Month: February 2012

Consenting adults and law

There are people who say what consenting adults do in private should not be covered by law. This is mainly in reference to Section 377 of IPC which is under litigation in Supreme Court.

By that logic prostitution, sale and purchase of narcotics and psychotropic substances and illicit liquor, corruption, polygamy, transmission of pornographic material and many others matters that take place between consulting adults will be out of the scope of law. Drug traffickers can claim they have right to life and liberty to sell heroin, marijuana and such things to consenting adults in private and they have right to equality. The state will have no right to legislate on marriage, divorce, alimony and child custody. Also concubinage, live-in relationship and palimony will be out of the legal purview.

What happens if a man who is married does not reveal his marital status and marries another woman? What happens if a woman has sex with a man because he promises her something and later he does not keep his promise?

What about doctors and parents who after sex determination test terminate the pregnancy of a foetus knowing it is female? India’s sex ratio is going down. Medical termination of pregnancy is not a crime. Female foeticide is a crime.

Some blame Thomas Macaulay for everything what they claim is wrong with India including Section 377 of IPC. Thomas Macaulay came to India in 1834 and left India in 1838. IPC was promulgated in 1860.

Some give examples of Khajuraho and Ajanta-Ellora as examples of Indian culture and civilization. It is like saying Jarawa women who do not cover their breasts as representative of all Indian women. Khajuraho and Ajanta-Ellora are exceptions. If what they show is a sample of what is Indian then all temples would have shown them.

A vociferous minority supported by sections of media attacks people who stand for heterosexuality. Those who speak of freedom of speech criticize Ghulam Nabi Azad and Baba Ramdev when they exercise their freedom of speech.

Some wrongly speak of gays and lesbians being married and having children. They are bisexuals. There is nothing hereditary being gay. If someone is gay he would not have had children.

It is not for judges to declare what should be the law. Their job is to deliver judgment as per law. Judges who cross their limits do lot of damage.

It is wrong to call gays and lesbians a minority. Minorities are either ethnic, or religious or linguistic. All types of criminals can claim they are a minority. Terrorists can claim they are a minority doing a noble job but misunderstood by the majority. Bandits can claim they are a minority.

If Supreme Court judges do not know what is sex according to order of nature it is penile vaginal intercourse. Terms like unnatural sex have definite meanings acquired over the years. It is not for judges to change the meanings. It is for legislatures to change the law.

The government of India wants to run with the hare and hunt with the hound. On 23/2/2012 Additional Solicitor General P. P. Malhotra told the Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices G. S. Singhvi and J. S. Mukhyopadhyay “The issue whether to retain or not to retain Section 377 IPC was considered by the Law Commission of India in its 42nd report and it observed that Indian society by and large disapproves of homosexuality and disapproval was strong enough to justify it being treated as a criminal offence even when adults indulge in it in private.” About privacy he said “Whose privacy is being disturbed? Nobody’s privacy is being disturbed. Privacy is not an absolute right and is always subject to restriction. It is an offence.” Then home ministry came out with a press release that the government is neutral on the issue. It had asked Attorney General to assist the Supreme Court. May be if Shahi Imam or head of Darul Uloom wants to retain Section 377 as it is the government will take a stand in favour of retention.

Cricketers and retirement

The day Ricky Ponting retired from ODI cricket there was discussion on Indian news TV channels whether Sachin Tendulkar should retire. Before that during the Test series there was talk whether senior cricketers should retire.

It is for cricketers to decide when they want to retire and for selectors to decide who should be in the team. A cricketer does not retire does not mean he continues in the team. Selectors have dropped players who did not perform well. Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh have been in and out of the team. Rahul Dravid was dropped from ODIs. Sourav Ganguly was dropped as captain and player after winning Test series in Zimbabwe. It is wrong to say Kapil Dev by not retiring two years early delayed Srinath’s entry. If Kapil Dev was not good selectors would have dropped him. The argument that senior cricketers by not retiring block chances of young cricketers is not correct.

India lost eight Tests in succession abroad and some talk how after Sourav Ganguly there has been no proper No. 6 batsman or how Anil Kumble used to tie up one end.

Ricky Ponting was dropped from ODI team after he scored 18 runs in five ODIs and it was made clear he will not be selected to ODIs so he retired. Sachin Tendulkar is not dropped. He has scored 87 runs in four ODIs. Rahul Dravid and V. V. S. Laxman are not in ODI team. It is for them to decide when they want to retire from Tests. Selectors will do their job.

Let Kingfisher Go Bankrupt

It is a crime on the part of State Bank of India to give a loan of 1,650 crore rupees to Kingfisher. Some of it will be in the form of bank guarantees. It is ridiculous for RBI Deputy Governor K. C. Chakrabarty to say this was a professional decision and may help Kingfisher pay back all its loans. This is a very unprofessional decision. What will RBI do if SBI does not get its money? Print notes and give it to SBI?

Kingfisher had defaulted on its loan from SBI and many other banks. Loan from SBI was converted into shares at Rs.64.48 per share when the market value was Rs.48 per share and now the value is less than Rs.20 per share. It resulted in loss to SBI and consequently Moody’s downgraded SBI and put other lenders to Kingfisher on watch list. The government of India had to give money to SBI to save it. Public sector banks are the property of the people of India. They are not the property of ministers. SBI’s decision defies business sense. Who ordered SBI to take the decision? Is it Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee or someone else? Is it an oral or a written instruction? SBI should not hide behind client confidentiality which is meant to protect defaulters. There should be a law that makes it obligatory for banks to display the list of borrowers, the amount borrowed, amount paid, due dates and defaults on their web sites. Those banks do not have web sites should have web sites.

Kingfisher was in trouble in November 2011. That time many flights were cancelled. Manmohan Singh found ways to get Kingfisher out of trouble. After three months flights are cancelled again. Kingfisher should have shutdown when it was unable to pay loans to banks. Vijay Mallya will keep profits he makes from liquor business and invest in IPL and Formula 1 and the losses he makes on Kingfisher are to the people of India. Vijay Mallya said “Closing down is not an option. It will not happen. Government does not want it to happen. It is not in national interest.” Who from the government said they don’t want Kingfisher to shut down? Kingfisher is a non-performing liability and saving it is not in national interest.

When flights are cancelled passengers should be refunded whether they paid in cash or through credit card or travel agent. It is wrong to make passengers who paid through credit card or travel agent wait for three weeks by routing refunds through agents. Passengers should not be asked to revalidate tickets for future use.

Kingfisher being one word the abbreviation for Kingfisher Airlines should be KA and not KFA as many TV channels do.

All types of excuses are given to bail out Kingfisher. One is that it is done for the benefit of passengers. If Kingfisher is shut down passengers will use other airlines. Another excuse is that it is not about an individual but about the company. Veerappa Moily said “I am not in favour of closing down any company. We saved Satyam. But it was not about an individual, but about the company.” Satyam should not have been saved and B. Ramalinga Raju is still free. Instead of being in jail he was in ICUs and ran his business from there. Third excuse is that aviation industry is facing crisis and private airlines are bleeding severely. Indigo is making profit. Other airlines should find their ways to make profit or shut down.

Kingfisher’s licence should have been cancelled by this time. DGCA Bharat Bhushan said “Such an action will only precipitate matters. They are among the largest airlines, and we cannot ask them to shut down. I will have to consult the ministry before initiating any such action.” It means small airlines will be punished for violating rules and causing hardships to passengers but large airlines will not be punished whatever they may do. Someone said DGCA safety surveillance is a joke. They just fill forms. Bharat Bhushan may consult the ministry but as DGCA he is responsible for his actions.

A person who had deducted tax at source but not deposited with Income Tax Department would have been in jail. In Kingfisher’s case 170 or 200 crore rupees were deducted as tax but not deposited and IT Dept freezes bank accounts and Vijay Mallya is free. In December 2011 Kingfisher accounts were frozen and after some days defreezed.

Kingfisher has defaulted on loans, has not paid taxes deducted at source, owes money to oil companies and salaries to employees. Let it go bankrupt.