Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SC orders Probe into all Fake Encounter cases of Gujarat.

Acting on two Public Interest Litigations (PILs), the Apex Court of India on Wednesday ordered a probe into alleged  fake encounters  in Gujarat by a monitoring authority headed by retired SC Judge M B Shah. The panel will probe encounters between 2003 and 2006 and submit a report in three months to decide whether the cases of fake encounters require independent investigation or not.

Noted Journalist Vergese
The two PILs were filed by noted journalist  BG Verghese and lyricist Javed Akhtar. The PIL of Mr Verghese is on human ground and is seeking for system development, where as that of Javed Akhtar is with hidden political tone behind the litigation.

BG Verghese  was an information adviser to former prime minister Indira Gandhi during 1966-69 and wrote her speeches, but dared to criticise on her decision  for imposing emergency on the country during 1975. He was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay award later. A crusader for civil rights, Verghese has long worked on problems of development. He also on the Editors Guild of India Fact Finding Mission after the Gujarat riots, 2002

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by him seeking an inquiry into 21 alleged fake encounter killings by the police in Gujarat between 2003 and 2006.  These 21 encounters included some  workmen, who had come to Gujarat from outside the state, as suspected terrorists.

 "It is not clear if the families are even aware of the fate of these young persons. Six of those killed were in police custody. It seems incredible that they would have possessed arms in custody so as to warrant killing by the police in self defence as is stated by the government," he had said in the petition.

In his PIL Verghese had claimed that the pattern of killings showed there was a need for investigation. He has sought a direction to the Centre and Gujarat to order an inquiry into the encounter killings and compensation to the next of kin, where warranted. He also sought action against errant officials and a scheme to ensure accountability in all cases of custodial encounter.

Noted lyrist Javed Akhtar, who jointly filed the petition along with social activist Shabnam Hashmi said in his petition citing some media reports. "It appears from all the incidents of fake encounters, a pattern has emerged of killing innocent people, particularly from the Muslim community, on the pretext of their being dreaded terrorists and conspiring to kill the chief minister of the state at the behest of terrorist group like JeM,"
D G Vanzara  Cop Behind encounters

This PIL alleged it has become a trend in Gujarat to demonise Muslims by declaring them dreaded terrorists and thereafter killing them in fake encounters. in almost all these incidents, the same group of police officials led by D G Vanzara, arrested in connection with Sohrabuddin Sheikh's killing, have been found to be involved and in many such incidents there has been a massive cover-up.

An involvement of a conspiracy hatched by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders were the common bytes given to media by police during that time period.

With so many investigations going around  a  monitoring authority headed by Justice Shah was set up by the Gujarat government last year to oversee investigations by the Special Task Force probing fake encounters. When the Gujarat government informed the court that a monitoring authority had already been appointed by the state, the Court said that it would ask this panel to probe the fake encounters.

The Supreme Court is hearing a bunch of petitions against fake encounters in Gujarat between 2002 and 2006. The Court has given authority to Justice Shah to  appoint its own officers and call for records from the state government and the Human Rights Commission. It can also hear the victims' kin on compensation pleas, the court said.

Other Posts  :

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gujarat High Court uphelds appointment of Lokayukta (Ombudsman)

Justice Sahai - Jolt to Modi

Gujarat High Court has gifted Congress party  the best judgement it could have imagined before the elections. Third judgeof the bench upholds governor’s decision to appoint retired Justice RA Mehta as Lokayukta (ombudsman). In October last year, a division bench had given a split verdict, which was subsequently referred to justice Sahai for adjudication who on Wednesday delivered his verdict. After this verdict mandate is against Modi government by a 2:1 bench.

The post of Lokayukta has been lying vacant since Justice SM Soni completed his term in 2003. There has been a tug of war between the BJP government and the governor, who is appointed by the central government.

R.A. Mehta 
In August last year, the governor Kamla Beniwal appointed Justice (retired) R.A. Mehta as Lokayukta ignoring the objections of the state council of ministers. She issued the orders based on Gujarat State Lokayukta Act, 1986, which says : “The Governor shall appoint the Lokayukta in the state in consultation with Chief Justice of the High Court and Leader of the opposition in the state assembly.” The governor had made the appointment after chief justice SJ Mukhopadhya (now in the Supreme Court) had recommended justice Mehta's name.

The BJP government is opposed to Mehta for his anti Modi statements in public. He is believed to be the advisors to forums pitting various cases against the state government. “There is an intense, almost universal sentiment of fear and growing despair among Muslim citizens of Gujarat”, Mehta had said in 2002.
Immediately after the appointment, the state government had moved the high court. The case was first heard by a two-judge bench of Justice Akil Abdul Hamid Kureshi and Justice Sonia Gokani, which delivered a split verdict on October 11, 2011, While Justice Kureshi opined that the appointment of Mehta by the Governor was constitutional, Justice Sonia Gokani differed. Sonia Gokani had set it aside on the grounds that it was "unconstitutional" because the governor could act only on the advice of the council of ministers. The case was then assigned to Justice VM Sahai of the High Court, who delivered his verdict on Wednesday.
 The state government spokesperson Jaynarayan Vyas said, “We accept the verdict of the high court. But our points remain and we will challenge this decision in the Supreme Court. We are not against the institution of Lokayukta but against the manner in which Justice Mehta was appointed keeping the council of ministers in the dark.”
The central leadership of BJP  wants to take this as an opportunity to raise the issues which can affect other states ruled by the BJP and its coalition partners. BJP MP and constitutional lawyer Ravi Shankar Prasad said the matter must be finally decided by the Supreme Court as the judgment erroneously interprets the power of governor under Article 163 (2)''. "A chief minister is an important component in decision making process by a governor, he can't be ignored", Prasad said and added "it is an attack on the federalism''.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Enginners again dominate at CAT 2011

This year nine aspirants shared the 100% percentile score at prestigious management entrance examination CAT 2011. The Indian Institutes of Management published the results on their website on 11th January.  
CAT was conducted in a 20-day testing window between October 20 and November 18 last year in 68 test centres across 36 cities. New centres at Jammu and Kashmir and Dehradun were opened this year to facilitate the hilly region. For CAT 2011  2.05 lakh  students had got registered out of which close to 1.85 lakh students took the exam.

CAT scores are accepted by the 13 IIMs, the country's premier institutes for management studies, and several other management colleges in India. This year IITs made the decision to accept CAT scores instead of conducting a separate Joint Management Entrance Test.

The students of IIT Madras have scored very well at CAT.  Ajinkya Deshmukh a  graduate from this institute is amongst the 100 percentile scorers. Other two Prabhu Dev and Saipramod Inguva who scored 99.99 percentiles.  For Ajinkya this was third attempt. In the previous attempts he had scored 98.4 and around 87 percentile respectively.

Within a week all the IIMs would  publish list for  the second round of screening which includes group discussion and personal interviews. The prospective candidates would be informed by mail.  The  new IIMs, including those in Tiruchirapalli, Udaipur and Raipur, have increased their intake from 70 to 120 this year. This will improve the chances of many candidates to get into the prestigious IIMs. 

Other Posts :

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Reserve Power for us and you fight on streets

In desperation  to win UP  elections Congress and Samajwadi Party are  pushing the country to yet another anti reservation stir.  This topic has wasted more number of  productive man days in the country than any other reason in last thirty years. Still politicians love to divide the society to meet their selfish interests. 
Agigating Students in 2006 

Just before the announcement of the assembly election in five states the UPA government decided to provide a sub quota of 4.5% for backward Muslims within the 27% OBC reservation in jobs and central educational institutions.  Allies and Opposition both critised this for different reasons.  SP criticised it to woo muslims of UP saying, “Its insufficient”,  and its prince Akhilesh Yadav added during the election campaign, “4% in the quota of 27% effectively comes to 1% only. If we come to power, we will keep a quota of 18%.”

You Vote for my Wife
I will get you Reservation
If this was not enough  Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid  in Farrukhabad  promised that the Congress party would provide nine percent sub-quota for backward Muslims if it was voted to power in the coming Uttar Pradesh assembly election. He was campaigning for his wife Louise. Khurshid said the Congress would provide nine percent reservation for backward Muslims within the existing OBC quota in UP in the event of its forming the government in the state.  He said more than eight castes such as Mansoori and Qureshi would benefit from such a move.

To defend its  move Congress leaders claim their party  in its manifesto for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections had promised to give reservation to backward Muslims and implement the Sachar Committee report and the Rangnath Mishra Committee report on minorities. But the question remains that why they remember only at the time of the elections.

The Congress feels that this move would consolidate Muslim voters in the state, which helped Congress win 22 seats in 2009 Lok Sabha elections. The party has fielded a sizable number of Muslim candidates in this election and is hoping to score big by bringing together the votes of muslims, extremely backward castes, non-Jatav Dalits and upper castes.

Reservation is the same pandora box which  V.P. Singh had opened in 1988 just to ignite fire of caste politics in the country. However, the election there after pushed him behind the curtains for ever. But the cracks in the society are still paining.

Five years ago also tried to burn its fingers. But its leadership today can not think of any constructive agenda so is back to the old tricks. Nation always comes after the power. Whatever be the outcome of these elections  country will see lots of curfew days later this year.

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Indian Money in Swiss Accounts.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

India need to handle Iran situation carefully.

In the first week of Jan, this year when the state TV of Iran informed its viewer’s  that India has cleared all payments for oil imports from Iran, citing Ahmad Qalebani, the managing director of National Iranian Oil Co., it was hinting at likely near future troubles for both the countries.

Iran seems to be on the way of Iraq. West  is tightening its screws on Iran,  a strategic  supplier of Indian petroleum.  US and UK   would  like to cut the financial sources first. India has enjoyed friendly relations with Iran for a long time. So was Iraq, but Indian government had failed to exercise diplomatic efforts to get help for itself or Iraq.

Iran supplies roughly 11% of our crude oil requirement. The problem will arise due to payment arrangements between the two countries. Payments for this oil have to be made through third countries. Currently, these are routed through Turkey. This system may not last and a situation can arise when payments become impossible.  As Turkey will follow the directions given by UK. According to  Qalebani, “India and Iran don’t face any problem on payments.” But the future may not be so smooth for both the countries unless a strong understanding and trust is built.

For India finding other suppliers for such volumes of oil is not difficult, but these options will be surely more expensive. The spot prices in the international market will soar up as the crisis will deepen. To address the problem  some diplomatic efforts are on . An Indian official team is visiting Tehran later this month to discuss this issue. Too much hope should not be placed on such meetings as a part of the problem is outside the control of the two countries.

Learning from the experiences of past India should deliberate the diplomatic and strategic options in advance  so that some breathing space is available even if a war like situation arises. 

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Growth Story may help BSP returning back to the power.

Has put UP on growth
Total attention of the media in India is towards the assembly elections in the five states. Uttar Pradesh being the largest in terms of size and number of seat gets more bytes. The political analysts have many considerations : Political, Social and Economical. On the basis of the first two factors SP and BSP are contesting the main battle with Congress and BJP are pitted for 3rd and 4th spot.

Corruption in NRHM and NREGA, Land Scams, suspension of 17 ministers, all these go against Mayawati. On the other side Mulayam Singh also is troubled by the tainted goons in the party and Amarsinh pitted openly against him. Rahul Gandhi has worked in UP and put his prestige there. But still there is one factor working in favour of Mayawati which has worked well in last decade in most of the elections in India. This is growth factor, where Mayawati scores over Mulayam’s regime.

During Mayawati’s regime the 200 million population witnessed state touching miraculous GDP growth of 7%. The estimates of Planning Commission say that between 2004-05 and 2010-11, Bihar averaged 10.9% growth, Chhattisgarh 9.45%, Orissa 9.47% and Uttar Pradesh 7.01%. The electorates of Bihar, Orissa and Chhattisgarh have rewarded their chief ministers by re-electing them in the last election. Will Mayawati  also be lucky?

Rahul may win hearts not Votes
According to the economic model of Arvind Virmani, former chief economic advisor, when growth of GDP per capita is faster in the last five years than the preceding five years, the government has a better chance of getting re-elected. Conversely, a worsening of the growth rate reduces re-election chances. This model fits well in the outcomes of the last decade.

This model can be applied to the outcome of some of the results which were unexpected for the political analysts. The NDA government was considered to have met many expectations of the country. Its managers believed that "Shining India" was created during NDA rule. They ignored the fact that the the Asian financial crisis, global recession and two droughts had impacted GDP growth and it had slowed down for the reasons beyond the control of the government. However, the electorates did not take this easy and NDA was shunted out of the power.

The per capita GDP grew only at the average rate of 3.8% per year during NDA's tenure against 4.7% in the previous five years. All scams and political uncertainties had put question marks on the re-election of UPA, but the electorates voted it back to power due to accelerated per capita GDP growth during 2004-09.

In Uttar Pradesh, per capita growth during the rule of Mulayam from 2002 to 2007 was only about 2.3%. This has risen to the average of 4.8% during first four years under the BSP rule. To  control the adverse political factors also Mayawati has reacted very quickly. She has sacked the tainted ministers from the government and to break the effects of Rahul factor. BSP government passed the resolution to divide UP into four parts and the proposal was sent quickly to centre who returned immediately giving advantage to BSP. Mayawati was quick to sense the moves of Congress to appeach minority votes, so she demanded  reservation for the Muslims  and declared to extend support even if constitution amendment is required.

Except the last step all may have positive effects. So, return of BSP back to Lucknow has higher possibilities unless the OBC electorates react very adversely united because of appeasement theory and the benefit may go to lone opposing party to this proposal- BJP which stands at fourth position as of now.

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