Tag: Commonwealth Games

Shunglu Committee is an eyewash

On 15/10/2010 Shunglu Committee was appointed to probe into Commonwealth Games corruption. It was given 90 days time. Someone said it was cover-up. The corrupt people had two months for cover-up before Commonwealth Games and now they have three months. V. K. Shunglu was a CAG. He is out of country, no idea when he will return, may be after 90 days.

On 23/10/2010 on Big Fight on NDTV 24×7 a panellist said Shunglu Committee is an eyewash. It has no powers. Under what law it is appointed? Can it question Manmohan Singh? Can it question Sonia Gandhi? This is not the time for political correctness. Money has gone all the way to the top. Money has gone to Suresh Kalmadi, Sheila Dikshit, Jaipal Reddy. Money has gone to Manmohan Singh. Money has gone to Sonia Gandhi. A junior engineer will be punished. The panellist said that.

Commonwealth Games are over but OC continues. IOA officials continue in their positions. Nothing has changed. Now IOA officials want to bid for Asian Games 2019 and want approval from Sports Ministry. They say only two new stadia are to be built. When the bidding took place for Commonwealth Games the amount quoted was around 350 crore rupees. It went going up and according to one source around 1,02,000 crore rupees were spent for Commonwealth Games. The amount includes various projects for Delhi but the projects would not have been undertaken if there were no Commonwealth Games. Amount needed for Asian Games will keep going up. Money will be spent on renovation of existing stadia that will be 10 times the amount of building new stadia.

People in the media who should be exposing corruption are not doing their job. One editor defends Suresh Kalmadi. TV channels have not come out with details of thousands of crores of rupees siphoned off. We have details of few lakhs or few crores. Few people’s offices have been raided, one of them Sudhanshu Mittal, a BJP member.

Manmohan Singh is responsible for the files he signed for sanction of funds and escalation. Other ministers are responsible for the files they signed.

Delhi is back to normal after Commonwealth Games. Beggars, street vendors, stray dogs, blue line buses and traffic jams are back. Students were made to vacate hostels to accommodate visitors for Commonwealth Games but there were no visitors.

Someone said investigation into corruption in Asian Games 1982 is going on after 28 years. I had not heard of such investigation and perhaps the person was joking.

Some cite Hong Kong as an example of how corruption can be fought and eradicated. People of Hong Kong came out on streets and protested against corruption saying they will not tolerate corruption any more. Corrupt officials were removed. It will be great if people of India can do that.

After Commonwealth Games

Delhi Commonwealth Games are over. Congratulations to athletes who won medals. Condolences to athletes who did not win.

Now the following needs to be done.

India should quit Commonwealth.

There should be investigation into corruption in 70,000 crore rupees spent for Commonwealth Games. There are reports that CAG, CBI, CVC, ED, IT department and some committees will investigate the corruption. We have to wait and see what happens. The proof of pudding is in eating. It is said that CPWD, PWD, DDA and MCD are not co-operating with CVC. CVC himself is under cloud for corruption. BJP had opposed his appointment and boycotted his swearing-in. In stamp paper scam the amount came down from 37,000 crore rupees to 3,000 crore rupees. The investigation had come across names of politicians who made money from the scam. Nothing happened to them. Most investigations end up in cover-ups.

People who were responsible for the mess before Commonwealth Games should go. Otherwise the government should not finance Indian Olympic Association.

Those who mismanaged ticket sales should be punished. For most events stadia were empty. Those who wanted to buy tickets could not get. They were told all tickets were sold. Where did the tickets go? There was one report that tickets were sold in black markets and a ticket costing 750 rupees for closing ceremony was available in black market for 25,000 rupees.

Let us not be complacent about our achievements. We won 38 gold, 27 silver and 36 bronze medals, in all 101 medals, but that does not mean we will do well in Olympics. In 2002 India won 30 gold medals in Commonwealth Games. In 2004 India won one silver medal in Olympics. In 2002 India won 22 gold medals in Commonwealth Games. In 2004 India won one gold and two bronze medals in Olympics. Next month we have Asian Games. Let us see how many medals there.

Flats in Commonwealth Games Village should be auctioned online as was done for 3G spectrum. That way we can recover part of money spent on Commonwealth Games and see that common wealth does not become personal wealth.

Greece hosted Olympics in 2004. It went bankrupt in 2010.

Stadia built for great sporting events turn out to be white elephants. For Delhi Commonwealth Games the amount spent on stadia was 10 times of the usual amount. The stadia can be auctioned minimum amount being amount spent on stadia. When necessary they can be hired.

Judgment delayed is justice denied

Justice delayed is justice denied. Judgment delayed is justice delayed. Therefore, judgment delayed is justice denied.

Judgment on Babri Mosque land was due on 24/9/2010. Uttar Pradesh government had made arrangements for maintaining law and order. Leaves of police personnel were cancelled. I&B Minister Ambika Soni and PM Manmohan Singh had appealed for calm. There were advertisements in newspapers appealing to maintain calm. Suddenly someone filed a petition that judgment be deferred to bring reconciliation. On 17/9/2010 the petition was dismissed and petitioner was fined Rs.50,000/-. TV channels first reported that the fine was Rs.10,00,000/-. How the figure came down from Rs.10,00,000/- to Rs.50,000/- is not known.

The matter should have ended with dismissal and fine on 17/9/2010. Then on 20/9/2010 one judge came with a dissent note. He said he was not consulted by the other two judges and disagreed with the decision to reject the plea to defer the judgment. He should have been with them when they heard the case and delivered judgment. To come with a dissent note after three days was not proper.

On 22/9/2010 the petitioner approached the Supreme Court. One judge said it was a civil matter and he had no jurisdiction to hear the case. On 23/9/2010 two judges heard the case. Justice R. V. Raveendran wanted to dismiss the petition. Justice H. L. Gokhale said even if there is 1% chance of reconciliation it should be tried. Allahabad High Court was to defer judgement. He made the central government a party to the dispute. Notices are to be issued to central government and some other parties. Hearing was to be on 28/9/2010.

The arguments that judgment must be deferred because there are Commonwealth Games, Barack Obama is to visit India, floods, Jammu & Kashmir problem, Bihar elections etc. are not valid.

The dispute has been pending in the court since 1949. That is 61 years. One judge of the Special Bench, Dharam Veer Sharma who did adharma by writing dissent note, retires on 1/10/2010. That will further delay the judgment. How long the Supreme Court judgment will delay the land dispute judgment is anybody’s guess. If the judgment had come within a few years the dispute would not have assumed large proportions and led to riots. A stitch in time saves nine.

Who is the petitioner? How did he suddenly appear? How did he hire an expensive lawyer like Mukul Rohatgi? How did the petition that was not in the morning list appear in the afternoon list? Some say there is hidden hand of Congress behind him as it does not want judgment to come out.

Some say India has moved on. Young people do not care. That is oversimplification. Some young people are more fundamentalist than people of previous generation. In West Bengal some Muslim students wanted their female teachers to wear burkha.

This reminds me of the film Damini. Sunny Deol plays a lawyer and he argues against delay in judgment. He says people come to court and all they get is date.

This also raises the question whether the Supreme Court has the authority to tell a High Court not to deliver judgment when the date has been set. This is for the first time a judge of the Supreme Court decided to tell the High Court to defer the judgment and another judge disagreed with him. There is no reason why one view should prevail on other. In future to avoid such things all benches should have at least three judges and in case of more than three judges the number should be odd.

Cases come to courts because people are unable to resolve disputes. It is not proper to ask the parties to settle the dispute out of court. In Babri Mosque land dispute there was no possibility of reconciliation. High Court judgment would not have been the end of judicial process. The losers would have appealed to the Supreme Court. After Supreme Court judgment there would have been review petition and curative petition.

H. L. Gokhale gave two excuses for delaying the judgment. First excuse, the Supreme Court would the first to be blamed if passions arise after the verdict. Supreme Court would not have been blamed for anything after the verdict. Now it is blamed for delaying judgment.

Second excuse, consequences of verdict will be felt by ordinary people and he was treating the application as of an ordinary person. It is common people who suffer from delays in judgment. If people feel the case may drag on to another 61 years some of them will do whatever they want and consequences will be disastrous.

In one divorce case the judge asked the couple to reconcile. After sometime the husband murdered the wife. If the judge had not asked them to reconcile the woman would have lived.

Once a High Court judge said CJI is not the boss of High Court judges. The judgment in the land case was ready. Justices S. U. Khan and Sudhir Agarwal should deliver the judgment without waiting for 28/9/2010, whether Dharam Veer Sharma agrees or not. Their act will not be defiance of Supreme Court, it may be defiance of H. L. Gokhale. If S. U. Khan and Sudhir Agarwal deliver the judgment the country will be grateful to them and they will create history.