Where there is will there is a way. If Congress wants to pass a strong Lokpal Bill it can do. If it does not want to pass a strong Lokpal Bill it finds ways avoid it. In that case the passing of Lokpal Bill depends on how strong is the will of people who want a strong Lokpal Bill. If their will is stronger than that of Congress they will succeed. Anna Hazare Group wants Lokpal Bill passed in the winter session of Parliament which gets over on 22/12/2011. Otherwise he will start his indefinite fast on 27/12/2011 and has asked people to fill jails and sit in front of houses of MPs from 1 January 2012 onwards. This time the fast is to be from Azad Maidan where his previous fasts were successful.
There were reports that CBI will not oppose Kanimozhi â€˜s bail plea. The Supreme Court questioned CBI on the reports and CBIâ€™s lawyer Harin Raval said it would certainly oppose Kanimozhi â€˜s bail plea.
Karunanidhi came to Delhi and met Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh on 22/10/2011. On 24/10/2011 CBI did not oppose bail for Kanimozhi, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Aggarwal, Karim Morani and Sharad Kumar. It opposed bail for R. K. Chandolia and Shahid Balwa. On 31/10/2011 Supreme Court judges G. S. Singhvi and H. L. Dattu questioned Harin Raval â€œIs is true that during the hearing the CBI counsel said that he has no objection to bail for five out of the 14 accused?â€ and directed him to confirm the next day. On 1/11/2011 Harin Raval confirmed that U. U. Lalit representing CBI had not opposed bail for five accused.
Nowadays there has been lot of talk impeachment of Justice Soumitra Sen. It is wrong to talk of impeachment of a High Court Judge. A High Court Judge is removed, not impeached.
The constitution of India provides for the impeachment of President and removal of Vice President, Deputy Chairman of the Council of States (Rajya Sabha), Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of the People (Lok Sabha), Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Chief Election Commissioner, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Legislative Assembly, Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Legislative Council, Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts and members of Public Service Commissions. Attorney General and Governors hold office during the pleasure of the President. Advocate General holds office during the pleasure of the Governor.
Tamil Nadu is a fit case for imposition of Presidentâ€™s Rule as it is not run as per constitution and its Legislative Assembly passed a resolution asking for mercy to criminals whose petitions had been rejected by the President. Omar Abdullah was right in questioning whether the reaction would have been as muted if Jammu & Kashmir had passed a similar resolution in favour of Afzal Guru. In that case BJP and many other parties would have gone ballistic. There is hypocrisy in Tamil Nadu. Some years back Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly had passed a resolution favouring death penalty for the criminals. Parties headed by Karunanidhi and Vaiko were part of NDA which rejected mercy petitions. Ram Jethmalani was member of BJP and did not oppose death penalty then. Madras High Court should not have entertained the petitions and stayed the executions for eight weeks and when that happened Supreme Court should have intervened and vacated the stay. If waiting for death penalty is cruel why extend it by eight weeks? That shows the falsehood of the claim that waiting for death penalty is cruel and an excuse to get death penalty commuted to life imprisonment. What happens in India puts banana republics to shame and there should be a new phrase to describe India.
It is a shame that some politicians want mercy for criminals whose mercy petitions are rejected by the President. Some months back a Sikh terroristâ€™s petition was rejected and Akali and Congress politicians from Punjab wanted mercy for him. The terrorist had gone to Supreme Court and wanted his petition to be settled one way or other and after the rejection he has gone to court challenging the dismissal.
Now some politicians from Tamil Nadu want mercy for three Tamil terrorists. It is perverse for Karunanidhi to ask mercy for Rajiv Gandhiâ€™s killers claiming Rajiv Gandhi would have shown mercy under similar circumstances. Rajiv Gandhi did not die alone. Fifteen innocent people, including nine policemen on duty, died in the blast. No thought is given to them. The terrorists have appealed to Madras High Court on the ground of delay in decision. Karunanidhi, Vaiko and other politicians who oppose death penalty had lost elections.
MPs are free to move privilege motion against anyone including PM. Sometime back BJP had moved a privilege motion against PM. Article 105 of the Constitution does not define the privileges of MPs. It does not say Parliament can send someone to jail. Some MPs want to punish Om Puri and Kiran Bedi for what they said against MPs. MPs say the dignity of Parliament has been violated. Om Puri has issued a qualified apology on TV channels. He said he was offended when Manish Tewari accused Anna Hazare of corruption. Kiran Bedi has stood by her words. She said it was a game changer.
Where is the dignity of Parliament when MPs repeatedly disrupt Parliament? Days pass without doing any work. Sometimes whole sessions are disrupted. Many MPs donâ€™t attend Parliament for most of the days. Foul means are adopted to get majority in Parliament. When there is need of SP, BSP and RJD votes CBI finds no evidence in cases against Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Laloo Prasad Yadav. MPs are not to hold offices of profit however they declare them as not offices of profit and hold them.
The controversy about Aarakshan has raised the question of relevance of CBFC. Once CBFC certifies a film there should be no problem about its release anywhere in India. However many people without seeing the film want the film to be banned. Some want special screening for them. It is bad for anyone to do that but worse when people in power do that. It is unpardonable for the home minister of state to say that films should be shown to certain politicians. It is unpardonable for other ministers to demand special screening and they will decide what should be shown. States should have no power to ban a CBFC certified film and those who create law and order problem should be strictly dealt with.
In one James Bond film it is said: Once can be happenstance. Twice can be coincidence. Thrice or more enemy is at work. On NDTV 24×7â€™s Left Right and Centre on three days Nidhi Razdan asked the question: Is death penalty a deterrent? She implied it was not. My answer is â€œYesâ€.
First time Nidhi Razdan asked the question with regard to remarks by Justice Markandeya Katju about policemen who kill in fake encounters. He had said â€œSuch policemen should be hanged. It is nothing but cold-blooded brutal murder, and yes, police personnel responsible should be hanged.â€ The discussion turned around fake encounters. Y. P. Singh said policemen do a noble job in an unethical way. It is a political call to control crime. The government of the day asks police to finish criminals. When there were gang wars in Bombay encounters took place and criminals disappeared.
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€