S.O.S e – Voice For Justice – e-news weekly
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Editor: Nagaraja.M.R.. Vol.13..Issue.21….….27 / 05 / 2017
Probe CJI for Kalikho Pul’s suicide, his widow petitions Vice-President Ansari
TNN | Updated: Mar 1, 2017, 06.48 AM IST
Giving a new twist to former Arunachal chief minister Kalikho Pul‘s `suicide’ note case, his widow Dangwimsai Pul met Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday, seeking registration of an FIR and investigation into allegations of corruption against Chief Justice of India Justice J S Khehar and sitting Supreme Court judge Dipak Misra.
In her memorandum, Dangwimsai said since the matter involved the CJI and another sitting SC judge, the allegations should be “seriously investigated by a credible investigation team”, a Special Investigation Team (SIT), and not a government-controlled body. She argued that composition of the SIT should be left to 3-5 judges, next in seniority to CJI Khehar and Justice Misra. The 60-page ‘suicide note’ of Pul, who committed suicide on August 9 last year in his official residence in Itanagar, allegedly contained details of several allegations of corruption against politicians and judges, as also against President Pranab Mukherjee.
According to the purported diary, captioned “Mere Vichar”, of the former Arunachal CM, Pul blamed his suicide on corruption among Congress leaders of Arunachal and the judiciary which unseated him. Saying that her husband was under depression after his removal as CM and that ‘Mere Vichar’ was actually his suicide note, Dangwimsai told the vice-president: “Given the gravity of the allegations contained in the note and the fact that many of them are from his personal knowledge and that a suicide note is treated like a dying declaration, this matter needs to be seriously investigated by a credible investigation team. However, since it also involves the CJI and another sitting judge of the Supreme Court, to protect the independence of the judiciary , it should not be investigated by an investigative body controlled by the government.”
Dangwimsai was accompanied by activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan, his Swaraj Abhiyan colleague Yogendra Yadav, bureaucrat-turned-activist Harsh Mander and RTI campaigner Anjali Bhardwaj. Her move to meet the vice-President followed her decision to withdraw from the SC her petition seeking a CBI probe into the death.
Talking about the independence of the judiciary, Dangwimsai’s memorandum said, “It was to protect the independence of the judiciary that the SC in Veeraswami’s case said that any allegations against the sitting judges of the higher judiciary can only be investigated by an investigating authority after obtaining the prior permission of the Chief Justice of India.” It further said, “The judgment says that in case there are allegations against the Chief Justice, the President will consult other judges. This, in terms of the spirit of the judgment, would mean the judgejudges next in seniority .”
The letter said, “Since in this case, the allegations are also against the sitting CJI and sitting President, I am therefore addressing this request to you (Vice-President) to exercise the authority which normally the President would have exercised in terms of the Veeraswami’s judgment.”
Editorial : Jail CJI Khehar
– Few Judges deserve Contempt NOT Respect
Legally prosecute and send CJI Khehar to Jail. Covering up crimes is also a crime. He and his predecessors are covering up crimes.
Justice Karnan was convicted for “Contempt of Court” , in a super fast manner. Why NOT Supreme Court Judges who have committed anti national crimes , sex crimes , etc are not punished in such a super fast manner since years ? Why Supreme Court Judges are NOT punished for “Contempt of Court , contempt of constitution of India , Contempt of Citizens “ since years ? Are these people Judges or Dictators ?
CJI Khehar Murders Justice & Truth
Few judges even after committing crimes are escaping from legal prosecution. They are not allowing RTI replies , enquiry , investigation into their crimes , illegal actions. Therefore they cann’t be legally prosecuted and convicted in a court of law. As a result by farce they are innocent , technically innocent till proven guilty.
We have highest respect for all constitutional offices including courts of law , office of judge. However we have utter CONTEMPT towards few corrupt individuals occupying those honourable offices. Respect towards a Judge comes involuntarily in a citizen , when he sees that judge performing his constitutional duties honestly , bringing glory to the office. A corrupt judge himself is the first contemnor of his own office , who shows disrespect to his office by working against law. By fear of contempt law , fear of imprisonment a corrupt judge will not get respect , he will get a mechanical salutation from citizens but inside citizen’s heart there will be utter contempt towards the corrupt judge.
Judges don’t behave like dictators , you are accountable to people as you are surviving on people’s money. Remember You are inferior to our motherland india and our constitution.
Name : ………………………NAGARAJA.M.R.
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It is the duty of Supreme Court of India to Protect , Guard the constitutional rights , fundamental rights of every Indian citizen . Since 25 years I am appealing to SCI about issues concerning public welfare , national security , etc and as a result suffering injustices , my constitutional rights , human rights are repeatedly violated but SCI is mum even when repeated appeals were made to it. Paradoxically , after these appeals for justice , I have suffered more injustices , attempts on my life were made , physically assaulted , livelihood / jobs were denied , news publication closed , press accreditation denied , received threatening calls , blank calls, even to date rough elements follow us , rough elements scout near home at mid night. Does not these indicate some ties between rough elements & SCI Judges ?
Public Interest Litigation is an appeal for justice to the courts , to redress the injustices meted out to the public. Individual cases of injustices pertaining to an individual are not covered under PIL, however an individual an activist who is fighting for public causes suffering injustices as a result of his struggle ,caused by powers that be to silence him can club his individual case under the public causes (PIL ) he is appealing.
Nowadays people of questionable character , integrity are being selected to public posts , end result is present day india. In the following web sites I have shown few actual cases of crimes by judges & police , just imagine what type of justice common man gets.
Traitors in Indian Judiciary & Police
Crimes by Khaki
Police show full bravery , courage , use full might of law while acting against innocents , commoners. Even takes suo motto action. Frequently crosses legal limits while acting against commoners like 3rd degree torture , arrest / search , seizure without warrant , arrest in mid night , etc . While they are supposed to take action against rich crooks , their own corrupt colleagues no suo motto action , delayed action inspite of complaint allowing time for rich crook to get anticipatory bail , no 3rd degree torture on him , no arrest , search , seizure without warrant. Where is the bravery , courage of police ?
Judges show their full wisdom , apply rigid law book while judging cases of commoners , take suo motto action where as cases involving rich crooks comes before them inspite of repeated PILs they don’t consider it , let alone take suo motto action. Judges make far fetched interpretations of law , ultimately benefitting the rich crook. Where is the wisdom of Judges ?
I ,NAGARAJA.M.R. hereby do declare that information given above are true to the best of my knowledge & belief. If i am repeatedly called to police station or else where for the sake of investigations , the losses i do incurr as a result like loss of wages , transportation , job , etc must be borne by the government. prevoiusly the police / IB personnel repeatedly called me the complainant (sufferer of injustices) to police station for questioning , but never called the guilty culprits , rich crooks , criminals even once to police station for questioning , as the culprits are high & mighty . this type of one sided questioning must not be done by police or investigating agencies . if anything untoward happens to me or to my family members like loss of job , meeting with hit & run accidents , loss of lives , death due to improper medical care , etc , the jurisdictional police together with above mentioned accussed public servants will be responsible for it. Even if criminal nexus levels fake charges , police file fake cases against me or my dependents to silence me , this complaint is & will be effective.
Powers that be , higher ups have referred all my previous cases to police although in most of the cases police don’t have jurisdiction over it. It sends a subtle message by police force to the complainant to keep silent . In the remaining cases which are under their jurisdiction police don’t act against higher ups , high & mighty. In such cases police lack practical powers , their hands are tied although they are honest. As a end result , police have repeatedly called me to police station number of times ( have never called guilty influential persons even once) took statement from me and closed the files.
Hereby , I do make it clear the statements made by me in my original petitions , PILs , news papers , etc while I was in a free & fair atmosphere are TRUE , over rides , prevails over all the statements made by me before police earlier and which will be made by me in future before police.
If I or my family members or my dependents are denied our fundamental rights , human rights , denied proper medical care for ourselves , If anything untoward happens to me or to my dependents or to my family members – In such case Chief Justice of India together with the jurisdictional revenue & police officials will be responsible for it , in such case the government of india is liable to pay Rs. TWO crore as compensation to survivors of my family. if my whole family is eliminated by the criminal nexus ,then that compensation money must be donated to Indian Army Welfare Fund. Afterwards , the money must be recovered by GOI as land arrears from the salary , pension , property , etc of guilty police officials , Judges , public servants & Constitutional functionaries.
date : 20.05.2017…………………………..Your’s sincerely,
place : India……………………………………Nagaraja.M.R.
Full text of Justice Karnan’s letter to President, PM Modi seeking pardon
Embattled Calcutta High Court judge Justice C S Karnan has petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking pardon from the six-month sentence pronounced upon him by the Supreme Court for contempt of court.
In a letter written to the President, the PM and other functionaries of the republic, the judge challenged the Supreme Court’s sentence and claimed to have been singled out for punishment because he raised “the little voice from within against corruption in the higher judiciary.”
Further, he added, “The President of India appointed me as a judge and the President alone could have removed me and that too upon an impeachment motion which has received the 2/3rd majority of the members of Parliament. ”
Here is the full text of the letter written by Justice C S Karnan of the Calcutta High Court to the President, Prime Minister and others.
Justice C S Karnan
Judge, High Court of Judicature at Calcutta
1. His Excellency Shri Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, President of India, New Delhi 110 004
2. His Excellency Shri H M Ansari, Vice-President of India, New Delhi 110 011
3. Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, New Delhi 110 011
4. Hon’ble Mrs Sumitra Mahajan, Speaker of Lok Sabha, New Delhi 110 001
5. All the Hon’ble Members of Parliament
6. Leaders of all political parties
May it please your excellencies
Sub: My Impeachment and imprisonment without authority of law and allegations of corruption against incumbent Hon’ble Chief Justice of India – Urgent intervention of the president/Members of Parliament — plea for pardon/plea for remission or pardon of punishment and/or suspension or stay of sentence.
1. I address this letter with a heavy heart, with unbearable pain of suffering and injustice meted out to me by none other than a bench headed by the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India, the judiciary itself to which I belong.
2. I am convicted for contempt of court by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India for no offence committed by me. I am convicted and sentenced for 6 months for commission of an offence of Contempt of Court, that too by usurping the jurisdiction invested in the parliament, so too in a trial even without a charge sheet being framed while I did not commit any contempt of court at all. What is the offence? Did I commit a contempt of Court? In all humility I beg to submit, I did not. All that I did was to raise the ‘little voice from within’, against corruption in the higher judiciary, so too many a malpractices, I am afraid to say, even tyranny. My accusation is against individual judges, my brothers, who abused their office and indulged in corruption. Today if a judge is willing to pledge his conscience and sell justice, he is free to do it. He could do so fearlessly. The whistleblower, the one who acts upon the ‘still voicefrom within’ will be sent to jail for contempt of court. The President of India appointed me as a judge and the President alone could have removed me and that too upon an impeachment motion which has received the 2/3rd majority of the members of Parliament. But I am not only impeached, but even being sent to the jail without any such impeachment motion against me, by a mere judicial order of a 7 judges bench!!! The judgment against me is not mere abuse of the contempt of court law, but violation of the constitution and the usurpation of the jurisdiction of parliament.
Who is in contempt of justice, Karnan or the court?
by Manasa Venkataraman
Justice C.S. Karnan’s conduct has certainly been indecorous and worthy of attracting the charge of contempt. On the other hand, if the Supreme Court order amounts to removing him as a judge, it is a violation of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court (SC) found Justice Karnan guilty of contempt of court on May 9, 2017, and sentenced him to the highest punishment for contempt under the law — 6-months imprisonment effective immediately. He was also stripped of his judicial duties with a finality — he had already been divested of his judicial and administrative duties in February this year till the contempt charges against him were heard.
There is no denying that Justice Karnan’s conduct has been unbecoming of a judge. The statements made by him, even the “order” passed by him against his seniors in the system, are anything but lawful. His conduct has certainly been deplorable — especially considering that as a High Court (HC) judge, Justice Karnan was expected to exercise immense wisdom, if not the law.
While the Court was right in holding that Karnan was guilty of contempt, its order does not reflect the clarity and consistency expected out of the highest court in the land.
How the order is inconsistent with the Constitution
The Supreme Court’s order is unclear and not truly consistent with the Constitution. A judge of the HC or the SC can only be removed by a majority vote in the Parliament, as per Article 124(4). This is where the May 9 order becomes slightly tricky — while it orders that Karnan be removed from all his judicial duties, it does not clarify whether he is removed as a judge. Surely, taking away Karnan’s powers and functions and admonishing him to prison amounts to removing him as judge for all practical purposes — which is a decision the Parliament, and not the judiciary, must take.
This is important because not only is the order now constitutionally ambiguous and confusing, but it is dangerous that the highest court in the land forewent the factoring-in of constitutional law into its decision. What the Supreme Court says has binding legal value for posterity. By hurriedly sentencing Karnan to imprisonment, the Court may have effectively removed him as judge, a power it does not have under the law.
What could the court have done differently? Could it have employed in-house correction mechanisms until Karnan retires next month, and ordered that his imprisonment begin after retirement? Could it have directed the judicial administration to refer the matter to the legislature? Could it have pre-empted the whole debacle by having taken cognisance of Karnan’s conduct much before it escalated to these heights?
Indiscriminate exercise of suo motu power
Under the Constitution, the SC and the HCs are given the power to take cognisance of matters even if a case of dispute is not filed before them (i.e., “suo motu powers”). This power is granted on the trust that it will be used reasonably, sparingly and with discretion. The suo motu power does not, of course, allow the courts to surpass the rule of law (for instance, a court cannot pass an order without giving the accused a chance to defend herself merely because it exercises suo motu power).
Sliced any way, the fact of the matter is that the judiciary has its institutional failings — the Karnan saga may just be a textbook case in showing us how gaping these flaws are
Equally, the suo motu power cannot be inconsistent with constitutional law.
So, it is disconcerting to note in this case that the SC overstepped its suo motu power in ordering that Justice Karnan be imprisoned while his term as a sitting judge of the Calcutta High Court still continues. To be precise, the SC removed him from performing any judicial duties back in February 2017, much before he was even found guilty of contempt. No reasoning for stripping Karnan of his duties is provided in these orders. It is unclear under which legal authority the court decided to divest an HC judge of his functions, especially considering that the Constitution, the foremost law governing these functions, was not referred to even once.
Separately, considering that Justice Karnan was a part of the higher judiciary, and given the fact that a saga of this kind is unprecedented, the SC should in fact have consciously set a cautious precedent — it could have recommended that in-house correction mechanisms be initiated, or that Karnan be asked to retire/resign with dignity. While Justice Karnan may have been errant in his conduct, the SC’s treatment of the matter is equally grave, as it may set a dangerous precedent.
Contempt > Constitution?
Perhaps the core legal question in the Karnan saga is: which law must be given precedence when there is a discrepancy between the Constitution and the Contempt of Courts Act? Although the answer should have been the Constitution, the Contempt of Courts Act seems to have won in this case.
An order that is made without taking into consideration constitutional provisions, which is the chief law in matters of the SC and HCs, is incomplete. That the “supremacy of the Constitution” is a facet of our basic structure is incontestable. However, in this case, the Contempt of Courts Act was given precedence without acknowledging that the order clashing with the Constitution may cause confusion.
At any point over the course of the last few years, the judicial administration could have intervened in the matter and mitigated the damage, or used in-house correction mechanisms. Inquiry could even have begun under the Judges (Inquiry) Act to remove Justice Karnan — if no other measures proved effective. Instead, what we have before us is a confusing order that does not clarify whether removing Karnan from his judicial duties amounts to a judicially-ordered “impeachment” or not.
Unwarranted Media Gag
The last paragraph in the SC order is perhaps most telling. It says “…Since the incident of contempt includes public statements and publication of orders made by the contemnor, which were highlighted by the electronic and print media, we are of the view, that no further statements made by him should be published hereafter. Ordered accordingly…”
The SC cannot impede the media from publishing such statements because the media was not the one on trial for contempt of court. Under the Constitution, the freedom of speech and expression can be curtailed only on reasonable grounds. The rationale given by the court was on anything but. Gagging the media, which was not on trial in the first place, is like shooting the messenger.
The lapse of judgment by the, well, judiciary is upsetting. Sliced any way, the fact of the matter is that the judiciary has its institutional failings — the Karnan saga may just be a textbook case in showing us how gaping these flaws are. While the anxious question on everyone’s lips is how many other Karnans have slipped through the cracks, the hope is always that the judiciary understand the great responsibility it has in setting healthy examples, and healthier functioning mechanisms.
SC Wrong in sending Justice Karnan to Jail & Gagging Media
By Rajeev Dhavan
Earlier, I thought that the Supreme Court exceeded its jurisdiction in its dealing with Justice Karnan. Now, I argue that Karnan should not be sent to jail for six months and the SC should not have gagged the press from reporting anything Karnan said.
Karnan, a Dalit judge, was duly appointed a judge of the Madras High Court on March 31, 2009. He was the senior most of 13 judges appointed on that date. He came from the Bar and performed before the recommending judges. His appointment raised no eyebrows. The then Chief Justice, KG Balakrishnan, has declared amnesia over the appointment.
Test of sanity
In recent years, Karnan indulged in “conduct unbecoming”, was transferred to the Calcutta High Court in 2016 where his odd behaviour continued. No one thought of impeachment proceedings, which is only the prescribed way to remove HC and SC judges. Instead, seven senior judges of the SC decided stripped him of all work, summoned him and then punished him. What an embarrassment! What an expensive farce!
The SC thought he was insane and ordered him to be medically examined. Which self-consciously “sane” person would admit to such a procedure? Karnan refused. Karnan had not pleaded insanity. The SC in fact pleaded insanity on his behalf. Had the SC already come to the conclusion that Karnan was insane?
The Court should have declared him mentally unstable to do work and reaffirmed its earlier order depriving him of work. Of course, this is assuming the Supreme Court had the power to virtually “remove” him from office which it didn’t) or punish him (which also in my view it didn’t).
The drama was too intense for the SC. Karnan had to be made an example of. Now all HC or retired SC judges remain in fear lest a Chief Justice and senior colleagues of the Supreme Court found their conduct reprehensible. Though Karnan had behaved abominably, the SC violated many procedures to make an example of him.
What does this do for the independence of high court judges? Or for judicial federalism? District judges are better treated. Karnan will retire from the judiciary from June 12 and be incarcerated till November 12. Karnan has disappeared pleading for lesser punishment.
The SC added: “Since the incident of contempt includes public statements and publication of orders made by the contemnor, which were highlighted by the electronic and print media, we are of the view, that no further statements made by him should be published hereafter. Ordered accordingly.” This is against the SC’s own law.
The Supreme Court faced a great dilemma in Gopalan’s case (1950) whether a person deprived of life and liberty by law under Article 21 conceivably forfeited his right to movement, free speech, property, right to business. The answer was convenient but not fulfiling. In the Prabhakar case (1965), Subba Rao J for five judges refused to accept a detainee lost his right to send a manuscript of his book “Anucha Antargat” (Inside the Atom) to a publisher.
In Prabha Dutt (1982) the Court ruled that a journalist had a controlled right to interview a convicted prisoner in jail. This was affirmed in the Sheela Barse (1987) and Charulata Joshi (1999) cases. In the famed Auto Shankar case (1994), Justice Jeevan Reddy made it clear that Auto Shankar convicted of six murders and on death row had every right to send his memoirs to a printer without fear of civil defamation from the police officers he criticised.
The decisions are clear: journalists can, within limits, interview pre-trial prisoners, detainees and convicts. Prisoners in jail could write works and have every right to publish them even if about their incarceration. Did not Nehru write his Glimpses of World History for Indira in prison? Recently on May 12, 2017, it was reported that Abdul Wahid Shaikh, later acquitted of the Bombay Blasts, has written of his prison experience.
There is another aspect to this. There used to be an American doctrine based on an 1879 case that a criminal “not only forfeited his liberty but all his personal rights except those which the law in its humanity accords to him. He is for the time being a slave of the state.” In Sunil Batra’s case (1978) Krishna Iyer blasted this doctrine to smithereens to prevent a death penalty prisoner being kept solitary confinement.
He went further to say humanity demanded that a “convict was a guest in custody… until the terrestrial farewell whisks him away”. In legal terms, prison may deprive a person of movement, but not his humanity or personal rights including free speech.
Apply this to Karnan’s case. Can he write his memoirs and send them to a publisher? Can he communicate with his family and ask them to inform the press of his terrible incarceration? Can a blanket order prevent the press from seeing him in jail? The Karnan order defies everything the Supreme Court has stood for in its prison and free speech jurisprudence. Was it protecting itself from Karnan’s future, even if sober or even repentant, comments?
Explanatory reasons are to follow. The punishment is too harsh. The censorship of the press unprecedented.
Judges Smother Truth about ex Arunachal CM’s Suicide : Justice Karnan to President
The Supreme Court of India refused to recall the arrest order against sitting Calcutta High Court Judge Justice Karnan, who has been found guilty of contempt of court by a seven-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India.
Justice Karnan, on May 12, had sought a review of his conviction and six-month jail sentence.
“We won’t allow you to stop court proceedings like this, you have been doing it repeatedly,” CJI JS Khehar told Justice Karnan’s legal aide Mathews Nedumpara on Monday.
Justice Karnan became the first Indian judge to be convicted, after incidentally also being the first judge to be summoned by a court. On May 9, Justice Karnan was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment after he failed to appear before court in a contempt case against him.
“We are punishing him for contempt of Indian judiciary as well as judicial process and his act was of greatest nature of contempt,” the seven-judge bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar had said.
SC gives 6 month jail term to Justice Karnan for contempt, orders media gag on his statements
The West Bengal DGP was tasked with carrying out the arrest of Justice Karnan “immediately” but Justice Karnan had evaded arrest until Monday morning and has remained at large. Searches were carried out at his Kolkata residence and in parts of Chennai and Tamil Nadu-Andhra border by several senior police officials from different states. There were rumours doing the rounds that he had left the country or he would appear before the SC himself.
Meanwhile, Justice Karnan on Monday wrote a letter addressed to President Pranab Mukherjee, that was also addressed to Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, MPs and to leader of all political parties.
‘Committed no offence’
In his three-point letter, Justice Karnan alleges that his impeachment and imprisonment is “without authority of law” and goes on to level allegations of corruption against the Chief Justice of India JS Khehar. While arguing that he committed no offence, the HC judge goes on to observe that the Supreme Court ‘usurped’ the jurisdiction invested in the parliament” and his trial was held without charges being framed.
Justice Karnan alleges that the order by the seven-judge bench of the apex court was a “violation of the Constitution” in addition to “the usurpation of the jurisdiction of parliament”.
As per Article 217 of the Indian Constitution, a judge can be removed by an order of the President passed after both Houses of Parliament vote for their removal on grounds of proven “misbehaviour” and “incapacity”. And this vote must be by a two-thirds majority, where at least 66% of the member who are present and voting must vote for their removal.
“The President of India appointed me as a judge and the President alone could have removed me and that too upon an impeachment motion which has received the ⅔rd majority of the members of Parliament. But I am not only impeached, but even being sent to the jail without any such impeachment motion against me, by a mere judicial order of a 7 judges bench,” he writes.
Reiterating that he committed no offence, Justice Karnan says that all he did was to raise the “little voice from within” against corruption in the higher judiciary. In January, he had written a letter to PM Modi accused various judges and officers of the Madras High Court of corruption in. He also added that if central agencies probe the matter, his charges could be proved too..
Justice Karnan goes on to level more charges, alleging that in the suicide note left behind by former Arunachal Pradesh CM Kalikho Pul, he accused CJI Khehar and SC judge Justice Dipak Misra of “venturing to sell justice for a huge sum running into crores” through their relatives. However, he claimed that no FIR has been registered and despite efforts to file a writ petition in the Delhi High Court, no case has been listed.
He concludes his letter writing, “I part with the unstinted faith that the two issues…my impeachment and imprisonment without authority of law and allegations of corruption against incumbent Hon’ble Chief Justice of India will be looked into, which I believe is the solemn duty of your excellencies.”
By PIL Watch Group
Ever since the Supreme Court of India passed the order on 9th May, 2017 of arrest of Justice C.S. Karnan, a judge of the Calcutta High Court, he has been rendered untraceable. Since the Supreme Court order had put press censorship of sorts,rumours are afloat about Justice Karnan’s whereabouts. A disinformation campaign has been launched in the mainstream media to the effect that Justice Karnan is in Tamilnadu one moment and Andhra Pradesh the next; that he has fled the country and gone to Nepal or even Bangladesh. He is being painted as a fugitive on the run. Naturally there are fears in the minds of all democratically minded human rights activists about the wellbeing of Justice C.S. Karnan who has every right to defend himself legally even at this stage.
Pertinently since he had been championing the cause of action against corruption in the higher judiciary and had been openly petitioning to various authorities on the issue he would naturally become a marked man. The vested interest would naturally like to exploit the circumstances in which Justice Karnan finds himself. All efforts should be made to ensure his safety. After all Justice Karnan ostensibly has the evidence of corruption against the higher judiciary. Additionally the extreme public humiliation faced by Justice Karnan may create a situation whereby he may be forced to end his life.
The extreme public humiliation arose partly because a team of doctors accompanied by policemen – as ordered by the Supreme Court of India – landed at Justice Karnan’s residence in Kolkata in the full glare of the bourgeois press including the photo-journalists/TV channels. The very next day the mainstream press dutifully published the photograph of Justice Karnan surrounded by the aforementioned team. This is not the way mental health examination of any human being ought to be conducted. The seven judges of the Supreme Court effectively blew to smithereens the concept of privacy – ironically evolved by the very same Supreme Court of India. It must be remembered that Justice Karnan is still a constitutional entity and still a judge of the Calcutta High Court; his status is similar to that of the seven judges whose order brought him to such a pass. If an MBBS student were to tell his or her examiner on how a medical examination of someone with an alleged mental health problem is to be undertaken and if the student were to concur with the actual implementation of the Supreme Court’s order as detailed above the examiner would fail the medical student and ask him/her to appear in a supplementary exam.
All this must have caused lots of pain, suffering and mental trauma to Justice Karnan. This by itself could drive him to end his life now or later. There is a limit to the humiliation which a human being can endure. In the event that Justice Karnan takes his own life, the Supreme Court will have a hard time shrugging off the public perception that its order aided and abetted theact.
In criminal law the needle of suspicion in any murder points to those likely to benefit most from a murder. If Justice Karnan dies even accidentally it should be investigated as a homicide. It is imperative that Justice Karnan’s house and office are secured by an independent body to ensure that nothing is stolen or tampered with. After all there may be electronic or hard copies of evidence against the alleged corrupt judges lying around.
In the event that Justice Karnan is located hail and hearty he should be treated with utmost respect and privacy rather than being paraded around on the streets. A constitutional authority who still remains a High Court judge has a right to life and dignity even if he is perceived by the establishment to have crossed the laxman rekha.
We appeal to the President of India to ensure Justice Karnan’s wellbeing and safety; also that justice is done to him.
The Curious Case Of Justice C.S.Karnan: Contempt Notice versus Convoluted Condensate of Corruption in Higher Judiciary
By B K Subbarao
“To err is human. Courts including the apex one are no exception. To own up the mistake when judicial satisfaction is reached does not militate against its status or authority. Perhaps it would enhance both.”, so goes the pronouncement of Supreme Court of India in Antulay’s matter where a seven judges bench of Supreme Court reviewed and recalled its own five judges bench decision and gave relief to Antulay, former Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
The present question of law is on the legality and propriety of a seven judges bench of Supreme Court issuing suo motu contempt notice and also bailable arrest warrant against Justice C.S.Karnan, a sitting judge of Calcutta High Court.
On one side, the shocking shackles of contempt notice and bailable arrest warrant, and, on the other side the convoluted condensate of corruption in higher judiciary boldly brought to surface by Justice Karnan before he was transferred from Madras High Court to Calcutta High Court, makes the case of Justice Karnan not only a curious case but also a test of the efficacy of the protection afforded by Indian Constitution to judges of High Courts and Supreme Court.
It is very easy to jump to the conclusion that it is at best the taming of a ‘temperamental’ high court judge. But it is not so easy to wish away the corruption in the judiciary including the higher judiciary. Fortunately, there were and there are honest, hardworking and sincere judges at all levels. But their number is dwindling. That is what causes and what should cause alarm.
From the web site of Supreme Court of India one can see three orders dated February 8, February 13 and March 10, 2017, to know, up till now, the pending case of Justice Karnan.
Under the order dated February 8, 2017, Suo Motu Contempt Petition (Civil) No. 1 of 2017 was initiated and show cause notice was issued to Justice C.S. Karnan by a seven judges bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar, with other judges on the bench, Justices Dipak Misra, J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B. Lokur, Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Kurian Joseph. Suo Motu means on the own motion of the judges. The order dated Mar 10, 2017 issued bailable warrant of arrest for being brought before Supreme Court on 31.03.2017.
With the order dated Feb 8, till the case is decided, Justice Karnan has been relieved of his duties and asked to return judicial and administration files to the court registrar.
It needs to be mentioned that the Contempt Petition against Justice Karnan is civil and not criminal. Contempt may be criminal or civil. Criminal contempt is conduct (whether words or actions) that obstructs or tends to obstruct the administration of justice. Civil contempt is deliberate disobedience of an order of the court or breach of an undertaking given to the court. Either is punishable by committal or fine.
The order dated Feb 8, 2017 issuing show cause notice to Justice Karnan returnable on 13.02.2017 does not record reasons for issuing the notice except directing the Registry, “the letters taken note of while issuing notice, are furnished to Shri Justice C.S.Karnan.” Therefore, people are compelled to infer that some letters written by Justice Karnan became the basis to issue the show cause notice for civil contempt.
It is difficult to understand how the letters written by a High Court Judge could form the basis for suo motu civil contempt proceedings. Since there are no explicit reasons recorded in the order dated Feb 8, for issuing show cause notice, the public is left to depend on the media to know the reasons. According to some of the media reports, Justice Karnan has written letters to the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister, Law Minister and Judges of other High Courts discussing the corruption connected to several sitting and retired judges and these letters formed the basis for suo motu contempt notice from the Supreme Court.
Justice Karnan is not the first person and the only person to talk of the corruption in the higher judiciary in India. Several years back, Shanti Bhushan, a very senior lawyer of the Supreme Court, and former Union law Minister, had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that half of the previous 16 Chief Justices of India were definitely corrupt (he named them in a sealed envelope which he gave to the Court), and he was uncertain about 2 more. The public is aware that since then more Chief Justices of India who retired had serious allegations of corruption against them.
In April 2016, noted lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan in a talk show was reported to have stated, “Judiciary is an important institution… But the judicial system has collapsed. A big movement is needed to improve it,” , “There is no institution free of government and judiciary (control) where a complaint against the judiciary can be lodged. Due to this, corruption is thriving,”
Over the years, considerable public discussion has been taking place in the country underlining the need for transparency in the functioning of the judiciary and in particular transparency in the matter of appointment and removal of judges.
In his defence, Justice Karnan is reported to have taken the position that he is targeted for seeking investigation into the corruption in higher judiciary. Truth cannot fail to be a defence in contempt of court proceedings. This is a pure question of law.
Another contention of Justice Karnan is that he is targeted and discriminated for being a Dalit. This requires examination of facts.
As regards the discrimination for being Dalit, some critics aired that Justice Karnan is hoisting Dalit card as some kind of red herring while there is no discrimination at all. To say there is no discrimination against Dalits and Lower Classes amounts to being as much honest as in claiming there is no corruption in the higher judiciary.
The legal defences, as known to the public through the media, that are being taken by Justice Karnan, even though they are not correctly and coherently articulated, cannot be arbitrarily brushed aside and they require consideration by an appropriate bench of Supreme Court. According to Justice Karnan, Supreme Court has “no locus standi” to issue a bailable warrant against a sitting judge. His contention is that no contempt action, either civil or criminal, can be initiated against a sitting High Court Judge under Sections 2(c), 12 and 14 of the Contempt of Courts Act or can he be deprived of protection under Article 20 of the Constitution. According to him, “Only a motion of impeachment can be initiated against a sitting judge of the higher judiciary before the Parliament after due enquiry under the Judges’ Enquiry Act”. Referring to the directive that he should be brought before Supreme Court (SC), under a bailable arrest warrant, Justice Karnan contends and says , “The SC shares equal power and rights with all the HCs of the country . It is not my master and I am not its servant. I will not appear before the SC.” He further added, “if the law keepers of the country have taken an unprecedented route to malign me, I’ve the power to take an unprecedented route to fight back”. It is perhaps the way a person reacts when he is pushed to the wall.
It appears, as part of the unprecedented route to fight back, Justice Karnan issued an “order” directing the CBI to register and probe cases under Article 226 and CrPc Section 482 against a host of judges from different courts for corruption, rape and embezzlement. “I had written to the PM to initiate investigations against at least 22 corrupt judges. That was on January 23 this year. Most of them are from upper castes and that is why no investigation has started. It is because I was bold to bring charges against them that I am being cornered now. I am a Dalit and that is why I am being targeted,” he said. He also appealed to the President to revoke the warrant against him. “Only the President can restore my prestige now and I appeal to his good offices,” Justice Karnan said.
The Achilles Heel of the seven judges bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Khehar gets revealed from its recorded contention in the order dated March 10, 2017, “In view of the above, there is no other alternative but to seek the presence of Shri Justice C.S.Karnan by issuing bailable warrants.”
The alternative available was ignored by the Supreme Court as could be seen from the recording in the very same order dated Mar 10, “It would be pertinent to mention, that the Registry of this Court received a fax message, from Shri Justice C.S.Karnan, dated 08.03.2017, seeking a meeting with the Chief Justice and the Hon’ble Judges of this Court, so as to discuss certain administrative issues expressed therein, which primarily seem to reflect the allegations levelled by him against certain named Judges. The above fax message, dated 08.03.2017, cannot be considered as a response of Shri Justice C.S.Karnan, either to the contempt petition, or to the notice served upon him.”
Thus the seven judges bench was not willing to extend the respect that a sitting Judge of High Court deserves for being heard keeping his dignity and honour as a High Court Judge and to explore alternative ways to resolve the razing conflict that could further damage the good name of the higher judiciary. The respect should be at least to the post of High Court Judge, if not to the person of Karnan. Attorney General for India Mukul Rohatgi could have assisted the seven judge bench in this connection. But as is evident from the order dated Mar 10, 2017, the seven judges bench is bent upon seeing the High Court Judge as contemnor, “The above fax message, dated 08.03.2017, cannot be considered as a response of Shri Justice C.S.Karnan, either to the contempt petition, or to the notice served upon him.”
Dealing with the curious case of Justice Karnan, eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani in his inimitable style informed the media that he has written a letter dated 11.03.2017 from the departure lounge of God’s airport giving advice to Justice Karnan, “As a senior member of the Bar and living in the departure lounge of God’s airport I am advising you to withdraw every word that you have uttered and humbly pray for pardon for every stupid action you have so far indulged in.”. Having been “convinced”, Jethmalani tells Justice Karnan, “Your behavior is that of a lunatic …”
The substance of Jethmalani’s letter in his own words, “In this corruption-dominated country, our judiciary is the only protection. Do not destroy it or weaken it,”
With due respects to Jethmalani it must be said that no one is trying to destroy the judiciary. The fact is judiciary is destroying itself. Jethmalani is looking at it from a wrong end.
While deciding to issue suo motu contempt notice to a sitting judge of High Court, and the subsequent bailable arrest warrant, the seven judges bench of Supreme Court, it appears, did not anticipate that the challenge to the institutional integrity and authority of the higher judiciary could originate not only from executive action, legislative provision, but also from judicial decision.
The legality and propriety of the decision to issue suo motu civil contempt notice to a sitting judge of the High Court and the bailable warrant of arrest cannot be decided by the very same seven judges bench who decided the suo motu contempt notice and bailable arrest warrant. It has to go to a larger bench for consideration.
The profitable way to analyse the curious case of Justice Karnan is not to focus on the “idiosyncrasies”, if any, of Justice Karnan but to find ways to examine into the allegations of corruption levelled by him. One obvious question that arises from this case is, even if the self-destructive adventurism of a High Court Judge fails to penetrate the convoluted condensate of corruption in the higher judiciary, whether the contempt notice and bailable warrant against Justice Karnan should ultimately result in pushing the issue of corruption under the carpet. Whether it is the right occasion to undertake thorough investigation into the corruption in the higher judiciary, in order to preserve and promote the health of Indian democracy and the rule of law in the country mandated by Indian Constitution?
The Method And The Manner of Punishing Justice Karnan Raises Questions of Law of Great Public Importance
By B K Subbarao
Commanding respect and not demanding is the central virtue of Courts administering justice. Supreme Court of India, being the Apex Court of the land has a constitutional responsibility to set an example in cultivating such a virtue.
The method and the manner in which a sitting judge of Calcutta High Court Sri Justice C.S.Karnan has been convicted for contempt of Supreme Court and sentencedon May 9, 2017, to imprisonment for six months by a Seven Judges Bench of Supreme Court which includes Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and Hon’ble Sri. Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameshwar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur, Pinaki Chandra Ghose, and Kurian Joseph, raises questions of great public importance. Examination of these questions is necessary to preserve and promote the trust, faith, and confidence of the common people in the judiciary.
No matter what happens in the case further to the sentencing on May 9, 2017, the record of the case at Supreme Court as it exists up to and including May 9, 2017, requires examination to see if there is sufficient valid material before Supreme Court to justify issue of contempt of court notice and sentencing to imprisonment, and whether the orders passed by the seven judges bench are well reasoned and whether those orders are just and fair.
Constructive criticism of judgements and orders of courts is permissible without attributing motives to the judges. This established position in law is the foundation for venturing to analyse the orders and decisions of Supreme Court of India leading to the punishment of a sitting judge of Calcutta High Court for the alleged contempt of Court.
Suo Motu Contempt Notice Not Well Founded
The seven judges bench of Supreme Court took suo motu (own motion) action. More particularly, the unprecedented case commenced with the SUO MOTU CONTEMPT PETITION (Civil) No.1 OF 2017 IN RE : HON’BLE MR JUSTICE C.S. KARNAN, and it has been launched and pursued by the seven judges bench.
For the purpose of present analysis, the orders of the seven judges bench dated February 8, 2017; February 13, 2017; March 10, 2017; March 31, 2017; 1st May,2017; and, May 09, 2017, have been downloaded from the web site of Supreme Court in Suo Motu Contempt Petition (Civil) No. 1 of 2017.
The unprecedented order dated February 8, 2017 issuing contempt of court (civil) notice to the sitting judge of high court, does not record clearly as to what act or omission of the high court judge constituted the contempt of court and how the suo motu action by the Supreme Court is warranted. There is a vague reference to the letters written by the high court judge to some quarters. More particularly, the seven judges bench in their order dated February 8, 2017, recorded,
“1. Issue notice to Shri Justice C.S.Karnan, returnable on 13.02.2017.
2. The Registry is directed to ensure, that a copy of this order, and the letters taken note of while issuing notice, are furnished to Shri Justice C.S.Karnan, during the course of the day, through the Registrar General of the Calcutta High Court.”
The only reason for issuing show cause notice for contempt of court (civil) that can be gathered from the above reproduced para 2 of the order dated February 8, 2017, is from the words, “the letters taken note of while issuing notice,”.
What those letters are, and in what way the contents of those letters would constitute offence elements to conclude contempt of court have not been mentioned in the order dated February 8, 2017, which in the next paragraph took away the powers of the judge to do judicial and administrative work as judge of high court,
“3. Shri Justice C.S.Karnan, shall forthwith refrain from handling any judicial or administrative work, as may have been assigned to him, in furtherance of the office held by him. He is also directed to return, all judicial and administrative files in his possession, to the Registrar General of the High Court immediately.
4. Shri Justice C.S.Karnan shall remain present in Court in person, on the next date of hearing, to show cause.”
Therefore, one is compelled to infer that some “letters” written by Justice Karnan became the basis to issue the show cause notice for civil contempt and also to divest the judge of his judicial and administrative work as judge of high court and the judge became contemnor and was required to appear before the seven judges bench of Supreme Court to reply to the show cause.
It is difficult to understand how the “letters” written by a High Court Judge could form the basis for suo motu civil contempt proceedings launched by the Supreme Court. Since there are no explicit reasons recorded in the order dated Feb 8, 2017, for issuing show cause notice, the public is left to depend on the media to know the reasons. According to some of the media reports, Justice Karnan has written letters to the Chief Justice of India, Prime Minister, Law Minister and Judges of other High Courts discussing the corruption connected to several sitting and retired judges and these letters formed the basis for suo motu contempt notice from the Supreme Court.
Justice Karnan is not the first person and the only person to talk of the corruption in the higher judiciary in India. Several years back, Shanti Bhushan, a very senior lawyer of the Supreme Court, and former Union law Minister, had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that half of the previous 16 Chief Justices of India were definitely corrupt (he named them in a sealed envelope which he gave to the Court), and he was uncertain about 2 more. The public is aware that since then more Chief Justices of India who retired had serious allegations of corruption against them.
Thus the order dated February 8, 2017 of the seven judges bench of Supreme Court compels every rational mind to reflect on the following points:
§ In the “letters taken note of while issuing notice,”,whether there are any names of judges who are sitting in the seven judges bench which issued to Sri. Justice Karnan show cause notice for contempt? If there are any such names or even one name, whether it is proper for the bench to issue show cause notice for contempt and whether it amounts to misusing the powers of Supreme Court?
§ If none of the presiding judges has been named in the “letters taken note of while issuing notice”, is it not necessary in the interest of justice for the seven judges bench to cause some form of investigation into the corruption in higher judiciary alluded to in the said letters and to request the judge of high court who wrote those letters to cooperate with the investigation, instead of targeting the judge of high court as contemnor?
§ Whether the contempt of court notice thus issued to a sitting judge of high court would give the impression to the people that the Supreme Court, for reasons not known, is pushing under the carpet the issue of corruption in the higher judiciary?
From the above furnished brief discussion, it is possible to say that the order dated February 8, 2017 of the seven judges bench issuing to a sitting judge of high court the unprecedented show cause notice for contempt of court, and also divesting the high court judge of his judicial and administrative powers is not a reasoned order. The cryptic words in the order dated February 8, 2017, “letters taken note of while issuing notice,”would show that the suo motu contempt of court notice issued to Sri. Justice Karnan is not well founded.
Opportunity To Avoid Crisis Missed
When one reads the orders of the seven judges bench carefully, one will come to know that there was in this unprecedented case an opportunity to find a solution respectable to both Sri. Justice Karnan of Calcutta High Court and the seven judges bench of Supreme Court.
The order dated March 10, 2017 of the seven judges bench shows that there was indeed an opportunity to find a solution respectable to both sides. But it was missed on account of the unwillingness of the seven judges bench to extend to Justice Karnan the respect that a high court judge deserves for explaining his position to the judges of Supreme Court without he being considered as a contemnor before them. This opportunity should have been utilized by the seven judges bench as their order dated February 8, 2017 issuing contempt notice does not record reasons, except the cryptic words “letters taken note of while issuing notice”, as explained above.
More particularly, in their order dated March 10, 2017, the seven judges bench of Supreme Court recorded that,
“2. It would be pertinent to mention, that the Registry of this Court received a fax message, from Shri Justice C.S.Karnan, dated 08.03.2017, seeking a meeting with the Chief Justice and the Hon’ble Judges of this Court, so as to discuss certain administrative issues expressed therein, which primarily seem to reflect the allegations levelled by him against certain named Judges. The above fax message, dated 08.03.2017, cannot be considered as a response of Shri Justice C.S.Karnan, either to the contempt petition, or to the notice served upon him.
3. In view of the above, there is no other alternative but to seek the presence of Shri Justice C.S.Karnan by issuing bailable warrants. Ordered accordingly. “
Thus it is clear from the above mentioned order dated March 10, 2017 of the seven judges bench, Justice Karnan did make a sincere attempt to find a way through personal discussion to resolve the issue of contempt notice against him as well as the interim orders keeping him away from judicial and administrative work. Since it was a suo motu contempt notice, there was at that time (March 10, 2017), a definite possibility to resolve the issues, by keeping intact the dignity and majesty of Supreme Court as well as the dignity of the judge of high court. But, for reasons not known, the seven judges bench of Supreme Court were bent upon seeing Justice Karnan as a contemnor. Therefore, they proceeded to order bailable warrants against the high court judge.
The Achilles Heel of the seven judges bench of Supreme Courtgets revealed from its recorded contention in the order dated March 10, 2017, “In view of the above, there is no other alternative but to seek the presence of Shri Justice C.S.Karnan by issuing bailable warrants.”The alternative was available, but it was ignored by the Supreme Court as could be seen from the recording in the very same order dated Mar 10, 2017.
Blemish On The History of Judiciary
If upon proper investigation, it is found that the allegations of corruption in higher judiciary levelled by Sri. Justice Karnan in his letters are ill founded and are not supported by evidence, then it is necessary and justified to allow clutches of law to reach him, but not otherwise.
The order dated May 9, 2017 of the seven judges bench of Supreme Court sentencing Sri. Justice Karnan to imprisonment for six months does not record reasons, except saying “Detailed order to follow.”. More specifically the order dated May 9, 2017 records:
“2. On merits, we are of the considered view, that Sri Justice C.S. Karnan, has committed contempt of the judiciary. His actions constitute contempt of this Court, and of the judiciary of the gravest nature. Having found him guilty of committing contempt, we convict him accordingly. We are satisfied to punish him by sentencing him to imprisonment for six months. As a consequence, the contemnor shall not perform any administrative or judicial functions.
3. Detailed order to follow.
4. The sentence of six months imposed by this Court on Sri Justice C.S. Karnan, shall be executed forthwith, by the Director General of Police, West Bengal, or through a team constituted by him.”
People of India would expect that the Apex Court of their land would do everything to avoid the impression that the Apex Court is trying to push the alleged corruption in higher judiciary under the carpet, more so especially when the Apex Court is embarking upon punishing a sitting judge of High Court who wrote letters to some concerned quarters seeking investigation into the corruption in higher judiciary. The above reproduced order dated May 9, 2017, clearly shows that the seven judges bench of Supreme Court acted in a hurry to punish the high court judge without recording detailed reasons.
Though the order dated May 9, 2017 does not record the details of the proceedings of the Supreme Court on that day, the media, print and electronic, reported some of the things that took place in the open court on that day.
Senior advocate Sri. K.K.Venugopalcautioned the Seven Judges Bench of Supreme Court of India with his submission, jailing a sitting judge of High Court would be a blemish on the history of judiciary. The Bench is reported to have responded in the open court, by saying that the Court could not make such distinctions when punishing for contempt of court, and “it would be a blemish if they did not take action.”
With profound respects to the seven judges bench of Supreme Court it is necessary to say that the reported words of the bench, “it would be a blemish if they did not take action”, may act like a boomerang on the Supreme Court of India to hurl around and deposit a long lasting blemish on the Supreme Court. The possibility of such a boomerang would be clear if one were to examine the order dated February 8, 2017 of the bench directing suo motu contempt notice to the high court judge with their cryptic words, “letters taken note of while issuing notice,” but not taking any action with regard to the contents of those letters covering corruption in higher judiciary.
The reported words, “a blemish if they did not take action” would be more attracted to the no action taken by the seven judges bench of Supreme Court in the matter of corruption in the higher judiciary complained of by Sri. Justice Karnan as a sitting judge of High Court with his letters to some concerned quarters.
It is necessary to bear in mind that the merits of the unprecedented case in the SUO MOTU CONTEMPT PETITION (Civil) No.1 OF 2017IN RE : HON’BLE MR JUSTICE C.S. KARNANwhich was caused and entertained by the seven judges bench of Supreme Court to issue contempt notice on February 8, 2017 against a sitting Judge of Calcutta High Court should be based on the material before the Supreme Court at that point of time (February 8, 2017).
For the order passed on February 8, 2017, the seven judges bench cannot take support in, and find justification from, the ‘queer orders’ subsequently “passed” suo motu by the sitting judge of Calcutta High Court and the statements by him carried in the print and electronic media.
The media covered the reactions of the High Court Judgeto the perceived arbitrary, unfair and unjust orders of the seven judges bench including the order dated February 8, 2017 directing show cause notice for contempt with stripping off the judicial and administrative powers, and the order dated March 10, 2013 of “bailable warrants” against the high court judge and also the perceived insulting order dated 1st May 2017 subjecting the high court judge to undergo “medical examination” with regard to his mental state.
To rely on the acts and omissions of Justice Karnan subsequent to the perceived arbitrary and unjust order dated February 8, 2017 and to decide the merits of the contempt notice issued on February 8, 2017 on the basis of those subsequent acts and omissions of Justice Karnan, would amount to putting the cart before the horse. It is impermissible to treat the effect as the cause.
The issue of corruption in the higher judiciary complained of by the sitting judge of high Justice Karnan transcends the personality of the high court judge and his “idiosyncrasies” if any.
In this connection, one may refer to the analysis and discussion in the article, “The Curious Case Of Justice C.S.Karnan: Contempt Notice versus Convoluted Condensate of Corruption in Higher Judiciary”, March 28, 2017,
The trust, faith, and confidence of the common people in the judiciary is bound to be affected when they see that that even the letters written by a sitting judge of High Court, risking his career, complaining about the corruption in the higher judiciary could not result in any form of investigation, and instead the high court judge is punished for contempt of court.
The fact isinstead of treating the high court judge as a whistle blower, he has been punished for contempt of court and it is bound to create a scare in the mind of any other person even to think of complaining about the corruption in higher judiciary. There is no hair splitting here. It is plain truth.
When the seven judges bench sits down to write a detailed reasoned order (which is reserved as per para 3 of order dated May 9, 2017) the bench may not fail to notice traces of arbitrariness in their very first order dated February 8, 2013 with suo motu contempt (civil) petition No.1 of 2017.
According to the renowned Cyril Vernon Connolly, an English literary critic and writer, “The test of a country’s justice is not the blunders which are sometimes made but the zeal with which they are put right.
In Antulay’s case, a seven judges bench of Supreme Court reviewed and recalled the decision of five judges bench of Supreme Court and held, inter alia, “To err is human. Courts including the apex one are no exception. To own up the mistake when judicial satisfaction is reached does not militate against its status or authority. Perhaps it would enhance both.”,
Whatever may be the compulsions of the seven judges bench of Supreme Court, some of the decisions of the bench to contain the perceived waywardness of the high court judge amounted to throwing out the baby with bathtub.
One such decision is banning the media, print and electronic, from reporting the happenings in the ongoing unprecedented case of sentencing to imprisonment a sitting judge of high court. Such a ban on media can no way help in enhancing the dignity and majesty of Supreme Court. The ban on media thus ordered can be challenged with appropriate petition before Supreme Court, on several grounds which need not be spelt out here.
Seven judges bench placed restrictions on the media as could be seen from the last paragraph of their order May 9, 2017, which is reproduced below:
“5. Since the incident of contempt includes public statements and publication of orders made by the contemnor, which were highlighted by the electronic and print media, we are of the view, that no further statements made by him should be published hereafter. Ordered accordingly.”
Several holes in the reasoning of the seven judges bench of Supreme Court in Justice Karnan’s case can be seen from the above reproduced paragraph in the order dated May 9, 2017 of the bench.
Every person, including a high court judge, who feels that his dignity has been ruined by the perceived arbitrary orders and decisions from any quarter he is entitled to spell out the injustice done to him and also to take steps as he thinks fit to counter the arbitrariness meted out to him. Whether he is justified to do so requires examination of facts. Gag orders placed on the media to prevent reporting of events as they happen will only be further evidence of arbitrariness.
There are traces of arbitrariness in the unprecedented order dated February 8, 2017 in that there are no reasons except the cryptic words, “letters taken note of while issuing notice,”, which letters admittedly seek investigation into the corruption in higher judiciary, but the seven judges bench avoided to order any form of investigation and at the same time caused suo motu contempt petition and passed the order on February 8, 2017.
With that order dated February 8, 2017 flowed two consequences for Sri. Justice Karnan, one is the show cause notice for contempt and the other is he is stripped off his judicial and administrative functions as judge of high court. It shows there is some justification for Justice Karnan to feel that his dignity has been wounded with orders of seven judges bench which are perceived by Justice Karnan to be arbitrary, unjust and unfair. The media is in no way committing any error by reporting the articulations and actions of a wounded high court judge who has some reason to feel that he is victim of arbitrary, unjust and unfair order/orders from the seven judges bench of Supreme Court.
Moreover, the order dated February 8, 2017 of the seven judges bench of Supreme Court suffers from lack of transparency. It is pertinent to mention, one of the judges in the present seven judges bench in Justice Karnan’s case, namely Sri. Justice Jasti Chelameswar in the past wrote an unprecedented letter to the then Chief Justice of India T S Thakur that he (Justice Chelameswar) won’t attend collegium meetings and was concerned over its lack of transparency. Incidentally, Sri. Justice Chelameswar was also the lone judge who last year had ruled in favour of doing away with the collegium system. The remaining judges had, through a majority judgment, struck down as unconstitutional an amendment to validate the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act.
Questions of law of Great Public Importance
From the facts and circumstances discussed above in Justice Karnan’s case, the following pertinent questions arise and they need examination in the interest of justice and in public interest:
(i) Whether it is proper, fair, and just on the part of the Seven Judges Bench of Supreme Court of India to pass order dated February 8, 2017 and issue unprecedented suo motu contempt of court notice to a sitting Judge of High Court and strip the High Court Judge of his judicial and administrative powers without giving reasons in the order except the cryptic words, “letters taken note of while issuing notice,”, which letters written by the High Court Judge admittedly seek investigation into, inter alia, the corruption in higher judiciary, but the seven judges bench avoided to order any form of investigation into the alleged corruption in higher judiciary?
Whether the suo motu contempt notice ordered on February 8, 2017 is without foundation and whether it fails to meet the eye of the law?
(ii) Having issued suo motu show cause notice to a sitting Judge of High Court and also having stripped off the judicial and administrative powers of the High Court Judge in a non-transparent way resorting to cryptic words , “letters taken note of while issuing notice,”, whether it is proper for the Seven Judges Bench of Supreme Court to decline on March 10, 2017 to afford an opportunity to the sitting Judge of High Court to explain his stand with regard to the “letters “ and with regard to the contents of those letters and to advance his reasons and present his requests to the Supreme Court Judges keeping his dignity as a High Court Judge and without he being required to appear as a contemnor before the Seven Judges Bench?
Whether the Seven Judges Bench acted in a hurry by issuing bailable warrants on March 10, 2017 against the High Court Judge and whether there is unusual keenness on the part of the Seven Judges Bench to see Sri. Justice Karnan as contemnor before the Judges of the Bench?
(iii) Whether it is just and fair to order on 1st May 2017 medical examination of the mental state of the sitting Judge of High Court while it is known to everyone that the acts and omissions of the High Court Judge and his statements to the media are merely his reactions firstly to the perceived arbitrary orders of suo motu contempt notice along with taking away his judicial and administrative powers as a High Court Judge and secondly to the perceived unjust bailable warrants against him and thirdly on account of the way in which the Seven Judges Bench declined his “repeated requests” during his personal appearance on March 31, 2017 before the Seven Judges “that he should be permitted to discharge judicial and administrativeduties.”?
(iv) Whether Supreme Court of India exceeded its jurisdiction and ignored and neglected the constitutional guarantees to Indian citizens, by directing the media, print and electronic, not to report the articulations and actions of a High Court Judge who has some reason to feel that he is victim of arbitrary, unjust and unfair order/orders from the Seven Judges Bench of Supreme Court?
(v) Whether the complaints of corruption in higher judiciary can be allowed to remain uninvestigated for fear of damaging the image of judiciary, while the higher judiciary has been exercising judicial authority to cause investigation into the complaints of corruption against serving or retired persons in higher Executive, Investigating Agencies and even Armed Forces?
Closing the case of Justice Karnan who is set to retire on June 11, 2017, with or without unconditional apology from him or in any other manner, will not render the above questions redundant.
Unconditional apology from Justice Karnan could at best be for the acts and omissions of Justice Karnan after the seven judges bench of Supreme Court passed the perceived arbitrary orders of suo motu contempt notice along with taking away his judicial and administrative powers as a High Court Judge and after the perceived unjust bailable warrants against him and after the seven judges bench declined to grant his “repeated requests” during his personal appearance on March 31, 2017 before the seven judges “that he should be permitted to discharge judicial and administrativeduties.”
Notwithstanding the way the case of Justice Karnan is brought to an end, the trust, faith, and confidence of common people in judiciary will remain wounded if the complaints of corruption in higher judiciary is to remain uninvestigated for fear of damaging the image of judiciary.
Full Text of Kalikho Pul’s 60-page Secret Note
A translation of the 60-page Hindi note written by the former chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Kalikho Pul on August 8, 2016, one day before he committed suicide.
Mere Vichaar / My Views
1. Birth – I was born [in 1969] into a poor, backward family. All my life I have faced adversity and endured wrenching sorrow; on many an occasion I have triumphed over my tribulations, too. My destiny had harsh misfortunes written in it from birth itself. For most people, the love and care of parents is a given as is the learning and wisdom imbibed from them. But the death of my mother, when I was 13-months-old, deprived me of her sheltering love. When I was six, my father, too, passed away. I have no one I can call my own. I have always been deprived of the love of parents and family.
2. I came into this world alone and I will leave this world alone. I believe that every individual comes out of his mother’s womb without anything, and departs the same way. If every individual could truly understand that, there would never be any strife in the name of religion, caste, distinctions of high and low, rich and poor, nor any battles over wealth, land, property, power and prestige.
3. When a human is born, he does not bring with him a name, caste, religion, community, language, region, wealth, property. But today’s human is increasingly losing sight of this reality. He is ever prepared to kill or be killed for these things. In the process he forgets the eternal truth that he is merely a soul. I have always looked at life as a mirror reflecting truth.
4. I know well that there is nothing in this world that is mine – apart from one’s body, that is. The clothes one wears, the possessions in one’s house, money, wealth, cars, land, power and position – the things over which we fight to establish our right – do not belong to me in any way.
That which is mine today, was someone else’s yesterday
And shall become another’s day after
Change is the only rule of the world.
But change should be according to rule and in the right manner.
5. I learnt to face the challenges of life from childhood itself, be it for bread or for my rights. As a child I walked miles to collect firewood from the forest for one meal. Trapped in poverty and helplessness I have laboured as a carpenter for a daily wage of Rs 1.50, earning Rs 45 per month. I have kept those tools of carpentry with me to this day.
6. Education – During childhood I was unable to attend day school regularly. Along with my carpentry work I managed to study at the adult education centre, Walla. Seeing my hard work and dedication, the school administration put me through a test and admitted me directly into class VI. When I was attending day school, between Class VI and VIII, I took up casual employment, studying during the day and working as a chowkidar at night. The job required me to raise the national flag at 5 am and lower it at 5 pm. For this I earned a monthly income of Rs 212.
7. Being a contractor – My very first job as a contractor involved the construction of one OBT [Editor’s note: ‘ordinary basha type’ construction of bamboo and wood] house for Rs 400, after which I built many roads, government housing and bridges. By the time I reached Class XI-XII, I owned a Gypsy and four trucks which I ploughed into my work.
7.1 By the time I reached college, my business had expanded considerably – I had my own conveyance, servants and also a small RCC [reinforced cement concrete] house with three rooms. Despite the fact that I have worked in one or other ministerial position for 23 years, I have not added a single room to that house. [Apart from this] I have a small house in Khupa, built in the 1990s with a personal loan from the State Bank of India, Tinsukia, and a house in Hayuliang, constructed with a personal loan from the State Bank of India, Tezu.
7.2 Before becoming an MLA, I owned a saw-cum-veneer mill as well, which brought me an annual income of Rs 46 lakh. I had become a crorepati in my student life itself but I was never arrogant on that account. God is my witness that I have never considered wealth, bungalows, cars, servants, power and position as an entitlement. I have always believed that my duty lies in the protection of humanity and service of the poor. I continue to think so to this day.
7.3. I say with pride that I am a self-made man. But I have never displayed any conceit about it. I have always used my wealth to help the poor, the helpless, orphaned and needy. At present, I sponsor the education of 96 students, taking care of their needs on an annual basis as well.
7.4 When I joined politics on December 26,1994, the very next day I surrendered my two trading licenses at the DC [district collector] office. Now that I had entered politics, I wanted to keep it separate from business. I never wanted to enter politics; I was compelled by people to take the plunge. People usually join politics to further their interests, but if someone were to embrace it with integrity, there is no better field of activity for service and constructive work. What can be better than a scenario where a politician’s reference, phone call or proposal in the assembly could help society and fulfill people’s needs?
7.5. In 2007, when there was an opportunity for me to become chief minister, I had declined.
7.6 In 2011 once again I was offered a chance to stake my claim to the chief ministerial post, and again I declined because I knew that my fellow legislators and ministers would not let me work as per rules and regulations and in accordance with the constitution.
7.7. When, for the third time [in February 2016], an opportunity for me to become chief minister presented itself, I accepted it, spurred by my desires and dreams. My effort was to take my backward state and its poor people forward – provide good roads and transport, a regular supply of clean, potable water, a good standard of education, efficient and free public health services, continuous 24-hour power supply, a peaceful and safe atmosphere for people of every caste and community, a better standard of living and income, prosperity and development for all, and well-being in every household. Keeping these concerns in mind and to bring these objectives to fruition, I have worked hard, body and soul, to take my state to greater heights and ensure benefits for its people. Perhaps my fellow ministers and legislators did not find this agreeable; they must be going by a different definition of what it means to be a minister or legislator. This was the reason why in the first place I had sought to maintain a distance from politics.
7.8. In a political career of 23 years spanning various ministerial positions, I have tried to make every possible contribution towards the state’s progress – in my constituency and across the state. But these accomplishments were not noticed by many. In over two decades I have worked with many chief ministers. My experiences told me that they did not work to clear-cut plans and were not able to prioritise properly. They always took their decisions based on their political calculations, turning a blind eye to the interests of the people. Legislators and ministers were invariably busy protecting each other’s interests.
7.9 My definition of being a leader is not limited to ensuring benefits solely for one’s family, kinsmen and friends. Ministers, legislators and senior officials are where they are not to help each other; they are chosen to work for the overall development of the state and service of the poor. But in all my years of politics I have seen politicians do just the opposite.
7.10. In my tenure of four-and-a-half months as chief minister I sacrificed my comfort and time with my family to work round the clock for the welfare of the people. I have upheld rajdharma in the true sense. Moreover, I created more than 11,000 posts in the departments of health, education and law enforcement, to be filled in the most transparent and impartial manner. I had submitted Plan and non-Plan funds in a rightful, planned manner. I had it conveyed to ministers that they were to refrain from taking money to arrange transfers, postings, promotions and appointments within the state. Perhaps that irked them. I had also given instructions that whether it was Plan funds, non-Plan funds, contract work, tenders or bill payments, no commissions should be allowed. Perhaps that also irked them.
8. A state with a population of 14-15 lakh elects 60 MLAs. From them, 12 are chosen to be ministers. The way I think, along with possessing a good education, good leadership and liberal thinking, those 60 MLAs should also be good human beings for whom serving the poor is their religion, humanity their creed, and the welfare of the people their duty. Our politicians need to rise above considerations of family, community, caste and religion. But there seems to be a complete paucity of such political leaders today, for every politician is busy lining his pockets, thinking more about himself, his family and relatives than about public good. To see this has caused me immense anguish. This is the sole reason for the state’s backwardness. Ministers and legislators are hand in glove with each other to forward their self-interest. The chief minister is busy pandering to important politicians, officials and businessmen. In such a situation, what will happen to the state of Arunachal, its society and people?
8.1. No attention is paid to streamline systems, be it roads, water and power supply, law and order, education, health and cleanliness because of which the ordinary man looks at politicians with suspicion. Here every MLA wants to become a minister, that too in the works department where they can have a fat source of income. Everyone wants to have more and more money in hand. Politicians and MLAs have virtually made it into a profession. This is the reason why governments keep changing in Arunachal Pradesh, the consequences of which are borne by the ordinary man; the state also suffers. When a government changes, many plans and programmes also get changed, and this obstructs the path and pace of progress. This should never happen. I am saddened by all this. I want to make the people aware and conscious so that they are able to understand and debate these issues, alter their modes of thinking, style of functioning, demeanour and policies – so that we can bring to fruition our desire for a golden future for our state and country.
8.2. Today, the people must ask ministers and legislators to how they managed to amass such wealth, land and property, houses and cars in such a short time. The people should be able to spot corruption and ask whether becoming a legislator or minister certifies politicians to make money or provides them access to a note-printing machine? I believe the people are supreme and they should know the truth.
9. Dorjee Khandu [Editor: chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh from 2007 till his death in a helicopter crash in April 2011] was an ordinary soldier of the Khandu Sena. Even after becoming a legislator he had hardly anything. But when he became minister for relief then he used official funds to line his own pockets.
9.1. When he became power minister, he made money by auctioning off rivers and water courses under hyrdro project schemes throughout Arunachal.
9.2. After this, he engineered the dismissal of Gegong Apang [Editor: in 2007] and himself became chief minister.
9.3. He owned palatial houses and bungalows in Tawang, Itanagar, Guwahati, Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru as well as many farm houses, hotels and commercial estates. Today, people say that Dorjee Khandu amassed over Rs 1700 crore of wealth and property. But he is no more, so of what use was this wealth? One cannot buy life with it nor can one take this wealth to the next world. What I mean is that it is sufficient for everyone to earn as much through hard work as is destined and adequate for one’s needs.
9.4. On social media (Facebook and WhatsApp) it is being said that Pema Khandu [Editor: Son of Dorjee Khandu and, since, July 2016, the chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh] has Rs 1700 crore in cash, and it is being asked from where he has got it.
9.5. It is for the people to think about what he possessed before becoming a minister and what he owns today. After all, he did not own a money minting machine or factory, nor did he have access to Kuber’s treasure. Then where did so much money come from?
9.6. This money belongs to the people, and it is on the strength of this money that those who strut around as ministers intimidate them, making the public run after them. It is imperative that the people demand answers and a thorough investigation of this matter.
9.7. The entire expense – the amount was around Rs 90 crore – for the Supreme Court case was borne by Nabam Tuki and Pema Khandu. The judgment of the court went against me.
9.8. In the aforesaid case, I too was approached on phone with an offer of getting an order in my favour for a sum of Rs 86 crore. But my conscience would not allow it. I did not indulge in corruption, I did not earn money [through ill-gotten means], nor did I have a desire to drag the state into a deep mess, so why would I misuse the money rightfully belonging to the government and the people to retain my power? The consequences are there for all of you to see.
9.9. Not just today but for years, huge amounts of money have been going to Tawang in the name of development. But those funds have been misused by politicians to line their pockets.
1. From 2005, a lot of money has gone into the Relief Fund. The public can get information about it through RTI queries. A survey of the project will show that nothing has been done.
2. Sizeable funds have come for promoting tourism.
3. Considerable funds have come for urban development.
4. Substantial funds have come for the power sector, too. In 2010-2011, in the name of the Kitpi Hydro project a sum of Rs 27 crore was raised through LOC [line of credit] without any sanctions or without any work on ground and without raising any invoices. That sum was embezzled.
5. Similarly, in the name of the Khantang and Mukto hydro project, a sum of more than Rs 70 crore was raised by means of false invoices and embezzled.
6. At the root of the PDS scam are Nabam Tuki and Dorjee Khandu. They are the ones who started it.
– During Gegong Apang’s chief ministerial tenure, the PDS system met all its obligations at an annual cost of Rs 61 lakh. Gegong Apang wanted to improve the system but everyone ganged up to trap him.
– When the government was formed, Nabam Tuki became the food and civil supply minister. He was the one who started the practice of head load [Editor: distribution of PDS food grain through head load carriage] in the state.
-Within just a year the work of the PDS was increased to Rs 68 crore, and in the following year to Rs 164 crore. This made the Central government suspicious of the state government and it instructed the FCI [Food Corporation of India] to conduct an inquiry and audit. When it came to light that the state government was at fault, the Central government stopped the funds earmarked for payment…
– The PDS was a GoI scheme and the funds earmarked for it are channeled through the FCI. The payments were not made from the state government’s funds.
– When Dorjee Khandu became chief minister [Editor: in 2007], he advised the PDS contractors to file a case against his own government, and also helped them.
– With regard to this case in the fast track court, sessions court, high court and Supreme Court, the state government often deliberately set out to be defeated. Under Dorjee Khandu’s leadership, the state government knowingly did not submit authentic records/documents and information. Many files and records were erased. For a 50% share, Dorjee himself helped the private parties to get a court decree against the state government, and the first PDS payment was released during his tenure.
– Until the time (November 30, 2011) I was finance minister and in spite of the court decree, I and the Setong Sena did not release the payment.
– It was for the express purpose of releasing the PDS payment that Nabam Tuki removed me from the finance ministry.
– I was immediately replaced by Chowna Mein as finance minister and within four days, on November 4, 2011, Nabam Tuki and Chowna Mein released the payment for the head load PDS for a 50% share.
– For the first time in the 23 years of my political life I witnessed the release of payment on the basis of a photocopy of a PDS invoice. Such a thing never happens in any other state.
– The PDS payment released was to the tune of over Rs 600 crore, made out from the state’s Development Fund whereas it was a GoI scheme, and the GoI, having detected a scam, had not advanced a single paisa to the state government.
– The main culprits behind the PDS scam are none other than Dorjee Khandu, Pema Khandu, Nabam Tuki and Chowna Mein.
– When I took over as chief minister, I had the matter investigated in a bid to save the state government. My government filed a case against the FCI as well as GoI and also submitted a review petition in the Supreme Court. I deeply regret that I could not save the state government in this case owing to the fact that all the former ministers, chief ministers and officials ganged up to do away with the relevant files and documents. The chief secretary, secretary, directors and officers stand to go to prison in this case.
– Until now, the genuine contractors who submitted proper tenders and worked well to handle the PDS land route and transport rice right up to the fair price shops, have not been paid.
– On the other hand is Pema Khandu, whose name has figured in the PDS scam, about which, even today, cases are under way in the high court and Supreme Court.
1. The names of Dorjee Khandu and Pema Khandu also figure in the SGSY [Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana] rice scam. The case is under way in the Supreme Court. Had Dorjee Khandu been alive, he would have been in prison today. Even though Pema Khandu is the chief minister, he will find himself in prison before long. The SGSY scheme was fraudulent from the word go because not a single grain of rice reached the villagers; the rice was sold off in Assam. The fact that false transport bills were created for the transport of rice that never was, was yet another level of fraud. This father-son duo has perpetrated scams within scams.
2. If any ordinary individual were to ask Pema Khandu questions such as how much rice came from the Centre under this scheme, who were the beneficiaries, when was the rice consignment delivered, who got it, and how much money was made through this scam, I can guarantee that he will not have a single answer. He has just one refrain, namely that he has a lot of money and there are a lot of people after it, but it is important for the public to realise that all that money has been made through scams.
It has become somewhat of a Congress policy to accord precedence to the corrupt, wrong-doers and fraudsters in leadership positions, so that they connive to loot the exchequer in order to send it up to the Congress high command.
9.10 Such people have not been touched because legislators and ministers want chief ministers like P.K Thongun, Gegong Apang, Dorjee Khandu, Nabam Tuki and Pema Khandu, against whom there are cases under way in the high court and Supreme Court, because these are the very people who can bribe officials, the judiciary.
9.11. During my chief ministerial tenure I ensured regular funds for every district under SIDF, RE and NP [non-Plan]. In spite of this, Pema Khandu and his two brothers sought an emergency fund of Rs 6 crore for hydro project maintenance, which was given to them. These funds had not even been touched when they sought more funds in the name of flood relief. They asked for another Rs 10 crore. Rs 10 crore was the sum marked for flood relief in the entire state but even then I gave the largest amount of Rs 6 crore for Tawang.
9.12. In a small state like Arunachal Pradesh, we had just Rs 51 crore in the NDRF, from which funds were to be disbursed across 20 districts and among 60 MLAs as per need. Many districts were in need of flood relief. I had to be even-handed in my approach towards every district and all the MLAs. At that juncture Pema Khandu and his brothers asked me for Rs 100.88 crore. Explaining the circumstances prevailing in the state I reasoned with them, but they became angry and made their move against me.
9.13. I would like to disclose one more thing, namely that Pema Khandu had a hand in the firing incident that took place on May 2, 2016 in Tawang. Pema Khandu did not allow bail to be given the arrested Lama. The phone conversation between the DC and SP Tawang has a mention of Pema Khandu. He had put pressure on the DC, ADC and magistrate to withhold bail in the shooting incident that happened in Tawang. Pressure was exerted on me and the chief secretary as well to refrain from taking action against the officials. Regardless, we took action against the concerned officials. This may have irked them. So many people were killed during this incident. Many of the severely injured are still being treated in Shillong and Guwahati. I personally met the families of those who died and also the ones who were injured, in Tawang, Shillong and Guwahati, making every possible effort to help them. But the incident left Pema Khandu untouched. It is for the people to reflect and decide who is right and who is wrong.
10. Nabam Tuki – From MLA to minister and chief minister, Nabam Tuki covered the ground in a very short span of time. Before becoming a legislator he had nothing; today he owns land and property in Itanagar-Naharlagun, palatial bungalows, farm houses and land in Kolkata, Delhi and Bengaluru. Photos and video of these properties were put up on social media as well.
10.1. In the hearing against Tuki, the Guwahati high court ruled against him and ordered a CBI probe. However, in the Supreme Court xx xxx xxxx xxxx, xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xxx xxxxx xxx xxxxxx, xx xxxxx xx x xx xx xxxxx xxxx, he got a stay and Tuki is moving around freely.
10.2. With regard to the PDS scam in Arunachal, Supreme Court Justice Kabir Altamas decided in favour of the contractors whereas the Central government and FCI, too, held this decision to be wrong.
10.3. From the bank account of xxxxxxxx, Rs 30 lakh were transferred to xxxxx’s account. This fact has been accepted by the Guwahati high court as well, and both the high court and the Supreme Court have a record of this transaction. xxxx xx xxxx xxxxxx, xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx xx xxxxx xxx xxxxxx xxxxx.
10.4. It was during his stint as food and civil supply minister that Nabam Tuki initiated the PDS scam. Despite there being a land route, he invented the need for head load carriage – by showing a 20 km road as 46 km long, and a 40 km road as 90 km long, he embezzled money. From places where rice, sugar and wheat never reached, he concocted invoices. Rice quota earmarked for Kurung Kumay and Subansiri was taken from the FCI base depot and sold in Lakhimpur (Assam). The rice quota meant for Tawang, East Kameng and West Kameng was sold in Tezpur, Assam. The rice quota meant for East-West-Upper Siang was sold in Dhemaji, Assam. The same invoice was doctored 6-7 times to extract money. In a state where Rs 61 lakh sufficed for the annual PDS rice quota, expenditure rose to Rs 168 crore annually in Tuki’s time.
10.5. By passing off old projects as new and by showing photographs, Tuki scammed the Relief Fund to the tune of 70%. He misused the funds and misled the public and the Central government. In this connection a PIL is being heard in the Guwahati high court. By perpetrating such schemes in the state he augments his wealth, which enables him to buy xxxxx, the Congress high command and the media. The people are silent onlookers.
10.6. Of the non-Plan [funds] allocated in the state, 60% was withdrawn and misused because of which very many centrally sponsored schemes continue to be in the doldrums, and because of which the state faced a continuous problem of overdraft in the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. As a result the salaries of public servants, wages, TA/DA, MR [medical reimbursement] bills, GPF/NPS [General Provident Fund/National Pension Scheme], student stipends and contractors’ payments could not be paid in time. Still, government employees, students, contractor and the public endured their travails, did not speak out against the government or show the courage to oppose what was happening. This made the corrupt more audacious, spurring them on to more corrupt acts.
10.7. The entire fund of TFC [Thirteenth Finance Commission] has been misused.
10.8. The SPA [Special Plan Assistance] fund too has been misused; work is at a standstill.
10.9. The SCA [Special Compensatory Allowance] fund has also been misused.
10.10. The state hoodwinked an innocent public by stating that there are funds in the Civil Deposit. When I became chief minister, the first thing I did was to have the matter examined, whereupon it came to light that there was no money there.
10.11. Where Dorjee Khandu would take 60% commission/bribe for Relief fund and non-Plan funds, Tuki increased it by 10%, bringing up his commission to 70%, thereby looting the state coffers.
10.12. These are the reasons why, for the last three years, the state has faced a problem of overdraft, with the state budget running a deficit.
10.13. Nabim Tuki bagged government contracts in many cities (Ziro, Pasighat, Tezu, Itanagar, Hawai) and many districts in the name of his wife Nabam Nyami. His brother and family members such as Nabam Tagam, Nabam Aka, Nabam Hari and Nabam Mary also bagged various contracts under government projects and programmes, and made the state exchequer bleed.
10.14. Tuki is solely responsible for all the scams and losses in the state. He is the one who pushed the state over the edge and fooled an innocent public.
10.15. On social media (Facebook and WhatsApp) many are asking how he has come to amass such wealth. If one were to look him in the eye and demand the truth, he would not be able to meet one’s gaze or utter one word.
10.16. It is due to the frustration caused by these very antics of Tuki that I and the legislators opposed him in one voice. Despite being a minority government, and with some help from his brother, Speaker Nabam Rebia, he managed to get two MLAs expelled and continued to run his government.
10.17. Despite there being a motion for the Speaker’s impeachment, Nabam Rebia continued in his position whereas action should have been taken within 14 days. Similarly, despite a no confidence motion, Nabam Tuki continued as chief minister even though the governor had asked him to prove his majority. Despite the Guwahati high court’s judgment of January 13, 2016, he remained in the saddle and kept looting the state [exchequer]. It would have been the right thing for him to submit his resignation but he did not do that.
10.18. The governor is the head of a state. It is with the governor’s concurrence that the names of chief minister and ministers are settled. Transfers, postings and appointments too are conducted under his direction. However, he [Tuki] consistently cocked a snook at law, justice and the public.
10.19. In over two decades I have worked with five chief ministers, but have never seen anyone as corrupt as Tuki or a system as venal as his. His government has been behind bandhs, strikes and riots in the state; it has pitted people against one another in the name of caste, religion and region, and engineered conflicts.
10.20. He has treated the government, law, democracy, the constitution, judiciary and public in a cavalier manner. He has always played politics in the name of caste, religion, community, language and region.
10.21. One who has filled his own coffers instead of serving the people must be asked by them about how he came by his land, property and wealth. Did he stumble upon a money minting machine? Strict action should be taken against him, and what is due to the public must be given to it.
11. Chowna Mein [Editor: currently deputy chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh, formerly a Congress leader, now in the Bharatiya Janata Party] – Among the important ministers of the state [of Arunachal], he is the most corrupt. In every department that has been under his charge, his name has come under a cloud. I am revealing his true face to the public.
11.1. There was never a practice of money changing hands in the RD [rural development] ministry but he made a beginning by demanding Rs 10 lakh to manage the post of PD (project director). For the post of APO he demanded a bribe of Rs 5 lakh, and at the BDO level a bribe of Rs 3 lakh. He had also fixed a percentage of bribe with the contractors working under the RWD and PMGSY programmes.
11.2. He took bribes for transfers and promotions as well.
1. EE – Rs 15 lakh.
2. AE – Rs 5 lakh.
3. JE – Rs 3 lakh.
11.3. On becoming education minister, Chowna took bribes between Rs 3-4 lakh to appoint individuals to teaching positions, doing away with the interview process.
11.4. In PHE [Public Engineering Health] and PWD also he made a lot of money by charging a sum of Rs 10-15 lakh for transfers and postings.
11.5. In LoC, Chowna Mein demanded money because of which many officials refused to go to the division, angered by him.
11.6. While he was PHE minister in the Jarbam Gamlin government, by brokering a deal of Rs 46 crore under the Relief Fund, within 15 days, with the help of ULFA and other underground forces he succeeded in toppling the Gamlin government.
11.7. During his tenure as PHE minister, Rs 76 crore had come from the Central government towards fulfilling water supply needs, which was misused. A record of it is available with an RTI activist who got out the details.
11.8. Then, after becoming finance minister in the Tuki government, he bestowed the gift of a financial crisis upon the state.
11.9. By putting the Development Fund in non-Plan [expenditure] the Fund was misused, which created the problem of overdraft during his time.
11.10. He invariably chose such departments that were characterised by a large number of transactions. He mostly sought to be in planning, finance and PWD so that he could earn hand over fist. Is the state likely to remain secure under such politicians?
11.11. Today he owns land, property, tea gardens, orange orchards and rubber plantations across the state; practically half the property of Namsai is in his name.
11.12. He also owns palatial bungalows, commercial estates and property in Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru.
11.13. The public must demand an answer from him as to why he misled the state and its people. Being a legislator or minister is not like owning a money making establishment; then how did he come by such wealth? Are these the real leaders of the Congress? [Editor: Since the time this note was written, Chowna Mein has joined the BJP]
12. Karikho Kri – This gentleman [Editor: Karikho Kri is an MLA with the Congress party] was once an MLA from Tezu. Before becoming a legislator he did not even have a house of his own. He used to stay with his elder brother who was a PHE engineer. For his first assembly election campaign he went everywhere on an old two wheeler. Within 3-4 years of becoming a legislator, he owned half of Tezu, including land and property. Now he owns big bungalows, fancy cars and sports an affluent lifestyle. In addition he has property in Itanagar, Delhi, Kolkata and Bengaluru. But no one asks him where all these riches came from. People run after him for his wealth. It seems that to become a legislator is akin to winning the jackpot in a lottery draw, for millionaires are made overnight. There are many such legislators in the state who get busy fleecing the state.
When the Supreme Court order came, several MLAs demanded Rs 15 crore from me in return for saving my government. However, I had not become chief minister to make money for myself or for others; I had done so to save and defend the government’s coffers in the interest of the public. As chief minister I wanted to take forward necessary schemes at the right time and in the right manner, to direct progress in a way that benefited the people. Whenever there is a political crisis in the state, such [corrupt] legislators make hay, demanding Rs 10-15 crore from both sides. In doing so they are auctioning themselves. How long will the state go on like this? The public must demand an explanation from legislators and launch a movement against them. Today’s legislators are all mired in corruption, they have no right to be sitting in the assembly. The public should demand their resignation so that they can elect a new and better government that benefits the state.
[At the bottom of the page, scribbled in pencil – It pains me that I was unable to accomplish my dear friend PD Sona ji’s demand for Rs 10 crore in cash; I was only able to give him Rs 4 crore on July 11, 2016.]
13.1. After thinking through issues and armed with a strong will and clear objectives, if we work with transparent policies and focused schemes aimed at development and serving the poor, we can achieve a great deal.
13.2. In the four-and-a-half months of my chief ministerial tenure, the work I accomplished is an example of how we can take the state forward. But my fellow legislators did not allow me to work; they will not allow anybody to work thus.
13.3. I say this because in my political career of 25-30 years this is precisely what I have seen legislators do. It is impossible to work with such corrupt and crooked legislators and political leaders. These people can never change or clean up their act. There is a crying need to teach them a lesson and nudge them towards realisation [of what they have done]. The time has come for the people to demonstrate their strength so that politicians never again think of treating them casually.
13.4. I am writing in this vein because a state where the government changes 3-4 times in four months stands to lose out in ways that cannot be imagined. The same public, in the absence of understanding, often fetes new chief ministers and ministers whereas to me that is a betrayal of the public.
13.5. Hence my fervent appeal to the people that they take this [my] message and this sacrifice seriously to demand accountability from their leaders, mount protests against them in villages, cities and districts, and call for the state to be put under President’s Rule so that it is centrally administered like before. All this so that the state develops, the people get what they are entitled to, and there is peace, happiness and well-being.
13.6. Let fresh elections be held on time, providing an opportunity to new faces, well-educated, progressive individuals and those who have struggled in life, so that the poor may benefit.
14. Congress – I joined the Congress when I was a student. I have been part of it for 33 years. There was a reason why I joined the Congress.
14.1. It was a time of principles, a time of ideas, and patriotism. On March 7, 1986 when Shri Rajiv Gandhi visited Tezu, I too was there to welcome him with a tricolour. I gifted him the flag and he told me to study well and become a good man. He made three points about Arunachal in his speech that day:
· Arunachal is an inalienable part of India.
· Delhi may be far but you [the people of Arunachal] are not far from my heart.
· We send Rs 100 from the Centre but only Rs 25 reaches the state; we shall fight corruption.
14.2. Deeply impacted by these views, I joined the Congress. From 1995, I have been consecutively elected from Hayuliang, with the highest margin of victory in the state. However, it saddens me to think that this Grand Old Party needs corrupt individuals and criminals, not those who want to serve the people. Today, politicians are not servants [of the people] but agents and touts intent on doing business to further their own interests.
14.3. Then there used to be debates on principles, policies and ideas. Today, the focus is on dividing the people in the name of reservation, funds, religion and region to gain their votes. The helplessness of the poor has become a playground of cynical politics. That too was a phase; this too is a phase.
14.4. In 2008, on Dorjee Khandu’s say-so and on account of my own helplessness I myself went to xxxxxx xxxxx four times to reach him the money – a total of Rs 37 crore.
14.5. In 2009, when the state received an advance loan of Rs 200 crore, on Dorjee Khandu’s say-so, I arranged for Rs 6 crore to be sent to xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx, then Union xxxxxxx minister, at the following address xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx.
14.6. In 2015-2016 I was in Delhi for 13 months during which time I met the following Congress leaders:
· I met Narayanswamy 13 times
· I met Kamal Nath four times
· I met Salman Khurshid five times
· I met Ghulam Nabi Azad five times
14.7. But Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi did not meet me. While Salman Khurshid and Ghulam Nabi Azad heard me out and tried to help me, xxxxxxxxxxxxx demanded Rs 110 crore for the party fund and for himself. He conveyed this message through his personal staff xxxxxxxx xxxxx. I was called to Sagar Ratna (South Indian restaurant) several times so that the demand could be conveyed. Xxxxxx xxxxxx asked for Rs 9 crore. When I met xxxxx xxxxx, he too asked for Rs 130 crore, which was conveyed through xxxxx xxxxx, Mr. xxxxxx and xxxxx xxxxx.
14.8. All these instances grieved me. For days I remained plunged in thought, overcome by anxiety. The party spilled much venom against me but even so, and after winning three court cases, I continue to be associated with the Congress. In truth, I have seen the real face of the Congress and now I have no desire to remain either in the party or in politics. The titans of Congress did not follow their rajadharma then; they are not doing so now. It was my misfortune that I walked in darkness for so many years and was associated with a party that took my blood, sweat and toil and gave me back nothing but tears. I am ashamed to say it but the entire Congress structure is corrupt.
15. Law – The importance of the rule of law and justice is uppermost in a democracy. If there were no law or judiciary, democracy would not be able to function. The role of the judiciary is to secure the rights of the people, the poor and the helpless.
15.1. But what I have seen happening is the exact opposite. I have witnessed the brokers of justice; I have seen that justice is for sale. Today, the law itself has assumed the role of an influence peddler to broker justice.
15.2. The state government, the FCI as well as the Central government stated that the PDS scandal was a scam but even then the Supreme Court, after letting the accused walk, directed that full payments be made to them. The state treasury was virtually emptied out. Xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx x xxxxx xx Rs 36 crore xx xxxx x xxxxx xxxxxxx, xxxx xxx xxx xxxxxx xx xxx xx-xxxxxxx xx xxx xxxxxxxx xxxx. On earlier occasions, too, xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxx xxxx xxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxxxxxxx.
Present court matters
15.3. In the assembly session of December16-17, 2015, the Nabam Tuki government was removed after losing a vote of confidence.
15.4. Whereupon Nabmam Tuki returned with a stay order from court. His Speaker, Nabam Rebia, also remained in his position. So much had transpired but we did not form the government.
15.5. On January 13 , the Guwahati high court dismissed the stay as well as the petition. Then Nabam Tuki knocked at the door of the Supreme Court. His government continued.
15.6. Even after the Guwahati High Court verdict we did not form the government.
15.7. Soon the law and order situation started deteriorating. There were incidents in every corner of the state. So much so that even the governor found himself at the receiving end of discourtesy. Peace vanished, there were daily strikes, and a financial crisis reared its head in the state. The situation went from bad to worse.
15.8. The 16-17 December session of the assembly was not considered legitimate; in the previous six months there hadn’t been even one assembly session. Due to this, a constitutional crisis also raised its head in the state.
15.9. Seeing the rising graph of incidents, the state was brought under President’s rule on 26 January  and the Nabam Tuki government was removed.
15.10. On February 19, President’s rule was lifted. With the support of 33 legislators, we staked a claim to form the government. The governor invited us to form the government, asking us to prove our majority within 10 days.
15.11. Within a week, i.e., on February 25, we proved our majority on the floor of the house.
15.12. In no way was our government formed by flouting the law – we worked in accordance with the constitution, the law, dictates of justice and ethics.
15.13. The salient points of the judgment delivered by a five judge bench of the Supreme Court [on July 13, 2016] were as follows:
· It rejected the advancing [of the assembly session date] by the governor
· Rejected the governor’s message
· Keeping the above two points, it rejected the assembly session of December 16-17, 2015.
· Keeping the above three points in mind, it rejected the decision of the assembly [to remove the Tuki government]
15.14. The Supreme Court judgment did not say anything that could be construed as being against my government. The Supreme Court bench did not say anything about the imposition of President’s Rule in the state either. Neither did it say anything about the floor test conducted during the seventh session of the sixth legislative assembly. The budget session, the eighth session of the sixth legislative assembly, took place after this and the budget was passed, but the Supreme Court did not comment on it.
15.15 The Supreme Court judgment delivered in this case was absolutely wrong, for the laws enshrined in our Constitution are well known.
· Article 174 – The Governor shall from time to time summon the House or each House of the Legislature of the state to meet at such time and place as he thinks fit.
· Article 175 – The Governor may send messages to the House or Houses of the Legislature of the state, whether with respect to a Bill then pending in the Legislature or otherwise, and a House to which any message is so sent shall with all convenient dispatch consider any matter required by the message to be taken into consideration.
· Article 163 – The chief minister or council of ministers can take advice from the governor. If any dispute arises, the decision of the Governor shall be final. The Governor’s decision cannot be challenged in any court.
15.16. In the event of a government falling in any state or a minority government plunging into a crisis, these laws elaborated upon in our constitution give the governor the right to summon the legislative assembly and instruct the chief minister to prove his majority.
15.17. This was not solely about removing Nabam Tuki; it was also about a motion to move a resolution for the removal of the Speaker Nabam Rebia. Knowing this, Nabam Rebia, instead of calling the session within a month, summoned the assembly more than two months later, which was unprecedented. By doing this he was giving his brother Nabam Tuki enough time to buy legislators.
15.18. The motion for moving the resolution should be after 14 days from the date when a notice of the resolution is received. Keeping this in mind, the governor decided to advance the assembly session. The governor consistently functioned within the ambit of law; he was not at fault.
15.19. After being at the receiving end of the kind of verdict that the Supreme Court delivered, I have lost faith in the judiciary. While the legislators of Arunachal are for sale and so too the Congress, it grieves me to think the unthinkable – that even xxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xx xxx xxxxx xx xxx xxxxxx/xxxx xxxxxx.
15.20. I and my associates were contacted several times to say that the decision could be made in my favour xxxxxxxx for xxxxxx Rs 86 crore. I am an ordinary man. I don’t have the kind of money that is xxxx xx xxx xxx xxxxx xx xxxx xxxx xxxx, nor do I want to do so.
15.21. The chief minister’s position exists to serve the people and ensure their safety. I have no wish to xxxx that position. That is precisely why I did not approach the court again or file another application.
15.22. xxxxxxx xxxxx, xxx xxxxx xxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxx got in touch with my associates and demanded Rs 49 crore.
15.23. xxxxx xxxxx, xxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx, demanded Rs 37 crore from me.
15.24. xxxxxx xxxxx – He has his own lobby in the Supreme Court. Lawyers and xxxxx xxxx xxxxx xx x xxxxx xxxx xxxx and xxxx xxxx xxxxx.
Travelling to Guwahati by chartered plane, within half an hour Kapil Sibal got a Keep in Abeyance order from the court, whereas earlier the court had turned down this case.
Along with Prashant Tiwari I met Kapil Sibal four times and told him the reality of Nabam Tuki.
When I met xxxxx xxxxx at his residence (at xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx, xxxxxx xxxxx) he had demanded Rs 9 crore from me, Rs 4 crore in advance. xxxx xx xxxxx xxx xxx xx xxxxx xxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx.
At the Guwahati High Court we won this case where the Congress did not exert influence over lawyers xxx xxxxx.
Later we came to know that Congress president Sonia Gandhi had xxxx xxxx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxx xxxx xxxx to fight Nabam Tuki’s case again.
Xxxx xxxxx was the one who by xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxx plotted the entire game, notching up a false victory for Nabam Tuki. Today he is x xxxxxx xx xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx. In my entire political career I have observed that the xxxxx is xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxx. They are all in it together.
15.25. I was contacted up till the night of July 12 and told that if I gave an advance sum of Rs 9 crore, xxx xxxx xxxxx xxxx put off for a month; upon receiving the remaining Rs 77 crore, xxxx xxxxx would be xx xxx xxxxxx.
15.26. I did not pay heed to them, nor did I consent to give money. Seeing the faltering process I decided not to react to the judgment, nor did I submit an application for a relook at the verdict, because I knew that xxxxx xxxx xxx xxxx xxx xxx xxx.
15.27. Up until today, i.e., July 25, xxx xxxxx xxxxxxxx has been in touch with me on behalf of xxxxxx xxxxxx, talking about a change in xxx xxxxxxx. When and how a petition is to be filed, he has already figured it out. For this he has demanded Rs 31 crore.
15.28. The country and its people must identify these brokers of justice and merchants of corruption. And, guided by their inner voice of conscience, they must sift truth from falsehood and right from wrong on the scales of justice. It is necessary for the government to keep an eye on xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx and even bring a law that equips it to challenge the Supreme Court’s decisions so that xxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx is rooted out. Such a law that enables the good of the country and the people should be made as soon as possible.
15.29. Today in our country, lawyers xxx xxxxx, xxxxx, xxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx. xxxx xxxxxxx xxxxx xx xxx xx xxxx xx xxx xxx spin and xxxx a xxxx xxxx. The truth is bitter, but to this extent? I had no inkling. Facing one bitter truth after another my soul trembles. I have lost faith in the law. I worry about the country and wonder what lies in store for its innocent public. Friends, whatever I have enumerated here is cent-per-cent accurate. These expressions have come forth from the depths of my soul. At no point have I resorted to exaggeration or sensationalism, nor have I played around with facts.
15.30. What we used to see on the film screen or read in stories, we are witnessing in reality today – which proves that money speaks. Wherever there is an incident, as the process of complaint, inquiry, court case and hearing gets into motion, the situation and circumstances don’t change. Then why do the opinions and decisions of judges change? It is the same constitution that is kept in the lower court, session court, high court and Supreme Court, and is available outside court precincts as well. Apart from lawyers and judges, people from other walks of life also read and understand it.
15.31. When the text of law does not change, how come the decisions of judges change? Why does the verdict of victory and defeat in a case change time and again? The changing verdict tells us xxxx xxxxx xxxx xxx xxxx. But the truth is not altered by these decisions – the truth is eternal, unchanging; even god cannot negate it.
15.32. During my childhood itself I won the love and trust of villagers; from my student life onwards I have won every election I have contested. Even today I have not seen the face of defeat in my political career: in 1995, after winning my first assembly election I was made a minister. I have worked hard in every position that I have been assigned, with not a whiff of scandal attached to my name. In my short life I have made a considerable contribution to the development of society, community, region and state, in the service of the people.
15.33. Hence I have no regrets or sorrows in life about what has come my way. It is for this reason that I don’t look upon the Supreme Court verdict as my defeat. I know that if I choose to file a clarification, review petition or SLP, I am sure to win. But xxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xx Rs 80-90 crore xxxx xxxxx xxxxx and that is why I do not want to do any such thing. My message to the innocent and naïve public of this state and country is simple and crystal clear.
16. I appeal to my beloved people to always cast their vote for public good. Never succumb to pressure and kill your future; never let any strongman make you cower. For the sake of some liquor and money that is distributed during election time, do not push your future and posterity into quicksand; never compromise on your rights. Before casting your vote if you look at your children once and think about their future, I guarantee that your vote will go to the right candidate. The public should be able to see through the candidates’ hollow election slogans. When the candidates ask for votes, people must quiz them on issues of right and wrong and to the extent possible, cast their votes after getting to know somewhat about their past life, their ideas, values and conduct.
16.1. It has often come to my notice that honest people fight shy of participating in the electoral process. They think that one vote makes no difference, which is fallacious thinking. Each and every vote is as precious as a diamond because it contains that strength of democracy which is capable of rooting out despots and strongmen.
16.2 It is up to the people to decide. It is their duty to cast their vote in favour of the candidate who thinks of their welfare; it is immaterial which community, religion or caste they belong to. The public should elect candidates who are well-educated, principled, grounded in values and patriotic ideas, have faced hardships and struggled hard to come up in life, and are capable of leading the state and country in the right direction.
17. Students – To students I just want to say that they should pursue their studies with dedication, hard work and integrity. Consider your studies as worship and harness your devotion and strength to achieve your goal. The knowledge and understanding gained in your student life will be with you for the rest of your life. You should use the time at your disposal to acquire knowledge, share knowledge and immerse yourself in knowledge.
17.1. At this stage you are like an unbaked pot of clay that can be shaped any which way; any attempt to give a shape to it after it has been baked will break the pot. Hence you must recognise the importance of this phase in shaping your life in inspiring ways. Peep into the life of any great personality and you will discover that they have faced the maximum struggles in their student life. Today you must think solely about your career and your goal to achieve which you must be unstinting in your efforts
17.2. At this stage you should take care to be at a remove from politics, and business. If you gravitate towards these two things, they are likely to divert your attention, making you lag behind in your studies.
17.3. Our country has had a long tradition of vidyashrama – the student would leave his home, family and comforts for the rigourous education of an ashram, learning the shastras, the use of weapons, and politics. Today we need a similar educational ethic whereby we allow our children to imbibe, in a way appropriate for them, an understanding of sports, music, the shastras, science, mathematics, and politics. Do not enter politics or get caught up in its web at this stage.
17.4. I see students as a non-political pressure group whose role is to keep an eye on the government, politicians and officials, raising their voice for the benefit of society. If student bodies do not speak out against the machinations of a corrupt government system, who will? Who will show the right way to people and society? Once you have completed your studies you are free to join any professional stream or field.
18. NGOs – The real purpose of running an NGO is to think about the country, kindle awareness among people, reflect upon public good and put forth one’s views on the rights and wrongs of our land. More than the government, it is NGOs that have a crucial role to play with regard to the welfare of society, state and country. An NGO needs to be fuelled by a greater spirit of service than the government. It is important to work with conviction, dedication, hard work, integrity and passion.
18.1. However, most of the NGOs I have come across seem to be more interested in making money, blackmailing officials and embezzling funds meant for the welfare of the people. I have seen social workers leave their work and devote more time to meddling in the work of others. They all have their distinct lobbies with whose help they fleece people, acting as go-betweens who have access to the government and bureaucracy.
18.2. This is precisely why social workers are not respected in the state, nor is their voice heeded. To reclaim your lost image as social workers you need to work unitedly to safeguard humanity and raise your voice against corruption, wrong policies, discrimination, hierarchies of high and low as also against those who perpetrate atrocities on the poor and the backward. I pray that you never falter in your steps while following the path of righteousness.
19. Leaders – While I do not want to give a sermon to political leaders, I would certainly like to communicate the questions that have arisen from my own experiences. To leaders and ministers I would like to say that being in politics means thinking about the public as your family, seeing their problems as your problems and extending all help to them. It is not possible to become a leader without the love, cooperation and blessings of the people.
19.1. During election campaigns, more than the candidates, it is party workers and voters who work extremely hard, propelled by hope. Their families are often split down the middle, and even though matters assume violent proportions sometimes, they do not desert their candidates on the sole hope that their candidate, upon getting elected, would work towards their welfare – provide good roads, uninterrupted supply of clean water, better education and health, jobs for the youth, a better standard of living and economic growth, and uphold the rule of law so that the state does well on development.
19.2. The purpose of entering politics is not to make money but to serve people. If making money is one’s only aim, there is no need to become a political leader. There are many other avenues of earning wealth – through farming, trade, employment, winning government contracts, taking to sports or cultural activities.
19.3. Politics in the true sense is another name for social religion. Its pursuit demands that you sacrifice your comforts and wealth to work for the welfare of every segment of society. It will not do to divide and mislead people in the name of religion, caste, region and language. In fact it is important to ensure that peace is maintained in the interest of preserving our national integrity, social harmony and sovereignty.
19.4. But I am deeply saddened by the fact that in Arunachal Pradesh, those who become leaders forget the people and become self-serving. To fill job vacancies they choose their own family members or relatives or individuals from their caste. After all that, if some posts are left, they offer them to others but for a bribe. But ideally, such jobs should go to those who are needy, poor and backward in every sense of the term. Even if they do offer a position to a poor man, they do not shy away from asking for a bribe. For a price, they manage transfers of officials due to which capable individuals are deprived of an opportunity to show their mettle. To ensure promotions too they ask for bribes.
19.5. When contracts are awarded, legislators and ministers ensure they bag them in the name of their wives or children. If the contract is awarded to someone else, they are sure to ask for their share of the pie. In such a scenario, there is no place for the honest contractor. Consequently, work will never be completed in time nor will its quality be up to the mark.
19.6. In the state, schemes are conceptualised not to meet the needs of the public but to meet the legislators’ desire for making money. They not only decide on tenders beforehand but also on the share coming to those involved.
19.7. While scant progress is made on sanctioned schemes, great progress is made by legislators and ministers in augmenting their wealth. They show a great spirit of cooperation among themselves in swallowing up that wealth. Much before public projects reach fruition, leaders’ edifices shoot up.
19.8. Ideally, once a scheme gets sanctioned, it should take a year for completion; a larger project should take a maximum of two years to be completed.
19.9. In Arunachal, however, one project can take as long as eight to nine years to ensure that legislators and ministers get ample time to line their pockets. Take the instance of the secretariat building, assembly building, the state hospital in Naharlagun, MLA cottages, convention hall – these projects have gone on for more than 11 years. The secretariat building has seen four chief ministers come and go, namely Gegong Apang, Dorjee Khandu, Jarbam Gamlin and Nabam Tuki. Not one of those chief ministers succeeded in getting that project finished. There were scams in each one’s tenure. The Plan fund was increased threefold or fourfold times but the work still remained unfinished.
19.10 During my tenure, with the help of the necessary funds and an ultimatum, I managed to get the secretariat building completed. The offices of the chief minister and ministers are ready to be occupied. Moreover, I employed the same stratagem in trying to get the assembly building and state hospital of Naharlagun completed in time for shifting in August. I invested hard work, passion and energy in this endeavour; it was my duty to do so. I have presented an example of work culture that I hope will be followed in future projects and programmes as well.
19.11. In Anjaw district, which falls in my constituency, I accomplished the construction of 11 micro hydropower projects in time and within the sanctioned amount. Despite the fact that it is a hilly and border region, we made good progress, with the result that the DC headquarter and CO headquarter in the district boasts a 24 hour supply of power today. Contrast this with the fact that the state capital Itanagar and some of the oldest cities of the state, such as Pasighat, Ziro, Aalo and Tezu, still have an insufficient power supply.
19.12 In the Hawai district headquarter, I had got a township water project passed. Completing this Rs 14 crore project in hilly terrain posed a challenge, but the work was completed within two years. Today, two towns (old and new) in the region are enjoying the benefits of this project.
19.13. Prashant Lokhande, secretary planning, and I had got a similar project sanctioned for Tezu. Although the area is a plain, the project is still to be completed while the entire budget of Rs 24 crore has been exhausted. In fact, the funds have been misused. Former MLA Karikho Kri and his brother, an engineer, misused the funds. The people of Tezu continue to experience water problems.
19.14. In the same way, there were many schemes for road improvement in Tezu township, with funds amounting to Rs 29 crore raised in four years from different sources (SPA, TFC, NABARD and non-Plan). There was a misuse of funds, for the roads are yet to be built over and repaired. In many other parts of the state as well, projects were sanctioned in assembly constituencies and towns. In all these cases, the funds were exhausted but the projects remain incomplete.
19.15. But there is no accountability whatsoever anywhere in this state. While legislators and ministers move forward by working hand in glove, few projects are able to move ahead. The consequences are borne by the people and the state which is unable to develop. From chief minister to legislator, they are all corrupt. The state is the ultimate loser.
19.16. In today’s time, people are the worst sufferers of corruption. They see it, suffer it but do not raise their voice against it, even though they are the ones who elect the government. In such a situation, truth is a casualty. It is imperative that the people come together and protest the corruption-ridden system.
19.17. Officials are bound by rules and regulations and structure, and they should go by them. They are appointed to provide amenities to the people. Instead, they cooperate with leaders and officials in high places in a self-serving manner, caving in to pressure. In such a situation who will think about the people? Who will forward their interests? Where will the people go?
19.18. The role of the police and administration is to ensure the safety and security of people’s life and property, extending them every possible assistance. But what they are doing today is fawning over politicians and politicking in their company – working solely for them. What will happen to the people? Who will protect them?
19.19 The judiciary’s role is to determine the truth and punish those who are corrupt and untruthful, be it an official, leader or minister. However the state of affairs is such that from the lower court to the Supreme Court, lawyers xxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx. In such a situation what will be the fate of straightforward, innocent, hardworking and cultured people? Who will give them a hearing? That is why it is saddening to see xxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxxx. Only god can save the people. But god certainly cannot descend to vote in an election or cleanse the corrupt system. I fervently pray to God, bestow understanding on an innocent and naïve public and give it the strength to voice protests against corruption, fight corruption and root out the leaders with corrupt minds.
19.20. When the people at the top leave much to be desired, how can one blame anyone else? Important chief ministers such as Dorjee Khandu, Nabam Tuki, Chowna Mein and Pema Khandu have always been driven by their self-interest.
19.21. I wanted to stamp out corruption, utilise government schemes and public money for development work. I wanted to put my state and its people on par with the other states and ahead of them. Perhaps my fellow legislators did not approve of this line of thinking.
20. I ask, when will the public wake up from its slumber, when will it come to its senses? How long will people be taken in by the leaders’ flashy cars and their lures of liquor and money in return for votes, mistaking their false promises to be the truth? In reality, the public wants to remain in a fool’s paradise, it runs from the truth. It is for the people to decide what they need to do. My job was to tell them the truth, but the decision lies in their hands.
20.1. In the 23 years of my political journey, having graced various ministerial positions, the work that I did for the good of the state and its people in various departments, the work I did in my constituency – perhaps you were not able to see it.
20.2. In the four-and-a-half months of my chief ministerial tenure, whatever work I did was also for the good of the state and the people. It was seen, heard, understood and appreciated by you.
20.3 I congratulate the people of Arunachal and the country, especially the youth for supporting and appreciating the work accomplished by my government on social media – as many as 17 lakh people shared our government’s work, policies, schemes and decisions on platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter.
20.4. I have no vested interest in telling you all this. I do not fear anyone. I am not weak and I do not consider this as an act of surrender on my part.
20.5. The sole purpose of putting these concerns out in the open is to awaken the people and make them see the dirty games being played in the state and country, the corrupt acts being perpetrated, and the reality of corruption that has seeped into the system. But people have a short memory, they forget too soon. Keeping this in mind I have taken this step in order to jog public memory, awaken people, reason with them and implore them to ponder these issues. This is also my way of reposing faith in them.
20.6. In my short life I have endured a lot, seen and experienced a lot, struggled a great deal and at times made sacrifices for the happiness of others and benefit of society. I was never defeated, nor did I ever accept defeat.
20.7. I have always taken decisions in the interests of our state and its people. I have surrendered my comforts and peace of mind, time and health, riches, my family and even myself to the people. Every breath and every moment I have sacrificed for the welfare of the people. If even 0.1 per cent realise the intent behind my message and my sacrifices, and are inspired to effect some improvement in their modes of thinking and action – rejecting greed, aggressive pursuit of self-interest and rancour and devoting some time to constructive acts – it would be worthwhile. I want the voice of my heart, my thoughts, experiences and message to reach as many people as possible so that I can reason with you, prod you awake and give you confidence and strength in the fight for truth.
By Legally India
The suicide note of former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Kalikho Pul, has landed the apex court in a bit of a dilemma, with its decision to judicially hear as a writ petition, the letter written by his widow, Dangwimsai Pul, backfired last week.
The closure of the Arunachal Pradesh case by the Supreme Court had been an occasion for a nice bit of banter by the judges on 29 September last year.
Little did they know then that the case would boomerang back to them like this, only five months later.
Kalikho Pul had committed suicide on 9 August 2016. But his suicide note appears to be making waves only now. Is the note and the delay in publishing it, like his suicide, not suspicious?
Well, one could say that.
In retrospect (and with all due respect to the late Mr Pul), his purported suicide note (if it is indeed genuine) makes him appear as a somewhat naive politician who could not digest the loss of power due to a judicial diktat.
By contrast, Pul’s rebellion against the then Chief Minister, Nabam Tuki, had conveyed the impression that Pul was anything but naive.
Kalikho Pul had brought down Tuki, and became the Chief Minister on 19 February 2016 with the help of the then governor, Jyoti Prasad Rajkhow, and the central government, which revoked President’s rule after three weeks, which had enabled Pul to be sworn-in as Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister.
But on 13 July 2016, the Constitution bench which had heard multiple challenges to the game of thrones in the state, delivered a verdict, reinstating Tuki.
Although Tuki made way for Pema Khandu, the present Chief Minister, to be sworn-in to ensure party unity, Kalikho Pul could apparently not quite reconcile himself to the Supreme Court having played a role in all this. Khandu and his entire group of supporting MLAs, had quit the Congress and merged with a regional party, and later merged with the BJP.
That Kalikho Pul committed suicide on 9 August, within a month of the Arunachal Pradesh verdict, and purportedly left a 60-page note in Hindi, affixing his signature on every page and to every correction, suggests that the note’s objective was something more than merely stating the reasons for his suicide.
And the timing of the disclosure of the suicide note, six months after Kalikho Pul’s death, is also suspicious.
Dangwimsai Pul, wife of Late Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul addresses a press conference in New Delhi on 17 February, 2017. (Photo: IANS)
It alleges details of bribes paid to and sought by judges.
Justice Khehar, the note alleged, used his son to strike a deal to take Rs 36 crore (or thereabouts) in order to deliver a wrong judgment. The allegation, which has so far remained under wraps in most media reports other than The Quint, which has gone into it. Last week, Dave again disclosed the allegation in the course of his oral submissions before the two-judge bench of the Supreme Court.
The truth of the allegation seems unlikely, but the fact that it’s out there means it may be more damaging if it is not investigated properly.
Couldn’t the suicide note have been the result of frustrations of Kalikho Pul, after having lost power due to the Supreme Court’s verdict?
It’s indeed quite possible.
But the note, which is at par with a dying declaration, has to be investigated, to verify the truth and dispel any suspicions.
Yes. That is why the Chief Justice of India, JS Khehar, acting on the administrative side, in response to the letter written by Kalikho Pul’s widow Dangwimsai, ordered
listing of the case, so that it can be heard judicially, with a direction given for registration of FIR, which would be binding. Had the bench judicially directed registration of FIR, after hearing it judicially, it would have been binding. So that would have been in the interest of Mrs Pul, no?
The problem is, if the court monitored the case judicially, after directing registration of an FIR, Mrs Pul would not be able to pursue other remedies available to her, if she was not satisfied with the progress of investigation that was being monitored by the court already.
Well, the CJI is also the administrative head of the judiciary. As the administrative head, he decides what bench will hear any matter in the Supreme Court.
When a bench hears a matter on the judicial side, its orders are final, and have to be complied with. On the administrative side, the Supreme Court’s decisions are not so very binding, especially if other organs of state are dealing with it.
A recent example is the decision of the in-house committee on the allegations of sexual harassment against a judge of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. The committee found the judge innocent, but another committee set up by the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, under the Judges Inquiry Act to probe the allegations, is continuing its work.
The in-house committee report is a result of the administrative decision of the CJI, to set it up.
So, last week’s listing of the case before the Supreme Court was an attempt to hear it judicially, right?
That is why it surprised everyone, including Dangwimsai Pul’s lawyer, Dushyant Dave, who was caught somewhat unawares.
He told the court that Mrs Pul had got a call from the registry, only in the evening on 22 February 2017, regarding the listing of the matter from a mobile number she had stored on her phone. Dave questioned how the registry could list it for hearing, when the matter was to be dealt with on the administrative side, as per the Supreme Court’s judgement in K Veeraswami v Union of India from 25 July 1991.
The CJI ought not to have instructed the Registry to list ‘letter petition’ by Late Kalikho Pul’s first wife, for hearing on the judicial side. (Photo: Rhythum Seth/ The Quint)
That is what Dave questioned recently.
The CJI, against whom Kalikho Pul had made allegations in his suicide note, ought not to have instructed the Registry to list it for hearing on the judicial side, Dave suggested.
The bench listened to Dave, and said that it was hearing the case because it was listed under the CJI’s instructions, and hinted that if Dave wanted the case to be closed, he was free to withdraw the petition.
Dave, for his part, said he would withdraw the case, if the bench persisted in hearing it, despite his reservations.
Dave sought recusal of the bench because he said Justice Goel had been Justice Khehar’s colleague at the Punjab and Haryana high court. Dave probably referred to this, because he thought it could help him to avoid a hearing if the bench brushed aside his objection regarding judicial-administrative side distinction.
But if the bench had complied with Dave’s request for recusal, then the case would have gone before another Supreme Court bench, though again on the judicial side; this would have been equally problematic for him and his client Mrs Pul.
That’s right. The bench dismissed the case as withdrawn, as it was an easy way out of the dilemma that was staring the bench into its face.
There were no answers to Dave’s intriguing questions on how the SC registry listed it before court number 13, of all courts, and that too, it was to be heard at 1:30 pm during the lunch hour, which is highly unusual.
The gossip goes that it is incredible that the allegation against the CJI Justice Khehar, as mentioned in the suicide note, could be true.
But Dave’s articulation of the whole issue in terms of judicial-administrative distinction, and the need for this bench to recuse itself, had made a profound impact, with everyone admiring Dave for his statesman-like representation of his client.
Dave said he would like to believe that the allegations in the suicide note were wrong, but he would also like to pursue other remedies, because the accused also included the President of India among others. Dave also said his client’s letter – which was incorrectly converted to a writ petition by the Supreme Court of its own accord – may well be wrong on the facts, but that he was entitled to pursue all available remedies.
Dushyant Dave, representing Late Kalikho Pul’s first wife said if the bench heard the case, it would compromise the court’s credibility as an institution. (Photo: Harsh Sahani/ The Quint)
How did you know? Dave indeed did deliver a Parthian shot at the end of last week’’s hearing in room 13. He said that he had met a former judge of the Supreme Court yesterday, who had disclosed shocking things, which he would not like to disclose in the court.
He also said if the bench heard and passed an order on the judicial side, it would compromise the court’s credibility as an institution, and that he was concerned with that. He almost begged the bench not to do it, making an emotional appeal.
No one expected the bench to ignore his appeal after that.
Is there anything in the Veeraswamy judgement that would say the SC’s decision to hear it on the judicial side was wrong?
The SC said in that judgement that judges of high and apex courts are public servants, and can be prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The SC also held that prosecution of such a judge facing allegations of corruption could be launched after obtaining sanction of the competent authority.
Dave brought attention to the part of that decision stating that if the CJI himself was the person against whom the allegations of criminal misconduct were received, the government should consult any other judge or judges of the Supreme Court.
The judgement said that there should be a similar consultation at the stage of examining the question of granting sanction for prosecution and it should be necessary and appropriate that the question of sanction should be guided by and in accordance with the advice of the CJI.
He was the former Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, and father-in-law of Justice V Ramaswami of the Supreme Court, was was the first judge to face impeachment proceedings in Parliament in 1992.
Justice Veeraswami faced allegations of amassing assets disproportionate to his income. An FIR was filed against him. He then challenged the FIR, the Madras High Court dismissed his challenge and the Supreme Court eventually upheld the High Court’s decision.
Kalikho Pul’s widow withdraws letter after allegations
Dhananjay Mahapatra & Amit Anand Choudhary|
Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Kalikho Pul‘s widow made sensational allegations against Chief Justice of India J S Khehar in the Supreme Court on Thursday before withdrawing her letter to him seeking a CBI probe into her husband’s 60-page suicide note which allegedly accused judges and politicians of corruption.
The purported suicide note, written in pure Hindi, was widely circulated on WhatsApp with the names blurred. Apart from levelling corruption charges against judges, the note allegedly linked Pul’s suicide to the July 13, 2016 judgment by a five-judge SC bench which reinstated the dismissed Congress government in Arunachal and, in the process, pulled down the one headed by Pul. The ex-CM committed suicide on August 9 last year.
On February 17, Pul’s widow Dangwimsai had written a two-page letter to the CJI demanding a CBI probe against the judges named in the suicide note, which alleged that extraneous considerations influenced the SC’s July 2016 judgment.
Former SC judge approached me on behalf of CJI: Dave
The CJI had ordered the letter to be listed as a writ petition before a bench of Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit.
At the high-wattage hearing on Thursday with the CJI at its centre, Dangwimsai’s counsel Dushyant Dave made the sensational claim that a former SC judge had approached him on Khehar’s behalf. He also questioned the decision to turn the letter into a writ petition to be disposed of by the SC when his client had sought an administrative inquiry, as also the choice of Justices Goel and Lalit to hear the petition
Dangwimsai’s letter cited the SC’s 1991 judgment in the Veeraswami case where the apex court had ruled that SC and HC judges could be probed for corruption but only with the prior permission of the CJI.
The Constitution bench ruling had also said, “If the Chief Justice of India himself is the person against whom the allegations of criminal misconduct are received, the government shall consult any other judge or judges of the Supreme Court.”
Dangwimsai’s letter had said, “I am sure you (the CJI) will have the matter placed before the appropriate judge in accordance with the judgment in the Veeraswami case for consideration of my request.”
Dave raised a series of questions and levelled many allegations. “Why was Dangwimsai’s letter converted into a criminal writ petition? Why was it put up for hearing in open court for a judicial decision when the CJI was expected to take a decision on the administrative side? Is the CJI precluded from taking a decision on the letter as the allegations in the suicide note concerned the CJI’s son?” Dave asked.
“We had sought an administrative direction, why was it taken on the judicial side? We want to know the reason behind it. There was a development on Monday evening. A former judge of the Supreme Court met me on behalf of the CJI. I do not want to say more. I beg your lordships to stay away from this case,” Dave urged the bench of Justices Goel and Lalit.
Initially, Dave gave the impression that he was totally against the letter being put up for hearing in open court. Later, he wanted to know if it was to be put up for hearing, then why before a bench headed by a junior judge like Justice Goel, who is number 13 in seniority among the 28 SC judges.
“This letter brings forth a more serious issue than the one raised by Calcutta HC’s Justice C S Karnan, which is being heard by a five-judge bench. So, why was a five-judge bench not constituted for this case? Why has it been assigned to a junior judge and not to number three (Justice J Chelameswar) or number four (Justice Ranjan Gogoi) or number five (Justice Madan Lokur)?” Dave asked.
When the bench appeared determined to proceed with the hearing, Dave said, “You (Justice Goel) were a colleague of the CJI in Punjab and Haryana HC. You should recuse yourself.” Finally, Dave said his client (Dangwimsai) wanted to withdraw the letter to explore other avenues.
“We will now approach the vice-president for relief as the suicide note contains allegations against the President also. If the Supreme Court decides on the letter after converting it into a writ petition, then all other avenues for remedies will be closed,” Dave said. The bench permitted Dangwimsai to withdraw the letter and said the withdrawal would mean that the cause of action initiated by the widow in writing to the CJI had ended.
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