2018 has showcased the inconsistency with which the Supreme Court chooses to interfere in the policy decisions or to monitor investigations, especially pertaining to the ruling regime. As the year comes to an end, it is hoped that the judiciary will be more consistent in its decision-making, decry the use of ‘sealed cover’ in adjudication, and stand up to the Executive bullying, whether in judicial appointments or in administration.
December 21, 2018 was certainly a sad day for Rubabuddin Sheikh. It has been a long journey for him, yet he has not got any justice for his brother. He now plans to challenge the decision and appeal to the Supreme Court. At a systemic level, there are grave questions of impunity of police in fake encounters, especially at the behest of the politically powerful, apart from the safety of witnesses in political crimes.
The 45th session of the Indian Labour Conference (ILC), had recommended that all scheme workers should be recognised as ‘workers’ and not as ‘volunteers’ or ‘honorary workers’, should be paid minimum wages and they should get all statutory benefits like pension, gratuity, DA, earned leave, medical leave, and maternity benefits, including child care leave, life and health insurance, etc.
The open letter signed by 83 retired civil servants has really roused the conscience of the nation since what is happening in Uttar Pradesh under Yogi Raj these days, is the curtain-raiser of what is going to be the nature of Hindu Rashtra or New India by 2022 what the Prime Minister Narendra Modi is saying.
Grandstanding about surgical strikes could have been avoided. Public pronouncement of the strikes and resultant aggressive retaliatory actions by the Pakistanis has in fact put authorities under more pressure. On one hand expectations of masses have been raised and on the other the locals living along the border are finding their daily life totally disrupted due to daily exchange of fire.
The way the Supreme Court bench endorsed the decision making process involving the Prime Minister is astonishing. This is the only area gone into by the three judges and the judgment clearly shows that they have ignored some of the major stages of the process involving serious violations on the part of the Indian Government. The apex Court has failed to perform its supreme duty as the custodian of the nation.
This is a joint statement by Yashwant Sinha, Arun Shourie and Prashant Bhushan in response to the Supreme Court's December 14, 2018 verdict on the Rafale deal. All three were petitioners, along with a few others, in a batch of public interest litigation demanding a probe by a joint parliamentary committee into the Rafale deal, wherein 36 Rafale fighter jets were bought instead of 126 aircrafts as per the earlier deal, a decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, much like his choice of offset partner in Anil Ambani's brand new defence company.
For the Lok Sabha elections, the Opposition, especially the Congress has to do two things — first, the Party’s election manifesto must reflect the aspirations of the masses, especially the young, unemployed and the farmers, and it should form the core of the common minimum programme of the anti-BJP front, and second, the Congress must learn to act as first among the equals among the Opposition parties and treat the smaller parties with compassion and dignity so that the anti-BJP front can be sustained on a long term basis.
Muslims get no succor from the law enforcement agencies too because most of the police personnel too are polarised on communal lines. Perhaps the heinous murder of one of their own will spur them into action like it did once to Punjab Police in controlling militancy when the militants started attacking police personnel and their families.
It is not for India, let alone its army chief, to tell Pakistan how to run its affairs even if India does not approve of its form of governance with its dominant military presence or the religious-oriented character of its society. All that is in the domain of the Pakistani people and it is up to them to retain or reject them.
From teeming arrears of cases to disillusioned members of the Bar, the Court requires not just some gentle course correction, but a genuine uprooting of settled practices to guide it back on course. The existing status quo caters heavily to those who favour personal profit or gain from repeated listings and non-effective hearings. It is therefore imperative that some measures are put in place which might upset that comfortable collective.
Now that the Section 377, IPC has been read down, the conservative communal elements are targeting sexual minorities by resorting to cunning ways to reinforce regressive social morality over constitutional morality. The Navtej judgment might be a positive and much required step forward, however there are laws like the Beggary Acts of different States, Section 36A of Karnataka Police Act, 1963, which still has the potential to victimise trans-women, and Karnataka Dramatic Performances Act, 1964, which gives immense power to State machineries.