Monday, July 13, 2015

India : Criminals in Politics 2

Article Courtesy

The arrest of an Indian Member of Parliament on a human-trafficking attempt became a dramatic example of an issue first raised by SW India: nearly 25 per cent of the members of the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) have criminal records. SW India’s Report was quoted in International Herald Tribune Asia-Pacific, The Indian Express, Bloomberg New York, Central Chronicle, Daily News & Analysis DNA, IOL.

25% of Parliament Members of Lok Sabha are tainted

New Delhi: On April 18, BJP MP from Gujarat, Babubhai Katara, was held for trying to take a woman on his wife’s passport on a flight to Toronto. A showcause notice was issued to the MP.

On March 18, 2007, former Chhattisgarh chief minister, Ajit Jogi, was arrested by the CBI in connection with the murder of NCP treasurer Ram Avtar Jaggi. Jaggi was shot dead in June 2003.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader, Shibu Soren, was given life imprisonment for murdering his aide.

More recently, BJP MP, Navjot Singh Sidhu was awarded a suspended sentence of three years for causing the death of a man in a road rage.

The 'honorable' representatives of a billion Indians hold the dubious distinction of making criminal history - 136 MPs with criminal backgrounds iin the 14th Lok Sabha.

According to the Citizen's Report on Governance and Development - 2006, prepared by the National Social Watch Coalition, at last count nearly 25 per cent of Lok Sabha MPs had criminal cases against them.

Tainted politicians like Arun Gawli, Pappu Yadav and Sadhu Yadav, who have history of winning ballots with bullets, now rule the people and they completely ignore the report of the House Committee on Ethics which says that the members are expected to behave in a decorous and dignified manner.

Reflecting on what it termed as Parliament's "derelictions" and "progressive decline in Parliamentary behaviour and functioning," the report said: "The 14th Lok Sabha lost 26 per cent of its time in interruptions arising out of various political controversies. During the same period, the Rajya Sabha lost a total of 29 per cent of its time on corresponding issues."

Young lawmakers break more laws

Young lawmakers are more prone to breaking laws. The report points out that 30.4 per cent of MPs between 36 and 45 years, who are a part of the 14th Lok Sabha are facing criminal cases in different parts of the country.

Out of these, 18.3 per cent are facing grave charges.

The report also claims that over 50 per cent of serious criminal cases registered against MPs were mostly from UP, Bihar, Jharkhand and MP.

The charges are varied ranging from murder to rape besides extortion and even attempts to commit suicide.

HALL OF SHAME Moni Kumar Subba, a Congress MP, is accused of being a Nepali citizen, but the suspicion over his nationality has not stopped him from becoming a Congress Member of Parliament from Tezpur, Assam.

Over the years, there have been reports that Subba was, in fact, a murder convict in Nepal, and he was imprisoned from 1971 to 1973 before he escaped to India. Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Choudhry has a case against her for obstructing a public servant. Railway Minister Lalu Prasad has the Fodder Scam case still pending against him. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has been named in the Stamp scam by main accused Abdul Karim Telgi. 10 MPs were suspended by Parliament for their role in the Cash-for-Query scam last year. BJP MP from Gujarat, Babubhai Katara, was held for trying to take a woman on his wife’s passport on a flight to Toronto. A showcause notice was issued to the MP. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader, Shibu Soren, was given life imprisonment for murdering his aide. On March 18, 2007, former Chhattisgarh chief minister, Ajit Jogi, was arrested by the CBI in connection with the murder of NCP treasurer Ram Avtar Jaggi. Jaggi was shot dead in June 2003. More recently, BJP MP, Navjot Singh Sidhu was awarded a suspended sentence of three years for causing the death of a man in a road rage. A disproportionate assets case is pending against BSP supremo Mayawati.

See the Citizen's Report on Governance and Development - 2006

India : Criminal In Politics

Criminals in politics
Original Report

The 2009 Lok Sabha:

1.1 2009 LS race saw tainted faces in 450 of 545 seats
1.2 Party-wise sitting MPs & MLAs with criminal cases (2013)
1.3 Madhya Pradesh: survey of 10 parliamentary constituencies
1.4 2014: 34% MPs have criminal background; an increase of 4 percentage points
1.5 Likelihood of elected politician to be a criminal vis-a-vis the common man
1.5.1 1 in 54 MPs faces kidnapping charge
2 Criminals in politics are i) richer and ii) more likely to get re-elected
2.1 CRIME PAYS FOR SOME? (statistics)
2.2 RS seat goes for 100cr: Cong MP
2.3 ‘74% tainted candidates got a second chance’
3 Pendency (in years) of criminal cases against MPs
3.1 Types of criminal cases against MPs
3.2 Serious criminal cases pending for the maximum duration:
4 Trials against MPs in serious cases continue for 7 years on an average
5 Trials against tainted MPs and MLAs to be completed within a year: SC
5.1 Time limit on netas’ trials at odds with earlier SC ruling?
6 2012-14: Ministers allegedly involved in criminal cases
7 2015: SC-Unseating if criminal cases cancelled
8 2015:no serious charges against MLAs
9 Parliament, not Judiciary can debar
10 See also


TNN & AGENCIES 2013/07/12

The Times of India

450 ‘tainted’ [presumably, Lok Sabha] constituencies have at least 1 candidate facing criminal charges

104 seats [presumably, Lok Sabha]have 2 tainted candidates

& 56 constituencies [presumably, Lok Sabha] have more than 5 contesting tainted candidates

Voters tend to choose clean candidates. In seats where only 1 candidate had a criminal record, voters chose 83% of the clean candidates But percentage of clean candidates went down to 35% in seats with more than 5 tainted candidates

Between 2004 and 2009, number of MPs with criminal charges has risen from 128 to 162

The silver lining was number of MPs charged with rape, murder, kidnapping & extortion dipped from 296 in 2004 to 274 in 2009

2009 LS race saw tainted faces in 450 of 545 seats

Himanshi Dhawan | TNN

The Times of India 2013/07/12

New Delhi: At least one candidate with pending criminal charges was in the running in 450 of the 545 Lok Sabha constituencies during the 2009 general election. This indicates that the Supreme Court order that disqualifies candidates who’ve been convicted could have far-reaching repercussions on the electoral process.

Data analysed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) says that 150 constituencies had a single candidate with pending criminal charges while as many as 56 constituencies had five or more candidates who were “tainted”. The study is based on affidavits submitted by candidates ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

Despite the dominance of muscle-power in our legislatures, voters have shown discretion in choosing wisely. The study points out that given a choice in the constituencies that had only one candidate with pending criminal charges, voters rejected tainted candidates, and chose 83% of the clean candidates.

The percentage of clean winners, however, drops to around 35% in constituencies with more than 5 tainted candidates.

Data provided by these politicos in their election affidavits show that 30% have criminal cases pending against them and 14% are fighting cases that fall under serious criminal offences, most with potential sentences of over five years. We aren’t talking here of any minor crimes, these MPs are accused of murder, rape, forgery, inciting hate and dubious deals: fraud and cheating.

State assemblies are no better. About 1,258 (31%) out of the 4,032 sitting MLAs from all state assemblies have declared criminal cases and 15% have declared serious criminal charges.

Among political parties, BJP leads the charge with 118 (12%) of its elected representatives having declared that they are booked under serious criminal charges. Keeping the saffron brigade company in the accusedof-serious-crime bracket is the Congres with 107 (8%) of its MPs and MLAs fighting murder, forgery, kidnap, rape charges among others.

Legislators from parties such as Shiv Sena and Raj Thackeray’s MNS, Shibu Soren’s Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, and the lesser-known Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) started by ex-CM Babulal Marandi have most of their elected representatives facing criminal cases. Eight of JVM (P)’s 11 legislators are accused of criminal activities, while 77% to 80% of elected Shiv Sainiks have criminal cases against them. JMM tops, or bottoms out, this list with 80% of its elected members waiting for courts to take a call.

Looking at the data state-wise, Karnataka’s 2013 polls saw the state’s tally of tainted MPs plus MLAs at 74, while over half of Bihar assembly (58%) qualifies to be in the tainted bracket. Gujarat’s 2012 polls saw its tainted MP-MLA count reach 57, that is 31% of the total from the state. On this count, 47% of legislators from Uttar Pradesh (state polls held in 2012) have declared criminal cases, Uttarakhand (which also went to polls in 2012) has 29% elected politicos with pending criminal cases.

The only good news from states that held elections in 2012 is Mizoram, where none of the 60 elected MPs and MLAs have any criminal cases against them.

Criminals in politics2.jpg
Party-wise sitting MPs & MLAs with criminal cases (2013)

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha | 82%

RJD | 64%

Samajwadi Party | 48%

BJP | 31% (Out of 1,017 BJP MPs & MLAs, 313 have criminal cases)

Congres | 21% (Out of 1,433 Cong MPs & MLAs, 305 have criminal cases)

Criminals in politics3.jpg
Madhya Pradesh: survey of 10 parliamentary constituencies

40% of AAP candidates in Madhya Pradesh have criminal records, 30% are billionaires PTI [1] | Apr 9, 2014

BHOPAL: Strange as it may seem, 30 per cent of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidates for the second phase of Lok Sabha polls in Madhya Pradesh are billionaires, while 40 per cent have criminal records against them.

This was revealed in an analysis of candidates for the second phase by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) and MP Election Watch (MPEW).

The ten constituencies which are set to go to polls in Madhya Pradesh during the second phase of polls on April 17 are Morena, Bhind, Gwalior, Guna, Sagar, Tikamgarh, Damoh, Khajuraho, Bhopal and Rajgarh.

Four out of ten of Cogress and BSP nominees have criminal records against them, while only three out of 10 BJP candidates have criminal cases filed against them.

All the 10 Congres candidates are billionaires, while eight out of 10 BJP nominees, four out of 10 BSP nominees and three out of six Samajwadi Party nominees are billionaires.

Giriraj Yadav, an independent candiate from the Guna constituency has a murder case against him, while Brindawan Singh Sikarwar, the BSP candidate from Morena has an attempt to murder case pending against him

2014: 34% MPs have criminal background; an increase of 4 percentage points

Every third newly-elected MP has criminal background

IANS | May 18, 2014

In 2009, 30% of the Lok Sabha members had criminal cases. This has now gone up by 4%. NEW DELHI: Every third of the newly-elected member of Lok Sabha has a criminal background, an analysis of the disclosures they have made in their affidavits has shown.

An analysis of 541 of the 543 winning candidates by National Election Watch (NEW) and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) shows that 186 or 34% newly elected MPs have in their election affidavits disclosed criminal cases against themselves.

In 2009, 30% of the Lok Sabha members had criminal cases. This has now gone up by 4%.

According to the analysis, a candidate with criminal cases had 13% chance of winning in the 2014 Lok Sabha election whereas it was 5% for an aspirant with a clean record.

Of the 186 new members, 112 (21%) have declared serious criminal cases, including those related to murder, attempt to murder, causing communal disharmony, kidnapping, crimes against women, etc.

Party wise, the largest numbers 98 or 35% of the 281 winners from the BJP have in their affidavits declared criminal cases against themselves.

Eight (18%) of the 44 winners from the Congres, six (16%) of the 37 winners from the AIADMK, 15 (83%) of the 18 winners from the Shiv Sena, and seven (21%) of the 34 winners fielded by Trinamool Congres also have disclosed criminal cases against themselves.

Likelihood of elected politician to be a criminal vis-a-vis the common man

1 in 30 MPs faces murder charge, for rest of India it’s only 1 in 1,061

Ratio Of Netas Accused Of Crime Far Higher Than That Of Aam Admi

Atul Thakur TIG

The Times of India 2013/09/29

Criminals in politics5.jpg
It’s often argued that criminalization of politics merely reflects the increasing criminalization of society. However, an analysis of data on Lok Sabha members facing criminal charges and official figures on crime in India show that the proportion of people facing such charges is way higher among members of Parliament in Lok Sabha than in the population as a whole. In fact, for a range of serious charges, the rate among LS members is anywhere between 20 and 200 times higher. TOI analysed data compiled by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) from affidavits filed by MPs at the time of elections and figures from the National Crime Records Bureau to come up with this sobering finding. (We added together cases pending police investigation and cases pending trial by courts to arrive at a cumulative number.)

Sample this: One in every 30 MPs elected in the 2009 general elections was facing charges of murder or related charges. On the other hand, in the populace at large, there was at worst one person per 1,061 of the same age group (aged 25 and above) facing investigations or trials for murder in 2009.

1 in 54 MPs faces kidnapping charge
Similarly, one in every 23 MPs was facing the charge of attempt to commit murder. For the population at large, the corresponding number was one among every 4,220.

MPs also convincingly outdid average Indians in kidnapping/abduction and dacoity/robbery cases. In 2009, one in every 54 MPs was facing investigation or trial for kidnapping/abduction or dacoity/robbery. The corresponding figures for the general population was one kidnapping/abduction case per 5,510 people and one dacoity/robbery case per 3,832.

When it comes to riots too, our MPs clearly stand out from the crowd. Compared to one case for every 1,436 Indians, the figure for the Lok Sabha was one in every 54. The honourable exception to this otherwise depressing pattern is rape, where the ADR data indicates that there was no pending rape case against any of the MPs elected in 2009.

For the purposes of our comparative analysis, we laid down certain parameters to get around the problem of the ADR and NCRD data not being strictly comparable. These actually worked in favour of the MPs — and without which the numbers would have been stacked even more heavily against them.

Since it would be unfair to compare crime rate for MPs, who have to be 25 years or more of age, with the entire population including children, we took only the 25-plus population of India in 2009 for comparison. That roughly halved the population figure. Unfortunately, NCRB data does not give us figures for how many of those cases are pending against those aged below 25, so we took into account all crimes, including those that would have been committed by people younger than 25. This seriously overestimates the general crime rate, since it is an established fact that nearly half of all crimes are committed by people aged between 18 and 30. Despite that, crime rate among our netas is much higher than among the general population.

Another point of difference between ADR and NCRB: The ADR data on murder-related charges against MPs includes cases under section 300, 302, 303, 304, 304A, 304B, 305, 306, 308 of IPC. The corresponding NCRB data compiled by TOI includes section 302, 304, 304A, 304B and 308. There are similar differences for other crimes. Yet, the comparison does indicate the degree of difference in criminalization in Parliament and in society at large.

Of course, it is possible that some or even a significant chunk of the charges MPs face are politically motivated. But even if 10% of them are genuine, that would still mean our lawmakers have a much higher proportion of criminals in their midst than those who elected them.

Criminals in politics are i) richer and ii) more likely to get re-elected

Bigger the criminal charge, fatter the politician’s wallet

Tainted Netas Win More Elections

Himanshi Dhawan TNN

The Times of India 2013/07/30

New Delhi: Money and muscle power not only help to win elections but also help in making politics a rather profitable affair. An analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) for the last decade shows that 62,847 candidates had average assets of Rs 1.37 crore. But candidates who won elections had average assets of Rs 3.83 crore.

What’s more interesting is that the wealth of legislators who faced criminal cases rose even more — to Rs 4.30 crore — and MPs and MLAs facing serious pending charges like murder, kidnapping and rape were on top of the heap with average assets of Rs 4.38 crore.

Not only do candidates who combine the cocktail of politics, criminality and crores have a higher chance of re-contesting, they also have a better record of winning elections than candidates with a clean record, says the study. The study by ADR — a thinktank working on poll reforms — is based on affidavits filed by candidates before the Election Commission .

Of the 62,847 parliamentary and assembly candidates since 2004, 11,063 or 18% have criminal cases against them. Of these, 8% or 5,253 have declared ‘serious’ criminal cases.

CRIME PAYS FOR SOME? (statistics)
Rs.1.37cr: Average assets of 62,847 candidates who have contested MP and MLA elections since 2004

Rs.3.83cr: Average assets of victorious candidates

Rs.4.30 cr: Average wealth of MPs and MLAs who face criminal charges

4.38 cr: Average wealth of legislators facing serious charges like murder, kidnapping & rape

18%: Number of candidates facing criminal cases

8%: Number of candidates facing serious criminal cases

RS seat goes for 100cr: Cong MP
Congres MP from Haryana Birender Singh said big money was buying seats in Rajya Sabha, training focus on the malaise gripping politics. Singh is reported to have said he knew a person who had kept Rs 100 crore to become an RS MP but managed to achieve his objective with Rs 80 crore. “Not one, but I can tell you 20 (such) people,” he said. The opposition accused the Congres of “cutting deals”.

‘74% tainted candidates got a second chance’
Speaking on the study, ADR’s professor Trilochan Shastry said, “Criminalization is a fact which can’t be denied. Money plays a big role in elections and criminalization makes it worse.”

ADR also exposed the doublespeak of political parties. The analysis of criminal records of 4,181 repeat candidates shows that 1,072 of them had a criminal case the first time they contested an election and 788 had cases the second time also. This indicates that political parties gave tickets to 74% of candidates with criminal records the second time despite being aware of their dubious backgrounds.

Of the 4,181 candidates who contested more than once, 3,173 showed an increase in wealth. While the average assets of re-contesting candidates went up to Rs 2.34 crore, the average assets of the 4,181 candidates with criminal records grew from Rs 1.74 crore to Rs 4.08 crore.

The assets of all recontesting candidates have grown — to Rs 2.85 crore on average. This translates to 134% growth in declared wealth in less than five years. About 1,615 of the 4,181 candidates showed an increase of over 200%, 684 an increase of over 500%, while assets of 317 candidates increased by over 1000%.

In a break-up of political parties, 75% of Shiv Sena MPs and MLAs since 2004 have declared criminal cases against them, followed by the RJD with 46% such candidates and the JD(U) with 44%. The BJP and the Congres were at 31% and 22% respectively.

Pendency (in years) of criminal cases against MPs

50 MPs have criminal cases pending against them for more than 10 years

Ashish Tripathi,TNN | Mar 11, 2014

The Times of India

LUCKNOW: Two MPs from UP figure among the top eight parliamentarians against whom criminal cases are pending for more than 20 years in the law courts, reveals an analysis done by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-government body working for transparency and probity in elections.

The two MPs are BJP's Ramakant Yadav from Azamgarh, and SP's Ramkishun from Chandauli. Yadav is an accused in a murder case which is pending in the court for the past 25 years. Ramkishun is accused in a robbery case pending for the past 24 years.

The ADR in association with the National Election Watch (NEW) did the analysis following the directions of the Supreme Court. The SC on Monday had directed that the criminal cases against MPs and MLAs be completed within a year from the date of framing of charges by the trial court.

Types of criminal cases against MPs

The ADR and NEW analyzed the affidavits of the Lok Sabha MPs elected in 2009. It found that 50 Lok Sabha MPs from 2009 have a total of 136 criminal cases pending against them for ten years or more. Similarly, 30 Lok Sabha MPs have a total of 58 serious criminal cases pending against them for ten years or more.

The study also revealed that there are five Lok Sabha MPs who have declared a total of 14 cases of murder which have been pending for ten years or more. Kameshwar Baitha of JMM has declared 10 cases of murder against himself which have been pending for an average of 12 years. Guddu Premchand of Cogress from Ujjain Constituency, Madhya Pradesh, has declared a case of murder which has been pending 29 years.

Further, there are nine Lok Sabha MPs who have a total of 14 cases of attempt to murder against them which have been pending for more than 10 years. Kameshwar Baitha of JMM has six cases of attempt to murder against him which have been pending for an average of 11 years. Venugopala Reddy Modugula of TDP from Narasaraopet vonstituency has a case of attempt to murder which has been pending for 23 years.

There are 20 Lok Sabha MPs who have declared a total of 30 cases of kidnapping and wrongful confinement which have been pending for 10 years or more. Kameshwar Baitha of JMM has declared seven cases of kidnapping and wrongful confinement which have been pending for an average of 14 years. Kalmadi Suresh of Cogress from Pune Constituency has declared a case of wrongful confinement for three or more days which has been pending for 28 years.

There are four Lok Sabha MPs who have declared a total of four cases of robbery and dacoity which have been pending for more than 10 years.

The ADR has also issued an appeal for the people: "While the judiciary has taken very important steps including July 10 2013 judgment which debarred elected representatives from continuing in office after conviction to decriminalize politics, political parties have continued to field candidates with serious criminal cases because of their 'winnability' factor. In this scenario, the role of citizens becomes pre-eminent. The upcoming Lok Sabha elections gives us the opportunity to elect clean and more accountable MPs."

Serious criminal cases pending for the maximum duration:

29 years Murder: Guddu Premchand of Cogress from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh 28 years

Rioting and Theft: Adhikari Sisir Kumar of AITC from Kanthi, West Bengal

25 years Murder: Ramakant Yadav of BJP from Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh

24 years Attempt to Commit Robbery: Ramkishun of SP from Chandauli, Uttar Pradesh. Concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war: Gandhi Dilipkumar Mansukhlal of BJP from Ahmednagar, Maharashtra.

23 years Attempt to Murder: Venugopala Reddy Modugula of TDP from Narasaraopet, Andhra Pradesh.

20 years Murder: Kameshwar Baitha of JMM from Palamau Constituency, Jharkhand.

Attempt to Murder: Abdul Mannan Hossain of Cogress from Murshidabad, West Bengal

Trials against MPs in serious cases continue for 7 years on an average

Himanshi Dhawan | TNN

The Times of India

New Delhi: Cases of murder or kidnapping against parliamentarians remain pending in trial courts for an average of 7 years and if you’re Ujjain MP Guddu Premchand, it could even be 29 years.

In the current Lok Sabha, 30 parliamentarians charged with serious offences like murder are yet to stand trial for the last 10 years, an analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms has found. These are among the 76 MPs facing serious criminal charges.

No wonder then that the one-year deadline set by the Supreme Court to try legislators with serious criminal charges has left politicians a worried lot. Congres parliamentarian Premchand has a case of murder pending against him for the longest period of time, 29 years, according to ADR.

Premchand in a statement denied the charge, saying he had no pending cases against him and the report was an effort to malign his political image. ADR’s data is based on 2009 election affidavits filed by candidates with the Election Commission and TOI has not verified it independently.

Among other MPs who have long pending cases against them include Trinamool MP from Kanthi in West Bengal Sisir Kumar Adhikari who has cases of riot and theft pending since 28 years while BJP’s Ramakant Yadav from Azamgarh in UP has a case of murder pending against him for the last 25 years.

SP’s Ramkishun was accused of attempted robbery 24 years ago while BJP MP Dilipkumar Mansukhlal Gandhi from Maharashtra has a case of concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage a war for a similar period. This list includes Congres MP from Pune Suresh Kalmadi who has a case of wrongful confinement for three or more days which has been pending for 28 years.

Andhra Pradesh’s Venugopal Reddy Modugula has a 23-year-old case of attempt to murder while Kameshwar Baitha of JMM has a 20-yearold murder case pending against him. Congres MP from West Bengal Abdul Mannan Hossain has a 20-year-old case of attempt to murder pending against him.

There are 14 Lok Sabha MPs who occupy a special place in the hall of shame with 14 cases of murder or attempt to murder which have been pending for 10 years or more against them. These include Baitha and Guddu Premchand.

These are followed closely by 20 MPs who have declared a total of 30 cases of kidnapping and wrongful confinement which have been pending for 10 years or more. There are four Lok Sabha MPs who have declared a total of four cases of robbery and dacoity which have been pending for more than 10 years.

Trials against tainted MPs and MLAs to be completed within a year: SC

Finish trial against tainted MPs and MLAs in a year: SC

Cases Of Graft, Heinous Crimes Fast-Tracked

Dhananjay Mahapatra TNN

The Times of India

New Delhi: After ordering disqualification of MPs and MLAs immediately after conviction for heinous offences, the Supreme Court on Monday took a second big step towards cleansing the political process by directing that trial proceedings in cases of corruption and serious crimes against elected representatives must be completed within a year.

The apex court’s July 10, 2013 judgment had robbed elected representatives of the benefit under Section 8(4) of Representative of People Act which allowed them to save their membership in respective Houses by merely filing an appeal within three months of the order of conviction.

However, “tainted” MPs and MLAs drew some comfort from the snail-paced judicial process, hoping that cases against them would linger indefinitely, or that they could use delaying tactics in order to prevent the court from reaching a final conclusion about their alleged guilt and pronounce a judgment.

The order, passed by a bench of Justices R M Lodha and Kurian Joseph on Monday, ends the last hope of MPs and MLAs of evading early adjudication and a possible conviction resulting in a sentence of two years or more, which generally follows in a corruption case or in serious offences. CLEANING UP POLITICS

Trial proceedings in cases of corruption and serious crimes against MPs and MLAs will have to be completed within a year of charges being framed

All trial courts must adhere to one-year deadline. If they overshoot, they’ll have to give written explanation to chief justice of HC concerned

On July 10, 2013, SC had ruled that MPs/MLAs would immediately lose their seat in case of conviction

But lawmakers facing cases could still hope for them to drag on for years. The SC has now closed this loophole 76 MPs face serious charges

The SC order could adversely impact the future of many politicians. As many as 76 (14%) of the 543 MPs have serious charges pending against them. Similarly, 1,258 or 31% of the total 4,032 MLAs across India have criminal cases against them, with 14% facing serious charges. P 15 Deadline to start after framing of charges

In an interim order on a PIL by NGO ‘Public Interest Foundation’, an SC bench said, “Where sitting MPs and MLAs are facing corruption cases and other serious offences, the trial will be completed expeditiously on a day-today basis and in no instance later than one year from the date of framing of charges.”

This means, those who get elected in the coming general elections and have pending criminal and corruption cases against them, the verdict will be out before May next year. If found guilty and sentenced to more than two years imprisonment, they will immediately lose their membership. This order will also have a sanitizing effect on political parties and ensure that they do not field candidates with criminal background.

The bench directed all trial courts, which are hearing cases of corruption and serious offences against MPs and MLAs, to strictly adhere to the one-year limit from framing of charges and warned that if they overshot the deadline, then they would have to give written explanation to the chief justice of the high court concerned.

“In extraordinary circumstances, where the trial court is not being able to conclude the trial within one year of framing charges, it would submit a report to the chief justice of the concerned HC indicating the special reasons for the delay. The chief justice may issue appropriate directions to the concerned court for extension of time for conclusion of trial,” said Justices Lodha and Joseph after additional solicitor general Paras Kuad agreed with the court’s view on behalf of the Centre.

The bench took framing of charge as the starting point for fixing one-year time period for completion of trial keeping in mind the law commission’s recommendation that filing of chargesheet “is not an appropriate stage to introduce electoral disqualifications”.

The commission said there was not sufficient application of judicial mind to the charges levelled by the investigating agency at the time of filing of chargesheet.

However, it recommended that framing of charges involved application of judicial mind to the charges and evidence.

The commission in its recommendation to the Union government on February 24 proposed disqualification of MPs and MLAs if a trial court framed charges against them in cases of corruption or heinous offences.

Time limit on netas’ trials at odds with earlier SC ruling?

7-Judge Bench Had Said Such A Bar Wasn’t Judicially Permissible

Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN

The Times of India

New Delhi: By fixing a oneyear limit for completion of trial against elected representatives, did a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court overstep a seven-judge constitution bench ruling that no outer limit could be set for conclusion of criminal proceedings?

There were several judgments before 2002, in which different benches of the apex court had fixed definite time periods for completion of trial and had ordered that if it overshot the limit, the trial would come to an end and the accused would be acquitted.

All these judgments and their correctness were tested by a seven-judge bench in P Ramachandra Rao vs State of Karnataka [(2002) 4 SCC 578]. The bench ruled, “It is neither advisable, nor feasible, nor judicially permissible to draw or prescribe an outer limit for conclusion of all criminal proceedings.

“The time limits or bars of limitation prescribed in the several directions made in Common Cause (I), Raj Deo Sharma (I) and Raj Deo Sharma (II) could not have been so prescribed or drawn and are not good law. The criminal courts are not obliged to terminate trial or criminal proceedings merely on account of lapse of time, as prescribed by the directions made in Common Cause case (I), Raj Deo Sharma case (I) and (II). Such time limits cannot and will not by themselves be treated by any court as a bar to further continuance of the trial or proceedings and as mandatorily obliging the court to terminate the same and acquit or discharge the accused.”

Monday’s order by a bench of Justices R M Lodha and Kurian Joseph stayed within the parameters laid down in the seven-judge bench’s judgment by clarifying that corruption case and heinous offence trial proceedings against MPs and MLAs would not be terminated on expiry of the oneyear period.

It said if under extraordinary circumstances the trial proceedings could not be completed within the prescribed one-year time limit, the trial judge would send a report to the chief justice of the high court concerned explaining reasons for non-completion of proceedings. The bench said the chief justice would give appropriate directions after going through the trial judge’s report.

Justices Lodha and Joseph said it was the right of every accused in criminal case to get expeditious trial. “For that to become a reality, the governments must provide more number of judges,” it said and requested additional solicitor general Paras Kuhad to impress upon the government to increase the strength of trial judges.

It said in some countries the judge to population ratio was 50 per lakh but in India it was abysmally low at 16 per million (10 lakh). The budgetary allocation too was meagre, it said. “All trials should be completed in one year, why only for MPs and MLAs? But for that the governments need to give more funds and provide adequate judicial infrastructure,” it said.

2012-14: Ministers allegedly involved in criminal cases

90% of T-ministers face criminal charges

New Delhi:

TIMES NEWS NETWORK The Times of India Aug 30 2014

Ministers with Pending Criminal Cases
12 Union Ministers Have Pending Criminal Cases

About 44 of the 194 state cabinet ministers from 13 Assemblies (where elections were conducted in the last two years: 2012-14) and 12 out of 45 Union ministers [in 2014] have criminal cases pending against them.

The figures have been arrived at by the Association for Democratic Reforms and the National Election Watch which analysed the election affidavits of 239 of the 245 ministers.

In the states, 26 or 13% ministers have serious criminal charges, including rape, attempt to murder, kidnapping or electoral violations against them.

For instance, there are two ministers from BJP in the Rajasthan cabinet -Gulab Chand Kataria and Rajendra Rathore -with cases of murder pending against them. Odisha's Prafulla Kumar Mallik (BJD) also faces a kidnapping charge.

TDP's Ganta Srinivas Rao from Andhra and TRS ministers Thanneeru Harish Rao, Eatala Rajender and Guntakandla Jagadish Reddy from Telangana have declared that attempt to murder cases are pending against them.

Incidentally, Telangana has the highest percentage -90 -of ministers facing criminal charges. India's newest state is followed by Andhra Pradesh, where more than half of the ministers have criminal cases (56%), followed by Karnataka (34%) and Odisha (27%).

In fact, the only two chief ministers who face criminal charges come from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh: K Chandrasekhar Rao and N Chandrababu Naidu.

States where no ministers face criminal charges include Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.

States that were considered for the report include Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Odisha, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tripura and Telangana.

2015: SC-Unseating if criminal cases cancelled

The Times of India

Feb 06 2015

Amit Choudhary

Non-disclosure of pending criminal cases at the time of filing nomination paper can cost an elected member his seat with the Supreme Court ruling that it amounts to corrupt practice and the election must be quashed on that ground. In a landmark verdict, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant held that concealment or suppression of criminal cases tantamounts to “fraud“ with the electorate and it creates an impediment in the free exercise of electoral right.

“As the candidate has the special knowledge of the pending cases where cognizance has been taken or charges have been framed and there is a non-disclosure on his part, it would amount to undue influence and, therefore, the election is to be declared null and void by the Election Tribunal,“ it said.

It said that disclosure of criminal antecedents of a candidate, especially pertaining to heinous or serious offence or offences relating to corruption or moral turpitude at the time of filing of nomination paper, is a “categorical imperative“. The bench said that an informed electorate is the foundation of a vibrant and healthy democracy and they have a right to know about criminal antecedents of people in the fray . It said non-disclosure of criminal cases by a candidate is an attempt to suppress, misguide and keep people in the dark.

“Concealment or sup pression of this nature deprives the voters to make an informed and advised choice as a consequence of which it would come within the compartment of direct or indirect interference or attempt to interfere with the free exercise of the right to vote by the electorate, on the part of the candidate,“ it said. “This attempt undeniably and undisputedly is undue influence and, therefore, amounts to corrupt practice,“ it said.

“The attempt has to be perceived as creating an impediment in the mind of a voter, who is expected to vote to make a free, informed and advised choice,“ it said.

2015:no serious charges against MLAs

The Times of India

Feb 12 2015

No Delhi MLAs face murder, rape charges

The new Delhi assembly is `cleaner' compared to its earlier avatar with a dip in the number of legislators with criminal cases, according to an analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms, reports Himanshi Dhawan. Though the percentage of MLAs with criminal cases has dropped marginally from 36% to 34%, none of them have pending serious criminal cases such as rape, kidnapping and murder. Of the 24 MLAs with criminal cases against them, 23 belong to AAP . Of the 70 legislators, 44 (63%) are crorepatis compared to 51 (73%) in 2013.

Haryana, Jharkhand and J&K assemblies, elected in 2014, also saw a drop in the number of MLAs with criminal antecedents.

The Times of India

2015 Assembly also has fewer crorepatis

Feb 12 2015

Himanshi Dhawan

The 2015 Delhi assembly is cleaner and poorer compared to its 2013 avatar with a dip in the number of crorepati legislators and those with criminal cases. The assembly elected on Tuesday is overwhelmingly dominated by Aam Aadmi Party with 67 members while BJP has three. The percentage of legislators with criminal cases has dropped marginally from 36% to 34% while the figure for crorepatis has come down from 73% to 63%.

Significantly, none of the MLAs have serious criminal cases like rape, kidnapping and murder pending against them.

The analysis by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) is based on affidavits submitted by candidates to the Election Commission.

In contrast, both the number of crorepatis and those with criminal cases increased in the 2014 Maharashtra polls.

While crorepati MLAs increased from 66% in 2009 to 88% in 2014, the number of legislators with criminal background increased from 136 (52%) to 165 (57%) in the same period. Haryana, Jharkhand and J&K assemblies, which were elected in 2014, also saw a drop in the number of legislators with criminal antecedents. However, there was a substantial increase in the number of moneybags in all three. In Delhi, 24 of the 70 MLAs (34%) have declared criminal cases against themselves. Of these, 23 belong to AAP while one is from BJP. This is down from the 2013 assembly when 25 (36%) MLAs declared criminal cases pending against them. In the 2008 Delhi assembly elections, 29 (43%) out of 68 MLAs had declared criminal cases.

No MLA declared heinous criminal cases like murder, rape, attempt to murder and crimes against women. Incidentally, 91 out of 673 candidates with criminal cases, including 60 candidates with charges of heinous crimes pending against them, lost the assembly polls.

Delhi MLAs this time are a shade poorer as well. Of the 70 MLAs, 44 (63%) are crorepatis this year compared to 51 (73%) in 2013 and 47 (69%) in the 2008 polls.

The average assets per MLA has also dipped from Rs 10.83 crore in 2013 to Rs 6.29 crore this time. BJP had won 32 seats compared to AAP's 28 in the 2013 elections.

Parliament, not Judiciary can debar

The Times of India Feb 19 2015

Parliament, not us, can bar tainted netas from contesting polls: SC

Amit Choudhary

The Supreme Court said the Judiciary could not restrain tainted people from contesting elections as it falls under the legislature's domain, which alone was competent to enact a law on this issue. A bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu said the idea of restraining people against whom charges of heinous offence has been framed looked “attractive and noble“ but the court has its limitations. “In the name of judicial activism, we cannot enter into an area belonging to Parliament. Separation of pow er is a basic structure of Constitution and we must respect it,“ the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and Arun Mishra, said. “It is for Parliament to decide.They know how to run the country and who should run for election. We should not step in,“ it added.

Additional solicitor general Maninder Singh said the issue had already been settled by a constitution bench judgment of the apex court, which had refused to restrain the government from appointing tainted MPs and MLAs as ministers and left the matter to the conscience of the prime minister and chief ministers.

Backing the ASG's submission, the bench said when the constitution bench had refused to pass an order against appointment of tainted representatives in the council of ministers, how it could pass an order pre venting tainted persons from contesting elections.

The bench also said that in criminal jurisprudence, a person is presumed innocent till he is convicted and his right to contest elections cannot be curtailed just because charges were framed against him.

Samina Bano

Coming from a privileged background to working for underprivileged, Samina Bano has ensured hundreds of poor children get admission under RTE in Uttar Pradesh
By Waris Ali,
Lucknow: When a diminutive girl in her late twenties took small steps to address a gathering in Chief Minister’s residence here, no one thought that soon she will give sleepless nights to big school giants in Uttar Pradesh.
Samina Bano, now heading the Bharat Abhyudaya Foundation (BAF) in a span of six months did what even Uttar Pradesh government could not achieve in a year. In 2014-15, only 54 poor students were given free admission in schools under the economically weaker section (EWS) quota under Right To Education (RTE) Act. After her crusade, the number in 2015-16 has swelled to over 1,300 and is still counting. Among those admitted, nearly half the children are from minority community.
Samina Banoo
Not an easy task as during her efforts, she rubbed several high and mighty in the wrong way. City Montessori School (CMS), which boasts of holding a Guinness Book of World Records for highest number of students studying in a school in one city, denied admission to as many as 31 poor students. After her persuasion failed, Samina did not hesitate to protest on road. Lucknow witnessed something un-usual as nobody at the CMS ever thought in their wildest dream that people will stage dharna outside their office. The battle is still on and is presently in court.
From a privileged background to working for underprivileged, the journey has been a long one for Samina. Her father retired as a warrant officer from the Indian Air Force while her mother has been a homemaker. She has two brothers, one elder, one younger. “Being an Air Force kid, I have spent childhood in many cities such as Delhi, Pune, Bagdogra, Belgaum, Srinagar in Air Force campuses. My schooling was done throughout at Kendriya Vidyalayas, although thanks to my father’s transfers, I changed six schools from class 1 to 12,” Samina shares.
BAF chairperson Samina Bano talking to My School My Voice students and discussing their future aspirations
And her bio-data may give run for their money to several professionals. Armed with management degree from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore along with a B Tech from Government College of Engineering, Pune, Samina had a settled corporate life. Till 2012, she was working as a management consultant with Deloitte Consulting LLP (S&O) based at Philadelphia in USA. In her own words — “it was a spontaneous decision, I hung my boots and formed BAF.”
“The mission is more important — poor children also have a right to study respectfully,” she says. With her, she had five years of experience of working in other organisations like Texas Instruments and Proctor and Gamble at India and Singapore. From earning a hefty package, she is dependent on donations from her colleagues for her mission now.
In two years, there has been no looking back. She may feel paucity of funds but the courage never lets her down. It is due to her sincere efforts that now her name is synonymous with RTE in UP. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav realised her efforts and gave her all freedom to do her work deviating from set pattern of government functioning.
Children along with their parents lined up outside CMS Indira Nagar to take admission under RTE's EWS quota
Samina, after her umpteen meetings with him, turned her focus towards primary education in Uttar Pradesh. It was tough, though RTE was applicable but not effectively implemented. Private schools did not pay heed to the rules while education department had no zeal to act. Touring across the state, she held several meetings with district level education officials and district administration. Even private schools were invited, some came, others overlooked.
But where are the children?
With the stage set, there was a problem in getting children to the schools. It is generally hard to locate poor children whose parents will allow them to attend school. With her own resources, she started collecting data and even filling admission forms. “The numbers were less in the beginning but slowly it picked. Now, even some prestigious schools have agreed and offer admission to poor students,” she informs.
Even today, at her two room rented office in Gomti Nagar, application forms are available for free, even a missed call is sufficient for enrolling a student as Samina's few staff members rush to locate the child after collecting information. Seeing her efforts, CM Yadav has extended the date for admissions under the RTE on her request to accommodate more children. “There was a situation when officials used to avoid me saying that she will again talk about RTE. But I persisted,” she says.
Not only RTE but another of her campaign also earned accolades in the society. My School My Voice, a campaign conceived by her was endorsed, again, by CM Yadav in presence of hundreds of school children who had for the first time visited the CM residence.
The campaign in simple words — engaging school children for their schools. Getting children to say something about their school, the problems, the facilities and even teachers. Yadav attentively listened and the result — two teachers were served warning for skipping schools and schools were provided RO drinking water after students raised these issues.
“The journey is still a long way as 25 % of seats are to be reserved for poor students. I am focusing on that, getting few thousands admitted is good, but still the number can be higher,” Samina says.
More details about Samina Bano’s work through her Bharat Abhyudaya Foundation can be read here Bharat Abhyudaya Foundation .You can also visit the Facebook page of BAF here Bharat Abhyudaya Foundation.
TCN Readers can also call BAF at 0522 – 4130429 or write to them at

Azhar Maqsusi

Ordinary people who do extraordinary things inspire the rest of us. They are the real heroes, making the world a better place, one step at a time. Azhar Maqsusi is one such hero. He modest businessman in Hyderabad, Azhar has been feeding homeless people in his region for over 3 years.

Every afternoon a large number of homeless, destitute people line up under the Dabeerpura Bridge in Hyderabad. They collect plates, wash them and wait patiently for the food provided for them by Azhar every day.

Azhar recounts how he began his free-food camp venture, “It all started around three years ago. I hardly ever took that route but my tyre got punctured that day and I decided to catch the local train from the station under the bridge when I saw a physically handicapped woman with her feet amputated,” The woman was crying loudly, begging for food and not money; she hadn’t eaten in days. Azhar immediately gave her the food he’d packed for the day. “My father died when I was 4 years old and my mother struggled a lot to raise me and my siblings. I know what it is like to sleep hungry.”

The next day Azhar’s wife cooked extra food so that he could go back to the same place and distribute food. Initially food packets were distributed but as time progressed the food was cooked on spot, under the bridge.

In 2 months there were more than 50 people waiting for Azhar every day. It was then that he decided to hire a cook for this venture, paying him a fixed salary so that he could regularly cook large quantities. Azhar paid for everything from his own pocket, not asking for anything in return.

A year and a half later Azhar’s venture got a boost when an Indian national living in the US decided to help him. Today, Azhar receives 16 25-kg sacks of rice every month from his well-wishers. He rejects any cash donations and accepts only those in kind.

Today over 100 homeless people are fed by Azhar. Nearly 25 kg rice, 1 litre oil and 2 kg pulses are required every day. It costs  Rs. 1500 – Rs. 1700 daily, but Azhar paid for everything from his own pocket, not asking for anything in return.

The Logical Indian community salutes the generosity and compassion of people like Azhar Maqsusi.

The story was first reported by Deccan Chronicle, the link of which is part of the story.

Image Courtesy

Ram Meghval

दलित RTI ऐक्टिविस्ट बाबू ‘राम मेघवाल’ को गंजा कर पिलाया पेशाब
जैसलमेर।स्कूल में पढ़ाने के साथ-साथ आरटीआई ऐक्टिविस्ट के तौर पर काम करने वाले एक शख्स का कुछ युवकों ने अपहरण किया और उसे जबरन पेशाब पिलाया।शनिवार शाम हुए इस वाकये में अपहरणकर्ताओं ने इस दलित ऐक्टिविस्ट को गंजा भी किया उसे मारा-पीटा और फिर एक नहर के पास छोड़ कर चले गए।आरटीआई ऐक्टिविस्ट को गंभीर हालत में जैसलमेर लाया गया और वहां से जोधपुर रेफर कर दिया गया।मामले की जांच कर रही पुलिस फरार बदमाशों की तलाश कर रही है।रामगढ़ में रहने वाले इस आरटीआई ऐक्टिविस्ट का नाम बाबू राम मेघवाल है जो भारत-पाक सीमा के पास रनाऊ मिडल स्कूल में टीचर है।मेघवाल ने बयान दिया कि रामगढ़ से रनाऊ लौटते समय गाड़ी में सवार लगभग एक दर्जन लोगों ने उसका अपहरण किया उसके बाल काट दिए और फिर उसे नहर के पास ले गए।मास्क लगाए हुए लोगों ने उसे छड़ी से पीटा और पेशाब पिलाया।इसके बाद जब वो लोग ऐक्टिविस्ट को नहर में फेंकने वाले थे, तभी वहां कुछ और लोग आ गए। इसके बाद मास्क पहने हुए लोग भाग गए।दूसरे लोगों ने बाबू राम को रामगढ़ के हॉस्पिटल में भर्ती कराया। मेघवाल ने कहा कि इन सारी चीजों के बावजूद वह आरटीआई ऐप्लिकेशन लगाना जारी रखेगा।मेघवाल की लगाई हुई आरटीआई की वजह से कई फर्जी नियुक्तियां रद्द की गई थीं जिससे कई लोग उससे नाराज थे और धमकी दे रहे थे। इससे पहले शुक्रवार को भी उसे हत्या की धमकी दी गई थी। कई सामाजिक कार्यकर्ताओं ने दोषियों के खिलाफ कड़ी कार्रवाई की मांग की है।मेघवाल के समुदाय के लोगों में भी इस घटना के बाद से काफी रोष है। उन्होंने विरोध जताने के लिए रोड जाम कर दी और टायर जलाए।

Sunday, May 17, 2015

V Balasubrmanian

CHENNAI: A 68-year-old Right to Information activist in Kancheepuram was found dead on the side of a road in Velathottam in Kancheepuram district on Thursday evening.

V Balasubrmanian had filed a number of applications under the Right To Information (RTI) Act seeking information about alleged irregularities in several handloom weavers' cooperative societies in Kancheepuram district, it was learnt.

Federation of Anti-Corruption Teams-India general secretary T Retnapandian of Chennai told TOI that Balasubramanian had been facing intimidation from several people against his activism. Balasubrmanian had no reason to go to the place where he was found dead and that raises suspicion about the death, he added.

Retnapandian said he (Retnapandian) had also filed RTI applications on the alleged irregularities in certain handloom cooperative societies in Kancheepuram district.

"I was about to inspect the records of some societies last month. But I did not go as I heard that I might be attacked by some unidentified men there," Retnapandian said.

Kancheepuram subdivision DSP K Rajendran said Balasubramanian's body was found in a sitting position by the road side at Velathottam under Magral police station limit around 5.30pm. "Initial medical reports suggested that he may have died of a heart attack. There were no external injuries on the body,'' the DSP said.

courtesy: TOI NEWS

Govind Pansare - The Death Of A Comrade

Courtesy: Tehelka

The historically progressive state of Maharashtra, which has a history of radical movements, is fast gaining notoriety for the snuffing out of political leaders and intellectuals vocal about religious fundamentalism, cultural policing and superstition. The recent murder of CPI leader Govind Pansare and the murder of activist Narendra Dabholkar a year and half ago are two instances that give the state a dubious reputation. Religious fundamentalists have allegedly carried out both the murders.

On 16 February, 82-year-old Pansare and his wife Uma were attacked in Kolhapur near their house while returning from a morning walk. The manner of killing was uncannily similar to the way suspected Hindutva extremists had attacked and killed anti-superstition activist Dabholkar in Pune.

Pansare and his wife were shot from a close range by two unknown motorcycle-borne assailants at around 8.30 am. Pansare received three bullet injuries on his neck, leg and armpit while his wife suffered a bullet injury on her neck. After the attack, the couple was admitted to Aster Adhar hospital in Kolhapur. Later, Pansare was shifted to the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai on 20 February, where he succumbed to his injuries on the same day, whereas his wife survived the attack. It is to be noted that Dabholkar was also attacked by two unknown motorcycle-borne assailants while he was taking a morning walk. Clearly, the two murders bear a stark similarity.

The central office of the CPI in a statement condemned the murderous attack on Govind and Uma Pansare. The statement mentions that “Pansare was under threat from the communal forces over his latest move to organise a discussion meeting on a book on the slain chief of Maharashtra ATS Hemant Karkare, Who Killed Karkare”.

The book, written by former inspector general of Maharashtra Police Shamsuddin Mushrif, claims that Karkare, who was killed during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, was actually killed by extremist groups such as Abhinav Bharat, who synchronised a parallel attack at that time on him. Abhinav Bharat and some extremist elements in the Intelligence Bureau, Mumbai Police and ATS wanted to eliminate Karkare as he was about to expose them. During the investigation of the 2008 Malegaon blasts, he had recovered three laptops that had the blueprint of the “Aryavrat Hindu Rashtra” and was going to expose their intentions in public.

Under the leadership of Karkare, the ATS arrested 11 suspects, including Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Dayanand Pandey, in the Malegaon blasts case.

Mushrif told Tehelka, “Pansare initially read a slim Marathi volume on the death of Karkare in which the reference of my book was given. He was furious with the findings and then through a common friend and retired judge BG Kolse Patil, we came in contact. He told me that he will organise a discussion on the book in Kolhapur on 30 December 2014 so that the truth can be brought to light.”

Mushrif informed that a week before the scheduled discussion on the book, Pansare held a press conference in Kolhapur regarding it. But the very next day, some right-wing groups organised a press conference and demanded that the event be scrapped. The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti complained to the police that the event could disturb communal harmony. Pansare, however, stood his ground and went ahead with the discussion, for which people turned out in large numbers. He argued that the book had been published in 2009 and was not banned anywhere, so if anybody had a different view, they could publish another work challenging Mushrif’s conclusions.

A Pune-based organisation, the Rashtriya Seva Dal, had also volunteered to hold a discussion on Mushrif’s book in the city on 12 January. But, on 8 January, they cancelled the discussion due to some official reason and told Mushrif that they will hold the discussion in February, but that never happened.

“The Rashtriya Seva Dal chickened out and cancelled the discussion on the book. This enraged Comrade Pansare and during our state council meeting on 31 January, he appealed that the party should fight back such extremist forces and arrange for 50 discussions on the book’s findings,” says CPI state secretary Bhalchandra Kango. “All of us agreed and planned to start the discussions after our national conference in March.”
Megha Pansare, Govind Pansare’s daughter-in-law and the district secretary of the National Federation of Indian Women (the CPI’s women’s wing), told Tehelka, “My father used to get many threatening letters but he never used to pay attention to them. In 2013, he had received a letter accusing him of treason against Bharat Mata as he believed in an ideology different from Hindutva.”

Megha says that most of these threat letters had been sent from Pune. “A month ago, when I told him that he should take these threats seriously, he replied, ‘I am 82 years old. Who is going to kill me now? I will keep working as long as I am alive’,” she says.

“Recently, an ABVP activist objected to his speech in Shivaji University where he had criticised the glorification of Nathuram Godse by the fundamentalists. I am sure he was murdered because of his stand against religious extremism and cultural policing,” she adds.

Pansare was one of the tallest communist leaders in Maharashtra and worked for the CPI for more than 50 years. He was a writer, lawyer and political leader all rolled into one. He came from a very humble background. While studying law, he used to work as a peon in a municipality school and also as a newspaper hawker. He participated in the Goa liberation movement and the ‘Samyukt Maharashtra’ movement in his youth. After becoming a lawyer, he served as the president of the Kolhapur Bar Association.

In recent years, Pansare was in the forefront of the anti-toll tax agitation. He led various movements in the unorganised sector for the welfare of farm labourers, slum-dwellers and domestic workers. He wrote 20 books in his career. His most famous book, published in 1984, was titled Shivaji Kaun Hota? (Who was Shivaji?). In that book, he projected the Maratha warrior king as a secular ruler, who took care of his people irrespective of their caste, creed and religion. This projection by Pansare went against the standard image of Shivaji as a Hindu king. This book became so popular that it was translated into 14 languages.

Initially, it was speculated that Pansare was murdered as he was in the forefront of the anti-toll movement in Kolhapur. “I don’t buy that theory as many other leaders were also involved in the anti-toll campaign,” says Kango. “Right-wing extremists propagated that speculation to mislead the people.”

On 11 March, more than 40,000 people participated in a protest march in Mumbai demanding the arrest of the killers of Pansare and Dabholkar. Pansare had been an ardent supporter of Dabholkar’s campaign against superstition. Last May, the CBI was asked to probe Dabholkar’s murder. A three-member CBI team is working on the case but is yet to reach any conclusions.

“We suspect that the same group that killed Dabholkar could be behind Pansare’s murder as well,” says social activist Vivek Sundara, who participated in the protest march in Mumbai. “The police has been lax in probing the case and apprehending the murderers. There seems to be little hope for justice.”

Kolhapur Additional Superintendent of Police Ankit Goyal told Tehelka, “We are probing the case and are trying our best. But as it is ongoing, we cannot disclose the direction it is taking.”

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Rinku Singh Rahi

PCS OFFICER involved in exposing scams in Govt Welfare Schemes - survived six bullet hits


A provincial civil services officer, Rinku Singh Rahi, who launched his hunger strike in Lucknow on Monday demanding a probe into charges of corruption in state-run schemes, was whisked away by the police from the dharna site at midnight and taken to the psychiatric ward of a medical college in the city.

Doctors there, however, reportedly refused to admit him. He was then sent off to his hometown Aligarh.

In midnight drama in Uttar Pradesh's capital, Mr Rahi was picked up from outside the Lucknow assembly because the Chief Medical Officer diagnosed him with low blood pressure. He was first taken to the Balrampur hospital and later to the Lucknow medical college. Doctors at both hospitals refused to admit him.

Mr Rahi has been raising the issue of corruption in the state government sponsored schemes ever since his stint as the District Social Welfare Officer in Muzzafarnagar in 2009. He has exposed corruption to the tune of Rs. 40 crore, for which he also suffered an attempt on his life when the local mafia pumped six bullets into him on March 26, 2009 - in that assault, he lost vision in one eye.

(wikipedia) Inquiry committee[edit]

After Rahi was attacked, an inquiry committee was set up under Alka Tandon, director of social selfare department – Meerut. The committee found no records of funds spent in the last five years by the Social welfare, corroborating Rahi's allegations. The committee also found embezzlement to the tune of 100 million rupees, associated with various welfare schemes in 2009, according to Narendra Kumar Chowdhary, Social welfare department director. The Committee submitted the report with findings that included:
  • No records were found regarding the scholarships at 101 schools.
  • No records were found about five years of verification of people who are getting benefits on name of Elderly[Old-age] schemes and Widow pension schemes.
  • Money was distributed to families having no daughter as part of the Daughter's marriage scheme.
The report also hinted that the local officials of the education department's involvement in the malpractices of Scholarship scheme. The inquiry team found accounting discrepancies to the tune of millions of rupees in almost all the schemes.
He claims that attack was carried out at the behest of his department officials who he was trying to expose. A state government enquiry later on proved his claims that the spending of allocated funds was not accounted for by the Social Welfare Department for more than five years.

Mr Rahi is currently posted at the state-run coaching institute for IAS and IPS aspirants from the Dalit community in Aligarh.

A few days ago, before setting out for Lucknow for his hunger strike, the officer had told reporters in Aligarh that now with a regime change in UP, he was hopeful that the Akhilesh Yadav government will pay heed to his demands of a criminal investigation into the allegations of widespread corruption in social welfare schemes of the state government.

More: Source 1 & 2
Rinku was born on 20-05-1982 in a lower middle class family at Aligarh(U.P.). His father runs an Atta chakki. He did his elementary schooling form Aligarh. After Schooling, he went on to complete his B. Tech. in Metallurgy from NIT, Jamshedpur in 2002. In the same year he scored All India 17th Rank in GATE, which assured him a seat in his desired stream at any top technological institute of the country including IISC & IITs. However, he opted for a career in Civil Services.

In pursuance of this objective he appeared in various Civil Services Examinations/interviews and finally got selected for the post of District Social Welfare Officer through UPPCS Examination - 2004. He again received call for Interview for UPPCS - 2005 which he dropped as he is more inclined towards his present service.

He Joined the service on 26 November 2008 and was posted at Muzaffarnagar (U.P.) as his first posting.

Rinku started showing interest towards the cause of social development form his early years and he took initiative in establishing a Library as well as an Adult Education Center at Aligarh. 


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Rinku Singh Rahi is a District Social Welfare Officer (qualified U.P.P.C.S. EXAM- 2004). He is an honest officer. He joined for the post of District Social Welfare Officer, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh on 24th November 2008.Where he found scam worth crore of rupees. He reported it to senior officer (Chief Development Officer) in written. But there was no action except corrupt people were reported about the report of scam & he was not given financial charge. After reporting it to other Departmental senior officers, he reported it to the District Magistrate, where he was directed to publish online all information of office, so that scam can be exposed with ease. In the meanwhile, when he visited a site for inspection (as per instruction of his senior officer.) the local mafia who had captured the site attacked on rinku, causing him serious injuries.
Looking into problems of students for scholarship & fee reimbursement & of old aged people, & other people belonging to below poverty line, as per his direction to publish whole data of office online,he collected information from Treasury & Banks, as he was not provided information from his own office.
With this work, he was threatened to his life from office of Principle Secretary of his department, if he continues to work honestly. After reporting it to other senior officer, he continued to work with honesty.
But as he was going to publish data of his office online, his accountant Ashok Kashyap & Mukesh Chaudhary (who has contested M.L.A. election two time & at present Block Pramukh) with the help of some other criminals attempted to murder him on 26 march 2009, when he was playing Badminton in his Official residence campus. Where he could survive hardly, but lost one eye & one jaw completely.Regarding this one criminal case was lodged in police station. & one enquiry committee was constituted. Report of enquiry committee contained only surficial instances of corruption. Even, a very clear case of corruption in INDIRA GANDHI NATIONAL OLD AGE PENSION SCHEME (whereby money was drawn for 62447 pensioner but number of pensioners in the pensioners list were only 47707 i.e. scam of about rs. 5.3 crore containingrs. Rs. 3.53 crore of Central Government)was not shown in report. Even though there were very surficial cases of corruption in report, yet no action has been taken even in that respect. 
Finding the very true fact that had RinkuRahi been killed in attack, cause of attack i.e. scam worth rs. 30-40crorein a year could not have been even touched upon. But as he is alive, he is to expose scam so that students, poor people can be benefitted from recovered money &process of such corruption could find end at this point.
He approached several senior officers with some documentary evidences to get scam exposed. But he could not succeed. Then he tried to get simple & very basic information under RTI Act from his previous office to expose scam. But he was denied. Then as per rule, he appealed even to the State Information Commission, but he could not get desired information.
Looking into non-availability of information, he informed to the Chief Minister (copied to Several other Officers/Authority) by a letter dated 12.01.2011 that if he is not made available these very simple information by 25.03.2012 even after using all possible ways in reach, then he will be forced to go for fast unto death to request for Good Administration (what he termed as SUPRASHASANAGRAH). 
But he could not get information, despite his approach to all possible ways in reach. Hence, fast unto death (even without water) was started in Lucknow at prescribed place for Strike. Where at about 10.30 p.m. Doctor stated falsely statement that Rinku Rahi did not passed urine from last two days, hence his health is very critical. Based upon this statement of Doctor, Police evicted Rinku from the protest place forcibly allegedly to save his life by giving him treatment. At the protest place, Police lathi charged the supporters. He was taken to Balarampur Hospital without any information to the supporters including any family members. Afterwards Rinku was referred to the psychiatric department. But after roaming to two hospitals, Police was denied to admit Rinku for psychiatric treatment by the Doctors’ team of Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical College amidst immense pressure from Police Officials. Upon this movement, Rinku told that at Balarampur Hospital, he was admitted to hospital for treatment of after hunger strike phenomenon, but as soon one senior doctor arrived there & told the staff indicating Rinku that he has number of evidences against Government, & hence is a case similar to D.I.G. Mishra & hence his treatment should be alike. So, he reffered Rinku for “to be kept in 14 days observation” for psychiatric treatment & instructed Police that his file would be prepared just like D.I.G. Mishra & he will bring with him the old file. He also told that he was one of the member of the committee who declared D.I.G. Mishra mentally unstable.
After getting clean chit, Rinku along with his family members & supporters was forced to leave the Lucknow city. Hence, after coming to Aligarh, Rinku continued his fst unto death. Where, upon assurance that he would be provided information within a month, Rinku relaxed condition of fast with declaration that he would relax fast to the limit of liquid food but he will abstain from solid food upto one month of assurance & non receipt of information even after prescribed time will force him to go for fast unto death (without water) again.
Hence, upon non-receipt of information, he has decided to go for fast unto death in Delhi from 27.04.2012.

Krupasindhu Sahoo

KILLED FOR FILING RTI  -  Fund misappropriation of BGREI (Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India)

 Source 1 (Feb 03, 2015):

Two days after the body of a missing RTI activist was found buried near a river in Cuttack, a human rights activist on Monday moved the NHRC seeking an “impartial probe” into the murder.

Krupasindhu Sahoo, 40, a farmer and father of two children had gone to the village market on January 26, but did not return. The next day, his vehicle was found deserted near a temple in the village, Naili. Two days later, his wife Gitanjali received calls from an unknown person who demanded Rs 30 lakh and three kg gold as ransom for release of her husband, prompting her to file a complaint with Niali police station. On January 31, police found his body buried near Tanla river.

Sahoo’s wife Gitanjali alleged in her FIR that her husband was threatened by BJD workers over his filing an RTI application seeking information about funds spent for System of Rice Intensification farming and its beneficiaries.

The reply had revealed corruption and misappropriation of funds by the beneficiaries who made money by submitting false bills in connivance with agriculture officials and Sanskar, an NGO. The beneficiaries had allegedly threatened to kill him.

Police have arrested the nephew, sister and mother of the accused, Kartik Pani, who had returned from jail after serving seven years in a murder case. Pani, who is currently absconding, is suspected to have taken “supari” for eliminating Sahoo.

Meanwhile, human rights activist Manoj Jena in his petition before the NHRC requested that the state be asked to order a high-level independent inquiry into the murder and the alleged role of an inspector at the Niali police station as well as BJD party members.

After the incident came to light, Satyabrata Lenka, inspector-in-charge of the police station was sent on leave and a Sub-Divisional Police Officer was asked to probe the case.


Source 2:
Firdaus Jahan for BeyondHeadlines

The RTI Activist Sri Krupasindhu Sahu is murdered, aged 40 of Nachhinga village under Krushnaprasad Panchayat of Niali Block of Cuttack district. And the reason of the murder is that he had submitted RTI Application to the office of District Agriculture officer, Cuttack seeking information about details of fund spent for SRI cultivation under BGREI and beneficiary list of Block Demonstration of HYV paddy in Krushnaprasad Gram Panhayat of Niali Block.

On 1.2.15,   Sambad, a leading Odisha daily newspaper made news coverage about murder of Sri Krupasindhu Sahu. The area immediately to ascertain the fact and the circumstances led to murder of an RTI user, role of the police administration etc. It needs to be mentioned here that last month on 28.12.14, Sri Ganesh Chandra Panda, RTI Activist of Berhampur was murdered by unidentified hooligans in the early morning when he was on morning walk. Accordingly a four-member team of Human Rights Activists, Sri Pradip Pradhan, State Convener, Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhijan, Sri Manoj Jena, chairperson, Human Rights Front, Bijayalaxmi Routray, Member, Society for Fast Justice, Bhubaneswar and Sri Srikant Pakal, District Human Rights Defender, Human Rights Front, Cuttack  visited  the spot, enquired  into  the incident  and held  discussion with   the bereaved family members of  deceased Krupasidhu Sahu , Police,  Villagers, political people  etc.

Sri Krupasindhu Bhoiis a farmer and earns his livelihood by cultivating his 5 acres of land.  He was survived by his mother, wife and two children. At first, the Team members visited his house and interacted with his wife Smt. Gitanjali Sahu about the incident. His niece Gitanjali Sahoo also elaborated chronologically the event led to murder of Sri Sahoo. The excerpts of the discussion are as follows statement of witness.

On 26.1.15, Sri Sahoo had gone to village market in the evening and did not return back. His wife got disturbed finding his delay to return to home and made repeated calls to his mobile which was found switched off. On 27. 1.15, the family members made fervent attempts to locate him and seared many places, but it went in vain. But his vehicle was found deserted near Mahaveer temple of the village. Finding the vehicle, the family members suspected that some unusual incident might have taken place.  So, on 28.1.15,  Smt. Gitanjali Sahu received  two  mobile calls  in different times ( at 8 AM and 7 PM) from an unknown person  ( M- 95839-83871)  who demanded 30 lakh rupees and 3 kg gold to get released of his husband who has been kidnapped and kept in some unidentified place. She expressed her helplessness and requested to leave her husband. Then, she   filed an FIR in Niali Police station at 3 PM to find out the whereabouts of her husband.

On 31st Feb. the Police located the spot i.e., river bed of Tanla river where his dead body was found buried. The police team recovered the body and sent to S.C.B. Medical for Post Mortem. The Police also arrested Pratap Jena, nephew, sister and mother of the accused Kartik Pani, prime accused of same village who had returned from jail after 7 years rigorous imprisonment on a murder cases. He was found absconding.

Wife of Krupasindhu Sahoo Smt. Gitanjali Sahu also shared with the team that 3 months back, her husband had submitted RTI Application to the office of District Agriculture officer, Cuttack seeking information about details of fund spent for SRI cultivation under BGREI and beneficiary list of Block Demonstration of HYV paddy in Krushnaprasad Gram Panhayat of Niali Block. This information supplied by the PIO exposed huge corruption and misappropriation of fund by the beneficiaries who have taken lakhs of rupees by making false bill in connivance with Agriculture officials and The SANSKAR, an NGO which has been given the project to monitor the same.

Krupasindhu lodged complaint to the authority seeking an enquiry into corruption and recovery of fund.  This enraged the beneficiaries of the misappropriation of fund who took several attempts to attack him and threatened   him to murder. But he remained undeterred in his mission.  His wife in her FIR filed in the police station has mentioned the name of these people who have threatened him of dire consequence several times. These people are Trilochan Pani, Sanjay Bhoi, Ajay Sethi, Rupan Behera who are the political cadres of Biju Janata Dal, ruling political party in the state. During interaction, Gitanjali Sahu said that it was pre-planned political murder with the support of Sri Satyabrata Lenka, Inspector-In-Charge of Niali Police station. Finally investigation specifies that,

    The Team is of the view that RTI stands as a factor behind this pre-planned cold-blooded murder of Sri Krupasindhu sahu. His use of RTI has brought to lime light the huge corruption and irregularities in BGREI fund sanctioned for development of agriculture in this Block by the influential and powerful political people. This expose enraged these people and created enmity with Krupasindhu. Apprehending enquiry into this scam and recovery of fund from them, they got psychologically disturbed to save their image. They also threatened him to attack and murder him several times as reported by Gitanjali Sahu. It is presumed that these people whose name has been figured in FIR might have engaged Kartik Pani by paying Supari to murder Krupasindhu. The police has neither interrogated these people nor arrested him till yet. The Team is of the view that as these people are members of Biju Janata Dal, Ruling political party of the state,   the police has not dared to take any action against them.

Though FIR was filed on 28.1.15, the Inspector-In-Charge did not take the case seriously. It may be the police have acted at the behest of the politically powerful people of this area. It is also presumed that this is deep-rooted conspiracy hatched between the people involved in misappropriation of BGREI fund and the police which led to the murder of Krupasindhu by a dreaded criminal. The pre-planned strategy in connivance with the police provided golden opportunity to the criminals to murder him. The high-level enquiry can unearth the truth. In the absence of proper investigation, the criminals also dared to murder him without any fear and absconded. Many information can be obtained, if the all records of mobile no. (M-9437005800, 9438547901, 9178620095) of Inspector-In-charge can be investigated.

After spot verification, the Team has reached at a conclusion that as it was planned murder, it had taken place on 26th Jan, day of his missing.

The whole episode revolves around expose of misappropriation of BGREI fund through RTI by Krupasindhu. The role of the agriculture officials and NGO the SANSKAR behind murder cannot be ruled out. Apprehending arrest and recovery of fund which has been misappropriated by the beneficiaries in collusion with Agriculture officials, they might have joined and party to this conspiracy to murder conspiracy. There must be a high-level enquiry into misappropriation of BGREI fund in this Block.