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.
Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has sent a bill for Rs.10.87 crores to Maharashtra government for providing security to Ajmal Kasab for the period from 28 March 2009 to 30 September 2010. Maharashtra government says it does not have the money and has discontinued ITBP protection to Ajmal Kasab.
There was no need to deploy 200 men to guard Ajmal Kasab. The trial was inside the jail. There were other expenses that were unnecessary like constructing a hospital ward for him at the cost of 2 crore rupees which was not used and a tunnel at the cost of 50 lakh rupees which was rarely used.
Indiaâ€™s Home Ministry has delisted 142 terrorists from the list. The list had names of 169 Sikhs. Somebody filed a petition in the Delhi High Court and pleaded that the list should be reviewed as it has led to unnecessary harassment of those individuals at airports and embassies across the world as their passports were not renewed. The Delhi High Court ordered the Home Ministry to take a decision. The Home Ministry consulted Punjab government and security agencies and deleted 25 names in August 2010 and 117 names in April 2011.
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€.
Anna Hazare is on an indefinite fast for Jan Lokpal Bill. This bill is different from the Lokpal Bill the government has in mind. The government is not ready to meet representatives of activists to reconcile the two bills.
Lokpal Bill is a small step in fighting corruption at the top. The bill has made occasional appears over the last 42 years. Many people have come forward in support of Anna Hazare and there are indefinite fasts in various cities. In California, Indians marched supporting the fast against corruption. Candle light vigil has taken place.
Judicial corruption is the worst corruption. Judges are the ultimate hope for justice and when they are corrupt justice is denied.
Judges enjoy constitutional protection so they may do their job fearlessly. The procedure for removal of corrupt judges of Supreme Court or High Court is long and difficult. A motion has to be moved in Lok Sabha, signed by 100 members, or in Rajya Sabha, signed by 50 members. When the motion is admitted the speaker of chairman appoints a committee of three members. When the committee submits report recommending the removal of the judge the motion is put to vote and must be passed by two-thirds majority in both houses. The voting is presented to the president of India and the president removes the judge.
On 7/3/2011 the Supreme Court bench consisting Justices Markandey Katju and Gyansudha Misra dismissed Pinki Viraniâ€™s petition to end Aruna Shanbaugâ€™s life. The matter should have ended there. But the bench commended Pinki Virani for her â€œcompassionâ€ and said passive euthanasia is permissible on a case-by-case basis. Pinki Virani deserved to be condemned for trying to end a life. The decision on passive euthanasia is valid till Parliament makes a law on euthanasia. It is for the legislature to make law and judiciary should not encroach on legislatureâ€™s domain.
I have some questions.
Who authorized Pinki Virani to file a petition on behalf of Aruna Shanbaug? Aruna Shanbaug did not authorize her. She is not a member of Aruna Shanbaugâ€™s family.
Pinki Virani is not Aruna Shanbaugâ€™s caretaker. Why does she want to become her undertaker?
What is right to live with dignity?
Why is right to die is presented as right to live with dignity?
What should be the punishment for someone who wants to kill someone through starvation?
I have my answers.
After the government of Orissa surrendered to the demands of Maoists for release of a collector and an engineer BJD MP Jay Panda said the government acted with maturity. Maturity is a word overused and misused by journalists and politicians. Surrender is not maturity.
The state government abdicated its responsibility when it agreed to negotiate with criminals and accepted their demands. This makes mockery of the rule of law.