Rss

  • stumble
  • youtube
  • linkedin

Archives for : Supreme Court

#Inda- Burying democracy in human waste

January 8, 2013

Prabha Sridevan, The Hindu

Every day that the practice of manual scavenging continues is another day that negates the right to a life of dignity for those still forced to engage in this demeaning work

The Supreme Court had recently admonished a District Magistrate for filing a “wrong” affidavit stating that there was no manual scavenging in his district. Just a day earlier, Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh had publicly apologised for the continuance of the practice of manual scavenging. And I thought of a documentary on manual scavenging that has haunted me ever since I saw it.

It is really what is described as an “in your face” documentary. A scene is of a small girl in a blue frock, and with liquid eyes — what in Tamil we would call “Neerottam.” She answers the questions about her experience in school (what I give below is not a verbatim reproduction of the script, but an imperfect one).

“Did you like school?”

“Yes.” (A shy smile)

“What happened?”

“I stopped.”

“Why?”

“I used to sit in the front row. Then my classmates did not want me to sit next to them. So the teacher asked me to move to the last row. I went for some days. Then I stopped.”

This did not happen decades ago, but in this day and age. It must have been a government school. Where else will a poor Bhangi’s child go? Article 17 of the Constitution states: “Untouchability is abolished.” If a government schoolteacher can ask a child to go to the back row because her classmates do not want any contact with her, when was it abolished?

Let us all feel on our skin the sandpaper-rub of exclusion. We are not done with that little girl yet. The camera stays on her face, while she looks back at us. Slowly those deep eyes, which have known a pain that no eight-year-old should, well up with tears and she whispers:

“I wanted to become a nurse or a teacher.”

Fraternity, we promised ourselves; fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation. What does fraternity mean? Dr. Ambedkar said, when the Constitution was in the making, that: “Fraternity means a sense of common brotherhood of all Indians — of Indians being one people. It is the principle which gives unity and solidarity to social life. It is a difficult thing to achieve. Castes are anti-national, in the first place, because, they bring about separation in social life. They are anti-national also because they generate jealousy and antipathy between caste and caste. But we must overcome all these difficulties if we wish to become a nation in reality. For fraternity can be a fact only when there is a nation. Without fraternity, equality and liberty will be no deeper than coats of paint.” The truth must be told, we have not overcome. Why else did the teacher ask that child to sit away from her classmates?

How do we apologise to her for the insult to her dignity, the vandalism of her dreams, and the destruction of her desire? How do we make amends? Can we, in one lifetime, do it? This was a denial of fraternity, a violation of the basic principle of democracy. We, the units of humanity, are interconnected and respect for each other is a sine qua non of all human interactions. There can be no dilution or compromise on this. It is not dependent on who the one is or who the other. This interconnectedness is fraternity — the spirit that assures and affirms human dignity. That is why it is imperative that fraternity informs all State actions and all social transactions. The dynamics between equality and fraternity work like this: in the absence of substantive equality, there will always be groups whose dignity is not acknowledged resulting in a negation of fraternity. Of the five senses, touch is the least understood. But it is the only sense that establishes fraternity that also establishes kinship. A bridge is built when you touch another in kinship in a way that it is not when you look at, talk to or listen to the other. And “a continent of persons” within India has been denied that “touch,” that kinship. It is because we have not understood the principle of fraternity, that there is no “they” and “us,” there is only “us.”

2010 deadline

That young girl of the broken dreams was born to parents who are manual scavengers. This is a group to which the right to fraternity is consistently and brazenly denied, and the most marginalised of marginalised groups. It is acknowledged in public meetings that manual scavenging is a human rights issue and not about sanitation. We read in the newspapers that this practice would soon be banned and that we would become Nirmal Bharat. But it continues. Even if the winds of change are blowing, for the condemned ones even yesterday is not soon enough, any of the yesterdays. There have been many deadlines for eradicating this practice, one such final deadline was March 31, 2010. Deadlines have come and gone. But manual scavengers continue their work, anaesthetising themselves with drinks and drugs from these assaults on their dignity. Their lives are a daily negation of the right to a life with dignity though they have court orders affirming that right.

When a teacher asks a child — like the one whom we met earlier — what her father does for a living, what would she say? “My father carries all your filth on his head?” She probably remains silent. If she speaks those words, her classmates would not see it just as another job. No, it is a job that has to be done by the “other,” so “our” houses “within” will remain clean, and “the other” after cleaning the house will go outside the margin and remain “unclean.” She would be asked to sit away from the rest. So, she is silent.

‘What do you know?’

I once heard at the National Judicial Academy, an excruciatingly painful experience shared by Bezwada Wilson, who campaigns against manual scavenging. He had seen some persons who were manual scavengers, digging in a pile of excreta.

He asked, “What are you doing?”

“The pail has got buried in the filth; we are trying to retrieve it.”

“So you will dig there with your hands?”

“If we do not get it back, we cannot do our job tomorrow, and we will not get paid. What do you know?”

He said, “I walked and walked for a long time out in the fields and I stood there and cried to the moon, I cried to the wind, I cried to the water, I cried and I asked why?”

In his book “The Strange Alchemy of Law and Life,” Justice Albie Sachs of South Africa writes, “There are some things human beings cannot do to other human beings.” He said it in the context of torture; it is just the same in the context of this abomination. The Supreme Court in State of M.P. vs. Ram Krishna Balothia (1995 SCC (3) 221) rejected the attack on the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, saying that a special legislation to check and deter crimes against them committed by non-Scheduled Castes and non-Scheduled Tribes is necessary, in view of the continued violation of their rights. S.3(1)(ii) of this Act says: “Whoever, not being a member of a Scheduled Caste or a Scheduled Tribe —

i. ………

ii. acts with intent to cause injury, insult or annoyance to any member of a Scheduled Caste, or a Scheduled Tribe by dumping excreta … in his premises or neighbourhood,” is punishable.

But the work of manually lifting and the removal of human excreta is inextricably linked with caste and is another form of “dumping.”

Mr. Wilson writes in his Foreword to Gita Ramaswamy’s book “India Stinking …” (2005) that, “(A)n estimated 13,00,000 people from dalit communities continue to be employed as manual scavengers across the length and breadth of this country — in private homes, in community dry latrines managed by the municipality, in the public sector such as railways and by the army.” This is why the heart of a little girl who wanted to become a nurse was broken and she dropped out of school. There are some things one human being does not do to another human being.

(Prabha Sridevan, a former Judge of the Madras High Court, is Chairperson, Intellectual Property Appellate Board.)

Related posts

#India- Costly push to mega projects

Author(s):
Sugandh Juneja
Issue Date:
2013-1-15

Cabinet Committee for Investment may dilute environmental and forest clearances

DESPITE concerns from civil society groups, the Union Cabinet gave in-principle nod for setting up a Cabinet Committee for Investment (CCI) on December 13. Introduced as the National Investment Board (NIB) by the Union finance ministry earlier this year, CCI is being set up for expediting clearances for mega projects with investment of above Rs 1,000 crore. CCI will be chaired by the prime minister and comprise members from various ministries as decided by him.

Setting up of the committee is in line with the recommendation of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), released in May this year, on augmentation of coal production. “There is a need to constitute an empowered group along the lines of Foreign Investment Promotion Board as a single-window mechanism with representatives of Central nodal ministries and state governments to grant the necessary clearances…,” the report says. The idea has been picked up by the finance ministry, which alleges green clearances are holding up the country’s infrastructure development and growth.

An analysis of clearances granted by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) during the 11th Five Year Plan shows the finance ministry’s allegations do not hold water. The analysis by Delhi-based non-profit Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) shows that the ministry granted many times more environment clearances than planned for the 11th Five Year Plan in key sectors like thermal power, coal and non-coal mining, cement and iron and steel. About 200,000 hectares of forestland was diverted during the period for these sectors. “Where is the question of green clearances holding up growth? MoEF is granting way more clearances than required, disregarding environment and social issues. What is needed is institutional reform in MoEF to make  the clearance process stronger, transparent and accountable. Otherwise, more institutions like CCI will come up and further dilute the process,” says Chandra Bhushan, deputy director of CSE.

JAYANTHI NATARAJAN An investment board will only promote investment, while MoEF has to protect the integrity of environment
JAYANTHI NATARAJAN,
UNION ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

In October, Union environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan wrote to the prime minister expressing concern over setting up of such a body. “When a minister…,” she wrote, “acting upon the expert advice of officers, takes a decision, there is absolutely no justification for an NIB (now CCI) to assume his/her authority, nor will the NIB have the competence to do so.” She also stated that no one has the right to set up a project just in the name of investment. Her concerns, as pointed out in the letter, stem from a fundamental difference between NIB and MoEF: the objective of an investment board will be to promote investment while that of MoEF is to protect the integrity of the environment and protect forests, wildlife and forest-dwellers.

During a discussion in the Lok Sabha in November, K P Dhanapalan, an MP from Kerala, also said that CCI may dilute clearance procedures. “This may aggravate environmental issues and hence needs to be carefully thought through,” he said. During the discussion, Finance Minister P Chidambaram clarified that CCI will only deal with large projects that give a fillip to the economy. “The committee will monitor these projects and will advise the ministries concerned…,” he explained.

P
CHIDAMBARAM Cabinet Committee for Investment will only deal with large projects that give a fillip to the economy
P CHIDAMBARAM,
UNION FINANCE MINISTER

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has welcomed CII. “We hope the committee helps the industry get state clearances also in a faster and time-bound manner as maximum clearances are required at the state level,” FICCI president R V Kanoria said in a press release.

Meanwhile, civil society groups are opposing setting up of CCI. Greenpeace and Bengaluru-based non-profit Environment Support Group (ESG) have initiated online campaigns against it. “Setting up of CCI is undemocratic, dangerous and against the national interest,” says Leo Saldahna, coordinator at ESG. Shilpa Chohan, Supreme Court lawyer, says till the time CCI does not overrule the decision of a ministry and is just an administrative body to look into delays, it may prove to be a positive step by bringing together different departments on a single platform.


 

Related posts

Santosh Hegde panel to probe #Manipur encounter deaths

LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, The Hindu, Jan 9,2013

Former Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde. File photo

The HinduFormer Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde. File photo

Supreme Court rejects State’s demand to entrust job to NHRC

A high-power commission headed by the retired Supreme Court judge, Santosh Hegde, will probe six encounter deaths in Manipur.

A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ms. Ranjana Desai passed this order on a writ petition by the Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association, which complained that over 1,500 fake encounter deaths had occurred in the State in the last 10 years.

The Bench said: “This matter requires a further careful and deeper consideration.” It rejected Manipur’s contention that “the occasion for this court to examine those cases would arise only if it holds that the NHRC had failed to perform its statutory functions in safeguarding human rights of the people in the State.”

The Bench said entrusting the probe to the National Human Rights Commission “will completely dissipate the vigour and vitality of Article 32 of the Constitution.”

The Bench said “Article 21 coupled with 32 provides the finest guarantee and most effective protection of the most precious of all rights — the right to life and personal liberty. Any indication of violation of this right would put all the faculties of this court on high alert to find out the truth. In case the court finds that there has, in fact, been violation of the right, it would be the court’s bounden duty to step in to protect those rights against the unlawful onslaught by the state. We, therefore, see no reason not to examine the matter directly but only vicariously and second-hand, through the agency of the NHRC.”

The Supreme Court said: “It is true that Manipur is a disturbed area, that there appears to be a good amount of terrorist activity affecting the public order and, maybe, even security of that State. If the police version of the incidents in question were true, there could have been no question of any interference by the court. Nobody can say the police should wait till they are shot at. It is for the force on the spot to decide when to act, how to act and where to act. It is not for the court to say how the terrorists should be fought. We cannot be blind to the fact that even after 50 years of our independence, our territorial integrity is not fully secure. We request the commission to make a thorough enquiry in the first six cases.”

The commission, which includes the former Chief Election Commissioner, J.M. Lyngdoh, and the former DGP, Karnataka, Ajay Kumar Singh, would also address the larger question of the role of the State police and the security forces and make a report on their functioning within 12 weeks. If it was found that they violated legal bounds, the commission should make its recommendations for keeping the police and security forces within the legal limits without compromising on the fight against insurgency, the Bench said.

 

Related posts

Chhattisgarh Court acquits all 10 accused in #Dantewada massacre #goodnews

Kartam Joga, nine other tribals, were in prison since 2010 in charges of being involved in the Naxal ambush in which 76 CRPF jawans were killed in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh

January 8, 2013

File photo of the coffins of the 76 CRPF jawans in Jagdalpur. Photo: Shailendra Pandey

Ten tribal men, accused of killing 76 CRPF troops in Chhattisgarh three years back, have been acquitted for want of evidence. Kartam Joga, the petitioner against Salwa Judum in the Supreme Court, and zila panchayat member of CPI from Konta, has been acquitted by the Dantewada district court along with nine other accused. After Kartam Joga’s release, CPI took out a victory parade at their Sukma district headquarters under the leadership of Manish Kunjam.

Both CPI and Joga’s relatives have been saying all along that the police action was retaliation. TEHELKA had inquired into the matter after Joga’s arrest (Is CPI the next target in Bastar, Tehelka Vol 7, Issue 40, October 2010). The police had produced 43 witnesses in court. But ADJ Anita Dehriya found no substance in the police theory that the accused had killed the CRPF  jawans and looted their weapons. In Tadmetla case, the police had filed chargesheet against 92 people, 82 of the accused are yet to be arrested.

Along with Kartam Joga, Poyam Ganga, Podiyam Hidma, Kawari Budra, Duro Joga, Barse Lakhma, Madkam Ganga, Rajesh Nayak, and Madwi Dula have been in jail since September 2010. During the last two and a half years, the prosecution has not been able to prove a single charge. Joga’s lawyer Ashok Jain told TEHELKA that besides Tadmetla, the police have also filed cases against the accused of being involved in other cases of  naxal violence.  Joga had already been acquitted of other charges earlier.

Joga had filed a case against Salwa Judum in the Supreme Court. It is believed such cases were filed against them in retaliation. Meanwhile, CPI leader Manish Kunjam has hailed the courts decision as victory of jus

 

Related posts

Supreme Court admits PIL on cancer cervical vaccine trial #goodnews

TNN | Jan 8, 2013,

INDORE: The Supreme Court on Monday admitted a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by local activists alleging that pharma companies had conducted unauthorised drug tests of their vaccine on tribal girls.

The petition alleges that pharma companies, including Glaxo Smithkline and MSD Pharmaceuticals Pvt Ltd tested gardasil and cervarix — two unproven HPV vaccines purported to prevent cervical cancer — on nearly 24,000 tribal girls in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, including 44 persons at the Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital (MYH). Of 44 patients subjected to drug trials in the state, 10 were males.

PIL filed by Kalpana Mehta of Indore, Nalini Bhanot and V Rukmini Rao representing Gramya Resource Centre for Women alleges that the testing had led to adverse effects on girls’ health and the pharma companies ignored their further treatment. Seven girls allegedly succumbed during the vaccine trial. The petitioners were represented by Colin Gonsalves of the Human Rights Law Network.

Admitting the case, Justice S Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra have directed the Union government to immediately file its reply on the issue.

The apex court has also directed that the Christian Medical College, Vellore, should be asked to examine the medical record of the girls in question and submit a report to the court.

This order comes in the backdrop of allegations by activists that multinational companies are influencing state governments to carry out clinical trials on humans, which are often not transparent or regulated efficiently. The PIL alleges that PATH, an NGO, had initiated a project for the introduction of the two vaccines in India by signing a MoU with ICMR even before they were licensed by the Drugs Controller of India.

 

Related posts

Supreme Court relief for #Chhattisgarh activist accused of helping Naxals #Vaw #Sonisori

Edited by Surabhi Malik | Updated: January 08, 2013 13:05 IST, NDTV

Supreme Court relief for Chhattisgarh activist accused of helping Naxals

New DelhiThe Supreme Court today accepted a plea filed by tribal activist Soni Sori and directed the Chhattisgarh government to shift her from a jail in Raipur to the Central Jail in Jagadalpur.

The tribal teacher has been jailed on charges of being a Naxal. But she claims she has been falsely implicated in a number of cases linking her to Naxal activities.

Ms Sori has been lodged at the Raipur Central Jail since October 2011. She had sought her transfer claiming that she was being tortured by the Chhattisgarh Police. The Chhattisgarh government told the court today that it had no objection in moving her to another prison.

The activist has also alleged that she was raped at the Dantewada police station in 2011 and has filed another plea in the Supreme Court seeking that her case be shifted to Delhi. The Supreme Court is expected to hear this plea in March.

A suspected Naxal conduit accused of receiving “protection money” from the Essar group for the rebels, Ms Sori was arrested on October 4, 2011 in south Delhi by a Chhattisgarh police team. She was then taken to Dantewada for interrogation but was not produced before court. The Chhattisgarh Police claimed she fell in a bathroom. The medical report too said there was no torture. But Ms Sori has alleged that she was being treated like a thief and a dacoit by the police.

Ms Sori also wants a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to be appointed to investigate her case.

 

Related posts

Greens question bauxite mining plan in Karlapat for #Vedanta

By Express News Service – BHUBANESWAR

07th January 2013 02:48 PM

State Government’s move to provide bauxite to Vedanta Alumina Ltd from near Karlapat Sanctuary has drawn sharp criticism from the green brigade which on Sunday said the decision will prove disastrous for the protected area rich in bio-diversity.

The environment activists said the sanctuary will be lost and precious wildlife such as elephants and tigers will be greatly threatened if mining is allowed by the State Government to benefit Vedanta which last year shut down its refinery due to non-availability of bauxite.

The company had entered into an agreement with Odisha Mining Corporation for extraction of bauxite from Niyamgiri Hills but the Centre vetoed the proposal. The Government is now planning to make the raw material available from Karlapat mines.

Karlapat has a number of perennial streams and nullahs that flow in the region and feed Tel river, a major tributary of the Mahanadi. Besides, its vegetation and water source influence the microclimate of the area.

‘’Karlapat boasts of a strong elephant population and serves as a crucial corridor link between elephants in Kotagarh sanctuary in Kandhamal and Lakhari valley sanctuary in Gajapati. There are four elephant corridors that pass through Karlapat sanctuary,’’ president of Loka Shakti Abhiyan Prafulla Samantara told mediapersons here.

He said the mineral deposited plateaus like Khandualmali and Krishnamali are just one to three km from the boundary of Karlapat and as per the Supreme Court’s guidelines, no development, industrial or mining activities can take place within 10 km of any wildlife sanctuary and national park. The proposed extraction of bauxite ore would violate the existing norm, he said.

Karlapat has moist peninsular sal forests, mixed deciduous forests and bamboo brakes, undulated terrains interspersed with valleys, high altitude peaks, plateaus, innumerable valleys that support many life forms including endangered mammals like tigers and elephants, leopards, wild boar, giant squirrel and antelopes.

Besides, 10 revenue villages and nine un-surveyed villages with a population of 1551 within Karlapat sanctuary would be affected by mines, Samantara pointed out. Tribals mostly belong to Kutia Kandh community.

 

Related posts

#Chhattisgarh: Tribal girls allegedly raped in a school hostel #Vaw

rape

 Raipur , Jan 6,2012: In the latest addition to horrific rape stories,  about 12 tribal girls were allegedly raped over many months  in a school hostel in Narharpur, Chattisgarh.

While a hostel watchman has been arrested, a school teacher who was also allegedly involved in the crime has been absconding.

The watchman of a government-run residential school for tribal girls in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district has been arrested for alleged sexual assault of the minor inmates, police said today.

Deenaram (23), the watchman of Tribal Girls Pre-matric Hostel located in Narharpur police station limits, was arrested following a complaint by Women and Child Development Officer yesterday, Superintendent of Police Rahul Bhagat told PTI.

Mannu Ram Gota (24), a teacher, who is also accused of sexual assault, was absconding.

After the news came out, Congress workers staged demonstration and blocked traffic at Kanker town, demanding action against the culprits.

A high-level probe has been initiated by the state government into the case.

  • #India-Rape cases we forgot: Soni Sori, Chhattisgarh’s prisoner of conscience (kractivist.wordpress.com)
  • #Chhattisgarh-‘Women equally responsible for crimes against them’ says Women commisison #WTfnews #Vaw (kractivist.wordpress.com)

Related posts

Police must be a public Service, not a political Force

Jan 06, 2013 – Maja Daruwala | , ASIAN age

In totalitarian states, police serves the regime and suppress es the population. In a democracy, the purpose of policing is fundamentally different. Before you can reform our police, you need a vision of what the purpose of police is.
In a democracy, its purpose is to be able to ensure the safety and security of life and property, prevent and detect crime and, most of all, create an environment in which people could enjoy their Constitutional rights. The work of the police, therefore, is to protect and enable. They must be a service, not a force, much like the fire or ambulance service. When in difficulties, people should be able to call on their services without any hesitation. That is not so now.
Police have not only to enforce the law, they have to uphold it. There is a difference. To uphold the law, you must always work within its four corners. Police has to be the role model for the public. Today, it is not.
A policeman is just a citizen in uniform. So the composition of the police must reflect the diversities within the communities they serve. For example, the national average of women in police is not even 5 percent. There is no reason why efforts should not be made very early on to have all-women recruitment drives.
Police cannot be apart from the communities they serve. How can they be invested in securing the safety of the community if they don’t live amongst it. How can they understand their fears, their worries, the risks they have to bear, if the police are deliberately isolated in quarters. That separation forces them into an unhealthy subculture that creates mutual suspicion. Their isolation from the public ensures that their reactions are defensive, impervious and often violent. This has to be removed.
The police leadership often says that the police come from society and therefore cannot be expected not to share society’s biases and prejudices. But we all have our prejudices, our likes and dislikes. We also have a duty not to act on them to the detriment of others. That, in fact, is why we are policed. The collective identity of the police cannot be based on defensiveness and isolation from the public, it has to be based on pride at providing admirable public service.
Merit, not patronage and pull, must be the criterion for career advancement in the Police. Promotions, and punishment for dereliction of duty or criminal wrongdoing, cannot be in the gift of patrons outside the police force. It must be part of the system. In Prakash Singh vs Union of India, the Supreme Court had directed that the police shall have a Police Establishment Board and four senior-most police officers will sit in the Board on promotions and transfers of officers. This gives the police leadership an opportunity to clean up its house and put in place clear criteria and transparent process, where the fairness of its choices will be very evident. This is also one way to break the circle of outside patronage and create a cohort loyal to the institution.
But in many cases, the leadership has chosen to be supine and continue to wait for the recommendation list to come from outside authority. If politicians are assured that only their recommendations will work, then their friends will pedal influence and effect positive outcomes for their favourites.
Police should be given operational autonomy. And with full control over management, administration and operations of the police, must come full responsibility. Giving operational responsibility to the police does not mean that the political executive and legislature don’t control or supervise the police. It just means that powers and functions need to be clearly defined, with police, politician and bureaucrat each understanding the limits of the other. This division of powers and functions is essential to found good policing.
A system of reporting and reviewing police performance every year to an attentive legislature is also part of the changes that will make for better policing. Today, serious discussions about police — the adequacy of their budgets, numbers, composition, infrastructure, capabilities, training, skills, specialisations, annual goals and performance — is seriously missing from legislative bodies and from public knowledge. Instead, the discourse is dominated by the need for tenure, the inconvenience of transfers and handwringing about the ‘plight of the poor constable’.
The proof of good policing lies in its performance. Today, the critic judges police only by its misbehaviour and illegality. The politician, by how low the crime registration is. To keep crime figures low, police simply don’t register cases.
Police performance must be measured against realistic goals set after wide public consultation with local communities and understanding what the police needs to be able to fulfill expectations. The most important measure of policing is how safe people feel, especially the weak and vulnerable; how peacefully we can all go about our business; how willing people are to assist and cooperate with the police.
The consequences of poor policing are there for all to see. We see around us the ascendance of the criminal from petty thief to politician. We see more and more brutality, more oppression of the weak and vulnerable, and no place to go when there is damage and danger. Police practice itself is too often imbued with illegality and institutional bias.
Police have to cleanse themselves. This doesn’t require us to wait on brand new laws. It just requires highminded leadership. But all too often, its bad apples are protected and impossible to bring to book. It is this breakdown that fuelled the public resentment and anger, which we saw erupt on the streets of Delhi last December. We were angry. Now, we need to be better informed about how we are policed, and work out with the police, policy makers and our communities how we can break through resistances and change the police that we have, into the police that we want.

Maja Daruwala is executive director, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (As told to Bala Chauhan)

 

Related posts

Grant bail to Maudany and try him in fast-track court, says Rajya Sabha MP

By Tariq Abdul Muhaimin1/5/13, NEWZFIRST

Bangalore – After visiting Abdul Nasser Maudany, a terror accused who has been lodged in a Bangalore jail for his alleged involvement in the 2008 Bangalore serial blasts case, a delegation consisting of Rajya Sabha MP, Senior Advocate of Supreme Court and several human rights activists on Saturday demanded that he should be granted bail on humanitarian grounds.

“It is very sad to see his health condition. He is suffering from many ailments. The Govt. and police are not ready to settle his case. They should stop dragging it any longer”, said Mohammed Adeeb, Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha from Uttar Pradesh, while addressing reporters at a press conference here.

“If he is guilty, he should be punished. If he is not, then he should be released. This is not what a just society should be doing”, he added.

Describing the deteriorating heath of Maudany, Mohammed Adeeb also demanded that he be released on humanitarian grounds and that all terror related cases in India, including that of Maudany, should be transferred to fast-track courts and disposed off as quickly as possible.

“Even after 2 years, only 35 witnesses have been formally examined while more than 300 witnesses have to be examined. It will take years before the case is completed. The state has no proof against Maudany”, Mohammed Adeeb told Newzfirst.

Abdul Nasar Maudany was falsely accused for the 1998 Coimbatore serial bomb blasts that claimed 58 lives. Maudany was imprisoned for nine years as an under-trial. However, he was acquitted of all charges by the High Court in 2007.

Maudany charged that there was a hidden political agenda in connecting him with the Coimbatore blast case. On 17th August 2010, Maudany was arrested again for his alleged role in the Bangalore blasts of 2008 and is presently languishing in Parappana Agrahara Central Jail in Bangalore.

“What is sad to see is that after spending 9 years in jail in connection with the Coimbatore serial bomb blasts case and being honorably acquitted later, he was made accused in another blasts case”, said Colin Gonsalves, Senior Advocate of Supreme Court.

“He made a very sad gesture when we went to visit him. He pointed to his leg and said ‘When I touch my leg, it feels like rubber’”, Gonsalves said in a tone of sadness.

Gonsalves said that Maudany has virtually no power in one eye and has lost 80% eyesight in the other one. He also has gangrene that continues to spread throughout his body.

In May this year, Human Rights Activist and columnist NM Sidheeq, who visited Maudany in jail, had said that he is suffering from various ailments like diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, cervical spondylitis, urinary block, disc collapse, stomach ulcer, back bone ache, blood pressure and many other diseases which he developed during the last two imprisonments as he was denied basic medical assistance.

A ray of light in the darkness

Abdul Nasser Maudany’s bail application was rejected repeatedly by the trial court, High Court and Supreme Court in the last 2 years. However, the SC judge had directed the state government to make available all medical facilities required for his treatment.

But because Maudany asked the court to grant his wife and son permission to stay along with him during treatment, the trial court has ever since delayed his treatment by denying this request.

“When the matter went to High Court, the judge asked us to file an affidavit and clearly specify as to which hospitals we would be taking him for treatment. We did so. The High Court then directed the state government to grant permission for the same”, said P. Usman, Advocate of Abdul Nasser Maudany, while speaking to Newzfirst.

“This happened 3 months back. But the trial court granted permission for this today. It is saddening, but at least some good news in so much pain”, he added.

Maudany has been granted permission by the 34th Additional Sessions Judge H. S. Sreenivas to get himself admitted and treated immediately in Soukhya Ayurvedic hospital and Agarwal eye clinic. The Court has further directed that he shall be entitled to have his wife Sufia and son Omar Mukhtar as his attendants.

Maudany and politics

Following the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, Maudany had launched the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the stated objective of “Muslim-Dalit-backward caste” alliance.

In 1992, Maudany also became the target of an assassination attempt, allegedly by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) activist, in which he lost his right leg.

Related posts