.legallyindia.com/201311114099/Interviews/sexual-harassment-supreme-court-is-common  ,

 

HANG   RAPIST  CORRUPT  JUDGES

https://sites.google.com/site/eclarionofdalit/hang-rapist-corrupt-judges 

 

Nothing but the truth 
By Indira Jaising


A midst the rising din of the demand for death penalty for rapists comes the news that three judges of the Karnataka High Court have been involved in what has come to be described as a ‘sex scandal’ on the outskirts of Mysore at a place called Roost Resorts. 
Our attention is now directed to those who dispense justice rather than those who knock at the doors of justice. In both cases, we are talking about the use and abuse of women — those who are victims of sexual abuse, and those who are used as sexual objects, willingly or unwillingly. 
After the reports in local newspapers that three high court judges were found with women at a resort, there was the usual crop of denials. Although the Mysore police were called in to settle a brawl, on being told that the persons in question were judges they said that they heard no evil and saw no evil. 
And everyone thought the matter ended there. 
Attempts to get the names of the judges or of the women in question drew a blank. The bar association also drew a blank as most people said, “Don’t quote me… but…” 
On November 30, the Bangalore edition of The Times of India published a front-page story giving the names and photographs of the three judges and confirming that the Intelligence Bureau had done an investigation and come to the conclusion that the incident had indeed occurred. There were still no details of the incident, though it was stated that the report has been given to the chief justice of India. 
There were reports on the same day that the Karnataka High Court chief justice had sought the transfer of the three judges to Patna, Jammu and Kashmir and Guwahati. Apparently, the chief justice has agreed to this request and the transfer orders have been issued. 
Then came the news that the chief justice of India has set up a committee of inquiry under the ‘in-house’ procedure consisting of the chief justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, the chief justice of the Madras High Court and the chief justice of the Patna High Court. 
There were still no details in the press about the actual incident and the entire episode continued to be referred to as a ‘sex scandal’. 
What is interesting about these reports is not what they reveal, but what they conceal. It is a conspiracy of silence. If the information is now available to the chief justice of India, why is it not being made public? Do we, the public, not have the right to information? Ironically, the morning newspapers brought the news that the Freedom of Information Act has been passed. What are the legitimate limits of the right to freedom of information and the requirement of keeping information a secret? This episode would make an interesting case study. 
What exactly is at stake here? There is much that should concern the nation about the incident. This is not a case about the private morality of the judges, be that as it may, but about the abuse of office that they hold. What has not been made known is that the three women in question are women lawyers practising in their courts. 
What is at stake here is the pollution of the stream of justice at its very source. There must be countless cases in which these women appeared before these very judges day in and day out of their routine practice. Can one honestly say that in such a situation justice is being done “without fear or favour”? Judges swear on oath of allegiance to “bear true faith” to the Constitution and do justice “without fear or favour”. How well have these judges honoured this oath? 
What is at stake here is the cynical use of women as sexual commodities. The usual justifications have already begun making the rounds. If the women have not complained, what objection can anyone else have, it is asked. What is lost sight of is the fact that the judges are in a position of dominance vis-à-vis the women, in a position to do favours that pertain to their office. 
What is at stake here is the cynical use of public office, the seat of justice, for personal petty gain. It is irrelevant whether the women consented or not. The usual blame game will now begin — blaming the victim rather than the perpetrator; the usual loose talk about the character of the woman in question; the usual attempt to cover up by diverting attention from the actual incident to the motives of those who brought the incident to light. 
What is at stake here is the perception of women as sexual commodities by those who are responsible for sitting in judgment over cases brought for and on behalf of women. 
The issues at stake here concern one half of Indians. With what faith can Indian women approach the courts demanding the right to equality, the right to be free from sexual harassment or rape and the right to live with dignity, if the persecution of judges who sit in judgment over them is non-negotiable? 
In the circumstances, the suggested solution is worse than the offence — to transfer them to Patna, Guwahati and Jammu and Kashmir. Why these particular cities? Are they not an integral part of the country, or are they mere islands within the country that are considered ‘punishment postings’ where people are sent a la ‘crossing Kala Pani’ of the old days? To the credit of the Guwahati Bar Association, it protested against the proposed transfer. 
The only decent thing to do is for the chief justice of India to disclose full details of the incident so that rumour-mongering comes to an end. This would be in the best interest of the judiciary itself. 
As things stand, the rumours are making the rounds that there were more than three judges involved, that the women were professional call girls, many of which are baseless. We, the people, have the right to know. The conspiracy of silence must be broken. 
The judges in question must neither be assigned any judicial functions pending an inquiry nor be transferred to sit in judgment over others. Two of the judges are stated to be additional judges. They must not be confirmed. If there is prima facie evidence against the one remaining judge, the chief justice must recommend his impeachment. 
It is time for all concerned bar associations, bar councils and other male-dominated bodies of legal professionals to act and ensure that there is no cover-up. There is little point in showing sympathy to women in judgments and in seminar rooms, or in recommending the death penalty for rape if we cannot deal with the men who dispense justice. 
There are contempt of court petitions pending in the Karnataka High Court against some of the publications for disclosing details of the incident. Civil society and women’s organisations must demand that justice is now done when it comes to the judges themselves. 
The law of contempt can offer no solution to the crisis of credibility in the judiciary that this incident has thrown up. One positive aspect of the incident is that it is only after the chief justice of the high court issued a public notice inviting information that he received 20 representations, which led to the discovery of the truth. 
Let the truth now be made public.

 

 

 

Judge accused of molesting 2 rape survivors in UP

 

A sitting judicial magistrate sexually assaulted them

 

UP: Two rape victims claim that a sitting judicial magistrate sexually assaulted them. The girls

alleged that when they went to the magistrate’s chamber to give their statement, he allegedly

made them strip and molested them.

One of the girls is a minor and the police have filed a complaint. The girls also claimed that the

judge threatened them to not speak of the incident to anyone.

Lawyers and the general public in Gonda launched a protest against the judge.

 

JUDGE SENDING OBSCENE SMS TO WOMEN

 

Lucknow Taking cognisance of the allegation against a civil Judge (junior division) of

Budaun court that he sent obscene SMSes to a woman lecturer, the Registrar General of

Allahabad High Court today sought a report from the district judge into the matter.

The civil judge of Gunnor sub-division court of Budaun — Pramod Kumar Gangwar— was

accused of sending obscene SMSes from his cellphone to a woman lecturer of Classic

College of Law, Bareilly. A lecturer of the same college, Vivek Gupta, was named in the FIR

lodged by the victim while Gangwar’s name surfaced in the primary investigation.

Registrar General Dinesh Gupta said, “The district judge of Budaun has been asked to

send a detailed report into the allegations. Appropriate action would be taken on the basis

of the report.”

District Judge Suresh Kumar Srivastava said, “I have asked the Bareilly district police to

send a report about the matter. The report on the basis of the police inquiry would be sent

to the Allahabad High Court Registrar General.”

“I am not aware about the matter, as the Bareilly police did not intimate me before initiating

the probe against the civil judge. They should have informed me when they had received

any such complaint,” the judge added.

Meanwhile, Bareilly CO II Raj Kumar, who is investigating the case, today recorded the

statement of the victim. “I have collected the call details of the cellphone used for sending

the SMSes, but I have yet to get the address of the person who is subscriber of the SIM

card,” he said.

“The probe is on to verify if the accused in the case were present on the location recorded

in the call details when the SMSes were sent. The details of the findings of the

investigation would be sent to the Budaun district court to seek the direction,” the CO

added.

Asked if the investigation was earlier conducted into the matter, Raj Kumar said, “The SP

(Crime) had initiated probe into the matter, but I am not aware if the investigation had

reached to any conclusion.”

The woman lecturer had lodged an FIR at the Mahila police station on Thursday alleging

she had received obscene SMSes on her cellphone involving her colleague Vivek Gupta.

The preliminary inquiry into the case by the police yesterday had found that the mobile

phone used in the crime belongs to the civil judge.

 

 

Lokayukta: DC demanded sex from widow

 

 

In the midst of a national outrage over former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore molesting a teenager,

the Karnataka Lokayukta on Saturday made a startling revelation that the state government was

shielding a top bureaucrat who had demanded sexual favours from a young widow.

Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde disclosed that the official concerned, who was the deputy

commissioner of one of the districts when he demanded sex from the widow in return for

discharging his duties as public servant, has since been promoted to a senior position.

Justice Hegde, in the course of an interaction with journalists at the Deccan Herald office

Saturday afternoon, said the unnamed widow had dared the deputy commissioner and

approached the Lokayukta’s office with a complaint against the officer.

On examination of the complaint, the Lokayukta had found sufficient grounds to recommend to

the state government the suspension and prosecution of the DC concerned. The

recommendation was subsequently considered by the concerned department head as well as

the chief secretary and both endorsed it.

But, according to Justice Hegde, no action was initiated against the DC as the same official who

had endorsed the recommendation subsequently found no basis for initiating departmental action

against him. Instead, the official cleared the DC’s name for promotion in the super-scale.

Presently, the official holds a senior position in the government.

The widow, in her late 20s, had approached the DC with a representation to sort out some

problems. But she was shocked when the DC demanded sex.

Justice Hegde did not identify the official in question or the complainant. Nor did he offer to name

the district where the official was serving as deputy commissioner. But the incident has

happened sometime in the course of last three years as Justice Hegde took over as the

Lokayukta in mid-2006.

 

3-year jail term for ‘dirty’ judge

 

Family court judge Ramrao Gangaram Bhise attempted to get sexual favours from a housewife in

1997

Family court judge Ramrao Gangaram Bhise’s attempts to extract sexual favours, in addition to a

bribe, from a housewife, Alka Gaikwad — who had sought an increase in her monthly

maintenance allowance from her estranged husband, in 1997 — proved costly to him.

Pronouncing him guilty on both counts, the special court hearing anti-corruption bureau (ACB)

matters sentenced him to three years rigorous imprisonment and a collective fine of Rs55, 000,

on Monday.

According to the FIR in the case registered against Bhise by the ACB, Suryakant Gaikwad had

filed for divorce from his wife, Alka, before the Bandra family court. Alka, a housewife, in turn,

filed a petition seeking mutual cohabitation with her husband. The then family court judge, Meera

Khadakkar, directed the husband to pay her an interim maintenance allowance of Rs750 per

month.

Subsequently, in January 1997, Alka filed another application before the same family court (now

presided over by Bhise) seeking to increase the monthly maintenance amount to Rs3,500. “On

October 27, 1997, Bhise issued an interim order, increasing the maintenance allowance to

Rs2,000 to be paid by Suryakan to his estranged wife till the disposal of the case. Immediately

after issuing the order, Bhise asked Alka to meet him and gave her his residential telephone

number, asking her to call him when the court hours ended. He told her that he would ask her

husband to pay her a lump sum of Rs2 lakh in addition to the monthly maintenance, provided she

called him up,” the FIR states.

When she called up the judge at 7 pm the same day, Bhise told her that she would have to pay

him a sum of Rs2,000 in addition to granting his sexual favours if she wanted an order in her

favour. He also directed her to meet him at the Haji Ali bus stop with the bribe amount the

following evening.

“Alka approached the ACB, which sought permission from the Chief Justice of the Bombay High

Court before laying a trap on the first class judicial magistrate (Bhise). The HC while granting the

permission designated a court official to bear witness to the events leading to the trap. Alka,

under video camera surveillance of ACB sleuths, along with the court official and other women

witnesses met Bhise at 8.30 pm at the Haji Ali bus stop. Bhise took hold of Alka’s wrist and when

she protested, repeated his demands,” the FIR states.

Alka was then taken to a nearby hotel, Sharda, where the judge accepted the bribe amount. But

before he could do anything else, ACB sleuths swooped in and arrested him.

 

 

Rajasthan judge is indicted for seeking sexual favours

 

Chief Justice of India G B Pattanaik retires tonight and he doesn’t have much to write home about

on the unprecedented drive he launched to enforce judicial accountability.

After the PPSC scam fiasco, reported in The Indian Express today, comes the case of the

Rajasthan judge who has been indicted in a sex scandal and yet has escaped action—pending

another inquiry.

On December 14, a three-judge committee set up by Pattanaik confirmed the ‘‘involvement’’ of

Justice Arun Madan of the Rajasthan High Court in a proposition to a woman doctor to have sex

with him in exchange for a judicial favour.

The committee, headed by the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice B K

Roy, submitted its report to Pattanaik, indicting Madan on a complaint made from Jodhpur by the

woman concerned, Sunita Malviya.

But Pattanaik has not announced any action against Madan. When contacted by The Indian

Express, Pattanaik confirmed that the committee had indicted Madan and his ‘‘bad reputation’’ in

seeking sexual favours in return for judicial ones.

However, Pattanaik said that no action was being taken since the committee had also mentioned

allegations of corruption against Madan. And so he had ordered a further inquiry by the same

committee into the corruption charges.

When asked what he did with the indictment of Madan in the sex scandal, Pattanaik said, ‘‘That

is on hold because I could not have taken piecemeal action against him….I am praying to God

that the final report will give some tangible material to take action.’’

Highly placed sources told The Indian Express that when the committee recorded statements last

week in Jodhpur of about 30 persons over four days, it also came to know of several allegations

of corruption against Madan and another judge of the same high court. The committee put these

on record as well.

Pattanaik said that when he summoned Madan to New Delhi last week, he did not raise the sex

scandal issue and instead limited himself to saying that he was ordering a further inquiry into

corruption allegations.

In effect, Pattanaik has now passed the Rajasthan buck to his successor Justice V N Khare.

The gist of Malviya’s complaint is that Madan made a sexual proposition to her in October

through a deputy registrar of the high court, Govind Kalwani, who said that the judge would help

her, in turn, get out of a criminal case booked against her.

With this, Pattanaik’s much-touted in-house judicial accountability seems to have hit a wall. The

first committee’s report into the PPSC scam exonerated one judge despite evidence and let two

others off with a mere slap on the wrist. The third committee is now busy probing the involvement

of judges in the Mysore sex scam.

 

 

Ten reasons why criminals in khaki get away

Siddharth Varadarajan

 

Behind every man like S.P.S. Rathore who abuses his authority stand the generals and

footsoldiers who help and support him. We need to take them all down.

S.P.S. Rathore, the criminal former top cop of Haryana, may appear alone today but we must

never forget that he was able to get away with the sexual molestation of a young child and the

illegal harassment of her family for 19 years because he had hundreds of men who supported

him in his effort to evade justice.

The fact that these men – fellow police officers, bureaucrats, politicians, lawyers, judges, school

administrators – were willing to bend the system to accommodate a man accused of molesting a

minor speaks volumes for the moral impoverishment of our establishment and country. Decent

societies shun those involved in sexual offences against children. Even criminals jailed for

`ordinary’ crimes like murder treat those serving time for molesting children as beyond the pale.

But in India, men like Rathore have their uses for their masters, so the system circles its wagons

and protects them.

The CBI’s appeal may lead to the enhancement of Rathore’s sentence and perhaps even the

slapping of abetment to suicide charges, since his young victim killed herself to put an end to the

criminal intimidation her family was being subjected to by Rathore and his men. But the systemic

rot which the case has exposed will not be remedied unless sustained public pressure is put on

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, two men who have

it in their power to push for simple remedies in the way the Indian law enforcement and justice

delivery system works.

First, abolish the need for official, i.e. political sanction to prosecute bureaucrats, policemen and

security forces personnel when they are accused of committing crimes. The original intent behind

this built-in stay-out-of-jail card was to protect state functionaries from acts done in the course of

discharging their duties in good faith. Somewhere along the line, this has come to mean

protecting our custodians of law and order when they murder innocent civilians (eg. the infamous

Panchalthan case in Kashmir where the trial of army men indicted by the CBI for murdering five

villagers in 2000 still cannot take place because the Central government will not grant

permission), or assault or molest women and children. No civilised, democratic society grants

such impunity. It is disgusting to see former officials and bureaucrats from Haryana saying how

they had wanted Rathore prosecuted but were prevented from doing so because of pressure.

Such officials should either be made formally to testify in a criminal case against the politicians

who so pressured them or they should themselves be hauled up for perverting the course of

justice.

Second, stop talking about how making the police and army answerable to the law will somehow

demoralise their morale. Does anybody care about the morale of ordinary citizens any more? Or

the morale of upright police and army officers, who do not think it is right for their colleagues to be

able to get away with criminal acts?

Third, bring an end to the cosy relationship between the police and politicians. Rathore was

protected by four chief ministers of Haryana. He served them and they served him by ensuring

his unfettered rise. It is absurd that the Indian Police is still governed by a colonial-era Act dating

back to 1861. A number of commissions have made recommendations for reforming the police

over the years; but no government or political party wants to give up its ability to use and misuse

the police for their own benefit

Fourth, ensure that police officers who abuse their authority and engage in mala fide

prosecutions are dismissed from service and sentenced to jail for a long period of time. Mr.

Chidambaram should use the considerable resources at his command to find out who were the

policemen involved in filing 11 bogus cases against the teenaged brother of the young girl

Rathore molested. He should then make sure criminal proceedings are initiated against all of

them. The message must go out to every policeman in the country: If you abuse the law at the

behest of a superior, you will suffer legal consequences.

Fifth, ensure that criminal charges against law enforcement personnel are fast-tracked as a

matter of routine so that a powerful defendant is not able to use his position to delay proceedings

the way Rathore did for years on end. The destruction or disappearance of material evidence in

such cases must be treated as a grave offence with strict criminal liability imposed on the

individual responsible for breaking the chain of custody.

Sixth, empower the National Human Rights Commission with teeth so that police departments

and state governments cannot brush aside their orders as happened in the Rathore case. This

would also require appointing to the NHRC women and men who have a proven record of

defending human rights in their professional life, something that is done today only in the breach.

The attitude of the Manmohan Singh government to this commission and others like the National

Commission for Women (NCW) and National Commission for Minorities is shocking. Vacancies

are not filled for months on end.

Seventh, ensure the early enactment of pending legislation broadening the ambit of sexual

crimes, including sexual crimes against children. Between rape, defined as forced penetrative

sex, and the vague, Victorian-era crime of `outraging the modesty of a woman’, the Indian Penal

Code recognises no other form of sexual violence. As a result, all forms of sexual molestation

and assault short of rape attract fairly lenient punishment, of the kind Rathore got. In his case, the

judge did not even hand down the maximum sentence, citing concerns for the criminal’s age.

Sadly, he did not take into account the age of the victim and neither does the IPC, which fails to

distinguish between `outraging the modesty’ of an adult woman and a young child.

A draft law changing these provisions and bringing India into line with the rest of the modern

world has been pending with the NCW and Law Ministry for years. Perhaps the government may

now be shamed into pushing it through Parliament at the earliest.

Eighth, take steps to introduce a system of protection of witnesses and complainants. The fate

that the family of Rathore’s young victim had to endure is testament to the fact that people who

seek justice in India do so at their own peril.

Ninth, ensure that robust interrogation techniques like narco-analysis, which are routinely used

against other alleged criminals, are also employed against police officers accused of crimes.

Tenth, the media and the higher judiciary must also turn the light inward and ask themselves

whether they were also derelict in their duty. The Rathore case did not attract the kind of constant

media attention it deserved, nor do other cases involving serving police officers accused of

crimes against women, workers, peasants and minorities. As for the upper courts, their record is

too patchy to inspire confidence. It was, after all, the high court which chose to disregard the

CBI’s request for including abetment to suicide charges.

Keywords: Siddharth VaradarajanS.P.S. Rathorecriminalskhakiformer DGP of

Haryanacustodianssexual violenceNHRC

 

 

Porbandar judge accused of dowry harassment

 

A complaint has been filed against District and Sessions judge of Porbandar for allegedly

harassing his daughter-in-law for dowry, police said here on Sunday.

Darshana Dave, a native of Amreli, has filed a complaint against her husband Kinnar, father-inlaw

and district judge Arvind Dave, mother-in-law Pratibha and brother-in-law Prashant, the

police added.

Darshana married Kinnar two years ago. Her complaint says that she was harassed from the

beginning, and was even beaten up by the husband and in-laws, who were demanding Rs 10

lakh as dowry.

She has also alleged that she was thrown out of the house a few months back, and her husband

is now seeking divorce, the police said.

Amreli Superintendent of Police H R Muliyana confirmed to have received the complaint against

the judge and others. He said that action will be taken after verifying the complaint.

This is the second complaint related to dowry harassment filed against a judge in the state in the

recent past.

Earlier, a woman had filed a complaint against additional sessions judge of Jetpur after her

daughter and the judge’s wife committed suicide.

 

 

Gurgaon judge to also face dowry harassment charge

 

Gurgaon’s Chief Judicial Magistrate Ravneet Garg, booked for the murder of his wife, will also

face dowry harassment charge, police here said Monday.

Police have issued notices to the CJM’s father K.K. Garg and mother Rachna Garg, who have

also been named in the dowry harassment case.

The CJM’s father reached here Monday morning from Haryana’s Panchkula town and contacted

police, who wanted to question him.

“We had called CJM’s parents…K.K. Garg was questioned by special investigation team (SIT),”

Gurgaon Police Commissioner Alok Mittal said.

Mittal said on the basis of written complaint filed by the parents of the CJM’s wife Geetanjali,

penal sections of dowry harassment and extra-marital affair were included in the FIR lodged

against the CJM Saturday.

Geetanjali, 24, bore three bullet wounds – on her chin, chest and stomach – but no bullets were

found in her body that was recovered here Thursday. The CJM’s licensed firearm was found near

the body, police said.

Mittal said two bullets were seized from the scene of crime and would be sent for ballistic

examination Monday, a day after ballistic experts examined the crime spot.

“The SIT Sunday questioned two women relatives of Ravneet Garg for hours at his government

allotted house here in the Officers Colony,” said Mittal.

“We have asked CJM to produce supporting evidences to prove his statement,” he said.

The CJM allegedly said that his driver and domestic help may throw some light on his wife’s

death.

Judge Garg’s in-laws alleged that two cars were provided to the accused on his and his family’s

demand. Rs.2 lakh were also delivered to him at the time of the admission of his daughters in

school in May.

Geetanjali’s brother Pradeep Aggarwal Saturday lodged a first information report against Garg

and his parents, accusing them of murder.

“Ravneet and Geetanjali got married in November 2007. Everything was fine for a few years but

the attitude of Ravneet and his parents towards Geetanjali started changing after she delivered

two baby girls (now aged around four and a half and three years),” Aggarwal said in his

complaint.

He demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into his sister’s murder.

 

sexual harassment: Intern moves SC for inquiry against Justice Swatanter Kumar

 

 

New Delhi: A former law intern, who has made sexual harassment allegations against Justice Swatanter Kumar, today moved the Supreme Court seeking inquiry against the retired judge.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam, before whom the matter was mentioned for urgent hearing, agreed to take up the case on January 15.

The intern, in the petition, challenged the apex court’s December 5, 2013 full court resolution in which it was decided that no complaint against its retired judges will be entertained.

 

The petitioner also submitted that a proper forum be constituted to conduct inquiry in such cases and her complaint be also looked into by the apex court like it was done in the case of sexual harassment allegations against Justice (retd) A K Ganguly.

The intern has made Justice Kumar, Secretary General of the Supreme Court and Union of India parties in the case.

She submitted that Justice Kumar was a sitting judge at the time of the alleged incident and the apex court must look into the complaint as per Vishaka guidelines.

Justice Kumar, who is currently heading the National Green Tribunal, has described the allegations as “incredulous and false” and “some kind of conspiracy”.

 

 

 

 

IB confirms Mysore Roost  Resort sex scandal

 

The Intelligence Bureau has provided the Centre with a detailed account of the escapade

involving three Karnataka High Court judges on November 3 in a resort on the outskirts of

Mysore, highly placed sources told The Times of India on Friday.

According to a senior official, “Most of the information sought has not only confirmed the veracity

of the incident but the government has crosschecked it with another police agency. Both the

reports match.”

The incident was widely reported in the media. What has surprised the Centre is the “dogged

refusal” of the Karnataka police to confirm the incident. “Mysore Police Commissioner C.

Chandrasekhar first denied that the incident ever took place. Only when a public notice was

issued through the high court registrar seeking information on the Mysore scandal, did the facts

come out in the open. Public protest helped a lot,” says the source.

What transpired at the resort, says the source, “cannot be expected from anyone in civil society,

leave alone persons sworn to upholding the law”. According to him, “The IB report consists of

unmentionable facts and also makes it amply clear that the Mysore incident is not the first time

such things have happened. Can anyone expect upholders of the law to pick a fight with people

who complained to the police when caught in a compromising position?”

In a related development, Karnataka High Court Chief Justice N.K. Jain has written to Chief

Justice of India Justice G.B. Pattanaik asking that three judges be transferred. Jain has proposed

that Justice N.S. Veerabhadraiah be transferred to the Patna High Court, Justice

Chandrasekharaiah to Jammu & Kashmir and Justice V. Gopala Gowda to the Gauhati High

Court.

While Jain is understood not to have given any reasons, highly placed sources say the proposal

for transfers is linked to the Mysore incident.

However, the source says that now the government is worried about the appropriate “remedial

measures”. In such cases, transferring a judge to a remote high court doesn’t always work. He

says, “Bar associations and the people of northeastern states were up in arms when some

judges of the Punjab and Haryana high courts were transferred there. We expect similar protests

if the CJI accepts Justice Jain’s proposal to transfer the three judges of the Karnataka High

Court.”

The Bar Council of India on Friday, while expressing its anguish at the Karnataka incident, called

for “follow-up action”.

“Unless prompt and appropriate action is taken, it will erode the faith of public in the only

institution considered to be the bastion of our fighting faith in democracy,” it said in a statement.

The BCI has “lamented” inaction in this case by “the higher judiciary and the government”.

 

Read more: IB confirms Mysore sex scandal – The Times of India  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/IB-confirms-Mysore-sexscandal/articleshow/29801662.cms#ixzz1B7PtvFdU  ,  

 

 Read  full details  in  the attachment 

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxzb3Nldm9pY2Vmb3JqdXN0aWNlfGd4Ojc3MjUzOGU4NDU0ZDFlODg  ,  

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxzb3Nldm9pY2Vmb3JqdXN0aWNlfGd4Ojc3MjUzOGU4NDU0ZDFlODg  ,

 

 

Panel names former India Supreme Court judge Ganguly in sex harassment allegation

 

Shocked, shattered by allegations: former Supreme Court judge Ganguly

New Delhi: A three-member panel that probed the charge of sexual harassment of a young lawyer by a Supreme Court judge has submitted its report, identifying the judge as A K Ganguly, court sources said on Friday.

The report was submitted on Thursday after the committee of three judges met six times. This is the first time an alleged perpetrator has been named.

The report, submitted to Chief Justice P Sathasivam, also carries the statements of the victim, who interned in the Supreme Court, and that of the now-retired Justice Ganguly, the sources said.

The graduate of Kolkata-based National University of Judicial Sciences (NUJS) had alleged sexual harassment by Ganguly while interning for him in December 2012.

The committee, which held six sittings on November 13, 19, 21, 26, and 27, submitted its report to Chief Justice Sathasivam on November 28.

The victim appeared before the committee on November 19 and was expected to appear again on November 21 but chose to stay away.

She first mentioned the incident in a blog for Journal of Indian Law and Society on November 6 and later told the same in an interview with Legally India website.

The victim, who is working with Natural Justice: Lawyers for Communities and Environment, said she heard that there were three other girls besides her who were sexually harassed by the same judge.

She also claimed to have knowledge of four more girls who were allegedly harassed by other judges in their chambers.

Denying any sexual harassment, Ganguly on Friday said he was “shocked and shattered” by the charges against him.

“I am denying everything. I have told the committee that all the allegations levelled by the intern are wrong. I don’t know how such allegations have been levelled against me,” he said.

“I am a victim of situations,” he told television channels.

“I am not ashamed of anything,” he said in reply to a question regarding the alleged episode which came out in public after the victim spoke about it in the legal portal earlier this month.

He said the charges against him were totally wrong. The girl had not raised any sexual harassment issue with him, he said, adding that he had not done any physical harm to her.

The former judge said the intern worked with him though she was not officially allocated to him. She came in the place of another intern who had gone abroad after marriage. “I never put up a poster. She came on her own.”

He said the girl had come to his house on a number of occasions in connection with work.

 

 

 

Ruchika Girhotra case: Family gives up fight against ex-Haryana DGP

Ajay Sura, TNN | Jun 2, 2012, 04.09PM IST

 

CHANDIGARH: The family of Ruchika Girhotra, a minor girl who allegedly committed suicide after molestation by former Haryana director general of police (DGP) SPS Rathore, has given up its fight for justice in the court of law after 22 years.

The special CBI court Panchkula on Friday accepted the closure report submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in two cases – attempt to murder and forgery of documents- filed against former Haryana DGP SPS Rathore.

Ruchika’s father Subhash and brother Ashu raised no objection to the closure report.

 

Admitting that he was not in a position to pursue the matter further, Subhash said, “I do not see any hope now. We feel cheated. My family is vulnerable. The circumstances have pushed us back by 20 years.”

“When Rathore was convicted in 2009, I met union home minister P C Chidambaram who assured me of justice. I thought time and system had changed and dared to move fresh complaints against Rathore.” On January 12, 2010 the CBI registered three fresh FIRs against Rathore – attempt to murder, abetment to suicide and doctoring of documents. However, in November 2010, the CBI submitted the closure report in two cases. The closure report was accepted by the court on Friday.

“But now after finding that the system cannot be changed, we decided not to pursue it further,” Girhotra said.

Ruchika’s disillusioned father said that he had presented a lot of material and some witnesses related to the fresh cases before the agency. “But the agency was adamant on closing the case.”

Subhash forced his son and family into exile after Ruchika’s death, fearing further harassment at the hands of the former DGP. During this period, the family shifted between several cities and returned to Panchkula many years later only to lead an inconspicuous life.

The third case against Rathore- abetment to suicide – is still pending. The CBI could not file any report as the Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered status quo on it. Besides Rathore, former Ambala SP KP Singh, sub-inspector Prem Dutt and assistant sub-inspectors Jai Narayan and Sewa Singh were also named in the FIR.

In its closure report, the CBI has said that the allegations levelled by Subhash Girhotra and his son Ashu against Rathore were unfounded. The CBI also claimed that the allegations could not be substantiated “as per the documentary evidence and oral testimony of witnesses.”

Ruchika Case—Timeline

August 12, 1990– SPS Rathore, then IG and President, Haryana Lawn Tennis Association (HLTA) molested Ruchika

September 1990–Ruchika expelled from school for ‘indiscipline’ following her allegations against Rathore

September 3, 1990– An Inquiry report indicts Rathore

October 23, 1993– Ruchika’s brother arrested in several theft cases

December 28, 1993– Ruchika consumed poisonous substance

December 29, 1993– Ruchika died

August 21, 1998– High Court directs CBI to conduct inquiry

December 21, 2009– CBI court sentenced six months’ rigorous imprisonment to Rathore

January 12, 2010– CBI registered three fresh FIRs leveling charges of attempt to murder, abetment to suicide and doctoring documents

November 10, 2010– CBI filed closure

 

 

 

Fighting Sexual Violence In A Country Whose Police Doesn’t Respond To Distress Calls

By Samar

 

The calls were not getting answered, not a single one of them. The friend was recounting the tale of a female friend held hostage by some people in her own house with horror. I was calling the Senior Superintendent of Police and other officers, district administration, the local police station. Every passing minute was sending shivers down my spine, he continued.

Worst was the response of the police station where full rings went with nobody answering them. What for these police stations are if they cannot respond to such emergencies? The story, in short, was eerily similar to countless other stories of bodies of women being turned into the site of ‘honour’ and battles for the same. The younger brother of the woman in this case had married a girl out of love and then the couple eloped for safety. The case did not involve any caste conflicts, ironically, as both of them belonged to the same caste. It was the girl’s decision to choose her life partner on her own that had irked the family members, self-designated custodians of the girl in any patriarchal society. It was this they wanted to avenge and had, therefore, landed on the woman’s house in the dead of the night and held her hostage.

They had also confiscated her phones for stopping her from seeking any help. She was asked to tell where the couple was and threatened with rape and getting paraded naked if she did not. She, in fact, did not know. Yet, she asked for her phone on the excuse that a friend might know the couple’s location and she will ask her. That is how the friend I was talking to came to know about the incident. She, in turn, tried to contact every possible person who could help starting with the local police.

As I said before, the police did not answer the calls even once leaving her flummoxed. Then she started contacting her friends in media and women’s movement who could, finally, reach the police and make them act. The hostage situation was broken next morning after hours long ordeal for the woman. . Thankfully, she was rescued before getting violated despite being kept in illegal confinement. That too, it broke because the woman was well connected and her friend could reach people in positions of helping What would happen to an ordinary woman with no such contacts is anybody’s guess.

This happened in a country which saw a national outpouring of anger against violence against women after brutal gang rape and subsequent death of a young girl in Delhi last December. The popular protests had shaken the government of the day into action and it came up with new laws against rape and promised heightened security for women across India. That the changes were cosmetic gets betrayed by stories after stories of violence against women being committed in the country. Uttar Pradesh, most populous province of the country has been in news for spate of gang rapes and murders. Madhya Pradesh which has not been in news despite performing worse is officially acknowledged rape capital of the country. Even places which were considered safer for women in the past have seen a rise in incidents of sexual violence. Mumbai, for instance, witnessed a passenger attacking a female bus conductor and tearing her clothes in broad daylight.

The new law, evidently, has not worked on the ground. It will not for laws, however good, need institutions to work and if institution are defunct and/or deviant they are bound to fail. What law can save a woman if the police would not do as much as taking a distress call? What law would save someone from getting raped if she is held hostage for hours in her own house? What law would save a girl wanting to marry out of her own choice if the police cannot offer as much as protection to her? The country has seen cases of Khap Panchayats (caste councils) killing couple having police protection and then threatening the judge who sentenced those responsible. Interestingly, the local police did not beef up the security cover for the judge despite her repeated pleas as they were hand in gloves with the murderers.

Introducing newer, harsher laws is not going to curb sexual violence in India. Only thing that can is radical restructuring of the criminal justice system by making it responsive and responsible. Having dedicated teams to respond to emergencies might be a beginning but until and unless impartial investigations ending in speedy convictions become the norm, nothing will change on the ground.

Till then, we can make do police stations which do not respond to distress calls.

 

 

Rethinking Rule Of Law In The Times Of Rape Bid On A Judge

By Samar

 

An attempt to rape a judge, that too in Judges’ Compound in Aligarh which remains under twenty four hour vigil of the Provincial Armed Constabulary speaks volumes about the status of law and order in Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state of India. Who will be safe on the streets when even a judge is not spared by the rapists? No one, in fact is, as evidenced by the recent spate of incidents of sexual violence against women from marginalised and dispossessed backgrounds. The gruesome gang rape and murder of two minors in Badaun, the most ghastly of them, has caused a national outrage just a few days before this incident. The brazen attack on the mother of a rape survivor in order to force her to withdraw the complaint against the accused, currently in jail, in nearby Etah was another glaring example of total collapse of rule of law in Uttar Pradesh.

Sadly, the state has never been known for maintaining even law and order, forget enforcing rule of law. It has rather had the dubious distinction of being the proverbial Bad Lands, the countryside run by might and not by rulebooks. With both political and bureaucratic leadership oscillating between the denial to dodging mode, the recent cases of sexual assaults have merely reinforced the image. Think of a Chief Minister saying that rapes were common and a Google search would return many “Badaun like incidents’. Think of his father, a former chief minister and current parliamentarian, terming rape as minor mistake. The Director General of Police of the state, however, took the crown by justifying the incidents of rape as ‘normal’ in a state of the size and population of Uttar Pradesh.

There were others, largely in the secular liberal intelligentsia of the country, who saw a political conspiracy hatched by the Hindu right behind defaming the state. They came up, rightly, with the data from the National Crime Records Bureau that shows Madhya Pradesh as the rape capital of India and raised questions over the undue scrutiny of Uttar Pradesh. The intelligentsia, unfortunately, seems to have got it wrong once again, first time being its silence on the cases where victims came from dispossessed and marginalised communities. The lack of outrage over sexual violence against women from Dalit, tribal, minorities and other such communities until the cases are really gory, as Badaun was, has led to a section of people losing faith in them, it would do better not to lose all.

The question, however, is if the failure of a state in providing security to its women can be used as an excuse to defend the total collapse of rule of law in another? Should not a single case of rape be horrifying enough for the state to wake up and fix the system? Can a state really take refuge in competitive statistics and shirk from its responsibility of maintaining law and order, at least? This is exactly where that the government of Uttar Pradesh has failed and failed absolutely. That’s not bizarre if one sees the number of criminals in it right from its ranks and files to the ministry. After all, the state has a dubious distinction of seeking the withdrawal of rape charges against a minister in ‘public interest’.

It is in this context that the rape attempt on a sitting judge must be seen as a wakeup call for both the citizenry and the state. No people can live in perpetual fear of violence against women and state’s inaction will merely increase both vigilantism and control of the mobility of women in the name of safety, a dangerous thing for a democracy. Parrying away the questions over the state of governance in Uttar Pradesh is not going to serve any purpose, only bringing the criminals to justice will. The state government must ensure speedy and impartial justice to the victims and their families to restore their faith in the system.

 

A Few Minutes With The Iron Lady Of India

By Ravi Nitesh

 

It was a meeting, an interaction with not a celebrity, neither any famous educationist, nor a politician, but for me, it was more than that. It was an interaction wherein I found that she is not an educationist, but is a subject of research papers and that her life itself is a source of learning. I found that she is not a politician, but her fight was such that it became one of the very important political movements. I found that she is not a celebrity but people were fascinated with her, media wanted to click her and the police surrounded her. Afterall, it was the case of World’s longest hunger striker who has been on a hunger-strike since last 14 years in the Manipur state of India with the demand to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act or AFSPA.

AFSPA is a special act that empowers the armed forces of India with an extraordinary power when they operate in a conflict area where AFSPA is imposed. These extraordinary powers include the right to shoot, torture on mere suspicion and arrest without warrant. The forces are also empowered with legal impunity. No offence can be registered without any prior approval of central government. This act has led to extra-judicial killings, rapes, kidnapping, torture and fake encounters by security forces but not a single permission was ever given by the Government of India to prosecute any army personals.

In protest against the havoc created by AFSPA, in 2000, Irom Chanu Sharmila decided to sit on a hunger-strike against AFSPA for a day in the hope that the Government that will listen to her. Today, she is in her 14th year of hunger-strike. Yet, her faith has remained unshaken. She is hopeful that the Government will listen to her. As her supporter, I have not only admired her but have been deeply amazed and inspired by her relentless faith and determination. Even after 14 years of awaiting justice, even with health problems, she remains strong and determined. It has always been a mystery to me and it was this one thing that I took with me when I got the privilege to interact with her.

Throughout the interaction, she had a smiling face. She resonated positivity and calmness. She was soft-spoken but her determination was powerful even in her words.

She had started her talk with the story of King Ashoka who as a warrior had fought many kings but had became tearful and sensitive after the Kalinga war which had claimed thousands of lives. He had become so moved that he had renounced war and had started working for peace. She hoped that the Government may also become like Ashoka. She expressed her hope that the Government will also realize. They will improve themselves. They will understand that war/violence is never the solution.

Since her demand to repeal of AFSPA is shown as confined to Manipur, I inquired about it and she said that AFSPA is an inhuman law and it does not deserve to be in any region. On my question that what will you do if the government will be agreed to lift it from Manipur but not from J&K. She remarked (with smile), “Let them lift from Manipur first and then they must do it from all other states including Jammu and Kashmir”.

On asking that what keeps her going? What has motivated her to have continued their struggle for so long? She smiled and replied, “conscience”. Her conscience doesn’t allow her to see this injustice. She refuted the claim that she is committing suicide. She remarked that she loves life.

I was moved by her simplicity. She is a simple person and in that simplicity, lies her strength. She has been awaiting justice even though she was never a direct victim. She was not a political activist yet she decided to devote her life for justice. She was not doing it for any reason, any political motive but for humanity. She decided to fight because she wanted that everyone should have the right to justice. Everyone should possess the same rights. She is an ordinary citizen, she said, but with a conscience.

 

Report Of The 14 May 2014 Accident At The Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant
By VT Padmanabhan,R. Ramesh, V Pugazhendi,Raminder Kaur, Joseph Makolil 

 

http://www.countercurrents.org/kknp150614.pdf

 

Badaun Case And The Conspiracy Of The Upper-Caste

By Devika Mittal

 

The tragic badaun case wherein two Dalit girls were gang-raped and their bodies were hanged from a tree has created an uproar in the Indian public sphere. There are widespread protests, regular media reports and debates on this case. It has also found ‘concern’ internationally. It has managed to touch upon the ‘sensibilities’ of the upper caste urban Indians but not without their hypocrisy.

While they are ‘sympathetic’ and consider this as ‘tragic’, they sniff over the mention of the caste of the victims. Why to mention the caste? How is it relevant at all? I see people even condemning the newspapers for mentioning the caste. “Shame on you for mentioning the caste. Every rape case is equally tragic”, “Don’t promote caste system!”

I find that while they find it ‘tragic’, they are not ready to ‘accept’ it as a case exposing the shameful reality of caste-based discrimination. They demand to see them as “victims”, as “human beings”. They even argue that a victim is a victim irrespective of her caste, class and they say it with a sense of pride, with a self-declared sense of being ‘fair’ and ‘just’. I find this tragic as it shows that how they are so privileged and so alienated from that reality that for them, mentioning the caste is unnecessary, that caste is a non-issue. They, who do not experience caste system as victims, fail to understand or imagine the caste factor here. They see caste only as “politics”, as “a debate about reservation” and nothing else. They are not able to imagine that how there is a strong link between caste and rape. Rape is used as a weapon by upper or dominant castes to assert their identity on the underprivileged castes. They are ignorant that this is among the few cases of caste-based violence that has managed to get the attention of mainstream media and is witnessing such a widespread ‘outrage’. They are ignorant that such cases especially of sexual violence against underprivileged caste women are a common reality of this caste-based society.

If some of them do also ‘acknowledge’ this caste-based discrimination, they regard it to be a ‘tragedy’ of rural India. They feel ‘sad’ and condemn it to be so ‘unprogressive’, showing a ‘bad picture of India’. Caste is a horrible thing, they would argue. We are all equal. This is such a strong conviction that it ends the moment they get to know that their friend is from a “reserved” category. This strong conviction lasts when their parents struggles to find a suitable match for them.

This apathy and ignorance towards caste shows how deeply-rooted the caste system remains. They are unable to see the caste factor not because it is just a political tool but because they are privileged enough to see it as a non-issue. As the dominating section, they are alienated from the lived experience of the underprivileged castes. They cannot see caste because they do not experience it as victims. While there is a section among the upper-caste urbanites who think it is nice to say that caste system is absolutely unprogressive and should be done away with, there are also those who though condemn the discrimination but uphold the caste system. This bunch of the self-declared ‘liberals’ are convincing people to believe that caste system was nothing more than a division of labour based on consent. The problem was when it became arbitrary and binding. They refuse to believe that the caste system in its core is inhuman. We are still a deeply casteist society. What ‘modernity’ seems to have added are these contradictory views and this new level of alienation achieved by the upper-caste urbanites. They not only neglect the caste issue, they are not even able to ‘recognise’ it. But the reality remains intact. By ‘denying’ caste in the Badaun case, they are ‘denying’ the social reality of caste-based violence.

 

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