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.

Advertisements

BJP engaged in wiping out the evidences of illegal land grabbing

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

A tiny facet of misrule and loot of the State going on in Naveen Patnaik’s administration has just been spotted at Gangapatna in the outskirt of mainstream Bhubaneswar, where around a hundred acres of forestland reduced by timber mafia to minor forest, has been grabbed by close collaborators of the Chief Minister, one of whom suspected is his blue-eyed boy Kalpataru Das, sent by him to Rajya Sabha oblivious of many worthy aspirants. Das has a nasty trail of dishonesty and is considered a black sheep by many of his colleagues in the ruling BJD.
Chief Minister’s blue-eyed boy and his collaborators in administration are so deeply linked to this design to grab the hundred acres that the land not only has a surrounding wall erected in contravention of Forrest Laws to give it a glow of exclusivity, but also a road has been built in the offenders’ service.

The Chief Minister’s total silence in the matter, when the whole of the State is in fire over this glimpse of offence, has made the situation more serious than corruption that the Naveen brand of administration stand synonym to.

But the conduct of BJP in this matter makes it more complicated. As the pictures below would show, BJP musclemen have all on a sudden become extremely active to remove the speaking evidences of the crime in a clever manner. They have razed down the compound wall illegally erected around the grabbed patch of land and also have started wiping out the illegally built road thereto.

BJP destroys corpus delicti of land grab 1BJP destroys corpus delicti of land grab 2

Why the BJP has tried to wipe out the evidences of illegal constructions of compound wall and approach road concerning the 100 acres in question, is a question its state president K.V.Singhdeo may answer in interest of probity, if he or his party has the slightest regard for probity in public life.

Democracy in Decadence: Motion to Impeach Justice Sen Dies in the Lower House of Indian Parliament

In the upper chamber of Indian Parliament, Justice Soumitra Sen of Kolkata High Court was found guilty of misappropriation of Rs.33.23 lakhs when he was appointed receiver by the High Court in 1883.

Upper House Chairman (Vice-President of India) had appointed a three-member committee to find out if the allegation of financial irregularities was correct and on receipt of its affirmative report, had admitted the motion of impeachment against Sen. On August 18, the motion was adopted by the Upper house with 189 members voting for impeachment as against only 16 dissenting.

The legitimate course of the motion thereafter was its adoption or rejection in the Lower House of the Parliament and therefore the Loksabha had listed it for discussion and decision on September 5.

Surprisingly, the legitimate step of the Lower House was preempted by the President when she did not reject the resignation letter of Justice Sen sent to her not in handwritten form but by fax and ultimately accepted, even though that was meant to make the Loksabha abort the Constitutional task that the sovereign House was occupied with.

The preceding article on this subject was written in this context.

But, the sovereign House has magnanimously or mistakenly allowed the motion of impeachment die in its lap under assumption that the object of impeachment no more exists as a Judge to be removed.

The President’s wrongful action has given birth to this assumption. And the constitution’s only provision against the Judges of misconduct has been thrown into the labyrinth of unfathomable peculiarities of Indian Parliament.