Citizens' Issues
Farmers groups move SC against land ordinance
A group of farmers' organisations moved the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking the re-promulgated land ordinance to be quashed on the grounds of its being ultra vires of the Constitution and devoid of constitutional morality. They sought the government be restrained from enforcing it.
 
The Bharatiya Kishan Union, Delhi Grameen Samaj, Gram Sewa Samiti and Chogama Vikas Avam said, "The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2015, is unconstitutional, null and void and ultra vires Articles 14 and 123 of the Constitution of India and hence void ab initio".
 
Describing it as a "colourful exercise of power" by the government, the petitioner organisations also sought the apex court's direction to the government restraining it from "acting upon" the ordinance.
 
Describing the re-promulgation of the ordinance "as arbitrary as violative of Article 14 of the constitution", the farmers organisations said it was a "fraud on the Constitution itself".
 
Pointing at holes in the re-promulgation of the land ordinance, the petitioner organisations said that "deliberately proroguing" the Rajya Sabha on March 28, 2015, "whilst it was in budget session only for the oblique and malafide purpose of re-promulgating the impugned Ordinance goes against the very spirit and raison de'etre underlying Article 123 of the Constitution".
 
The petitioners contended that the action of the government in re-promulgating the ordinance was malafide and thus open to challenge.
 
Asserting that the government has "abandoned all principles of Constitutional morality" by re-promulgating the ordinances, the petition settled by counsel Indira Jaising said "adherence to the principles of constitutional morality by the different organs of government is as much a mandate to be enforced strictly like the letter of the written Constitution".
 
The discretionary power of the president to promulgate ordinances has to be "exercised judiciously and with in the strict paradigm of the circumstances, circumscribing the exercise of such discretion under Article 123", the organisations said.
 
The law-making function under the Constitution was vested in parliament, the petitioner organisations contended.
 
They said, "If the executive was permitted to continue the provisions of an ordinance by issuing successive ordinances without submitting the same to the voice of parliament, it is nothing but usurpation by the executive of the law making powers of the legislature".
 
"Merely because it does not have numbers in the Rajya Sabha, the executive cannot be permitted to continue the law making exercise by way of an ordinance" and "the life and liberty of citizens cannot be regulated by ordinances..."
 
The government "deliberately" did not move the 2015 bill for discussion in the Rajya Sabha after its passage in the Lok Sabha between March 10 and 20, "due to lack of its numbers, political will or consensus".
 
"The ordinance making power under Article 123 was never meant to be a substitute to overcome lack of numbers of the executive in one house," the organisations contended.
 
"Neither the letter of the Article nor the relevant Constituent Assembly Debates indicate that the device of Article 123 could be resorted to by the executive to make laws to overcome its difficulty in passing the legislation in one house due to lack of majority/political will or consensus", the petitioners said.
 
The government was "evolving a dangerous precedent for the exercise of Article 123 which is not at all envisaged by the Constitution".
 
The petitioners said the "issuance of the impugned ordinance goes against the very purpose, intent and spirit underlying under Article 123".

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COMMENTS

vishal

2 years ago

It is not clear why the opposition is gearing up farmers against the Government in the land acquisition bill with out studying the pros and cons. The farmers who may sell their lands to corporate should be rich and be in a position to offer large swathe of lands. This will not be the case in case of small and medium farmers. The corporates will not come forward to get small piece of lands. It is clear some rich agriculturists with vast acres of lands are trying to save their ill gotten properties under this cover of protecting small and marginal farmers. Hope the Apex Court will see through this political game.

E-retailers spending big bucks on advertising, while customer service takes a backseat
E-retailers, flush with private equity money have large advertising budgets that are liberally spread across mainstream media. Is this allowing them to generate only positive news while poor service, delivery hiccups as well as the strange antics of some young founders are quietly buried? 
 
It is boom-time for e-commerce start-ups in India, which are flush with venture capital funding that allows for large advertising budgets for brand building. These days, a clear corollary to large ad-spends is the ability to influence editorial coverage and ensure that it is restricted to positive coverage and puff pieces.  All have learning glitches and delivery problems, even if they are teething troubles and are rarely reported.
 
Consider just one such example. On 6th April, a leading economic newspaper reported how India's largest online grocer BigBasket was set to offer home delivery in 60 minutes. It reported that BigBasket was planning to tie up with local stores to manage its logistics. The report talked about how BigBasket will collaborate with 1,800 local stores in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Pune, and how it will provide them the technology to handle deliveries and manage inventories. The report was clearly to counter a move by Flipkart and Amazon's (which has announced “Kirana Now”) to move into its domain by offering groceries and household products. 
 
Interestingly, during the very time that this report was published, BigBasket was in fact struggling to manage deliveries, inventories and the large orders that were ostensibly triggered by its “offer” on fruits and vegetables. There were mistakes galore leading to incomplete delivery, damaged products and poor follow up and rectification or orders. This was happening for orders that had been placed as much as two days in advance as well. Clearly, the online grocer is a long way off from being able to deliver in 60 minutes, leave alone deliver a complete order based on correct updation of stocks and inventories on its website. 
 
In fact, the problem was widespread enough for BigBasket to send out an apology email to customers, much like Flipkart had to do after its “BigBillion Day” chaos in October last year. 
 
The email, sent out by KB Nagaraju, Chief Customer Experience Officer on 7th April acknowledges that customers have had to put up with “delayed deliveries, incorrect deliveries, or difficulty in getting delivery slots of your choice.” It also acknowledges that customers were unable to get in touch with their customer service office. 
 
It goes on to list measures that are planned to avoid such issues in future, such as increased buffers in supply chain capacity, supply chain monitoring and prompt alerts to customers in case of any constraints from their end. 
 
The audacity of being able to plug a story about 60 minute delivery at a time of a delivery crisis is an indicator of how all news that is fit to be published is decided by those who have the bucks to pay for large advertising campaigns.
 
It is not just BigBasket – customers have been complaining of problems with delivery in almost all e-commerce platforms. On the Indian Consumer Complaints Forum, many consumers have reported delayed deliveries, delivery of wrong items and rude behaviour of delivery boys. Many reported that while the online delivery tracker says “Out for Delivery” or “Item Delivered”, the products were in fact not delivered at all. 
 
Customers face these issues across all e-commerce companies, including biggies like Snapdeal, Flipkart and Amazon. In addition, while customers are struggling to have their problems addressed, e-commerce companies have been spending big money on advertising and ‘positive news’. 
 
According to media reports, the e-commerce sector spent between Rs750 crore and Rs800 crore on advertising in 2014, and this number could cross Rs1,000 crore in 2015.
 
An apologetic email or a few catchy jingles may appease customers for a few weeks, but e-tail companies such as BigBasket should perhaps, be working on getting their deliveries and customer service right before focusing on media strategies and delivery on short-notice. 
 
Our email sent to BigBasket about the delivery issues remained unanswered till writing the story. We will incorporate their views as and when we receive it. 

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COMMENTS

mulkit salia

2 years ago

just had the pathetic flipkart expierience this week

Gen VK Singh calls for a self-regulation by impartial media body
General Singh, who led the rescue of Indians and foreigners from war-torn Yemen is under attack from media for using the word ‘Presstitute’ with reference to certain media houses, leading to howls of protest against the minister 
 
General VK Singh, the Minister of State for External Affairs, who is in the eye of storm for using ‘Presstitute’ to describe certain people from the media has issued a statement that virtually challenges certain large established media houses and journalists, who he says have continuously spread misinformation against him since 2012. 
 
In a statement released Thursday the General has made it clear that he is not going to be cowed down by the pressure mounted by several large media houses and television channels, with help from the opposition parties. His statement disturbingly expresses the plight of those who are at the receiving end of media calumny with few options to set the record right. He says, “….one has legal recourse (to take action against such journalists) but in reality that is an impossibility as media houses have deep pockets and can wear anyone down. Even to get a basic rebuttal published in the same newspaper is an ordeal, as sanctimonious editors sit in judgement like thanedars asking the victim to prove his innocence before they will put two lines in small print somewhere saying they are sorry.” 
 
While the media may have ganged up against General Singh for the use of specific words, it was clear to independent observes, that many of his tweets were deliberately twisted and the sarcasm misinterpreted by some large media houses in the recent past. Astonishingly, the very same media houses, which aggressively supported the “freedom of expression” of an abusive comedy group, believe that a minister and politician have no right to be sarcastic, if such sarcasm is directed at media mischief. However, the general has received overwhelming support on social media, with hashtags such as #HatsoffGeneral trending on Twitter. 
 
Here is a statement issued by General VK Singh...
 
"Since 2012, I have been repeatedly attacked by certain 'media workers' who have published stories that were not only cooked up, but also did enormous harm to the institution that I was heading, the Indian Army. All this happened under the watch of the UPA Government who had their own agenda to try and defame me, and certain individuals who were willing to be their mouthpiece, took full advantage of the situation in the hope of currying favour with the establishment. When I fought back and defended myself, the institutions these individuals represented, simply hardened their stand and continued to unleash more and more vitriol in the hope of harming my reputation. So much so, that even after the last Lok Sabha elections and the change of Government, these attacks have continued unabated.
 
Specific stories that had been planted and their immediate sources were identified and a complaint was filed to the Home Ministry in November 2013. However, the Government of India, perhaps not wanting to take on these 'media workers' who would hide behind the larger umbrella of the 'National Media', failed to act. The journalists concerned, emboldened by the fact that they seemed to be unaccountable for their actions, have since not only got away scot free but have been keeping up a steady flow of misinformation. 
 
The unwritten code that exists in the media that they will not write or say anything against 'their own' results in a person being publicly condemned with absolutely no real options. Theoretically, one has legal recourse but in reality that is an impossibility, as media houses have deep pockets and can wear anyone down. The Press Council too, is not an option, for it is dominated by some of the very people, who are playing the game of using the media to discredit individuals. Government of India, the only body with the teeth to take action, prefers to keep a low profile in the matter for any intervention leads to howls of protest about the media being gagged etc.
 
It is time that the media itself seriously looked at creating an effective watchdog organization that has the power to actually nip this malice in the bud. Today the media's own credibility is at stake and unless there is effective internal policing, this problem threatens to go completely out of hand. Only those who have been targeted by such stories know how vilified and helpless they feel. Even to get a basic rebuttal published in the same newspaper is an ordeal, as sanctimonious editors sit in judgement like thanedars asking the victim to prove his innocence before they will put two lines in small print somewhere saying they are sorry. 
 
The media is one of our great strengths as a nation and if it has to be protected from being seen as compromised, then it is vital that we collectively push for a regulatory body. I ask the Broadcasters Association and the Press Council and all the hard working honest to god journalists (who thankfully are still in the majority) to put their heads together and come up with a solution that gives an individual targeted by the media a fair chance. I would be happy to forward the complaint that was filed with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to the Broadcaster's Association, should it publicly commit itself to forming an impartial body with specific time lines."

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COMMENTS

Ravindra

2 years ago

Actually Arnab Goswami, Rajdeep Sardesai and the likes should have been loaded on the ships and despatched to Yemen to bring back the stranded Indians and Pakistanis. Government and General VK Singh should keep this in mind for the next rescue operation from ISIS area.

Ralph Weight

2 years ago

'Small print' is really something what reminds me of photocopier sales people, they made a fortune by having 5 year contracts signed, customer thought it was 5 months...
However - small print and reading the terms and conditions is something which can make or break - in fact - it can cost you your business or a personal fortune. I like the relatively new outfit Check-A-Contract - well, they do what it says on the tin. In big writing. Checking contracts - and 'small print' for that matter. For a small fee they highlight the small print, advise on changes, deletions or additions. Turnaround for contracts is less than 72 hrs and all contracts are worked on by qualified top UK solicitors. Worth well knowing, especially if you have to look out for small print on a daily basis.

rajendran iyer

2 years ago

Generfal V K singh is right. Press and TV media think no end of themselves. They will damage the reputation, and then issue clarification after a week in a remote small print. How they are allowed to get away like this.\
I don't see any difference between the kejriwal type allegation and the press. kejriwal said a lot about reliance, Sheila dixit and ofcourse the media. But no action.
Hence there should be a code for media also.

vishal

2 years ago

The General is not a seasoned politician and behaves more like a solider than a Minister. Every one in the field of politics seeks the blessings of the press to stay in politics and become famous. The press in India is not always truthful and they don't bother about who gets hurt. The press is only interested in their money power and nothing else.

REPLY

Ravindra

In Reply to vishal 2 years ago

If you have the support of the PEOPLE you should not care of the Media which works in favour of anyone who throws them bits of Roti and Lal Pani. And majority is definitely for VK Singh and against the ARMCHAIR critics who work for favours. There should be an investigations in the IT returns of such media persons. But then it requires a VP Singh in the Income Tax dept. NaMo should provide that.

MOHAN

2 years ago

The nation wants to know ......
India wants to know ..........
...............the names of ...............presstitutes !

We are listening!

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