Lawmakers disgrace India: From Mumbai to Delhi, a saga of bad behaviour

With lawmakers across parties, be it in Mumbai or Delhi or elsewhere, behaving in such a petulant manner what is in store for the ordinary citizens. They will have to be alert and ready to fight for their rights as more and more lawmakers themselves will become law breakers

Not very long ago, we in Maharashtra used to take pride that ours is an industrially advanced state with strong bedrock of culture. When we used to hear stories about MLAs in some other states indulging in violence inside and outside the Assembly, we used to express disgust at their behaviour. In our sense of self-righteousness we used to condemn such a conduct and would express strong anathema towards the unbecoming behaviour of the lawmakers.
Not anymore, it seems those days are well and truly over. What happened on 20 March 2013 in Mumbai and that too within the precincts of the Maharashtra Vidhan Bhavan at Nariman Point would make our heads hang in shame. Few MLAs/MLCs pounced upon an Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Suryavanshi and thrashed him in the presence of several other MLAs as also police officials. He was rescued by other policemen and had to be rushed to a public hospital. Later, he was shifted to the ICU of Bombay Hospital. 
 What was the fault of this policeman who invited such a wrath of these worthies who call themselves as citizens’ elected representatives? As evident from the press reports, a day earlier this same cop had hauled up one of the MLAs named Kshitij Thakur, a young people’s representative from an area close to Mumbai. He was charged for speeding on the Bandra - Worli Sea Link and was made to halt and asked for the fine for over speeding. 
Instead of submitting himself to the law of the land, this worthy MLA moved a breach of privilege motion against the cop and wanted him to be punished by the House. He claimed that the policeman had misbehaved with him. That is true, when you ask a lawmaker to follow the law it amounts to misbehaviour; after all the laws are made by them for the common men to follow, they are above the law.
Next day the said policeman was in the visitors’ gallery of the Assembly and this MLA happened to see him. Soon he and few other MLAs went and got hold of the cop and thrashed him right inside the Vidhan Sabha building.
As if the conduct of the MLAs was not shameful enough, they were duly protected by their parties as well. While next day the House suspended them from the membership of the House till December end of 2013, no further action was forthcoming.
But the more shocking behaviour was of the senior police officers who miserably failed to perform their duty. Instead of arresting the guilty MLAs, the DGP and the Police Commissioner went and met the Chief Minister to express their displeasure.
Imagine what would have happened if instead of an MLA an ordinary citizen would have even dared to touch a policeman; he would have been immediately arrested and charged with the serious offence of beating a public servant and remanded to 14 days jail with further consequences to follow subsequently. In addition, the ordinary citizen would have been beaten blue and black for daring to touch a policeman. 
Instead, in this case, the MLAs were able to negotiate their surrender and that too only two of them came at their convenience to the police station two days later and they were remanded to custody for one day. Senior police officers expressed satisfaction and indulged in self-congratulations. 
The latest news is that all the MLAs are upset at the arrest of these two MLAs and want the policemen to be taught a lesson so that they are put in their place. With senior police officials playing footsie with the political leadership, it will not be surprising that a quiet burial will be given to the whole episode in the coming days. In fact worse may follow and the injured cop may be charged for misbehaving with a worthy MLA and be suspended from service; surprises never cease to happen, just keep your ears to the ground.  
If politicians in Mumbai were touching the nadir of their conduct in public, their senior brethren in Delhi was faring no better as is evident from the conduct of several Members of Parliament during the debate on the Anti-Rape  Law. While discussing the issue of providing greater protection to women, many MPs made derisive comments about women. In fact, Sharad Yadav, leader of JD (U), crossed all limits and made such cheap comments about women that one cannot even reproduce them. It was shocking that he and several other honourable members of Parliament failed to display any seriousness on the issue and instead indulged in banter even while the discussion on such a vital piece of legislation was on. Ms Supriya Sule was heard lamenting the conduct of her colleagues in Parliament. 
As it is the MPs had failed in discharging their duty as two-thirds of them chose to remain absent from the House even as the anti-Rape law was being discussed by the House; many of those present exposed their perverted mental makeup, it would have better if they had also remained absent.
With lawmakers across parties, be it in Mumbai or Delhi or elsewhere, behaving in such a petulant manner what is in store for the ordinary citizens. It only means that the citizens have to be alert and ready to fight for their rights as more and more lawmakers themselves will become law breakers.
(Dr SD Israni, advocate & partner, SD Israni Law Chambers, is one of India’s leading authority on corporate, commercial and securities laws. He was a member of the Naresh Chandra Committee for simplification of Company Law relating to private and small companies. He has been on SEBI's committee on disclosures (called the Malegam Committee) and the one on buy-back of shares. Dr Israni has been a member of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Indian Merchants' Chamber and Indian Council of Arbitration. Dr Israni is an active member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India and was on its Central Council for four terms and headed the Capital Markets Committee of the ICSI.)



Vaibhav Dhoka

4 years ago

There is NO credibility for any system in force.Superiors suppress downtrodden.We are fast moving back to King mentality.The above insistence is very shameful.The height of political disgrace is seen in demand across politician to pardon Sanjay Dutta after supreme court gave its 1993 bomb blast verdict.This shows that politicians are above law.Time has come to dissolve judiciary if such demand arises.Meaning there is no equality in INDIA.


4 years ago

It seems we are living in the Kingdom of India and not a democracy wherein our elected representatives(yes we need to take the blame for electing such people)have become KINGS and think they are here to rule us and not represent us, and as they say the law will take its own course!

FSLRC recommends holding company structure for banks

One of the key risks posed by the bank subsidiary model is that the parent bank is directly exposed to the functioning of various subsidiaries and any losses incurred by the subsidiaries inevitably affect the bank balance sheets. Such risks can be mitigated largely by the FHC structure, the Working Group of FSLRC says

The Working Group (WG) set up by the Banking Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC), has recommended a holding company structure for banks, including state-run and private as well as for new entrants.


The WG headed by Kishori Udeshi, former deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said, “...the current mode of operations of banks under bank subsidiary model (BSM) is inadequate and there should be a shift towards the financial holding company (FHC) model as a preferred model for financial sector in India. The FHC model mitigates the risks spilling over to the bank from other entities in the group. In a holding company model the banking entity will be ring fenced.”


The Banking Regulation Act does not mandate the separation of retail banking from wholesale/investment banking. However, regulated entities in the financial sector separate these activities and house them in different entities for ease of regulatory oversight, by different regulators. The model currently followed by regulated entities is BSM.


In India, banks have expanded into non-banking activities during the last two decades and have set up subsidiaries in almost all non-banking financial areas such as mutual funds, venture capital funds, pension funds, stock broking, insurance and housing finance.


Once transition to the structure, as contained in the recommendation of this WG, is achieved, subsidiaries of banks must only do such activities which banks themselves can undertake. “Subsidiaries of banks should only do business that could have been done purely within the bank. If insurance cannot be done by a bank, it should not be done by the subsidiary of a bank,” the report said.


According to the WG report, there must be ring fencing of banks vis-a-vis other non-bank entities. “Capital of banks should not be allowed to take any risks apart from banking risks, and mechanisms must be put in place through which resources from the bank does not flow up into the FHC or to sister subsidiaries in times of crisis, or otherwise,” it said.


In addition, banks must not lend to intermediaries, which are not regulated by a financial sector regulator. However, the operation of certain financial institutions such as mutual funds might require access to short-term funding and such short-term funding must be within stringent prudential regulations, the report said.


At present, banks are allowed to lend to entities that are not registered with the RBI, like insurance companies registered under the Insurance Act (1938), nidhi companies notified under Section 620A of the Companies Act (1956), stock broking companies/merchant banking companies registered under Section 12 of the SEBI Act (1992); and housing finance companies regulated by the National Housing Bank (NHB).


The Working Group said, subsidiaries of banks should not carry on activities which the parent bank themselves cannot. “If banks have subsidiaries, such as a securities brokerage house, then such subsidiaries cannot invest in products which the bank itself cannot invest in. This means that risker products which the bank cannot have in its balance sheet cannot be reflected in the balance sheet of its subsidiary,” it said.


Considering the issues and gaps in the current legal framework and drawing on the recommendations of standard-setting bodies and international best practises, this WG recommended that a sophisticated resolution corporation be set up that will deal with an array of financial firms including banks and insurance companies.


The mandate of this corporation must not just be deposit insurance. It must concern itself with all financial firms, which make intense promises to consumers, such as banks, insurance companies, defined benefit pension funds, and payment systems. A key feature of the resolution corporation must be its swift operation. It must also effectively supervise firms and intervene to resolve them when they show signs of financial fragility but are still solvent. The legal framework must be so designed to enable the resolution corporation to choose between many tools through which the interests of consumers are protected, including sales, assisted sales and mergers, the WG report said.


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