Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Why Justice Swatanter Kumar is like Mandrake The Magician

Justice (Retd) Swatanter Kumar is like MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN – amazing wizardry, plus massive legal muscle acting like bouncers to protect him from media glare.

On 10 January 2014, former Supreme Court Judge Swatanter Kumar was named by the media as accused of sexually exploiting a law intern. The intern, with the help of senior counsel Harish Salve and Indira Jaising, and advocate Vrinda Grover, filed a PIL on 14 January. The prayer: Supreme Court must reconsider its policy of not inquiring into the allegations against judges.

With lightning speed, WITHIN SIX DAYS, Delhi high court passed a temporary order in the Rs 5 crore defamation suit (CS(OS) 102/2014) slapped by Swatanter Kumar against Indian Express, Times Now and CNN-IBN (and, for good measure, the anonymous intern, the Indian Express reporter and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting). The order restrained the media from publishing or telecasting the allegations levelled on Swatanter Kumar, or even using his photos. After this extraordinary order, media fell silent about this news story.

SUCH A GAG ORDER IS UNPRECEDENTED – not seen even in the case of powerful personalities like Lalu Prasad Yadav, Jayalalitha, A Raja, RK Pachauri and Tarun Tejpal! If protection from such media coverage were a fundamental right (as pleaded by Swatanter Kumar in his defamation suit), then it should be extended to every man, woman and child in India. So, what makes Mr Swatanter Kumar ultra-special?

On 10 January 2014, former Supreme Court Judge Swatanter Kumar was named by the media as accused of sexually exploiting a law intern. The intern, with the help of senior counsel Harish Salve and Indira Jaising, and advocate Vrinda Grover, filed a PIL on 14 January. The prayer: Supreme Court must reconsider its policy of not inquiring into the allegations against judges.  With lightning speed, WITHIN SIX DAYS, Delhi high court passed a temporary order in the Rs 5 crore defamation suit (CS(OS) 102/2014) slapped by Swatanter Kumar against Indian Express, Times Now and CNN-IBN (and, for good measure, the anonymous intern, the Indian Express reporter and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting). The order restrained the media from publishing or telecasting the allegations levelled on Swatanter Kumar, or even using his photos. After this extraordinary order, media fell silent about this news story.   SUCH A GAG ORDER IS UNPRECEDENTED – not seen even in the case of powerful personalities like Lalu Prasad Yadav, Jayalalitha, A Raja, RK Pachauri and Tarun Tejpal! If protection from such media coverage were a fundamental right (as pleaded by Swatanter Kumar in his defamation suit), then it should be extended to every man, woman and child in India. So, what makes Mr Swatanter Kumar ultra-special?
Image: http://tinyurl.com/Swatanter-Kumar-Mandrake


Oh yeah, I forgot, he is a former Supreme Court judge, so he is not just another mortal like you and I. He is a demigod.

And precisely because he is a demigod, he was represented in his defamation case by a huge powerhouse of leading lawyers appeared on his behalf, including Mukul Rohatgi, A.S.Chandhiok, Rajiv Nayar, Neeraj Kishan Kaul, Vinay Bhasin, Maninder Singh, Kirti Uppal, Sandeep Sethi, Aman Lekhi, Sudhir Walia, Ralan Karanjawala, Fareha Ahmad Khan, Mr.Abhijat, Mohit Mathur, P.Banerjee, Manmeet Arora, Meghna Mishra, Akshay Makhija, Ashish Dholakia, Abhimanya Mahajan, Mansi Sharma, Nidhi Parashar, Niyati Kohli and Varun Kumar Tikmani. Many appeared pro bono, and overawed the judge and the media with their massive legal muscle-power.

Before passing restraining order, Justice Manmohan Singh reasoned: "I have already examined in the preceding paragraph of this order the argument that even if some amount of fairness is attached to the publication, still the Court can proceed to prevent the same on the basis of the excessive prejudice. Suffice it to say, no conclusive finding as to fairness or unfairness can be arrived at this juncture. Upon the fair reading of material available on record, it prima facie appears that the same can prejudicially affect the public mind and there is real and tangible risk of the plaintiff in not getting fair trial or open justice as contemplated by the common law...” (Really, Milord? Really? Does the judiciary ever show such tender concern for us lesser mortals, whose reputations and family lives fall apart due to judicial custody and the trial-process, let alone news coverage?)

Today, nearly 18 months after the gag order, media is silent on the progress of the two cases – the defamation case filed by Swatanter Kumar, and the PIL filed by his former intern. It is also silent about whether any progress has been made in framing guidelines and rules for investigating such allegations against judges of the higher judiciary. The common man’s right to know these things can rot in hell, so far as the judiciary is concerned.

Hurray for Mandrake the Magician, and his faithful bodyguard Lothar!

Warm Regards,
Krishnaraj Rao
9821588114

Friday, 26 June 2015

Former NRI pans Hyundai, writes Open Letter to Transport Minister Gadkari

26 June, 2015, Mangalore: Nestle's Maggie Noodles isn't the only dangerous goods in the Indian market. Have you noticed that Hyundai cars catch fire ever so often – whether on the road or in parking? Is our government neglecting to safeguard the lives of Indian vehicle-owners by pampering multinational companies? Why is the Transport Commissioner of each state passing such cars – proven dangerous on Indian roads -- to be sold to unwary customers?

In a scathing open letter to Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari sent on Monday, Mr Prakash Rao (98452 13305, pkrao51@hotmail.com), former managing director of Bhutan-based Tashi Group, says, "Recall of goods due to manufacturing defects is unheard of in India. Multinationals like Hyundai Motor India Ltd. are knowingly selling faulty products to Indian customers, putting our lives at risk. They believe that the Indian government does not take action to protect its citizens – and earlier governments have proven them right! Will they be proven right again by Modi-sarkar?"

Rao's outrage was triggered by Hyundai Fluidic Verna Car (KA-19-MC-5246), parked in his sister's car shed in Mangalore, catching fire on Independence Day last year. Despite lengthy correspondence, the company has not revealed the contents of its inspection report as to the cause of the fire. In its replies, Hyundai blandly states, "Your vehicle was inspected by our team at our workshop Advaith Motors on 2/09/2014 & 3/09/2014. Accordingly we would like to confirm to you that the reported concern in your car is not due to manufacturing defect. Please don't have any apprehensions in this regard."

"My daughter in Delhi has bought a Hyundai Fluidic Verna and my daughter in Mumbai has bought a Hyundai Elantra on my advice, and now I realize my confidence in Hyundai vehicles was totally unjustified and therefore I now fear for my children's safety," he laments.  Rao has found that he is not alone in his plight. His letter to the Road Transport Minister contains a dozen examples of various Hyundai models catching fire in various Indian cities.
The burnt car in Lata Rao's car-shed. Image: http://tinyurl.com/Burnt-Hyundai-car

My family and I are the not-so-proud owners of many Hyundai cars, including my Hyundai Fluidic Verna, which showed us on Independence Day that we are second-class citizens in our own country. On 15th August 2014, at about 7 pm, when Prime Minister Modi's inspiring speech was playing on all channels, my cousin sister Lata Rao saw flashes of light outside her bungalow. Going out, she found that my Hyundai Fluidic Verna Car parked in her car shed, was burning.
The charred engine. Image: http://tinyurl.com/Charred-Hyundai-Verna
Translated from officialese to plain English, it means, "We are not taking any responsibility for this mess. You are on your own, Mr Consumer." Rao's exchange of letters with HMIL can be read here: http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-Verna-letters

Rao is disturbed. "My daughter in Delhi has bought a Hyundai Fluidic Verna and my daughter in Mumbai has bought a Hyundai Elantra on my advice, and now I realize my confidence in Hyundai vehicles was totally unjustified and therefore I now fear for my children's safety," he laments.

Rao has found that he is not alone in his plight. His letter to the Road Transport Minister contains a dozen examples of various Hyundai models catching fire in various Indian cities. Scanned copy of this letter: http://tinyurl.com/Nitin-Gadkari-Open-Letter

RAO'S LETTER IS REPRODUCED BELOW:

To
Mr Nitin Gadkari,
Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways,
Transport Bhawan, Sansad Marg,
New Delhi 110001.

Dated: 22nd June,2015.

Cc:
Mr P Radhakrishnan, MoS, Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways
Shri Abhay Damle, Director, Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT)
Mrs. Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Director, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI)
Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Karnataka
Mr. Bo Shin Seo, Managing Director, Hyundai Motor India Ltd.

Hyundai cars routinely catch fire because of manufacturing defects;
Why are these models given government approval?

Dear Shri Gadkari,

Greetings on completion of one year in your ministry. We trust that you, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, are willing to take strong steps towards good governance.

I am writing to you not as an aggrieved customer, but as a concerned citizen. What worries me is that India is a second-class market where shoddy goods can be sold without fear of the law. Recall of goods due to manufacturing defects is unheard of in India. Multinationals like Hyundai Motor India Ltd. are knowingly selling faulty products to Indian customers, putting our lives at risk. They believe that the Indian government does not take action to protect its citizens – and earlier governments have proven them right! Will they be proven right again by Modi-sarkar?

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Prakash Krishna Rao. After staying abroad as a director of overseas companies, I now live a peaceful retired life with my wife in Mangaluru, our native place. My family and I are the not-so-proud owners of many Hyundai cars, including my Hyundai Fluidic Verna, which showed us on Independence Day that we are second-class citizens in our own country.
On 15th August 2014, at about 7 pm, when Prime Minister Modi's inspiring speech was playing on all channels, my cousin sister Lata Rao saw flashes of light outside her bungalow. Going out, she found that my Hyundai Fluidic Verna Car (KA-19-MC-5246), parked in her car shed, was burning. She and her neighbours tried to extinguish the flames, but in vain. The fire brigade arrived and extinguished the fire after considerable time. I shudder to think what might have happened if the fire had reached the petrol tank; it could have exploded, endangering the lives of my sister and her neighbours!

Photos of my Hyundai vehicle are enclosed. They can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-Verna-burnt-pix

My Hyundai Verna, bought in May 2012, was still under warranty and it was regularly maintained at the authorized workshop. There was no short circuit in the car shed. The car shed was clean and vacant, and nothing was being stored there. There was no lightning, thunder or rain on that day.

After the representatives of Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL) and its dealer Advaith Hyundai took the burnt car to their workshop and performed a technical examination, they refused to share their report with me. In a letter dated 10th Sept 2014, they wrote, "Your vehicle was inspected by our team at our dealer workshop Advaith Hyundai on 2/09/2014 & 3/09/2014. Accordingly, we would like to confirm to you that the reported concern in your car is not due to any manufacturing defect." This reply evades the question: What caused the fire in the engine compartment of my Hyundai Verna? Is it faulty wiring? If not due to any manufacturing defect, why does a stationary car suddenly burn up?

I had a lengthy exchange of letters with HMIL in this regard, which are enclosed for you.
The letters can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-Verna-letters

Sir, many Hyundai cars have been spontaneously catching fire in India, but HMIL has refused to take responsibility. This is evident from the correspondence of many other unfortunate owners of Hyundai cars, available on the internet.

TWELVE RECENT HYUNDAI CAR FIRES IN INDIA:
  • Goa, January 2015: Hyundai i20 started burning on Mumbai-Goa Highway near Mandovi bridge. See video: http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-i20-Goa
  • Bangalore, November 2014 –Hyundai i20 burnt to ashes at a dealership during bumper replacement. http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-i20-Dealer-fire
  • Gurgaon, June 2014 – Hyundai Santro spontaneously caught fire on the road, killing two of its three occupants. http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-Santro-Gurgaon
  • Bangalore, November 2013 – A couple had a narrow escape when their Hyundai i20 caught fire. http://tinyurl.com/Bangalore-Hyundai-i20
  • Mumbai, October 2013 – In two separate incidents, two new Hyundai Eon cars caught fire. http://tinyurl.com/Two-Hyundai-Eon-Mumbai
  • Jharkhand, September 2012 – Hyundai i20 developed a fireball under its bonnet while on the road. The occupants narrowly escaped. http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-i20-Jharkhand
  • New Delhi, April 2012 – Hyundai Accent caught fire on Ghazipur flyover. http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-Accent-Delhi
  • Hyderabad, March 2012 – Hyundai i10 caught fire while being taken out of parking. http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-i10-Hyderabad
  • April 2011 – A brand-new Hyundai Verna burst into flames on a highway. The family managed to escape, but lost all their cash, luggage, mobile phones, etc. http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-Verna-highway
  • Kolkata, November 2010 – A Hyundai i20 burst into flames. See video. http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-i20-Kolkata
  • New Delhi – A Hyundai i20 burned in a busy road near ITO in New Delhi. See video http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-i20-New-Delhi
  • Bangalore, June 2009 – A 10-month-old Hyundai i10 caught fire upon ignition. http://tinyurl.com/Hyundai-10-ignition

In USA, Canada and Australia, Hyundai Motor recalls millions of cars for less serious manufacturing defects, such as faulty brake lights and child-restraint seats! But in India, HMIL avoids taking responsibility. Mr Gadkari, Sir, Hyundai Motor clearly believes that human life is cheap in India. We would like to ask you and Modi-ji: Is this true?

Sir, like myself and my family, many Indians are waiting for a clear reply from you.

Yours Sincerely,
Prakash Krishna Rao
Nagi Towers,
3 – B, 3RD Floor,
Opposite Circuit House,
Kadri Hills,
Mangaluru – 575004,
Karnataka.
Email: pkrao51@hotmail.com
Cell No. +919845213305
-------------------------------------------------------------------

HYUNDAI CONTACT DETAILS FOR JOURNALISTS WISHING TO GET THE "OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY":

Mr. Bo Shin Seo,
Managing Director & CEO,
Hyundai Motor India Ltd.,
2nd,5th & 6th Floor, Corporate One,
Baani Building, Plot No. 5,
Commercial Centre,
Jasola, New Delhi - 110 025.
Email: bsseo@hmil.net

Ms.Anupama Singh
Customer Care Service,
Hyundai Motor India Ltd.
New Delhi.
Email: anupamasingh@hmil.net
Fax: 011 66022201
Tel: 011 66022000

I have some more numbers of Hyundai representatives, but they may not be authorized to respond. All my attempts to get a proper response or rebuttal from Hyundai were unsuccessful.

ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
KRISHNARAJ RAO
09821588114
MUMBAI

Thursday, 25 June 2015

If Supreme Court judges wore burqas as advised...

“MY LORDS SHOULD WEAR A BURQA and roam in the court corridors to hear the way lawyers talk about the judges of this court. You will get first-hand account of the rotting justice delivery system. The kind of lawyers who are being appointed as judges is a disgrace,” senior advocate Dushyant Dave, arguing for the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), told a Constitution Bench led by Justice J S Khehar.

“It is a shame how every court is going an extra mile to protect politicians and film stars, and ordinary citizens are deprived of justice,” he added. Read http://tinyurl.com/burqa-judges

MY LORDS SHOULD WEAR A BURQA and roam in the court corridors to hear the way lawyers talk about the judges of this court. You will get first-hand account of the rotting justice delivery system. The kind of lawyers who are being appointed as judges is a disgrace,” senior advocate Dushyant Dave, arguing for the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), told a Constitution Bench led by Justice J S Khehar.
Image: http://tinyurl.com/SC-Judges-burqa


Warm Regards,
Krish
9821588114

Sunday, 21 June 2015

How bad can Collegium's selection criteria be? Justice Joseph is a sample

Judges selected by the collegium for higher judiciary are sometimes worse than useless, according to Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi.
Rohatgi gave the instance of Justice Cyriac Joseph. As a judge of Delhi High Court, Justice Joseph performed miserably. He reserved more than 100 judgments and went out on being transferred without delivering the judgments, so that all the cases had to be reheard.
Later, as Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, Cyriac Joseph delivered 162 judgments of which 89 "cannot be even called orders as they did not decide rights of the parties. These are merely stating that the petition has become infructuous or allowing the petition to be withdrawn. Of the 162, only two could be called judgments... But both these were authored by the other judge who was part of the bench," the AG said.
Justice Cyriac Joseph was very successful at climbing the career ladder. Only one month after being appointed as permanent judge of Kerala High Court in July 1994, he was transferred to Delhi High Court, and later transferred back to Kerala High Court in Sept 2001. He was made Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court in March 2005, and later, Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court.
He became a judge of Supreme Court of India on 7 July 2008, until he retired on 27 January 2012.
Report: http://tinyurl.com/Justice-Cyriac-Joseph
Image: http://tinyurl.com/Judge-Cyriac-Joseph-NHRC
Justice Cyriac Joseph authored only seven judgments during his tenure as a Supreme Court judge from July 7, 2008 to January 27, 2012. In his entire 18-year career as a judge of the higher judiciary starting from 1994, he is reckoned to have delivered less than 100 judgments.
According to Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar of Supreme Court, Mr Joseph was appointed to the Supreme Court following the principle of ‘due representation to different sections of society’ which the government also intends to adopt under the NJAC. While it is bizarre to suggest that a person who is otherwise not suitable to be made a judge could be appointed to the Supreme Court simply in order to give effect to this principle, the facts regarding this particular judge must make the erstwhile collegium introspect about its decision to appoint him to the Supreme Court in the first place.
And after retirement, the government saw fit to appoint Mr Cyriac Joseph as Acting Chairman of National Human Rights Commission?! This is the cherry on the cake of incompetence being rewarded with constitutional posts.

Issued in Public Interest
by Krishnaraj Rao
9821588114

Judicial Appointments: JAC will help Govt arm-twist the collegium judges

It is a lie that Government currently has no say in appointing judges, and therefore Judicial Appointments Commission Act is required for giving government a say. The fact is that government has been continually influencing the appointment of judges by the Collegium from the back door. Recommendations to the collegium are made through the back door by big-ticket lawyers who have access, like Manu Singhvi, Kapil Sibal and Arun Jaitley. These are the middlemen or puppet masters who make judicial appointments happen, by trading favours (land allotments, post-retirement appointments etc) with collegium judges. They are king-makers or "judge-makers" who approach the collegium on behalf of government, powerful business lobbies and political parties, to promote their favourite candidates.

The Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) will only enable the government to have additional control over judicial appointments -- some extra bargaining leverage to make the collegium judges bend over, and let the government have their way with them.

Peep through the wall of secrecy behind which appointments and elevations have been happening in higher judiciary so far. Politics, lies, sex and money-trails lurk within. It is only thanks to expose's by people like Justice Markandey Katju and Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that these ugly realities are now spilling out into public domain. 

The public got a hint some years ago when a viral video showed a senior lady lawyer performing a sexual act on Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, in hopes of being recommended for judgeship. The matter was hushed up with money and influence -- both political and judicial. Media did not dare to raise the Manu Singhvi issue again.


 Recommendations to the collegium are made through the back door by big-ticket lawyers who have access, like Manu Singhvi, Kapil Sibal and Arun Jaitley. These are the middlemen or puppet masters who make judicial appointments happen, by trading favours (land allotments, post-retirement appointments etc) with collegium judges.
Image: http://tinyurl.com/Judiciary-puppets

Each and every judge carries the guilt of having been elevated to his current position by doing favours to government officials, politicians, senior counsels, etc. in exchange for recommendations to the collegium. His entire career is controlled by the collegium of judges at High Courts and Supreme Court. There are no rules, no benchmarks, no due process to be followed, and no reference to any institution created by any law; the words of the collegiums -- which are illegal -- are the only law.

How can such judges and chief justices safeguard our fundamental rights against encroachment by the powers-that-be?


Each and every judge carries the guilt of having been elevated to his current position by doing favours to government officials, politicians, senior counsels, etc. in exchange for recommendations to the collegium. His entire career is controlled by the collegium of judges at High Courts and Supreme Court. There are no rules, no benchmarks, no due process to be followed.
Image: http://tinyurl.com/Judges-nepotism


And that explains why judges steadfastly avoid taking action against corrupt government officials and politicians. It is because, as the saying goes, those who live in glass houses don't like to throw stones.

ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST
by Krishnaraj Rao
9821588114


Saturday, 13 June 2015

Katju's Challenge: Impeach Dattu or Jail me for Contempt

In the face of continuous provocation by Markandeya Katju, why is Chief Justice Dattu silent and passive? if there is no substance in the retired SC judge's allegations, why isn't any action being taken against him? Why no Contempt of Court so far?

Through his blog, http://justicekatju.blogspot.in/, Katju has been continually baiting Dattu, the establishment and also mainstream journalists for not investigating the issue based on his documents.

It is easy to write this off as Katju's attention-seeking behaviour. But let us look deeper. His allegations are that the Chief Justice of India is a blatantly corrupt man who has amassed wealth by currying favour with the government, and by breaking laws. Can we as a nation afford to take such allegations lightly?

If these allegations are true, impeach the Chief Justice of India. And if they are frivolous and unsubstantiated, then haul Katju (along with other critics like myself) over the coals. Let justice be seen to be done!

In the face of continuous provocation by Markandeya Katju, why is Chief Justice Dattu silent and passive? if there is no substance in the retired SC judge's allegations, why isn't any action being taken against him? Why no Contempt of Court so far?  Through his blog, http://justicekatju.blogspot.in/, Katju has been continually baiting Dattu, the establishment and also mainstream journalists to investigate the issue based on his documents.
Image: http://tinyurl.com/HL-Dattu-Katju-Blog


 “There are a large number of plots in or near Bangalore purchased in the name of Justice Dattu’s wife Gayathri. Photocopies of the sale deeds by which they were purchased are in the dossier. These sale deeds mention the name of Justice Dattu’s wife Gayathri, but interestingly enough describe her as daughter of Guravayoor (probably her father’s name), and not wife of Justice Dattu. This is strange, since the plots were purchased long after her marriage. Was this done to conceal these transactions?” writes Markandeya Katju, retired Supreme judge, in his blog Satyam Bruyat.

The land was bought by H.L. Dattu in violation of property law that disqualifies a person with family income of over Rs. 2 lacs per year, from buying land in the rural areas of Karnataka, argued Katju.

He also wrote that Dattu had been allotted a plot of land in Bangalore, however “under the relevant scheme such plots could only be allotted to an employee of the Karnataka High Court. A High Court Judge is not an employee (he holds a Constitutional post, and is no one’s employee).”

“One plot of land in Bangalore was allotted to Justice Dattu under a scheme which had a term that a person already having a plot of land in Bangalore could not be allotted a plot. Justice Dattu already had plots in Bangalore, either in his own name or in his wife or children’s name at that time. He has also built a palatial house in Bangalore, allegedly on 1200 sq.m. land. Possibly that house itself would be worth Rs 50 crore or more.”

ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Krishnaraj Rao
9821588114

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Plenty of jail before getting bail is normal in India

While Salman Khan secured bail in barely three hours after his conviction, over 60% of undertrials spend more than three months in jail before they can secure release. The prolonged incarceration is due to their inability to get bail.
Government data shows that roughly 1.75 lakh of 2.78 lakh people facing criminal charges are unable to secure bail before three months. Over 40% (1.1 lakh) of undertrials take more than six months to secure bail, over 64,000 spend more than one year in jail before they are released on bail, while over 30,000 spend more than two years in jail.
Image: http://tinyurl.com/jail-bail-India

And further to this, thousands of convicts are detained months or even years AFTER COMPLETION OF THEIR SENTENCES due to non-payment of fines. These are inmates who remain in jail even after completion of their jail sentences because they are unable to pay the fine amount! At the end of 2013, there were 3000 such prisoners. Of these, 1375 prisoners, or 45.2% had been in jail less than six months after completion of their sentences. On the other extreme, 240 were still languishing in jail for more than five years after their jail sentences had ended.
What right to Life & Liberty are we talking about? The common man's right to life and liberty is held hostage by the judiciary!
(Thank you TOI for in-depth coverage of this issue on 11 May 2015.)

Regards,
Krish
9821588114

Thousands of Indian convicts are too poor to pay fines, hence jailed indefinitely

Thousands of convicts are detained for months or even years AFTER COMPLETION OF THEIR SENTENCES due to non-payment of fines. What right to Life & Liberty are we talking about? The common man has no real right to life and liberty!
That's right, there are thousands of inmates who remain in jail even after completion of their jail sentences because they are unable to pay the fine amount! At the end of 2013, there were 3000 such prisoners. Of these, 1375 prisoners, or 45.2% had been in jail less than six months after completion of their sentences. On the other extreme, 240 were still languishing in jail for more than five years after their jail sentences had ended.
If non payment of fines of a few thousand rupees can keep you in jail for months or even years, what justice is there in our country?

(Thank you TOI for in-depth coverage of this issue.)

The poor rot in jail, as judiciary is partial to the rich while granting bail.

Although bail was a right of every individual, it was largely available only to the rich", says Colin Gonsalves of Human Rights Law Network. "When it comes to rich people, the court has double standards. Rich even get anticipatory bail. Salman's case is a shocking case of miscarriage of justice and consideration based on class. First, it's a fit case where he should have got 10 years in jail. Two, why should his bail plea be heard expeditiously when there are hundreds such applications pending in the high courts. Why should he be allowed to jump queue? It sets a bad precedent," he told TOI.

But that's not the only problem. Courts have also been terribly slow in disposing of cases (Salman's itself took over 12 years). Courts have 84.8% pendency in criminal cases while on an average over 60% cases take more than a year for trial to be completed. As many as 41,670 cases take more than 10 years while 1.7 lakh cases take between five to 10 years for the trial to be completed.

Even in cases of heinous nature, an undertrial is entitled to bail, if not immediately, then after the chargesheet is filed by an investigating agency. Police get three months to file chargesheet in cases under Indian Penal Code and up to six months under special laws such as Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act. 


Where is our precious fundamental right to Life & Liberty?

The fact that over 60% are incarcerated EVEN AFTER CHARGESHEETs are filed points to the fact that only those with deep pockets to hire talented lawyers and fight long-drawn legal battles are able to secure bail for themselves.


[This story appeared in TOI shortly after Salman Khan got same-day bail.]

Regards,
Krish
9821588114

Is Justice Kshitij Vyas a bit too friendly with Mukesh Ambani?

Are judges unduly friendly with big corporates? Last year, Reliance wrote in a letter to former Chief Justice of Bombay High Court KR Vyas: “I am pleased to inform you that your consultancy is further extended for one year i.e. upto April 30, 2015.” The letter reveals that Justice Kshitij Vyas was receiving hefty amounts from Reliance as consultancy. Several other retired Judges who were approached by Dhirubhai’s successors had refused to be on company’s pay roll.

Justice Kshitij R Vyas, formerly Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, was reportedly close to Mukesh Ambani and also the then Chief Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi. On recommendations of Modi, Justice Vyas was appointed as the Chairman of the monitoring authority overseeing fake encounters in Gujarat. However in a setback to Modi, Supreme Court removed Justice Vyas from the chair -- a rare snub by the apex court to a former CJ.

Reliance Industries Limited gave an appointment letter to Justice (Retd) Kshitij Vyas. Payback for favours?

Justice Vyas was caught in a web of controversy when his name was rejected by Congress for being the Lokayukt of Gujarat. However, he was later selected as the Lokayukta of Maharashtra.

This appointment letter and the original report was available at http://indiasamvad.co.in/in-season-of-super-bails-heres-a-story-of-chief-justice-on-reliance-pay-roll/

However, the report, written by Deepak Sharma on India Samvad has since been "pulled". By whom? And at whose say-so? The Ambanis? Or someone in the judiciary?

Regards,
Krish
9821588114

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Is Supreme Court a PART-TIME GUARDIAN of our fundamental rights?

Individuals can go on as many leaves as they like, including study leave, casual leave and sick-leave for much more than six months... but can the ENTIRE ORGAN OF GOVERNANCE remain closed for weeks or months? (And please, don't anybody mention vacation judges, who provide only a loincloth of judicial service!)

Evidently, it can! And according to our hon'ble judges, India is hale and hearty despite such institutionalized mass-bunking.
http://tinyurl.com/part-time-judiciary


So, let the whole country follow the noble example of our judges, and accordingly, let the government sanction SIX WEEK SUMMER VACATIONS FOR:

1) Police

2) Central & State Government, including Prime Minister, Chief Minister, entire cabinet and entire secretariat.

3) Entire Army, Navy, Air Force and Border Security Force. Let them coordinate the dates to match with summer vacations for the armed forces of Pakistan, China and Bangladesh across the borders.

No surprise invasions and terrorist attacks when we are on vacation, boys. "Time-please!" :-)

Regards,
Krish
9821588114

Monday, 1 June 2015

Chief Justice of India -- just a mouse on the treadmill?

The present judicial system has long-term failure written into its DNA. It seems to throw up only short-sighted pygmies as Chief Justice of India -- men who don't feel sufficiently responsible and empowered to change the system. And so our Chief Justices just hold hearings and routinely plod along till they retire. Their only aspiration is to get a prestigious post-retirement government naurkri. This is a key reason for the continuous decline in our judiciary's performance.
Chief Justices are not supposed to be pen-pushers. They are supposed to have a GRAND VISION of justice, the BIG PICTURE of the entire judicial system. Theirs is one of the most powerful jobs in the country. They are given the responsibility and independence to correct the bad practices of the past, to ensure that justice reaches the common man. The role of CJI is envisaged as not only a highly capable administrator of the entire judicial system, but also a visionary, leader and system-reformer.
Image: http://tinyurl.com/CJI-treadmill

All these promises are belied, when each CJI turns out to be just another mouse on the treadmill -- not a mastermind, but just another minion who scurries blindly inside the system.

Regards,
Krish
9821588114