Archive for the ‘ Random Thoughts ’ Category

Criminality in Indian Political System

For the first time, I had seen a ray of hope when in July 10, 2013 the Supreme Court of India upheld the 2004 Patna High Court ruling, which held that when a person in custody was disqualified to vote, he was also disqualified from contesting the elections.

This ticked the political parties in Parliament and they joined hands to amend the Representation of the People Act 1951 to negate the impact of the apex court verdict directing immediate disqualification of MPs and MLAs on being sentenced for more than two years in a criminal case.

Learned lawyers in Parliament like Kapil Sibal and Arun Jaitley introduced a provision to Section 62(5) which says “by reasons of the prohibition to vote under this sub-section, a person whose name has been entered in the electoral roll shall not cease to be an elector.” In effect treating a person in lawful custody in a criminal case as a voter and hence qualified to contest elections.

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The political parties of all hues backed the UPA Government on the move to amend the Act. To understand why this unity you need to understand the criminal antecedents of our elected representatives. According to an analysis done by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch (NEW), the Lok Sabha has 30% ie., 162 members have criminal cases against them. 14% have serious criminal cases. Our State Assemblies put together has 31% ie. 1258 members have criminal cases against them. 18% have serious criminal cases. In a break-up of political parties, 75% of Shiv Sena MPs and MLAs since 2004 have declared criminal cases against them, followed by Rashtriya Janata Dal with 46% such candidates and Janata Dal (United) with 44%. The BJP and Congress were at 31% and 22%, respectively.

Now you should understand the urgency. The apex court passed the judgement on July 10, 2013 and the amendments to RPA was rushed through in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha on August 27, 2013 and September 7, 2013 respectively.  The amendments to the bill were passed within about 15 minutes in both houses, after a brief discussion. Some members of course wanted an elaborate debate on the amendments but the overwhelming majority of the House, including Law and Justice Minister Kapil Sibal, Leader of Opposition in LS and RS – Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, pushed for its passage even without discussion.

Now the final nail on the coffin of this attempt to cleanse our Parliament of dirty politicians have been done by Justices A.K. Patnaik and S.J. Mukhopadhaya.  Through their judgement they have effectively killed the collective hope of the people of India. It must be recalled here that in 2002 and 2003, two vital orders from the same Supreme Court had made it compulsory to candidates to file information regarding any or all criminal cases pending against them, their educational qualification as well as details of the combined wealth of the candidate and their spouses.

But I still have indomitable faith. My faith is in Aam Aadmi Party, for I find them as a few good men and women, who have taken a stand to clean the dirt in politics and I am willing to give them a chance.

My request to all my friends in Delhi is to go out and cast your vote for the Aam Aadmi Party and then we can build the movement to a credible alternative to these Criminal Politicians, across the country.

God Bless India.

PS : I am not a member of Aam Aadmi Party but just a Indian citizen tired of seeing the desperation of both Congress and the BJP. Both wants to make it a Presidential election showing a Pappu and a Feku. We know them, we have seen them in action. They have brought down the standard of debates in Parliament and election rallies to pits. We have also seen them both in action together in Parliament to scuttle the best opportunity to decriminalize the Indian political system.

Cartoon : Courtesy The Hindu & Copy Right Keshav

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Con Artist Arindam Chaudhuri

The Caravan Dec 2010 Coverstory IIPMWas watching CNN IBN debate yesterday and was flabbergasted to see the pony-tailed crusader of quality education, Arindam Chaudhuri at his animated best. The obnoxious creep who has made a fortune off the aspirations and insecurities of India’s middle classes and who believes that all his students should pay a fortune to ‘study’ at IIPM, has filed lawsuits against publishers Penguin; magazines The Caravan, Just Another Magazine and Careers360 Magazine; authors Siddhartha Deb, Maheshwar Pai, Rashmi Bansal and even Google India on charges of “publishing, distributing, giving coverage, circulating, blogging the defamatory, libelous and slanderous articles.”

IIPM had earlier filed a lawsuit against The Caravan seeking damages to the tune of Rs. 500 million, in Silchar, Assam. Not in Delhi, where both the IIPM and the magazine’s publisher, Delhi Press, are based, but 2,200 km away from Delhi, 300 km from Dispur, Assam’s capital. The IIPM filed the case at the Court of Civil Judge in Silchar district, through one Kishorendu Gupta, who operates Gupta Electrical Engineers in a Silchar suburb, and is the first plaintiff. IIPM is the second plaintiff.

On Feb 14th, 2013 IIPM managed to have a directive issued by a Court in Gwalior. In pursuance of the court directive, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has issued an order directing Internet Service Licensees to block access to 78 URLs from India, 73 of which contained such criticism directed towards IIPM, ex-parte, without any pre-hearing notice. As a writer I am shocked how IIPM was able to play and cobble together a bureaucratic system of dealing with the Internet much worse than the censorship in place in Peoples Republic of China and thought that it will be appropriate that I too should contribute to my views.

I seriously wonder how a fraud like Arindam Chaudhuri is able to bend the system like this. Am sure in the coming days questions ranging from whether the court has the legal authority to give such an order to purge websites, especially of official organizations like University Grants Commission (UGC) to whether the order is flawed from lack of fair hearing opportunities given to parties affected, will be answered.

The most important point that was missed in the boisterous debate was that one of the URLs mentioned in the DoT order was a public notice given by UGC, dated July, 2012 confirming the unrecognized status of IIPM.

Mr. Arindam Chaudhuri accept it, you can make glossy brochures but the fact remains that IIPM is not recognised by the University Grants Commission (UGC), which is the competent authority regulating Indian institutes of higher education. You better not count your chicken before they hatch!!!

Picture Courtesy : The Caravan (Dec 2010 Cover Story “Sweet Smell Of Success”)

Capital Punishment For Rapists

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It is a really pity that the interminable discussions in electronic media about the bizarre episode of a 23 year old girl raped in a bus in Delhi could come of with only a tiresome theatrical of Young Indians marching in Gantar Mantar demanding capital punishment for rapists and a confused Government and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde coming out with some meek and incoherent statements in response to the  histrionics. This has also caught the attention of some elitist, sitting in the comforts of their office or home to share the gory picture on social networking sights and seeking support for the causes and signing petitions demanding death penalty for rapist.

But people who is demanding capital punishment for rapists should understand the criminal justice system in India before demanding harsher rape law. While death penalty is legal in India, it is rarely carried out. Since 1995 it has been used only three times, on Auto Shankar(1995), Dhananjoy Chatterjee(2004) and Ajmal Kasab(2012). Even imposition of the penalty is not always followed by execution (even when it is upheld on appeal), because of the possibility of commutation to life imprisonment. There have been at least four cases in the recent past where rapists who murdered their victims as well who were awarded death penalty by the Courts managed to escape the noose after the President of India commuted their sentence to life imprisonment.

It is good that the Delhi protestors to remember that, in 2004, we saw hundreds of people gathered outside the prison holding all-night vigil similar to what we see in Delhi today, to protest against the execution of Dhananjoy Chatterjee who was executed in Kolkata for raping and murdering a 14-year-old girl Hetal Parekh.

While I agree that rape is the most heinous of crimes on a human being and my heart goes out to all rape victims, but strongly feel that if the government heeds to the rising chorus to make rape an offense punishable by capital punishment and amends the law, the only thing we will see is that the conviction of rape cases coming down drastically. In my opinion what we need is stricter implementation of the existing laws but certainly NOT capital punishment.

If the Government is looking at stricter rape law, I am for castration and rigorous imprisonment of 10 years for rapists. Or 10 year rigorous imprisonment with weekly or monthly application of a paste of chilli on the rapists ‘weapon of mass destruction’ during his prison term.

Any suggestions?

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