Lead Opinion

Judiciary

Dismissal of court masters without inquiry is improper

The two court masters who have been dismissed had the protection of Article 311. The question that arises is, why was there no inquiry conducted and no charges framed against them before their services were terminated. Dismissal dispensing with inquiry itself is a serious matter, not only because it affects the rights of person concerned, but also because it deprives the general public of the right to know what was the misconduct committed by the public servant.

February 15,2019

Law and Armed Forces

Justice finally for CPMF officers

In a landmark judgement on February 5, 2019, the Supreme Court of India dismissed a batch of Special Leave Petitions filed by the Government of India and the IPS Association against a judgment of Delhi High Court, which had granted the status of “Organised Group A Service” (OGAS) to the cadres of “Central Paramilitary Forces” (CPMF). The Supreme Court upheld the order of Delhi High Court in totality and confirmed the status of Organised Service for these officers and directed the Government to fulfil their long-pending demand for extending “Non Functional Financial Upgradation” (NFFU).

February 11,2019

Judiciary

#RafaleDeal: What would we call a Supreme Court judgment that's ‘not based on facts’?

But apart from the obvious implications of off-the-record “parallel negotiations” by the PMO, what does this mean for the Supreme Court judgment delivered on December 14, 2018, rejecting several petitions filed for a mandamus directing the CBI to lodge an FIR in relation to the deal? While the Court is entitled take a point of view on law which may be debatable, it is not at liberty to play fast and loose with the facts. We have a right to insist that court proceedings are not manipulated by the Government by presenting half-truths in sealed cover to the court.

February 9,2019

Democracy and Rule of Law

Kolkata face-off shows how Government of India has demonetised the CRPF

The procedure mandates that the local administrative authorities requisition Central Police Forces through the prescribed channels. What was the emergency that prompted the Centre to abandon the prescribed procedure? Argument that CRPF was not deployed in aid to Civil Authority but to protect an office complex does not hold good. The deployment of CRPF in Kolkata was patently unconstitutional.

February 6,2019

Lead Opinion

Contempt, the flavour of the season

When the truth is stated, it does not “scandalise” the court. If it is true that the Selection Committee HPC held on January 10, 2019 did not select M Nageswara Rao as the interim director, then   the question of “scandalising” the court may not arise. Moreover, the contempt application suggests that Prashant Bhushan has “scandalised” a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India. It is true that Justice Sikri was a member of the Selection Committee, but while sitting on the Committee he was not performing a judicial function but an executive function of making a selection to a post.

February 6,2019

Lead Opinion

Attempt to arrest Kolkata CP an attack on federalism

By no stretch of imagination does it mean that the CBI has the power to make the raid at the office of  the Kolkata Police Commissioner in relation to the investigation, when  the High Court is seized of the matter and has passed an order keeping in abeyance the CBI summons to the Kolkata the police in relation to the investigation. India has no "federal crimes", only a federal investigating agency. Its powers are subject to the State giving its consent to investigate a crime within its territory.

February 4,2019

Lead Opinion

Effigies can’t kill Gandhi

The attempt to demonise Gandhi and sacralise the man who killed him is however, a deeply worrying sign for India’s polity. The burning of Gandhi effigy is a political motive to invert the symbols of good and evil, right and wrong, and create moral confusion in the social sphere. It is an attempt to forcibly establish a new morality into the nation’s psyche. 

February 3,2019

Lead Opinion

The second-class soldiers?

The working conditions of BSF are much tougher than that of the Army. An infantry soldier after two years deployment in field gets to live with his family in peace station. Other arms and services of Army have it much easier. This luxury is unimaginable for a BSF soldier because he is deployed almost round the year on borders where he performs long hours of duty — mostly extending beyond sixteen hours a day. To add insult to injury, the Seventh Pay Commission has declared BSF and other paramilitary forces employees as civilian employees, even though the service conditions and duties performed by them are much harsher than that of the Army.

February 2,2019

Political Economy

‘Interim budget’ a political challenge

Roughly ten weeks before the crucial Lok Sabha poll begins, the Prime Minister, through his interim budget has stolen some of the thunder posed by the Congress president through his declaration of a minimum income support programme for the rural and urban poor if the Congress is elected to power.

February 1,2019

Judiciary

The People's Judge: Justice Madan B Lokur

During the time he was in the Supreme Court, he continued his contribution to multiple areas of administration of justice, most of which are well documented. I have not seen any judge who has drawn and not crossed the fine line between familiarity outside Court and the conduct inside it as Justice Lokur.

February 1,2019

History and law

Partition and minority rights

If we move beyond the first glance and conduct a closer examination of Constituent Assembly debates, it’s amply clear that the Partition indeed was the running sub-text of the drafting process. In fact, the Constituent Assembly took notice of the unfortunate manner in which the Partition was unfolded, and certain members also referred to the uncountable deaths caused by the partition, a holocaust of massive proportions. The rights of the minorities guaranteed by the Constitution are quintessential examples of the fundamental rights which were deeply influenced by the Partition.

Lead Opinion

Rahul Gandhi, the 21st century socialist

Like Bernie Sanders in USA and Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, who are leading the young brigade giving the hope of a new society based on socialist ideals, it’s Rahul Gandhi’s mandate to reconfigure socialist ideals for the 21st century. The Congress has to take the major role in framing the common minimum programme of the anti-BJP opposition for the 2019 Lok Sabha election putting this basic minimum programme as the prime agenda. The other should be the free medicare for the poor and the senior citizens.

January 29,2019

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