S.O.S e – Voice For Justice – e-news weekly
Spreading the light of humanity & freedom
Editor: Nagaraja.M.R.. Vol.11..Issue.21……..23/05/2015
1. Threats to Judge in Gujarath State India
2. Open Letter to Chief Minister of Punjab
3. Oppose Government Sponsored Terror Group
4. Justice Sathasivam not fit for NHRC
5. IG of Police himself copying in exams
6. Shutting down Greenpeace – Threat to Free Speech
7. Revoke Bail of Salman Khan & Charge Sanjay Dutt under TADA
8. Bangalore Lottery Scam involvement of DGP & IG of Police
Retired Judge Jyotsana Yagnik Threatened; Murder Convicts Out On Bail – An Appeal to Government of Gujarath , Natioanl Human Rights Commission & Supreme Court of India
1.Honourable Supreme Court of India , New Delhi
2.National Human Rights Commission , New Delhi
Dear Madam / Sir ,
Subject : Threats to JUDGE
The civil society organizations and concerned citizens have taken serious note of a news report (IE May 11, 2015) about the intimidation of a retired judge, Ms Jyotsana Yagnik, who, in her capacity as special judge had, in August 2012, convicted former Gujarat BJP minister Maya Kodnani, former Bajrang Dal leader Babu Bajrangi and 30 others in the 2002 massacre of 97 Muslims in Naroda Patiya. Ms Yagnik has received at least 22 threat letters since the verdict, as well as blank phone calls at her home. The 62 year old judge has informed the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team about the threats and phone calls, but instead of strengthening her protection, the government has scaled down her security cover. The SIT convenor and Additional DIG of Police has denied knowledge of the letters, according to the news-report. Meanwhile convict Maya Kodnani, condemned to life imprisonment as principal conspirator in a massacre, has been out on bail since mid-2014, and convict Babu Bajrangi, sentenced to imprisonment till death is now about to enjoy three months bail for medical treatment.
The Indian criminal justice system is being politically degraded with every passing day. With regard to the violence in Gujarat in 2002, there have been instances of several encounter-accused policemen being re-instated and cases against them being quietly dropped. Meanwhile in Maharashtra, there is no sign that the murderers of Narendra Dabholkar and Gobind Pansare will ever be caught. In Bihar, the acquittals of those accused of massacring Dalits in Shankarbigha and Bathani-tola show that the justice system is incapable or unwilling to punish those who commit mass crimes. Now we have an upright judge being threatened, whilst murder convicts guilty of heinous crimes are out on bail, and suspended policemen obtain re-instatement.
An onslaught on justice is taking place in broad daylight. It is now clear that the Modi-led government finds India’s criminal justice system and independent judiciary to be an obstacle blocking its long-term plans. The incidence of prejudice in the courts is nothing new – the 1984 pogrom inaugurated a new era in the erosion of Indian justice. The NDA government has given impetus to this process. The ideological hooligans of the so-called ’Sangh parivar’ are convinced they are above the law. Corruption does not merely have monetary implications. The erosion of judicial independence taking place before our eyes is also corruption. Building trustworthy public institutions is a prolonged process that takes decades. But they can be destroyed very rapidly, especially when state power is used (covertly or openly), to intimidate judges like Ms Jyotsna Yagnik.
Criminals these days feel free to physically intimidate the judiciary, and the police appear to be treating it as a minor matter. Threatening a judge exemplifies a fascist mentality. Politicised justice breeds hatred and despair among its victims. Those who manipulate justice, on the other hand, are announcing their profound contempt for the very value of justice. They are sending all of us a sinister message – justice is whatever we say it is. Let us remind ourselves, therefore, that if justice becomes a device for strengthening one political group at the expense of others, for eliminating enemies and assisting allies, law will have cast off even the mask of neutrality. If judicial decisions become predictable, this can only mean that the judiciary has been compromised and hooliganism has entered the working of the state at the highest levels. Only an alert public can defeat this kind of politics.
By undermining the citizens’ faith in a fearless judiciary, the elimination of law will threaten the very foundations of the democratic state. All elected representatives should remember that the Constitution is the fundamental statute of the Indian Union, which protects us from violent and tyrannical behaviour by criminals and/or persons in power. If they keep silent in the face of the ongoing sabotage of justice, our MP’s and MLA’s shall be betraying their oath of office. We ask all judicial, police & IAS officials to remember their oath of loyalty to the Indian Constitution.
In light of the above, we demand that the Gujarat government take immediate steps to ensure Ms Jyotsana Yagnik’s safety, and investigate the threats she has received. If any harm comes to this judge, the Gujarat government and its patron at the Centre will be held responsible by public opinion.
We call upon all democratic civil society organizations and concerned individuals to launch a campaign to strengthen the criminal justice system and the autonomy of the judiciary. Instances of the perversion of justice by any party, official or civil, should be highlighted and resisted. Hereby , we appeal to Honourable Supreme Court of India & NHRC to protect the above judge from ruling junta.
Your’s sincerely ,
Nagaraja Mysore Raghupathi ,
Editor , SOS e Clarion of Dalit & SOS e Voice for Justice
Murder Of A Young Girl In Moga: An Open Letter To Chief Minister Of Punjab
By Daljit Ami
Chief Minister Prakash Singh,
You would have already noticed that I did not start this letter with prefixes and suffixes to your name. This convention is contrary to how you speak to those who want to contact you. Yes, this letter intends to break the hegemony of language you impose on the people of Punjab. Your manner of speech and attitude is such that when you use forms of addresses such as, ‘Kaka’, ‘Sardar ji’, ‘Bibi’, and ‘Sahib’,they lose their meaning. You use these expressions to trivialise issues and demean those who wish to talk to you. When you utter them, these addresses become sophisticated ways to silence those who wish to talk to you. If these ways of addressing are meaningless then who is writing this letter? To whom is this letter being addressed? A Punjabi Indian is writing this letter to the chief minister of Punjab. After the politics that has taken place over the Punjabi identity, it is important to underline that this letter does not care if Shiromani Akali Dal is Punjabi or not. It also does not care that the ‘Sikh’ politics considers both: the Punjabi identity as an insult and that under your leadership the Shiromani Akali Dal is ‘not Sikh but Punjabi’. Your being a Sikh or a Punjabi should not affect your way of working. That is why the questions that the people can raise about you being a Sikh can also be raised about you being a Punjabi. Without entering the debate on Punjab’s boundaries, this letter is a right that a person has earned upon being comfortable with the identity of being a Punjabi. At this time you are the chief minister of one part of Punjab and so I am writing this letter to you. This is a letter from a Punjabi citizen. There is no spacehere for the kind of addressing each other that your style imposes us – the people of Punjab. This letter is an attempt on the part of Punjabi people to steal back the meaning of words that you have appropriated from us.
The reason for writing this letter is the recent incident near Moga where a young girl was murdered when she was thrown out of a running bus. The victim’s mother is lying injured in a hospital. Per newspapers and television reports,upon the statements by representatives of your government, the girl was a minor and was travelling with her mother and brother. There was an altercation between bus conductor and the mother over the bus fare and after that the employees,along with another accomplice,misbehaved with the mother and daughter. The employees and accomplice threw both mother and daughter off the bus. The daughter’s corpse reached the hospital.The hospital admitted the mother for treatment. All this happened in daylight hours. In this letter we shall talk about this one murder, this one intent to murder, and the molestation. All of these have a direct relation with you.
Upon reading the beginning of this letter you would respond that the government has compensated the victimized family. It has also promised them a job. The police have apprehended the criminals. With a sense of being able to do justice to the family, the government has accomplished everything quickly. There is no doubt that after this murder you andyour ministers, officers and political advisors would condemn the incident in one voice. Your performance until now is evidence that you would use compensation, employment and ‘meeting the aggrieved’ as your standard tactics to assuage grievances. If there was a doubt about your ‘sensitivity’ then what was the need to write this letter? You can also ask that when the aggrieved family has compromised, what is the need to dig up this matter. Your public relations department is ready to condemn this letter as politically moticated or maybe they do not even need to do that. Both these issues must be addressed right here. First, an ordinary citizen is writing this to the chief minister of Punjab. The murdered minor too was a citizen. Her parents too are citizens. That way this letter becomes a letter by a citizen about a murdered citizen to the chief minister. Second, the politics of this letter is clear from the fact that a ‘citizen’ is a political identity and a citizen’s relationship with a chief minister is only political and nothing else. Every conversation between a citizen and a chief minister is political. This letter is political.
In this case of molestation and murder we must consider the thinking of both the owners and the employees of the bus. Your son is the owner of the bus and bus company. Your son is also the deputy chief minister and the de-facto leader of the party as well as government. He is also the home minister. Your government projects his buses as their own achievement. Yes, you have recently made a statement that you personally have nothing to do with the bus business. Still, I think it is justified to ask you how your son has risen so quickly in the bus business.Does your qualification,of being India’s most experienced chief minister, nowstand dwarfed in front of your son’s business accumen? Your nephew left you after your initial success but your son has stuck by you. In your governance,your daughter-in-law, your son-in-law, far and near relatives and former loyal bureaucrats,participate with such unrivalled devotion. So, the real question is: how come the government makes losses and the son’s business grows. Don’t you give your son a free hand in running the state like in the family business? Or have you given him the conditions in which he is free to poach passengers for his buses, and make profits from even other businesses,while the state suffers? These larger questions will make us revisit our ledgers but for this letter it suffices to place the ownership of the bus company and its conduct on record.
You have clarified that you have nothing to do with the bus business. On similar grounds your son is also not involved in this crime. When the Delhi incident took place in December 2012 and people protested against the government, did you think of the issue the same way – that providing compensation is enough? If you have been so consistent in your thinking, then after the Justice Verma report, the criminal and judicial proceedings, the debate until now is meaningless. Mukesh Singh had no relation with the government but people with a social concience came together to question the functioning of the government and to demand protection and respect for women. This Mukesh Singh a curious fellow.He occurs in every debate on rape and murder. Many people agree that we must listen to him. In his articulation we find how our male-dominated society pegs the women. The central government with whom you are partners for two decades has imposed a ban on the film in which Mukesh explains,in detail, his reasoning to rape. In your own political life you have given a lot of importance to loyalty. Does that tell us that you are in agreement with the ban on the film?
Many local newspapers have christened the Moga minor as the second Nirbhaya. Let us not get into the debate of who is gratifying whom by naming a murdered girl Nirbhaya. We shall also not discuss the double standards of journalists who hid the Delhi girl’s name but exposed this minor’s name to the world. You would respond: if the journalist won’t keep a check on themselves, what can the government do? It is a different matter, I suppose, that some journalists felt the ‘pressure’ to publish the name because it is mentioned in the press notes issued by your government and other organisations. You know, these journalists try to sensationalize news and distract attention from the major issue. You can ask what a government can do about a social issue. You are intelligent enough to be part of a system where government functioning and private business mix but you make distinctions between social and political issues. It is against this view of yours that it must be said that all kind of social repression and injustices that emanate from social thinking come under the political ambit, under you. Would you agree?
When the society names the girl who was murdered the second Nirghaya, there must be some trait in her killers which must match Mukesh. In the documentary India’s Daughter Mukesh has stated that after a rape, the rapists expect a girl to be ashamed and silent. Mukesh presents rape as a punishment to a girl who has gone out at the wrong hour with an alien man, and thus, justifies the rape. In the Moga incident we can trace all these thoughts of Mukesh but more crass. If we listen to Mukesh’s argument, as sociologists would want us to do, Moga adds new facts to our understanding. This young girl was travelling in day hours with her mother and brother. If Mukesh’s thoughts reflectthe male-dominance of society, what was on these killers’ minds? Mukesh was saying that after a night’s episode the ashamed girl will not open her mouth. Why did your son’s bus employees impudently believe they would escape the blame of this day-light crime? Would you want to understand their thoughts too?
There are a number of allegations against your son’s buses: how they break traffic rules; how the police do not act against them and provides them patronage. Your private buses rule the roads of Punjab. Anyone hit by them can’t get even a complaint registered with police. Maybe you will be annoyed to hear this but in popular parlance people call your son’s buses the ‘Badal buses’. The police tell the victims of these buses that just as we do not complain about slipping on a banana peel, we must not complain or mind being run over by these ‘Badal’ buses. I am sure your government has not issued such orders to the police. But, you know,minions often adhere to verbal orders better than to others. Anyway slaves know how to read the master’s eyes.Especially when those who obey expect the masters to promote them and gift them plum posts. After all, you favour your loyalists by getting them discharged from government jobs and entering them into politics. Such instances are not limited to a chief secretary, a police chief, or a sports director alone. We now have a flood of government officers quitting their jobs to enter the elections on behalf of your party or have entered their wives or relatives into the fray for electoral gains. Potentailly, every employee in the police and transport department could be in the race to understand your signals and to do your bidding.
In the name of your son, his employees assert themselves over government employees. You know how egoistic people quickly forget that the assertion is not theirs but of their masters. Since you have had to handle so many egoistic minions in your life time, you know this well. Remember, at one time Gurcharan Singh Tohra had considered the Shiromani Akali Dal government as his government. You had to tell him who was the master of the political party and the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee. You had announced Manpreet Badal’s ‘political suicide’ with a heavy heart. Don’t you think it is the myth your minions believe in that the assertion of your name is to their personal credit? One can often see incidents of arguments over fares, fights and abuses in your busses but I suggest please do not risk seeing these incidents because any one of your son’s employees could say, ‘With a face like Badal have you now become the chief minister?’ The employees stay on the high horse by putting down the customers. To top it, as an assertion of their right, they inflict loud films and songs on the customers. In your buses, right next to the advertisements of ‘Nanhi Chan’ (the NGO, headed by your daughter-in-law, a campaign against female featicide) they play movies which train people on how to harass women at public spaces.
The bus business is such that, if the employees don’t indulge in corruption, the employers appreciate their aggressive behavior. Orbit is no exception. After all, who better to control these unruly passengers than a handful of aggressive employees per bus? Videos of them manhandling government employees are available online. You would remember that in Amritsar a couple of miscreants had murdered a uniformed father of a girl they were harassing. With great consideration you had provided the girl compensation and a government job on compasionate grounds. After that your party workers had broken a senior police officer’sleg in Ludhiana. At that time too the police had acted swiftly. The question is, in your governance, why does politics enter the functioning of police. Why does, even after the delimitation process of police stations, the police consult your constituency incharges or elective representative before deciding on their course of action or inaction?Under the able guidance of these counsellors any action against your son’s employees is out of the police limits. In such conditions any of your private employees can’t be booked for any violation or crime?
Those who consider themselves to be in your image are not only your employees but also your political activists and loyalists. When they commit eve teasing, molestations, display rude behaviour, engage in fights and humiliate others, it is never an issue. Those who consider themselves in your image have commited a wrong in Moga. If the victim were alive, you and your police could have ignored the bad behaviour. Even twisted the story. It has been difficult to deal with a corpse. I am writing this letter to establishyour role in reducing a teenage girl to a dead body. Those who pushed the girl from the bus were not only a Mukesh but also you. That horrible crime has been committed under your patronage. As an elected representative of a male-dominated society whose thinking is against women and the head of a capitalist government, you signalled this murder. Whether the courts try you or not, this allegation shall forever be a part of the political and social reality and the people’s history of Punjab.
The compensation and action against erring employeesalso displays your understanding of social dynamics. It is an example of the ongoing multi dimensional civil war against women in Punjab. By paying money to the victim family, you seem to believe that Punjabis, who enter fake paper marriages to get visas to go abroad, can also sell corpses. Punjabis who marry their daughters, sisters, nieces to become permanent citizens abroad have a price at which they can be bought. Today girlsclear tests to become citizens abroad and have marriages to fill their parents’ coffers. The crime is not of the minor’s father’s who received compensation upon his daughter’s death. It is your crime that you have created these dishonourable circumstances. When Punjabi go abroad to live and come back to die, it is your fiefdom that flourishes. The dead body of that poor girl has become the hope of her poor parents. You are responsible for our society having come to such a pass that we compromise with living with dignity. You practice the politics of ‘using and throwing’ your employees. For example, the recent day-light murder, in police custody, of gangster Sukha Kahlwanand hiskillers. The same boys work for the politicians involved in the sand and gravel smuggling, land grabs, the liquor mafia, the cash rich businesses of dhabas, schools and hospitals. While they live, they earn profits for their lords,who are part of your machinery; when they die, their bullet ridden bodies become trophies of your law and order machinery.This time you sought to buy a dead body through your money and have taken action against the erring employees. You neeed to ask yourself, what glory has it brought you?
Your son has, temporarily,after intense pressure, removed his buses from the roads and sent the employees for an orientation course. As if this murder has taken place because of a lack of proper orientation. That is not the case. You know it.The murder took place because of an insolent government and through political collusion. It is a political murder. If we fail to see this murder as political we can neither challenge nor change the inhuman politics of our times. The Congress does not have the moral or principaled strength to play politics over this murder. The multiple factions of the Aam Aadmi Party are unable to get to the root of this issue and are busy making their own noise. In the Left parties the stagnation is becoming stronger. Though this incident might not damage you too much politically, this would remain forever etched in the people’s history of our times. Your social-political and economic purchasing power in the current circumstances might be highest but, you know, the ordinary and suffering people always dream of nailing down the tyrant.
At this time your political spokespersons are telling us to consider the crime as ‘God’s will’. You are their ‘God’ who endows them with promotions, postings, honours and all sorts of benefits. On the basis of these benefits they run the political industry by which they turn healthy living conditions to wretched ones. Your son wants to turn Punjab into California and creates slogans like ‘We shall rule 25 years’. Ambulances with your pictures are happily ferrying corpses. Your TV channels tell stories of how you ‘rule to serve’. Though not all newspapers and channels belong to you even the other editors wish to stay in your good books. Look at how they reveal the name of the murdered minor but hide the name of the owner responsible for the murder in editorials. A newspaper in its editorial has said that bus belongs to ‘influential person’.Another newspaper wrote that the bus owner is a ‘political person’.They should have said the truth – that the top most person is not influential but the owner. Who would have asked them, at what forum, that at what position does a ‘favoured one’ become an owner? The favoured ones are the ones who have a say with the government and the buisness houses. You could be the provider for the favoured ones but your position is higher. Anyway, in journalism there is an abundance of the favoured ones. You know how you have employed journalists in your government and business operations. When you call a journalist by name, our society considers itas a major achievement for the journalist. As a result, it becomes difficult to differentiatebetween the practice of journalism and the publicity business of those who work as journalists or teach the subject.
Now this dead body in Moga had upset your calculations. Journalists will find news in all incidents of sexual harassment at public places. It will become your argument that your bus that has been unduly highlighted and such incidents happen everywhere. No one can say that everything outside your bus is fine. Yet, tell me, in which part of Punjab and in which business of Punjab are you not involved? Political parties respond to most cruel incidents and overlook political excesses and humilation in day to day life. The humiliation or torture before the body became a corpse never becomes news. For example, we consider farmer suicides as an agrarian crisis alone ignoring the cruel process leading towards suicide. Now after the Moga incident many will be jealous as to why they were not murdered in your bus. Everyone seeks a space just as wide as a needle’s eye to escape this bad life. The boys the police catches trying to burgle ATMS want to enjoy life in this mortal world. Like you.How do we teach them that to reach the heavens one has to die? You too found this heaven through the history of sacrifices by the Shiromani Akali Dal. This you keep reminding us. Let us not get into the detailsof how handy the skill to eat the butter and keep the face cleanhas become for you. The question that often arises is how come the people who sacrifice are different from the people who rule?You have made it clear that after demanding the sacrifices the rulers compensate only the deserving. It is clear that the people can claim these compensations only through legal aids, discretionary quotas and blood relations.
This letter is about a claim outside these claims. It is about the rights of a citizen before death. It is about a person with a Punjabi identity and about the person’s right to live with dignity. I am writing this to mark the person’s need to live within one’sown will. I am writing this to identify human relations beyond kinship and legalities. I am writing this to remember the traditional relationship between empathy and the Punjabis. It is a political act to identify the murderers of a contemporary killed in Moga. We are the Punjabis dying bit by bit. This letter makes no claim to represent all Punjabis.No citizen has that right. Yet, every Punjabi citizen has the right to speak how their nerves ache when death closes in on them.
After reading this letter, you may doubt that I am presenting you a demand charter. No, it is not a demand charter but an attempt to make the polarisation between you the government and the people clear. You are in continuity of a history. The one who occupies the post of a chief minister and those who seek to occupy it are part of the same tradition. This letter is to question your history of blood sucking rulers whom Nanak called raje, sheen, muqadam …. This open letter is also part of a tradition, not only to you but as an exercise in introspection. If killers keep being identified, the oppressed can hope to come together.The accumulation of empathy may strenthen the unity of downtrodden.While you follow the tradition of kings, the humanity that prays for the better of the world(sarbat da bhala) would some day demand accounts. Some day history will give a chance to the girl murdered in Moga and the Punjabis dying bit by bit to address the question of which snake has bitten their lives. The representative of Punjabis, Prof. Mohan Singh, had said that ‘worldis divided into two sides, one of people and the other of leeches.’ The great poet of Punjabis,Faiz Ahmed Faiz had made the pronouncement, ‘It is true, we shall see …’(Lazim hai ke hum bhi dekhenge …)
As a chief minister, you may consider, some day she may come to seek answers.
Oppose The Re-Launch Of Salwa Judum In Chhattisgarh
CDRO (Coordination of Democratic Rights Organizations) expresses deep concern over recent reports regarding the re-launching of the notorious state-sponsored anti-Maoist militia, the Salwa Judum, from 25th May 2015. While inaugurating the Vikas Sangharsh Samiti in Dantewada on 5th May, the new leader, Chhavindra Kumar, announced that the main aim of the Samiti will be to “finish the Maoists in Bastar”. Pertinently, this announcement comes ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit to the state with suggested plans of signing two significant MOUs valued at Rs. 24,000 crores. It is feared that the Samiti, like the Judum before, will repeat the saga of forcible and violent evictions in the affected villages which are resisting this corporatized development model embraced by the state.
The history of Salwa Judum presents some very real dangers which exemplify the state practice of encouraging vigilante forces drawn from among the Adivasi communities. Claimed as a ‘peace’ movement, the previous avatar had spread terror and fear in the Bastar region between 2005 and 2009, when Chhavindra Kumar’s father, Mahendra Karma and his followers forcibly evicted 3.5 lakh Adivasis from 640 villages in anti-Maoist operations. Many Adivasis were incarcerated in ‘camps’ run by Judum members and state forces and subjected to brutal forms of torture and sexual violence. More importantly, when it was succeeded by the state-led Operation Greenhunt from September 2009 onward, the Judum members found new identities as SPOs (Special Police Officers) who accompanied the security forces in ‘area domination exercises’, a euphemism for state terror. Even when the Supreme Court held that SPOs were unconstitutional and demanded their immediate disbanding in 2011, a significant section had already morphed itself into Koya Commandos to escape the Court’s vigilance, and the rest were regularized as police personnel by the state government. Consequently, villages situated near security camps have continuously borne the terror and fear of armed personnel.
In all this, the threats of Salwa Judum Part 2 have already begun as Chhavindra Kumar has claimed that “18 village panchayats have banned the entry of Maoists”. It needs to be recalled that in 2005, Salwa Judum was launched a few days after MoUs were signed with Essar and Tatas to pave the way for corporate acquisition of forest land for mining and other projects. This complicity of the Central Government, the State Government and the corporate houses is evident in present anticipated re-launch and Kumar has stated that the role of Salwa Judum Part 2 will be to undertake “development works in the region with the help of the State Government”. The imposition of the state directed “development model” in Chhattisgarh has only brought about destruction in terms of both the Adivasis’ quality of life and in terms of mining’s contribution to environmental degradation. Although the recently enacted Forest Rights Act (FRA) has given the Adivasis some control over forest lands, this protection has little or no meaning as any protest over land grab or complaint of harassment by security forces is treated as a ‘Naxal offence’. By banning the Maoists, the police have had a free run in arresting anyone who resists the Government’s corporate friendly policies. As a result, thousands of Adivasis are currently rotting in Bastar jails- which are notorious for being over crowded, unhygienic, and under staffed- without bail and without any hope of justice.
Chhavindra Kumar’s ‘Salwa Judum Part 2’ is part of the state’s campaign against the Maoists. As a state propped militia which is eager to fight the state’s dirty war against the Maoists, it has started parroting the state’s developmental rhetoric and advocating peace while practicing war. CDRO calls for a collective opposition against its re-launching and demands an end to the decade-long lawlessness prevailing in Bastar.
Appointment Of Justice Sathasivam Will Compromise Autonomous Status Of NHRC Says PUCL
Sh. Pranab Mukherjee,
Our National President, Prof. Prabhakar Sinha, has already sent a representation to you requesting you not to give your consent to the appointment of Justice Mr. P. Sathasivam (presently Governor of Kerala) as Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission, if such a recommendation is made to you for your approval. In this connection, I will like to emphasize on behalf of our organisation, that the views expressed by Prof. Prabhakar Sinha are the views of Peoples Union for Civil Liberties. I am therefore taking the liberty of sending the same representation which may kindly be treated as the representation on behalf of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, for your kind consideration.
Prof. Sinha has given ample and justifiable reasons in support of his view as to why such an appointment, if it is made, will be contrary to the law, democratic ethic and the spirit of the Indian Constitution and the Protection of Human Rights. We do not want to question either Justice Sathasivam’s honesty or his judicial ability, but wish to emphasize that the most essential and indispensable qualification of the Chairperson of the NHRC is the enjoyment of complete and unshakeable trust of the people in his ability to stand for their rights against the almost almighty Executive. By accepting his appointment as a Governor, after holding the post of the Chief Justice of India, he has accepted a position in which he would be taking orders, including for his own resignation, from the Home Secretary of the Union Government. Many Governors have received such orders from the present government and have been dismissed for non-compliance. Justice P. Sathasivam has thus accepted a position in which the incumbent is liable to be hired and fired by the Executive. At least, six or seven Governors have been fired by the present government in a little less than one year.
India is a signatory to the `Paris Principles’ or the `Principles guiding National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights’ (1991) which was adopted by the UN Human Rights Commission in 1992 and the UN General Assembly in 1993.
According to the Paris Principles, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) are expected to be “autonomous” and function “independently” of the government and to exercise their power freely to consider any question falling within its competence, whether they are submitted by the Government or taken up by it without referral to a higher authority, on the proposal of its members or of any petitioner”. Importantly, a key function of the NHRIs includes to “drawing the attention of the Government to situations in any part of the country where human rights are violated and making proposals to it for initiatives to put an end to such situations and, where necessary, expressing an opinion on the positions and reactions of the Government ”(emphasis ours).
Thus two of the 6 key elements of the `Paris Principles’ require National Human Rights Institutions to be “autonomous” and “independent” of the government in all their functioning.
As the PUCL National President, Prof. Sinha, points out, how will ordinary citizens have confidence in the impartiality, fairness, objectivity and independence of a person who owes his current position as Governor of a state to the pleasure of the ruling Central Government? When such a person, who is seen as being close to the ruling dispensation and Government, is appointed to head the NHRC, not only will the appointment be seen as tainted but it will also affect the very integrity, credibility and authority of the institution meant to protect violation of the human rights of citizens. It needs no emphasis that some of the biggest violators of human rights are state agencies. Following his retirement, Justice Sathasivam’s act of accepting the office of the Governor, with its terms and conditions being dishonourable for a former Chief Justice of India, has destroyed the confidence of the people that such a person may ever stand up to his erstwhile master to protect their human rights.
It is precisely such a compromising situation that is anticipated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights who points out in a Report in 2010:
“True independence is fundamental to success of the institution … If it is not independent, or not seen to be independent, it is unlikely it will be able to achieve much of lasting worth”.
It will be relevant to point out at this juncture, that apart from `autonomy and independence’ the Paris Principles also stress the importance of (i) `transparency’ in the appointment process, (ii) wide spread `consultation’ with civil society and human rights organisations and (iii) ensuring `pluralism’ and diversity in the selection and composition of members of Human Rights Institutions. Any dilution in the operation of these standards will lead to a downgrading of the NHRC by the ICC, the accreditation body of the UN Human Rights Council. It will seriously affect the trust and confidence of ordinary citizens of India in the NHRC as an impartial body which will protect their human rights.
We would like to reiterate what our National President, Prof. Sinha has requested of you: not to accept the recommendation of Mr. Justice Sathasivam, retired Chief Justice, Supreme Court of India and presently Governor of Kerala, for the post of the Chairperson of the NHRC.
Sir, fortunately in this case, you can protect our human rights by refusing to appoint Justice Sathasivam as chairperson of the NHRC even if his name is recommended. You have to make the appointment of the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission not on the advice of the Council of Ministers, which is binding under Art.74 of the Constitution, but on the recommendation of a Committee (consisting of the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, the Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha and the Leaders of the opposition in both the Houses of Parliament) constituted under sec. 4 of the Protection of Human Rights Act,1993, which is not binding under the Constitution. The only limitation on your power to appoint the Chairperson and the members of the NHRC is that you are not empowered to make the appointment without obtaining the recommendation of the said Committee. Therefore in this case, Sir, the final decision vests with you as the President of India, and not with the Cabinet whose advice is mandatory for the President usually, but not in this case.
We are confident you will take an informed decision and decide what is best for the nation and safeguarding human rights.
With best regards,
Prof. Prabhakar Sinha, President, PUCL
Dr. V. Suresh, General Secretary, PUCL
INDIA: Where cheating police officers and corrupt politicians rule
Kerala Inspector General of Police, Mr. T.J. Jose was expelled from a public examination centre on 4 May 2015 for cheating. Jose, who arrived at the centre in his official vehicle, in civilian dress, was caught red-handed by the invigilator copying from photocopies of booklets he had hidden inside a hand towel. The officer was appearing for a written paper on constitutional law, i.e. on India’s founding document, which guarantees primacy of truth.
When the invigilator ordered Jose to handover the material that he was copying from, and to leave the examination hall, he refused. When the invigilator insisted, Jose left the hall, threatening the invigilator that he is the Inspector General of Police.
The Home Minister of the state has ordered an investigation, and directed the officer to go on leave. The Minister, in a public statement, further said that such police officers must not be allowed to remain in service. When the media questioned Jose about the incident, he denied cheating in the examination, and further alleged that the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, is attempting to malign the image of the state police force.
The Indian public know the true face of the Indian police. History and daily interactions reinforce this understanding, and fill Indians with contempt. The cheating incident involving Officer Jose has only validated this public sentiment.
The incident, however, brings to the fore other important issues as well. The Officer has already claimed that the entire incident is mere allegation. It will be a surprise if any further action is taken against the Officer, other than a namesake investigation. In India this has been the norm whenever there is an accusation of crime against a police officer.
Jose is an officer in the state police service, where, as Inspector General, he is responsible for disciplining subordinates. What morale will this officer gift to his subordinates? As a police officer, Jose is also an investigator. How could the public and the government trust such an officer or a team led by him? Or, is a cheating investigating officer but a symptom of the larger problem in governance?
The Kerala State Government has in its cabinet three ministers, including the Finance Minister, who are accused of corruption. The former Chief Whip of the ruling coalition has spoken in public, providing meticulous details about who offered/paid bribes, what amount was paid and for what cause, who accepted the same, and where the transactions took place. The Ministers have denied the charges and they continue in office.
It has taken more than a month for the government to initiate any action against the ministers, of which the latest is the state police requesting for an appointment with the Finance Minister for an interview. No one in Kerala believes that the investigations will lead to prosecution. Officers like Jose will ensure that.
From across India one can cite hundreds of similar cases. These incidents speak of the vicious circle that exists in the high offices in the country. Police and the politicians have together built an impenetrable fort of impunity that serves their interests; it is strong and tall enough to protect corruption. Inside this fort, concepts like fair trial and the rule of law have no place. In fact, it has been built to negate these very principles.
The popular perception that bad politicians create bad cops needs a proviso.
Bad cops produce even worse politicians.
INDIA: Attack on Greenpeace India is an attack on free speech
The announcement by Greenpeace India of its imminent shutdown is saddening. However, it was only a matter of time. How long could the organization have continued running with its bank accounts frozen and with a ban on foreign funds? That this has happened after the Delhi High Court’s judgments in two cases related to the government’s crackdown on Greenpeace India is telling on how the Modi government views dissenting voices in India.
The second of these judgments has arrived against the union government’s attempt to muzzle dissent by restraining Priya Pillai, a Greenpeace activist, from travel to the U.K., on account of her creating a “negative image” of the country. The judgment is unequivocal:
“Criticism, by an individual, may not be palatable; even so, it cannot be muzzled. Many civil right activists believe that they have the right, as citizens, to bring to the notice of the state the incongruity in the developmental policies of the state. The state may not accept the views of the civil right activists, but that by itself, cannot be a good enough reason to do away with dissent.”
The judgment goes on to state, “Contrarian views held by a section of people on these aspects cannot be used to describe such section or class of people as anti-national…. If the view advanced on behalf of the respondents is accepted, it would result in conferring uncanalised and arbitrary power in the executive, which could, based on its subjective view, portray any activity as anti-national”. This kind of action by the executive is unacceptable in a democratic republic, the Court has ruled.
The earlier judgement, delivered on 20 January 2015 is even more unambiguous in criticising the government’s attempt to suffocate the organization by drying up its funds. It clearly states that there is “no material on record to restrict the petitioner (Greenpeace India Society) from accessing the bank account with IDBI bank in Chennai,” and observes that the “amount in fixed deposited [sic.] in the bank be unblocked and transferred to the NGO’s account”.
The government of India has, clearly, been in no mood to listen and has responded to the Court directive by suspending the FCRA registration of Greenpeace India and freezing all its accounts on grounds termed by the organization as “arbitrary”. The government has, however, attributed the decision to the failure of the organization to inform the authorities concerned about the transfer of foreign contributions received in the designated FCRA account and from that account to other ones.
Though answering these allegations and challenging them legally is Greenpeace India’s job, the crackdown is clearly aimed at sending a categorical message to the civil society at large, more so those opposed to aggressive “development” policies being adopted by the current regime at huge human and environmental cost. Many of the these projects have resulted in displacing communities and accelerating deforestation and the government’s singling out of Greenpeace is perhaps because the organization has successfully stalled several such projects, the Mahan projects in Madhya Pradesh being the most recent.
More sinister than the crackdown on Greenpeace India, is the arbitrariness of the allegations the government has made against the organisation. There is no doubt that the government can take action against any legal or financial irregularity committed by any organization. But, taking such action on the grounds that the organisation is adversely affecting “public interest” and/or the “economic interests of the state” opens a Pandora box where anything, as Delhi High Court observed, can be declared antinational.
It is in this context that the Indian civil society must resist the attack on Greenpeace India with all its might. It is not a mere organization but the overall democratic framework of the country that is at stake now. This is thus also a wakeup call for the Indian civil society to put its own house in order. It must remember how easily the government could cancel the licenses of a whopping 8,975 non government organisations not on the easily challengeable “adversely affecting public interest” ground but for failing to file annual returns for the years 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12 in a row, and then failing to do the same within a 30 days notice period. Though this failure does not presume any guilt or wrongdoing, it does give the State a stick with which to silence dissent.
Editorial : Shame SHAME JUDGES & POLICE of Double Standards – charge Sanjay Dutt under TADA & Revoke bail of Salman Khan
– An appeal to honourable supreme court of india
Hereby, HRW appeals to the honourable supreme court of India to review the sentence given to cine actor mr.sanjay dutt. He is charged under illegal possession of arms , the stand of prosecution is biased . the culprit cine actor kept the arms knowing fully well for what purpose it is being kept , he had had regular contacts with anti-national underworld elements. Still he is not charged under either TADA or MOCA WHY ? WHERE AS ORDINARY people who are WHO are alleged to HAVE DONE LESSER QUANTUM OF CRIME THAN HIM ARE CHARGED WITH TADA & PUNISHED SEVERALLY. WHY THIS DOUBLE STANDARDS BY THE JUDICIARY ? HEREBY , hrw also appeals to honourable supreme court of india to make public the transcript of underworld don abu salem’s polygraph test , did sanjay dutt had any links with abu salem or other anti national elements ? how many film stars , sportspersons & politicians have regular contacts with underworld elements more specifically dawood ibrahim & chota rajan and how many of them have attended parties hosted by them in gulf countries ?
The corrupt police & Judge go all the way out to help rich criminals , they invent illogical , weird interpretations of laws and change the sections they ought to be charged under , totally altering the case in the very beginning itself. These police foolishly charge a doctor in Orissa under threat national soveriegnity , they charge little children under TADA under the charges of giving lunch boxes to naxalites , charge a tailor under TADA for stitching uniforms to naxalites. Where as the one who is actively involved with master minds of Bombay bLasts , stores deadly arms & ammunition for their terrorist activities is just charged under section illegal possession of arms. The Judge of TADA court who dropped charges under TADA against Sanjay Dutt , the film personalities and other hi-fi people who are supporting sanjay dutt are aiding and abetting terrorism. They must be charged for these crimes , must be thrown out of india , let them settle down in Pakistan / gulf the breeding ground of terrorism. These people are too kind towards Sanjay Dutt , have they forgotten the sufferings of hundreds of mumbaikars , death of innocents. These hi-fi people are not civilized nor humane.
In cases involving rich & mighty , celebrities , some of the judges & police take favourable positions , file B – Reports to close the prosecution cases is it for any personal gains to themselves ? The answer lies in luxurious life styles , promotions , post retirement postings of these judges , police and sudden riches coming to their family members. Inspite of all these nexus it is due to few honest judges & police these cases are coming to light & becoming public. Sadly , these honest people are overpowered by corrupt within the system and Indians are made to suffer injustices. SHAME SHAME to such Judges & Police of Double Standards.
Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.
Bengaluru: Bidari allowed lottery racket to thrive- Kumaraswamy
Bengaluru, May 24 (DHNS): JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy has said former Bengaluru police commissioner Shankar Bidari was the one who allowed the single-digit lottery scam to thrive.
Addressing a press conference on Saturday, he said Bidari, who had served as the City police chief between 2008 and 2011, used to hobnob with the illegal lottery kingpin Pari Rajan and also introduced him to IPS officer Alok Kumar, who had now landed in the soup.
“It is a known fact that Rajan used to visit Bidari’s office every day. Bidari himself would take him in his car to ITC Gardenia, where they would indulge in all kinds of activities. The same Bidari brigade introduced Rajan to Alok Kumar,” Kumaraswamy claimed.
The former chief minister said M V Chandrakanth, a police superintendent in the north zone of the lottery and excise wing, too, had a role in the scam. The officer, a relative of Siddaramaiah, had tried to appease his higher-ups by promising them kickbacks of Rs 25 lakh a month, if he was transferred to the south zone of the wing.
He said the recently suspended Dharanesh, SP, was in the south zone and that he was making a payment of Rs 15 lakh to his seniors. However, he has been made a scapegoat as he is a dalit, he said.
He said Siddaramaiah had helped Chandrakanth get the job as DySP in 1999. The lottery and IPL betting rackets are worth Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 crore each.
Rajan was running the lottery trade by employing hundreds of youths. He had hired 300 two-wheelers in Bengaluru and the people he had employed would go around to collect money, he said.
As many as 600 to 800 cell phones were used for the activity and Rajan used to collected Rs three crore to Rs four crore a day in the process. The racket was carried out behind the Upparpet police station, he added. Kumaraswamy said he had banned single-digit lottery when he was the chief minister, but the successive governments had let the illegal trade thrive. The government should reinstate the Excise and Lottery Prohibition Cell, which it had disbanded, he said.
He said Governor Vajubhai Vala should take cognisance of the interim report of the CID on the lottery racket and dismiss the Congress government in the State.
Why has the government not acted against SP Chandrakanth, a relative of the CM?
Why has the government not acted on the lottery scam as it did in the case of D K Ravi’s death?
Superintendent of Police Dharanesh was suspended because he is a Dalit.
K J George is protecting an IG-rank officer involved in the Rs 2.26-cr robbery from in a bus in Mysuru.
The epicentre of single-digit lottery is Kalasipalya in Bengaluru.
Who is Pari Rajan?
Pari Rajan hails from KGF in Kolar district and is in his mid 40s. He ventured into lottery business in early 1990 when lottery system was legal in Karnataka.
Rajan started his career as a PRO with a reputed lottery ticket wholesale trading firm. Rajan’s PR skills helped him establish cordial links with the police department. He identified weaknesses of the police officers and exploited it.
Before the lottery was banned by the Congress-JD(S) coalition government headed by Dharam Singh in 2004, there were two major wholesale agencies selling tickets at Majestic area in Bengaluru and Rajan was an employee in one of the agencies. Rajan’s duty to was to establish links with the police officers and manage them with money and gifts.
After the ban, Rajan helped those who wished to set up their own agencies. He also ventured into Kerala state lottery. He expanded his empire in Karnataka-Kerala border. Rajan used money, liquor and expensive gifts to win the trust of senior police officers and expanded his business.
Bengaluru lottery scam: ADCP Alok Kumar suspended
BENGALURU: IGP Alok Kumar, whose name prominently figured in the interim report submitted by the CID in connection with the lottery scam, was suspended by the state government on Saturday evening.
The stern decision came after Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee held a meeting with DG&IGP Om Prakash and other senior officers on Saturday evening. It is said that the government decided to suspend Mr Kumar, who was serving as Additional Commissioner of Police (West) in Bengaluru, after pressure mounted from various quarters to refer the case to the CBI. The suspension has also come as a stern warning to the police top brass, who join hands with anti-social elements.
Earlier, Dharanesh, who was serving as SP, Excise and Lottery Prohibition squad, was suspended as he allegedly had links with Paari Rajan, the kingpin of the scam. In the recently held senior police officers’ review meeting, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had pulled up Mr Alok Kumar for his alleged involvement in the scam. Minutes after the suspension order was issued, Mr Siddaramaiah said that the officer was suspended based on the CID’s interim report.
“The report stated that circumstantial evidence established a close nexus between Mr Alok Kumar and Paari Rajan. It is also revealed in the investigation that Mr Alok Kumar had exerted pressure on a sub-inspector who went to arrest Rajan. The government will not spare any police official joining hands with anti-social elements and action will be taken against such officials mercilessly,” he warned.
Hitting out at former chief minister and JD(S) state president H.D. Kumaraswamy’s allegation that he had not initiated any action against SP Chandrakanth, who is allegedly involved in the scam, the chief minister said, “Mr Kumaraswamy is a big liar. Chandrakanth is not my relative and I won’t hesitate to take action against any officers if they are involved in criminal activities, be it my relative or from my caste.”
Additional charge for B.N.S. Reddy
As Mr Alok Kumar stands suspended, it is learnt that IGP B.N.S. Reddy, Additional Commissioner of Police (Administration), has been given the additional responsibility of Additional Commissioner of Police (West).
Not only nexus with Rajan, Alok also interfered in CID probe
It’s not only his alleged nexus with the kingpin of the lottery scam, but also his alleged interference in the CID probe, that led to the suspension of IGP Alok Kumar. The government, in its order suspending the senior IPS officer, stated that Mr Alok Kumar not only helped Paari Rajan, but also interfered in the investigation process.
“Rajan was in direct contact with Mr Kumar and when efforts were made to arrest the accused by Prakash, Police Sub Inspector of Excise & Lottery Enforcement, KGF, Mr Kumar called Prakash between 11.30 am and noon over phone on April 28 and told him, ‘Take action as per law against the accused. He is known to me. Nothing should be done this way or that way’,” the suspension order stated.
“On April 30, Mr Kumar made another call through his office land line informing the police sub-inspector that, ‘The accused Rajan will come to KGF, do not search for him’. The CID report also reveals that as per the evidence collected, the conversation between Alok Kumar and Prakash has been confirmed. Rajan, during the CID investigation, revealed that on the basis of his acquaintance with Alok Kumar, he sought assistance when he was in trouble,” the order said.
“The DG & IGP has reported that it is unbecoming of a senior officer to assist in illegal activities of the accused,” the order stated. The government has also directed Mr Alok Kumar to not leave the headquarters under any circumstances without the written permission of the government.
I don’t know Rajan: Bidari
A day after IGP Alok Kumar denied allegations that he had a nexus with Paari Rajan, the kingpin of the lottery scam, retired DG & IGP Shankar Bidari challenged former chief ,inister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who has accused him of being involved in the scam, to either prove the charges or retire from politics.
“Mr Kumaraswamy has a grudge against me for a few reasons and that is why he is making these allegations. When I was the DGP of CID, former KPSC Chairman H.N. Krishna was arrested on charges of irregularities and malpractices in the selection of gazetted probationers during his tenure between 1998 and 2004. He was in jail for nearly 60 days. It did not go down well with Mr Kumaraswamy as Krishna was his family friend,” Mr Bidari said.
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