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Archives for : Supreme Court

Statement- Commute DS Bhullar’s Death Sentence

Abolish Death Penalty

The Supreme Court verdict rejecting the plea for commutation of death sentence for DS Bhullar is most unfortunate. The case against DS Bhullar rested almost wholly on custodial confession. In 2002, when the majority bench of the SC upheld the death penalty for him, Justice Shah in his minority judgement had actually argued for acquittal, on the grounds that custodial confession was inadmissible as evidence. In a case where even guilt is in such doubt, there can be no justification for the death penalty.

In the past the Supreme Court has held that long delay in carrying out the sentence could be grounds for commutation of the sentence of death into life imprisonment. However, the Supreme Court this time has held otherwise. In doing so, the apex court, instead of judging the matter on the grounds of principles of justice, has instead invoked the growth of terrorism “in recent years.” How can a matter of principle be subject to change on the grounds of subjective opinions and assertions of judges?

The SC has also chosen to make comments against human rights activists, accusing them of raising “the bogey of human rights.” In the case of Bhullar, it was a judge of the Supreme Court, not a human rights activist, who had called even his conviction into doubt on the grounds of insufficient evidence! If the Supreme Court considers ‘human rights’ as a ‘bogey’, which institution is there to check the state from riding roughshod on human rights?

Last year, 14 retired judges wrote to the President of India, admitting that the Supreme Court had wrongly awarded the death sentence to 13 people. It is unacceptable in a democracy to risk such grave miscarriage of justice. Moreover, it is overwhelmingly those from marginalised sections of society who face the death penalty: offenders from privileged sections are rarely subjected to such punishment.

In the interests of justice, CPI(ML) demands that DS Bhullar’s sentence should be commuted. In the light of the inconsistency and bias in awarding of death sentence and grave errors in this regard admitted by retired judges of the Supreme Court, CPI(ML) supports the growing demand that India abolish the death penalty or at least honour the UN resolution to uphold a moratorium on death penalty with a view to its eventual abolition.  

CPI(ML) Central Committee

 

 

 

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CRPP Statement of on Death Sentence to Bhullar

Committe for Release of Political Prisoners

That the conviction of Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar was solely based on a confession statement attributed to him which he had denied in the court makes the decision even more regressive thus exposing even the fallacious claims of the SC that capital punishment should only be given in the ‘rarest of rare’ cases. Significantly, when Mr. Bhullar was being extradited from Germany it was assured by the Government of India that he won’t be condemned to death.
It was in 2001 that Bhullar was sentenced to death by the trial court. He has been in prison since 1995 after his extradition. Thus, Bhullar has already spent more than eighteen years in prison, which is longer than a life term. Thus, by refusing to consider the inordinate delay as a reason for the commutation of death sentence, the Supreme Court is violating the Fundamental Right guaranteed by Article 20(2), that no person shall be punished twice for the same offence.
The ten-year long delay in disposing the mercy petition by the President of India was the ground on which Bhullar had sought commutation of his death penalty as it was a blatant violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India while at the same inflicting further pain and cruelty on him through the prolonged incarceration after the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence.
As in effect, Bhullar has already served a life term and is now on death row. What is even more alarming is that there are seventeen convicts on death row and the rejection of Bhullar’s plea is going to have an adverse effect on all these seventeen cases. The Indian ruling classes and their politics of jingoism and hate is definitely on the slippery slope heading for an orgy of judicial executions, which was triggered by the secret executions of Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru.
Similar to the case of Afzal Guru, the conviction of Bhullar is also on shallow grounds. Bhullar was convicted under the draconian TADA. On appeal, a three-member bench of the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the TADA Court under a split verdict of 2 to 1. The presiding judge Justice MB Shah had acquitted Bhullar of all charges under TADA. His confession, which was found to be concocted, was also rejected as it was at odds with the testimony of the prosecution witnesses. Thus, the split verdict should have been a good reason for the President to accept the mercy petition and for the Supreme Court to commute death to life. However, it was rejected in 2011 on a completely arbitrary basis eight years after it was filed. The prolonged incarceration had its toll on the health of Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar as he was undergoing treatment for mental illness. Needless to say that to hang someone who is mentally ill speaks more about the overall depredation of the ruling classes of India to the vast sections of the toiling masses.
It is with intrigue one would look into the contradicting positions taken by the Supreme Court vis-à-vis its stand on death sentence. Just a week after the Supreme Court had stayed temporarily the death sentence of 8 people another bench of the same court has rejected the plea of Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar to commute his death sentence to life. A few months before the SC had in retrospect observed that Capital Punishment can only be given in the rarest of rare cases after making it doubly sure that the evidence provided in reaching the conclusion that the said case is the rarest of the rare should be impeccable while ensuring that the law has been upheld in reaching the above said conclusion. This introspection had also brought forth the glaring facts that in ninety nine percent of the cases of award of death sentence there was a terrible miscarriage of justice. While staying the death sentence of 8 people temporarily on the first week of April 2013 the SC had observed the need to follow procedures while executing the death sentence thus partially admitting the glaring anomalies in the ‘secret’ hanging to death of Mohd. Afzal Guru.
It is well established that death penalty – being neither a deterrent nor reformatory in nature- serves no cause other than that of retributive justice. Most civilized countries (more than 140) have banned death penalty. Even though the Supreme Court of India has enunciated the jurisprudence of the “rarest of the rare”, the hard reality is that the Indian Courts have awarded death penalty at the rate of 133 per year over the last ten years. So the rarest of the rare cases are decided by the Indian courts once in every three days!
In the seventy page judgement rejecting the plea to commute the death penalty given to Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar, the Supreme Court bench quotes generously from the 35th Report of the Law Commission as it states “…Having regard, however, to the conditions in India, to the variety of the social upbringing of its inhabitants, to the disparity in the level of morality and education in the country, to the vastness of its area, to diversity of its population and to the paramount need for maintaining law and order in the country at the present juncture, India cannot risk the experiment of abolition of capital punishment.” [p-3] This above mentioned quote selected by the bench from the Law Commission Report explains the Court’s burden of civilizing the inhabitants in the vastness of the subcontinent through the instrument of death penalty! And this colonial mindset also explains considerably why the rhetoric of rarest of the rare has metamorphosed to be the common thing in the practice of jurisprudence in India.
As long as the lived reality of inequality endures in the Indian subcontinent through the systematic dog-eat-dog policies of various governments, such a reality may be weighed against the consequences its legal system evokes in the name of its people’s. If the Indian state continues to embrace [capital punishment] in the name of retributive or utilitarian values, then inequality remains not just a “tolerable” value for the government and the policy makers who vouches unabashedly by a system based on greed and unrequited accumulation especially in the era of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation. Inequality remains a value that is acted upon and thus preserved inextricably through the state’s persistent willingness to use the punishment of death.
We condemn strongly the act of the Indian state to enforce violence on people through the instrument of death penalty! Without a strong upsurge of the people against such draconian and barbaric instruments of violence of the State we will be condemned to be at the receiving end of a penal state that is increasingly becoming fascist. We demand that the DEATH SENTENCENCE ON DAVINDER PAL SINGH BHULLAR BE IMMEDIATELY REVOKED!
In Solidarity,
SAR Geelani
President

Amit Bhattacharyya
Secretary General

P. Koya
Vice President

MN Ravunni
Vice President

Rona Wilson
Secretary, Public Relations

 

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PRESS RELEASE- Gujarat- Mrs Zakia Jafri files her Protest Petition

 Press release

Mrs Zakia Jafri files her Protest Petition

A cold-blooded and clear-cut conspiracy to manipulate the tragic Godhra incident — from the moment of the terrible news  — was planned and executed by Chief Minister Mr Narendra Modi (Accused no 1), in close consultation, especially with then Health Minister Mr Ashok Bhatt (accused no. 2) , Urban development minister, IK Jadeja (accused no 3) and other co-accused cabinet colleagues and especially VHP leader Mr Jaydeep Patel (accused no 21), with whom the CM was first in touch with soon after the tragic Godhra incident. This was aimed at ensuring that the tragedy at Godhra becomes ready fuel for the meticulously planned massacre of innocent Muslims all over Gujarat.

Mrs Zakia Ahsan Jafri today filed her Protest Petition praying for the rejection in toto of the SIT final report dated 8.2.2012, making a cogent case for the charge-sheeting of all 59 accused listed in her complaint dated 8.6.2006, beginning with Mr. Modi the chief minister of Gujarat.

The protest petition that runs into 514 pages also has three volumes of annexures and ten CDs. The Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) with its entire legal team has assisted in this painstaking and voluminous exercise.

The Petitioner strongly argues that the Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) had adequate documents and statements to come to a prima facie finding against all the accused. SIT, however decided to cover up the crimes and has gone out of its way to misguide the Court and give a clean chit to the accused.

Phone call records show Mr Modi (accused no 1, A-1) to have been in close touch with Mr Jaideep Patel (A-21) immediately after information of the Godhra tragedy comes in, even before he meets home department officials and ministers. Thereafter, there is a hasty and publicly conducted post-mortem at Godhra, out in the public against all law and procedure while a crowd of VHP workers was present. Mr Modi is present while this happens.

Thereafter, while passions are being cynically stoked, another sinister decision to hand over the dead bodies of Godhra victims to VHP strongman Mr Jaideep Patel (A-21) is taken at a mini-cabinet meeting presided by Mr Modi in Godhra, at which co-accused ministers are physically present. Mr Jaideep Patel too is present at the meeting. Then Godhra district magistrate, Mrs Jayanti Ravi has clearly stated that Mr Jaideep Patel was present at the meeting.

The Protest Petition goes into great detail, relying on documents from the investigation papers, on how the administration and police were deliberately paralysed and neutralised by the conspiracy hatched by Mr Modi, Co-accused, then Gujarat DGP Mr K Chakravari (A-25), then police commissioner, Ahmedabad, PC Pande (A-29), then additional chief secretary, home, Mr Ashok Narayan (A-28) and other key members of the bureaucracy and police who connived as co conspirators in the conspiracy.

Key field reports from the SIB (state intelligence bureau) from all districts were given to the SIT by January 2010, i.e., full three and a half months before the SIT submitted its first investigation report to the Supreme Court on 12.5.2010. These reports reveal a grim ground level reality: gross provocations and bloodthirsty slogans by VHP workers from 4 p.m. onwards on the afternoon of 27.2.2002 (“Khoon ka badla khoon se lenge”, blood for blood) while Mr Modi had still not left for Godhra.

Phone records of the chief minister’s office (CMO) reveal that he went to the airport to catch a helicopter for Godhra via Meghaninagar where the massacre at Gulberg society the next day was organized. Phone records of the CMO also show that after landing in Ahmedabad from Vadodara by aircraft (where he had travelled by road from Godhra on his return journey) too, Mr Modi and officials of the CMO who accompanied him are located at Meghaninagar late evening (mobile phone call records).

Just a week before the Godhra incident, on  22.2.2002, Mr Modi had won in the Rajkot bye-election by a slender margin (a few thousand votes). The glory of his victory had been dimmed with minority votes going heavily against him. Former CPI leader and later Parliamentarian from the Congress, Ahsan Jafri had been an active campaigner against Mr Modi in the bye-election lived in Gulberg Society, in Meghaninagar.

In a sinister furtherance of the conspiracy, the late night meeting at Mr Modi’s residence effectively neutralised the police and administration from doing its constitutional duty. The Protest Petition states that the credibility of the evidence related to the critical 27.2.2002 meeting must be tested during trial and that it was not the job of the investigating agency to pre-judge the issue, acting like a court overstepping its jurisdiction to protect and save powerful accused.

Evidence from Police Control Room (PCR) records submitted by Mr. PC Pande to the SIT after 15.3.2011 reveal cynical and cold-blooded mobilization of RSS workers and VHP men at the Sola Civil hospital from 4 a.m. onwards on 28.2.2002 in aggressive anticipation for the arrival of the dead bodies. Repeated PCR messages, that the home department under Mr. Modi (A-1, who held the home portfolio) and Mr PC Pande (A-21) were trying to conceal, show that both in Ahmedabad and in several locations all over Gujarat crowds were mobilized to aggressively parade bodies with bloodthirsty sloganeering, inciting mobs to attack innocent Muslims.

The then joint police commissioner, Ahmedabad, Mr Shivanand Jha, also an accused in the complaint (A-38), was jurisdictionally in charge of Sola Civil Hospital in Zone 1. As the messages extracted below show, repeated PCR messages desperately ask for bandobast; they speak of the staff and doctors of the hospital being under threat; of a 5,000-6,000 strong mob accompanying the bodies and finally one message also says that “riots have broken out.”

Yet Mr Modi, the entire Home department and the accused under him and individuals accused including Mr Chakravarti (A-25) and Mr PC Pande (A-29) in collaboration with the SIT have strived hard to conceal this evidence. While such aggressive funeral processions were allowed in Ahmedabad, an equally explosive situation prevailed simultaneously in Khedbrahma, Vadodara, Modasa, Dahod, Anand etc. A cynical government under Mr Modi and his co-accused conspirators has done their level best to conceal this evidence.

The PCR records — that the SIT was trying hard to conceal — also reveal that while the Ahmedabad police under Mr PC Pande and the home department  under Mr Modi and then MOS, home Mr Gordhan Zadaphiya (A-5 ) had enough forces to escort a VHP leader known for his inciteful slogans, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, from the airport to the Sola Civil hospital to accompany the processionists, shouting filthy hate speeches and murderous slogans. But they did not have enough forces to send to Naroda Patiya where 96 persons were massacred in broad daylight (charge-sheet figures in the Naroda Patiya case, though more deaths have been recorded) and 69 persons at Gulberg society the same day and around the same time aggressive processions were being allowed. Mr Modi allowing and openly supporting the bandh and neutralising his administration, decided to give the RSS, VHP, BD mobs a free run of the Gujarat streets to massacre innocents.

As bad or worse were the provocations and hate speeches that were cynically allowed and encouraged by Mr. Modi and his administration. PCR messages of Ahmedabad and SIB messages from all over the state are testimony to this incendiary mobilisation.

Warnings Ignored (from SIB and PCR messages)

12:30 pm on the 27th February: An SIB officer through fax no 525 communicated to the headquarters that there were reports that some dead bodies would be brought to Kalupur Hospital station in Ahmedabad city. “So communal violence will occur in the city of Ahmedabad; so take preventive action.”

Another SIB message numbered as Out/184/02 again warned about communal incidents if bodies were brought to Ahmedabad. “Communal violence will occur in the city. So take preventive action.”  The same message said that karsevaks had given explosive interviews to a TV station at Godhra and had threatened to unleash violence against the Muslims.

At 1:51 hours and again at 1:59 hours on the 28th February there were panic messages by wireless police vans positioned at Sola Hospital demanding immediate protection from Special Reserve Police platoons and the presence of DCP Zone 1.

Message at 2:44 hours on 28.2.2002: the motor cavalcade has reached Sola Civil Hospital.

Page No. 5790 of Annexure IV, File XIV reveals that at 04:00 am a mob comprising of 3,000 swayamsevaks, that is the members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), had already gathered at the Civil Sola Hospital.

At 7.14 a.m. the PCR van again informs the Police Control Room that a large mob had assembled at the hospital. (Page 5796 of Annexure IV, File XIV of the documents).

Again, another message three minutes later at 7:17 a.m. (Page 5797 of Annexure IV, File XIV of the documents) says that a mob of 500 people was holding up the traffic.

Ten bodies were taken to Ramol, an area near Naroda and a massive funeral rally of over 5,000-6,000 mourners took the bodies to Hatkeshwar crematorium in the afternoon.

At 11:55 am a PCR message is sent out saying that the Hindu mob had become violent and had set a vehicle on fire and was indulging in arson on the highway.

Message at 11.55 a.m. on 28.2.2002 (Page No. 6162 Annexure IV File XV) saying that “Sayyed Saheb, the Protocol Officer had informed Sola-1 that riots have started at Sola civil hospital at the High Court where the dead bodies were brought.”

Again, there is another message with no indication of time (Page No..6172 of 28.2.2002) that states that the officers and employees of the hospital had been surrounded by a 500 strong mob and they could not come out”. The message also made a demand for more security for the civil hospital at Sola.

Annexure IV File XIV- Message No. 5907 and 5925 at 11:58 a.m. on 28.2.2002 shows that when 10 dead bodies were taken from Ramol Jantanagar to the Hatkeshwar cremation ground, a crowd of 5,000-6,000 persons accompanied this procession.

On the morning of 28.2.2002, a SIB message (on page 258 of Annexure III File XIX, message No. Com/538/28/2/02) says that a funeral procession was allowed to take place at Khedbrahma, a town in Sabarkantha district. The message adds that soon after the funeral procession 2 Muslims on their way to Khedbrahma were stabbed and the situation had become very tense.

The subsequent message at page No. 262 of the same file (Annexure III File XIX) mentions that 150 Bajrang Dal workers were on their way from Ayodhya to Khedbrahma.

Another message at page 254 (Annexure III file XIX) – Com/574/2002 sent out at 15.32 p.m. on 28.2.2002 states that one more victim of the tragic train burning at Godhra, Babubhai Harjibhai Patel, resident at Vaghrol, Tal. Vadali in Sabarkantha was brought back and a funeral procession was organised in the town.

Warnings about the deliberate mobilization

At page 365 of Annexure III File XXI( D-166) message No. 73/02 dated 28.2.2002 sent by the ACP(Intelligence) Surat Region to State Intelligence Bureau Headquarters at Gandhinagar, says that between 9-10 a.m. on the morning of 28.2.2002, a meeting was held at Sardar Chowk in Vapi Town where Dinesh Kumar Behri of VHP and Acharya  Brahmbatt of Bajrang Dal , Jawahar Desai of BJP and Vinod Chowdhary of RSS made inflammatory speeches regarding the incident at Godhra and called upon the Hindus to unite.

Another message at page 188 in Annexure III, File XVIII sent at 20:38 hours on the day of the Godhra train burning tragedy, i.e., 27.2.2002, mentions the following: “Dilip Trivedi, the General Secretary of VHP and Joint Secretary Dr. Jaideep Patel and Kaushik Mehta in a Joint Statement issued by them have declared that innocent Ram Bhatt’s have been attacked and hence Gujarat Bandh has been declared. They have also stated that the attack on the Ramsevaks returning from Ayodhya was pre-planned by the Muslims. Innocent ladies were molested and compartments were set on fire and Ramsevaks were burnt alive.”

The joint statement issued by the three senior-most office bearers of Gujarat VHP’s unit was clearly designed to stoke communal passion. A reasonable response would have been an immediate government clampdown on such public utterances and if required putting all these trouble makers under preventive detention.  But no such action was taken. The VHP called for a bandh on the 28th February and the BJP, the ruling party, openly supported the bandh call. The State, instead of clamping down on the bandh call, gave the VHP leaders and its cadres a free reign and a license to kill. 

At page 345, the message titled Vardhi No. 24 contained in Annexure III File XIX dated 27.2.2002 sent from D.O., Ahmedabad to the Intelligence Office at Virangam (Virangam is in Ahmedabad rural district) stated that 50 to 75 members of the VHP and Bajrang Dal had gathered at Virangam town chali and in the Golwada area and the situation was very tense.

Another message in the same file, i.e., Annexure III, File XVIII (D-160) at Page No. 19 Message No. 531 ifrom SIB Police to KR Singh at 1810 hours on 27.2.2002 said that, “on 27.2.2002 at 4.30 p.m. when the train arrived at the Ahmedabad Railway station, the kar sevaks were armed with ‘dandas’ and shouting murderous slogans ‘khoon ka badla khoon’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.” 

Fax Mes. D-1/  HA/ Jaher Sabha/ Junagadh/ 311/02 dated.27.2.02 at10.12 pm sent by PI, CID, Int. Bhavnagar to IG, Guj. State IB, Gandhi Nagar said that Sadhu Samaj president Gopalnandji gave an agitated speech at Junagadh Kadva chowk, on dt.27.2.02 between19.30 to 21.00 hrs. The message then goes on to name specific local VHP leaders and says that they expressed their condolences to Kar Sevaks and then delivered hate speeches and urged all Hindus to unite and told the audience to chop the hands and legs of our enemies. They said in their speech that the incident that occurred at Godhra in the morning at 7.30a.m., yet there was no reaction from the Hindus which was very unfortunate. “Muslims who live in India with sincerity and patriotism, we don’t have any agitation against them. But we have objections against those who lived in India and favour Pakistan and carried out activities against the country. Anti- national activities are being done in Madrasas. We have objection against it. We do not have any kind of objection against spiritual religious education to the children. Pooja prathna at the temple and pray in the Masjid but Pakistan Zindabad is not right. Above mention ideas were expressed by them.”

Fax Mes. Com/HM/550/ 02 Dt.27.2.02 23:59 Out No.398 from ACP, Int. G’nagar Region to IG, Guj. State IB, Gandhi Nagar says that 50 Karsevaks travelling by a special bus from Ahmedabad reached Modasa centre in village Vadagam at Taluka Dhansura at around 18:30 pm on 27.2.02. “They were received by a mob of 500 people and these kar sevaks addressed the mob and told the people how the compartment of Sabarmati Express was attacked. People present in the mob got excited and at 21:30 p.m. people from around the village gathered and the mob swelled to a huge size. To maintain law and order the force was not sufficient and about 10 paan bidi shops were set on fire. Vehicles like Jeep, Maruti and Ambassador were set on fire. Vehicles and shops seem to belong to Muslims. One Yasinbhai Multani’s shop at Kalol center TaKadi, Bavlu PS village Kalyanpur was burnt down by the mob”.

Throughout February 28, 2002 while fires were set all over Ahmedabad city, PCR records show that repeated calls from different areas to the Fire Brigade drew went answered.

Table of Phone Records 

Call Type Cell-No (Name) Duration Secs Date-Time Dialed / Received No – Name
Outgoing 9825037439

A P Patel

(Accused No 1, Mr Modi)

77 27.2.2002

09:39:38

 

9825023887

Mr Jaideep Patel VHP General Secretary

(Accused No 21)

Outgoing 9825037439

A P Patel

(Accused No 1, Mr Modi)

20 27.2.2002

09:41:39

9825023887

Mr Jaideep Patel VHP General Secretary

(Accused No 21)

The Protest Petition prays for the charge sheeting of all the accused, a transfer of the further investigation to an independent agency and an admitting of the Petition.

(Trustees, Citizens for Justice and Peace)

I.M. Kadri                   Taizoon Khorakiwala               Nandan Maluste

Cyrus Guzder             Arvind Krishnaswamy             Javed Akhtar

Alyque Padamsee       Anil Dharker                          Ghulam Peshimam

Rahul Bose                 Javed Anand                            Teesta Setalvad

Cedric Prakash

Map Sola Route2 Maps For Printout SIB Messages Aggresive mobi Sola Civil Hos 1 Guj Map Attack and funeral procession

 

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Indian Army –Magic Formula to have beautiful and successful daughters ? #WTFad #AFSPA #Kashmir #Manipur

Dear Indians

Do you want a daughter ? No of course not, why will you want a girl child , she is such a burden and a son will only carry on the family name etc etc… blah blah.

Oh No  !  you dont want to have a  girl child !!!

Well  in shillong specifically and allover india generally, the  Indian army  is giving the incentive, to have a girl child. Wow, this advertisement will go a long way in balancing child sex ratio ?  and it might also give impetus to the ‘ Laadli Campaign, which is in deep shit for now, 42% girls dropped from Laadli scheme over 2 years

army

So above in the advertisement you see—  PRIYANKA  Chopra, Gul Panag, Preity zinta,  Anushka  Sharma , Celina Jaitley , Simmi Garewal,  Amrita singh, Chitrangadha , Sakshi Tanwar, and it says -‘If you want to have beautiful and successful daughters  join INDIAN ARMY”,.

Now , Indians this  is your  chance dont let ti go away.. RUSSSSHHH TO INDIAN ARMY,  if you want to have BEAUTIFUL daughters who will become a hit  Bollywood  or television actresses, and will make you PROUD and will  add to the great  HONOR  of your family, ie   if they save themselves from honor killing.!

Also all women in the ad are BEAUTIFUL as per what is  ingrained in our brains. The super-skinny, super-tall, and amazingly gorgueous figure; The Super-Models and Actresses.The  certain typecast images fed on physical appearances and . If you don’t fit into those notions, you feel terrible – that’s why people are unhappy about their bodies. This advertisement further promotes, the fact  that to succeeed you need to have a hour glass figure ?. How do you define beauty ? Who said “big” isn’t beautiful? Who said curves aren’t sexy?
Who told you to change who you are, loosing the weight that you’ve gained so far. For me Tuntun, Manorama  all were beautiful also. beauty has nothing to do with your body but your innerself , your personality as a whole. For me Sheetal Sathe, Soni Sori, Aparna Marandi, Irom Sharmila are all BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE, and SUCCESSFUL as well.

 The Fact that  whether you will  have a daughter or son THE MANS SPERM WILL DECIDE, if  you have a daughter, she has to decide her life and what’s success for her ?

This  sexist  advertisement further strengthens  the stereotypes feminist have been fighting.  Women are human being and not relationships , think about them outisde their roles as  daughters mothers and sisters. Valourising women as  daughters, sisters, , mothers, bhabhi, dadi and Nani.  Today women are screaming at top of their voice-– ” I am not your  Mother, Wife, Sister or daughter . I am a PERSON.  So this ad, adds to all the sexists ads which are defining every woman by her relationship to another person rather than as a person in her own right; and that relationship (by implication if not stated overtly) is usually with a man. The self-sacrificing mother who bravely sends her son to war; the devoted sister who pampers her brother, the obedient daughter who makes her  PARENTS  proud, as stated in the ad . Women are  fed up being boxed into traditional roles. They are angry at being told what to wear, how to behave and lead their lives.  Respect women”, we tell our sons, “for they are all someone’s mother, sister or daughter.” Aha,,,,, yes…..  But the childless woman;  and a  woman whose husband is no more or whose  father has died and has no brother to ‘protect her honour’ — well, she’s fair game, isn’t she?  This is the kind of logic we perpetuate when we glorify a woman by her relationship rather than as a person.

I wonder if all these ‘ SUCCESSFUL DAUGHTERS’  have given their permission to be on the Advertisement and if they agree

and gulpanag tweets says so,

About the join army ‘ad’.Whether in jest or not,I have no problem with it.I owe 100% of what I am to my AF upbringing. Proud of it. @rwac48

— Gul Panag (@GulPanag) April 14, 2013

I wonder,   if all of them are  proud of  The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act . which is to-date the single most direct instrument violating the democratic rights of the people of the North East and of Jammu and Kashmir. The Act is implemented when an area is declared ‘disturbed’ by either the central or the state government. Since 2 November 2000, she has been on hunger strike to demand that the Indian government repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA), which she blames for violence in Manipur and other parts of northeast India. Having refused food and water for more than 500 weeks, she has been called “the world’s longest hunger striker”.

What is  rationale for  keeping AFSPA ,  thinking that security persons who rape innocent women should enjoy impunity in the name of national security? For whose security was the law enacted, for that of the country or of the criminals in uniform? Whenever some change is suggested in the Act the army seems to oppose it and the civilian government buckles under its pressure. For Eg , when the Jeevan Commission appointed to inquire into the alleged rape and murder of 30-year old Manorama Devi of Imphal in Manipur arrested by the Assam Rifles suggested  AFSPA should be repealed ,the  Government did not even publish the report.

Do you all know of woman called Manorma ?  In 2004, the women of Manipur held a protest after the brutal murder of Thangjam Manorama who was taken into custody from her home by the Assam Rifles under suspicion of having links with rebels. Her bullet ridden body was found a few kilometres away from her home, bearing signs of torture. Twelve Manipuri women came out naked, holding a banner saying ‘Indian Army Rape Us’ to protest against the paramilitary forces of the Assam Rifles demanding justice and taking a stand against the many rapes of other girls. Despite the curfew imposed, the protests by the women continued as they wanted the men responsible to be punished

One of the major rape cases in the history of Kashmir and indeed whole of India is the Kunan Poshpora mass rape incident. A village in northern Kashmir’s Kupwara district, Kunan Poshpora, on February 23, 1991 witnessed incidents of alleged mass rape of 20 women by the Army troops in one night. The incident drew the attention of national and international media. However this was soon forgotten and the womenfolk of the village landed in unending troubles. Women who deserved the respect and honor of the society, were not secure anymore form the cruel face of the armed forces and since that incident, numerous other cases of rape and enforced disappearances have come to fore in the last three decades. Another case which shook the region was the 2009 Shopian rape and murder case which resulted in protests rocking the whole Valley and several families lost their loved ones in the agitation.

Some  more cases of rape and sexual assault against personnel of the Army and central forces in Kashmir:

Case against Harbhajan Singh and Gurtej Singh

May 15, 1994: Rashtriya Rifles men entered the house of a couple and took the husband to Qazigund Hospital. When he returned the next morning, his wife told him she had been gangraped. A case of rape an other charges was filed at Qazigund police station. Responding to an RTI application, the home department said it sought sanction on January 23, 2006, to prosecute the Army men and have not yet got it. In a 2009 affidavit in the high court, the defence ministry said the state was informed that both accused, Nk Harbajan Singh and Rfn Gurtej Singh, had been tried by a summary general court-martial for rape, sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years and dismissed from service. “A retrial for the same offence will be in contravention to Article 20 (2) of the Constitution,” it argued.

Case Against Major Arora

January 3, 1997: A family comprising a 60-year-old, his two daughters and a grandson were preparing to go to bed at Manzgam, Kokernag, when some soldiers allegedly broke in. They were allegedly led by Major Arora of 5 Rashtriya Rifles. “He slapped me and dragged my younger sister (then 16) into a room and raped her,” the elder daughter told The Indian Express recently. The elder daughter’s husband had joined the Hizbul Mujahideen and the local army unit would often raid her father’s house. The day of the alleged rape, the Army allegedly picked up the father, who remains untraced 15 years on. The younger sister is now married with children, the elder one said, while her own husband surrendered  to the army, divorced her and remarried.

The police registered a case of rape at Anantnag and the government sought the defence ministry’s sanction to prosecute the officer. In an affidavit in the J&K High Court on June 5, 2009, then defence secretary Ajay Tirkey said the ministry received the request in December 2006 and it is “under consideration in army headquarters/Ministry of Defence”. On January 10, 2012, the ministry, responding to an RTI query, said permission was denied on April 21, 2007. “There were a number of inconsistencies in the statements of witnesses… The lady was forced to lodge a false allegation by anti-national elements,” the MoD said.

Case against Major Aman Yadav

December 5, 1999: Army men led by Major Aman Yadav of 28 Rashtriya Rifles, along with a few counter-insurgents, raided a house at Norpora, Kitter Dhaji, in Rafiabad. The officer allegedly raped a housewife, whose husband wasn’t home, while his men allegedly robbed the house. The family later left the village.

On January 4, 2000, based on a complaint by the victim’s husband, Panzala police lodged an FIR, one of the charges being rape. In an affidavit to the high court on June 5, 2009, then defence secretary Tirkey said the ministry received the request for sanction in January 2009 and “the case is under consideration in Army headquarters/Ministry of Defence”. In response to a separate RTI query, the MoD said sanction was denied on September 23, 2010. It has argued the allegations are “baseless and framed with mala fide intentions to put army on the defensive” Intriguingly, the ministry has cited it as a case of torture leading to death. Calling the allegations “mala fide” was effectively an indictment of J&K police, for it was on the basis of the police probe’s outcome that sanction was denied. There was, however, no follow-up government action. In response to an RTI application, police said they closed the case on August 19, 2011, having declared the accused “untraced”.

Case against Captain Ravinder Singh Tewatia

February 14, 2000: Captain Ravinder Singh Tewatia and three special police officials allegedly entered a house at night in Nowgam, Banihal. Captain Tewatia and one of the SPOs allegedly raped a mother and her daughter in separate rooms. A case of rape was filed in the Banihal police station. Two chargesheets were prepared for house trespass, assault, wrongful restraint and rape, and submitted to the Banihal chief judicial magistrate’s court on April 1, 2000.According to information gathered by rights group International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice through RTI applications, the case was split between a court-martial and criminal courts (in Banihal, Ramban and Jammu). The court-martial found Tewatia guilty of rape, sentenced him to seven years of imprisonment and dismissed him from service. He challenged the findings on October 1, 2000. On December, 31, 2002, the high court set aside the court-martial’s ruling. In 2003, the defence ministry filed a letter patent appeal in the high court, where it is pending. The state government didn’t challenge the high court order.

Rape case against  BSF Personnel

April 18, 2002: Personnel of the BSF’s 58 Battalion allegedly gangraped a 17-year-old in front of her mother, relatives and neighbours, all held hostage at gunpoint in Kullar, Pahalgam. Some 15 or 16 men in a BSF patrol party, passing through their village, had been beating up the girl’s uncle and she had tried to rescue him. A medical examination confirmed rape, while then BSF inspector general (Kashmir Frontiers) G S Gill, too, conceded that BSF personnel had committed rape. The girl identified three men at a parade. The same day, a case of rape was registered at Pahalgam police station. The police say that they submitted a chargesheet before the chief judicial magistrate in Anantnag. There hasn’t been any progress since.

Case against Major Rehman Hussain

November 6, 2004: Troops of 30 RR raided the home of a horsecart driver at Badhra Payeen village in Handwara at night. The man’s younger brother said, “The officer went into my brother’s room and pushed him out.” “He dragged my daughter (then 10) into the kitchen,” the wife of the targeted man this correspondent, adding the officer left and returned after an hour. This time, the woman alleged, she was raped in the kitchen.

The police registered a rape case and the district administration ordered a magisterial inquiry. The Army invoked the AFSPA . The accused officer, Major Rehman Hussain, was tried by a general court martial, which absolved him of rape. He was, however, found “guilty of using criminal force with the intent of outraging the modesty” of the 10-year-old girl and dismissed from service. But he challenged the decision in court and returned to service.

Even the  comments by apex court few days back while hearing PILs filed by families of victims of alleged fake encounters in Manipur, are a stinging rebuke of the lack of political will on revoking laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). In this instance, the government’s response to the damning report of the SC-appointed committee set up to probe six such cases in Manipur was that it agreed that such fake encounters should not take place. But mere “taking note” will not do any more. The government must speedily act to revoke this black law from wherever it is in effect, be it the north-east or Jammu and Kashmir. Blanket immunity for security forces has led to murder, rape and other crimes. And when the legal framework vests such crimes with impunity, it vitiates the basic principles of democracy and the rule of law that are necessary for the citizens of these areas to feel part of the national mainstream.

The  Court  also sharply brought attention to another vital fact: keeping these laws, and thereby maintaining an unnatural state where the armed forces are seen as the primary representatives of government, mutates the whole political, democratic system itself.

Now after  getting a glimpse of AFSPA, what the supreme court of india says of Indian army ?

I wonder  if you  all are still proud of Indian Army

This sexist  advertisement should be immediately removed,

It will be great if  women part of the advertisement ask to do so.

best

Kamayani Bali Mahabal

Not proud of Indian Army

Not a Proud Indian

A Person  , A  Feminist and a  Human Rights Activist

April 15th, 2013

 

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#Deathpenalty- resurfacing in #India – 16mercy petitions rejected in 9 months #WTFnews

Pranab Mukherjee Rejected 16 Mercy Petitions in 9 Months

NEW DELHI | APR 12, 2013, outlook
There was a long delay in deciding mercy pleas by the Presidents, which was also highlighted by the Supreme Court today, but the situation changed when Pranab Mukherjee took charge on July 25 last year, disposing of petitions of 16 condemned prisoners within nine months.The petitions for clemency filed by sandalwood smuggler Veerappan‘s elder brother Gnanaprakash and his aides Simon, Meesekar Madaiah and Bilavendran were rejected by Mukherjee on February 13. The four had then obtained a stay on their execution from the apex court on February 18.

Besides the four, the others whose mercy pleas have been rejected by the President since taking charge are — Suresh, Ramji, Gurmeet Singh, Praveen Kumar, Sonia and her husband Sanjeev, Sundar Singh, Jafar Ali, Dharampal and Saibanna Ningappa Natikar.

Except Dharampal and Natikar, the others had moved the apex court on April 6 and obtained a stay on their execution for four weeks.

Mukherjee also commuted the death sentence of two death row inmates, including Atbir, to life imprisonment.

Atbir was convicted for murder of his step-mother, step-sister and step-brother over property.

Dharampal was convicted for murdering five members of the family of a girl he had raped. He had committed the murders while out on parole in the rape case.

Sonia and Sanjeev were awarded death penalty for killing eight members of her family, including her parents and three children of her brother in 2001.

Gurmeet Singh was convicted of killing 13 of his family members in 1986. Jafar Ali had murdered his wife and five daughters. Suresh and Ramji killed five of their relatives.

Natikar was awarded death penalty for killing his wife and daughter, Praveen was convicted for killing four members of a family in February 1994 and Sundar Singh was convicted for murder of five members of his brother’s family in June 1989.

A recent study by Amnesty International reveals that death penalty resurfaced in India, during 2012, after a long lull in execution at the gallows, while several other nations are opting for penal system free of capital punishment.

Full Story:

In its recent report based on extensive study, Amnesty International has revealed that the death penalty has resurfaced in India in 2012.

Amnesty International claimed in London that the resumption of the death penalty was facilitated by public pressures and political motives in India.

[Jan Erik Wetzel, Death Penalty Advisor at Amnesty International]:
“The resumption of the executions in India is most likely based on a variety of reasons. One of which is public pressure and another one would be political considerations by the government in place.”

[Ravi Prakash, Senior Advocate]:
“Death sentence acts as a deterrent and therefore, death sentence has been retained in the Indian Penal Code and by our legal system. But the court has said that it should be given only in a very rare of the rarest circumstances and not keeping in view that way of the retribution, you are conferring the death sentence on anybody.”

In November, India carried out its first execution since 2004 when the country hanged Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the lone survivor of the militant squad that killed 166 people in the 2008 attacks on the financial capital Mumbai.

Kasab’s execution sparked off celebrations across India.

People burst firecrackers and exchanged sweets among themselves to hail this execution as a justice for the victims of Mumbai attacks.

India had also recently approved a tougher new law to punish sex crimes, including death for repeat rape offenders, after the fatal gang rape of a student in December.

That event sparked unprecedented protests over the treatment of women in the country.

[Abhas Kumar, Student of New Delhi]:
Death punishment in India is necessary to warn and evoke fear in the minds of people. Criminal activities are increasing. Criminals here are not afraid to commit crimes because they feel that they will be released from jail in two or three days and above all, the trial against them takes a long time.”

The Amnesty International study said that besides India, executions resumed in other countries of the Asia-Pacific region including Japan and Pakistan, after it seemed that they had done away with the punishment.

 

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PRESS RELEASE- PUDR on Rejection of Devinder Pal Bhullar’s plea by the Supreme Court

Peoples’ Union For Democratic Rights (PUDR)

Date: 12 Apr. 2013,

Press Statement

Re: Rejection of Devinder Pal Bhullar’s plea by the Supreme Court

 

PUDR strongly denounces the Supreme Court’s dismissal this morning of Devinder Pal Singh Bhullar’s plea for commutation of the death sentence awarded to him to life. The issues at stake in this dismissal are multiple, that of clemency, death penalty, miscarriage of justice and precedence.

Bhullar was sentenced to death in 2003 for carrying out a bomb blast outside the Delhi Youth Congress office which killed nine people in 1993. He has been deemed mentally unstable. The High Court’s decision of upholding the death sentence was not a unanimous decision. After he was given the death sentence by the Supreme Court, he appealed to the then President of India for clemency in 2003. The President, after a lapse of over eight years, dismissed his mercy plea in 2011. Bhullar had sought commutation of his death penalty to life sentence by the Supreme Court on the ground that there was inordinate delay by the President over his plea for clemency.

The principle of jurisprudence lays down that a person cannot be punished twice for the same crime. Bhullar has already served 12 years in jail and now the consequent execution would strictly violate this principle of jurisprudence. Prolonged incarceration of a death row convict awaiting his execution qualifies as cruelty and violates Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

Ideally there should have been a norm governing the delay in judicial processes and the relief granted thereof. In some instances, convicts have received relief for delays of 2 years, two and a half years, etc.In  T.V.Vatheeswaran vs. State of Tamil Nadu (1983) 2 SCC 68 and Ediga Anamma vs. State of Andhra Pradesh (1974) 4 SCC 443 it has been held that a delay of two years was permissible beyond which the sentence ought to be converted to life.  In Bhagwan Bux Singh & Anr. vs. The State of U.P. (1978) 1 SCC 214 similar observations were made with respect to a delay of two and a half years and in Sadhu Singh vs. State of U.P. (1978) 4 SCC 428 to a delay of three and a half years. Whereas, in the present instance, even if the delay in handing over the penalty (rejection of clemency) is 12 years, the convict is not entitled for any relief.

It is appalling to note that Supreme Court in its rejection of mercy plea has disregarded the mental health of Bhullar. Awarding death penalty to a person mentally unstable is a crime against humanity. The Supreme Court order hence stands as a serious miscarriage of justice and also dangerously escalates the possibility of such unjust judicial trends becoming the norm. On 6 April 2013, the Supreme Court in a progressive move ordered a temporary stay on the execution of 8 convicts on death row. Not just the apprehension of the present order in case of Bhullar affecting the fate of other prisoners of death row is daunting; equally alarming is the ambiguous position of Supreme Court on death penalty vacillating between two positions, one of relief due to delay in the delivery process and the other of no relief for the same.

In a democracy that guarantees the right to life as a fundamental life, death penalty should find no rationale. In fact, the state should see the execution of someone in its custody abhorrent. Death penalty is an act of retribution and presents the state as an arbiter of retributive justice. The very notion of justice is lost in the act of taking away a life to avenge the loss of another life. PUDR sees death penalty as a form of state violence and an escalator of a culture of hate. It infuses a sense of vengeance in society and reinforces the cycle of violence.

PUDR, while condemning the dismissal of the SC order, reiterates the dangers of having death penalty as sanctioned form of punishment and puts forward a demand for total abolition of the death penalty.

 

 

D. Manjit, Asish Gupta

Secretaries, PUDR

 

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#India – Suprme Court rejects Devinderpal Singh Bhullar’s appeal #deathpenalty

Supreme Court verdict could impact other death row prisoners

death-penalty
Reported by A Vaidyanathan, Ketki Angre, Edited by Surabhi Malik | Updated: April 12, 2013

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court has ruled that a death sentence cannot be commuted to life imprisonment because of a delay in execution.

The court has rejected an appeal by Devinderpal Singh Bhullar against his hanging, and could impact the cases of 16 other prisoners on death row who have pleaded against their punishment.

Bhullar had appealed against his execution on the grounds that his petition for mercy was kept pending by the President of the country for eight years. He was given the death sentence for killing nine people with a car bomb in Delhi in 1993.

Bhullar’s wife was in court when the verdict against him was announced. “The court didn’t consider our points,” she said.  Bhullar’s family and friends say that his time in prison has affected his mental health.

Activists and lawyers for Bhullar and other prisoners have said that inordinate delays in deciding requests for clemency amount to cruelty and violate the fundamental right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.

In Tamil Nadu, today’s verdict will be  carefully assessed to determine the potential fallout on the case of  three men who have spent 22 years in a jail in Tamil Nadu for their role in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Their appeal for clemency was rejected after 11 years in August 2011.  All parties in the state have passed a resolution stating that they should not hang.

Human rights groups have been critical of India for executing two prisoners in the last few months. Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab was hanged in November 2012 in Pune for his role in the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. In February, Afzal Guru was hanged in Delhi; he had been convicted of assisting in the attack on Parliament in 2001. His family was informed of his execution two days after he was buried at Tihar Jail.

 

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To address sexual violence, begin with gender sensitisation of the police #Vaw #Womenrights

rape11

Outrage in Bulandshahr

The Indian Express : Fri Apr 12 2013, 02:15 hrs
Earlier this week, a 10-year-old Jatav girl was put behind bars at the Bulandshahr women’s police station. Her offence: she had gone to file a rape complaint. As reported in this paper, the girl, who lives with her parents in a village mainly populated by Rajputs, had allegedly been raped by a 35-year-old Rajput man on Sunday evening. The family has been under pressure to withdraw the case and move out of the village, a course of action supported by the village panchayat. Now the Supreme Court has expressed consternation at the abdication of duty by the police.

In the wake of the Delhi gangrape last December, calls for a more lasting change coalesced around a single, impatiently rushed through law — the Criminal (Amendments) Bill, 2012. While discussion on the provisions of the bill dominated the public discourse on rape, less attention has been paid to how law interacts with, and addresses, caste, class and gender biases, how it translates in different contexts, not just in the metros but also in smaller towns and villages. Law must operate within a matrix of local power relations heavily tilted against victims of sexual violence, especially those from lower castes. The police belong to this matrix, complicit in the interests and prejudices working within it. It is urgent, therefore, that issues such as gender sensitisation of the police and the non-registration of complaints are highlighted and addressed. Incidents such as the one in Bulandshahr point to the need for wider and deeper changes such as those recommended by the National Police Commission. While urging measures to de-link the police from the existing power structures and political interference, it also proposed a special cell to look into complaints of police insensitivity and intransigence coming from weaker sections of society, including SCs and STs.

The Bulandshahr scandal is a reminder that deliberation and discussion on sexual crimes cannot be whittled down to a single law. It must take into account a gamut of more difficult changes, social and institutional, that transform the way such crimes are perceived and their victims are addressed.

 

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Novartis and Health – An analysis

 

Rajeev Dhavan on April 11, 2013 – 1

 

The Novartis judgment has started a huge war of words. The patent drug producers are livid. They declare: “Woe is us. This is the end of invention.”  The generic drug makers say: “Well done Supreme Court.  Now we can supply life saving drugs to India and the world at cheaper prices.”

First let us understand the judgment for what it is. The drug in question is Gleevec which is used by cancer patients. The foundation for it is Imatinib Mesylate (IM) free base which was an important discovery and undoubtedly a new invention attributed to Dr. Zimmerman. IM was converted into a salt in the crystalline form known as IM Alfa which was then improved into the IM Beta crystalline form. This Beta form was claimed to be an invention because it had better flow properties, thermo stability and lower hygroscopicity – in other words it was more stable and digestible.

Was the Beta form an invention? This was not just a technical question for the chemist. It had mighty implications in terms of ground realities in two significant ways. The life of the original Zimmerman patent would be extended by 20 years. If another “improvement” was accepted as a patentable invention, it would be extended for another 20 years. In patent law and practice, this phenomenon is known as “evergreening.” The second ground reality was that a patent is a “monopoly.” There are two kinds of patent monopolies: a process patent which protects how the patent is made; and a product patent which protects the product itself. A process patent is a low level protection. If a drug has a process patent, this means that anyone can make that drug by some other process. This was India’s solution in the original Patent Act, 1970. But a product patent is a master monopoly which, with “evergreening”, means that only that corporates or their licensees can make that product to the exclusion of all others.  This also means that the owner of the product can impose any price it wants. Ofcourse, countries can impose a compulsory license if there is scarcity, but that option comes with too many restrictions. This was the Euro-American solution devised by the TRIPS (Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights) treaty in the new WTO (World Trade Organization).

The Supreme Court took the view that Gleevec did not have novelty – in that IM was in the public domain of knowledge in a Cancer Research article and other publications. Nor could it be said that there was an inventive step because a person skilled in the task with what was known would be able to discover the IM in the crystalline form with the properties claimed for Gleevec. The narrow decision in the case concerns whether the product Gleevec could be given a product patent for the improvements. The answer was unequivocal. Novartis could not get a product patent but was entitled to a process patent to protect how it was made. Effectively, the ‘evergreening’ of Gleevec was stopped.

But, the court went further beyond the confines of the Euro-American patent law model which India accepted when it capitulated to accept TRIPS in the WTO negotiations. How TRIPS ordained patent monopolies as free trade is baffling. But, there was a loophole. TRIPS left it to the each country to “determine the appropriate method of implementing the provisions of this agreement within their own legal system and practice”. (Article 1). TRIPS also envisaged each country to innovate in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare and to balance of rights and obligations (Article 7) and “adopt measures to protect public health and promote social economic development”. (Article 8). A worried Indian Parliament decided that patents would have to meet one further test of patentability. In the area of medicine and chemicals, it was indicated that any change must be significantly efficacious. (Section 3(d) Indian Patent Act). The significance of the Novartis judgment lies in its interpretation of this section. It posed a more stringent test beyond novelty and inventiveness by requiring significant improvement in efficacy. It was not enough that the drug was more stable and easier to administer and absorb. A significant step requires a therapeutic efficacy which is curative. If this interpretation had not been forthcoming, every little change would have fortified an “evergreening”.

The argument that research will suffer is simply wrong. Scientists rely on the past research of others. There are actually few ‘eureka’ moments in technical research. But patent holding companies want to increase these ‘’eureka’ moments, exacting a heavy price for their products. Research shows that the wide spectrum research cost is recovered in less than five years. There is an invisible government subsidy because research costs are tax deductible. Innovation will continue. In fact, the competition for innovation will become more intense as “patent” companies do not seek evregreening monopolies for small changes but only significant curative ones. Meanwhile competitive sales between companies will make medicine more affordable.

India’s parliament has shown the way by adding the criteria of significant change of curative dimensions. The Supreme Court has interpreted this addition valiantly and creatively. The world was waiting for decision like this. With evergreening de-monopolized, Cipla and others can now provide life saving drugs to Indians and others all over the world at much lower prices.

 

Rajeev Dhavan is a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court.

 

 

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#Manipur- Upholding the right to life #AFSPA

April 11, 2013, The Hindu

MANIPUR

In northeastern India, Manipur remains the State worst affected by insurgency. The Assam Rifles, the Army and other security forces have a tough job on their hands. But admittedly, nothing can justify the scale and extent of the fallout of that fight — what the Supreme Court has described, possibly in an understatement imbued with a touch of irony, as “a pattern of carelessness.” It was referring to the findings of the Santosh Hegde Committee appointed by the court, on a public interest petition that sought to highlight mass killings in the State over the last decade. The committee found that seven killings in six instances were the consequence of fake encounters. The petitioners had claimed over 1,500 such deaths. The findings now add force to widespread complaints of human rights violations, reinforced over time by some striking incidents including the assault and killing of Manorama Devi in 2004. The Central government has told the court the Hegde report would be considered at the highest level. But given past experience, it is unlikely that the Centre would act on its own to make a meaningful difference on the ground. The court, which expressed a sense of sorrow and helplessness, must ensure the most precious of all rights — the right to life. The committee having recommended the withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act with respect to Manipur, the court may need to take a call on that contentious question as well — including, crucially, whether the Act is meant to aid civil powers or substitute for them.

The National Human Rights Commission’s plea, in response to the report, to ensure that all encounter incidents be thoroughly investigated under the terms of its guidelines, is a sensible one. That will involve reporting incidents promptly to the NHRC and holding detailed and systematic magisterial inquiries within three months. But all this will add up to nothing if the Centre is unwilling to ensure that security personnel, be they from the Army or the paramiltaries, are held to account for any illegal use of force on their part. Soon after Manorama’s killing at the hands of the Assam Rifles in 2004, the Justice Upendra Commission was set up to probe the incident. Nearly nine years later, its report has yet to see the light of day, let alone be acted upon. It is this culture of pervasive impunity that allows innocent persons to be killed in staged encounters. Coming out with a list of “dos and don’ts for the security forces,” as the government has promised it would do, will hardly suffice. A similar list ensued the last time the apex court heard a major case on the role of the armed forces in the northeast. That was in 1997. This time, it must do more.

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