Crime of Planning
Atrocities of World War II gave the world the legislation on human rights. Punishment for modern crimes will emerge over time
In 2012, one morning’s papers reported a legislator watching porn in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly. While most made the act sound dirty, we choose to take a different tack. The man should be charged with ‘dereliction of duty’. If he is not heavily penalised for the graver sin, that of using public time and money for entertainment, all legislators will watch movies, or listen to music, during assembly or parliament sessions. 
Lawmen and electronic equipment make bizarre stories but this one should serve as a warning to the public; especially youngsters. A New York cop, Gilberto Valle, had access to the data on NY citizens. It listed details of many women. The data was ‘restricted access only’ and Valle was one of the privileged few. He also had a darker side. How dark, and how dangerous, was the bone of contention. The cop was part of an Internet group which exchanged notes. The themes, or one of the more rabid ones, involved the modus operandi of sickening acts on women. The cop had access to a list-full of names, addresses and other details. One thing led to another. Plans were hatched.
The group stepped on the gas with every passing day, or rather every chat. They planned whom, how and when to kidnap. Next step: molestation and murder. Not content, the bodies were to be dissected, cooked and, finally, eaten. Valle was arrested. Before the plans could be put into action. Would you see all that as a crime, with such gruesome facts? You be the judge.
Valle was convicted. He lost his job. His wife left him. His daughter was given to custody. And New York had its own ‘Hannibal-the-Cannibal’. The convict appealed. His contention was that the whole exercise was just a fun thing. No harm meant. It was a site where fantasises roamed free. It was not for the conservative majority to judge him as evil. After all, no one was harmed. It was just honest-to-goodness fun.
What of the computers that were used to enhance the possibility of success? The victims were totally unaware of the dastardly scheme. His co-chatters had classified information which could be used to deadly and ‘hunger-satisfying’ effect. Valle had exposed a lot of women to extreme harm, possibly a violent end. 
Conspiracy has many components. Some are actionable, some not. It involves more than one person, usually a group. It involves a plan, a method of execution, a desired completion. It must cause harm, being planned so, though not necessarily physical harm. The ultimate is sedition, overthrow of the government. Most countries have the maximum penalty for that; either execution or incarceration for life. It has been so for centuries. Until the Second World War. 
The carnage that Hitler carried out on his own dissenting officers, like Claus von Stauffenberg, has been well documented. Court martial meant death by firing squad, the end preferred by chivalrous military men, moments after the trial. Insult was often added; by hanging on meat-hooks, slowly sucking life out.
These atrocities gave the world the legislation on human rights. And the ‘Cannibal Cop’ relied on them. He argued that making fantasy plans, in no way, can be considered a crime. None of the so-called conspirators met each other. They lacked the physical tools. No joint was cased. No one was stalked. It was all wild imagination.
He asked, what about that most hallowed of Amendments to the US Constitution—the first of the ‘Five Freedoms’—freedom of speech? Can people not chat, even in a virtual world? Will Big Brother enter every room, grab every computer, watch every message, interpret every action? 
The appellate bench agreed with him. It was all virtual; no harm intended. But the question of computer access remained; it revolved around the definition of ‘authorised access’. The prosecution claimed that access meant certain restrictions. The defence countered that that ‘overuse’ was not specified. The court decided that the 21 months in prison was enough. The man walked free. Will the terrorists, instructed over the Internet, also be given this ruling? Only time, and clever lawyers, will tell.


Bombay Mercantile Bank gets new Chairman and MD
By appointing Adv Hasankhan S Pathan as Chairman and M Iqbal Khan Sirguroh as MD, the Cooperative Bank is trying to rebuild its reputation and restoring morale of employees
After a long delay in acting on complaints against the bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been slowly tightening the screws on the previous management of the Bombay Mercantile Cooperative Bank (BMCB). In early January, five of the bank’s directors, including the then Managing director Dr M Shah Alam Khan were disqualified from the board by the RBI and the Central Registrar of Cooperatives. Last November, the RBI had stopped the bank from sanctioning further loans following a detailed inspection. 
In a big development, the Bank has initiated a complete change in management, which has the tough job of turning it around, rebuilding its reputation and also restoring the morale of its employees.  The new appointees include Adv Hasankhan S Pathan as Chairman, Aziz Ahmed Jalil Ahmed as Vice Chairman and M Iqbal Khan Sirguroh as Managing Director (MD). 
Hasankhan Pathan, an advocate, and director of BMCB was elected unopposed as Chairman and says he is keen on restoring it back to good health. 
He has been a corporator with the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation from 1995 till date. He has also been a senate member of Gujarat University for over 10 years and has been the Chairman of Town Planning Committee of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation for about three years.
Aziz Ahmed Jalil Ahmed, the new Vice Chairman of BMCB runs an NGO called Manav Vikas Manch since past eight years, which provides free medical aid to the needy. He also heads a taxi union called Taxi Challak Mallak Sena. He has been on the Bank’s board since January 2015 before being elected the Vice Chairman.
M Iqbal Khan Sirguroh, who took over as Managing Director on 11 January 2016, has had three-decade long association with BMCB in various roles and functions.  He was also the Principal of the bank’s training college, the Shaikh Mohamedally Allabux Urban Banking Development Institute. A hard core nationalist, Mr Khan says that he plans to engage with every level of the bank to ensure that each individual contributes to restoring it to good health. Effectively, the buck stops at Mr Khan and he is determined to take up the challenge.




11 months ago


Rais Alam Rais

1 year ago

Dear editor
In your news regarding bombay mercantile co operative bank ltd that Reseve bank of India tiggten the screw of management un early January five director disqualify from board of directors including MD.
It is not true
Reserve bank of India and central registrar of CO OPERATIVE new delhi orderd to the BOARD of directors to disqualify the then chairman Dr M rehman as share holder,director,chairman ship from the bank
Four directors till date not remove from the bank by the board of directors.
Four directors zeeshan mehndi,arshad khan, sallahuddin ,and one more directors are still in board Reserve bank of India and central registrar of CO OPERATIVE society,delhi also order to bank disqualify the four more directors from the bank


1 year ago

It was during my very brief stint with BMC BANK from 1979 TO 1981 that I came into contact with Iqbal khan. I have known him as a very down to earth and sincere person.I am sure if he has honest and professional advisers he will certainly be able to achieve what he has so confidently asserted to achieve
I will be very very happy and professionally satisfied if the bank regains its past glory under his steward ship
If Money Life can provide me his contact number I will be grateful


Zakir Hussein Inamdar

In Reply to S.S.A.Zaidi 1 year ago

I am happy that you are still concerned about the bank,I do agree with your comments, let us pray it regain the lost glory.
[email protected]

India tops in sending scientists and engineers to the US: Report
Washington : Among Asian countries, India continues its trend of being the top country of birth for immigrant scientists and engineers to the US, says a latest report, adding that with 950,000 out of Asia's total 2.96 million, India's 2013 figure represented an 85 percent increase from 2003.
Overall, the number of immigrant scientists and engineers in the US has risen to 18 percent from an earlier 16 percent and 57 percent of those were born in Asia.
From 2003 to 2013, the number of scientists and engineers residing in the US rose from 21.6 million to 29 million.
This 10-year increase included significant growth in the number of immigrant scientists and engineers, from 3.4 million to 5.2 million, said the report from the National Science Foundation's National Centre for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).
In 2013, 63 percent of US immigrant scientists and engineers were naturalised citizens, while 22 percent were permanent residents and 15 percent were temporary visa holders.
"Also since 2003, the number of scientists and engineers from the Philippines increased 53 percent and the number from China, including Hong Kong and Macau, increased 34 percent," the report added.
The NCSES report found that immigrant scientists and engineers were more likely to have earned post-baccalaureate degrees than their US-born counterparts.
In 2013, 32 percent of immigrant scientists reported their highest degree was a master's (compared to 29 percent of US-born counterparts) and 9 percent reported it was a doctorate (compared to 4 percent of US-born counterparts).
"The most common fields of study for immigrant scientist and engineers in 2013 were engineering, computer and mathematical sciences and social and related sciences," the findings showed.
Over 80 percent of immigrant scientists and engineers were employed in 2013, the same percentage as their US-born counterparts.
Among the immigrants in the science and engineering workforce, the largest share (18 percent) worked in computer and mathematical sciences, while the second-largest share (eight percent) worked in engineering.
Three occupations -- life scientist, computer and mathematics scientist and social and related scientist -- saw substantial immigrant employment growth from 2003 to 2013, the report said.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.


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