Prevention of Atrocities – Guidelines to Police Officers

Guidelines to Police Officers Investigating Cases under SC/ST (PoA) Act, 1989 & PCR Act, 1955

Article 17 of the Constitution of India has abolished the practice of untouchability in all forms To give effect to this Article. Parliament enacted the Untouchability (Offences) Act, 1955 and later renamed it as The Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 and notified the Rules in 1977 to implement the Provisions of the Act Later, the Parliament passed the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 which enable the police authorities for taking specific measures to prevent the atrocities to carry out the provisions of this Act, the Government of India notified the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules in the year 1995. In view of the above, the Police Officers have been entrusted with the noble duty to implement all the provisions of the enactments and in right spirit. In this regard, certain measures which are needed to be taken by the Police Officers, who directly or indirectly deal with the incidents of atrocities or practice of untouchability in their respective jurisdiction are as under:-

1) To identify the atrocities prone areas/ villages in order to enable themselves to take adequate preventing measures well in time.

2) They should visit the identified areas and review the Law and Order situation from time to time.

3) To cancel the Arms licenses of the persons who have misused a licensed firearms for committing atrocities or are likely to commit atrocities.

4) To organize Awareness Campaign in the identified areas to educate the SCs/STs about their rights and protections available to them under different enactments.

5) To deploy pickets in such identified areas, where there is an imminent danger of reprisal against SCs/ STs.

6) In extreme situations Arms licenses may be recommended to be issued to the SCs/ STs to enable them to protect their lives and properties.

7) Any complaint of atrocity on SCs/STs by forcing them to eat any inedible substance, causing insult or annoyance, parading them naked/ with painted face, wrongful occupation/ dispossession from their land, house etc.. forcing bonded labour, use of force in casting of vote, institution of false cases, intentional insult in public view, outraging modesty of SC/ST women, refusing access to a place of public resort, expelling SCs/STs from their houses/ village etc. are covered under section 3 (1) of the SCs/ STs (POA) Act Whereas, some of offences like fabricating false evidence, mischief by fire, attempt to cause disappearance of the evidence etc. for which the SC/ST person is likely to be convicted of an offence which is not capital but punishable with imprisonment of (07) years or upwards, would fall u/s 3(2) of the SCs/STs (POA) Act.

8) All the cases of atrocities on SCs/STs by non SCs and STs should be registered under the provisions of the SCs/STs (POA) Act, 1989 only, while the cases of enforcing any disability on account of preaching and practicing untouchability should be booked under the provisions of PCR Act. All the concerned officers should clearly understand the provisions of these two enactments and their applicability.

9) If any offence under sec. 3 of SCs/STs (POA) Act is committed by a public servant, he is liable to be prosecuted u/s 3(2) (VII).

10) On receipt of a representation/ compliant pertaining to any offence under the provisions of thee SCs/ STs (POA) Act either in writing or orally at the Police Station, the Officers -in-charge shall register a case, as provided under Rule 5(1) of the POA Rules of 1995 r/w 154 Cr.PC and if the Officer — in — charge of the Police Stations fails to do so, it amounts to “willful neglect of duty” which in itself is an offence u/s 4 of the said Act.

11) While registering FIR. it should be ensured that correct Sections and Sub Sections under the appropriate Act are applied Any attempt of burking or minimizing the gravity of the offence shall be treated as “Willful neglect of duty “.

12) All the cases of bogus caste certificates should be booked u/s 420 IPC.

13) The lOs should refrain from becoming parties to the compromises/ out of court settlements in cases of specific accusations as defined under the Acts.

14) All the Cases referred u/s 156 (3) Cr.PC. by the court should be promptly registered and the FIR copies should be sent to court and other concerned officers without any delay If there is any dereliction of duty on the part of the IO, he shall be liable for contempt of court and also for Departmental action

15) FIR copy in every case should be sent to the District Magistrate, to enable him to take decision regarding sanction of relief and rehabilitation measures and a copy of the FIR should also be given to the complainant.

16) FIR copy should also be sent to the CP/ SP promptly with a request to appoint the 10 at the earliest, to enable the 10 to commence investigation without any loss of time.

17) The Investigation Officer ACP/ DSP has to be appointed by the C.P/ SsP. to expeditiously investigate the case booked under (POA) Act. 1989 as envisaged under Rule 7(1) of SCs/STs (POA) Rules of 1995. Non-compliance of the above legal requirement would vitiate the entire investigation.

18) Rule 7(2) stipulates that the investigating officer so appointed under sub-rule (1) shall complete the investigation on top priority basis within thirty days.

19) In case the appointed IO is transferred out, any another Dy SP is to be appointed as IO and it has to be done by issuing a fresh Appointment Order by S P/C P. U/Rule 7(1) of SC/ST (POA) Rules, 1995.

20) On receipt of the appointment order from the SP/C.P the appointed IO should take up investigation from the stage of FIR. If the initial investigation has been done by an incompetent officer, it is an irregular investigation and mere verification of such investigation by the Dy SP is void and irregular under the Law.

21) In case, the incompetent officer has filed the charge sheet after his investigation, it is null and void and hence the specially appointed Dy.SP should seek permission of the court by filling petition u/s 173(8)Cr.PC and proceed with further investigation from the initial stage i.e from the FIR stage after obtaining the permission of the Court.

22) Since, the investigation in cases under POA Act need to be completed within 30 days, the IO must ensure that the witnesses to be examined u/s 164 Cr.PC are examined within the stipulated period. Tendency to get 164 Cr.Pc statement done after months together should be put to an end. as such practice is found to be against the interest of the victim/ complainant.

23) The lOs should refrain from getting the statements of witnesses recorded u/s 164 Cr.PC if it is likely to weaken the case of prosecution. As per established Law. such statements only should be got recorded u/s 164 Cr PC which are likely to strengthen the case.

24) In cases of bogus caste certificates, the IO should also invariably investigate into the conduct and character of the certificate issuing/ inquiring authorities for heir prosecution if so required and write to the concerned department for initiating departmental action against the accused officers, while furnishing the relevant material required to be relied upon by the appropriate authority.

25) The IO after recording the statements of witnesses u/s 161 Cr.PC must hand over a copy of the same to the concerned witnesses under acknowledgement on the original copy as it would help in ensuring the truthfulness of the statements and the witness may refer to the same prior to his examination in the court. It would also stop the IOs from doing table investigation and that too at his convenient time.

26) The lOs should not hesitate to arrest the accused promptly when they are likely to tamper with the evidence by way of threatening or winning over the witness or terrorise the complainant or they are likely to abscond etc. It should also be ensured that the non-arrest of the accused does not result into commission of series of offences against the victims. Hence, the timely arrest goes a long way in preventing the offence and to enthuse confidence in the victims and the community.

27) On knowing that Anticipatory Bail petition has been filed in the Sessions Court or High Court by the accused, the ID should immediately meet the concerned APP/SpI PP/ PP and apprise him of the facts of the case, to enable him to oppose the bail However, if the court entertains such petition, the lO/SpI PP/PP/ APP should rely upon Section 18 of SCs/STs (POA) Act.

28) The Investigation Officer should examine the important and relevant witnesses only, as that would help him to unearth the truth and complete the investigation within a period of 30 days.

29) It is noticed that some of the accused are getting counter cases registered against the SC/ST complainants. In this regard, the lOs must ensure that the investigation in both the cases is completed within 30 days and that the false case is closed Undue delays in this regard are viewed with suspicion by the public and victim in particular.

30) Adequate care should be taken by the IO to complete the investigation within the stipulated period i.e. 30 days and submit the report, lest on this ground the entire investigation may be held as null and void by the court being violation of Rule 7(2) of SCs/STs(POA) Rules.

31) In the cases booked against public servants, the concerned lOs should obtain permission of the Govt, to prosecute the accused u/s 197 Cr.PC before laying the charge sheet.

32) It is a well-established principle that the evidence of the complainant alone shall be sufficient for laying the charge sheet in the Court if it is capable of inspiring the confidence of the court The tendency to close the cases as False/MF, on the basis of the evidence of unimportant witnesses while ignoring the evidence of the complainant needs to be put to an end.

33) The IO must furnish the required number of copies of the relevant material to the accused and promptly produce the accused in the court to get the charges framed early in the designated Sessions Court.

34) In these cases, the IO must make an attempt to gather evidence to the effect that the accused were aware of the victim’s caste at the time of committing the offence,

35) After completion of investigation, the IO should file the charge sheet in the concerned ACJM Court for committal sake and not at all in the Special Court.

36) The IOs should send Memo of Evidence incorporating List of Documents, List of Material Objects and also List of Witnesses along with Charge Sheet and obtain acknowledgement for the same.

37) The IO should enclose injury reports, FSL Report, Medical opinion etc. along with the Charge Sheet while filing in the Court.

38) Any attempt on the part of the accused to threaten the witnesses or to tamper with the evidence etc. the IO should bring it to the notice of the Court and seek denial or cancellation of the bail as the case may be.

39) The IO should proceed u/s 82 & 83 Cr.PC against the sureties, where the accused are absconding and NBWs issued against them.

40) The IO should take prompt and effective steps in consultation with the PP to get the stays vacated by approaching the Superior Courts.

41) The Investigating Officer should produce the witnesses before the APPs for refreshing their memory before they are produced before the court The witnesses or whose 164 statements are already recorded must be warned of action u/s 193 IPC if they turn hostile in the court.

42) It the witnesses in attendance in courts are to be sent back without examination by the Court on the request or due to absence of the accused, the Prosecuting Officers should insist on the examination of such witnesses or insist on payment of cost to the witnesses by the accused, as provided u/ Rule 11 of SCs/STs (POA) Rules. 1995.

43) The SsP must ensure that the District Magistrate do prepare a panel of Senior Advocates for conducting cases in the Special Courts as Spl PP and send the same to the Government to notification in the official gazette. The District Magistrate may also be requested to review the performance of the Special PP at least twice in a year and in case he has not conducted the cases with due care and caution, his name may be sent for de-notification.

44) The Commissioner of Police/ Superintendents of Police Unit Officers may also recommend to the District Magistrate, if so desired by the victims, to engage an eminent Senior Advocate for conducting the cases in Special Court.

45) Summons on the Police Officers to give their evidence should be served promptly and it should be ensured by the supervisory officers that they do attend the Court to give their evidence.

46) Police should assist the Courts in bringing forward the witnesses/ accused promptly to ensure smooth and expeditious trial of the case.

47) The dilatory tactics adopted by the accused should be effectively and honestly countered by way of formally opposing the applications for adjournments u/s 309 Cr.PC and also request the Court to go ahead with the trial as provided u/s 317 (1) Cr.PC.

48) The Commissioners of Police/ Superintendents of Police should ensure that Special PPs are appointed in every Special Court meant for handling such cases.

49) The cases are getting abnormally delayed mainly due to non-attendance by the accused, non-attendance by the witnesses, lack of commitment on the part of the lOs/ APP/Spl.PP/PP etc. It can be countered by formally opposing the exemption from attendance petitions and obtaining NBWs against such accused The lOs should also sincerely execute the NBWs/ BWs against the accused and witnesses to ensure speedy trial and also to proceed u/s 82 and 83 Cr.PC against them if situation so warrants.

50) In cases where some of the accused are not attending the court for a long time, the IO/APP/Spl.PP/PP should get the case split up against the absconding accused, who are not likely to be arrested in near future. a$ provided u/s 317 (2) Cr PC.

51) Where there is no likelihood to secure the presence of the accused in near future after framing of the charges, the IO/APP/Spl.PP/PP should request the court to examine the witnesses u/s 299 Cr.PC.

52) The Commissioners of Police/ Superintendents of Police must initiate appropriate disciplinary action against the IOs for the lapses pointed out in the Judgment and in cases of lapses on the part of Special PPs the same may be addressed to the District Magistrate/ Director of Prosecutions/ Ld Legal Remembrancer, Government of West Bengal.

53) The Commissioners of Police/ Superintendents of Police West Bengal must actively liaise with the District Magistrate for effective functioning of District Vigilance & Monitoring Committee by way of causing critical review of cases for their expeditious disposal, organizing Awareness Campaigns, seeking involvement of NGOs review of relief and rehabilitation measures, formulation of Model Contingency Plans for preventing disputes and caste related social disturbances, etc.

54) The stringent provisions of the Act including neglect of duty by public servant, forfeiture of property, internment of persons from Scheduled and Tribal areas, imposition of collective fines, if judiciously implemented would create deterrent climate.

55) In all the acquittal cases, the judgment copies should be obtained from the court at the earliest to send the same to the concerned SP or Inspector General of Police-1, CID, West Bengal along with the opinion of APP/ Spl.PP/PP within (20) days for scrutiny and to enable them to take decision regarding filing an appeal or otherwise.

56) The Commissioners of Police/ Superintendents of Police should personally review the Final Reports and take appropriate decision at their level keeping the following points in view among other things.

a) Whether the IO has explained the delay in lodging the complaint, if any
b) Whether the IO has examined all the eye witnesses specially those who have been cited in the complaint.
c) Whether the IO has collected the Caste Certificate of the complainant and accused
d) Whether valid appointment orders are placed in the CD file.
e) Whether opinion of the concerned A.P.P /Spl. PP/ PP has been obtained
f) Whether the Investigation Officer so appointed under Rule 7 (1) of SC/ST (POA) Rules, 1995 had completed the investigation on top priority within 30 days as required under Rule 7(2) of SC/ST (POA) Rules, 1995.

57) The District Superintendents of Police/ Commissioners of Police are requested to take action against any Police Officer u/s 4 of SCs/STs (POA) Act, 1989 who willfully neglects his duties required to be performed by him under this Act.

58) The copies of Judgments in all acquitted/ convicted cases also should be sent to Inspector General of Police – I, CID, West Bengal.

The above instructions should be communicated to all the Officers — in — charge of Police Stations (including I/C’s) and Investigating Officers.

This issues with the approval of DGP, CID, West Bengal.

Addl. Director General of Police – II,
CID, Bhawni Bhaban, Alipore
Kolkata- 700 027


Cleaning up India’s police: Here’s what can remove corruption among top cops

Newspapers on Sunday carried a story that an Additional Commissioner of Police of Bengaluru has been suspended for his suspected ties with a lottery kingpin of the underworld. To boot this, a few other senior serving and retired IPS officers, including a former DGP, have been mentioned as possible accomplices.

This shocking development comes on the heels of the suspension and likely arrest of an IGP in Tamil Nadu for getting mixed up with a bookie connected to cricket betting. A third shameful recent episode was the reported malpractice of a senior Kerala IPS officer while he was writing his Law degree examination. The invigilator who brought this to the notice of the authorities has since gone back on his complaint, something that may not pass muster with the general public.

That all these pertain to the South is coincidental. It does not for a moment suggest that lack of integrity is the sole monopoly of IPS officers in this region alone. There are many of their brethren in other parts of the country who have been guilty of equally egregious, if not graver misconduct.

Mangaluru : Student nun manhandled in daylight, case filed

Mangaluru : Student nun manhandled in daylight, case filed

Mangaluru, Mar 17 : In a startling episode, reminiscent of the recent gang rape of a nun in Kolkata, a young nun was allegedly kidnapped and manhandled in a broad daylight by four men here on Monday March 16. However, as luck would have it, the nun in this case managed to escape from the clutches of the assailants, just in nick of time.

The nun doing her physiotherapy course in a city private hospital was allegedly waylaid by four men near Pumpwell as she alighted from the bus she was travelling. It is learnt that the men pushed her into an auto where they gagged and manhandled her. The courageous nun, though, used her presence of mind and when the auto reached Kadri-Nantoor area found it slowing down near a road hump and jumped out and ran for life. In the melee, though, she sustained minor injuries and lost her hand bag and watch.

She was later offered a helping hand by a passer-by who took her to the hospital.

It is alleged that when she went to register a complaint to Mangalore East (Kadri) police station, her complaint was not accepted. She was rather sent to Mangalore rural police station.

Prominent Christian religious and lay leaders have expressed displeasure at the slackness of the police in assessing the seriousness of the case as the FIR was registered only at 6 p.m. at Mangalore rural police station, though the incident took place at noon. The case has been booked under sections 392 (robbery) and 363 (kidnap) of IPC.

The nun is admitted in a city private hospital where her condition is reported to be stable, though she is still in a state of shock.

Mangaluru: Seven arrested for stopping college tour at Mudipu, stone-pelting at mosque

Mangaluru: Seven arrested for stopping college tour at Mudipu, stone-pelting at mosque

Mangaluru, Mar 17: Seven persons have been arrested in connection to the moral policing case at Mudipu wherein Bajrang Dal activists had stopped a bus carrying college students on an educational tour to Bengaluru and Mysuru.

The arrests also were in connection to the stone-pelting at Noorania Juma mosque which followed the bus incident.

DCP Santhosh Babu informed this to media persons prior to the road safety meeting at DC’s office here on Tuesday March 17.

The DCP said that three cases have been registered and seven persons arrested so far. Also, three two-wheelers and one car has been seized.

He said two teams, each led by ACP south and CCB, have been formed to investigate the case and stone-pelting on the mosque.

“Further investigations are on. We want to finish the probe and close this case as soon as possible,” the DCP said.

The incident took place on the night of Saturday March 14 when a group of around 300 Bajrang Dal activists stopped a bus taking students and four teachers of a college on an educational tour to Bengaluru and Mysuru, allegedly because the boys and girls in the bus belonged to different communities. The activists went on a rampage, pelting stones at the bus and later at Noorania Juma mosque and also allegedly three persons who were travelling in an auto rickshaw.

Police rescue minor boy, kidnapper arrested

Police rescue minor boy, kidnapper arrested

KARNAL: Police rescued the 14-year-old son of an architect in Gharounda from his kidnapper, who had abducted the boy from near his house on Monday night. Munish, a student of Class IX, had gone missing after attending his tuition class on Monday evening, following which his father Jitender Khurana received a ransom call of Rs 50 lakh.

Khurana reported the matter to police, which began investigations during which a number of calls were exchanged between him and the kidnapper. A special team was constituted to trace the boy, which carried out raids near Kali Mata temple in Ambala on Tuesday morning and rescued Munish.

Police said the kidnapper asked the boy’s father to meet him near Kali Mata temple in Ambala and hand over the ransom money. Police laid a trap and as soon as the kidnapper received the cash, he was nabbed and the abducted boy was recovered. The arrested kidnapper has been identified as Parmod Soni, 35, a resident of Mangal Colony, Karnal.

Karnal superintendent of police Abhishek Garg said they had caught Parmod red-handed and seized a Maruti Ertiga car from Nilokheri. During questioning, Parmod revealed that after kidnapping the boy from Gharounda, he left his car at Nilokheri and took the boy to Ambala in a private bus, said the SP.

Woman found dead outside house in Indore, suicide suspected

Woman found dead outside house in Indore, suicide suspected

INDORE: A 25-year-old woman Shruti Khandelwal was found dead outside her house under mysterious circumstances in Aerodrome here on Wednesday early morning.

The police investigations are in primary stages. But circumstantial evidence suggests that Shruti, who is mother of a six-year-old daughter, could have committed suicide by jumping from a cellular phone tower erected on top of her three-storey house in Gandhinagar locality of Aerodrome area.

Shruti and motorcycle showroom owner husband Ganesh had culminated their love affair with marriage 7 years ago.

According to Aerodrome police sub inspector RS Tomar, the matter is being investigated, but primary probe suggests that Shruti could have committed suicide by jumping from height.

Govt hospital staff go on flash strike

Govt hospital staff go on flash strike

TRICHY: A flash strike announced by contract workers at the government hospital here affected medical services on Tuesday morning.

Workers involved in assisting patients inside the hospital struck work after an employee on duty was reportedly assaulted by a policeman. Later, police personnel and hospital management intervened and pacified the agitators by assuring them that necessary action will be taken against the police officer.

The Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital (MGMGH) here employs over 300 conservancy workers via contract through an external agency for assisting patients. According to Government Hospital Outpost police, P Saktihvel, 44, a head constable at Mannarpuram Special Police camp battalion, brought his father Paramasivam, 62, to the hospital. Paramasivam, who had developed severe health complications, was declared dead on arrival by medical officials.

In the early hours of Tuesday, Sakhivel reportedly approached Raja, 38, who was working as a private security staff in Triage ward, to inquire about free transport. But Raja apparently told him to seek such details from the hospital staff, leading to an altercation between the two. Sakthivel reportedly punched the guard in the face, causing a minor injury.

As the news spread, around 150 contractual conservancy staff who were on duty in the morning gathered in front of the super specialty block. They sought the arrest of the policeman and official condemnation from the medical authorities.

Raja has lodged a complaint with the GH police station.

Judges’ job to decide cases, not appoint brethren: Govt to SC

Judges’ job to decide cases, not appoint brethren: Govt to SC

WITH a terse statement that the job of judges is to decide cases and not appoint their brethren, the government on Tuesday defended before the Supreme Court replacing the collegium system of appointing judges with the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC).

Even as the court identified “some unworkable situations” in the way NJAC is expected to function while hearing a batch of petitions that challenged the validity of the Constitutional amendment and the corresponding NJAC Act, the government was categorical that “the time has come for a change in the system of appointing judges”.

Defending the government action, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a three-judge bench: “I dare say that the job of the judges is to decide cases. It is not their job to appoint their brethren. It cannot be said to be a facet of the independence of judiciary that judges must appoint fellow judges.”

“Lok Sabha approved NJAC with a vote count of 367-0 and Rajya Sabha passed it with 187-1 vote. It therefore shows the will of Parliament and the will of people. Twenty states ratified the Constitutional amendment and it doubly reassured us that what we, as a government, are doing is right,” he said.

Arguing before a bench of Justices Anil R Dave, J Chelameswar and Madan B Lokur, the AG said the government did not want a collision with the judiciary but it definitely wanted best persons to be appointed as judges.

Rohatgi pointed out that collegium system was often criticised for not being sufficiently transparent and open. “Sun light is the best disinfectant. The criticism of collegium system should also be kept in mind. No system is perfect and no system should be permanent. System must change and a time has come to change thecurrent system of appointing judges. Everything in evolving, world is an experiment and we would want to go ahead with this experiment,” he said.

The AG sought to assure the bench that NJAC “will in fact strengthen the judiciary” and the court should not pay heed to an “alarmist picture” attempted to be painted by the petitioners as they claim a bad blood is bound to happen between the judiciary and the executive and that the latter would try to veto out the judiciary.

As the court proceeded to adjourn the hearing for Wednesday, Rohatgi made it clear that the government was vehemently opposing any plea to restrain it from going ahead and notifying the NJAC that would put an end to the collegium system since it was the will of Parliament, which had absolute power to legislate.

Earlier, the bench noted an “unworkable” scenario in the functioning of the NJAC, for it sought to keep out from deliberation the judges who are in the zone of consideration to be appointed as the Chief Justice of India.

The NJAC will be a six-member body, headed by the Chief Justice of India, that will also include the two senior-most continued…

Attorney General’s office is public authority under RTI Act: Delhi High Court

Attorney General’s office is public authority under RTI Act: Delhi High Court

Stating that even under common parlance the office of the Attorney General of India has always been understood to mean a “constitutional authority,” the Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to accept that this office was outside the ambit of the Right to Information Act and further directed it to reconsider the RTI application that it had rejected on these grounds.

The issue came into question when a petition challenging an order by the Central Information Commission was up for hearing before the single Bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru. The CIC had held that the office of the AGI was not a public authority under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act. The petition was also challenging a letter by the AGI refusing all information to the petitioner under the RTI act.“An office that is established under the Constitution would clearly fall within the definition of Section 2(h) of the RTI Act…,” said Justice Vibhu Bakhu while rejecting AGI’s arguments.

HC upholds Rs 50k relief to JU professor over toon row

HC upholds Rs 50k relief to JU professor over toon row

KOLKATA: In yet another legal blow to the Mamata Banerjee government, Calcutta high court on Tuesday upheld the compensation recommended by West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) to Jadavpur University professor Ambikesh Mahapatra, who was arrested in 2012 for forwarding an email joke on the chief minister.

Justice Dipankar Datta also ordered a probe into the role of two police officers involved in the arrest of Mahapatra and Subrata Sengupta, president of the housing society where the JU teacher lives. The court ordered the state government to pay Rs 50,000 each to Mahapatra and Sengupta plus joint litigation costs of Rs 50,000 to the duo within a month.

Mahapatra, who teaches chemistry at JU, said: “Had the state government heeded the recommendations of WBHRC, matters wouldn’t have come to this. This is a defeat for the state government. I am happy that the court has upheld the democratic rights of people. This is necessary as there is regular abuse of human rights in this state.”

Justice (retd) Ashok Kumar Ganguly, who was chairman of WBHRC when the recommendation was made, hailed the order but doesn’t view it as a personal victory. “It is the role of the court of law to uphold human rights. I am happy that the right of people to fight for justice has been upheld,” he said.

Interestingly, trial in the infamous ‘cartoon case’ is on in a lower court, where Mahapatra is accused under the IT Act for “sending false and offensive messages through communication services”. With Tuesday’s judgment and the HC order to probe the very officers who framed the chargesheet against Mahapatra, it remains to be seen how the trial goes.

After Tuesday’s HC judgment, Opposition leaders and rights activists tore into the government. CPM leader and well known lawyer Bikash Bhattacharya said: “Ambikesh was heckled at the insistence of Mamata Banerjee. This was the first time when a victim was taken into custody and not the miscreants.” BJP’s Roopa Ganguly said: “In today’s world, slapping criminal cases on cartoons shared on the net is unthinkable. I feel the action reeked of outright vindictiveness by the government. I hope saner voices prevail.”

The incident dates back to April 12, 2012 — less than a month after Mamata removed Dinesh Trivedi as railway minister for hiking railway fares and appointed Mukul Roy in his place. One of several cartoons doing the rounds on social networking sites was a spoof of the Satyajit Ray film Sonar Kella, which has a child character named Mukul. The cartoon depicted Mamata pointing to the Indian Railways’ logo and saying: “Oi dekho Mukul, Sonar Kella (Look Mukul, the Golden Fortress).” Mukul Roy points to Trivedi and says: “Dushtu Lok (Evil Man).” In the next slide, there is no sign of Trivedi and Mamata tells Roy: “Dushtu Lok, Vanish.”

All that Mahapatra did was forward this cartoon to some friends using Sengupta’s e-mail account. Soon after this, he apologized. But a mob of Trinamool workers stormed his house at night and forced him to sign a statement that he was a CPM supporter. The professor and Sengupta were arrested and charged under the IT Act. Mahapatra was also charged with defamation (dropped a few months later). The duo had to spend a night at the police station and got bail the next day. Legal proceedings continued against them. Mamata stood by the police and said that “conspiracies won’t be tolerated and offenders will be arrested”.

The WBHRC took up the matter suo motu and on August 13, 2012, recommended that the state pay Rs 50,000 each to the two as compensation and initiate departmental proceedings against Milan Kumar Das, then additional OC of Purba Jadavpur police station and sub-inspector Sanjoy Biswas. The state was to reply within six weeks. The state sat on it for nine months before writing back on May 6, 2013, that there had been no violation of human rights since police had arrested Mahapatra and Sengupta to “protect them from a mob”. The rights body wrote back to the government, saying it doesn’t agree with the reasons cited and urged reconsideration. The state government refused to do so. Finally, Mahapatra and Sengupta moved high court.

Pending dues: Teachers threaten to boycott evaluation work

Pending dues: Teachers threaten to boycott evaluation work

Teachers, who evaluated UP Board’s class X and XII answer-sheets in 2014, have decided to boycott the work this year if their pending dues were not cleared by the end of the ongoing board exams.

At least 35% of evaluators are yet to receive the evaluation allowance. The teachers have also demanded online clearance of dues. UP Madhyamik Sikshak Sangh’s Raghuraj Singh said that teachers deployed as invigilators in board exams were yet to receive their inspection, practical exams and evaluation dues along with other expenses. He warned that teachers would boycott the exams if the dues were not cleared within next 15 days.

He further said that earlier UP Board authorities had accepted teachers’ demands, including evaluation allowance. However, it was never fulfilled. He added that teachers would boycott the first day of evaluation work and apprise the district magistrate(DM) of their problems

Mentally ill man stones city bus; thrashed by angry public

Mentally ill man stones city bus; thrashed by angry public

UDUPI : A mentally ill passenger who damaged a city bus by stoning it, was thrashed by angry locals near the Karavali bypass on February 28, Saturday night.
The man has been identified as Mahesh (30) of Tenkanidiyoor Garadimajalu. It has been gathered that he was mentally ill. Mahesh who was travelling in a city bus named “Shree Ganesh” operating on the Udupi –Malpe route, had alighted at the bus stop near the Gangotri bar near Karavali Bye-pass. Soon after he began to pelt stones at the bus and damaged its front glasses. His act also caused minor injuries to passengers seated on the front row.
Agitated by this, the public who gathered around thrashed Mahesh and handed him over to the Town police.
It has been gathered that Mahesh had earlier created some trouble even in Malpe before returning to Udupi.

Murder attempt on RTI activist : Anticipatory bail plea of accused rejected

Murder attempt on RTI activist : Anticipatory bail plea of accused rejected

MANGALURU : The District First Additional Sessions Court has rejected the anticipatory bail application of five persons said to be involved in sand mafia and have been accused of attempting to kill RTI activist Tyampanna Shetty of Adyar.
It was earlier alleged that Surendra Kambli, former president of Adyar Panchayat, Pramod Alva, Mohammad Rameez, Siraj and Anwar had on February 11,2015 tried to kill Shetty at Adyarkatte. Shetty as a whistle blower had earlier lodged a complaint with the department concerned against the unabated sand mining on the Netravathi River banks at Adyar and had also waged a war against sand mining with the help of locals. Shetty had thus proved a bitter pill for the sand mafia which eventually had reportedly tried to eliminate him.
If Shetty was admitted to a private hospital, all accused had gone underground even as the Mangaluru Rural Police registered a murder attempt case against them.
A few days ago all five accused had filed an anticipatory bail plea in the DK District First Additional Court. Judge BK Nayak who heard the bail petition has turned down their plea.

4 cops suspended for misbehaving with Israeli woman

4 cops suspended for misbehaving with Israeli woman

Bengaluru, Mar 10: Four police constables and two Home Guards were suspended for allegedly misbehaving with foreign tourists near Virupapuragadda, an island in Tungabhadra in Gangavathi taluk.

hampiSuperintendent of Police Dr P Raja said that four police constables were suspended on the charges of misbehaving and sexually harassing an Israeli woman, who had come for a Hampi tour.

Drivers Amruth and Adesh of traffic police station, Rajesh Gowli of town station and Revappa of rural station are the suspended policemen. Home Guards personnel Shivu and Yankappa have also been suspended for abetting them.

The incident occurred on March 7 when the police constables had gone to a reservoir in Sanapur in the district on a picnic in uniform.

After having meals they spent some time with the foreigners there. Later, they took selfies with an Israeli young woman using their mobile phones and misbehaved with her. The other foreigners, who had come with her, rescued her from them. The woman left the scene and brought the incident to the notice of the owner of the accommodation where she had stayed. He immediately informed the matter to the police.

Though the tourists did not file a complaint, a suo motu complaint was registered and the constables were placed under suspension. A departmental inquiry has also been ordered against them, the SP said.

Angered by rash driving, mob runs amok attacking Africans in Bengaluru

Angered by rash driving, mob runs amok attacking Africans in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Mar 11: At least four African nationals were attacked by a gang of around 20 members in Byrathi, near Hennur Road, northeast Bengaluru on Monday night. For nearly three hours, the area was tense due to “riot-like-situation,” during which two policemen also sustained injuries.

The assaults were triggered allegedly after locals were annoyed at high speed, high-decibel driving by an unidentified rider, said to be an African national, and a “rashly-driven” car, also with foreigners in it. Though the two vehicles escaped the barrage of stones that was thrown on them, it was unsuspecting Africans in the area who bore the brunt.

africanThe attacks started around 12.30 a.m. “The mob ran riot till about 3 a.m., attacking any African they saw… I was also threatened for calling the police,” said a resident. John, a businessman in Ivory Coast who was visiting his sister, was among the first to be attacked. He was returning home with his sister and her boyfriend when the mob targeted them. While his sister and her friend took shelter in Christ The King Church nearby, John received multiple injuries as the mob chased him.

Henry (22), a student of Kristu Jayanti College, was also attacked. David and his three friends — Sako, Merveil, Abdel — were walking down the road when they were assaulted. “We didn’t even know why they were hitting us. We feared for our lives,” David told media persons.

Though accusations have been made that the attack had racial undertones, police blamed it on problems the victims had with locals.

The incident came to light in a post by Maria John on Bangalore Police’s Facebook page. The post said around 20 members, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, attacked an African student.

“African student was attacked by the beer bottle and cricket bat. His head and face got open and bleeding (sic). The African student running towards the Shema School in that area. Please help him,” the post read.

Police said an African national, also named John, was visiting his sister who is studying in a city college and is residing in Byrathi. He decided to host a dinner party as he was supposed to fly back soon. After the party, John, his sister and her friend were returning home, when they were confronted by the group, who allegedly attacked them.

John was allegedly chased and beaten up and sustained severe injuries, while his sister and her friend managed to escape and took shelter in a local church. Though John managed to reach home, the angry locals damaged the window panes of his house. John managed to file a police complaint only after a few hours, following which senior police officials reached the spot to take stock of the situation.

In his complaint, John alleged that the group not only attacked him but also took away his valuables, including mobile phone and wallet.

However, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North East) Vikas Kumar Vikas refuted any racial angle to the attack and said local residents had complained about the trio creating a ruckus late in the night. The police are investigating the case, he said. Locals too have filed a complaint against the three African nationals accusing them of creating a ruckus.

Mangaluru: Not Just Catholics, Mother Teresa Homes also Serve Hindus/Muslims-So Why are ‘They’ Talking Crap?

Mangaluru: Not Just Catholics, Mother Teresa Homes also Serve Hindus/Muslims-So Why are ‘They’ Talking Crap?

Mangaluru: No doubt that Mother Teresa, was a Mother to the Motherless! irrespective of religion, caste, creed and residence, the Missionaries of Charity started by Mother Teresa in India, also and many more around the world cater to the poor, living selflessly dedicated to helping them. The RSS and VHP may have made up their minds when it comes to Mother Teresa’s work, but even a quick visit to the Missionaries of Charity homes across India is enough for one to realize the aim and motive of their work.

Women in their 80s, and babies as young as a month old, live at the Missionaries of Charity Mother Teresa Homes- these homes receive a constant flow of people coming in search of help, shelter or just plain food – and for that matter no one gets turned away. Most of the inmates at these homes are women, who come here with no hope. According to a care-taker , who says that “Working with them is difficult because they have suffered not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well,”

I made a visit to the Mother Teresa Home in Mangaluru located on Sturrock Road- earlier the Home was located at Vas Lane-Falnir, but two years back it was shifted to this new location at a land donated by Mrs Saldanha. Meeting the Superior at this home I gathered some information , but she insisted that I don’t take any photographs for the privacy of the inmates and  nuns. At the earlier Home there were over 50 inmates comprising of women and men, but at this new location mostly women are taken in – there are 27 women, majority of them Hindus and one Muslim, and two men at this new location.

Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity/Home for the Poor in Mangaluru was established in the year 1995. Their convent was Mother Theresa’s Home for dying destitute situated at the 2nd Cross of Vaslane at Falnir. They came to this place in 1997. Since then so many dying destitute have experienced the caring and loving touch of Jesus through them. The donors of this site were Miss Agnes and Stanly William Pinto. The house donated by Miss Agnes at Lower Bendur was inaugurated by Blessed Teresa on 15th August 1995.  She lived there with the sisters for six days. Stanly William Pinto gave his property including the house at Vas lane. A new spacious house built on this site was inaugurated on 5th May 1998. Later in the year 2013, the Home was shifted and built at a new location on Sturrock Road.

Their Mission is to love. Therefore, their doors are open to destitutes, those who are rejected by families due to addiction to drinks, drugs, smoking or other vices. The Home welcomes with open arms those who are sick and bed ridden and are forsaken by the family. At present they are blessed with 27 destitute, Catholics, Hindus and Muslims. “We don’t look at what religion you belong to when you come here. We only do what our Mother has told us,” said the superior at the home quoting Mother Teresa herself saying, “There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim becomes a better Muslim, Catholic becomes a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people.”

“We don’t serve people based on their religion, we serve them because we see God in them,” said the superior. Though there is daily Mass celebrated in a small chapel in the home, those that do not belong to the Catholic faith are not forced to participate. Apart from providing food and medicine to these inmates at the home, they are also provided with physio-therapy classes, exercises and many activities.No one has ever been forced into conversion, although the saffron group members claim that Mother Teresa’s service would have been good – But it used to have one objective, to convert the person, who was being served, into a Christian. These allegations are absolutely wrong. The Missionaries of Charity, of which Mother Teresa was the founder, have homes in countries all over the world and not just in India.

The homes served, and still serve, the destitute, the hungry and the poor, irrespective of their religion. Those who have worked with her have said that she never sought to convert any inmate of her homes. She has been quoted as saying: “We should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim becomes a better Muslim, Catholic becomes a better Catholic.” Mother Teresa gave all the inmates love and dignity. Some other say that Mother Teresa minted money in the name of serving the poor. She acquired fame by taking care of poor children and proved to the world that India is a poor country and thus tainted the image of India. Not true at all. All the money that the Missionaries of Charity received by way of donations went into their charitable works, in setting up homes and taking care of the sick and poor. Mother lived a simple and humble life, owning nothing herself. She lived surrounded by lepers, patients with tuberculosis and other diseases. She and the sisters of her Order own just three saris (one to wear, one to wash, one to mend) and two or three cotton habits.

So why are these saffron men degrading the Mother with false accusations. How many of these men have ever been close to a leper or taken care of a destitute. I bet no one- but they are quick to criticize a devoted woman who had sacrificed all her life for the care of destitute, needy and the suffering- Shame on them. Since Modi came to power nine months ago, Christians and Muslims have felt besieged by a strident Hindu nationalist propaganda campaign, and in some instances have even been “reconverted” at highly publicized “homecoming” events, in line with the RSS belief that all Indians were originally Hindus. Are Catholics and Missionaries run by Catholic organizations for the benefit of all religions/caste/creed safe any more, is a question every one is asking presently.


About Mother Teresa and her Missionary:

Mother Teresa was the founder of the congregation, Missionaries of Charity, the religious order that today has over 4,501 sisters actively working in 133 countries.
Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, in Albania on August 26 1910, she was lovingly called Mother Teresa after her selfless work with the homeless in Kolkata. “By blood I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun,” she had said.

The first home, Nirmal Hriday, the Home for Dying Destitutes was set up in 1952 in Kolkata. She began the Order on October 7, 1950, officially established in the Archdiocese of Calcutta and by 1990 had opened houses in almost all communist countries including the former Soviet Union, Albania and Cuba. Her tireless and dedicated work won her the Indian Padmashri in 1962 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

Despite suffering from severe health problems, she continued to govern her Society responding to the needs of the poor and the Church. She died on September 5, 1997 at the age of 87. Less than two years after her death, Pope John Paul II permitted the opening of her Cause of Canonization and on October 19, 2003, she was beatified in front of a crowd of 3,00,000 people assembled in St Peter’s Square, Vatican City.

Mangaluru: Salary Decrease leads Drivers of Antony Waste Management to go on Strike

Mangaluru: Salary Decrease leads Drivers of Antony Waste Management to go on Strike

Mangaluru: All vehicles belonging to Antony Waste Management have stopped working from March 11.

According sources, it is said that the salary for the drivers of Antony Waste Management was fixed for Rs 14,000. All of a sudden their salary was decreased to Rs 9000. Due to the sudden decrease in salary all the drivers of Antony Waste Management went of strike, they have parked the vehicles in a compound near Reliance Petrol Pump at Kulur. 

Now it is the duty of the Mangaluru city corporation to solve the problem immediately to avoid further problems in regard to waste disposal in the city.

Speaking to Mayor Mahabala Marla said that the Mangalore City Corporation has given contract to dispose waste to Antony waste management company and it is their duty to dispose the waste. Any internal issues of the company should not affect the people in the city. The Antony waste management company is responsible for the disposal of waste, if the waste will not be disposed, we will take action against the company.

Koppal: Four cops suspended for misbehaving with Israeli woman

Koppal: Four cops suspended for misbehaving with Israeli woman

Gangavati (Koppal), Mar 10 (DHNS):Superintendent of Police Dr P Raja has suspended four police constables on the charges of misbehaving and sexually harassing an Israeli woman, who had come for a Hampi tour.

Drivers Amruth and Adesh of traffic police station, Rajesh Gowli of town station and Revappa of rural station are the suspended policemen. Home Guards personnel Shivu and Yankappa have also been suspended for abetting them.

The incident occurred on March 7 when the police constables had gone to a reservoir in Sanapur in the district on a picnic in uniform.

After having meals they spent some time with the foreigners there. Later, they took selfies with a young Israeli woman using their mobile phones and misbehaved with her. The other foreigners, who had come with her, rescued her from them.

The woman left the scene and brought the incident to the notice of the owner of the accommodation where she had stayed. He immediately informed the matter to the police.

Rural ASI Nagaraj had voluntarily registered a complaint in this regard.

Mangaluru: Students protest after alleged assault by bus conductor

Mangaluru: Students protest after alleged assault by bus conductor

Mangaluru, Mar 10: Students of city’s Rosario College on Tuesday March 10 gathered at Bunder police station and staged a protest alleging that one of the students had been assaulted by the conductor of a government bus.

The students claimed that the first year BCom student, identified as Samad from Uppinangady, was assualted by the conductor of Uppinangady-State Bank KSRTC bus.

They claimed that when two girls were about to board the bus, the conductor gave the signal to the driver to start the bus even before the girls could get inside. When Samad who was in the bus objected to this, the conductor allegedly assaulted him out of anger.

Protesting against the alleged assault, the students decided to mass bunk the exam and gathered at Bunder police station demanding action against the conductor.

The students alleged that the conductor often abuses students who hold bus passes and halts the bus at irregular spots.

Samad got admitted to hospital and later filed a complaint with the Bunder police.

The Bunder police assured that action would be taken against the conductor, after which the students agreed to withdraw the protest. The police then sent the students back to college.

Meanwhile, the accused conductor, identified as Murugesh from Bagalkot, alleged that the students had attacked him with blades and got himself admitted to Wenlock hospital.

A case has been registered in Bunder police station.

Mangaluru: Stone-pelting on Panir prayer centre – Accused arrested

Mangaluru: Stone-pelting on Panir prayer centre – Accused arrested

Mangaluru, Mar 10: The police have arrested a person in connection with the stone-pelting on St Joseph Vaz prayer centre at Panir.

The incident took place on the intervening night of February 24 and 25. The glass frame of the enclosure housing a statue of Mother Mary and Infant Jesus was damaged in the stone-pelting.

The police have arrested Ananda (30), a resident of Ukkuda, Kinya in this regard.

Addressing a press meet at his office on Tuesday March 10, police commissioner S Murugan said Ananda was taken into custody based on credible information and subjected to investigation. “After sustained and thorough investigation, he revealed that he was previously employed in the same church and had left the job around two weeks ago for want of better pay. On February 24, after getting drunk at the graveyard next to the prayer hall, he threw stone at the idol out of anger for the low pay he was getting at the church.”

Ananda, a painter by profession, was arrested on Monday March 9 and sent to judicial custody on March 10.

The investigation of the case was taken up ACP south, on the instructions issued by the police commissioner. A special team was constituted under the leadership of Ullal SI Savithru Tej, comprising SI Bharati, SI Ranjendra B and staff.

The police team has been suitably rewarded for cracking the case, Murugan said.

He said that the Panir incident was a random act but it had got much attention from the public and was even given a communal colour. “Hence taking serious note of the incident, the police team investigated putting in all its efforts,” he said, adding that people should not get provoked over any incident.

He further said that the CCTV cameras installed at religious centres are generally of low quality which make it difficult for the police to identify and nab the culprit. “The police have already installed 20 CCTV cameras in different places at the city, and Rs 2 crore has been sanctioned for the installation of CCTV cameras under MCC limits. These cameras will be of good quality with high resolution. The work on this is at its final stage and will be completed in the coming days,” he said.

To questions on repeated incidents of stabbing in Ullal, the Suratkal college Facebook photo incident and the case against Sadhvi Balika Saraswati over alleged provocative speech, he said investigations are on in all these cases. He also said that in Ullal, CCTV cameras are of low quality so it is difficult to nab culprits.

Labour: We will cut luxury lodgings exclusively used by High Court judges

Labour: We will cut luxury lodgings exclusively used by High Court judges 

They include penthouse flats and Georgian townhouses -sometimes with full-time staff including cooks and housekeepers and cleaners.

But the days of luxury lodgings for High Court judges forced out into provinces to hand down justice now look to be numbered.

Labour is preparing to announce that they will do away with the fifteen permanent residences in cities such Birmingham, Nottingham, Preston and Leeds to save £2.9 million a year from the Ministry of Justice budget.

The accommodation cost is also being reviewed by the Coalition and whichever party wins power in May looks almost certain to force their Lordships into the less salubrious surroundings of a city centre hotel.

Labour said the move would save an estimated £2.9m a year in running cost as well as an estimated £26.3m from the sale of the publicly-owned properties.

It intends to invest the money into improving the collection of fines issued by the courts which, it claimed, could raise an extra £67 million a year.

As part of its review of Government spending Labour also said it would find saving from the current court budget by  co-locating two-thirds of the remaining single-use county courts and magistrates’ courts on the same site.

Chris Leslie MP, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said: “We will look at whether taxpayers would be better served by selling off the penthouse flats and Georgian townhouses, which are owned and maintained by the state for the exclusive use of High Court judges.

“The abysmal record of Ministers allowing so many criminal penalties to go uncollected isn’t just bad for justice – it’s bad for our public finances too.

Sadiq Khan MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Justice, added: “This shows that Labour is taking tough decisions when it comes to finding savings in the justice budget.”


HC dismisses pleas for nod to stage protests

HC dismisses pleas for nod to stage protests

The Madras High Court has dismissed petitions seeking a direction to the police to permit protests in Chennai, Krishnagiri and Coimbatore on January 26.

Justice T.S. Sivagnanam said the police would find it hard to provide security to the protests as educational institutions and government offices would have various functions that day. The organisers could have their demonstration on some other date if they so desired. However, it was for the police to decide on the requests.

Petitioner Kovai Maavatta Puthiya Jananayaga Thozhilalar Munnani (workers front) had sought police permission to organise a dharna at Thudiyalur in Coimbatore to focus on the tragedy caused by the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak.

Only 20% of 14,400 prisoners are convicted criminals in Tihar, the rest are all undertrials

While there is no woman prisoner on death row, 14 male convicts sentenced to death are lodged in different jails inside Tihar.

In India’s most populated prison, Tihar Jail, only 20% are convicted criminals, the rest are behind bars awaiting start or completion of their trial. The 400-acre correctional facility is the largest and the most populated prison complex in the country.

Currently, there are 2,882 male and 135 women convicts. On June 1, the prison had a population of 14,400. Half of the convicted prisoners are those serving life sentences. There are 1,280 prisoners sentenced to at least 14 years behind bars. One of the oldest prisoners is former youth Congress leader Sushil Sharma involved in the murder of his wife Naina Sahani, in what came to be known as the Delhi’s infamous Tandoor case. Behind bars for the past 22 years, Sharma came out on parole for the first time in 2015 after 20 years.

While there is no woman prisoner on death row, 14 male convicts sentenced to death are lodged in different jails inside Tihar. The four convicts of the 2012 Delhi gang rape case are among them. The four who were convicted by the Supreme Court in May have also been put on suicide watch.


Among the 80% undertrial prison population, there are prisoners who have already spent over five years behind bars.

“We have prisoners who if convicted may be sentenced to maximum 7 years. But, while facing trial they have already served 4-5 years. What if they are acquitted by the court? Who will pay for the time they spent in prison?” an official said.

There are over 80 such prisoners who have served more than 5 years jail time.


Out of the 2,882 convicted prisoners, 912, the highest number of convicts, are those charged with murder. With over 400 convicts, the second most common offence is rape. “Maybe it is easier to secure a conviction in murder and rape cases. Prisoners convicted for dowry harassment is very less. There are only 11 prisoners,” said an official.

The dowry harassment conviction rate of less than 0.50 % is in contrast to the Delhi police registering at least 10 dowry harassment cases every day. Last year, there were 3,877 cases of dowry harassment across the city.


According to jail records, most male prisoners are those between the ages of 21 and 30. Out of over 12,000 male prisoners, more than 7,000 are in their mid 20’s.

In women, the most number of prisoners were in between the ages of 30 and 50. Over 70 prisoners are above the age of 65. Jail officers said that the elderly residents are kept together in a different barracks. The elderly inmates, who volunteered to stay together with other elderly prisoners are given a better diet and assigned ‘friends’ who help them with their chores inside prison.

At least 950 prisoners are those between 18 and 21 years. Mostly first timers, they are lodged in jail number 5. Many of these prisoners have also claimed to be minors before 18 years. Two months ago, the jail officials wrote to Delhi government about 60 prisoners who were below 18 years.

MGNREGA wages less than minimum farm wages in 15 states: Panel

As per data being examined by the committee, the minimum wages paid to agricultural workers are significantly higher than MGNREGA wages in Karnataka, Punjab, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Mizoram, and Andaman and the Nicobar Islands.

THE COMMITTEE for revision of wages paid under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Act (MGNREGA) has found that minimum agricultural wages are higher than MGNREGA wages in 15 states. An upward revision in MGNREGA wages is estimated to require a Rs 4,500 crore increase in its budget.

Based on these findings, the panel, under Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Rural Development Nagesh Singh, is expected to make its recommendations in another month.

As per data being examined by the committee, the minimum wages paid to agricultural workers are significantly higher than MGNREGA wages in Karnataka, Punjab, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Mizoram, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The other states where MGNREGA wages fail to match up are Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. In Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, the minimum wages are marginally higher than MGNREGA wages.

“In the 15 states where MGNREGA wages are lower, we tried revising it to bring it on par with the minimum agricultural wages paid by the respective states. Where MGNREGA wages are on par or higher, we decided to protect it as it is. If a revision is done as per this formula, it is estimated that a Rs 4,500 crore addition to the existing MGNREGA budget would be needed,” said an official from the Ministry of Rural Development.

The Indian Express had earlier reported that despite official claims of this year’s MGNREGA budget of Rs 48,000 crore being the highest ever, the wage revision, at 2.7 per cent, was the lowest ever. It meant a per day, per person wage hike of merely Re 1 in some states like Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, and Rs 2-Rs 3 in several others.

This was because the finance ministry, on account of financial implications, rejected the recommendations of the S Mahendra Dev committee, which had proposed to bring MGNREGA wages on par with minimum wages paid to unskilled agricultural workers in the states. The expert panel had said that the Consumer Price Index for Rural (CPI-R), which reflects the current consumption pattern of rural households, should be the basis for revising MGNREGA wage rates, and not CPI for Agricultural Labourers (CPI-AL), which is based on the consumption pattern of 1983.

“The basket of goods for calculating CPI-AL comprises mainly food items. With the implementation of the National Food Security Act, rice and wheat is available for as cheap as Rs 2-3 per kg. CPI(Rural) gives lower weightage to food items, and hence, is found to be a better indicator of wage increase,” said a ministry official.

The Nagesh Singh panel has found that based on the second recommendation of the Mahendra Dev committee, if the existing MGNREGA wages are revised as per CPI(Rural), it would mean another Rs 600 crore increase in the budget.

“CPI(R) should be used to revise the wages every year instead of CPI(AL), as the former is more representative of the current rural consumption basket. Also, wage revision should take place every six months, in keeping with the practice for other trades and occupation,” said Ankita Aggarwal from the people’s organisation, NREGA Sangharsh Morcha. Aggarwal said that with such low wages and delays in payments, MGNREGA fails to provide the livelihood security for which it was enacted.

Jharkhand Chief Secretary Rajbala Verma had recently written a strongly-worded letter to the Ministry of Rural Development protesting against the growing divergence between the state’s minimum wage, which is currently Rs 224 per day, and MGNREGA wages of just Rs 168 per day after the wage hike.

Government admits it is not doing enough to fight water crisis in rural India

NEW DELHI:  Only 20.7% rural population is getting enough and safe pipe water supply to quench their thirst. But, a government, poised to chalk out a historic achievement of covering 80% population by 2022, is facing an uphill task. The funds to provide drinking water to the rural population is shrinking and expenditure for reviving existing yet impoverished water sources is fast drying up. Ministry of Drinking Water of NDA government has candidly admitted that it may not achieve the target at this pace. The Ministry was hoping to receive minimum Rs.16, 900 Crore per annum, instead it received just Rs.6050 Crore for 2017-18 – a whopping Rs.10, 000 Crore less than it was aspiring for.  A 24-page draft note prepared by the Ministry reveals a messy tale that deprives a majority of population of their basic right. Ministry of Drinking Water has put the blame on the Finance Ministry.

“Budget estimate of 2017-18 is Rs.6050 Crore. Such level of funding by government of India is meager compared to the overall requirement to achieve Sustainable Development Goals- 2030. If Government is to have pivotal role, we must continue National Rural Drinking Water Programme and must have annual funding as high as possible but at least to the tune of around Rs.16,900 annually (i.e. 10% incremental increase over Rs.10,500 provided during 2012-13. However, Ministry of Finance is suggesting to restrict the requirement at the present BE level for 2017-18 and 10% annual increase for the subsequent 2 years,” the draft  EFC note stated.

The note dated July 3 2017 although highlighted that reduction is due to 14th finance commission recommendation that enhanced devolution of grants to the states by 10%, the central government will have to pitch in if it wants to achieve the target and reap the benefit at a faster pace.

“The present status clearly shows that the achievement towards pipe water supply coverage -55 litres Per Capita Per Day (LPED) including stand posts is only 20.70% -in terms of population and 15.62% in terms of habitations. Hence, there is a long way to go.”

“It is pertinent to mention here that during 12th five year plan (2012-2017) there was a plan outlay of Rs. 68,760 Crore whereas allocation was only Rs.39,820 Crore. Thus there was a shortfall of about Rs.30,000 Crores in this period itself ,” the Ministry note said.

The Ministry pointed out that as on March 31 2017, over 3.85 Lakh habitations are not covered with 40 LPED. Amidst the substantial reduction of budget, the Centre has launched a new piped water supply strategy known as ‘Har Ghar Jal ( Water in every household) to ensure that all rural households have access to clean piped water supply in adequate quantity. The Ministry estimates that it would require at least Rs. 6 Lakh Crore to meet the target. The funding ratio of drinking water programme between Centre-State is 50-50 except North East and 3 Himalayan States-Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand where funding pattern in 90% Centre-10% funds to be released by the states.

Interestingly, the NDA’s ministry has admitted that many states are investing much more funds than requisite matching central share in projects as the government funding is meager compared to the overall requirements of the states. Ministry said that with the present rate of funding, Individual household tap connections which at present are 15.57% may go up to only 27% in 2020.

Dirty Water Is Huge Problem

Besides tackling the financial crisis, the Ministry said there is more worry regarding availability of main resource- source of water itself.

“Assets of this sector is not like assets of railways, which once created will last very long. Assets of rural water supply schemes get dysfunctional mainly because of availability of raw water resources which is beyond the control of executing agencies. Water (underground) is getting depleted because of excessive extraction by competitive sectors (Agriculture/Industrial) and successive droughts. Water (Surface) getting reduced because of silting of water bodies, successive droughts, pollution (agriculture/Industrial) release of untreated waste water, deforestation and encroachment of water bodies,” the Ministry’s note further added.

The Ministry working under tremendous financial pressure is aiming to mitigate arsenic and fluoride affected habitation under the national water quality sub-mission programme. As per the information provided by the states to the Ministry in August last year, 27,544 arsenic and fluoride affected habitations have been freezed under the scheme. Out of these, schemes are ongoing in 3,894 habitations and the rest 23,650 habitations are remained to be tackled in the affected habitations.