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Archives for : November2017

Lawyer who refused to link Aadhaar sticks to her guns

Sivakumar B| TNN | 

CHENNAI: Having an Aadhaar card has become essential, whether it is to claim welfare benefits or to continue operating your bank account. But this city advocate was not willing to mindlessly toe the line. Preethi Mohan refused to link her Aadhaar with PAN in order to file her income tax returns, taking the issue to court. And, on the last day of filing of returns, she tasted blood, with the Madras high court ordering the income tax department to accept her returns without having to link her Aadhaar to her permanent account number (PAN).

“I am against getting an Aadhaar card as it violates my privacy. I went to a bank where Aadhaar registration was happening and found that I have to give my biometrics,” said Mohan.

In other countries like the US, people are given identity numbers but that’s used only for purposes of identification whereas, in India, Aadhaar is being used for multiple purposes – to avail benefits from public distri bution systems, to operate bank accounts and mobile numbers, she says. “I consulted people from other cities and after trying to file my tax returns online, I filed the case in the Madras high court seeking an order,” said Mohan, adding that she will wait for the final Supreme Co urt judgment on the issue before getting an Aadhaar number. She is confident that the Supreme Court will not make Aadhaar mandatory.”Every now and then the SC has ruled that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory, the latest being the SC’s view on privacy. The Madras high court also took into consideration a similar order issued by the Kerala high court regarding linking Aadhaar to PAN,” said Mohan, adding that there are several people in various states who are opposed to the idea of making Aadhaar mandatory. “The Aadhaar Act does not promise that our privacy will not be violated. If our personal details are leaked, the citizen cannot take any legal action. Getting a person’s biometrics without putting safeguards into place is an invasion of privacy ,” said Mohan.

“I will not get an Aadhaar number at all if the SC gives a final judgment in favour of people who are opposed to the Aadhaar system. If it is made mandatory , then I will have to take a call after that,” the lawyer said.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/lawyer-who-refused-to-link-aadhaar-sticks-to-her-guns/articleshow/61505536.cms

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Custodial torture: Law commission report makes strong observations

Illustration: Anthony Lawrence

The Law Commission’s 273rd Report asks the government to put a stop to endemic torture

~By Venkatasubramanian

It does not require a compilation of a series of reports or judicial pronouncements to show that torture is dehumanising, and its perpetrators must be brought to book. The Law Commission’s 273rd Report does precisely that. The danger that it could be seen as an academic exercise may exist, but if it leads to a positive change in the mindset of our lawmakers, that will be reward enough.

That the inspiration for the Law Commission’s exercise comes from a pending case before the Supreme Court must speak volumes for the degree of judicial intervention in such issues, even if the degree is only perfunctory, and not worth celebration.

Former law minister Dr Ashwani Kumar filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court in 2016, seeking issue of directions to the centre and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to ensure an effective and purposeful legislative framework and its enforcement to fulfil the constitutional promise of human dignity and prevention of custodial torture at all levels. The case, which has been listed for hearing eight times so far, is still nowhere near resolution, with the centre seeking adjournments, citing likely consideration of the issue by parliament. In May this year, the then CJI, JS Khehar, observed that the legislative determination is essentially within the domain of parliament, and as such it may not be proper for the court to issue any direction in that behalf.

The writ petition, which is likely to be listed before the Supreme Court on November 27, however, acted as a trigger, propelling the centre to write to the Law Commission in July, to examine the issue of ratification of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and submit a report on the matter. On October 30, the Commission submitted its 273rd Report to the centre, recommending ratification of the UN Convention against Torture, enactment of stand-alone legislation and amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, and the Evidence Act, 1872.

Kumar was justly concerned about the issue, having been the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha select committee which examined the then government’s bill against torture, which was passed by the Lok Sabha without debate.

India signed the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (adopted by the General Assembly of the UN on December 10, 1984, known as the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT)) on October 14, 1997. But it has not yet ratified it, because of its reservations against certain provisions in the Convention, namely, Inquiry by the CAT (Article 20); State complaints (Article 21) and individual complaints (Article 22).

Despite such reservations, the centre introduced the Prevention of Torture Bill, 2010, in the Lok Sabha, to give effect to the provisions of the Convention. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on May 6, 2010. The Rajya Sabha referred the bill to a select committee, which had proposed amendments to the bill to make it more compliant with the CAT.  However, the bill lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.

Farooq Ahmed Dar, a civilian, was ordered to be tied to an army vehicle by Major Leetul Gogoi, in Kashmir
Farooq Ahmed Dar, a civilian, was ordered to be tied to an army vehicle by Major Leetul Gogoi, in Kashmir

Although the previous UPA government could not enact the bill, which it introduced during its term in office, it did not come in the way of its former law minister, Kumar, filing a writ petition in the Supreme Court, to goad the government into action. “India faces problems in extradition of criminals from foreign countries because of the absence of a law against torture, and it is in our own national interest to have such a law,” he said in his petition, and sought proper guidelines to prevent torture, cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatment towards jail inmates.

Not ratifying the CAT may lead to difficulties in cases involving extradition, as foreign courts may refuse extradition or may impose limitations in the absence of an anti-torture law in line with the Convention, while granting extradition.

Police use torture in order to achieve quick results by short-cut methods. Causing hurt is a punishable offence under Sections 330-331 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, but the atrocities, if committed within the four walls of the police stations, can leave no evidence, and as a result, the conviction for torture of police has been rare.

The Law Commission emphasised the courts have rejected the plea of sovereign immunity, which contradicts the essence of the law of torts. The law of torts provides that liability follows negligence and the individuals and the States are responsible for the negligence of their agents/employees acting in the course of their employment. While dealing with the plea of sovereign immunity, the courts will have to bear in mind it is the citizens who are entitled to fundamental rights, and not the agents of the State, the Commission’s report reads.

SALIENT ASPECTS

The wide definition of “torture” adopted by the Commission in its report would help to determine torture by a public servant. Thus, any act inflicting injury, either intentionally or involuntarily, or even an attempt to cause such an injury, which would include physical, mental or psychological injury, would be covered by the definition of torture.

States With Higest Number of Custodial DeathsIn the Commission’s view, the CrPC and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 require amendments to accommodate provisions regarding compensation and burden of proof, respectively.

Thus, it recommended an amendment to Section 357B of the CrPC to incorporate payment of compensation, in addition to payment of fine as provided under Section 326A or Section 376D of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Similarly, the Commission reiterated its earlier recommendation, as carried in its previous reports, Nos. 113 and 152, that the Indian Evidence Act requires insertion of Section 114B. This will ensure that in case a person in police custody sustains injuries, it is presumed that those injuries have been inflicted by the police, and the burden of proof shall lie on the authority concerned to explain such injury.

But it is in the stringent punishment of the perpetrators of such acts that the Commission’s report makes a huge contribution. The Draft Bill annexed to the Report provides for punishment extending up to life imprisonment and fine, in case of deaths of victims, and up to 10 years rigorous imprisonment in other cases.

The Commission observed that the courts will decide upon justiciable compensation after taking into account various facets of a case, such as the nature, purpose, extent and manner of injury, including mental agony caused to the victim.

“The courts will bear in mind the socio-economic background of the victim and will ensure that the compensation so decided will suffice the victim to bear the expenses of medical treatment and rehabilitation,” the Commission hopes.

External Criticism       

India’s steadfast refusal to ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), despite having signed it in 1997, has come in for criticism from various international quarters. Individual countries such as the United States have also been repeatedly criticising India for the rampant use of torture by the police and security forces.

In 2012, at the second Universal Public Review (UPR) before the United Nations Human Rights Council, of the 80 countries participating in the Review, 22 States strongly urged India to immediately ratify the Convention and enact legislation to criminalise the use of torture by State agents.

At the third UPR, which was held in May this year, 36 countries raised the issue of torture during India’s review session, urging the government to ratify the UN Convention against Torture by enacting the Prevention of Torture Bill that has been pending before parliament since 2010. This came after the then Attorney General, Mukul Rohatgi, defended an army officer in Kashmir who had tied Farooq Dar, a civilian, to a military vehicle’s bonnet as a human shield. Rohatgi stated that the officer “did a smart thing and defused a nasty situation,” and that “the army should be applauded”. On May 22, 2017, Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi, the officer who took the decision to use the human shield, was awarded a Chief of Army Staff’s commendation card for “sustained efforts in counter-insurgency operations”.

The International Committee of Jurists (ICJ), in a 2012 report, and global human rights NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a 2016 report titled “Bound by Brotherhood”, came down heavily on India’s practice of granting continued immunity to policemen and security forces personnel involved in custodial torture and custodial killings. The ICJ condemned the “epidemic of torture” in no uncertain terms.

In its India Human Rights Report 2016, the US State Department said that the most significant human rights problems plaguing India involved instances of police and security force abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture and rape.

The report stated: “There continued to be reports of custodial death cases, in which prisoners or detainees were killed or died in police custody. Decisions by central and state authorities not to prosecute police or security officials despite reports of evidence in certain cases remained a problem.”

COMPARISON WITH 2010 BILL

The Law Commission’s draft bill needs to be compared with the previous bill, introduced by the UPA. This bill, introduced in 2010, was conceived merely as an enabling piece of legislation to ratify CAT, and lapsed the same year.

According to the UPA government’s bill, the word “torture” was defined as an act which must either cause grievous hurt or must cause mental or physical danger to life, limb or health. Article 1 of CAT, in contrast, defines “torture” as “severe pain or suffering whether physical or mental”.  The word “severe” has been interpreted to mean “prolonged, coercive and abusive conduct which, in itself, is not severe, but becomes so over a period of time.”

Legal experts had then pointed out that repeated commission of certain acts may constitute torture even though the acts by themselves may not fulfil the criteria of the definition of torture. Thus it was felt that the term “grievous hurt” set the bar too high, with the result that severely hurt persons might not qualify as victims under the bill.

Law Commission Report: Custodial TortureThe Law Commission’s draft bill, therefore, defines an act of torture to mean causing grievous hurt or danger to life, limb or health, or severe or prolonged pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, or death. The bill, however, excludes mere mental agony or tension arising due to coercion from its definition of torture.

Moreover, the UPA Bill did not seek to punish a public servant who abets, consents, acquiesces to or conspires in an act of torture, but was aimed to punish only those who committed the act. The Law Commission’s draft bill fills this void, by including abetment or acquiescence of the public servant of or to the act of torture, within the definition.

In 2010, the Rajya Sabha select committee, while commenting on the UPA’s bill, had recommended enlargement of the definition of public servants to include those employed in government companies, or any institution or organisation, including educational institutions under the control of the Union and state governments.

The Law Commission’s draft bill, however, merely says a public servant would be any person acting in his official capacity under the central government or the state government.

Soni Sori, victim of sexual violence by the police, speaking to the press. Her torturer, SP Ankit Garg, was awarded a police medal
Soni Sori, victim of sexual violence by the police, speaking to the press. Her torturer, SP Ankit Garg, was awarded a police medal

As the UPA bill did not provide for any minimum punishment for torture, the select committee recommended a minimum punishment of three years imprisonment and a minimum fine of `1 lakh to be imposed on the person found guilty of torture. By not prescribing a minimum punishment of imprisonment, the Law Commission’s draft bill paves the way for lighter punishment, which would enable public servants found to have committed torture, to get away. This is an unfortunate dimension, which needs to be remedied before the bill sees the light of day.

The UPA bill was also criticised for laying down that an act of torture was punishable only when it was committed to extract a confession, and on the grounds of religion, race, and so on. Civil society activists had, however, suggested that an act of torture must be punishable irrespective of the reasons behind it.

The Law Commission’s draft bill requires the act of torture to have the purpose of extorting a confession or any information that may lead to the detection of an offence. The Law Commission appears to have missed the loophole here, because the public servant alleged to have committed torture might plead that these purposes were missing.

The bill had imposed a six months’ limitation on the lodging of complaints against torture. The select committee recommended increasing this period to two years, and vesting the courts with the discretion to relax it further to advance the ends of substantive justice. The Law Commission retains the six months’ limitation from the date on which the offence is alleged to have been committed, with a proviso that the court may condone the delay on sufficient grounds being shown.

The UPA bill suffered from another anomaly, that of shielding public servants charged with torture by requiring prior sanction for their prosecution. The select committee therefore suggested that if the required sanction was not granted within three months from the date of application by the prosecution, it should be deemed to have been granted.  The Law Commission incorporates this recommendation in its draft bill.

The select committee also recommended a reasoned decision when sanction is declined, and making it appealable. The Law Commission’s draft bill includes both the recommendations.

Conclusion of the trial of offences under the bill within one year from the date of cognisance by the court, and inclusion of provisions to protect victims, complainants and witnesses were other recommendations of the select committee on the UPA’s bill, which have been incorporated in the Law Commission’s draft bill.

It remains to be seen whether the NDA government, led by Narendra Modi, displays the requisite political will to adopt the draft bill of the Law Commission, and invite public comments on it, so as to improve it further, and ensure its expeditious passage.

Custodial torture: Law commission report makes strong observations

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40 Days’ Jail for FB Posts: Zakir Tyagi on “Dictatorial” UP Govt

On a balmy April night, Zakir Ali Tyagi had just returned from a soiree of Urdu poetry, when a police team showed up at his residence in Muzaffarnagar. The 18-year-old thought it was a harmless visit, and went about serving water to the cops.

But soon, he was called into a separate room, where he was asked to verify if a picture that the cops brought along, was his. On display were printouts bearing screenshots of Tyagi’s facebook profile and posts.

Tyagi was whisked away by the police team, that said they were under pressure to arrest him. Tyagi claims that when his relatives raised their voice, the cops admitted they were acting under ‘orders from above.’

Barely two weeks before Tyagi’s arrest, Yogi Adiyanath had taken over as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. While speaking for the for first time in Gorakhpur after his win, Yogi promised to rid his hometown and bastion of Goonda raj. Tyagi had reportedly put up a post on Facebook that questioned the Chief Minister on criminal cases registered against him.

From Free Speech to a 40- Day Imprisonment in a Matter 24 Hours

What was supposed to be a ‘brief investigation’ soon turned into a 40-day stint in prison. Tyagi was first taken to Kotwali Nagar police station, were he was allegedly beaten up and abused by an unknown man.

After identifying me, a man dressed in jeans came up and beat me up. He was abusing me, saying that people would label me a terrorist and throw stones at my house if they learnt about my anti-Yogi posts. His support for Yogi was so overwhelming, that it made me think he was a BJP worker.
Zakir Ali Tyagi

Tyagi was shifted to Muzaffarnagar jail the next day, were he spent 40 days in a cramped cell with hardened criminals. From exercising his freedom of speech on social media to being labelled a ‘terrorist’, Tyagi’s life had undergone a sea-change in a matter of 24 hours.

Tyagi’s Critical Social Media Presence

According to The Telegraph, the police had initially slapped Section 66-A on Tyagi, which was set aside by a 2015 Supreme Court Judgement. Tyagi lawyer Wasiq Nadeem Khan told the daily that the police later dropped ‘A’ , after realising that it was scrapped by the Apex Court and merely retained Section 66, which deals with hacking and prescribes three years in jail,

Prior to being arrested, Tyagi had changed his Facebook profile picture to that of a cop who died while chasing a criminal in Dadri. Acting on his usage of a different person’s picture as his own, the police later added section 420, which deals with cheating. But Tyagi beliefs it was a ploy to ensure he spends a longer time in Jail.

When the police realised that my Facebook posts didn’t merit a jail term, they quickly added section 420, accusing me of forging my picture on social media. But I had only thought of the deceased cop as a hero and changed my profile picture in honour of his sacrifice.
Zakir Ali Tyagi

Tyagi had also put up a comment questioning the logic behind a Uttarakhand High Court judgement that had bestowed the status of a ‘living entity’ upon the Ganga. In his comment, Tyagi ha written, “The Ganga has been declared a living entity; will criminal charges be initiated if someone drowns in it?”

Is Everyone At Risk for FB Posts?

Tyagi is now out on bail and is fighting a legal battle. He has since refrained from posting anything against the government, an impact that he says the government set out to achieve.

Tyagi maintains that he was suppressed for being a ‘Muslim, who spoke truth to power.’ Following his arrest, some of his friends, also Muslims, who were critical of government policies on social media, have fallen silent.

The present-day government, he says, doesn’t like to be reminded of the truth and has turned into a “dictatorial regime”. He cites the recent killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh and the multiple CBI raids on NDTV promoters as a textbook case of the government’s aversion to the truth.

Tyagi wanted to be a journalist who could write freely, but fears his chances are now slim.

Video Editor: Sandeep Suman & Ashutosh Bhardwaj

Shot,Reported & Produced by Anthony Sanu Rozario

https://www.thequint.com/videos/news-videos/zakir-ali-tyagi-jailed-for-facebook-post-up-cm-yogi-adityanath

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Uttar Pradesh: Bank manager arrested for alleged rape of Russian woman #Vaw

A 20-year-old foreign national has been allegedly raped by a bank manager in Mathura.

 By Zee Media Bureau |Mathura: Bank manager of nationalised bank held for raping Russian woman
ANI photo

Mathura: A foreign national has accused a branch manager of a nationalised bank of allegedly raping her repeatedly since she came to India in September, a senior police officer said.

As per reports, the 20-year-old victim, who is from Russia, accused the man of raping her on the pretext of friendship on Facebook.

“The manager of UCO Bank‘s Vrindaban branch, Mahendra Prasad Singh, has been arrested based on a complaint filed by the woman,” Deputy Superintendent of Police Vijay Shanker Mishra said yesterday.

“He raped me and was in a relationship with several other women. I met him in Vrindavan,” the victim said in a statement.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Mathura: 20-yr-old foreign national says she was raped by a bank manager on pretext of friendship. Case registered, man taken under custody.

Mathura: 20-yr-old foreign national says she was raped by a bank manager on pretext of friendship. Case registered, man taken under custody. pic.twitter.com/VX6jUO2HoF

He raped me and was in a relationship with several other women. I met him in Vrindavan: Foreign national pic.twitter.com/KLv5HYvp0p

View image on Twitter

In her complaint, the woman alleged that the banker “threatened me with dire consequences” if she disclosed his act to anyone.

According to the FIR, she came into contact with Singh through Facebook in November 2016.

They had frequent conversations afterwards. On his advice, she came to India on September 17 and stayed in the temple town of Vrindaban, according to the FIR.

She alleged that on September 22 she was taken to a house, where she was raped and that her ordeal continued since then.

She said that the complaint was filed after she met another Russian woman who counselled her to do so.

However, refuting the victim’s claims, the accused said, “There was no contact between us for a year. She was asking me for money. When I refused, she filed this case against me.”

The woman has been sent for medical examination.

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  Another Aadhaar card ‘goof up’: 800 villagers in Haridwar now have same date of birth

By ANI  |

200 px

200 px (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

17

HARIDWAR (UTTARAKHAND): The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has faced a major setback after reports of over 800 people in Haridwar‘s Gaindi Khata village sharing January 1 as their date of birth in their new Aadhaar cards surfaced.
Amid the reports, the UIDAI clarified saying that January 1 of a particular year is typically taken by default as the official date of birth by the system in instances where the applicants do not know their exact date of birth or do not have the supporting documents.
We were told we would be getting a unique identification number. But what’s unique about it? Even our birthdays are the same now,” Wazir Ali Chopra, a resident, told ANI on Saturday.
Under the UIDAI policy, the date of birth is registered in three ways.
An individual can either quote the verified date of birth and submit supporting proof or provide declared date of birth without any supporting documents.
In cases of residents who are only able to give their age, January 1 of that year is taken as per the age given by the resident as date of birth by default for the purpose of enrolment.
“This came into our notice through the reports. We will probe the matter and take required action against wrong-doers,” Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Haridwar, Manish Kumar told ANI.
The UIDAI said an update can be done by visiting any Aadhaar enrolment centre or even online at a later stage, in case the resident is able to provide supporting documents for the date of birth.
This is not the first such incidents where errors have occurred.
Earlier in May, it was reported that around 250 villagers in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer found their Aadhaar cards citing their birth date as January 1.

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Historian Ram Guha tears into intellectual “bullies”, even sections of the media

 

Historian Ram Guha speaking at the 23rd Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture on the topic “Patriotism vs Jingoism” at the India International Centre on Wednesday (November 1). Photo: Bhavana Gaur

Patriotism vs Jingoism” was the topic of discussion at the Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture at IIC on Wednesday(November 1)  

~By Lilly Paul

Historian Ramachandra Guha was as vitriolic and open about his views on current situations as he has always been, while delivering the 23rd Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture on the topic “Patriotism vs Jingoism” at the India International Centre on Wednesday (November 1).

Among other things, he also tore into a section of the media when he said: “An individual may be a bully but in order to create jingoism, there must be a crowd… The one jingoistic leader, the one TV anchor, waving metaphorical bombs on our enemies, he is the bully, but those who hear him, appreciate him, that aggregation, that crowd leads to jingoism.”

While Guha was the keynote speaker, among the other special guests were Supreme Court Justice Madan B Lokur and Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Justice Gita Mittal.

The Annual Justice Sunanda Bhandare Award for 2017 was given jointly to Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Safia Niaz of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan and Hasina Khan of the Bebaak collective. Both the Mumbai-based organizations work and campaign for the rights of Muslim women.

Guests at the 23rd Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture. (L-R) Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Justice Gita Mittal, Historian Ram Guha, Justice Madan B Lokur and MC Bhandare Photo: Bhavana Gaur
Guests at the 23rd Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture. (L-R) Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Justice Gita Mittal, Historian Ram Guha, Justice Madan B Lokur and MC Bhandare Photo: Bhavana Gaur

While Justice Mittal quoted poet Laureate Rabindranath Tagore and George Orwell to distinguish between patriotism and jingoism. “Patriotism is a virtue whereas jingoism is a vice,” she said. She said that the judiciary has always demarcated between patriotism and jingoism like in the case of Bijoe Emmanuel vs State of Kerala in which the Supreme Court held that the students cannot be expelled for not singing the national anthem.

“A patriot is more pragmatic; he has a broader vision and knows that every nation is grand to its citizens. He does not believe that his country outcrosses others, but simply knows that there is a lot of good in his country and also plenty that can be changed for better,” she said.

She quoted Orwell on what he thinks a nationalist: “A nationalist is one who thinks solely… in terms of competitive prestige… his thoughts always turn on victories, defeats, triumphs and humiliations.”

Guha spoke on jingoism, what patriotism has always meant to be and how modern patriotism has overpowered the traditional one. He spoke about constitutional patriotism which acknowledges and appreciates our inherited and shared diversity. It also recognizes the multiple levels at which patriotism can be practiced.

“I am a proud resident of Bengaluru… I am a patriot of Bengaluru and also of my state… Patriotism should be practiced at multiple levels,” Guha said.

He said constitutional patriotism recognizes that “no state, no nation, no religion and no leader is perfect or flawless”. “A true patriot feels shame at the failures of society and crimes committed by the state, human rights violation by the police and occasionally by the Army,” said Guha.

Guha spoke about the RSS and that its ideology is largely derived from MS Golwalkar’s Bunch of Thoughts. He said that the book mentions the minorities of the country as a threat. “In that book… there are three chapters, Internal Threat 1—Muslims, Internal Threat 2—Christians and Internal Threat 3—Communists… I am none of the three yet I am an enemy of the state in the eyes of many people,” said Guha.

Guha explained how the traditional form of Indian nationalism, which never privileged a single language, religion or identified a common enemy has now been replaced with a modern nationalism, which privileges a single religion, Hinduism, a single language, Hindi and a common enemy, Pakistan. Apart from this, it also brands all the critics as anti-national.

Justice Madan B Lokur speaking at the 23rd Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture. Photo: Bhavana Gaur
Justice Madan B Lokur speaking at the 23rd Justice Sunanda Bhandare Memorial Lecture. Photo: Bhavana Gaur

“This is a paranoid and punitive form of nationalism. It identifies nationalism as a single religion and a single language and it is paranoid about foreigners and it is punitive about those within who speak to restore or rehabilitate the older for of patriotism,” Guha observed.

Guha attributed the rise of jingoism in the country to two main internal factors—hypocrisy of the Left and the moral corruption of the Congress party. He said that the Left has always loved another country more than India. He said that the Indian Left has always admired nations such as the Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, Cuba and others. On a lighter note, Guha recalled one of his professors being an admirer of Hugo Chavez. “For some of you, who think Narendra Modi as an authoritarian and I agree with you, Hugo Chavez was Narendra Modi on steroids,” said Guha.

He blamed the Congress to have reduced a great party and freedom movement to one single family, a journey in which they ignored their own leaders such a Patel and Shastri, thereby giving BJP the chance to “mis-own” them.

“It is the corruptions of the Congress, not just financial but moral corruptions and particularly the reduction of the great freedom struggle to a single family, that gave ammunition to the jingoistic,” said Guha.

Justice Lokur was cautious in his “choice of words” as he was advised years back by late Justice Sunanda Bhandare. He advised the same to Guha and other junior lawyers as their words can be misinterpreted and misrepresented by many. He shared some of his memories with Justice Bhandare, who was the first to have offered and convinced him to take up judgeship.

Historian Ram Guha tears into intellectual “bullies”, even sections of the media

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Mumbai -Traumatised girl lands in hospital as her molester walks the streets #WTFnews

| Lata Mishra

Is this the protection that women who complain against sexual violence can expect?16-year-old girl, who was assaulted on a busy Kurla road last month, has been admitted to Rajawadi Hospital even as her stalker is out on bail; accused’s mother has also threatened the girl in hospital

The trauma of seeing the man who molested and assaulted her on the streets roaming free was too much for a 16-year-old to bear.The girl, who had suffered a fractured nose in the incident on October 17, has again been hospitalised in Rajawadi Hospital after she collapsed at her residence on October 30. Doctors say it is because of the stress and trauma she has been going through.

The girl suffered a fractured nose, after her neighbor Imran Shaikh, 19, repeatedly hit her in Kurla’s Nehru Nagar for asking him not to harass her or pass lewd comments ­ all of which was captured on CCTV. Although Shaikh was arrested on October 21 after the footage went viral, he was let out on bail the same day. After cops added Section 354 (outraging modesty), Section 326 (causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons) and sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, he was re-arrested, and let out again on bail on Tuesday. The girl and her family are living in constant fear. The accused and his family members live in the same building as the girl, and they have repeatedly threatened the girl’s family to withdraw their complaint. When Mirror spoke to the girl in hospital, she broke down saying, “I am scared to go out alone. How will I complete my studies? I am scared about my future.“

Recalling the incident, she said, “He beat me up as I complained to his mother about the lewd comments he would pass at me every day.“ She added, “I thought if I filed a police complaint, he would be behind bars. Now he is out and I am afraid he will take revenge on me.“

While granting bail to the accused on October 31, Rekha Pandhare, special judge under POCSO Act, mentioned that Imran Shaikh “should not reside and shall not visit the locality where the victim is residing.“ The order also added that “he shall not threaten or pressurise the victim and the witness.“ However, the very same day the judge passed this order, Shaikh’s mother and aunt visited Rajawadi hospital and threatened the girl and her family. The next day, the victim’s elder sister lodged a complaint with the Nehru Nagar police station. After this incident, a female cop was posted for her at the ward in the hospital.

The girl’s father is constantly afraid for his daughter’s wellbeing. “On several occasions, the Shaikh family members have threatened to harm my daughter if we don’t take back the complaint. We are living in constant fear,“ he said. The victim’s 20-yr-old elder sister was also allegedly threatened under knifepoint by Shaikh’s cousin brother Faisal near their home. “They are taking all sorts of measures to threaten us so that we take the complaint back,“ said the girl’s sister.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone VI, Shahaji Umap told Mirror, that the police are protecting the girl and keeping a close eye on the accused. “Two cops have been posted outside her building for the past 15 days. We are monitoring each and every activity of the accused’s family. Even on October 31, when we received a complaint from the girl’s family that the accused’s family members had threatened her in hospital, we immediately appointed a female cop at the hospital. We are fully cooperating with the girl’s family and taking all precautionary measures for her security.“

Dr Vidya Thakur, medical superintendent of Rajawadi Hospital, told Mirror that the girl is traumatised and living under constant fear and anxiety. “She is also undergoing counseling for the trauma she has suffered,“ she added.

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Lilavati hospital’s senior trustee alleges Rs 500 crore scam, writes to CM, police

Niket Mehta approached the Charity Commission regarding the issue and a hearing is slated to be held on November 15.

Mumbai | m

Lilavati hospital, Lilavati hospital trustee, mumbai Lilavati hospital, Lilavati hospital scam, Niket Mehta claims there are a list of properties bought from money siphoned of from the Lilavati Hospital’s Trust Funds.

A senior trustee with Lilavati Hospital has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavisand Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar against co-trustees alleging a Rs 500 crores scam where the latter siphoned off money.

Fearing sale of the Bandra-based facility, Niket Mehta, the managing trustee of the hospital, claimed that it was necessary to issue an injunction against those who wish to sell the charitable hospital. In 2016, the Supreme Court had asked the hospital management to be vested back with the trustees from the interim board.

Outgoing chairman of the interim board, J N Patel, had handed over the charge to other trustees including, Prabodh Mehta, Chetan Mehta, Bhavin Mehta, Niket Mehta, Nanik Rupani, K K Modi and Rekha Sheth. Kishore Mehta and Charu Mehta are permanent trustees.

According to Niket Mehta, it has been six years since the Income Tax Department conducted searches in the hospital over alleged financial irregularities by its trustees.

Mehta claims there are a list of properties in Mumbai, Kolkata, Raigad, Delhi and Pune bought from money siphoned of from the Lilavati Hospital’s Trust Funds with the total cost amounting to Rs 500 crores.

He approached the Charity Commission regarding the issue and a hearing is slated to be held on November 15.

Responding to allegations, the Lilavati Kirtilal Mehta Medical Trust issued a statement saying: “An attempt of Mr Niket Mehta to make baseless allegations against trustees of Lilavati Kirtilal Mehta Medical trust is a desperate attempt to browbeat the trustees and threaten them not to take legal action against him for his illegal occupation of 12th floor in Lilavati hospital as his residential premises initiated by the trustees.”

The statement alleged that he had never contributed to the construction or running of hospitals.http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/lilavati-hospitals-senior-trustee-alleges-rs-500-crore-scam-writes-to-cm-police-4920056/

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Chhattisgarh- ‘ODF village’, 90% disabled woman crawls to the fields to defecate #WTFnews

 

The open defecation free (ODF) tag of her village in Durg seems to mock Neera every day as she drags herself–by one hand–to the fields and bushes, while the other hand holds up a lota on her head.Neera is 90% disabled, and can move around only on her hands. Residents are accustomed to seeing her crawling along the dirty lanes of the village. She often slips in the muck. Then, she has to crawl back to fill up her `lota’.

Her father was asked by the administration to dig holes to be used as septic tank for a toilet. He did so, but no one turned up to help him build the loo. Fearing that someone would have an accident due to the hole, he covered them up. Neera’s torment makes Chhattisgarh‘s boast of its ODF achievements ring hollow. Purai gram panchayat in Durg was declared ODF long ago, but there are still homes without toilets. “It’s very hard for me to go through this torture every day . The days it rains, it gets worse. I slip now and then and every time. The lota falls off my head, and I have to go back to refill it. Moreover, the lanes of our village are strewn with filth. I have to crawl through them sometimes when going around isn’t possible,“ Neera said. “It’s like passing through hell,“ says the girl who isn’t even sure of her age.“Twenties?“ she offers.

Though there are a few public toilets in the neighbourhood, they are either locked or don’t have water supply or too filthy to be used, she said.

Zilla panchayat CEO R K Khunte promised to help her. “I came to know about Neera through the media. I have sent officials to inspect the village and ordered one key of the public toilet to be given to the family for personal use. The family was living on encroached land, where the administration can’t provide them toilets. We will initiate the process to relocate them,“ he said.

 http://epaperbeta.timesofindia.com/index.aspx?eid=31804&dt=20171104

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Bhopal- 19-year-old preparing for UPSC gang-raped for 3 hours #WTFnews

19-year-old UPSC aspirant in Bhopal gangraped by four men ‘repeatedly’; cop mocks victim for coming up with ‘filmy story’

Sudeep Mishra| TNN | 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The spot where she was raped has some of the busiest roads and rail tracks.
  • Thousands of cars drove past just 100 metres from where she was stripped, tied up and raped repeatedly.
  • The survivor shuttles between her hometown, about an hour’s journey from Bhopal, every day as she is preparing for the UPSC exams.

Representative image

19-year-old preparing for UPSC gang-raped in Bhopal for 3 hours

BHOPAL: For three hours, a 19-year-old college girl was tied up and raped by four men, who took breaks for tea and gutka before returning to assault her repeatedly under a bridge in the heart of Bhopal.

What happened after the rapists let her go was no less horrifying. Three police stations refused to take her complaint — although both her parents are in police — and a GRP officer mocked her for “coming with a filmy story”.

The parents — her father is a sub inspector with a security force and mother with the CID — and the girl nabbed two of the suspects in a dramatic daylight scuffle on Wednesday. Only then was a complaint registered. An embarrassed police force suspended SI R N Tekam of MP Nagar police station on Thursday for not accepting her complaint.

The horrifying gang rape has shaken Bhopal, where people take pride in their city as one of the safest for women. The spot where she was raped has some of the busiest roads and rail tracks — the bustling Habibganj station is just 100 metres away, and an RPF post just 50m away. Thousands of cars drove past just 100 metres from where she was stripped, tied up and raped repeatedly. Yet, no one heard a thing.

The survivor shuttles between her hometown, about an hour’s journey from Bhopal, every day as she is preparing for the UPSC exams.

On Tuesday evening, the complaint notes, after her coaching classes got over, she began her short walk along the tracks towards Habibganj station. Around 7pm, a man now identified as Golu Bihari Chadhar — out on bail after being charged in her infant daughter’s murder — grabbed her by her hand. She kicked out and felled him. Angry, Golu called out to an accomplice, Amar Ghuntu, and the two of them started dragging her towards a nullah. The girl kept fighting and hit both of them with a stone.

Furious, they hit her with a stone as well, tied her up, and raped her. After around 15 minutes, Golu went to fetch gutka and cigarettes, the complaint notes, leaving Amar to watch over her. Amar and Golu are brothers-in-law and married to two sisters.

The girl asked for some clothes because hers had been torn to shreds. Golu went back and got some clothes, perhaps of his wife’s — and also brought along two others to join in. She was raped again, this time Rajesh and Ramesh allegedly joining the other two. The horror went on till 10pm when the brothers-inlaw finally allowed her to dress and leave — but after she had handed over her earrings, watch and phone.

She somehow walked to the RPF outpost at Habibganj station and called her parents. Her father was already looking for her. Seeing how traumatised she was, he took her home. The next morning, the family went to MP Nagar to file a complaint. An SI went to check the spot and told them to go to Habibganj police station, staff from where redirected them to Habibganj GRP. It is at the third stop that an officer mocked the girl, saying she was “making up a filmy story”.

“While coming from Habibganj, my daughter saw two of the rapists loitering in front of Mansarowar Complex, which is around 500 metres from the spot of crime,” said the mother. The cop parents and the feisty survivor chased down Amar and Golu and nabbed them. “We handed over the duo to GRP Habibganj,” said the mother.

“It’s one of the worst experiences of my life. If I, as a policewoman, have to face such problems in filing my daughter’s gangrape complaint, I can’t imagine what a common man goes through,” said the mother. “SHO GRP Mohit Saxena and SI Uikey misbehaved with us and said they wouldn’t file any case. SI Uikey alleged that we were making a ‘false filmy complaint’,” she added.

On the basis of the complaint lodged by the woman, a case was registered at the GRP Police Station (Habibganj Railway Station) as the area where the crime occurred falls under their jurisdiction, said PTI.

The accused are identified as Golu Bihari, Amar Chhantu, Rajesh, and Ramesh.

One of the accused is a habitual criminal and already has a murder case registered against him. It also said the culprits tried to kill the woman by strangulating her, fearing identification. The girl fainted and the culprits fled, assuming the girl to be dead.

“They have been booked under sections 376 D (gangrape) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention),” the officer said, adding that further investigation is on.

 

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