Archive for the 'India' Category

SC: The Mother Is Not Always The Natural Guardian – 2004

This is the Anil Kumble case. It is remarkable, the manner in which all the parties conducted themselves so decently.

Here is the news article from TOI.

Here is the judgment: SC: The Mother Is Not Always The Natural Guardian

This judgment appears to contradict the Gita Hariharan case (1999), but a close reading shows that the SC is giving the well being of the child,  the most importance.

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A Guide To Court Procedures In India

Folks,
What are the procedures that are followed when a case goes to court?I don’t know and I am sure that you don’t know either. I am searching/looking for this info and it would be great if someone could gift me this information. I found this book called “A Handbook Of Court Procedures In India” at this site.
Here is an Alternative site.
Here is an overview of the book: ” There is a general feeling among Indians that resorting to court proceedings leads to empty-wallets and heavy heads. This feeling is partly attributable to lack of awareness among common folk about court procedures in India. The present work is an attempt to bring this basic awareness in the litigant’s mind that courts are meant to serve the people by providing the necessary relief. Basic knowledge of court procedures has become a necessity in the modern complex societies. This work envisages a utility not only for the general public but also for the students of law who enter the courts with no knowledge of court procedures.”
This is a good place to start. I will post more info as I go along.

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Criminal-Politician Nexus Getting Stronger

Here is the article from Tribune India

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An Example Of A Writ Mandamus-The Shankaracharya Case

I had written about restraining a police officer from abusing his powers in a previous post

Here is the excerpt from the judgment from that post that explains writ mandamus:

“It appears to us that, though the Code of Criminal Procedure gives to the police unfettered power to investigate all cases where they suspect that a cognizable offence has been committed, in appropriate cases an aggrieved person can always seek a remedy by invoking the power of the High Court under Article 226 of the Constitution under which, if the High Court could be convinced that the power of investigation has been exercised by a police officer mala fide, the High Court can always issue a writ of mandamus restraining the police officer from misusing his legal power”

I was looking for a good example of a judgment in response to a writ mandamus petition. I found a great example. This is the case of the Kanchi Shankaracharya who got entangled in a criminal case.

Looks like the police froze the accounts of the trust he runs and subsequently, the writ mandamus was filed and upheld by the Chennai High Court.

The Hon’ble judge says:

“Prof.Wade, in his magnum opus “ADMINISTRATIVE LAW”, (9th Edition – Page 343), observes as follows, while dealing with “Restriction of Discretion”: ” The first requirement is the recognition that all power has legal limits. The next requirement, no less vital, is that the courts should draw those limits in a way which strikes the most suitable balance between executive efficiency and legal protection of the citizen. Parliament constantly confers upon public authorities powers which on their face might seem absolute and arbitrary. But arbitrary power and unfettered discretion are what the courts refuse to countenance. They have woven a network of restrictive principles which require statutory powers to be exercised reasonably and in good faith, for proper purposes only, and in accordance with the spirit as well as the letter of the empowering Act.”

I am adding this here, as the cops play the role of the intimidator, bounty hunter, goon and extortionist in almost all 498A cases. A writ mandamus is one of the means to put them in their place. If you need more convincing, re-read the excerpt from the judgment above.

Here is the judgment: Chennai HC: An Example Of A Writ Mandamus

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Its Governance Stupid !

Chidambaram and Shourie get it.

I’ve always said the key to staying in power is proper governance.

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Interpol Global Standards To Combat Corruption In Police Forces

The Interpol document on combating police corruption

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Doctrine Of Basic Structure Of The Constitution

You can understand what this is about from this article in TOI

You can read about it here: Basic Structure Of The Constitution

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Calcutta HC: No Alimony For Leaving Hubbies On Flimsy Grounds

Folks,
Here is the judgment. It is a large file (1.4Mb): No Alimony For Leaving Hubbies On Flimsy Grounds

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TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Kolkata: Here is one for the harassed husbands’ club. If a woman leaves her husband’s home on “flimsy grounds”, she is not entitled to maintenance, the Calcutta High Court has ruled.
On Thursday, the HC set aside a lower court’s order and asked a Baranagar youth to stop paying his estranged wife a monthly allowance, after judging that she had left her husband’s home “on flimsy grounds”. The landmark judgment is one of those rare cases where the husband gets reprieve in a case under the stringent section 498A, which is meant to prevent harassment of women but is sometimes exploited by the fair sex for unfair ends. The ruling came as a relief for Baranagar’s Partha Pratim Banik who was locked in a bruising battle with his estranged wife, Arundhati. Their marriage had not been a happy one and they had frequent quarrels. According to sources, Arundhati left Partha’s home suddenly one morning, taking along their fouryear-old son, and filed a case against her husband and inlaws under section 498A for “physical and mental torture”. Later, she claimed in court that Partha had cheated her by claiming he was a computer engineer whereas he was a “computer mechanic”.
A Barrackpore court granted her plea and directed Partha to pay her a monthly maintenance of Rs 1,700 — Rs 1,000 for the boy and Rs 700 for Arundhati. Partha appealed against th e order in high court. The case came up for its final hearing on Thursday. Partha’s counsel Koushik Dey said that the allegations against Partha were false and that Arundhati had left her home voluntarily without any concrete reason. He cited section 4 of 125 CrPC, which states that a wife who refuses to stay with her husband without sufficient reason is not entitled to a maintenance allowance. Dey also claimed that Partha was willing to take Arundhati back home, but she had refused.

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Due Process In India: An Article From IE

Here is the link: Due process

An excerpt: “What is due process when it comes to India? What is the record of our police and security agencies in terms of always respecting basic constitutional principles and guilty-until-proven-innocent rules? What is our record in quickly processing terror cases? Fourteen years after the Mumbai blasts, the convicted are still being sentenced. None of this is to suggest that India shouldn’t be concerned about its citizens abroad. But remembering how we run our own criminal justice system is useful when judging others: due process appears to have been followed in Haneef’s case.”

The Express asked some good Questions.

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Global Warming And Indian Glaciers

Things across the globe are getting worse:

Here is the ink: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/21/AR2007102100761.html?hpid=topnews 

Looks like our PM is paying attention to climate change:

Prime Minister chairs meeting on climate change

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh chaired the first meeting of the National Council on Climate Change. The Prime Minister directed the Planning Commission to incorporate clean development strategies into the sectoral plans and proposals for the Eleventh Plan and to make a strategy to deal with climate change an intrinsic part of the Eleventh Plan strategy. The Prime Minister said that the Government would launch a major aforestation programme called “Green India” to convert six million hectares of degraded forest land into green areas. The Prime Minister also called for a long-term strategy to deal with glacial melting of the Himalayas. The meeting decided that a national strategy paper on climate change will be prepared before the end of the year. Participants at the meeting emphasized the need for funding research on impact of climate change including research on management of impact of droughts and floods on crop production and urban planning. Participants emphasized the vital importance of encouraging public transportation in urban areas, reducing dependence on fuel inefficient technologies. Emphasis was placed on collection of reliable data, funding of research for analyzing the data and implementation of practical programmes to improve energy efficiency and reduce wasteful use of natural resources.
The National Council on Climate Change has been asked to come forward with a national strategy that protects India’s developmental goals and interests while at the same time addressing concerns, both at home and abroad, with respect to global warming and sustainable development.Here is an article that explains the effect of global warming on our glaciers:

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July 17, 2007 Glaciers in Retreat By SOMINI SENGUPTA

ON CHORABARI GLACIER, India — This is how a glacier retreats. At nearly 13,000 feet above sea level, in the shadow of a sharp Himalayan peak, a wall of black ice oozes in the sunshine. A tumbling stone breaks the silence of the mountains, or water gurgles under the ground, a sign that the glacier is melting from inside. Where it empties out — scientists call it the snout — a noisy, frothy stream rushes down to meet the river Ganges. D.P. Dobhal, a glaciologist who has spent the last three years climbing and poking the Chorabari glacier, stands at the edge of the snout and points ahead. Three years ago, the snout was roughly 90 feet farther away. On a map drawn in 1962, it was plotted 860 feet from here. Mr. Dobhal marked the spot with a Stonehenge-like pile of rocks. Mr. Dobhal’s steep and solitary quest — to measure the changes in the glacier’s size and volume — points to a looming worldwide concern, with particularly serious repercussions for India and its neighbors. The thousands of glaciers studded across 1,500 miles of the Himalayas make up the savings account of South Asia’s water supply, feeding more than a dozen major rivers and sustaining a billion people downstream. Their apparent retreat threatens to bear heavily on everything from the region’s drinking water supply to agricultural production to disease and floods. Indian glaciers are among the least studied in the world, lacking the decades of data that scientists need to deduce trends. Nevertheless, the nascent research offers a snapshot of the consequences of global warming for this country and raises vital questions about how India will respond to them. According to Mr. Dobhal’s measurements, the Chorabari’s snout has retreated 29.5 feet every year for the last three years, and while that is too short a time to draw scientific conclusions about the glacier’s health, it conforms to a disquieting pattern of glacial retreat across the Himalayas. A recent study by the Indian Space Research Organization, using satellite imaging to gauge the changes to 466 glaciers, has found more than a 20 percent reduction in size from 1962 to 2001, with bigger glaciers breaking into smaller pieces, each one retreating faster than its parent. A separate study found the Parbati glacier, one of the largest in the area, to be retreating by 170 feet a year during the 1990s. Another glacier that Mr. Dobhal has tracked, known as Dokriani, lost 20 percent of its size in three decades. Between 1991 and 1995, its snout inched back 55 feet each year. Similar losses are being seen around the world. Lonnie G. Thompson, a glaciologist at Ohio State University, found a 22 percent loss of ice on the Qori Kalis glacier in Peru between 1963 and 2002. He called it “a repeating theme whether you are in tropical Andes, the Himalayas or Kilimanjaro in Africa.” The Chorabari, sweeping down from Kedarnath peak across 2.3 square miles, is relatively lucky. It is blessed with a thick cover of rocks and boulders, which acts as a sort of insulation and slows the melting. Since Mr. Dobhal began collecting data here in 2003, the Chorabari has been shedding its weight — that is to say, melting faster than the rate at which snow and ice accumulates, and as a result, thinning out by roughly five feet each year. The snow line, in addition, is gradually moving higher. A vast and ancient sheet of ice, a glacier is in effect the planet’s most sensitive organ, like an aging knee that feels the onset of winter. Its upper reaches accumulate snow and ice when it is cold; its lower reaches melt when it is warm. Its long-term survival depends on the balance between the buildup and the melting. Glaciers worldwide serve as a barometer for global warming, which has, according to a report this year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, been spurred in recent decades by rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Even the Himalayas have grown measurably warmer. A recent study found that mean air temperature in the northwestern Himalayan range had risen by 2.2 degrees Celsius in the last two decades, a rate considerably higher than the rate of increase over the last 100 years. In its report, the international panel predicted that as these glaciers melt, they would increase the likelihood of flooding over the next three decades and then, as they recede, dry up the rivers that they feed. “In the course of the century,” it warned darkly, “water supply stored in glaciers and snow cover are projected to decline, reducing water availability in regions supplied by meltwater from major mountain ranges, where more than one-sixth of the world population currently lives.” India’s public response so far has been to blame the industrialized world for rising emissions and resist any mandatory caps of its own. India’s per capita share of emissions is one-twentieth that of industrialized countries, the government points out, going on to argue that any restrictions on emissions would stunt its economic growth. And yet, as critics say, India’s rapid economic advance, combined with a population of more than a billion people, will soon make it a far bigger contributor to greenhouse gases. More to the point, India stands to bear some of the most devastating consequences of human-induced climate change. The dearth of scientific knowledge adds to the alarm. River flow data is so scant and recent that it is impossible for scientists to predict how the current rates of glacial retreat will affect river volume. To spend a couple of days with Mr. Dobhal, 44, a glaciologist with the Wadia Institute for Himalayan Geology, a government-sponsored research institution based in the North Indian city of Dehradun, is to understand why there is not more research on these glaciers. It is lonely, time-consuming work, equally demanding of body and mind. Mr. Dobhal’s days begin inside a tent, not particularly well-suited for such chilly heights, usually around 5:30, with prayers and a cup of hot tea. This morning’s journey is just above the base camp, to about 12,800 feet, where Mr. Dobhal must install a set of crude bamboo rulers to measure the undulations of the ice. The drilling machine in this case is a steady hiss of steam that comes out of a steam machine carried on the back and inserted into the glacier through a long, narrow pipe. Mr. Dobhal drives it slowly, expertly through the solid black ice, taking care to drill an absolutely straight 13-foot-long hole. When it is done, the bamboo pole slides in effortlessly. When he is finished, there will be 40 such stakes up and down the Chorabari, in the upper reaches where the ice accumulates in winter, all the way down to where the snout spills its meltwaters. Over the next months, the stakes will record the rise and fall of the ice — in other words, changes in the glacier’s total mass. Downstream, where the glacier’s meltwater becomes what is known as the Mandakini River, comes another set of crucial measurements. Six times a day, Mr. Dobhal and his aides, all ethnic gurkhas from Nepal, measure the depth of the water and the speed at which it flows. It is a remarkably simple experiment, like one you might do for a high school science fair. A square wooden paddle, attached to a string, is floated down the channel. A stopwatch measures how long it takes to travel 23 feet. “This will tell me how much water we are getting from one glacier and at different seasons — how much in summer, how much in winter, how much in the rainy season,” was Mr. Dobhal’s explanation. Think of the glacier as a bank account, Mr. Dobhal offered. If its total volume — as measured by the stakes installed in the ice — is “how much we have in the bank,” then the flow of the Mandakini is like the dividends being released for everyday use. Mr. Dobhal’s days follow a relentlessly measured pattern. Every day, he is back at the base camp no later than 2 p.m., which is when the risk of an avalanche grows. Even in summer, there are fluke snowstorms; one in late May kept Mr. Dobhal and his crew up all night, brushing snow off the tops of their tents. Tourists and trekkers rarely venture up to these heights. Every once in a while, a Hindu monk can be seen foraging for firewood. Mr. Dobhal met one last year, meditating inside a cave. Even the wildlife is limited to bears and mountain rats. Most evenings are spent listening to a transistor radio broadcast around a campfire. Financing, too, is limited. This year, Mr. Dobhal said he dug in his own pockets to buy winter socks for his aides. Over the coming months, barring an avalanche that could tear them down, the stakes will chronicle the changes in the glacier. At the end of summer, Mr. Dobhal will return to the base camp to see how far the ice has shrunk, and again, he will come when winter sets in, for another set of measurements. The fate of the Chorabari glacier will slowly, painstakingly be revealed.

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India To Register Pregnancies To Fight Foeticide

Another act of stupidity emanates from the hallways of the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The Hon’ble Minister, you can see her in action here on YouTube, would like to register all pregnancies in the country to prevent foeticide. Forget the logistics involved. I would like to see the Hon’ble Minister, taking her daughter to the responsible Govt Office and saying to the chap on duty, “Here is my daughter and she is pregnant, the father is my son-in-law, please register the pregnancy.”

Another bit player in this silly act is the Minister Ambumani Ramdoss. He has allegedly been pushing for the appointments of doctors to AIIMS, the premier health care institute, based on their caste and not on the strength of their credentials.

Back to this story, I have a few questions:

  • Apart from the issues of privacy involved, we can toss in the issue of religion. Can you imagine a Muslim couple doing this? or will they be exempt to fend off the backlash?
  • What about the conservative people in the cow belt? Would they be willing to parade their pregnant wives before unknown men or women?
  • How about this situation where a women unfortunately has an abortion due to reasons beyond her control and the foetus is a female? Will she be booked for murder?
  • What if a woman wants to abort regardless? Aren’t we now infringing on the reproductive rights for women? The feminists, internationally, will be up in arms.
  • What does one do if a woman has an abortion just because she wants a male child and gets a certificate from a doctor saying that the pregnancy was putting her life at risk?

And then think about logistics involved in implementing this law.

You can read about the whole thing here.

All in all, this is a classic example of a self goal, as this law is bound to piss off the feminists, internationally.

Here is Gloria Steinem saying: “I would say that a crucial contribution of feminism is to add reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right. Controlling women’s bodies as the most basic means of production, the means of reproduction, is the origin of patriarchy; thus of domination and hierarchy. Women are reversing that process by seizing control of the means of reproduction, and restoring balance.”

Righto! and we can see women standing before the Babus and saying that “Hey! We are pregnant! Register it!” What would good old Gloria say to that ?

At the least, this is an act of stupidity, literally.

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The Wife Of A Karnataka Cadre IAS Officer Is Fighting Corruption

I read about Mrs JN Jayshree here:

“In the southern Indian state of Karnataka (of which Bangalore is a part), J. N. Jayashree, wife of a state bureaucrat named M. N. Vijayakumar who has spoken out vigorously against corruption in the government there, started a blog as a way to spread the word about the pilferage currently plaguing Karnataka . Raising her husband’s international profile in the face of the recent murders of whistleblowers such as Satyendra Dubey and Shanmughan Manjunath was another motivation.”

This is an article about her in the New York Times

This is her blog: Fight Corruption Now

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School Teacher Acquitted In 498A Case

Here is an inspiring story of a very forgiving school teacher and father in law. The cops humiliated him and his family.

Download the pdf here: School teacher Paraded by cops praised by court

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An RTI For The Pay Of The MPs

Some guy has filed an RTI against the MPs.

Here is my question. If a guy can file an RTI against the MPs, why can’t the 498A affected folks file RTIs against the cops, if they feel the officer did not do his duty ?

Here is the link the article from HT

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The Indian Domestic Violence Act: Behind The Scenes

Looks like there was a lot of action behind the scenes. Here are some pdfs that explain what I mean:

This happened on March 15th 2002.

Here is the link to the pdf: COMMENTS BY MR. ARUN JAITLEY, Union Minister For Law And Justice, in defence of the GOI Domestic Violence Bill Given to women’s groups on March 15, 2002

Here is a comment by Indira Jaising:

“There should be a policy underlying every legislation. The only possible objective of a law on domestic violence can only be to Stop Violence. Whereas the policy of the GOI Draft seems to be to preserve the family and the marriage, and the same is already achieved by all the marriage laws and civil laws. The only “unoccupied field” is protecting a woman from domestic violence and this present draft does not achieve that.”

Here is the pdf if the link is inactive: GOI DVA Bill Original Version Comments

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Lonely Man With A Lathi: The Indian Police Constable

This is an article written by the SSP of Haridwar about the plight of the Indian police constables. His name is Abhinav Kumar IPS, and you can read about him here.

He talks about what this reservation agitation by the Gurjars is all about.

Here is the link to the IE article: Lonely Man With A Lathi

Here are other articles by him:

This guy is quite a warrior. You can read about what he did here

Here is an excerpt:

Journalist-turned-policeman Abhinav Kumar was recently posted to Dehra Dun as Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP). Soon after his transfer, Kumar claims, he discovered that a Rs 1-lakh computer system given to the department by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd was neither present in his office nor registered in the property list at the local police lines.

Kumar says that after he made discreet enquiries among the staff members, he was told that the computer was actually installed at the residence of his predecessor, Sharad Sachhan. The ASP says he made verbal requests to Sachhan to return the computer, but Sachhan didn’t do so, forcing him to lodge an FIR against the officer two months ago.

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Delhi HC Hauls Up The Lower Judiciary

Here are two petitions upheld by the Delhi HC. In both cases, the magistrates of the lower courts summoned the respondents without a basis and the High Court took cognizance and set things right.

Here are the judgments:

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Stats On Complaints Against Police Personnel

Here is the link to the NCRB website.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

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Delhi HC: Bail Judgement

Here is the judgment: Delhi HC Naveen Saini Bail Order – 2007

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Misc. Judgments Tying 498A, 304 And 306

Folks.

I’ve been very busy and lack the bandwidth to summarize. Please bear with me. Time isn’t something I can spare right now. Anyway, here are the links:

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Some Interesting Stats On Arrests Of Women

In 1930, the British govt arrested 17,000 women for their involvement in the Dandi Yatra (Salt March). During 1937 to 1947 (10 Years), they arrested 5,000 women involved in the freedom struggle. From 2004 to 2006, the govt of India arrested 90,000 women of all ages under 498A. On the average, 27,000 women per year are being arrested under this flawed law. These are stats from the NCRB.

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Disclaimer:

The family of the writer was tortured by the Indian Police in an attempt to extort over a $100,000 by holding them in custody for over a week. The police, in cahoots with the magistrate and the PP, did this due to the ridiculous allegations made in a 498A case by his embittered ex-wife. She filed the case years after he and his family had last seen her. Thousands of 498A cases are filed each year in India by women seeking to wreak vengeance on their husbands and in-laws. Enormous sums are extorted from intimidated families implicated in these cases by corrupt Indian police officers and elements of the Indian judiciary. The author and his family haven't bribed any public official nor have they given in to the extortion. This blog aims to raise awareness of due process in India. The content of this blog constitutes, opinions, observations, and publicly available documents. The intent is not to slander or defame anyone or any institution and is the manifestation of the author's right to freedom of expression – with all the protections this right guarantees.

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