21 November, 2011

The Truth behind Best Bakery case.. how Teesta Setalvad tutored witnesses

Above: Shri. Raiskhan Aziz Khan Pathan an ex-employee of Teesta Setalvad 's Citizen for Justice & Peace (CJP) has filed an affidavit on 26th September, 2011 with the Chief Justice of Mumbai High Court for the re-trial of the Best Bakery case. He has in his affidavit to the Chief Justice narrated the whole sequence of incidents - of how witnesses were brought to Mumbai, kept in Bhindi Bazaar, and tutored by Teesta Setalvad for giving false testimonies in the court. He has also requested the court to direct foreignsic science labs to do lie detector / polygraph test of himself & Teesta Setalvad to bring the truth before the court.

Please click Evidence Against Teesta Setalvad for more such instances.

12 November, 2011

The seven deadly sins of judges

Ruma Pal

Judges are fierce in using the word [“independence”] as a sword to take action in contempt against critics. But the word is also used as a shield to cover a multitude of sins, some venial and others not so venial. Any lawyer practising before a court will, I am sure, have a rather long list of these. I have chosen seven.

The first is the sin of “brushing under the carpet”, or turning a Nelsonian eye. Many judges are aware of injudicious conduct of a colleague but have either ignored it or refused to confront the judge concerned, and suppressed any public discussion on the issue, often through the great silencer — the law of contempt.

The second sin is that of “hypocrisy”. A favourite rather pompous phrase in judgments is “Be you ever so high, the law is above you”, or words to similar effect. And yet judges who enforce the law for others often break that law with impunity. This includes traffic regulations, and another regulation to which the “ordinary” citizen is subject. Some in fact get offended if their car is held up by the police at all while controlling the flow of traffic — the feeling of offence sometimes being translated into action, by issuance of a rule of contempt against the hapless police constable, all in the name of judicial independence.

The third sin is that of secrecy. The normal response of courts to any enquiry as to their functioning is to temporise, stonewall and prevaricate. As I have said elsewhere, the process by which a judge is appointed to the high court or elevated to the Supreme Court is one of the best-kept secrets in the country...

If “independence” is taken to mean “capable of thinking for oneself”, then the fourth sin is plagiarism and prolixity. I club the two together because the root cause is often the same, namely the prolific and often unnecessary use of passages from textbooks and decisions of other judges — without acknowledgement in the first case, and with acknowledgement in the latter. Many judgments are in fact mere compendia or digests of decisions on a particular issue, with very little original reasoning in support of the conclusion.

Often judges misconstrue judicial independence as judicial and administrative indiscipline. Both of these in fact stem from judicial arrogance as to one’s intellectual ability and status.... Intellectual arrogance, or what some may call intellectual dishonesty, is manifest when judges decide without being bound by principles of stare decisis or precedent...

Independence implies discipline to decide objectively and with intellectual integrity and as the judicial oath of office requires, without fear, favour, affection or ill will. Most importantly judges must be perceived as so deciding, or to use Lord Hewart’s classic dicta that “justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done,” because the belief of corruption is as damaging to the credibility in the independence of the judiciary as the act of corruption.

This brings me to the seventh and final sin of nepotism or what the oath of office calls “favour” and “affection”. What is required of a judge is a degree of aloofness and reclusiveness not only vis-a-vis litigants but also vis-a-vis lawyers. Litigants include the executive. Injudicious conduct includes known examples such as judges using a guesthouse of a private company or a public sector undertaking for a holiday or accepting benefits like the allocation of land from the discretionary quota of a chief minister. I can only emphasise again that nothing destroys a judge’s credibility more than a perception that he/she decides according to closeness to one of the parties to the litigation or what has come to be described in the corridors of courts as “face value”.

...I will conclude with most important facet of judicial independence. Judicial independence cannot exist without accountability. At present the only disciplinary power over judges is vested in Parliament which provides for the extreme punishment of removal for acts of proven misbehaviour by or incapacity of a judge...

Deprivation of jurisdiction or the non-allocation of work to a dishonest judge was resorted to by Chief Justice Sabyasachi Mukherjee when the impeachment of Justice V. Ramaswamy failed for political reasons. Sometimes Chief Justices control a recalcitrant judge by ensuring that the judge concerned sits with the Chief Justice or with a “strong” judge until he or she retires. The situation becomes more difficult if the allegations are against the Chief Justice. Solutions evolved have proved inadequate and ad hoc. There is a need for an effective mechanism for enforcing judicial accountability...

Ruma Pal is a former Supreme Court judge. Article extracted from the V.M. Tarkunde memorial lecture, delivered on November 10, 2011

10 November, 2011

CNN-IBN fakes live debate with Sri Sri 's recorded interview!

The Truth behind Face the Nation (FTN)

Airing a fabricated and totally biased cut-and-paste panel discussion as a desperate attempt to silence and tarnish some one of high standing who may disagree with you ideologically... this is the pathetic and highly deplorable tactics some of the media houses are resorting to in our country.

A very serious ethical issue here is that the defendant does not have any chance to defend herself/himself against any of the (probably false) allegations leveled against her/him. A clear attempt to malign the image of a responsible citizen by influential vested interests.

This is exactly what Ms. Sagarika Ghose and the CNN-IBN crew did to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a leading light in the fight against corruption!

What was a one-on-one interview at around 3 PM was aired on the same day at 10 PM as a live panel discussion!!

Ms. Ghose acted as if Sri Sri was on the line and was speaking to her. She shamelessly even posed questions to him and even invited his response to the live panel discussions!! A close look at the video shows that he was actually not wording any of the statements correctly. Hence the video was made at another time and the interview taken at another!!

To think that the public or the rival networks are foolish and will not hit out at this cut and paste job shows the arrogance and naivette of the broadcasters. To think that Sri Sri's followers will not catch on to it is also foolish.

Lets hope that Ms. Ghose and the CNN-IBN crew pay the price of this misdemeanor. CNN-IBN has opened itself to law suits that may run into multi-million dollar damages for such a blatant abuse of power just in case Sri Sri's office decides so!!

Will the channel axe her or will it let her hang around like Ms. Barkha Dutt just to resurrect her another day? A small prize for their loyalty and political clout!

05 November, 2011

The Buffoon of the Queen

Francois Gautier

In ancient times in France, many kings and queens had their buffoons - usually dwarves - who would make them laugh by their antics, extravagance and eccentricities. These buffoons would also act as “unofficial” spokespersons of their masters, often mimicking what they thought would please them.

India has a Queen of course, and she has her own a buffoon, in the person of Digvijay Singh. Buffoons have no dignity – otherwise they cannot function. Mr Singh, once a respected CM of Madhya Pradesh, shredded his self respect, to please his Queen and climb back the hierarchy of the Congress, at the cost of common sense and human decency.

Actually, few people know that Digvijay Singh was already known for controversies. In 2002, income tax raids on a liquor manufacturer in Bhopal, yielded a diary maintained by the distillery's owners, which listed, among others, the name of the ex Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister as one of the recipients of Rs 100 million. In 2004, the Special Police Establishment of the Madhya Pradesh Lok Ayukta registered an FIR against Mr. Singh, his close friend Subhash Gupta, the Indore Collector, M. Suleiman, the Competent Authority (Urban Land Ceiling), R.K. Gupta and the Principal Secretary, Revenue, Satyanand Mishra, under Sections 13(1) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, along with criminal conspiracy. In 2009, The Madhya Pradesh Bureau of Investigation for Economic Offences also registered a First Information Report (FIR) against 12 persons including the former State Chief Minister for allegedly deriving undue benefits from the promotion of Treasure Island, a swanky Mall near Indore.

Mr Singh’s affinities are also most peculiar: he once addressed Osama bin Laden as 'Osamaji', praises Zakir Naik, one of the most rabid Muslim preachers in India, whose entry has been banned in the UK and Canada, but who seems to have a free hand here to insult Hindu spiritual leaders and Hindu scriptures. Naik is infamous for a video clip that circulated on the Internet in which he says, “If he (Osama bin Laden) is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him. If he is terrorizing the terrorists, if he is terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist.”

Indeed, Digvijay Singh bats for terrorists. He is notorious for saying that the Batla House shootout, which took place in a Muslim-dominated area of south Delhi in 2008, “might have been staged”. He also visited the family of Batla House encounter accused Mohammad Saif who had been arrested. Even the Congress tried to disassociate itself from Singh's statements made in Azamgarh on the Batla encounter, in which Inspector Mohan Sharma was killed and awarded the Ashok Chakra posthumously.

Digvijay has as well a soft corner for the corrupt: Undertrials are unnecessarily being denied bail," he twitted when a court dismissed bail pleas of Kanimozhi and other 2G accused, despite the CBI not objecting to the bail pleas of the DMK MP and four others.

But the worst thing he has done to himself and his own karma, is to attack Hindu Gurus and Hindu social leaders, thinking it will please his Christian Queen. He started with Swami Ramdev, whom he accused “of using his mass-yoga sessions to make crores”, then continued with Anna Hazare, this beacon of a man, claiming “that Baba Ramdev is more honest than Anna Hazare over the controversy of their RSS and BJP link”. Now he is after Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, one of the most soft spoken spiritual leaders, respected by millions of disciples, not only in India, but all over the world. Mr Digvijay’s Singh’s trick is to link everybody he wants to denigrate with the RSS, as his latest tweet demonstrates: “Baba Ramdev. Crashed. Plan B - Anna. ? Plan C - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar soon to start his campaign”. He could associate them with a fundamentalist Muslim outfit, such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has killed thousands of innocent people in the name of One God. But no, he prefers to relate them to a harmless outfit of old faddy-daddies in khaki shorts.

The irony is that Sri Sri has been fighting corruption for many many years, long before it became politically correct. Most of his swamis, close disciples and his yuvacharyas are voluntary workers who toil tirelessly in many of India’s poor villages. Guruji, as he is fondly called, has been making people take pledges against corruption for years and he has now embarked upon an anti-corruption yatra in UP from November 7. He would be holding satsangs in various parts of the state in which he would urge people to take an anti-corruption pledge.

Digvijay Singh has probably no strong opinions. In fact he often contradicts himself: “I hold Sri Ravi Shankarji in high esteem and have done a course in the Art of Living as CM MP in 2001”, he twitted. But the need to please his Queen is stronger and like all true buffoons, he will go to any length, even at the cost of his own credibility.

Yet, buffoons tend to fade into anonymity sooner than later. Not many of us remember what happened to another buffoon, Raj Narain, who in the eighties bullied quite a few with his antics (he once campaigned in a monkey’s cage). In ancient France, it was not always fun to be a buffoon, for when the King or Queen were displeased, or fed up with the buffoon, or if it had outlived its usefulness, they would kick the buffoon, and banish him.


04 November, 2011

Now It Can Be Told by A.N. Bali (Read Online)

'Now It Can Be Told' is a narrative of some of the events which followed the partition of India. In mainly deals with the riots which took place in West Punjab, in which Muslims attacked Sikhs and Hindus.

Now It Can Be Told (1949), A.N. Bali, The Akashvani Prakashan Ltd., Gopalnagar, Jullundur City, East Punjab

Download Complete Book (PDF)