Justice Arijit Pasayat should speak out

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

arijit pasayatJustice Arijit Pasayat is a former Judge of the Supreme Court of India. He is a trustee of Servants of the People Society (SoPS). Under Art.32 of its Constitution, a trustee is appointed “for the better management of the assets” of SoPS and shall remain a trustee till death. The Samaja of Orissa is being used as an asset of SoPS. Therefore, Justice Pasayat is also responsible for its “better management”.

In a previous posting in these pages we have exposed how huge sums of money are being misappropriated through dubious advertisement bills by a blue-eyed boy of the SoPS, who acts as ad manager of the Samaja. He has been rewarded with an additional post of Joint General Manager.

Recently when the Additional District Magistrate of Cuttack was required by the Registrar of Newspapers for India (RNI) to enquire into legitimacy of ownership of the Samaja as it was alleged by ‘Save the Samaja Forum’ (SSF) that SoPS has illegally occupied the newspaper by using a fake WILL projected as Gopabandhu’s, a retired IAS officer S.C.Mantry parading himself as General Manager of Samaja had used Justice Pasayat’s name as a trustee in order to dazzle the officer to dance to his tune. Thus Justice Pasayat’s name and involvement with the Samaja as a trustee of SoPS is being used to influence government officers in Orissa. We wish, Justice Pasayat, being a great name in Indian Judiciary, should ascertain as to whether it was necessary to use his name in course of the ADM’s investigation into legitimacy of SoPS ownership over the Samaja.

However, he being a man of Orissa, and a trustee of SoPS whose duty it is to manage the Samaja in a “better” manner by virtue of being a trustee, and whose name is being used to derail official investigations into felony of forgery pointed out by SSF, we expect that the rampant unfair labor practices going on in the establishment of that paper, should be reacted to by him. Fro last several months, in the latest phase, the Samaja is burning under the heat of internecine battles between rival groups of members of SoPS.

It cannot be believed that Justice Pasayat has not known anything of this ongoing shenanigans in the Samaja establishment.

We want him to speak out when the most dedicated employees of the Samaja are being thrown into enforced idleness, denial of entry into workplace, false police cases, suspension, stoppage of wages, de facto dismissals, domesticated domestic enquiries, and all sorts of colorable exercise of managerial power including dismissal, over and above the nasty practice of denying labor welfare measures like provident fund, employees state insurance, house rent allowance and retirement benefits like gratuity and pension etc to dozens of employees by treating them as casual workers despite their regular discharge of duties for decades non-stop.

We want him to speak out if he is sure that the SoPS has taken over the Samaja on the basis of a genuine WILL of Pandit Gopabandhu Das, a co-founder of the paper. We have stumbled upon records that shows that the WILL the SoPS is claiming to be the basis on which it has occupied the Samaja is a forged WILL. As a trustee, we want Justice Pasayat to verify that WILL and say the public, if he finds the same to be genuine, that the WILL is genuine.

When he had headed a Committee in 2011 to enquire into various financial irregularities including misappropriation of the funds of the Samaja and various acts of misconduct and moral turpitude marked in top functionaries of the Samaja establishment and life members of SoPS, in his report he had mentioned that the “Samaja unlike other newspapers is not the property of any individual or group of persons”. And, we believe, by saying so, he meant Servants of the People Society to the that group of persons.

We want the forgery in matter of Gopabandhu’s WILL be brought to records and therefore, we want Justice Pasayat to speak out.

Rape is no Juvenile Crime

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Brother of the victim of the 16.12.2012 Delhi gang-rape could not have slapped the members of the Juvenile Justice Board because of his inability to reach them. So, the slap he gave to the criminal who got away with a mere three years stay in a correctional home, in the court room itself immediately after delivery of the judgment on August 31, could be held as a symbolic slap on the face of JJB that made a mockery of justice under mindless submission to how the police has framed the case.

Rape is not a juvenile crime. The brutality of rape to which the victim succumbed was not juvenile. It was a mature and major crime and hence it was wrong on part of the police to project it as a juvenile offense.

The crime being major, the criminal should not have been considered a minor. The JJB should have refused to admit the case for adjudication on this ground and should have referred it to a regular court of criminal justice. But lifeless words of law did not allow the judicial wisdom to feel which crime is juvenile, which is not. Resultantly, a judgment is delivered that no sane Indian can cherish.

The parents of the victim may go against the judgment of JJB to higher forum of law. If they go, that may not be gainful; because it cannot be said that the JJB has erred in its judgment. It has held the criminal guilty of all the charges leveled against him and given him the highest quantum of punishment the juvenile law provides for.

So, it is a fit case for the Supreme Court of India to step in and define whether or not murderous rape is a crime of mature potency. And, to redraft the criminal that escaped yesterday appropriate punishment under the smokescreen of juvenility with a punishment of the most minor nature, on such determination. This is essential to save our female population from criminals whose crimes are more menacing in voluminousness than their age.