Citizens' Issues
HC says ban on BBC documentary on Dec 16 convict to continue
The ban on the telecast of controversial BBC documentary "India's Daughter" on the December 16, 2012, gang rape will continue, the Delhi High Court ordered on Wednesday.
 
It also refused to pass any interim order on plea against prohibition to telecast the documentary.
 
The central government told the court that the excerpts of documentary contained an interview with one of the convicted rapists of the December 16 gang rape case and his "chauvinistic and derogatory views" regarding women in general and the victim in particular.
 
Appearing for the central government, advocate Monica Arora brought the original documents of the ministry of home affairs that ordered the ban.
 
A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw hearing the plea posted the matter for May 27 and said: "It's not a matter for any interim order. We have called records from government, we will see them first."
 
The court earlier refused to lift the ban and asked the trial court to submit the records and advisory issued on March 3 by the government while hearing the two public interest litigations (PILs) before it for revocation of the ban on the documentary's telecast.
 
The ministry of information and broadcasting filed an affidavit and sought dismissal of the pleas.
 
"The excerpts of documentary contained an interview with one of the convicted rapists of the Delhi gang rape victim of December 2012. These excerpts were telecast on various channels throughout the day, with visuals of the convict, who was showing no remorse whatsoever for the heinous act. The excerpts also contained his chauvinistic and derogatory views regarding women in general and the victim in particular," it said.
 
It said that the telecast of documentary will provide a platform for the convict to use the media to further his own case, especially when his appeal against his conviction is sub-judice. The appeals of convicts are pending before the Supreme Court.
 
The Supreme Court in July last year put on hold the execution of the four convicts in the case.
 
"The telecast of these excerpts appeared to encourage and incite violence against women, thus compromising women's public safety. They also provide encouragement to anti-social elements to indulge in violent acts compromising law and order," said the affidavit.
 
The documentary is about the gang rape of a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist, who was brutally assaulted on December 16, 2012, in a moving bus in Delhi. It kicked up a storm after one of the convicts, Mukesh Singh, was interviewed in Delhi's Tihar Jail.
 
The documentary also has comments from the convicts' counsel A.P. Singh and M.L. Sharma, who allegedly made derogatory remarks against women. 
 
The ban on the telecast of the documentary in all formats caused an uproar in India.
 
The PILs said the ban on the documentary was in clear violation of fundamental rights under Article 19 of the Constitution.
 
They sought direction to declare as illegal the act of banning the documentary by the home ministry, the information and broadcasting ministry, and the Delhi Police commissioner.
 
The Centre on March 3 issued an advisory to ban the broadcast of the documentary and the trial court on March 4 banned it until further orders.
 
As per social media, the public at large wanted to see the documentary, as within a day of it being put up on YouTube it was viewed by more 2.86 lakh people, the pleas said.

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Nokia buys Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 bn
Finnish telecommunication giant Nokia announced on Wednesday the acquisition of French rival Alcatel-Lucent in a deal worth 15.6 billion euros ($16.6 billion).
 
The deal, the biggest in the sector in more than a decade, is set to be finalised through a public exchange offer of shares between the two companies, whereby Alcatel-Lucent shareholders will receive 0.55 shares in the new company for each share of the old one, Efe news agency reported.
 
According to the transaction, Nokia shareholders would own 66.5 percent of the merged company, while the shareholders of the Franco-American rival would own 33.5 percent, creating a giant with roughly 114,000 employees, and sales in the ballpark of 26 billion euros.
 
The new company, set to be called Nokia Corporation and based in Finland, will be the second largest telecom equipment manufacturer, behind Sweden's Ericsson.
 
"Together, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia intend to lead in next-generation network technology and services, with the scope to create seamless connectivity for people and things wherever they are," Rajeev Suri, president and chief executive officer of Nokia, stated.
 

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Remove legal unfairness, demand ex-servicemen
Ex-servicemen demand right to appeal to High Courts as fundamental right exercised by other citizens, against an order of SC making Armed Forces Tribunal the first and last forum for them 
 
The Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM), which is Federation of Military Veterans' Movement, has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to abrogate Sections 30 and 31 of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) Act. Abrogation of these sections will help challenge orders of the AFT on the lines of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) and make justice accessible and practical for defence personnel, ex-servicemen, widows and their families, IESM said.
 
The letter sent by IESM refers to a decision on 11 March 2015 by the Supreme Court, which effectively ensures that the AFT becomes the first and the last forum for litigants, including defence personnel, veterans and their families.
 
In a letter, IESM, said, "The judgement was passed on an appeal filed by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and perhaps also the Army Head Quarter (HQ) during the time of the last Government. We also have reasonable information to believe that one of the grounds raised by the MoD/Army in the appeal for denying the right of judicial remedy like other citizens of India, was that Fundamental Rights can be restricted/abrogated under Article 33 of the Constitution for defence personnel and hence a judicial remedy under writ jurisdiction of High Court would not be available."
 
"If it is true that this argument was raised by the MoD/Army, then it is the most unfortunate that the system itself is pleading for placing defence personnel on a lower pedestal than other citizens and pleading before the SC that the military community does not deserve the enjoyment of fundamental rights like others. It is a well known fact that Article 33 only operates during performance of duties to maintain discipline and has no connection with right to access of justice," the letter says. 
 
It is also well known that the majority of cases in the AFT pertain to retired personnel, military widows and their families and hence Article 33 even otherwise has no applicability. This is also against the spirit of Article 39A of the Constitution, which underlines equal justice for all citizens, IESM said.
 
According to the letter, there was an attempt to convince military community that the decision will lead to ‘quicker’ justice to defence personnel. However, it says, on closer and deeper examination of the issue, the following real facts and fallouts emerge:
  1. There is actually no right of appeal to the Supreme Court from AFT orders as per the AFT Act since an appeal only lies in exceptional cases involving ‘point of law of general public importance’ vide Section 31 of AFT Act. Hence what has been pleaded before the SC is that AFT should become the court of first instance as well as the court of last instance, leaving defence personnel, veterans and widows remediless since it is well known that 99.9% of cases can never involve ‘public importance’ questions. The decision will not lead to ‘quicker’ justice but in reality remove all chances and channels of challenge/appeal against AFT decisions. Can this bogey of ‘quicker’ justice be raised at the price of fundamental rights of accessible justice and remedy to citizens? 
  2. It is well known that almost all such litigants cannot afford litigation in SC due to its prohibitive cost and the aura itself of being the highest court of the country. It is not understood how the defence ministry expects poor litigants including disabled soldiers and widows from all over the country to travel to Delhi and engage lawyers in SC to fight their cases. Most of the cases in the AFT involve issues such as disability benefits, pension, minor allowances, pay fixation, ACRs etc and litigants would now be expected to suffer in silence if they feel that they have not got justice from AFT. 
  3. Defence personnel, veterans, widows and families have been deprived of their basic right of access to justice due to the plea raised by the MoD/Army wherein while all citizens of the country would have access to multiple tiers of justice, not even one tier would be available to us. Even civil government employees aggrieved by orders of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) can approach the HC if they are dissatisfied and then further the SC, whereas similar access has been denied to us and after an order of the AFT even the SC cannot be approached as a matter of vested right unless there is involvement of a point of general public importance. 
  4. We hereby express our dismay on the attempt of the official system to convey to the SC that fundamental rights of the military community should be restricted or abrogated. We are disappointed that the system itself by raising the plea of Article 33 is attempting to prove that defence personnel, ex-servicemen and their families are lower than the ordinary person on the street. This will have disastrous consequences in the years to come. If the MoD/Army makes such averments pleading for taking away the fundamental rights of their own members and former members and their families, then it is extremely unfortunate.
  5. It is well known that the AFT functions under the control of the MoD and even Members of AFT are appointed by the MoD and selected by a selection committee, which has the Defence Secretary as its member. AFT has also not been given civil contempt powers to ensure compliance of its orders. In other words, an ineffectual body has been created which functions under the MoD and then now on the plea of the MoD it has been assured that there is no effective appeal making it an all supreme body.
Maj Gen Satbir Singh (Retd), Chairman of IESM says, "We express dissatisfaction at the stand and damaging stance of the MoD and the Army in the said case, which has led to such a situation. We request the PM to kindly abrogate Sections 30 and 31 of the AFT Act so that AFT orders can be challenged on the lines of the CAT thereby making justice accessible and practical for defence personnel, ex-servicemen, widows and their families. 
 
Tamil Nadu-based Welfare Service of Ex-Servicemen/Families and Others, also supported the demand made by IESM. "We fully support the ex-servicemen associations from Punjab and Chandigarh. We request you to kindly initiate steps to abrogate and repeal Sections 30 and 31 of the AFT Act in order to make justice accessible to defence personnel on the lines of CAT so that aggrieved parties are able to approach the High Courts, which are independent court unlike the Tribunals, which operate under the control of Ministry of Defence and which do not inspire the confidence of litigants, " the letter sent by the association to PM Modi says. 

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COMMENTS

maey

2 years ago

Maey, My ex (Russ) broke up with me couple of weeks ago after 5 years. He started behaving strange when he got a new job. I later found out he was hanging out with a girl he met at his place of work. He now talks to me anyhow and even beat me up. I just never wanted to lose my man. I love him so much. I told a cuz about it, and she gave me a contact of a spell caster she has used before; +1 (443) 459-1140, [email protected]. I called him immediately because i was so desperate and losing my mind already. The spell caster was very honest to let me know that in 24 hours or less I would have Russ back. I was skeptical cos I haven't done this before. But my cousin encouraged me and told me about how she got results from his spell too.
After he has done the spell, Russ sms me and call some hours later, he said "baby i'm sorry, can we meet pls?".
Since then he has been great having him back.
Thanks to vudoo priest.

SuchindranathAiyerS

2 years ago

Service men have far too exalted an opinion of India's higher judiciary. They should remember what happened to General V.K.Singh's date of birth case. India's Courts, like India's Constitution and laws slice and dice "Justice" by caste, tribe, religion, gender, influence and wealth in their own good time. By proscribing them from approaching the High Courts, the law spares them a lot of expense, time and humiliation. India is about "who" never about "what". Show me the person, and I shall show you the law.

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