Pending Determination of Unsound Mind, Singhvi Should Quit Parliament

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

“Assuming them(the contents of the CD) to be true, (which they certainly are not), would disclose only something private and consensual giving a cause of action only to aggrieved family members (who have stood completely by me) and to no one else” (Abhishek Manu Shinghvi when resigning from the Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Law & Justice ).

If his carnal conduct “assuming” to be true, as he says, was “private and consensual giving a cause of action only to aggrieved family members” is worth legality, Singhvi is certainly not qualified to claim that “no one else” has any right to find therein any “cause of action”.

He is a member of India’s Parliament in the Rajyasabha and that gives every citizen of India the right to be worried if his “private” conduct dismantles the discipline and probity expected of him.

The video in question displays indecent scenes of sex indulged into by a male who looks like him when he was still the head of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on personnel, law and justice and a female whom a lady lawyer of Delhi has identified as a lady lawyer she knows.

Before the general public could know of this video, Singhvi, an astute lawyer well versed in the tricks of law, succeeded in putting a judicial injunction on media organizations, which, to his information, were in possession of the CD carrying video records of his “certainly not true” extramarital sex. The court was shown that the video in question was a morphed one inasmuch as his driver, who, Singhvi had alleged, was threatening to tarnish his public image for settling a personal grudge as he had refused to enhance his salary, has confessed to have fabricated the video. And, then he has taken steps to keep the driver’s version beyond judicial test of reliability thereof by informing the court of a settlement, arrived at out-of-court with the driver.

But, if the lady who features in the sex video, which, as per Singhvi’s statement was “consensual”, is truly a high profile lawyer of Delhi High Court with practice also in the Supreme Court as claimed, the matter cannot and must not end with the driver’s driven confession in the court or Singhvi’s information to the court of out-of-the-court settlement with the said driver; because, as innuendoes wallop, the lady was caught in the act of bartering the pleasure with Singhvi for help in elevation to the bench from the bar, as he, heading both the Standing Committee of Parliament on Personnel, Law and Justice as well as the Law and Justice Department of the Congress party that rules India through Sonia Gandhi as UPA Chairperson and Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister, was in the position to help her fulfill her ambition.

The court injunction has failed to obstruct circulation of the video and / or the news.

As people are increasingly being conscious of how heinous crimes in India are not being readily remedied because of availability of judicial cold-storage facilities to crime-based litigations in form of stay and injunctions, they have used social media to see and discuss the video.

Going by the number of hits the video has obtained in course of its circulation in social and online medias, several lakhs of viewers have already watched it.

Presumably, all the people connected with Singhvi – in the circle of his relations, in his profession, in his party and in the Parliament – have seen the video.

Social media being internet media, I have been trying all these days to find out if any of them comes out in the internet with reason to report that the male satyr displayed in the sex video is not Singhvi. But, I have not seen any. This makes me inclined to assume that almost all that know Singhvi personally, are believing that he is the male satyr in action in the sex video.

When thus the assumption tilts towards Singhvi, the lady in the nasty act is also named by people who know her. Surprisingly she stays conspicuous by her silence. On the other hand, suspecting that she was partnering with Singhvi with an eye on an superior judiciary position, one Sarbajit Roy, residing at B-59 Defense Colony, New Delhi 110024, has already made an application under RTI to the Central Public Information Officer, Supreme Court of India, to locate if she has any mention anywhere in relevant records that can justify the suspicion.

Singhvi resigning from the Parliamentary Standing Committee sans any disapproval thereof by the Congress party that had given him that position and getting dropped from party positions such as the party chief in its department of law and justice and party spokesmanship, has given the public clear indication that his close colleagues in the Congress do not accept his claim that the “contents of the CD” are “certainly not” true.

In the circumstances, it is essential for Singhvi to come out of the cocoon of out-of-court settlement that he has weaved with his driver projected as the manufacturer of the video and convince the country that he does not know the lady in the said video and in reality the male satyr therein is not he.

The matter getting murkier everyday with serious implications for body politic as well as for judiciary, it is essential for the Court to elicit from the driver the details of how he morphed Singhvi into the sexual act and to test his version on the matrix of science in different labs including foreign labs within its discretion and under secrecy to be disclosed along with the final verdict.

Appropriate examination of the video can also determine if it is morphed or genuine.

These are urgent and unavoidably essential necessities.

Pending this essential, it is urgent for the Congress to ask Singhvi to resign from the Rajyasabha or else, for the parliament to refer him to a competent court to know if he is not of “unsound mind”.

Satyriasis as viewable in the video is a mental disorder and the shenanigans so far observed are indicative of abnormal developments. Both the phenomena may be interpreted as effects of unsound mind.

The Constitution of India under Article 102 (1) (b) has stipulated that “a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament – if he is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court”.

The development, when the person is already a member, protected under parliamentary privileges, makes it necessary for the Parliament to test whether or not the person is of “unsound mind”, so that, democracy, of which the Parliament is the protector, does not go haywire.

Pending this determination, Singhvi should be made to quit the Parliament till at least it is proved that the male satyr in the sex video is not he.

Athgarh MLA’s Source of Litigation Fund Needs Be Probed Into

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Athgarh MLA Ramesh Raut is using dilatory tactics in the Supreme Court to keep obstructed the citizens’ right to elect the candidate of their choice in that constituency.

He was elected from Athgarh constituency to Orissa Legislative Assembly in general elections, 2009, only because the Returning Officer (RO) misused his powers to reject, in discernibly illegal manner, the correctly submitted nomination papers of the sitting and by then the most popular candidate, Ranendra Pratap Swain.

Orissa High Court has declared the election null and void, as to it, the conduct of the RO in rejecting Swain’s nomination papers was blatantly illegal.

Raut has challenged the High Court Order in the Supreme Court; but curiously, has been using dilatory tactics though his lawyers are top ranking lawyers of India such as F. S. Nariman, Harish Salve, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Pallav Shisodia and Soli Sorabjee.

Raut hails from a very poor family of Athargh; has no known education beyond the primary school level and was a mere page in Swain’s office before filing his papers and hence it can never be accepted that the Returning Officer, who, as Sub-Collector, was the highest administrative officer of the Sub-Division, acted under his influence to remove Swain, a former minister and a political heavyweight, from the list of contesting candidates.

The RO’s daredevilry in writing off Swain from the list of candidates was obviously meant to oblige a secret villain, who the State is yet to identify.

Whether in course of the case the Supreme Court would look at the issue I have raised in this matter in these pages, I cannot say.

But I have shown that the Athgarh RO’s conduct should be viewed as an experimentation on how a Prime Ministerial Candidate, when time comes, could be eliminated from electoral fray by gaining over the RO of his constituency.

If any secret villain was in search of an opportunity to derail Indian democracy by gaining over the ROs, then it can be safely said that Athgarh has written for that person or body of persons the success story.

Yes, the RO can keep any candidate out of fray by rejecting his /her nomination papers, howsoever arbitrarily that be, because the election laws have given the said officer the carte blanche to reject the nomination papers of any candidate notwithstanding the fact that it is possible on part of the same officer to tamper with the papers of the targeted candidate lying for days in his / her custody to create a cause for rejection thereof, as has happened in Athgarh.

If any enemy nation can gain over the ROs or majority of them, which in this country of bureaucratic corruption as well as of the cash-for-question-and-cash-for-confidence-vote-parliament is not at all impossible, democracy can be derailed by playing the tricks with candidates capable of forming government(s) after the elections.

The Athgarh case has proved that election cases raised against wrongful rejection of nomination papers by the RO may take many years to end. And, nobody can say for sure that such cases would end before another election takes place. Thus, by using a RO, any villain can keep any popular and befitting candidate out of legislative houses for an entire term.

Therefore I had argued in my previous article on Athgarh that the carte blanche given to the RO in rejection of nomination papers be done away with by immediate creation of an appellate layer above the said officer, with stipulation that if any aggrieved candidate demands, the final list of candidates in his / her constituency cannot be notified till orders in the appeal against rejection of nomination papers are pronounced.

Even as I insist that it should be proper for the Supreme Court to cogitate upon this issue while hearing the Athgarh case, it would not be out of context to suggest that the Athgarh MLA’s source of finance in defraying the cost of litigation in the Supreme Court needs be probed into.

Lawyers: F. S. Nariman, Harish Salve, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Pallav Shisodia and Soli Sorabjee that are working for Raut in the Supreme Court belong to the costliest layer of lawyers in the country. Raut does not come from a financial background strong enough to shoulder their fees. Neither his known source of income can defray the expenses. So who is funding him?

Unless he discloses the name of his financier, it can be safely assumed that somebody working secretly against Indian democracy, who used the Athgarh constituency as a laboratory to test if a RO could be successfully used to derail elections, is certainly ghost-paying the lawyers for Raut or paying them through Raut.

In the best interest of democracy, therefore, it is imperative that the details of the person or body of persons who is financing the Athgarh MLA in his case before the Supreme Court and the motive behind such financing be probed into immediately.

If the authorities in power have any dedication to democracy, one may hope that this suggestion would be taken into cognizance.