Monthly Archives: APRIL 2017


Cash, Gifts For Votes: EC scrapped Chennai's RK Nagar By-Poll
10.04.17 - team pt
Cash, Gifts For Votes: EC scrapped Chennai's RK Nagar By-Poll



ON SUNDAY, just two days ahead of the scheduled by-election in Chennai’s RK Nagar constituency, the Election Commission announced cancellation of the polls and asserted that it will conduct the fresh elections in ‘due course of time’.

The high-stakes by-election was cancelled by the Election Commission  over allegations of voters being bribed with cash and gifts. A detailed "payment plan" of 89 crores was revealed in raids on Friday on state Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, accused of working for the VK Sasikala faction of the ruling AIADMK.

The RK Nagar constituency fell vacant after the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016. Ever since, it has become a battleground for the warring factions that emerged within the party with her close aide VK Sasikala and O Panneerselvam.


While Sasikala prepared to contest the polls from this constituency, her chances were washed off by her conviction in the disproportionate assets case in February this year. She is serving a four-year jail sentence for corruption and appointed her nephew TTV Dinakaran as deputy general secretary before going to prison in February.

According to Indian Express report, the decision was taken by the Election Commission after considering the reports submitted by state Chief Election Officer and central observers in a meeting.
 
The reports said that a raid by Income Tax sleuths on 35 different properties associated with Health Minister C Vijayabaskar revealed that the Sasikala fraction, which is fighting the elections under the name of AIADMK (Amma), had paid close to Rs 90 crore to the voters as a bribe in exchange of votes.

120 video evidences of party workers visiting the voters and paying them bribe were found. Out of these, 100 incidences were reported from Sasikala faction and 20 from Panneerselvam faction, as per an official source. 

This is the second time that the EC has annulled elections in Tamil Nadu over reports of bribery. Earlier, in May last year, elections in two constituencies – Thanjavur and Aravakurichi – were scrapped after use of money to buy voters by both AIADMK and DMK was reported.





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The Videographic Voyeurism of Cow Vigilantism in India
09.04.17 - observer with opinion
The Videographic Voyeurism of Cow Vigilantism in India



There is a chilling truth that some porn video purveyors tell in Western UP which may be the same elsewhere in India too. Their customers are no longer satisfied with the usual stuff Indian or imported. They want the real MvCoy- real gang rapes videotaped in real time for real thrills. They feel this has a direct correlation to rise in such incidents of which blackmail of the victims is a lucrative byproduct from which the criminals make money.
 
The internet has countless instances of perverts uploading videos of themselves committing heinous crimes in a bid to gain attention and to show off their criminal prowess. 
 
A spooky exhibitionism even prompts some people to show their own suicides in live streaming on the internet. (http://bit.ly/2oVIMpo)
 
But what makes Cow Vigilantes take such graphic videos of their lynchings as one has seen in the recent case in Alwar or had witnessed earlier in Una also?
 
Is it merely a desire to show off their prowess or the humiliation and helplessness of their victim to others? Or to get some cheap thrills by watching it later
 
Evidence gathered by reputed NGOs from Gujarat where this perverted process first started suggests otherwise.
 
The truth is much more mundane. These videos are meant to be sent to their mentors in Hindu Extremist Organizations, operating often as single agents in specific areas of jurisdiction, to collect financial rewards.
 
The Videotape is evidence of task done, mission accomplished and a necessary formality for collecting the reward.
 
If a TV channel is prepared to pay extra for the footage, that's a bonus.
 
This is part time employment for restive goonish unemployed youth for whom petty crime in any case is a cottage industry.
 
 
Now , as for Civil society and the criminal investigation agency, why as the PM once famously suggested are dossiers of these Gau Rakshaks not being prepared?
 
 
Why are the paymasters not being traced named shamed and also named in FIRs systematically as conspirators?
 
 
Why are these televised videos not used as evidence to arrest and prosecute the Vigilantes?
 
 
Why are the sources of funding for these rewards not traced to their ultimate source? Why does ED then not go after that source
 
We need to do simple things in a matter of fact manner as per law, painstakingly instead of just shouting and beating our breasts.
 
Hai koyi Mai ka Lal iss desh mein jo aisey cases ko yoon document karvakar thaney se SC tak ladaayi ladey?
 
Search for the money trail 
Cut off the source of funds
Demolish the pay off machinery
The disease will vanish of its own accord




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Parties must be held accountable for not fulfilling poll promises: Chief Justice Khehar
08.04.17 - team pt
Parties must be held accountable for not fulfilling poll promises: Chief Justice Khehar



 Electoral promises routinely remain unfulfilled and manifestos turn out to be mere pieces of paper, for which political parties must be held accountable, Chief Justice of India J S Khehar said on Saturday.

"Now a days manifestos have become a mere piece of paper, for this political parties have to be made accountable," the CJI said at a seminar titled 'Economic Reforms with Reference to Electoral issues'.
 
The chief justice pointed out "brazen” excuses political parties use, such as a lack of consensus among party members, to justify not fulfilling their poll promises. Khehar emphasised that outfits must be held accountable for turning manifestos into "pieces of paper” even if people have "short-term memory” with regard to what they had been promised.
 
However, the Election Commission has also been taking action against parties for violating the model code of conduct, as per apex court’s directive, he added.
 
Speaking about the party manifestos released ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the CJI said none of them highlighted any connection between electoral reforms and the Constitutional goal of "ensuring economic-social justice to the marginalised sections”.

 The chief justice made the statements in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee and Justice Dipak Misra.

Talking about constitutional values, Khehar said political parties should focus on the way to operate the economic system for the good governance of the mass through constitutional means. Meanwhile, President Pranab Mukherjee in his speech talked about the accountability of the elected representatives by saying that all the political parties will have to develop a voluntary code of conduct for their working.
 
Justice Dipak Misra, the next senior-most judge, also stressed upon the need for electoral reforms saying that "purchasing power has no room in elections" and a candidate must bear in mind that "contesting elections is not an investment".

He said that holding of elections has to be "bereft of or sans criminalisation" and people should vote for candidates based on their high moral and ethical values and "not on their competitive demerits".




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‘Jugaad’ At Its Best: Kerala Bar Builds A Maze To Bypass SC Liquor Ban
08.04.17 - team pt
‘Jugaad’ At Its Best: Kerala Bar Builds A Maze To Bypass SC Liquor Ban



To counter incidents of drunk driving and reduce road accidents, the Supreme Court ordered a complete ban on all liquor shops located within a 500-metre range of national and state highways across the nation from April 1st. While the ban was hailed and applauded by many, including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar (who has taken unprecedented steps to make Bihar a dry state himself), most people, including bar owners and politicians like Goa CM Manohar Parrikar, demanded some relaxation. Many states were also worried as a drop in liquor sales would directly hit their revenue

But one crafty resto bar owner in Kerala did not shut down his shop like thousands of others before him. He resorted to India’s favourite way of getting around problems—jugaad. According to The News Minute, he spent 2 lakh rupees and constructed a 250-300 metre path leading to his Aishwarya Restobar so that he can claim his bar is located more than 500 m from NH 17.
 
So, technically, the bar is not longer 'situated within 500 metres from the highway.
 
However, it is yet to know whether this trick will actually give the bar a free pass from the new liquor ban near highways.
 
In the same manner, Cyber Hub, which has many pubs and restaurant-bars and is situated in Gurugram, Haryana, dealt with this problem by changing its entrance to increase its distance from NH 8 by one kilometer.

The governments of various states such as Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Punjab are also not lagging behind and trying to exploit the loopholes of the order by doing the denotification of major state highways and asking help from the central government in denotifying the national highways which are passing through them.

Now it will be interesting to see how the SC will react but one thing that we must admit is that we Indians are too good when it comes to manipulating law.
 




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AAM ADMI KE KHAS KAAM; ‘Gross abuse of power' by AAP govt says Shunglu panel
06.04.17 - team pt
AAM ADMI KE KHAS KAAM; ‘Gross abuse of power' by AAP govt says Shunglu panel



In what may land Aam Admi Party (AAP) in trouble, Shunglu Committee, formed by former Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, has highlighted the "gross abuse of power” by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in the appointment process in Delhi.
 
The three-member committee, in over 100-page report, questioned the appointment of Health Minister Satyendra Jain's daughter Soumya Jain as an adviser to Mission Director, Delhi State Health Mission. 
 
Soumya is an architect by profession and her expertise in Mohalla clinics was touted. The file contained no evidence of who approved her appointment. The AAP government paid her a salary of Rs 1.15 lakh from the period April 18 to July 14, 2016, when Soumya resigned from the post. 
 
According to ANI report, the appointment of Nikunj Agarwal, a relative of Kejriwal, as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the health minister has also been questioned by the committee. 
 
The committee has raised objection on the appointment of several personal staff of ministers including Roshan Shankar as advisor to the minister of tourism, appointment of Abhinav Rai to the minister of transport, appointment of Rahul Bhasin in CM office, appointment of Gopal Mohan, a close associate of Arvind Kejriwal. 
 
Shunglu Committee has also raised questions on the appointment made under co-terminus basis, appointments of consultants and contractual appointments without following procedures. 
 
The appointment of Parija P as a full-term member of administration in Delhi's municipal taxation tribunal was also pointed out by the committee. 
 
It must be noted that Parija had no administrative experience and was unqualified for the post which required at least a secretary-level officer of Delhi to fill it.
 
Residential houses given under office accommodation: Panel

The Shunglu Committee has also alleged that the party allotted residential house to its minister under guise of office accommodation.

The committee raised questions on the allotment of 206, Rouse Avenue, a minister's bungalow used as party office by the AAP.

The report read: "Allotment of 206, Rouse Avenue, known as Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg (Ministers residences), to AAP. On 08.10.2015, Chief Secretary circulated a decision of the Cabinet approving allotment of land to political parties for construction of offices. The Cabinet "feels that there is an elected Government in National Capital Territory of Delhi and it has the prerogative to frame its own guidelines to allot land, to the political parties having their representation in Delhi Legislative Assembly.....". Since land is a reserved subject this decision should be deemed null and void. It is clear that this decision to allot land to political parties was really to validate allotment of government accommodation to AAP.”

Allotment of Type-V quarter to an MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi for accommodation purpose also got a mention in the report.

"In case of Sh Tripathi, it was decided to allot a Type-V furnished accommodation to him. This type of accommodation provides over 2,000 sq.ft. and is quite disproportionate to the need for office space for an MLA. Thus, it seems the idea was to allot a residential furnished house to Sh Tripathi under the guise of providing him office accommodation,” the committee said.
 
The Committee has also said that the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief, Swati Maliwal, was provided accommodation despite not being entitled for one and no approval of the Lt. Governor was taken for the same.

"The Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Swati Maliwal was provided accommodation though in the ordinary course she was not entitled to it as per provisions of the Delhi Commission Women (Honorarium, Allowances and Conditions of service of Chairperson and Members and other Provisions) Rules, 2000. Rule 8, a residuary provision, can be invoked in a case as an exception to the general rule but, only the Lt. Governor can approve such an exception. However, in this case Lt. Governor's approval was not taken. It rendered the accommodation given by the Minister (PWD) as an irregular allotment,” the report read.




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