Right to Information
RTI reveals that in last year’s Assam’s violence Centre deployed army a good three days late!

Bureaucratic tapism in the form official correspondence between the home ministry and the defence ministry led to a delay in sending army troops to quell violence is clear from the RTI query. The information which was denied under “classified information” was later ‘de-classified’

Ethnic violence between Bodos and Bangaldeshi Muslims which broke out mainly in Kokrajahr and Chirang districts of Assam on 20 July 2012 and inflamed colossally over the next few days, would probably have been milder if only the army troops had promptly reached ground zero promptly instead of an unpardonable three days later. 
The delay in sending troops, a complaint which the chief minister of Assam also had made to the home ministry, was recently established, after RTI (Right to Information) activist Venkatesh Nayak pursued information on copies of internal communications between the home ministry and the defence ministry with reference to deployment of troops in the Assam violence. Thanks to his perusal, the information which was initially declined by the PIO giving the reason of they being under the ‘classified’ documents category, has now been ‘de-classified’ by the home ministry and information has been made accessible under RTI.
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The RTI documents from the home ministry reveal that on 21st July, the Assam government had requested help of the Army to control the violence. Three days later, joint secretary of the home ministry, Shambhu Singh again wrote to joint secretary of the ministry of defence, Subhash Chandra, “in continuation of the request of the government of Assam vide letter 21st July for deployment of Army in Kokrajhar district in Assam, there is an urgent need to deploy some columns of Army in Chirand and Dhubri districts of Assam to contain the situation.” On the same day, that is 24th July, the home secretary RK Singh wrote to defence secretary SK Sharma that “...ministry of home affairs has already deployed 29 coys and 15 more are being sent from different parts of the country...” but since that would take time, the “nearby Army units need to be deployed at once.”
Finally, the order for deployment of armed forces went out to the DGMO by fax only on 24th July at 9:22pm.
Mr Nayak sought a copy of this communications between the home and defence ministries on 3 August 2012. His RTI application was rejected by the PIO, North Eastern Division of the home ministry under Section 8(1) (a) of the RTI Act. He filed a first appeal with the joint secretary designated as First Appellate Authority. Thirty-eight days later, the FAA ordered disclosure of the information by de-classifying the information. The letter to Mr Nayak dated 18 February 2013 states, “communication sent by this ministry to the defence ministry was graded as secret/ classified as a result the CPIO could not furnish the said information. Now, the information sought by you has been declassified.”
Hailing this decision, Mr Nayak states that, “The FAA has taken the correct step of declassifying the correspondence as the sensitivity it seeks to protect is no longer as acute as it was in August 2012. Such instances of good practice are rare in public authorities and must be commended. However the FAA has not sent me the detailed letter that the home ministry sent to the defence ministry recounting all the provisions in the law which empower the local administration to seek assistance of the locally-stationed armed forces for dealing with the communal violence. So a second appeal may have to be filed before the Central Information Commission.”
However, Mr Nayak rues, “Narratives of the 2012 communal violence in Assam available online clearly document all the early warning signals that could have been used to take preventive action. More than 70 lives were lost and several hundred thousand persons rendered homeless. Such incidents happen with sickening frequency despite the existence of procedures and systems for preventing violence. When will the authorities start taking timely action? Three days was too long a wait for the dead, the injured and the displaced.”
Deployment of the army can be made at the local level
  Sections 130, 131 and 132 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, are crystal clear about the processes by which the local administration may request the assistance of the locally stationed armed forces for dispersing unlawful assemblies (in simple language—bloodthirsty mobs)
Even an executive magistrate has the power to requisition the assistance of armed forces without waiting for orders from their superiors. The local head of the armed forces has a duty to assist the local administration to keep the peace under such circumstances
Under Section 131 even if no executive magistrate is contactable, any commissioned or gazetted officer of the armed forces may take prompt action on his own to disperse the mobs, arrest any person to punish him for violent actions or to prevent him from committing further violence. Such officers are granted immunity from criminal proceedings without the permission of the central government. None of these provisions seem to have worked in the violence-affected areas of Assam.
States Mr Nayak “In 2002 when communal violence broke out in Gujarat a similar controversy arose about the deployment of armed forces to stem the violence. A similar three-day delay in the deployment of armed forces in the violence affected parts of Gujarat was noticed then as well. Human Rights Watch’s report places the blame on the state government (see: “We Have No orders to Save You- State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat” accessible at: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/india/India0402-03.htm).”



43% of the respondents expect markets to rally post Budget: Edelweiss

Edelweiss conducted a survey to gauge the market sentiment on Budget Day. Majority of the respondents seem to be optimistic.

As always, market participants are eager to gauge the prevailing sentiment as well as expectations on the Budget Day. For this purpose, Edelweiss conducted a survey and revealed that there seems to be some optimism prevailing and the sentiment is, by and large, positive. 
The survey gauged the impact of budget on the Nifty Index along with the expected levels for the Nifty in the one month post-budget. 
The brokerage said that 43% of the respondents expect a post-budget rally in the market followed by 34% expecting the budget to be a non-event. Only a small number (23%) expect the budget to trigger a breakdown in the market, said the Edelweiss survey. With current levels of Nifty at 5,800, roughly 48% of the participants expect the benchmark to settle in the range of 5,900-6,000. Around 26% of the participants expect the Nifty to drop to the range of 5,500-5,600.
It is interesting to note that despite the relative bullishness, not many are expecting a big rally (i.e. expect Nifty to cross 6,100 and more), indicating that, perhaps, the government has lot of work on its hands to improve long term 
Around 43% of the respondents said that the Budget will be a positive one and will trigger a rally, while 34% said that it will be a non-event. Over the last few years, the Budget has become merely a sideshow and fewer investors, managers and consumers care about it anymore. 
Consumers will be interested in the personal/direct taxation part of the Budget which is probably the most important part, regardless of reforms or not. Either way, it is expected that finance minister P Chidambaram has some tricks up his sleeve, given that he had gone selling the “India Story” to international investors in Hong Kong and Singapore and is expected to live up to foreign investors’ expectations. Edelweiss, in its survey said, “Obviously the key is in the hands of the FM that will drive the market direction post budget with markets hoping for positive surprises.”



Vinay Joshi

4 years ago

Why 317 & 93 pts lost? Sensex & Nifty resp.26th. On global cues!

27th it gained 137 & 35 resp. Why?

Derailed Rail Budget is the pointer to Union Budget!

There is no scope to seek electoral dividends [even if ten states are going to polls].

Talk of GDP, CAD & fiscal, inflation, consumption, subsidies, infra, capex, Q3 earnings, oil prices [Iran imports coming to a standstill], DTC suddenly sprung tho' GST not coming. Divestment target missed, 2G no mobillisation

There can't be big reforms as awakened 'animal spirit'!

If PC, presenting record equaling 8th budget, will also have to address how to get growth back with no viable alternatives.

The economic survey projected growth 6.1-6.7% isn't realist for average 1.5% increase FY14.

As regards stock indices, Italy vote revives euro crises worries which has injected tensions including forex. To what extent can the ECB be a protector when Germany yields [& economy]likely to contract.

In such a scenario FM's articulation of the issues with certain pragmatic aspects will give some euphoria for next two trading sessions.

By next week Nifty correction start & expected in 8/10 sessions to 5450.

Global cues factored in PE 16 is strong.


Government moots JPC to probe VVIP chopper deal

The CBI had Monday registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against 11 people, including former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi, and four companies, in the purchase of VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on Wednesday proposed a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rs3,600-crore VVIP chopper deal.


The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday accused the government of delaying the probe into the VVIP helicopter deal and demanded that the money trail be traced so that those who received kickbacks could be punished.


Initiating a short duration discussion in the Rajya Sabha on the purchase of the VVIP helicopters by the defence ministry, BJP member Prakash Javadekar alleged that Rs400 crore had been paid in kickbacks for the deal.


Attacking the UPA government, Javadekar accused it of not acting on the voluminous documents on the deal prepared by Italian investigators.


Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said there should be a joint parliamentary committee probe into the helicopter deal in addition to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.


The CBI had Monday registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against 11 people, including former Indian Air Force chief SP Tyagi, and four companies, in the purchase of VVIP helicopters from AgustaWestland.


Besides Tyagi, the inquiry names his cousins Sanjeev alias ‘Julie’ Tyagi, Docsa Tyagi, Sandeep Tyagi, advocate Gautam Khaitan, formerly associated with Aeromatrix, and the company's CEO, Praveen Bakshi.


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