Phone hacking in Britain was going on for a long time. People did not protest when phones of royalty, politicians and celebrities were hacked. When it became public that phones of a murder victim Milly Dowler, 7/7 victims and of soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan were hacked there was outrage.
The phone hacking scandal has made international headlines. Not only there was hacking but also bribing of police officers to know the phone numbers of the queen and her itinerary.
Prashant Bhushan should make public what he knows about corrupt CJIs. The law must be changed to hang corrupt CJIs. Prashant Bhushan has been in the forefront of fight against corruption and was in the committee to draft Lokpal Bill. He should not apologise. If he goes to jail it will show the abuse of the power of the court to punish the innocent. That may result in a law that will define contempt of court and take away the power of judges to act arbitrarily or scrapping the provision altogether. Many constitutions do not have the provision of contempt of court.
There is a campaign in the media that 2G accused should get bail. I see a lobbyist behind it.
Radia tapes revealed a lobbyist connected to politicians, bureaucrats, industrialists and journalists. In an Anil Ambani versus Mukesh Ambani case when the judgment went in favour of Anil Ambani she asked Vir Sanghvi to write an article attacking the judge. Barkha Dutt was ready to do her bidding.
The campaign began with Jaswant Singh appearing on CNN-IBN and saying the 2G accused should get bail. TV discussions followed. Ex-CJI Vishwanath Khare and Ex-SG Harish Salve sent unsolicited legal opinions to CBI. On 6/7/2011 the Supreme Court told CBI lawyer K. K. Venugopal â€œDonâ€™t take these legal opinions into consideration. You reject them outright.â€
There are people who say Lokpal Bill targets corruption at top and does not make any difference to corruption at bottom. They do not know corruption at bottom is very often due to corruption at top.
A home minister takes four crore rupees as bribe to appoint a police officer as commissioner. The commissioner recovers that money from his juniors who in turn recover money from their juniors and so it reaches the level of constable. This also results in criminals going scot-free due to acts of commission and omission by police.
A chairman of a Public Service Commission takes 75 lakh rupees as bribe to appoint DSPs and judges. They recover it from their juniors and others.
Veerappa Moily must be a happy man. When four ministers went to meet Baba Ramdev at airport he was not one of them. It was interpreted as he was losing favour. By 5/6/2011 the tide had turned, the pendulum had swung, Kapil Sibal was under attack.
Anna Hazare led a fast for Lokpal Bill and was successful. Baba Ramdev was unhappy about the composition of the drafting committee for Lokpal Bill which had Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal among others. He said, father is chairman, son is member and the secret of Arvind Kejriwalâ€™s seat. Shanti Bhushan replied drafting committee needs legal experts not yoga guru. Anna Hazare spoke to Baba Ramdev and Baba Ramdev muted his criticism.
In India helicopter crashes are more than passenger plane crashes. Many people have died in helicopter crashes including G. M. C. Balayogi, Madhavrao Scindia, Y. S. R. Reddy and Dorjee Khandu. In April 2011 there were two helicopter crashes in Arunachal Pradesh. In both cases helicopters belonged to Pawan Hans and Tawang featured in the flights. The crashes can be due to various reasons. The helicopter could be old and not fit for flying. The pilot does not have sufficient experience. Bad weather and poor visibility make flying difficult.
It seems there is no check on airworthiness of helicopters. Either DGCA does not do its job or the owners of helicopters continue the use of unfit helicopters without the knowledge of DGCA.
â€Bhushans get two prime farmhouse plots from Mayatwati govt for a songâ€ said the headline of Indian Express on 20/4/2011.
What song? Munni badnam hui? Sheela ki jawani? Dum maro dum? Did Bhushans sing the song in front of Mayawati?
The cost of the plot is Rs.3.5 crore. At the time of allotment 35 lakh rupees were to be paid. The rest to be paid in 16 instalments over 10 years. Is 3.5 core rupees a small amount? If it is less than quarter of the market rate what is the market rate? Sometimes the campaign against someone has motives other than exposing the wrongdoing. As Dom Moraes wrote in his book the campaign against Abdul Rahman Antulay was because Ramnath Goenka did not get cement.\
Ever since the notification of the formation of the drafting committee for Lokpal Bill, NGOs have come under attack from several persons. Someone wanted them to be included in Lokpal Bill. Someone made vague accusations of corruptions against NGOs. It seems to be an attempt to divert attention from the real issue of corruption by public servants.
The accusations are NGOs are not accountable to anyone, one can declare oneself an NGO and can become very rich very quickly and you need not explain how you got the money and how you spent it, nearly all the NGOs who set out to save Indiaâ€™s environment are frauds, NGOs set to save poor spend time and money on international conferences and senior government officials become NGOs after retirement while politicians use NGOs to hide black money.
The events of the last few days have shown that fight against corruption will be hard and the corrupt will do everything to scuttle the Lokpal Bill.
A nameless and faceless coward sent a CD that caused problems for Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan. The Bhushans have gone to Supreme Court. Some want Bhushans to quit the drafting committee and that seems to be the reason for sending the CD. Not many top lawyers joined Anna Hazare in his fight against corruption. Most of them have taken briefs of 2G companies and various criminals. On TV channels they may talk of probity, integrity and transparency but when it comes to briefs they have no compunction in accepting any brief from anyone whether murderer, rapist, molester, swindler, fraudster or some other high criminal.
The fast by activists led by Anna Hazare has elicited different responses from different people. While there is agreement on the need to fight corruption, some have criticized the method.
Their objections are as below:
1) In a parliamentary democracy parliament is supreme. Parliament can not be pressurized by fasting.
2) Self-appointed people can not make law. It is for elected representatives to make law.
3) The agitators have contempt for politics and democracy.
4) The agitation amounts to blackmail.
5) The agitation is fascist.
Let us examine the objections.
1) People are supreme in a democracy. Parliament represents people. MPs are elected to do the will of the people and not as they want. Fasting is a legitimate way to put pressure on parliament. MPs forget they are representatives of people and not lords and masters. The constitution begins with the words â€œWe the peopleâ€.