Indian Parliament showed no concern for the soul of India; President should refuse assent to the Juvenile Justice Bill 2015

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Majority of the members of Indian Parliament have shown no concern for the soul of India, as has been established by passing of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015 on 22nd December in the Rajya Sabha completing its parliamentary course that had got the stamp of adoption in the Lok Sabha on 7th May. It is such a mockery of legislation, having not paid any heed to cries of India for justice to its soul – Nirbhaya, that, the President should do good by refusing the Bill his assent.

Had Jyoti Singh of New Delhi not been brutalized by a gang of satyrs in December 2012, too savage and severe for medical science to save her life, this Bill would not have been generated at all. Her indomitable will to live to see the bruits punished by her motherland had kept her alive till in utter despair she allowed her breathe to pass away. Her desire to see the criminals punished did not die with her death. We the People of India took her to be the symbol of our tortured yet courageous entity by calling her Nirbhaya, the soul of India.

It was soon found that the youngest of the criminals that brutalized Nirbhaya was juvenile, four months to cross the age of 18 years.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000 (as amended in 2006) was protecting him from punishment applicable to adult criminals. Hence, as demanded by whole of India, the Bill in question was conceived to reduce this age limit to 16 from 18 to give justice to Nirbhaya by punishing the youngest and yet the severest savage.

When the Bill was drafted it was inherently defective meant as if to ensure escapement to this young bruit. It was a haphazard draft very much in need of vetting in a Parliamentary Select Committee. The age factor was creating confusion. The approach was not based on criminology of rape. Before leaving the House in protest, Sitaram Yechury, leader of CPI (M), had rightly asked, “Today you are demanding the juvenile age to be reduced from 18 to 16 ; what if tomorrow a 15-year old commits a horrendous crime?” Members, who passed the Bill, did not bother about the question. Had the Bill been sent to Select Committee, members thereof might have stumbled upon the angle I am pointing to. But that did not happen.

The members did not bother to make the new law applicable to the juvenile criminal because of whose savagery Nirbhaya had lost her life. Minister-in-charge Maneka Gandhi had made it clear in the House that the Bill won’t be retrospective. Sad, the members could not catch even then that the main purpose of going for the new law was going to be defeated. They did not bother about this mischief.

The Supreme Court refused to intervene, because, by applying the old law of 2000 to set free the criminal in absence of any law to keep him under the Court’s clutch any further, the High Court had committed no illegality.

Before passing the Bill, the Rajya Sabha was aware of this. It was aware of the fact that unless given retrospective effect, the core purpose of engagement with the Bill before it was to be lost. It should have woken to the occasion and made the Bill retrospective. Had it acted diligently and passed the Bill in time with retrospective effect, at least from December 16, 2012 the day on which the horrendous crime having shocked the country had necessitated this new Law, the bruit that according to government has not reformed, could not have been put back in the society, to the panic of the society, as has been done.

It is better for the President, in the circumstances, to refuse his assent to this Bill, so that legislative wisdom may get a new chance to do away with the wrong the lawmakers have committed in this case in the aspect as discussed above.

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THE PIPILI SIN: A SCENE FOR ORISSA TO BE ASHAMED OF ITS GOVERNMENT

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Pipili gang-rape victim’s cremation gave birth to such a scene that every genuine Oriya should have liked not to have seen.

Orissa has a government that hijacked the Ambulance the victim’s father was using to take her body for funeral at Ghatikia after receiving the same from SCB Medical College, Cuttack; and, arbitrarily halted the cremation for long 51 hours till it totally decomposed.

Perpetrators of the crime being members/supporters of the ruling party, the police was used to suppress the FIR and the medical system was used to make out a case of snake bite in order to protect the criminals. As media exposed the felony, the minister, who represents the Pipili constituency, had tried to intimidate the reporters. This is why the Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP) had to intervene. In its attempt to protect the journalists from the ire of the minister, MUFP involved the general public in expression of solidarity with the media persons of Pipili. This eventually gave birth to Orissa Gana Samaja (OGS), where political parties thought it prudent to unite sans their flags in demanding justice for the victim of the gang rape.

The government, then, had no other way than taking the victim to its own care and providing free advanced treatment at SCB Medical College, Cuttack.

Therefore, since the day her charge was taken over by the government, she was, alive or dead, absolutely official. It was the responsibility of the government to treat her dead body officially. The government should have decided where and how to cremate her and in that, only accommodated her family members in witnessing the cremation and performing the rituals. So, instead of handing over the body to her family, the Medical College should have handed it over to the government. Government did not take over the body from the Medical College. As result of this, the father of the child had taken over the corpse for cremation.

It is shocking that, thereafter, when the corpse, as received from the Hospital, was being carried for cremation in an ambulance, the police planted its men in the same Ambulance, who, at Rasulgarh, threw out the family members accompanying the corpse and instead of allowing the Ambulance proceed for Ghatikia as desired by the father of the victim for her cremation in presence of relations present in that village, forced its driver to proceed towards Puri. As hundreds of onlookers at Rasulgarh watched it, they tried to foil the carjack by the police itself; but they were subjected to brutal beating by a police force summoned to the spot. It was incumbent upon the government to cremate the body of the victim with due dignity; but it failed. This shows how irresponsible, incompetent and confused the government is.

The irresponsibility, incompetency and confusion of the government is squarely established by the very fact that the dead body of the Dalit girl could not be given obituary respect in her own village as her family was not allowed by the caste hindus, the collaborators of the rapists and the mafia ruling the roost there to perform her last rites, even in presence of the police and the magistrates and the men who matter in administration.

Nothing can be more shameful for the people of the State than the fact that, the State could not dare to ensure cremation of the victimized child by her family members in terms of its tradition in their own village, because, failure of administration to keep under leash the hounds that tortured her to death, was too alarming for them to perform the last rites in their place of birth.

That, the government failed to have the cremation in the birthplace of Babina, the victim, has established that law is not working in Pipili and administration has no control over the area.

It has become a free land for fellows in or close to power to rape any girl of the locality, to attempt to murder her post-rape, to use police and medical officers to arrange death of the victim in medical environment so that the curpus delicti would be of no active witness utility, to keep the family of the victim under constant alarming intimidation so as to deter it from taking appropriate legal action, to purchase the silence of the victim’s relations through posthumous release of massive amount of money from the state exchequer in the style of the ruling chief minister’s help, to use a section of obliging media and village touts and vested-interest politicians to demoralize the civil-society activists through cultivated insinuations even while managing the prosecution to weaken the case by eliminating/ignoring material evidences.

Every Oriya should feel ashamed of having such a chief minister, such a government, such a network of crime and such a situation.

Orissa Gana Samaj Dharana at Raj Bhawan Reminds the Governor of his Duties to the State

Governor Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare has, of course, refused to be mislead by the report of the chairperson of Orissa State Commission for Women in the matter of Pipili gang rape and has advised her to review her own work and come up with a credible one; but that is not enough, as Orissa Gana Samaj has observed.

In a Dharana at Raj Bhawan on February 18, Orissa Gana Samaj has reminded the Governor of his duties to the State in circumstances of rising oppression on the people and relentless deterioration in law and order with a police siding with the offenders.

The Gana Samaj used the occasion to thank the people of Orissa as in every nook and corner of the State they have stood with it in accepting its call to put moral pressure on the government to discipline the police which has forced the Chief Minister to issue instructions for immediate registration of every information on atrocities on women and weaker sections.

PIPILI CRIME HAS MADE ONE THING CLEAR: BJD IN INTERNECINE WAR FOR CHANGE IN POWER

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Internecine war for change in power in the ruling BJD is slowly but steadily taking a bizarre turn, with a party functionary razing down a cover that the Chief Minister was to use to escape the Pipili gang rape repercussions.

In a Kamyab TV panel discussion on Saturday, ruling party mouthpiece Narendra Swain stoutly rejected the report of the Chairperson of Orissa State Commission for Women (OSCW) that the victim of Pipili gang rape was not at all raped.

“I reject this report as sheets of rubbish”, Swain said.

Swain is a former district secretary of the Communist Party of India who has joined BJD at the instance of its de facto leader Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, a man, who, despite being an IAS officer from recruitment to retirement, is known to have never snapped off his link with the CPI ever since it was generated in his student days.

Therefore, Swain’s total rejection of the OSCW chairperson’s report has its own significance.

But before looking at that, let us first take a cursory view of why the OSCW chief must have coined this report, though any idiot should have the intelligence to understand that such a report could be nothing but an affront to reality and hence unacceptable.

Ms. Jyoti Panigrahi, authoress of this report, heads the OSCW, despite having no legitimate qualification for the post. She is there, because Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wanted her there. Therefore, she had to oblige him by producing this report, designed to provide him with a cover to escape the Pipili gang rape repercussions. .

Jyoti doesn’t legitimately fit into OSCW

The Orissa State Commission for Women Act, 1993 provides for nomination of its chairperson under Section 3 (2)(a) that stipulates that the person to head the OSCW must be “an eminent social worker or a professional committed to the cause of women”. Jyoti was neither an “eminent social worker” nor “a professional committed to the cause of women” before her nomination to hold the office. She was one of the followers whom the autocrat of BJD, Naveen Paatnaik, had favored with a party post like many other sycophants he has appended to the party’s long list of office bearers. So, she had no legitimate qualification that justified her appointment as chairperson of OSCW. Naveen is in the habit of appointing his followers to different important offices either to derive sadistic pleasure out of the debacle caused thereby to that office or to satisfy his personal ego that notwithstanding how the Rules require, he rules over the State according to his whims and caprices.

Report created to give Naveen a cover

The Pipili gang rape has fidgeted Naveen into a state of total demoralization. Though yet he appears as the preening prince of Bijudom, he now desperately needs a cover.

Personally involved with Panchayat electioneering, he, therefore, is in dire necessity of such a report that can cover his skin from the Pipili gang rape wrath that has already taken the toll of ministership of Pradip Maharathi representing Pipili in Orissa Assembly and the employment of Amulya Champatiray, the then Inspector of Police in that Police Station.

To the CM’s chagrin, the Pipili gang rape has shake-woken the conscience of the entire State, as reflected in all of the non-BJD political parties getting united in a flag-less platform to demand exemplary action against the culprits and their accomplices in the government, despite a Judicial Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe into the felony. To save Naveen from this despair, Jyoti has tried to create a counter shock wave by her uncalled for report dated February 1 that, “to her personal information”, the gang rape had never occurred, as alleged, in Pipili.

But, she has not succeeded in this adventure. Even she is not being relied upon by BJD workers that are eager to protect Naveen from Opposition attack. On the other hand, party mouthpiece Narendra Swain has openly rejected her report as sheets of rubbish.

The significance

It is increasingly being clear to whoever amongst the members of BJD are, more than being mere sycophants, a bit politically alert with sense of self-respect, that, if they continue to exhibit blind faith in Naveen, their own credibility as persons in politics will be completely wiped out.

Therefore, in BJD, howsoever nascent, resentment against Naveen has started taking a definite shape and the party of Biju’s blind followers has become a two-polar party with Pyari Mohan Mohapatra reigning over the mightier side. In fact, he has been enthroned in the minds of BJD rank and file as the only alternative that can save their politics if helped to replace Naveen.

Naveen also knows this.

And, hence, he has no qualms in contravening election codes in the Panchayat polls in order to keep the rank and file under his grip for howsoever long a period possible.

After the Panchayat polls, the nascent squabbles would be more specific.

But Narendra Swain’s conniption before the Kamyab TV camera branding Jyoti Panigrahi’s Pipili gang rape report as blatant rubbish can be viewed as a preview of what is coming to happen.

The Kauravas

It is curious to note that, despite having rejected the Panigrahi report as rubbish, Swain was adamant in rejecting the demand for an inquiry into Pipili felony by the CBI. He went on boasting of the BJD strength in the Assembly to shout down rising voices for investigation by the central agency.

Kauravas had the majority; but they perished when the victims of their treachery raised their weapons, said eminent journalist Prasanta Patnaik, participating in the same panel discussion. He is one of the two conveners of Orissa Gana Samaj that is spearheading mass solidarity with the victim.

But it had no effect on Swain. He went on boasting of his party majority though the occasion and the issue had nothing to do with his party majority.

Then, why, he, a seasoned political person with many years experience in the Communist Party of India, preferred such braggadocio in such a platform?

Does he suffers from lack of sense of proportion?

No.

Intently read, his uncalled for braggadocio was meant for reminding Naveen of his limitations vis-a-vis the massive majority the party commands in the Assembly and significance thereof in a bipolar condition that BJD has entered into with Pyari’s powerful emergence as the ultimate alternative.

So, Pipili felony is precipitating a political situation that may bring in a change in chief-ministership.

BJD members will never like to be finished like the Kauravas. But as portended by Prasanta, they will be, if the present pattern of nonchalant autocracy continues under the guise of democracy.

Therefore, significant is Swain’s rejection, on the one hand, of the Panigrahi report contrived to help Naveen with a cover, and, on the other hand, his conscious effort to make BJD MLAs conscious of their strength in the Assembly, so that, if need be, they may change the chief minister to continue in power.

Pipili crime has made one thing clear. The ruling BJD will not be the same as heretofore. Internecine quarrels will rise to its brim and in order not to end like the Kauravas, it will hereafter try to test if change in chief-ministership changes the scenario of demoralization it has been pushed into. Let us wait and watch.

Dismissal of Former IIC of Pipili PS is a Classic Instance of How Naveen is Hoodwinking the People

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Director General of Orissa Police has dismissed the former Inspector-In-Charge of Pipili Police Station, Amulya Champatiray, for serious dereliction in duty that has endangered the life of a Dalit girl and ruined her family. The order is being used to hoodwink the people.

The guilt of Champatiray is discernible to naked eyes. So, people are happy over his dismissal. But the dismissal is discernibly farcical, because it is not legal and cannot survive the test of law.

Champatiray had protected the alleged rapists of Pipili by not registering FIR on receipt of the allegation of gang rape and of attempt to murder that has sent the victim into coma.

So, he deserves the severest of punishment and deserves no sympathy.

But, with the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as the Police (Home) Minister, his dismissal is crafted so cunningly that despite his offenses, he shall get back his service by challenging the order of dismissal in appropriate Court of law; because no Court will allow rape of the Constitution by any Governmental authority. Then, the present mass demand for action against him shall stand defeated.

Let us see how.

The DGP has dismissed Champatiray under Article 311 (2) (b) of the Constitution of India. But in doing so, the DGP has gone against this provision.

Willfully?

If yes, then certainly under instruction of the Chief Minister, for it is he, who was eager to hoodwink the people in Panchayat polls, in this matter.

Let us take a cursory look at the scenario before looking at this constitutional provision.

The media exposed the Pipili felony and then only the shocked family members of the victim could resurrect their shattered courage to disclose the names of the rapists, pointing out how the police has protected them because of their area MLA Pradip Maharathi.

Maharathi tried to intimidate the media, threatening media persons for having relied upon the victim’s family members to link his name to the crime.

This threat instantly ignited an unprecedented public rallying with the media, spearheaded by Media Unity for Freedom of Press (MUFP).

Maharathi had to resign from ministership and to beg apology to media, as people of Orissa, through non-BJD political parties, civil societies, NGOs, trade unions et al had woke up to form, for the first time in the history of Orissa, a platform of solidarity, which they named ‘Orissa Gana Samaj’ against the unprecedented misrule.

This mass awakening fidgeted the CM, specifically as he was to face the people in Panchayat electioneering, like never before.

He was eager to show that the fellows involved with the felony were punished.

Champatiray was transferred from the Pipili Police Station and as that was not enough to assuage public wrath, was put under suspension.

Maharathi was asked to resign and his resignation was accepted, keeping the public in dark about the reason of his resignation while allowing him to boast of having taken moral responsibility for the wrong done to the dalit girl in his constituency.

The layer of protection thus shattered, the gang-rapists, whom the police had known from the beginning, were arrested one after another.

Added to the judicial inquiry invented earlier to hoodwink the people, Maharathi’s resignation, arrest of the rapists and Champatiray’s suspension should have pain-killing effect on mass psyche, the Chief Minister must have thought. But pain in mass mind was becoming more acute.

It was urgent for the CM to dazzle the Panchayat voters with a blaze of severe action against officials but for whose protection the criminals could never have escaped the law for so long a time.

Therefore, the government has transferred Puri district Superintendent of Police Amitendranath Sinha and dismissed the then Pipili IIC, Champatiray from service.

No better cover could have been invented to hide the misrule as exposed in Pipili gang rape case. The CM is now equipped with new arsenals to save himself from public wrath in Pipili context. His mouthpieces have already started saying that Naveen’s administration is so clean that provisions of instant dismissal under Article 311 (2) (b) have, for the first time, been used against an IIC of Police for dereliction in duty. A pro-Naveen TV channel was used last evening for this purpose where majority of time was devoted to bit the BJD drums that by dismissing Champatiray the message has been given to salaried employees that whosoever of them neglects implementation of laws would not be spared in the government that Naveen runs.

But the Government knows, so also Champatiray, that the dismissal order is too week an order to survive a legal challenge and by challenging it in an appropriate Court, without prejudice to any other action that future may think prudent, Champatiray will certainly be reinstated in service, as the said article used in his dismissal is misused.

Let us see what is provided for under this Article.

Article 311

(1) No person who is a member of a civil service of the Union or an all-India service or a civil service of a State or holds a civil post under the Union or a State shall be dismissed or removed by an authority subordinate to that by which he was appointed.

(2) No such person as aforesaid shall be dismissed or removed or reduced in rank except after an inquiry in which he has been informed of the charges against him
and given a reasonable opportunity of being heard in respect of those charges.

Provided that where it is proposed after such inquiry, to impose upon him any such penalty, such penalty may be imposed on the basis of the evidence adduced during such inquiry and it shall not be necessary to give such person any opportunity of making representation on the penalty proposed:

Provided further that this clause shall not apply—

(b) where the authority empowered to dismiss or remove a person or to reduce him in rank is satisfied that for some reason, to be recorded by that authority in writing, it is not reasonably practicable to hold such inquiry.

So, the stress of this provision is irrevocably concentrated on the opportunity of self-defense to be given to the officer in course of inquiry on the anvil of dismissal.

Avoidance of inquiry is not permissible except where “it is not reasonably practicable to hold such inquiry”.

Champatiray has not absconded and was never beyond the reach of the police for inquiry. It was never therefore “not reasonably practicable to hold the inquiry” against him. The DGP has not recorded in writing the reason of why it was “not reasonable practicable” to hold the inquiry.

It is noteworthy that simultaneously with dismissal of Champatiray, the Puri SP has been transferred on the same ground of dereliction of duty in Piplili gang rape context. So it is confirmed by the Government that Champatiray was not alone in protecting the criminals. Had there been the inquiry as contemplated in the Constitutional provision cited supra, the SP’s role in keeping the culprits out of police reach could have come to light. Then the IPS officer must have been forced to face the charges of protecting the criminals and for whatever damage has been done to the gang rape victim. And, it would have embarrassed the IPS circle. Probably this is why the inquiry needed under Article 311 (2) (b) of the constitution has been ignored.

This willful conduct of the DGP of Orissa in keeping an IPS officer of national cadre safe from prosecution while dismissing a lower officer of State cadre is a game that the government should have foiled. But,no such step is taken.

It is clear, therefore, that the constitution is raped in dismissing Champatiray and knowingly so.

No court shall approve this rape of Indian Constitution by the DGP of Orissa.

And, by publicly endorsing the action of the DGP in this matter, the executive government including the Home Secretary and the Chief Secretary as well as the political government headed by Naveen Patnaik, and Naveen Patnaik himself, have individually and collectively committed the rape on the Constitution of India having full knowledge of the mischief they have resorted to.

In doing this, they have ensured that Champatiray’s stage-managed dismissal would be nullified by the appropriate court in course of time; and therefore, it is not out of context to suspect that the oder of this illegal dismissal might have been passed in connivance with Champatiray himself.

It certainly is a well planned order – because it certainly is not believable that the DGP as well as the functionaries named above have not understood the language of Article 311 (2) (b) of the Constitution – to provide Champatiray with the environment of service-safety that certainly would come to him as and when he challenges the order and therefore, is not meant for punishing the offender; but is contrived to hoodwink the people at the moment when Panchayat elections are a challenge to the Chief Minister.

CBI PROBE INTO PIPILI GANG RAPE A MUST NECESSITY: UTKAL MAHILA SAMITY

A delegation from Utkal Mahila Samiti, the premier women organization of the State affiliated to National Federation of Indian Women, has submitted a five-point memorandum to the Chief Minister emphasizing that CBI probe into the Pipili gang rape as well as other incidents of rape is a must necessity, which his government should not shy at.

The demands included C.B.I. probe into the Pipili gang rape incident
to punish all the connected criminals and officials that tried to hush up the case.

The delegate has stressed on saving the life of the victim and giving her justice by taking exemplary action against the police officers who have neglected their duties in her respect and rehabilitation of all the rape victims coming to light in Orissa.

The delegation  included President of the Samity Basanti Sahu, Secretary Sandhya Mohapatra, Chandra Prava Patnaik, Prava Rani Acharya, Puspakanti Mohanty, Pratima Mohapatra, Basanti Mishra, Kabita Manjari Puhan, Rashmi Rekha Patnaik, Bishnu Priya Acharya, Saubhagini Nayak, Krushnapriya Mishra, Kabita Dash, Karisma Swain, Subhasmita Jena and Subhashree Swain.

Rapists’ Alleged Shield in the State Cabinet Intimidates the Press

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

People in Orissa have become such habituated with keeping mum in the prevalent environment of crime that the students and social activists – usually the most vocal in collective civil causes – were not even daring to raise voice against the negligence to the Pipili rape victim – battling for life under coma – till media coverage made it a matter worth sharp societal attention.

NOW the civil society stands in solidarity with the victim and she is receiving medical care at SCB Medical College, Cuttack, where a couple of days ago treatment was denied to her.

The Pipili Police Station in-charge, who had remained gravely negligent to the case of the victim has NOW been displaced by way of transfer and police has registered the case that then it was not looking at.

The family members of the victim, who were not daring to utter the names of the bruits that perpetrated the crime, lest they further torture, are NOW pointing their accusing fingers at them and unambiguously naming them even before the cameras.

NOW there is no aloofness in the public and many have started believing that police can no more succeed in covering up endeavor, if any.

But NOW the loudmouthed leader of the ruling party, the Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathi has become very angry with the media. He has hurled alarming words at media persons and media organizations for having carried the versions of the victim’s family members, in a style akin to act of intimidation.

Whither the State?