Citizens' Issues
Builder intent on grabbing housing society land, using black magic to curse Whistleblower
A few weeks ago, Moneylife had reported how Gada Builders of Pune armed with a fake Power of Attorney, usurped an open space and land buildings belonging to Anupama Housing Society in Aundh in Pune. 
 
Thanks to RTI activist and resident of one of the societies, Vijay Kumbhar, documents revealed the illegal land transaction, forcing the Collector, in his capacity as District Magistrate to lodge a FIR against Gada at the Kondhwa Police Station. Kumbhar is distressed that the police have yet to take any action against the builder. On the contrary, Gada has gone to High Court on two counts – to quash the FIR, as well as, the order against him by the Inspector General Registration office.
 
But perhaps, he is not very confident about the judicial system and hence as an added weapon, allegedly evil forces are being invoked to curse the Whistleblower through black magic.
 
Kumbhar was surprised to see lemon, red chillies and coconut, thrown in front of his door, as a bizarre ritual to curse him. At another time the same was seen in front of his building. Says Kumbhar, “when they couldn't deter me from saving my society's interest they have allegedly started doing such silly things. They are now taking help of black magic. They throw black dolls, kumkum, turmeric, lemons, chillies, coconut etc. either at my door of my flat in society in Anupama Society or in front of my building.”
 
Worse, Gada has no hesitation in putting the ball in the court of the IGR stating arguing that since the government department has registered his documents, it is the government officers involved who should be made accountable. This, he has said on Marathi TV Channel as well High Court. That’s how brazen he is.
 
Recalling the first moves of Gada Kumbhar says, “when it came to my knowledge that one Mukesh Gada and Arun Ranwade, who were not even remotely connected with our society, had grabbed two plots of land from our society with a fabricated and bogus Power of Attorney and even registration authorities’ registered documents without looking into the authenticity of IT, I lodged the complaint with IGR. IGR subsequently lodged a police complaint. But the sub-registrar who deliberately registered these documents is safe and sound, as no action has been taken against him.
 
Kumbhar is finding it tough, as residents of his housing society are also not showing the courage to join his fight. Kumbhar rues, “our society is a very old society. I don't know why but the residents of this society are so scared of anybody who is in uniform. They would even quiver if they see a postman. I have purchased a flat here some 8-10 years back. Initially, I was not aware of the gravity of the situation. However, when I started to get hold of the facts, I was shocked. And this is not the issue about my society only. This is happening in all parts of Pune city.”
Senior bureaucrat, Mahesh Zagade, now CEO, PMRDA, writes his reaction in Kumbhar’s Facebook, ``these are outlandish tactics adopted by unscrupulous elements; the best way is to defeat them by ignoring them completely and I'm confident that you would do that. It reminds me of a series of similar experiences as Collector, Nashik. In one such atrocious and ridiculous instance, four very large (3feet ) black dolls with prick pins all over, probably representing four of us in the family, were hanged dangling upside down at my official residence during my crackdown against the land mafia. The positive side was that someone got paid to make these dolls and we felt happy for that…’’
 
On a serious note, read our earlier story on this issue.
 

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COMMENTS

manoharlalsharma

8 months ago

Kumbhar is finding it tough, as residents of his housing society are also not showing the courage to join his fight./Here in Navi Mumbai also a Housinf society where peoples r fighting to get membership since 15/20 years.

S.S.A.Zaidi

8 months ago

Does Black Magic work ? I wonder

8 months ago

I think this malaise is spreading because the law takes its own time and the whistle blower is left high and dry with lack of support from the Govt of the day. I think there are several implications of inaction; the environment suffers; the residents of the encroached Society suffer, denied a play groud for kids, relaxation for residents and a gathering point for the residents. Basically those that encroach have surreptitious olinks with the powers that be of the unfortunate society and largely members suffer in silence. This is a serious matter and needs to be looked into promptly to infuse confidence in the sufferers to come forward without fear and point out the encroachments. The culprits must be swiftly dealt with and only this fear will reduce and eliminate this cancer.

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Empowering Underprivileged Students through Legal Education
When he was teaching at the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (WB NUJS),  Prof Shamnad Basheer noticed that a majority of students at this premier legal institution came from urban, English-speaking, English-medium-educated backgrounds. This was a pattern that repeated across elite law institutes, with richer, English-speaking youngsters forming a majority of the students. This is not at all representative of the diverse population of the country. 
 
Prof Basheer realised that by placing the tool of legal knowledge in their hands and allowing them to take up their own cause, he would be empowering underprivileged people far more meaningfully and removing their reliance on privileged people. He made up his mind to initiate an effort to increase access to millions of students from underprivileged backgrounds and marginalised communities. Then, with the support of the then vice chancellor of WB NUJS, 
 
Prof MP Singh, he conceptualised IDIA—Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access. A not-for-profit entity called IDIA Charitable Trust was set up with Dr Basheer, Prof Singh as well as Justice Ruma Pal and Shishira Rudrappa.
 
IDIA works with a community of dynamic student volunteers. Dr Basheer says, “Their passion and motivation on the ground keeps the organisation charged up and constantly engaged.” Interacting with the IDIA scholars is also a learning opportunity for the team which works at converting each adversity into an advantage and build resilience. These volunteers travel to specific schools and begin with sensitising students, teachers and parents about the benefits of a legal education. IDIA then conducts a basic aptitude test to identify promising students. These students are guided and trained to for the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) which includes help with written and spoken English. It provides study material which will now be provided online as well. IDIA is also working with national law colleges to get fee waivers for scholars to help pay their way through college or arrange support from lawyers and law school alumni.
Candidates who clear CLAT are also allotted mentors in law schools to guide them and to ensure that they are not rendered as ‘misfits’ or feel ‘socially awkward’ in law schools but hone their talents and abilities to their fullest potential. 
 
While this work began in West Bengal, IDIA now has local chapters operating from New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ranchi, Jodhpur, Gangtok, Bhopal, Cochin, Gandhinagar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Patna, Cuttack and Hyderabad.
 
Getting the law institutes to see the value of diversity on campus and to understand that IDIA scholars are not charity cases that would cause the institutes’ standards to plunge, was a challenge. Over time, it became evident that IDIA scholars did well and are actively engaged in campus activities, after overcoming the initial hurdle of dealing with English as a medium of instruction and the relative socio-cultural isolation that occurs in the first year or two. IDIA arranges for financial support for IDIA scholars, once they gain admission into the top law schools. Fund-raising is a huge challenge. “On the one hand, law institutes are constantly rising tuition fees but there is no corresponding increase in scholarships/waivers. On the other hand, there is the constant hunt for institutional support for funding which is, strangely, not forthcoming within the country,” says Shruthi Chandrasekaran, director, IDIA.
 
IDIA believes that “a good legal education enables the cultivation of personal autonomy, intellectual independence and the development of critical life skills beyond the traditional goals of teaching/training/learning of specific skills.”
 
Its ultimate goal is bigger.  Ms Chandrasekaran says, “In the long run, we hope that the ecosystem evolves to self-correct from time to time and embrace diversity as its core theme, to the point that the presence of an external third-party organisation addressing the diversity deficit (such as IDIA) is rendered unnecessary.”
 
All donations to IDIA are exempt from income-tax under Section 80-G. 
 

 

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COMMENTS

BISWAJIT DE

8 months ago

I read this article with interest and found an alternative avenue to be taking a second career after my retirement in September 2017 from LICI

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