Why Bail? Are not bails lingering litigations? Supreme Court should issue a Whitepaper

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Orissa High Court has enlarged suspended BJD legislator Pravat Kumar Tripathy on bail. He has been released from the jail to extravaganza of a reception by his sycophants, posing as if the appropriate Court was wrong in remanding him to jail. Tripathy was arrested by the CBI on 31 October 2014 on charges of involvement with chit fund Artha Tattva. His bail application was opposed by the CBI on the ground that, once enlarged on bail, he being a political heavyweight, the witnesses may be influenced and evidences may be tampered. But, bail was granted by the Orissa High Court. It has given birth to speculations that the bail granted to him may open up the gates to freedom of other politicians presently in the jail under chit fund related charges.

Every offense in India is bailable. The word “non-bailable” does not extinguish the provision of bail. It means, if the offense is non-bailable only higher echelon of judiciary can grant the bail. So, there is no wrong in granting the bail to Tripathy by the High Court.

But, can the High Court obstruct any cleaver and clandestine attempts to tackle the witnesses or evidences? Has anywhere at any time the judiciary has acted a secret police to catch and thwart any act in action to tamper with the evidences by the accused released on bail?

On the other hand, bails are helping the culprits linger the litigations everywhere. And, in many cases, it is seen that the under trial offenders on bail are getting acquittals ultimately. Whether or not the freedom given to them through bails foils the prosecution is never studied.

It is time, the Supreme Court of India should publish a Whitepaper on bails so that the people can know how bails affect the litigation time and can study the final verdicts in matters of culprits enlarged on bail.
Judicial discretion in matter of bail should not be factors to foil prosecution.

Writings on the walls be read instead of finding fault with the police

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Police is being accused of laxity in Chief Minister’s security after students and youth leaders hurled eggs at him in course of a black flag demonstration when he was on his way to Utkal University today to attend a function.

The demonstration was so sudden that the Police Commissionerate could not have the slightest smell of it. Who is responsible for the lapse is being investigated into.

But the fact is fact. The Chief Minister had to face the wrath of the people, howsoever marginal that be. Elements of Congress are claiming credit, but that does not matter. The demonstrators were carriers of public displeasure over continuous misrule. It is relevant to note that hundreds of young educated unemployed persons were demonstrating today against government’s blatant failure in keeping its pledge to feel up vacant posts. A striking allegation was that during the last ten years, the government has failed to hold competitive examination for State Civil Services or for Government Colleges. Naveen Patnaik is eager to serve avaricious interest of private industrialists, but has no mind for providing employment to Orissa’s educated youth, they were crying before the cameras. In such a climate, hurling eggs at the CM might have come from somebody such affected.

Even ruling party members today came down heavily upon Naveen babu’s government that has subjugated governance by people’s representative to overlordship of bureaucracy. Clealy, the administration is collapsing. Public wrath is increasing.

Misrule is giving birth to anarchy.Police security to CM and action against some police officials for laxity in his security will not end the anarchy. Today’s black flag demonstration and egg hurling have inscribed handwritings on the wall. The same should be read before it is too late.

Orissa Assembly: Maneuvered Answer makes one wonder, was the Question motivated?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The State Assembly is the last hope for a democratic people, because ministers that rule are to answer the questions from their representatives, so that they can understand and evaluate the administration that runs in their name. If questions are cultivated and answers are maneuvered the purpose of question-answer gets lost in a labyrinth that democracy would never cherish.

Therefore, question No. UD 154 by Sri Chandra Sekhar Majhi, MLA and the Chief Minister’s answer thereto on 9 February 2015 deserve attention.

Sri Majhi had put four questions that day, In *59, he had wanted to know from the Works Minister which of the roads and bridge and building of which department the works department is executing in Kotpad Constituency and how many projects have been completed in 2012-13 and 2013-14 and which projects are to be executed this year in Kotpad, with list thereof. In UD 233, Sri Majhi wanted to know from the same Minister what steps have been taken on development, repair and maintenance of how many kilometers of works department roads in Kotpad during the last two years along with the amounts sanctioned therefor. In UD 234 Sri Majhi asked the Water Resources Minister if survey is conducted to provide irrigation in Kotpad constituency from the major irrigation projects on rivers Indravati, Kolab and Ja’nra and if not, when steps in that regard are to be taken. But in UD 154, the pattern of his question was different from what normally was seen in the aforesaid questions. He has a set pattern. we may see the same in earlier questions of the session, that began on February 7. On that day, he had two questions. UD 104 was his question to Sports and Youth Welfare Minister on whether he would provide funds for a stadium under Kotpad N.A.C. and in UD 105, he had asked the Minister of Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare about what remedial steps the Government has taken to stop distress-sale of paddy in Kotpad constituency. The same pattern is also seen in his post February 9 questioning, as evidenced in his questions of February 10. He had two questions that day. in *72, he had asked the Rural Development Minister about how much money was sanctioned for development of the road from Kotpad to Au’li under Kotpad constituency and what was the position of execution of the work order and by what time it would be completed. In UD 285, he had asked the same minister if he knows the sudden stoppage of bridge work on river Indravati and, if yes, what alternative has been provided for and if the government would continue with the work by re-tendering. Thus, all these questions preceding and following UD 154 speak of a set pattern that Sri Majhi is marked for.

The only deviation is UD 154 of February 9.

Here he directly uses specific files of vigilance cell to ask the Chief Minister what action has been taken against whom so far on basis of vigilance cell File No,2/25.03.2007, File No.41 dated 10.12.2008 and File No. 28 dated 04.09.2010.

questions of Chandra Sekhar Majhi on 9.2.15For better appreciation, the photocopy of the concerned set of questions he had asked on February 9 is inserted here.

How he used the Files of Vigilance which are supposed to be kept secret till final disposal? If he is that investigative, good. To establish that he is such investigative that he has kept his eyes upon all the limping vigilance cases, let him immediately reveal the whole gamut of files of all the cases the Vigilance wing is now investigating into and let the vigilance say, if it is its habit to keep the MLAs apprised of the cases it is handling with the file numbers.

Otherwise, it would look like a cultivated question put by a shadow/ghost operator in the mouth of Majhi.

Cultivated questions not new

Putting questions for money or for any vested interest is not new in our Parliamentary system. History has witnessed how Congress members were caught along with BJP and other non-left members in instances of putting questions on behalf of shadow operators in Indian Parliament. “Cash for question” is a sad experience of India.

Actions, of course, were taken in the exposed cases; but it is difficult to say that the syndrome is no more alive.As we see, even instances of capital punishment against crime of murder has not stopped the crime. So the question under question craves for clarification on what changed the pattern of questioning by Sri Majhi, particularly in the context of specific vigilance files having given him the pivot.

Answer not aboveboard

The answer of the Chief Minister is also very intriguing. There is a difference of date in matter of File No.2 in the CM’s answer, when under column head – Name of the suspect officers – he says, “Issue based open enquiry against officials of I & PR department”, which suggest that more than one officer was/is involved in malpractice that the vigilance is enquiring into. Under the head ‘Allegation’, noted are the words, “In the matter of false daily circulation figures of Odia daily “The Sashan Khabar” “The Pratidin” and “Paryabekshak” and misappropriation of Govt. fund from advertisement”. But despite this being a case of 2007 and circulation of these papers known to government on the basis of which it is seen that misappropriation of Govt. fund from advertisement is committed through inflated figures of circulation of these papers, the chief minister has said, “Enquiry is in progress”; so efficient is our vigilance police. He has neither elaborated why the enquiry is limping for long eight years, nor the department that helped him giving this answer has the correct and complete scenario.

When File No. 28 is said to have been closed, the CM’s answer in the matter of File No. 41 has named only one officer, who is a Deputy Director of the relevant time.

It is informed that the enquiry is completed and departmental action against the said officer is recommended to G.A.Department vide letter No.9504 of Vigilance Cell dated 30.12.2014. The allegation stands on “payment of remuneration to the Director (of a film the department is producing) on higher side”.

Despite this answer, the issue seems not correctly dealt with, because production of film is a collective work and can never be accepted to have been vested in any single individual.

Moreover, departmental production of a film is not possible in absence of budget allocation, which cannot materialize unless item-wise expenditure including remuneration of Director of the film is meticulously estimated, enumerated, vetted and approved.

The Production officer of the film and the Director as well as the Secretary of I&PR department are to execute the production.

How could a particular Deputy Director is named by the Chief Minister in his answer without evaluating the vigilance report when no material officer has been held responsible? Was the said Deputy Director bestowed upon with paramount power in the department in bypassing the departmental Director and Secretary, so that the vigilance could held only him responsible for higher remuneration to the film Director? Has the Chief Minister examined this, before reflecting the vigilance report in his answer?

Misuse of Assembly facility

Questions and answers in the Assembly are not meant to stay secret in the records only. They are, in fact, meant for the general public in a Republic. They affect the public if any shadow operator uses the facility to harass any individual citizen or any particular officer, with any hidden agenda.

Nobody but the general public should be the end-beneficiary of any question-answer in the Assembly or Parliament. It is, therefore, necessary for the Government to revisit the said question and the CM’s corresponding answer to see if some vested interest has/have tried to harass the named officer by misusing the question-answer facility of the House.

Vigilance needed against vigilance

It is often seen that various administrative offices, particularly the vigilance wing, is used by vested interest fellows to harass and debar suitable officials from their legitimate promotions.

Many such instances are discussed earlier in these pages. Even the former Director General of Orissa Police (presently the DG of CRPF) had to openly say, the State Vigilance has instituted a “case of vendetta” against him to debar him from promotion. “It’s an attempt to scuttle my chances for Director CBI vacancy coming in December 2014” he had told the media when the case was instituted against him.

Unless such a motive to scuttle the named officer’s chances for promotion has not generated the question, MLA Sri Majhi should disclose as to how the specific files of the vigilance cell came to his knowledge and why he used only those files to form his question and the Chief Minister should also reveal as to why in the legitimate environment of involvement of many officers beginning from the dealing assistant to the departmental secretary in film production, only a single person with no direct link with the subject has been named by him.

Is his answer maneuvered by somebody who wants to scuttle the promotional prospects of a particular officer for which he has been named?

This episode, read with allegations of the former DGP Sri Prakash Mishra, makes out a case for investigation into activities of the vigilance police. Vigilance against vigilance is necessary.

Unless the points raised here are explained, it would look as if the answer is maneuvered as the question is motivated.

Thanks Delhi, you have shown, India will not help Hitler to grow despite TV Goebbels

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Whose defeat is it? Is it defeat of TV Goebbels of Modi or Prime Minister Modi?

Is victory of AAP a political victory or situational?

Be whatever way interpretations come, one thing is clear that, the National Capital State of India has established that, despite the Goebbels, India will not help Hitler to grow.

Thanks Delhi, thanks.

Distress sale of Paddy: Cries of ruling party MLAs also fail to reach the ears of the Minister

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Official machinery does not act. Cultivators are not able to sell their paddy to the State. This leads to distress sale of paddy, much below the fixed support price, to profiteers / millers’ agents.

This reality was spelt out in Orissa Assembly by the ruling party heavyweight and former Revenue Minister Surya Narayan Patra on Saturday in expressing dismay over lackluster assurances of the departmental minister in reply to his question over Food Security as well as in participating in the matter raised by Opposition Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati during the zero hour.

Patra is not only a former Revenue Minister, but also a legislator from the district that has sent Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to the Assembly despite all his failings and dubious deals. In that district – Ganjam – from Patra’s speech it is clear, that cultivators are perishing due to official apathy when Naveen Patnaik and his government never miss a moment to serve the interests of mega industries.

Patra said, in the district of Ganjam farmers have come to a stage, where for them, suicide seems the only way to escape the debt-trap and ignominy of abject poverty and helplessness. God knows what the government’s order is in matter of paddy procurement, but thousands of quintals of paddy piled by farmers awaiting purchase thereof by the officials is the discernible reality in every procurement point in every block in the districts, he rued, while exposing that the predicament is forcing the farmers to distress-sale their paddy at unremunerative price to mill-agents from Andhra Pradesh.

Patra was not the only member of the treasury bench to have castigated the government over official failure to procure paddy from the cultivators. Purna Chandra Sethy, member from Khalikote of the same district also showed how the farmers are perishing as the State has pushed them into mercy of private profiteers.

Food and Civil Supplies Minister Sanjay Kumar Das Burma watched the debates without any reaction or reply. What irrelevance the government has reduced the Assembly to.

No ruling from the Speaker on the issue, though allowed to be discussed in the zero hour, makes the matter murkier.

Litigation and Modi Mission seem sic passim the letter of Jayanti Natarajan

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Jayanti Natarajan’s letter to Sonia Gandhi, dated November 5, 2014, was not supposed to reach the Press. But it reached the Press and got circulated.

She has not denied the letter. But, on the other hand, has added strength to it through media yesterday.

If she is to be believed, Ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s role was not becoming of the position he was holding.

But, she has no grievance against Singh.

What, then, Jayanti’s letter aims at?

It aims at dragging Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to litigation for the damage allegedly done to her and her family’s reputation by forcing her to resign from the post of Union Minister of State (I/C) Environment and Forest on December 20, 2013.

To make out the case, she has first focused on what a family of high repute she hails from and then proceeded to how her personal and family reputation has been tarnished and shattered by making her resign from the ministerial post she was holding.

She has raised the question of ‘natural justice’ which was and has been denied to her at the time of and after her enforced resignation. “If indeed I had been guilty of wrongdoing, I would have been happy to have been given a chance to defend myself, and I would have emerged pure and transparent and victorious.This opportunity was not given to me” she has said.

Thus making out a case of denial of natural justice to her, she has alleged, “Until now, I have been unable to understand what was wrongdoing committed by me to suddenly receive what was virtually a sentence of death”.

And, then, she has enumerated the damages done to her in these words:

“Over the last 11 months I have undergone untold mental and physical agony, as a result of this incident. I have major health issues due to my tension and humiliation over the treatment meted out to me, and my future looks bleak”.

Possibly she is contemplating a damage suit against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, holding them responsible for her enforced resignation from her ministerial position, as she has made it clear that she never holds the then Prime Minister responsible for what made her “humiliated so brutally”.

“The then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh wrote a letter to me, accepting my resignation, in which he praised the excellent work I had done as Minister, and what he termed my valuable contribution as Minister. In these circumstances, it was clearly not the Prime Minister nor my work in Government, which led to my ouster as Minister”, she has declared.

If she is not planning to drag Sonia and Rahul to the Court, she would not have been so emphatic in confronting Sonia with how she and Rahul had denied her natural justice.

“I want to place on record, that from December 20, 2013, until now, I have still not been told by you, why I was asked to resign from the Council of Ministers, nor have I ever been asked or given an opportunity to explain, if indeed I had committed any wrongdoing” she has said while further asserting that her letter is meant to do justice to her family “legacy” damaged by her “humiliation”.

“I wish to record that I tried several times to meet Shri Rahul Gandhi and you, but was not given an appointment” whereas “I need to save the legacy of my family; or children and my future generations will not forgive me”.

Interestingly, Natarajan has depicted in her letter how she was forced against her will to attack Modi in ‘snoopgate’ . To quote her:

“While I was still a Minister, an important matter which has caused me great agitation is the fact that I was called upon to attack the present Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on what is referred to in the media as ‘Snoopgate’.

“Despite the fact that I initially refused, because I thought that the party should attack Shri Modi on policy and governance and not drag an unknown woman into a controversy, Shri Ajay Maken telephoned me on November 16, 2013, while I was on tour and asked me to come to Delhi immediately to address a press conference on the issue. I expressed my disinclination to do this, and refused the assignment, mentioning that I was a Minister at that time, and this should not be taken as the point of view of Government. I suggested perhaps an Official Spokesperson should do the Press Conference, if so desired. Shri Maken told me once again, that this was a decision taken at “the highest level” and that I had no choice in the matter. After the press conference throughout the controversy which followed I was told by Shri Maken to fiercely attack Shri Modi, on TV channels and during debates, although I was otherwise never fielded in the media after appointment as Minister”.

Considering her disposition displayed in her letter, it is difficult to accept that she was also taking orders from Maken and implementing them.

So the mention of the Modi matter, indicating that in her view it was wrong to attack Modi, has a strong indication and that is, Kalyani Natarajan is building her up for Modi Mission.

Delhi voters should study this scenario

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

BJP never takes to confidence any person immediately on joining the party. It takes a lot of time to test the loyalty of the member before considering him/her for candidacy to any house of people’s representatives. In view of this, putting former police officer Kiran Bedi as a candidate for Delhi Assembly and simultaneously declaring her as the chief-ministerial candidate, immediately after her joining the party, seems very abnormal on part of BJP.

And the party of the obstinate communalists and rabid practitioners of capitalism is not supposed to act such abnormally, particularly in the matter of pre-setting a person for the top political post of the National Capital State.

So, is it possible that Kiran Bedi was secretly associated with BJP all through and has established her loyalty to BJP in the secret horizon of nefarious political design of the capitalists, which the top brass of the party had kept hidden from its rank and file so far with a secret agenda?

This prompts us to put our eyes on what was she doing as a secret agent of BJP,

She was an active member of Anna Team that had hijacked people’s awakening against capitalism in the last leg of the anti people administration of Manmohan Singh. Indian masses in general and media in particular have failed to read this reality. But lack of anybody’s ability to read history does not diminish the relevance of history, of what the people have seen, of what the Time was.

Trader-supremacism

Capitalism under Manmohan Singh had given birth to a time when people of India were devastated by trader-supremacism, having lost their inherent consumer-right to bargain on price of a commodity.

Singh, to whom strong opponents of his wrong economic policies were “left-viruses”, had been running a government that was helping the profiteers fleece the people by charging retail prices as they wished. Official responsibility of fixing “Maximum Retail Price” had been unofficially discarded and profiteers were putting price tags as arbitrarily as their avarice was prompting, which the consumers were being forced to pay or were being shown the door for reluctance to comply with whatever price the trader was charging. This trader-supremacism had spread from the malls to general markets. And, people were perishing as cost of living was skyrocketing.

It was clear that capitalism was killing the country.

Singh had no answer

Except recalcitrance and evasiveness, Manmohan Singh and his gang, who had been squandering away national wealth to serve the interest of the rich and had been dancing to the tune of America, had no answer to why the country was so pathetically failing in bettering the condition of the common man. Those who have not seen the Manmohan Singh phase of India’s life may never know how anti-people and anti-nation an elected government could ever be.

“Nonsense”

The year 2011 had witnessed how people of India were waking up against Manmohan Singh and his co-agents of capitalism. Singh had thrown the Country into such a labyrinth of corruption and chaos that, even experienced Congress leaders were seeking his replacement. His ill manners to escape answerability had provoked even Rahul Gandhi to use the word ‘nonsense’ which nobody with an iota of faith that whatever he was doing was intended to do good to the country could ever have digested. But Singh digested. He knew that adoption of the political economy of capitalism had harmed the country; but he had no courage to confess and step back. He was to continue in office till the people’s wrath against capitalism fizzles out or gets diverted to any peripheral syndrome towards which the capitalists had by then been working.

Capitalists’ strategy

The capitalists were sure that people’s fury against Singh and his gang would wipe out their prospects in India.Therefore, they were actively working to devise tricks to divert people’s attention from evils of capitalism to any evil of administration that may tally with the people’s awakening for a change, but keep capitalism safe.

The known instrument of capitalism – BJP – was too discredited under Vajpayee’s misrule to be of any direct help immediately. Therefore, strategically, the capitalist think tank did not want to project BJP as alternative to Congress, but preferred to project an individual who would appear like a Gandhian to be acceptable by all and could be used to divert the rising upsurge against evils of capitalism to a peripheral matter.

Exactly as Jayprakash Narayan was used to foil the spontaneous mass upsurge of the 1970s by projecting ‘Party-less democracy” as the remedy to ‘corrupt democracy’, Anna Hazare was used to foil the mass awakening of 2011against capitalistic misrule of Manmohan Singh by diverting it to a demand for Lokapal that he later called Jan Lokpal, which he claimed would end ‘corruption’ – the cause of misrule.

Methods were contrived to generate mass support for Anna so that people eager to strengthen their revolt against capitalistic corruption would accept him as the leader.

Specific media persons including Goebbels of Vajpayee in 2004 election, were hired to project Hazare as the new Avatar of Gandhi.Then the others to team up with Ana were picked up and planted. Kiran Vedi was one of them.

The ‘Anna Team’ as the media projected them, had only one purpose: creation of Lokpal that they eventually called – Jan Lokpal, christening their action as ‘India against corruption’.

Tricks of diversion

With corporate media severely affecting free thinking process of the common man while simultaneously projecting Hazare as the new incarnation of Gandhiji and rabid and ruling agents of capitalism rushing to him with reverence and assurances to honor his wishes, Anna and his team succeeded in diverting the mass awakening against capitalism to the peripheral issue of ombudsman.

Remarkable it is that, the Anna team had never uttered a single word against capitalism.

Had they not played this mischief, the Modian party might not have come to power. People should have rejected the agents of capitalism as they had rejected Vajpayee in 2004.

Eye-witnessed accouts of 2004

In the Vajpayee context, it may suffice to quote Sekhar Gupta, who, despite the Pro-Vajpayee role of Indian Express, had written there a signed leader saying, “this voter does not allow himself to be swayed by either charisma (in this case Vajpayee’s), or hype, as over “India Shining” backed by testosterone-laden advertisement campaigns” (Sekhar Gupta, Indian Express, May 8, 2004).

As rejection of Vajpayee-induced capitalism was clearly visible, Gupta had to further note, “The lesson is, no matter how much media you buy, how well you misuse the media you own and how much noise you make, this voter will not vote on the idea of “feel-good” unless he is really feeling better than before” (Ibid).

Yet, the people of India, who had rejected Vajpayee for the mischief of capitalism he played, have fallen again in the trap of capitalism as their fight against the capitalistic administration of Manmohan Singh got hijacked by Anna Hazare and his team including Kiran Bedi. Not only Bedi, but many eminent associates of Anna having also joined BJP. It has been clear that secret agents of BJP were with Anna Hazare as per their hidden agenda and have paved the path for continuation of capitalism despite people’s rejection having extinguished Manmohan Singh regime.

Delhi voters should study this scenario before casting their votes for Bedi and her troop.