The Dengue Menace: Chief Minister should explain why his Govt. has kept the 2003 Act inconsequential

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Nothing new I am going to say. I am going to repeat what I have said repeatedly earlier.

To save the city’s inhabitants and visitors from mosquito menace and from pernicious pollution, Orissa Legislature had stipulated in the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003 that cowsheds must stand obliterated within the limits of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) with immediate effect.

Most of government lands in important areas of Bhubaneswar are illegally occupied by the milkmen who do lucrative business by keeping hundreds of cows in sheds erected on the encroached lands. The 2003 Act was to clear the encroachments and free the capital city of pollution and mosquito menace.

They formed an organization styled ‘Orissa Milk Producers Association’ and moved the Orissa High Court against this new Law, praying for its nullification or in the alternative, direction to the Government to rehabilitate them in suitable places in the city before eviction and not to impose prohibition on running of cowsheds. Orissa High Court rejected their plea.

They went to the Supreme Court of India against the order of the High Court. There they also failed.

The Supreme Court, in deciding Civil Appeal No.940 of 2006 arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 16362-16363 of 2004, made it absolutely clear that the milkmen must be evicted from the limits of BMC and must not be rehabilitated anywhere in the City and its periphery, as “Right to environment being a fundamental right, it is the duty of the State to make it sure that people get a pollution free surrounding”.

The milkmen had pleaded that the present Chief Minister’s father had assured them with rehabilitation and hence they should be given plots in substitute to run their business. Rejecting this plea, the Supreme Court had declared, “In view of the 2003 Act, even the doctrine of Promissory Estoppels will have no application”.

It had further ordered that the milkmen cannot even be allowed to put up cowsheds in villages bordering Bhubaneswar. “As by reason of the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, within the periphery of the town, dairies or cowsheds cannot be maintained, the State cannot be entitled to adhere to its earlier plan of rehabilitating them in villages mentioned therein”, the Supreme Court had said while observing, “Not only filth, stench and unhealthy places have to be eliminated, but the (town planning) would be such that it helps in achieving family values, youth values, seclusion and clean air to make the locality a better place to live

Thus the Supreme Court has not only rejected the plea of milkmen to have cow-buffalo-swine-sheds in Bhubaneswar, but also has fortified the provisions laid down under Sections 409, 543 and 548 of The Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003, which prohibit keeping animals of cow category anywhere within and around the city limits.

The judgment delivered on February 2, 2006 is published in (2006) 3 Supreme Court Cases 229.

So, there was no legal problem at all over demolition of cowsheds and eviction of milkmen with their herds of animals to free the city from stench and flies and mosquitoes and malaria and filariasis and dengue and threats of cancer and tuberculosis.(ORISSA MATTERS, January 7, 2009).

But, for reasons best known to the Chief Minister, the milkmen, instead of getting evicted, are protected by the department directly under his charge.

Another Severe danger to human health

As the corrupt government has protected this menacing danger to human health, the city of Bhubaneswar has become a den of nitrous oxide, methane and other greenhouse gases as well as noxious stinks produced by these illegal cowsheds.

It is established that ammonia (NH3) evaporating from cow dung and urine play havoc with environment. An adult cow emits 80 to 110 kilograms of methane gas over its lifetime. Four thousand illegal cowsheds in Bhubaneswar harbor at least 4,00,000 adult cows at the rate of 100 per shed in the average. So, one fears, Bubaneswar is forced to face 400, 000, 00 kg methane gas menace, because Naveen Patnaik’s government is in nexus with the milkmen.

The whole city is under layers of arsenic gas generated by burning of cow dung cakes by the milkmen for cooking and for repelling mosquitoes from their cowsheds and attached huts where they live. Arsenic is slow-poisoning the people residing near the cowsheds and specifically, the children. Cases of TB, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases and Pneumonia, Lung Cancer are increasingly hitting the Bhubaneswar Hospitals. Malaria, Filarial infection, Dengue and such other diseases caused by mosquitoes, various allergies, skin diseases, and cardiac problems are in the rise in the obstinately unhygienic environment the milkmen have created.

Offense against the Assembly

To save Bhubaneswar from this monstrous danger, the Assembly had laid down under Sections 409, 543 and 548 of The Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, 2003 that the city must be immediately made free of Milkmen. Their association, as already shown supra, had challenged it up to the Supreme Court and failed. Yet it is not implemented. If anything, it is a naked offense against the Orissa Legislative Assembly.

 Scam that possibly funds the CM

As my sources say, the milkmen were paying Rs.300/- as protection money to GA department Officials which after enactment of the Act of 2003 had reached Rs.2000/- per cowshed. After the Supreme Court rejected the milkmen’s case and fully endorsed the Act of 2003, giving a direction to the State government to oust the milkmen forthwith from the city limits and periphery of Bhubaneswar, the protection money has been increased from Rs.2000/- to Rs.4000/- well within the knowledge of the Chief Minister.

If Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is not involved with this scam, he should come forward to clear the doubts by explaining as to why his administration has not taken any step to demolish the cowsheds and to evict the cowherds and to free the government plots from their encroachments and to save Bhubaneswar from mosquito menace, from mosquito induced calamities like dengue, pollution, from the hazards of nitrous gases, from arsenic poison, from ammonia, from filth of cow dung and stench and from abnormal rise of temperature and collapse of its habitable climate under impact thereof.

Supreme Court verdict goes barren

The most beneficial Act has most brazenly been rendered inconsequential by Naveen Patnaik. And in this, we see, the Supreme Court verdict has gone barren.

It is time, the Supreme Court should ask the CBI or appoint a special Commission to conduct an in-depth investigation into why the State Government has slept over its order passed in Civil Appeal No.940 of 2006 arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 16362-16363 of 2004, published in (2006) 3 Supreme Court Cases 229.

We may remind the Supreme Court that in the said order it had mandated that “Right to environment being a fundamental right it is the duty of the State to make it sure that people get a pollution free surrounding”.

We may further remind the Supreme Court that in the said order, it had emphasized that. “Not only filth, stench and unhealthy places have to be eliminated, but the (town planning) would be such that it helps in achieving family values, youth values, seclusion and clean air to make the locality a better place to live”.

3 ft high cow dung on the road, the cow shed behind the green fense4 to 5 ft high heap of cow dung on western main road to Capital HospitalThe pictures of filth  given here are captured with the camera near about the State Secretariat. Minister Sanjay Das Burma is staying about 50 meters from this spot. many ruling-party heavyweights and IAS officers are living around this spot. This is the picture of a very important nerve center of  Bhubaneswar. What is happening in the interior of the City can easily be imagined.  As already said, there are 4000 such spots where cowherds are keeping hundreds of cows in illegally built up sheds, filling the entire area with filth. The Supreme Court as well as you dear visitors may please appreciate that no camera can capture the stench. Just imagine, how is Naveen Patnaik managing the affairs.

I call upon every responsible person, who peruses this posting, to ask the Chief Minister of Orissa to explain as to why he has kept the 2003 Act inconsequential if he is not involved with the Rs.1.6 crores monthly scam generated by his perceivable nexus with the milkmen.

demolition of temples_threedemolition of shopsThese pictures would show how slums and kiosks, even temples are razed down in course of retrieving public premises from encroachments. But, despite the specific Act of 2003 and  orders  of the Orissa High Court and the Supreme Court of India  no cowshed has ever faced the eviction crew.
Dengue is taking heavy tolls of human life and all other hazards as noted above are pushing people into death’s pernicious grip. But the milkmen are protected, possibly because around 4000 milkmen are greasing the palms of fellows empowered to implement the Act and the verdicts with at least Rs.4000/- per month. Shame!

Media Matters: We are more confused by Supreme Court Orders

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Even as rich media is rendering Indian democracy poor, the Supreme Court of India has asked for a regulatory authority on visual media, because it feels, display of a dead body from morning to night was irksome.

“Have you ever seen foreign channels showing dead bodies?” Justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya asked on Thursday. Even after the 9/11 attacks in New York not one dead body was shown on the visual media including the recent beheading of the American and British journalists, he observed while the bench comprising him and Justice Prafulla Chandra Pant wanted Additional Solicitor General P.S.Patwalia to get back to it on the suggested regulatory body within a period of four weeks (IANS).

The regulatory body thus mooted by the Apex Court should be an effective body and not like the Press Council of India. (Ibid).

This puts us to a situation of confusion.

When the Press Council was created by a law framed by the Parliament, collective legislative wisdom had deliberately denied it punitive powers, keeping in mind the sense of responsibility that the Press must be inherently possessing.

Till now, in adjudicating the complaints against and by the Press for violation of ethics and for violation of the freedom of the Press, the purpose for which the PCI is created, it has not done anything wrong and its orders are not seen violated and/or dishonored by any in the country.

Was the collective wisdom wrong?

So, by requiring a separate regulatory body, which should be an effective body and not like the PCI, is the Supreme Court not conveying us that the collective legislative wisdom behind the Press Council Act 1978 in the aftermath of Emergency that had curtailed the freedom of Press, was a misguided, misconceived wisdom of the Parliament?

True, the PCI, by virtue of its scope under the Act, has no direct jurisdiction over television media, as by 1978, the country had no experience with TV journalism. Yet, I must say, television comes within the purview of its extended jurisdiction; because, even though it is created for “maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India”, the PCI is created for “the purpose of preserving the freedom of the Press”. And, to fulfill this purpose, the Act has given it the entitlement to take steps to encourage the growth of a sense of responsibility and public service among all those engaged in the profession of journalism, under Sec. 13 (2) (d) of the Act.

And, electronic media, including television media belong to “profession of journalism”.

So, the PCI has its jurisdiction on television journalism.

Norms of Journalistic Conduct

On the other hand, ‘Norms of Journalistic Conduct’ laid down under the PCI Regulations also address to the television journalists. In matter of Photo Journalism to which television belongs, it has been said that the “Pictures should not reflect anything that is obscene, vulgar or offensive to good public taste” (point 6 under the head of do’s). Displaying dead bodies is discouraged by saying, “do not show mangled corpses or such other images as cause revulsion or terror” (point 3 under the heading of don’ts).

As such, the revulsive display of the dead body all through the day that made Justice Mukhopadhya say, “I can’t read my SLP with TV on”, is also subjected to the Norms of Journalistic Conduct’ formulated and promulgated by PCI.

Therefore another regulating body for electronic visual media with prosecuting powers will not only subject the Press to multifarious Laws, but also affect the scheme of the Press Council evolved out of Press Commission recommendations and Parliamentary wisdom.

Deadly blows to democracy not noticed

We are worried because, the urge for creation of a regulatory body for electronic visual media has come only from revulsion generated by a day long display of a dead body, but not from any reaction to deadly blows television journalism has given to Indian democracy.

As in Atal Behari Vajpayee’s scheme for fetching votes in 2004, so also in Narendra Modi’s scheme of acquiring power in 2014, the electronic visual media has prostituted journalism.

The same TV journalists who were spearheading the campaign for BJP in 2004 were also the forefront players in the misleading game for BJP in 2014.

If any law may be proposed to help the country get rid of harmful mischief of electronic visual journalism, it is essential to first find out how 2014 role of TV journalists like Arnav Goswami had the same genre of journalism used by BJP in 2004.

When the 2004 experience had forced us to write “Free Press? Think Afresh” , Mr. Sekhar Gupta, in a signed article in Indian Express on May 8, 2004 had to confess, “This election was fought more in the media than in the streets” with television being “the new electoral battleground”.

Inquiry needed to reach the root

So, if the electronic visual media is to be tamed to serve Indian democracy, it is necessary for the country to go to the root of media anarchy generated by mainstream television journalists during elections -2004 and elections – 2014 and from the premise of such determination, to think about how to bring in a change.

It would be better, therefore, for the Supreme Court to appoint a Judicial Commission of Inquiry  or create a separate bench of its own for the specific purpose of determining the politico-mafia connection of television journalism practiced by those who project themselves as national channels in context of General Elections in last two decades, particularly in 2004 and 2014 and then to promote the idea of a separate effective body for regulating visual media. Otherwise, the exercise may turn into barren wordy acrobatics, with nobody to care a tinker damn for the same.

Unless the visual media is salvaged from the rich and the mafia, no law to be framed can make it tamed.

And, unless ceiling on private property is enforced, there shall be no last limit for acquiring wealth by any means.

If accumulation of limitless wealth is not legally stopped, no law can, in reality, stop electronic visual media, owned and controlled by the wealthy, from playing any havoc they want to keep the general public acquiesced into what they design, as that only ensures transformation of their status as free citizens to subjects of the lords of plutocracy.

The country is saturated with Acts and Rules. And the citizens are drowned in the labyrinth they create. Before getting another Act framed in the area of Press, the background of anarchic conduct of electronic visual media should first be studied in depth. We have to first get the answer to why the television media is so irresponsibly working.

Without diagnosis, treatment may be more harmful.

Bar cannot mar the manners of Law: Motherland is more important than a man

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It is sad that Orissa High Court Bar Association has resorted to cease-work in protest against arrest of Advocate General Asok Mohanty in incumbency till summoned to answer CBI on his connection with chit fund fraudster Pradeep Sethy.

In the breaking animadversion on the subject that came to public attention under its caption ‘Judicial Enquiry Essential to determine if Justice Laxmikant Mohapatra did not act a conduit for a chit fund mafia‘, for the first time in orissa’s news media views, much ahead of emergence of CBI on the scene, Mohanty was shown as a vertex in the triangle of a scam over a CDA plot, which finally has landed him in judicial custody after rejection of his bail petition.

His preliminary confrontation with suspicion on his property deal with the chit fund cheat, subsequent formal arrest by CBI, interrogation, production before the CBI court, further interrogation under remand and restaging in judicial custody on rejection of his heard bail petition are sequences logically developed under the manners of law.

Hence the Bar Association protest against CBI action is nothing but an attempt to mar the manners of law.

The striking similarity between ruling party MP Bhartruhari Mahtab and the High Court Bar in matter of condemning the CBI over arrest of Mohanty is indicative of two purposes. One, as in case of Mahtab, to demoralize the CBI and confuse the general public to cultivate an escape route for Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, so that people get diverted from catching him in his very own cocoon of corruption and misrule; and two, as in case of lawyers, to exceed each other in pleasing the CM in a yet undefined design to grab the Advocate General post as it is bound to be filled up soon, where the CM’s preference and prerogative is de facto final.

Alert people of Orissa should take note of it and do everything to encourage the CBI to bring to books all the traitors.

No man is more important than the motherland.

Naxals in Judicial Wisdom

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

“The poor and the deprived people revolt” when “manifest injustices of all forms perpetrated against the weak”, the Supreme Court of India had observed in what is famous as “Salwa Judam” judgment. It had held, “People do not take up arms, in an organized fashion, against the might of the State, or against fellow human beings without rhyme or reason. Guided by an instinct for survival, and according to Thomas Hobbes, a fear of lawlessness that is encoded in our collective conscience, we seek an order. However, when that order comes with the price of dehumanization, of manifest injustices of all forms perpetrated against the weak, the poor and the deprived people revolt… … …”

But the very same fellows who have never condemned Nathuram Godse for having cold-bloodedly murdered Mahatma Gandhi, while demanding death for killers of so-called Swami and Saraswati Laxmananand, whose acts of religious revivalism had breached communal harmony in Kandhamal in such acrimonious velocity that a mayhem had to get rid of him at the cost of peace and tranquility in that beloved land of tribal magnanimity, have been condemning the “the poor and the deprived people” when they “revolt’, their leadership that the Naxals/Maoists constitute.

Laxmananand’s extinguishment forms the crux of a Judicial Enquiry headed presently by a former Judge of Orissa High Court, Justice Naidu. Yet, the Godse admirers and their allies in the pro-rich administration – always eager to perpetrate State-terrorism on progressive people – are one in condemning the opponents of caste-divide in Hindu society in general and Orissa’s icon of modern revolution Sabyasachi Panda in particular, for the homicidal death of the Hindu sectarian leader who was executing a mission of conversion of vulnerable people from other religions to Hindu, oblivious of how Indian Constitution was being denuded of its spirit thereby, even though the commission of enquiry is yet to find out who really was responsible for the death of Laxmananand.
It may so happen, if the Commission of Enquiry acts without any bias, Justice Naidu, who has wanted Sabysachi Panda to be produced before him for study of his role, if any, in the murder and its environment he is inquiring into, may held Laxmananand responsible for his own death.

But, the Godseites have been trying to obstruct the process of free thinking of Justice Naidu by shrouding the Judicial Commission with clouds of libretto that the Naxala/Maoists are criminals.

Had it been so, people would never have punished Manmohan Singh

There was a Prime Minister of India in Manmohan Singh whose Americanism was so shamelessly anti-Nasxals that the people of India have avenged their ruin by throwing his party to such filthy depth of the dustbin of electoral politics that the Congress, despite all its cries before its party-planted President, has been rightly found too stoutly rejected by the people to claim the post of the Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, had described the left revolutionaries as “left viruses”. People have punished him and the Congress for this nasty conduct, though in their anxiety to get rid of the Congress they had become so rash that they are yet to extricate themselves from another set-up of supporters of FDI in India, which the middleclass opportunists and ultra-high-rich combine, has brought into power in a climate of conglomeration of rich media and religious revivalism. Lest the Supreme Judiciary, known for its free thinking so far, becomes a hurdle, the new set-up has already taken steps to make it easier for the pro-rich elements entering into the high benches. Yet, it looks pertinent to see what the Naxals are in the wisdom of the supreme Judiciary.

In the eyes of the Supreme Judiciary

In trying to locate the reasons of the growth of Naxal movement, wherein tribal youths are conspicuous by their participation, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in ‘Nandini Sundar v. State of Chhattisgarh’ (AIR 2011 SC 2839), have noted: “Many of these tribal youngsters, on account of the violence perpetrated against them, or their kith and kin and others in the society in which they live, have already been dehumanized. To have feelings of deep rage, and hatred, and to suffer from the same is a continuation of the condition of dehumanization. The role of a responsible society, and those who claim to be concerned of their welfare, which the State is expected to under our Constitution, ought to be one of creating circumstances in which they could come back or at least tread the path towards normalcy, and a mitigation of their rage, hurt, and desires for vengeance” (Para 52).

At Para 71 the Court further observed, “As we remarked earlier, the fight against Maoist/Naxalite violence cannot be conducted purely as a mere law and order problem to be confronted by whatever means the State can muster. The primordial problem lies deep within the socio-economic policies pursued by the State on a society that was already endemically, and horrifically, suffering from gross inequalities”.

In the eyes of the Father of Indian Constitution

“We must remove the contradiction (this gross inequality) at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up”, Dr. Ambedkar, father of the Constitution had warned while replying to the last debates on the draft Constitution (Constituent Assembly Debates, Volume 8, p.279).

The Supreme Court, in their observation quoted above had to so observe, as the gross inequality between the Indians divided in two parts – the meager numbers of the rich and the massive numbers of the poor – instead of being removed, has become more savagely severe.

As Naxal/Maoist movement has grown against this background, agents of imperialism in power have made rigorous laws like Act No 15 of 2002 that equates the Naxal/Maoists with terrorist and applies the Act to them with retrospective effect.

But, by enactment of this act, the Supreme Court verdict cited supra is not denuded of its wisdom and Dr. Ambedkar’s words of their wise relevance.

Human conscience cannot be suppressed by Laws of Intimidation, whosoever in power frames and enforces them.

Revolutionaries were there, who brought us freedom.

Revolutionaries are there who dare State-terror to bring us emancipation.

Revolutionaries will be there, on whom shall depend people’s liberation from the yokes of exploitation.

And, in true judicial wisdom, not the exploiters, but the ones suffering for saving the people from exploitation, shall always have the right place of importance.

Therefore, despite draconian Laws equating politico-economic revolutionaries with cross-border and communal terrorists, in Judicial wisdom, as per Justice K. S. Ahluwallia of Calcutta High Court. “Naxalism or Maoism is a political movement wedded to violence and the participants thereof are political offenders”, not criminals.

Interpretation of Laws in various Courts by various Judges may differ, but judicial wisdom uttered in cases of politico-economic relevance, such as the ‘Salwa Judam’ and ‘Political prisoners’ cases, cannot be viewed as anything but expressed wisdom in matter of social and politico-economic developmental perspective.

One is to decide how to read between the lines.

Sabyasachi’s arrest is no arrest of Maoism

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Maoism is a political concept that wants elimination of socio-economic inequality and is considered aggressive voice against exploitation of the voiceless. There is a striking similarity between the Maoists  and the State in dealing with the enemies. The State uses weapons sans any qualms to save the land from geographical aggression in the process of which arrest and death may hit any of the soldiers; Maoists use weapons without qualms, as and when necessary, to save the people from economic exploitation in the process of which they dare the jails and death. Therefore, people, who never subscribe to violence, regard the Maoists as political sentinels. So, arrest or elimination of any of them would not lead to arrest of Maoism, exactly as patriotism never declines or dies when a soldier of India gets captured or killed by the enemy on the border.

Therefore, Sabyasachi Panda’s arrest has ignited massive mass attention.

The so-called mainstream media as a whole is busy in projecting his arrest as a great victory for the State, when religious bigots that support societal inequality have started asking the judiciary to exterminate him through capital punishment. The Chief Minister has put his praise for the Police over his arrest on records in the Assembly, and ruling party backbenchers have taken the opportunity to show how active are they, by hurling abusive innuendos at the leader of opposition whose response to the CM’s statement was that, instead of celebrating Sabyasachi’s arrest, the State Government should concentrate on irradiation of poverty, the issue that had given the arrested Maoist leader his mission and strength, though the way of violence that he had allegedly adopted was inappropriate in the eyes of law.

We congratulate the leader of opposition Hon’ble Narasingha Mishra for his wise words that only a conscience keeper of the people could have told the Assembly.

We recall how eminent persons from various streams, known better for their allegiance to  Gandhism, such as Smt. Annapurna Maharana (Cuttack), Smt. Sumitra Choudhury (Cuttack), Smt. Krushna Mohanty (Anugul),Sri Rabi Roy (Cuttack), Md. Baji (Nawarangpur), Sri Ratan Das (Gunupur), Sri Bhabani Charan Patnaik (Bhubaneswar), Dr. Bhagaban Prakask (New Delhi) and Prof. Radhamohan (Bhubaneswar), while appealing him in October 2012 to shun violence, had put on records their high appreciation for his exemplary fight to emancipate the wretchedly poor and Dalit people of the State.

By arresting him, the cause he stands for cannot be curbed. Maoism cannot be arrested.

As we have seen, it is the Maoists ,who, by their aggressive stance, make the capitalist governments provide funds for welfare of the poorest of the poor, as seen in allocation of special and dedicated funds for the Maoist dominated districts by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to whom the Maoists were “left viruses”.

Had there been no Sabyasachis, there would never have evolved welfare schemes like the NREGA. Let me quote a 2010 BBC report to show how these schemes are generated by Maoist activism. It had highlighted what an executive of the scheme had said in these words: “NREGA is the only way forward to take on the Maoists. This is nothing about winning hearts and minds. Its only about giving people work before the rebels come in and convince them that they are a better option than the state”.

Against this backdrop, Sabyasachian issue needs impassioned analysis and recognition as a political issue. His crimes, as alleged, deserve to be defined as political crimes.

True, the police have instituted many cases against him. But, Police cases do not make him a criminal.

Police in the eyes of the Supreme Court

According to the Supreme Court of India, vide Judgment delivered on July 2, 2014 in Criminal Appeal No.1277 of 2014, “the Police has not come out of its colonial image despite six decades of independence; it is largely considered as a tool of harassment, oppression and surely not considered a friend of public”.

There was not a single freedom fighter including Gandhiji, whom the Police had not projected as criminals and not prosecuted for violence and sedition. That “colonial image” of police, according to Justice Chandramauli Kr. Prasad and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose of the Supreme Court of India, as quoted above, “has not” changed “despite six decades of independence”.
The media must take note of this.

And, Media …….

Instead of boasting of mainstream tag, the media should adhere to professional ethics, and media persons, instead of acting mindless orchestrators, should refuse to dance to the tune of the media-owning class in denigrating Sabyasachi and the patriotic public should refuse to be swayed away by the versions of administration, which the compradors mostly control; and leave the issue to impartial wisdom of the Judiciary only. And, the Judiciary should ensure that Sabyasachi is not mistreated by the police when in custody, as many apprehend.

India has already experienced

Rare are the persons who suffer for the cause of the victims of socio-economic exploitation and inequality. And for every society, way to emancipation is not paved only by non-violence, as India has already experienced in her struggle for freedom. Maoism shall not be stymied by arrest of Sabyasachi and suchlike; it can end only when the State ends socio-economiv inequality. Two steps are urgent in this regard. One, elimination of caste-supremacism ; and, two, imposition of ceiling on private wealth with retrospective effect to tally with the land ceiling, Indian farmers have been subjected to.

The Farce called Election Cases starts commencing with Petitions filed in Orissa High Court

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Some of the defeated candidates including media heavyweight Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and popular Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra have filed election petitions in Orissa High Court. With this a new farce with very remote possibility of conclusion has commenced.

We have in these pages been insisting that the Supreme Court should come forward to constitute a separate election bench for exclusive hearing and timely disposal of election cases, binding the High Courts to create such exclusive benches at their end, so that the houses of people’s representative are helped to get rid of manipulators of elections, if any, as pointed out in entertained election petitions, without being affected by illegitimate members. But it has remained a cry in wilderness.

The result is, election cases have become de facto farcical, inasmuch as most of them are not heard and decided till the alleged manipulators complete the entire term of five years as people’s legitimate representatives!

Former Finance Minister P.Chidambaram is a case for reference.

These topics may help study the phenomenon:
1. Democracy needs Supreme Court to create separate Election Benches
2. Sivaganga shows us how hollow has become our democracy
3. Cidambaram could not have dared to contest: But Judiciary should be ashamed of how it helped him stay in power for the whole term
4. Exclusive Election Tribunals Essential

As long as separate Election Benches in High Courts or in the Supreme Court or an Election Tribunal like the National Green Tribunal do not get formed, election cases, in our opinion, can at best be viewed as a pattern pf political farce.

The Country needs a law that should put an elected member of an Assembly or the Loksabha in suspended animation the moment an election petition challenging her/his election is admitted for hearing , binding every such election court to dispose of the admitted case within the first year of election. As otherwise, democracy shall have no escape from the hands of the manipulators.

Justice being violated in Sanctum Sanctorum of Justice: Indira Jaising

Progressive Lawyers’ Association, Orissa offered recently a ‘Special Distinguished Lecture’ by India’s eminent lawyer, Additional Solicitor General Ms. Indira Jaising.

“Judicial Accountability and Judicial Ethics” was the topic on which she dwelt recently at Bhubaneswar.

Coming down heavily on the architects of the environment where Multi-National Corporations are perpetrating the crimes, but tribals are being prosecuted, she roared that India is infested with inherited judiciary and justice is being violated in the sanctum sanatorium of justice.

We place here her unedited speech, as to us, her every word is of relevance –

Organized by ‘Progressive Lawers’ Association’ (PLA) and ‘Law and Governance Foundation’ (L&GF) on May 15, the event was introduced by President of PLA, Kshirod Raut, who expressed deep dismay over judiciary taking over the Constitution in the matter of appointment of judges to the Apex Court.

Orissa Bar Council Member and Secretary of PLA and L&GF, Mr. Bibhu Prasad Tripathy also was worried over discernible decline in adherence to ethics in the system of justice when situation has become so alarming that, creation and implementation of law to ensure judicial accountability is getting louder and calling as never before. The system is to be saved from rising anarchy, he stressed, while maintaining “we are at war with ourselves” in this process.

Prof. V. Nagaraj, who recently preferred to relinquish the post of Vice-Chancellor of National Law University, Orissa than entertaining illegal interventions, dwelt extensively on judicial ethics and expressed deep agony over growing feeling that there should be specific laws to make judges accountable. Care should be taken to recruit judges on the basis of their aptitude, he said while stressing on effective selection mechanism to weed out undeserving aspirants for judgeship so that the courts would stay the temples of justice as contemplated in the country’s Constitution.

A book on Child Sexual Abuse by activist Shaila Behera was released by Ms. Jaising, who was felicitated by Smt. Shailabala Pujari with Swayamprabha Samman.

Advocate Kumar Bastia coordinated the debate and Advocate on Record, Supreme Court of India, Ms. Anindita Pujari proposed the vote of thanks.

Chidambaram could not have dared to contest: But Judiciary should be ashamed of how it helped him stay in power for the whole term

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is not contesting for the Loksabha.

It is being touted that he has opted out of the race. Wrong. He is not in the race, because he could not have dared to contest.

Had he dared to contest, he could not have suppressed the fact that he has not yet proved that he had not acted against the Republic of India. Electoral malpractice is a serious offense against the Republic and he is facing the prosecution for having resorted to electoral malpractice in Election Petition No.5 of 2009 filed by R. S. Raja Kannapan.

Besides documented allegations of bribe given in cash to voters directly through agents and indirectly through bank officials in form of assistances, there are serious allegations about his misusing the Returning Officer to be declared the winner, when, in fact, majority of the voters of his constituency had voted against him.

Kannapan’s allegation on this particular count is that, he had won the election by bagging more votes than Chidambaram. But the scenario was force-changed by Chidambaram, who used the Returning Officer of an Assembly segment of his Parliamentary constituency in manipulating the votes counted in the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th rounds in Alangudi. The R.O. and other election officials in connivance with him, added the votes secured by Kannapan to the kitty of Chidambaram, as per allegation. Had the manipulation not been done, Kannapan would have been declared elected by a margin of 7,034 votes, the election petition says.

Chidambaram is facing the prosecution that demands nullification of his election on this ground too. The prosecution’s case is registered as 5 of 2004.

Chidambaram has not filed any counter in the case so far, but has hoodwinked the Court to continue as elected candidate, by trying to stymie the case through applications for its rejection on flimsy grounds time and again.

In rejecting his last application, The High Court of Madras, on 7.6.2012 observed, “The said application filed on 21.12.2009 was dismissed on 04.08.2011. The present application seems to have been filed on 11.07.2011 just before the pronouncement of the order in the original application. The present application was filed under Order XIV Rule 8 of the High Court Rules r/w Order VI Rule 16 and Order VII Rule 11 of CPC and Sections 81, 82, 86, 100(1), (b), (d) (ii), (iii), (iv) and 123 of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951”.

This observation, however, makes it clear that, while failing to counter the charges of electoral malpractice including manipulation of votes through the channel of the Election Commission represented through the Returning Officer, Chidambaram – Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s closest collaborator in sabotaging the main thrust of India’s Constitution as far as its political economy is concerned – has illegitimately remained a member of the Loksabha by blocking the Court to complete the case.

Election Laws make it a must for a candidate to declare about charges of illegalities he/she is facing or has been found guilty of.

Had Chidambaram dared to contest, he must have been bound to swear an affidavit showing the pending election case, which is a case over his offense against the Republic of India, as manipulation of votes is nothing but an assault on what constitutes the very essence of the existence of a democratic republic.

So, the fidgeting Chidambaram has not dared to contest. But we Indians have the right to be ashamed of our judiciary’s collaboration with such offenders, as despite his dilatory tactics judicially rejected, the Court could not complete the case, as a result of which, he completed the whole term as a member of the Loksabha whereto his constituency had refused him entry.

It is essential for the Supreme Court to take stock of how many election cases stay pending in various courts for the whole term of election, rendering thereby the election laws totally inconsequential. Earlier in these pages I had argued that the Judiciary should have election benches/tribunals – like the green tribunal – dedicated only to election petitions as otherwise the fellows that criminalize politics and manipulate elections shall continue to rule the roost, despite refusal of mandate to them by the voters, taking advantage of paucity of time in High Courts or the Appex Court, to decide the election cases. The Apex Court should wake up to this call before mandate 2014 is delivered by the people.

And, in Chidambaram’s case, his membership of the outgoing Loksabha be nullified with retrospective effect if his electoral malpractices are established. He should then be punished for treason against the Republic of India, so that such offenses do not occur in future and the nation is not hoodwinked by rabid betrayers of the country. It is essential that Indian democracy is saved from becoming hollower.

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.

Is it proper for a reported Supreme Court Judge to hurl abusive words at the Reporter?

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

“The story was based on facts and I stand by it”.

This is how Dhanajay Mahapatra of Times of India has reacted to an intimidating letter sent to the paper by Justice Gyan Sudha Misra of the Supreme Court of India in reaction to his byline in the same paper that reported how lawyers and litigants are disadvantaged by habitual late-coming of judges to the court.

“Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir, who sits in court no. 1, is usually late to the court every day and the bench headed by him seldom commences judicial work at scheduled 10.30 am. But, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra appears to be setting a record of her own in coming late to the court. During normal working days, she too comes late to the court. But, during the ongoing summer vacation, punctuality in the SC appears to have lost its meaning as the bench headed by her, which was sitting from May 30 to June 14, assembled at least 60 minutes late on every working day”, he has reported.

Reacting to this report, Justice Mishra has disparaged him with abusive words like “small-minded” and “irresponsible”, who “perhaps” works “at the behest of a motivated lobby”.

She has told Times of India, “I have been instructed to communicate to you that your newspaper and your Sr. Editor/Reporter Mr. Dhananjay Mahapatra have once again indulged in irresponsible and contemptuous reporting by getting the news story published in all the daily editions (15th June 2013) of the Times of India relating to Court timings of the Vacation Bench obviously to hog limelight denigrating the image of the Institution.

Your report clearly reflects that small-minded people neither have the vision nor the understanding to appreciate a larger issue in the functioning of an Institution but have the audacity to publish mischievous reports as per their perception without disclosing full facts perhaps at the behest of a motivated lobby which needs to be investigated. Fortunately, wide and wiser section of the media do not follow your special trait”.

When judges come such late to the court and the lawyer and litigants spend their time waiting for their cases to be taken up, and when it frequently happens, the Press is expected not to keep its eyes close. The people have a right to be informed. So, Sri Mahapatra has done what his profession entails. The people must be made aware of whether or not the institutes of immense public importance function as programed.

Indians are absolutely worried over delays in justice, and therefore, every reason of delay is to be located and discussed in public.

The parliamentary forum is not properly functioning, the people know.

They have watched how the Judicial Standards & Accountability Bill is made to limp for years, when evidently corrupt judges are escaping punishment by using their agents placed in material positions, as witnessed in the case of Justice S. Sen of Kolkata High Court, who even could sabotage the Parliament’s business of impeaching him for his malpractice and misconduct by using the then President of India, Prativa Patil.

As long as criminals are able to use judiciary to keep allegations against them undecided and thereby hoodwinking the election laws occupy parliamentary seats, the corrupt and condemnable judges will never be impeached.

In such circumstances, Press is to be more vigilant about the activities of judges as the judiciary is the last hope for the people whose leaders have sabotaged them and changed their democracy to plutocracy with the help of the executive.

It is now incumbent upon the Press to speak loudly about judges who err so that the judiciary can get necessary input to usher in correction and the people can come to cogitate on how to build up the environment of judicial accountability.

Therefore, reporting facts that need be reported to help judiciary know where improvement is required cannot be considered contemptuous to judiciary. And, if a journalist, that too a journalist of national repute like Sri Mahapatra, has reported on the impact of the habitual delay in Supreme Court judges’ coming to the Court, why should he be abused by the concerned judges with filthy terms like “small-minded people”?

Is it proper for a reported Supreme Court Judge to hurl such abusive words at the Reporter?