Year: 4

‘Nyay Darshan’ Publication

No. 3

MARCH 2013

Our Rights

(For Private Circulation only)

Implement effectively the law for Protection of Women from Domestic Violence

...........Contents
Editorial Rights Rights . .................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 1 of Women Only a radical change in attitudes towards women can change this continuing cycle of violence against them.............................................. 3 Suggestions made at NHRC consultation to check violence against women....................................................................................................... 4 For helping victims of rape to get faster justice..................................................................................................................................................... 5 Why conviction in rape is very slow?. ..................................................................................................................................................................... 6 Anyone accused of rape or murder must face speedy trail.................................................................................................................................. 7 In- camera Trial of Rape Case................................................................................................................................................................................ 7 First give Psycho-social support to Rape Victims.................................................................................................................................................. 7 Panic button in your phone..................................................................................................................................................................................... 8 University Grants Commissions (UGC) Recommendation to monitor safety of women....................................................................................... 9 Ordinance on sexual crime...................................................................................................................................................................................... 9 Gender Crimes show Police failing People. .......................................................................................................................................................... 10 Marital Rape will lead up to 7 years of jail: Ordinance....................................................................................................................................... 10 Crime Against Women. ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 11 Patiala Courts clear 11 rape cases in 20 days.................................................................................................................................................... 11 Rape Convict in MP loses Driving Licence. .......................................................................................................................................................... 12 Revenge is Inhuman.............................................................................................................................................................................................. 12 Allow abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy....................................................................................................................................................... 13 Reform Mindset...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 13 of the Common People Republic in Crisis. ................................................................................................................................................................................................... 14 What are our Fundamental (Constitutional) Rights as Citizens of India?........................................................................................................... 16 Don’t kill RTI........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 18 The National Human Rights Commission’s response to violations of Human Rights........................................................................................ 19 Organs of Constitution should know limits: Law Minister..................................................................................................................................... 21 Make the Police a Service Force in the Country................................................................................................................................................. 21 The Role and Obligation of a Lawyer................................................................................................................................................................... 22 No Equality in Commission of Crimes.................................................................................................................................................................. 23 SC questions red beacon lights, security for all groups of ‘VIPs’....................................................................................................................... 23 No FIR needed in a drunk driver case................................................................................................................................................................. 24 SC raps Centre over special CBI Courts.............................................................................................................................................................. 24 Supreme Court responds to wide concern about alleged extrajudicial killings in Manipur................................................................................ 25 Issues that can be send to the Chairman, NHRC for help................................................................................................................................. 25 How can a trust or society empower the poor, women, dalits, tribals or workers?........................................................................................... 25 Do you know?........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 26

Rights of SCs Dalit Teacher denied housing, HC steps in.......................................................................................................................................................... 28 Rights of Children CBSC plans to include Human Rights and Gender Sensitisation in its academic course. ................................................................................ 29 Include Sex Education in Faith Classes............................................................................................................................................................... 29 Gujarat bars caste, sex and regional usage in schools ..................................................................................................................................... 30 Train Teachers to Counsel Children...................................................................................................................................................................... 31 Trial of a Minor accused of a Crime..................................................................................................................................................................... 31

Rights of Workers Problems of Domestic Workers............................................................................................................................................................................. 32

‘Nyay Darshan’ Publication

Our Rights

(For Private Circulation only)

Publisher:

NYAY DARSHAN

(Centre for Human Rights & Justice) 5, Sushilnagar, Nizampura, VADODARA – 390 002. Gujarat Phone: 0265-2750199 E-mail: nyaydarshan5@gmail.com Please contact for articles/contribution for “Our Rights” to the address given above. Your contribution Rs. 250/- per year. Please send Money Order / Cheque / Demand Draft in favour of ‘Nyay DARSHAN’. Vadodara.

Editor: P. D. Mathew. S. J. (Advocate) Technical Assistant: Mr. Patrick A. Christy Photography: Mr. Patrick A. Christy Designe: Mr. Deepak Dabhi • 8140297112

Editorial

Implement effectively the law for Protection of Women from Domestic Violence

W

omen in India suffer from different forms of violence – physical, mental, sexual, verbal and economic. Violence against women is an extreme manifestation of the pervasive discrimination against women and is in violation of their human rights. It occurs at all stages of their lives. It threatens their rights, health and well-beings and affects the society at large because of the inter-generational transfer of violence. Domestic violence refers to violence against women especially in matrimonial homes. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) is a civil law. It was passed by Parliament in 2005 and came into force on October 26, 2006. The PWDVA is essentially to safeguard the family and provide relief to women in domestic relationship from physical and mental abuse. Designed to provide speedy trial, shelter, medical facilities to aggrieved women, most importantly, the law works at preventive and remedial levels. The aggrieved person and the respondent are given the opportunity to undergo counseling and to settle the dispute amicably. The courts are given the power to give residence and monetary orders to help the victims of domestic violence. If the law is implemented in its true spirit the Act can prevent domestic violence and strengthen family relationship. But many systemic problems have prevented this law to deliver justice to the affected women - victims of domestic violence. So the law has not led to reduction in instances of domestic violence. The courts in India have failed miserably to settle cases filed under the PWDVA due to lack of protection officers prescribed under the Act. Although seven years have passed after the enactment of the Act only half of the States in India have made separate financial allocations for its implementation. The Protection officers suppose to be the link between the victims and the redressal authorities are not appointed due to lack of fund. To make the law effective adequate support for the victims and survivors of violence must be given together with preventive, curative and referral services. State Governments must set up Fast Track Courts to try cases related to women including cases of domestic violence as soon as possible. The law can become effective if there is change of fundamental attitudes towards women. Just passing of a legislation without understanding and spreading of its spirit among the No. 3 March 2013 1

common people is not sufficient to prevent domestic violence against women. It is the duty of the State to translate the legislation into behavioral attitude and change through the use of media, educational institutions and executive governance. Government of India must appoint in the Ministry of Health and Women specialists to ascertain sociologically the conditions of women in families and their rights. Protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 provides six basic rights for women from every walk of life. But the rising number of cases, the remedies not provided within the stipulated time frame of two months period, inadequate resources within the reach of protection officers to provide immediate help to the victims, handling of officer’s duty as additional charge, misuse of law by some women etc are pointing to the ineffectiveness of the Act. The success of the law will also depends upon the attitude of the judges towards women, domestic violence and the rights of women. So as far as possible, committed women must be appointed to deal with cases related to women. Many women affected by domestic violence do not approach the courts for relief due to fear or ignorance of law. They must be encouraged and supported by NGOs working for the empowerment of women, especially in rural areas. The cry of ‘misuse of the law by women’ is intended to deter women from using the law and making it a dead letter. All must promote this law realizing fully well that any form of violence against women is a violation of their fundamental human right to grow fully as citizens of this great country. It is our fundamental duty to ensure that every women in India enjoy justice, equality, liberty, fraternity and dignity assured by Constitution, the Supreme Law of the Land. Jai Hind!
- P. D. Mathew, S. J. (Advocate)

What can be written in “Our Rights”?
• The issues related to human rights which are helpful to generate social awareness. • Analytical articles on violation of human rights and proper evaluation of any incident of violation of human rights • Writings on the rights of the citizens which can be helpful to bring awareness in the society to fight for people’s rights • Articles on laws explaining the provisions of the act to guide the people
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Rights of Women Only a radical change in attitudes towards women can change this continuing cycle of violence against them
(By VIRGINIA SALDANHA)
• Yes we need tougher rape laws, more security for women and speedy justice for women and speedy justice in the court for perpetrators of violence. But only a radical change in attitudes towards women can change this continuing cycle of violence against them. Questions put to her in court are detraining and put the victim through a mental form of rape. As a result many victims prefer to day nothing and not file charges or choose suicide. A lack of will among law enforcement agencies and the judicial system to provided justice for victims of violence has allowed men to maintain their unbridled attitudes towards women and emboldened them to commit violence against them. In India, caste and class also act as barriers that prevent bringing perpetrators of rape and violence to justice. We have to stop and ask, what are the roots of such attitudes that encourage violence against women? Patriarchal institutions pervade our lives, whether it be family, society, business, religious affiliation or politics. We have developed a mindset that allows men the freedom to express their sexuality freely but puts restrictions on women’s behavior and interactions. Amidst the din of voices providing opinions on how to stop violence against women, we hear a lot about what women should not do, but hardly anything about what men should not do. Real change can only be effective if each of those men and women go home and vow to try and change their misogynist mindset. We need to educate people across the board to change the status of women in India. Education has to be multi-pronged and dovetailed into every aspect of education into every aspect of education academic, social, political, religious and in family life. Compulsory gender-sensitization training should be imparted to all government and private sector employees including politicians and be made an integral part of the school curriculum. Until women are respected and looked upon in equal terms with men in this country, violence against them will continue to haunt society. Each of us needs to vow that we will speak out against every form of abuse and violence against women.
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Suggestions made at NHRC consultation to check violence against women
Suggestion by women activists
• • • • • Reform police and judicial systems Amend Criminal Procedure Code and Juvenile Justice Act. Bring moral and attitudinal changes in people. Emphasise on the role of media preventing crimes against and proactively bringing the perpetrators to justice speedily. Ensure psychological, economic and social rehabilitation of victims of sexual assault

Suggestions by the NHRC Chairperson Mr. Justice K.G. Balakrishnan
• • • • • • • • • • • There is no serious problem with the Criminal Justice System. There can be no dispute about having speedy justice. The problem is that there are not sufficient courts, and there is acute shortage of Judges. In many metropolitan magistrate courts at least 2000 cases may be pending. There cannot be speedy justice if there are not enough courts. State should invest more money into Judicial System as it is done in any civilized society. In every Panchayat, there should be at least one judicial officer to hear cases. Police has to get off this general mindset that by registering complaints, the crime record will grow. They should also not harass an accused. Society must re-look into the patriarchal mindset to ensure that women are treated honorably. Something needs to be done to curb the rising number of cases of sexual assault and violence against women in Delhi. Every citizen has a duty to abide by law.

Suggestion by Legal and Social Activists.
• • Fix duty protocol at all level of police hierarchy: Importance of DNA test should be emphasized in addition to forensic tests.
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Increase the number of DNA testing and forensic science laboratories Juvenile Justice Act provisions needed to be examined in the light o crimes committed by Juveniles. Change orientation of doctors, while dealing with cases of rape victims only from the medico-legal angel; Seek amendment in NCW Act, if needed, to equip it with multi receiver helpline to be monitored by it. Re-look into the changing material, moral and ethical quotient; Film makers needed to desist from depicting male chauvinism through eve teasing and item number depicting women in poor light and women needed to refuse to be part of such creative expression including advertisements; Media should help community radio for gender sensitization.
(Source: Human Touch Pg. 16, January, 2013)

For helping victims of rape to get faster justice
• • Sexual assault is a serious problem in India. India has enough laws to adequately punish those convicted for rape. But prosecution is hampered by lack of prompt response from police coupled with poor investigation and collection of evidence. More money and time must be invested by government to revisiting the criminal justice system with all its actors-police, doctors, forensic specialists, prosecutors and judges-to make sure that it can respond in an effective, coordinated manner to sexual assault. Among the most contested evidence during rape investigation and trial is the medical examination report of the victim. This report can have a crucial impact on the case’s outcome, at most providing corroboration of the victim’s claims by documenting injuries and other evidence of rape. Poorly written or interpreted, it can undermine a victim’s credibility. India has no uniform format for compiling medical reports. This allows doctors in different parts to conduct examinations using differing or no standards; wrongly conclude that the complaint is unsupported by medical evidence when the evidence in many cassis inconclusive; reach damaging conclusions unsupported by the evidence; or even rely on outdated stereotypes about rape. A medical report based on stereotypes about sexual assault can be very damaging to a case. The WHO states that ‘only approximately one-third of rape victims sustain visible physical injuries”. Nonetheless, many Indian police officers, doctors and judges
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still seek evidence of a “struggle” and “injuries”. When they fail to find these, they often conclude that no rape occurred. • The ministries of home affairs as well as health and family welfare should jointly develop a coordinated response to sexual assault that not only allows women to obtain basic medical treatment after rape but also dispel myths about sexual assault and injuries. Officials should consult leading Indian civil society experts and doctors to develop standard protocols for the medical treatment and examination of rape survivors across India. A uniform pan-India protocol, backed by adequate resources for training and monitoring, will help police and doctors follow basic parameters of treatment and care and gather evidence more effectively and impartially. This will go a long way in helping rape survivors negotiate at least one part of a complex legal process, and have the way for better conviction rates.
(Source: Editorial, Human Touch Pg. 4, January, 2013)

Why conviction in rape is very slow?
(Police Officers of Maharashtra)
• • • • • Most of rape cases are fallout of gilted affairs or involve a family member or kin leading to out-of-court settlements. 50%of rape cases are falling flat because the victim and the accused have reached a settlement and decided to end the matter Most of these cases involved love affairs gone sour, a promise of marriage not kept after having sex or involved a close relative, family member or neighbor. Judiciary delay and deny justice to a large number of rape victims, by adjournments during the trial of rape cases. While most rape cases never get reported, of those that are registered, most fall through because the victim either retracts her statements or stops cooperating with the prosecution after a while. Forensic staff holds up 3800 sexual assault probes in Maharashtra. Even if all serious crimes against women are referred to fast-track courts, it will not be possible for the judiciary to dispose of them in the absence of the forensic science laboratory’s findings. It takes a week on an average to complete the probe a rape or attempt-to- rape case and in certain cases it takes even more time depending upon material submitted to the laboratory.
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Anyone accused of rape or murder must face speedy trail
(Women Social Activists)
• • • • So revamp the entire criminal justice delivery system In the eye of law all are equal so whoever commits rape or murder must face it and not politician alone The legal system can’t be responsive in some cases, dilatory in others. All such cases must be disposed of quickly, given the grave nature of the crimes. So accelerate judicial process, fill vacant judges’ post and expand and upgrade court facilities Let us also modernize law enforcement besides ensuring its independence. Register cases against powerful people and investigate properly. Don’t field rape-accused as poll candidates Political parties must deny tickets to those accused of grievous crimes Back disqualification of elected candidates found guilty

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In- camera Trial of Rape Case
• • • • A court can order in- camera proceedings in a rape case. It can bar all persons not directly involved in the trial, including lawyers, media persons and the general public from watching or reporting the proceedings. The trial proceeding is conducted in-camera mainly for the safety of the undertrial prisoners and to prevent a large crowd entering and disturbing the court. The court can invoke Section 327(2) and 327(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure which provide for in-camera proceedings in rape trial and prohibit reporting in publication or otherwise, any matter in relation to the proceedings except with the permission of the court. Even when permission is given, the Cr. PC states that the identity of the victim must not be revealed.

First give Psycho-social support to Rape Victims
(The J. S. Verma Committee)
• • There is a great need for psycho-social support for victims of rape. Privacy must be ensured to victims during physical and verbal examinations.
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Counselors should be involved throughout the intervention process. The life of the victim is to be preserved before legal formalities are met. The victim’s health care needs should be attended to immediately. Rape is a medico-legal emergency. No hospital, public or private, can turn away a victim. Subject to the victim’s physical health and choice, the first interaction of the victim should be with the counselor and thereafter with the doctor and the police. Two-finger test should be scrapped. Special rooms should be set up in all government hospitals for victims to be examined and questioned in privacy. A sexual assault evidence collection kit or sexual assault forensic evidence (SAFE) kit consisting of items used by medical personnel for gathering and preserving physical evidence following a sexual assault should be available with all government hospitals.

Panic button in your phone
• • Pressing of a single button can save a woman’s life. Now help is just a touch away for women under attack. Just the press of a button in your mobile will be enough to send help to the victim, even if she cannot speak a word at that juncture. This crime-combat facility for women will be first launched in the city from March 8 - coinciding with women’s day. Thanks to this path-breaking software called Help Emergency Assistance Rescue Terminal (HEART). Developed by Woman IT entrepreneur, Ruzan Khambatta, fighting crime against women will take to a whole new level. This project is being funded by the State government. A new toll-free number for Heart will be announced on March 8. For this project, the state government has tied up with all mobile phone companies. Dialing this number will trigger a host of actions; it will first connect to the city police control room. Even if the woman is unable to speak, the police will be able to track her location through her mobile phone. The nearest police mobile van will then rush to the site. A website will also be launched for Heart. If women register at this web site as a precautionary measure then in case of an attack, her relatives will also be simultaneously intimated though SMS. Response time is critical in any such situation where a woman is under attack. Heart will help improve police response system immensely. Now, just dialing that
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one number will give to police the victim’s location and her identity too. The whole system is automated and human interface is limited which helps in cutting down time taken.

University Grants Commissions (UGC) Recommendation to monitor safety of women
• • • All the universities in the country must set up a committee at their respective campuses to monitor the safety of women. The task force appointed by UGC will review the measures available in universities and colleges for ensuring safety of women on campuses across the country. Our task force committee must submit its report within 2 months.
(On 03/02/2013)

Ordinance on sexual crime
(Editor Times of India)
• The ordinance on sexual crime is a step in the right direction. But it requires far more reflection. So the government must be open to consultation and revision on the ordinance. The current draft brings out many positive changes in the Indian Penal code. It provides a death sentence for rapists whose victims die or remain persistent vegetative state. It declares gang rape punishable with a minimum person of 20 years. The offence of outraging the modesty of woman is replaced with clear definition of unwelcome sexual acts ranging from stalking to acid attacks.

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Criticism of the ordinance
• The government ignores many of the holistic recommendations of the Verma committee including making marital rape an offence, removing need for sanction in cases of sexual offence in areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, and banning politicians from contesting polls when a court has recognized a criminal case against them. The most controversial aspects of the ordinance appear to be its equation of all sex work with trafficking, which is a punishable offence.
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Trying to stamp out all prostitution is like trying to impose prohibition. It’s not going to work, but by driving sex work underground it will increase exploitation of women. Not to mention that erasing the distinction between voluntary sex and coercion is precisely the atmosphere in which rapes flourish. Taken together, a lot more debate is necessary before basing future legislation on such an ordinance. It’s also important to remember that legislation alone won’t deliver the goods- that will require a combination of administrative action, police and judicial reforms. Critically important is to ensure a high conviction rate for sexual crimes, which includes a crackdown on even minor crimes of this nature to deter the more serious ones.

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Gender Crimes show Police failing People
(Social Activists)
• • • • • • The recent rape case of Nirbhaya in a Delhi-bus raises critical questions about police ineptitude and callousness. The job of a Police force is to maintain law and order, immediately those in distress. Police as a force isn’t geared toward its employer – the public. It is obvious that police are totally out of step with gender crimes, often appearing apathetic and sometimes even sympathetic towards perpetrators. The police exists to serve and to protect the public To become a service force police must begin long needed reforms, recruiting more persons, ensuring more women cops than its abysmal 3.98% national figure, sensitizing official constantly towards gender, accountability and crime. The police must get their acts together. assisting

Marital Rape will lead up to 7 years of jail: Ordinance
Marital rape will also attract stringent punishment under the ordinance proposed by the centre. Sex by husband with his wife during separation will lead upto seven years of imprisonment, according to the proposed ordinance on anti-rape law approved by the Union Cabinet on Friday. Justice J S Verma Committee recommended deletion of IPC’s Section 376A (Intercourse by a man with his wife during separation) under
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which currently maximum punishment is two years. Implied in that was the view that marital rape should also be brought under the definition of rape. However, the government has decided to retain it but enhanced the punishment for the crime from two years to maximum seven years of imprisonment “We have increased the punishment but decided to retain in the clause to give an opportunity to a couple for reconciliation.” A Home Ministry official said. So far, Section 376 A is a non-cognizable offence but the proposed ordinance made such a crime a cognizable offence. Several women organizations have demanded deletion of Section 376 A as recommended by Justice Verma Committee and are planning to appeal to President not to sign the proposed ordinance. Responding to another criticisum that personnel of armed forces often take the shield of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 after committing crime against women, the home ministry official clarified that no sanction would be required if the armed force personnel is accused of a crime against a woman. In a bid to fast-track stringent amendment to the criminal laws to check crime against women, the Union Cabinet last night approved promulgation of an ordinance by including capital punishment for rape that leads to death of the victim or leaving her in a vegetative state.

Crime Against Women
(Women Activists)
• • • • • A special wing of police must be carved out of Police Crime Branch to solely investigate crime against women This unit must take up cases of crime against women and ensure speedy trial Fast Track Courts must be established to be used to exclusively deal with crime against women. Women - victims of serious crimes must have the right to choose lawyers. 30%of police force in every state must be women. Women constables must be given adequate training so that they can form a sizable percentage of the force for this work

Patiala Courts clear 11 rape cases in 20 days
• • Setting a new precedent, district courts in Punjab’s Patiala delivered verdicts in 11 cases of rape in 20 working days in January.  The courts are hearing all pending and new cases of rapes on a day-to-day basis following recent directions from the  Punjab and Haryana high court. The HC had
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also directed the district courts in Punjab to send it the status reports of the rape cases every month.  • • • After High Court directions, the District and Session Judge has been personally monitoring the trials of all rape cases and have put all of them on fast track.  The trial in the rest of the rape cases will be completed soon.  A court in Hoshiarpur delivered a verdict in a case of rape within eight days of the filing of the chargesheet by police. 

Rape Convict in MP loses Driving Licence
• In what could be a first in India, a Gwalior transport officer has cancelled the driving licence of a man convicted of raping a schoolgirl after abducting her in his vehicle in April 2012. The state transport department said from now on licences of people accused of rape using a motor vehicle would be suspended as soon as a chargesheet is filed, and cancelled permanently upon conviction. Licences could be cancelled even for old convictions, the department said. Gwalior RTO M P Singh used powers under Section 19(1) of the Motor Vehicles Act on Friday to revoke the licence of Vishwambhar Gurjar who abducted a schoolgirl in his Bolero before raping and dumping her. Two others convicted with him, Rakesh Singh and Niranjan Singh, don’t have licences, and will never get one in Madhya Pradesh because their details and photos have been blacklisted in the transport departments database. Section 19(1) allows for refusing or revoking the licence of, among others, anyone who has used a motor vehicle in a cognizable offence. (On 12/01/2013)

(Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao)
• • • • I condemn the demand of death penalty for the accused in the recent Delhi gang rape. It is sickening to hear the call of death penalty or castration of the accused. The focus of the whole thing seems to be on the harsh punishment to the accused rather than looking at ways of preventing such crimes in society. However serious the crime committed may be, one has to always give a chance to the accused to improve his/her life.
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There are more than enough cases in history to prove that when such chances are given, the accused do show a remarkable improvement in their lives, provided they are guided and counseled properly. The society must reflect and see why our own brothers and sisters turn criminals, what their family background is and why no one in society took note of helping such people in time of their crisis earlier. There is definitely a greater need for value education right front our families where a greater emphasis should be placed on respect for girls and women, starting with prevention of female feticides, demand for dowry and so on.
(Source: Indian Currents Pg. 7, 21 – 27 Jan, 2013)

Allow abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy
• The National Commission for women (NCW) has recommended to the Union health Ministry to change the time-limit for abortions form 20 weeks to 24 weeks of pregnancy. The ministry had asked us to review the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act. 1971, and send our recommendation if any. We sent them a recommendation last month. Keeping in view of the present scientific development in medical diagnostic technologies as well as social scenario laws, statutes need to be revamped. A new situation demands new laws. .A women may be raped or a minor may have become pregnant or a woman from a depressed class violated, a woman/girl deserted by partner who had promised to marry her. The present law does not address these special circumstances, hence the NCW feels it necessary to review Section 3-5 of the MTP Act, 1971. NCW wants that Section 3(2) (b) of the MTP Act to be amended to state, “Where the length of the pregnancy exceeds twelve weeks but does not exceed twenty-four weeks”. This was the long recommendation made to the government.

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Reform Mindset
“Crime against women in society can be curbed only when the authorities are sensitised towards the problems of women”.
(Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir) No.: 3 March 2013

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Rights of the Common People Republic in Crisis
(Tissy Jose UMI)
On that red letter day of January 26, 1950 we stood with feet firm and heads held high as the people of a sovereign republic equipped with a formidable Constitution. No other Constitution in the world gives such a complete and comprehensive guarantee of the basic human freedom to its citizens as the Constitution of India to its people. The extraordinarily forceful and meaningful Preamble that reflects the pledge contained in the Objective Resolution of 1946 to guarantee the basic human rights thus reads: “We, The People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVERIGN DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and so secure all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship, EQUALITY of status and opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity of the Nation; IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty sixth day of November, 1949 do hereby ADOPT, ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION”. India’s constitution is said to be a rare masterpiece carved out of the long and strenuous work of the Constituent Assembly of India that was set up under Cabinet Mission Plan of May 16, 1946 comprising 13 committees. The first meeting of Constituent Assembly was held on December 9, 1946 with Dr. Sachidanand Sinha as the interim President. Dr. Rajendra Prasad was elected the President of the Assembly on December 11, 1946. The Assembly took two years, 11 months and 18 days to complete the Constitution. The Constitution came into force on January 26, 1950. As the largest written Constitution in the world the Indian Constitution originally had a Preamble, 395 Articles and Schedules. However, currently its consists of the Preamble, 24 parts containing 450 articles, 12 schedules, 2 appendices and 114 amendments to date. Although it is federal in nature it also has a strong unitary bias. The salient features of our Constitution are so unique and baffling that even a cursive look as it makes on feel proud of monumental documents skillfully woven to look after the social welfare of a people of bewildering diversity, plurality of ethnicity, contrasting customs, castes and communities. In a departure from British era ruled by monarchy, the Constitution of India renders the republican form of polity in the country. It provides for a secular polity in India denoting there would be no discrimination on grounds of religion, nay there should be equal respect for all religions, Sovereignty of the people is another unique feature of the Constitution, According to the Constitution, people of the country are the supreme authority. Provision for a federal form of polity and the encouragement to take affirmative action to improve the conditions of the weaker sections of society, provision for the universal adult franchise to mention a few are features that contribute to the uniqueness of Indian Constitution. The Republic of India, today at 64, with its structure and system falling apart, exhibits alarming signs of crisis. One cannot do a reality check without a great deal of concern for
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the situation prevailing in the country. With her social, political and economic institutions grown fragile, her formidable Constitution turned pliant enough to bend to the whims or caprice of the successive rulers, political leaders displaying their insane obsession to inane political ideologies that help secure their vote banks, fundamental rights of the citizens flagrantly violated, justice denial to the vulnerable sections of the society, crime and corruption accommodated across the country, vindictiveness against minorities especially Christians and Muslims gaining sanction, communal strife taken for granted, Indian today is a far cry from the glorious democratic republic handed down to us by the noble fathers of our Constitution. The crisis that confronts the Republic of India today basically is a crisis of values. Responsibility and accountability were the two values of governance that Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution, cited as reasons for preferring parliamentary system to that of Presidential one. He highlighted that a Parliamentary executives dependent on majority in parliament cannot fail from acting with greater responsibility. He was sure that at least as a matter of possibility, the daily evaluation through questions, resolutions, no-confidence motions, adjournment motions and debates on addresses will done by the members of Parliament. Unfortunately 63 years down the line, Dr. Ambedkar’s dream that the Indian Republic would provide basic amenities to the hungry and deprived masses of Indian lay shattered. The Republic of India presently is in a crisis that is all-pervasive. It is manifested in the inefficiency of our political leaders, increasing lawlessness, unruly populism, and criminalization of politics, undue centralization delayed and inept justice system. The crisis mainly is the result of two major mistakes of the governance structure in India. In the first place, good behavior goes unrewarded and bad behavior remains un-punished. Ironically corruption and crime in India system register greater success than truth and honesty. Secondly, our political leaders ill-conceive political power as a game that has to be won at any cost. Power is negatively defined as pelf, privilege, patronage, petty tyranny, harassment allowed to our state functionaries at the expenses of the hapless citizens of India. In such a license raj, it’s small surprise that all institutions of state encompassing the political executive, the legislatures, the bureaucracy and the judiciary are all on the verge of collapse. The way out can be found only through a holistic reforms that embraces all aspects of governance structure and our political principles. The makers of the constitution were towering men and women of lofty ideals, commitment, depth and understanding who incorporated the noble values of our freedom movement in the foundational cannons of the Republic. However, these values were gradually diluted by unprincipled politics that has created a crisis of governance in Indian. Against this dismal picture of our country we need to balance our pessimism of the intelligence with the optimism of the will lest we fall into despair. This balancing act is not to make us non-caring about the deep crisis that the Republic of India.
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Obsession to anything is odious. Unfortunately both the rulers and the ruled are equally victims of this loathsome state of mind. With the rulers perpetuate their rigid ideologies, the ruled cling to their “Fundamental Rights” sans owning up their obligations drawn up as ‘Fundamental Duties’ in the constitution that enjoing them to be disciplined by the Constitution. What is the percentage of Indian electorate that is in the know of the Constitute of India with its disciplining capacity? How many citizens are aware of their fundamental duties to the State categorically drawn up in Article 51A of the constitution? Together with the celebrated Preamble, Directive Principles of State Policy, they form in the words of historian Granville Austin “The Conscience of the Constitution”. If the Constitution of India is at the heart of the Indian Republic, the Conscience of the Constitution is the Republic’s conscience too. Small wonder when the conscience of the wielders of state power fails to resonate with the conscience of the Constitution, the State fails into a crisis: a crisis of conscience in the ultimate analysis after all.
(Source: Indian Currents Pg. 10 - 12, 21 – 27 Jan, 2013)

What are our Fundamental (Constitutional) Rights as Citizens of India?
Article 14- - Right to equality before law. Right to equal protection of law.

Article-15- - - Right against discrimination by the State on the grounds of religion, race, caste, gender and place of birth. Right to access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of entertainment. Right to use wells, tanker, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of state funds or dedicated to the use of general public. Right of women and children for special protection,

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Article 16- - Right to equal opportunity in matters of public employment (Govt. job) Right against discrimination by the State in matters relating to public employment.
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Article 17- Right against the practice of untouchability in any form.

Article 18- - State cannot confer title on any Indian citizen, except military and academic distinctions. Citizens cannot accept any title from any foreign states without the consent of the President of India.

Article 19- - - - - - Right to freedom of speech and expression Right to assemble peacefully and without arms Right to form associations and unions Right to move freely throughout the territory of India. Right to reside and settle in any part of India. Right to practice any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business.

Article 20- - - - Right against illegal conviction Right against awarding a penalty more than what is prescribed under the law in force at the time of committing the offence. Right against punishing a person more than once for the same offence. Right against forcing a person to confess the truth against himself.

Article 21- Right to protection of life and personal liberty.

Article 21 A- Right to free and compulsory education for children between 6 to 14 years of age.

Article 22- - - Right to be informed, soon after ones arrest, about the grounds on which he has been arrested; Right to consult a lawyer of one’s choice, to defend him Right to be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours of one’s arrest if the police plans to keep him in police custody more than 24 hours.
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Article 23- Right to take legal action against trafficking in human beings and forced labour.

Article 24- Right to take legal action against employment of children below 14 in mines and factories and other hazardous occupations.

Article 25- - - Right to freedom of conscience, free profession, practice and propagation of religion. Sikhs have the right to wear and carry kirpans. Scheduled Castes have the right to enter Hindu religious institutions of public character.

Article 26- - - - Every religious denomination or any of its section has the right to establish and maintain institutions for religious and charitable purposes. The right to manage its own affairs in matters of religion. The right to own and acquire movable and immovable property and The right to administer such property in accordance with law.

Article 27- Right against State - compulsion to pay any taxes to meet the expenses for protection or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination.

Article 28- Freedom to attend or not to attend religious instruction or religious worship in institutions maintained by state funds.

(Ajit Prakash Shah)
Perhaps the biggest contribution of our Parliament towards promoting greater accountability in independent India is the enactment of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005. If, as they say, information is power, then the RTI Act hasbecome a veritable ‘Brahmastra’ in the hands of the Indian public. It has been extremely successful in empowering people with information held by public authorities. 
No.: 3 March 2013

Don’t kill RTI

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The Indian RTI experiment has proved that right to information is a powerful tool that serves to bridge the democratic deficit created by increasing inequality and differences in access to opportunities. Countless Indians are now able to check the status of their ration cards, below poverty line (BPL) cards, passports, application for public schemes etc. The RTI has made the state machinery more accessible and easier to manage, especially for the poor and vulnerable sections of society. An important reason why this has been so is because the Act has an effective and reasonably efficient implementation machinery consisting of the state and central chief information commissioners (CICs) who have the power to give effect to the provisions of this Act.
(The writer is former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.) (Times of India 27/10/2012)

The National Human Rights Commission’s response to violations of Human Rights
1. Sexual harassment of a minor girl by a Delhi police constable
• Facts of the case A The commission took up this case on the basis of a complaint quoting a media report dated the 13th February. Reportedly, a 12 year old girl was molested by a Delhi Police Constable. On the basis of the material on record submitted by the concerned authorities before the Commission in response to its notices, it was found that the constable had prima-facie outraged the modesty of the minor girl and for this he was an accused in FIR No. 22 dated 11th February, 2012 u/s 354 IPC at Police Station, Mandir Marg, New Delhi. He had also been suspended form service. • Observation of the Commission Prima facie a public servant had abused his position/power and violated the human rights of a minor girl for which the state is liable. • Action of the Commission Issued show cause notice to the Government of NCT of Delhi through its Chief Secretary and the Delhi Police Commissioner. They were also asked to inform about further action against the constable. • Response from the Government to the Commission A challan had been filed in the matter before the court. The commission is free to decide the monetary relief to the victim. • Final order of the Commission The Delhi government must pay rupees 5 lakhs as monetary relief to the minor; who suffered sexual harassment by a Delhi Police constable.
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The Chief Secretary of Delhi government must submit the compliance report along with a proof of payment. The money should be put into a fixed deposit in her name, the interest from which her legal guardian would be authorized to use for her welfare while she is a minor. The principal, together with any accrued interest, would be at her disposal when she becomes an adult.

2. Death in Judicial Custody
Facts of the case • An under-trial prisoner Raju, aged about 32 years, died in the night on 7th April, 2011 in the District Jail, Rohini. The jail official brought him to the jail hospital with alleged history of physical assault by co-inmates. The prisoner was unconscious and on examination was found dead. The post-mortem showed that there were a number of ante-mortem injuries caused by hard blunt objects on the different parts of Raju’s body. • Setting aside the contention of the DG (Prisons), Delhi that no compensation may be awarded in the case, the commission said that the prison authorities are expected to prevent the attack on the body of a prisoner and to save him from any violence and injuries caused not only by jail officials but also by co-prisoners. Since they failed to perform their duty as per law, the State is liable to compensate the next to kin or family members of the deceased prisoner by making a payment of rupees three lakhs. A compliance report along with proof of payment has been asked by the 24th January 2013. • Facts of the case B In another case, under-trial prisoner Rakesh died on the 10th November, 2011 while undergoing treatment for his injuries in Deen Dayal Upadhayay Hospital. He was lodged in Central Jail No. 8/9, Tihar. The Metropolitian Magistrate, Delhi in his enquiry concluded that initial circumstances surrounding the infliction of blunt trauma upon the abdomen of the inmate was stated to be a fall from stairs and the immediate cause of death. This gave rise to cloud of suspicion. • Having received no response to the sow cause notices of the Commission form the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT Delhi, the Commission observed that it appeared that it had nothing to say in the matter. Hence, it recommended that the Delhi Government pay rupees three lakhs as interim relief to the next of kin of deceased. The Commission has also called for compliance report along with proof of payment by first of the next month. • Facts of the case C In the third case of death in judicial custody in the National Capital, Vishabh Chaudhary, a convicted prisoner, committed suicide in District Jail, Rohini by hanging himself near the dressing OPD of the Dispensary ward of the District Jail on the 22nd April, 2010. The
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commission based on the material on record has observed that the detaining authority had not taken adequate precaution to prevent the prisoner from harming himself. For this breach of duty in taking care of the prisoner, the State must bear liability and pay rupees one lakh to the next of kin of deceased. The compliance report along with proof of payment has been sought by the 14th February, 2013.
(Source: Human Touch Pg. 15, January, 2013)

Organs of Constitution should know limits: Law Minister
• I would like to only reiterate that the three organs of the State (the executive, the judiciary and the legislature) have to work in harmony with each other, respecting the limits of their jurisdiction. I have hesitation in saying that so far the constitutional parameters of the jurisdiction assigned to each organ have more or less worked in accordance with the scheme of the constitution and the judges also have themselves stated on a number of occasions that it is not their remit to enter the domain of policy making. It is important that all institutions respect the executive, legislation and judiciary. Any alternation of this balance which confuses the global investors who are keen to invest in India and which leads to job creation, technology upgrade the infrastructures expansion is better avoided. I justified a controversial clause which debars judges from making verbal comments against people in open courts. In December last year, the government had decided to retain the clause in a bill on judicial standards. The judges themselves, and not the government, will decide whether or not an observation made in the court was necessary. At the end of the day, it is left again to the peers of the judges within the judicial system to decide whether or not a particular observation or remark was necessary. There is absolutely no intention of, in any way, intruding into the judicial domain of decision making.

• •

Make the Police a Service Force in the Country
(Social Activists)
• • • The Police Force can be more efficient in India. It must be adequately supervised by efficient persons. It must work more to serve the confidence and cordial cooperation of the people.
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• •

The Police Act of 1891, a product of British rule must be modified adequately. Far-reaching proposals made by several committees appointed by the Central Government to reform the police force must be implemented as soon as possible. The faith of the people in police as public servants must be strengthened by their friendly approach and attitude in service. The Delhi gangrape and many other gruesome incidents which have brought out the credibility cases affecting the police force call for sweeping changes in the policing system in the country. There is an urgent need to measure the ratio of police, both men and women, for better visibility. Increased visibility of the police and enhanced patrolling could have a dampening effect on the crime scenario. There is a need to reduce the number of policemen who are on VIP security so that more forces are available for protecting the ordinary helpless citizens. The Police Force has to be trained on people –friendly approach. A total revamp of the policing system is the urgent need of the time so that it may become a service force in the country.

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• • • • •

The Role and Obligation of a Lawyer
(Soli J Sorabjee)
Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees fair trial to every person. Denial of legal representation is tantamount to denial of fair trial. Constitutional guarantees cannot be jettisoned because of the heinousness of a crime. A lawyer who appears for an accused does not subscribe to the innocence of his client. In fact, it is improper and unprofessional for a lawyer to say that he is convinced about the innocence of his client. It is not the function of a lawyer to judge the guilt or innocence of an accused. That is the function of the court. The lawyer’s function is to take all legal defences and pleas which in law are available to an accused person and which the accused could have taken if he had the requisite legal training and competence. This is a well recognised principle. The great fearless advocate Thomas Erskine who appeared for Thomas Paine, who was charged with serious offences against the Crown, was severely criticised for his defence of Paine. Erskine’s reply is memorable. “If the advocate refuses to defend, from what he may think of the charge or of the defence, he assumes the character of the judge; nay, he assumes it before the hour of judgment. I will forever, at all hazards, assert the dignity, independence, and integrity of the English Bar; without which, impartial justice can have no existence”. Erskine’s example should be emulated in all democratic countries committed to dispensation of impartial justice as in the case of our country.
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No Equality in Commission of Crimes
(Soli J Sorabjee)
Owaisi has been charged inter alia under Section 153-A of the IPC with the offence of making inflammatory speeches which are prejudicial to maintenance of communal harmony. Owaisi will surely contest the charge and put forth his legal defences on merits. Owaisi’s friends and supporters who have been vocal in his defence constantly mention that similar charges have not been slapped on Pravin Togadia and others who have allegedly made more inflammatory speeches and therefore Owaisi is being discriminated against. Nonprosecution of others is no defence if Owaisi has in fact contravened Section 153-A. Our Supreme Court has rejected a similar argument put forward by smugglers who were facing prosecution that there were other smugglers who were not prosecuted and therefore there was discrimination. According to our Supreme Court, the mandate of equality does not apply to commission of crimes. Owaisi will succeed or fail on the facts of his own case irrespective of non-prosecution of alleged similar offenders.

SC questions red beacon lights, security for all groups of ‘VIPs’
• What could be the reason for providing red lights to sarpanchs, mukhiyas, and for that matter MPs, MLAs and even judges? Why should the government of India not... scrap the rule that authorises such use. Why don’t you make new rules, specifying the categories of people or institutions that should have red, yellow or blue lights? It cannot be for everyone. The State governments and union territories must file affidavits giving information on all those enjoying police protection and the cost borne by the government for their security. “We will have to stop use of red lights as insignia of authority if we don’t get proper replies from them. In states like Punjab, Haryana and also Rajasthan, even Sarpanchs have PSOs. They have black films on their vehicles and no police officer will dare to touch them. Solicitor General Rohinton Nariman must answer two main issues. First, under which provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act and relevant rules are the red beacon lights allowed; second, the categories of people who are provided security. “He will also have to explain the meaning of these sirens with the lights”. Asked if only Constitutional authorities like the Prime Minister, President, Governors, Chief Justices and a few others should be given beacon lights, Nariman replied: “No, I think it should also be based on threat perception. Let there be a handful of defined functionaries and then some based on threat perception.”
(on 17/01/2013) No.: 3 March 2013

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No FIR needed in a drunk driver case
(Bombay High Court)
• • • • No First Information Report (FIR) is necessary in drunken driving cases. Drunken driving is non-cognizable offence. The Magistrate must ensure that the accused in such cases is furnished with all the material against him. Police can clamp down on drunken driving without having to go through the lengthy process of lodging an FIR, filing a charge-sheet and producing strong evidence for a proper trial. Under Section 185 of the Motor Vehicles Act, if a breath-analyzer detects alcohol exceeding 30 milligram per 100 ml in a driver’s blood and he is incapable of driving, he can be punished with a prison term of up to six months for a first offence. If caught again within three years, he can be punished for the second offence with a prison term of up to two years. When the police catch an offender, he will be taken to the police station and made to pay a deposit. The next day he has to appear before a judicial magistrate where he can plead guilty and pay a fine. If he chooses to contest the charges, the matter goes to trial.

SC raps Centre over special CBI Courts
The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed its displeasure over the Centre’s failure to set up adequate special CBI courts for trying corruption cases involving high profile politicians and public servants despite its repeated orders. It directed the Centre to set up 22 special CBI courts within two months with adequate infrastructure across the country while making it clear that it was not satisfied with the reasons and explanations given by the authorities concerned. “We have been passing orders since 2011. But every time you come out with reasons and explanations. If you wish, you can do it within an hour” a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and Fakkir Kalifulla observed. “We asked you to take steps to make special courts operational, “The bench said, referring to its January 27, 2011 order. The bench said the court had taken cognizance of the letter written by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the chief ministers in July 2009 for creating additional special courts but it has not yielded results. The government in 2009 had decided to set up 71 additional special courts, exclusively for trial of CBI cases in various states.
(On 31/01/2013) No.: 3 March 2013

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Supreme Court responds to wide concern about alleged extrajudicial killings in Manipur
• • The Supreme Court instituted a commission this January to investigate six cases of alleged extrajudicial killing in Manipur. The court was responding to a petition filed last year by the extra judicial Execution Victims Families Association, Manipur (EEVFAM), citing 1,528 such cases since 1979. These killings, allegedly by the armed forces, in a state that has been under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act for decades. For years, individual families had to battle the indifference of the lower courts and the intransigence of the state government.

Issues that can be send to the Chairman, NHRC for help
• • • • • Cases of rape where no help is given by authorities Death of labourers while constructing buildings. Custodial torture and deaths Firing of tribal children attending Maoist camps Any case of human rights violations. Address:National Human Rights Commission Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi – 110 001 Tel No. 011- 2338 4012 Fax No. 011 – 2338 4863 E-mail: covdnhrc@nic.in , ionhrc@nic.in

How can a trust or society empower the poor, women, dalits, tribals or workers?
• • • • • • • Formulate their aims and activities. Register a trust or society to work for their empowerment. Ask help from government departments. Register the name of the members with Village Panchayat for land or house if they are landless or shelterless or ask for leased land for cultivation. Form them as micro credit group. Seek free legal aid to fight for their rights. They can also seek admission for their children in local schools-government or other schools.
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Do you know?
Juvenile Rapists • • • 64 % of all juvenile criminals arrested belong to 16 to 18 years of age group. Minor accused in Delhi gang rape is over 17. There was 34% rise in rape by Juvenile in 2011-12 Gujarat, which faced one of the worst anti-Muslim riots in the country barely 10 years ago, has emerged as the state with the largest number of Muslim cops posted in police stations, beating states with a higher proportion of the community in their population. Pondicherry Government plans to design school uniforms to make it mandatory for girl students to wear overcoats. It has decided to ban mobile phones in schools and operate buses for girls with women conductors from next year. Sexologists and anthologists say that chemical castration can lower sexual drive but there is disagreement about whether it is an ideal solution to prevent rape. The process would require daily oral drugs or frequent injections to keep the hormones level low. DNA testing is enough to confirm the parenthood of a child. Blood samples of the child can be sent for DNA testing.

Gujarat has the most Muslim Cops at Police Stations

Pondy Government plans over coats for girls to check rapes • •

Chemical Castration •

Proving Parenthood of a Child • •

Supreme Court commutes death for a man who raped and stabbed a pregnant woman • The Supreme Court commuted on 13th December, a death sentence to life for a 23 year old man who killed a 65 year old woman and raped her pregnant 25 year old grand daughter-in-law in Pune in September 2007. The Supreme Court Bench observed that though the accused had committed a very “heinous and brutal crime, a vital factor that he may not have been aware what he was doing as he smelled of alcohol could not be ruled out and hence his abnormal behavior was relevant in holding against death penalty, Information provided by the Gadchiroli and Gondia police to a query sought under the Right to Information Act showed that the arms recovered from the guerrillas between 2008 and December 2012 case mostly country-made or crude ones.
No.: 3 March 2013

Naxals use crude arms •

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Naxals movement • Human rights activist and lawyer Surendra Gadling said the details made available under RTI reinstate the fact that the naxal’s movement is basically driven by villagers who fight against years of their exploitation. The Haryana government is setting up a cradle at shelter homes to provide shelter for unwanted newborn babies of rape-victims or those born to unwed women. The Supreme Court agreed to hear a plea that has questioned the very basis of policing powers being exercised by Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) in absence of statutory provisions. A Criminal case filed against two girls for posting a comment on Face Book after the death of Shiv Sena Supermo Bal Thackeray on November 17 last year has been closed after police dropped charges against them. Some women’s organizations urged the President not to sign the ordinance on criminal law amendments passed by the union cabinet to deal with sexual crimes. They said. “The ordinance is a complete betrayal of the people’s faith. We are alarmed at the complete lack of transparency displayed by the government in proposing ordinance as an emergency measure. We call upon the president not to sign such an ordinance,” was the general opinion of woman activists at a press conference here. They also wondered why such measure was necessary when Parliament would convene for the budget session in about 20 days. The Union Home Ministry and Telecom Ministry would draw up a concept note on creating a countrywide emergency number on the lines of the US (911) and UK (999) by the end of February. Any distress call to this number would be seamlessly transferred to the department concerned without harassment to the caller. The 181 emergency number, a women’s helpline launched by the Delhi government last month, will also be made operational throughout the country. Mere attraction towards communist ideology cannot be sufficient ground to declare individuals as members of a terrorist group, the Bombay High Court has held while granting bail to four alleged members of the banned communist party of India (Maoist)
No.: 3 March 2013

Cradles for unwanted newborn •

SC agrees to hear PIL on Intel agencies’ powers •

Case against two girls closed in Maharashtra •

Women activists urge President not to sign ordinance •

An emergency number to help women •

Court says mere leaning towards communist ideology doesn’t make one a terrorist •

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Software to detect crimes A software was developed for the speedy detection of crimes by a police constable, Dilip Thakor 37. It is a search engine tailor made to combat crime. The complainant can pick out the culprits whose names are given in the long list of suspects. President signs ordinance to fight sexual crimes against women. The President of India has accorded his assent to the criminal law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013 on 3rd Feb. The Union Cabinet recommended the draft of the ordinance to the President for his assent in a bid to fast track stringent amendment to the criminal laws to check crime against women. The ordinance, based on the recommendations of the Justice J. S. Verma committee and going beyond, also proposes to replace at the word ‘rape’ with ‘sexual assault’ to expand the definition of all types of sexual crimes against women.

Rights of SCs Dalit Teacher denied housing, HC steps in
The  Gujarat High Court  has taken suo motu cognizance of the scourge of untouchability because of which a female teacher from the Dalit Community was denied residence in Kutch. The local residents’ prejudice and the government’s apathy forced her to quit her job. Jetal Rushi from Bharuch was appointed as Vidhya Sahayak in Gelda village near Bhuj. But since she belonged to the Valmiki community, villagers in and around Gelda refused to give her accommodation. The girl made a representation to the  State  Government and requested that she be transferred to another place. Since the Government did not respond, Jetal resigned and went back to Bharuch. Perturbed by the girl’s agony, her grandfather wrote a letter to the High Court narrating how the girl was forced to give up her job. He complained that the girl was posted in a village where she could not secure help from any government office because none existed there. A bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala filed public interest litigation on its own on perusal of the letter. Advocate Hemang Shah, who is part of this proceeding, said that the Article 17 of the Constitution provides for the eradication of the practice of untouchability and denying residence to a member of the Valmiki community which is in the profession of scavenging - was nothing but violation of the Constitutional provision. Shah said that in 2008, a PIL was filed on the problems faced by the Valmiki community - people do not allow them to live in their vicinity. The State Government then took a stand that it would give priority to the community in providing housing facilities and a resolution too was passed. The lawyer claimed that the denial of a house to Jetal was not only non-compliance of the HC order, but also Contempt of Court. The High Court has sought explanation from Home Secretary, Director of Primary Education and the Secretary of Social Justice and Empowerment Department asking them to file answers by December 27.
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Rights of Children CBSC plans to include Human Rights and Gender Sensitisation in its academic course
• • • • • CBSC plans to introduce a elective course in human rights and gender studies in its schools from the coming academic session. The course will be available in all CBSC affiliated schools The subject will be made available for students of class 11th and 12th CBSC has already proposed a blueprint of syllabus for the subject which will be available for students from 2013 session. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had also pressed for the inclusion of human rights education in the school curriculum taking note of the worsening human rights situation of children. The PMO also has written to the HRD Ministry to include chapters on value education in text books so that gender sensitivity and respect for women is taught. The CBSC had brought out a hand book on value educations for teachers, guiding them to impart values through the innovative means including use of meaningful cinema and books. The Board has made counseling service compulsory in its affiliated schools and is collecting data to broad-base and streamline services.

Include Sex Education in Faith Classes
(Mumbai Catholic Secular Forum (CSF)
• Sex education must be imparted to students of standard 8th, attending faith classes of Catholic Church every Sunday. Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India (CBCI) must issue an advisory This is the right time to educate them on sexuality, especially in the light of the internet and wide spread of media reports on sexual abuse or deviant sexual behaviour. It is time the Church adapts to present age forms of abuse on social networking sites and spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
No.: 3 March 2013

• •

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Even if the Church has sex education, its’ basic boy-meets-girl biological talk. Gender sensitivity has not been brooked. Sexual offences pre-marital sex and same sex marriage are problems we need to grapple with today. If the church does not take up this education children will look for guidance from peers and other source of information. Children are confused with new concepts of homosexuality, pre-marital sex, contraception, abortion, incest and rape. Church’s stand on these topics needs to be explained before it is too late. CBCI must write to Justice J. S. Verma Panel opposing Death Penalty or chemical castration for rape as these are contrary to the stand of the Catholic Church. A Kerala Archdiocese had daylong sessions with psychologists using audiovisual aids to introduce children to the Christian concept of sexuality and human body. The forum in a memorandum has also asked the govt. to make sex education compulsory with focus on sexual responsibility and abstinence.
(On 07/01/2013)

Gujarat bars caste, sex and regional usage in schools
{T. S. Joshi Additional Director at the Gujarat Council of Education Research and Training (GCERT)}
• • • The entire curriculum from class 1- 8 has been revised, keeping in mind the Right to Education (RTE) Act and National Curriculum Framework (NCF). Teachers must be careful while addressing the students using references to castes. There should not be any attempt on part of teachers to encourage casteism among children. If the students want, they can, on their own enquire about their classmate’s caste or surname. The surnames will be used only for administrative purposes like scholarships or certain benefits given to particular caste or community.

Child rehabilitation needed in Juvenile Justice
(Chief Justice of India)
• People should be sensitized to do something for children who have been marginalized. 
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We need to focus on this section. These children need our prime attention. We need to sensitize ourselves to see that we do something for this part of society which has been marginalized. It is high time society took up their responsibility and corrects what is going on. Such children also be adopted and provided homes. 
(On 12/01/2013)

• •

Train Teachers to Counsel Children
(Educationalists and Experts)
• • • • • There should be a code of conduct for school children. Discipline is the training of the mind. It should not be forced on children. The Counselors should play a pivotal role on instilling discipline in classrooms. Teachers need to be trained specially in psychological handling of students. A teacher needs to respect the individuality of every child and reach out to them.

Trial of a Minor accused of a Crime
• First the Juvenile Justice Board has to summon the youth from a juvenile correction home. The Principal of the school where the youth had studied can be asked to produce all the relevant documents available in the school to determine the exact age of the juvenile. Once the documents are submitted their authenticity can be established. Only after analyzing of the documents the Board can issue an order for an ossification test of the juvenile. An ossification test can be conducted to end the confusion over the age of the accused. If the test proves that the accused is not a juvenile he can be tried in a regular court like the other adult offenders.
No.: 3 March 2013

• • • •

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Rights of Workers Problems of Domestic Workers
• • • • • • They are not protected under the general labour laws and are highly vulnerable to exploitation. They are expected to work longer hours than other workers. They do not have the same rights to weekly rest that are enjoyed by other workers. 80% domestic workers are women. They are not given appropriate remuneration for their work. They are highly vulnerable economically. Their health is badly affected by heard labour. The average hours of domestic workers range from 60 to 65 hours per week. This exceeds the statutory limit set by all countries of 40 to 48 hours per week. Their normal working hours are not specified. They are not paid annual leave. Long working hours and night working without proper rest have negative impact on their health, especially on pregnant women. Long working hours are especially common among live-in workers-many of whom are migrants- who are expected to be available at all times of the night. Many migrant workers also lack knowledge of the local language and laws, which makes them especially vulnerable to abusive practices, such as physical and sexual violence, psychological abuse, non-payment of wages debt bondage and abusive living and working conditions.

• • • •

Need of Action
• • • There is a need for action at the national level by government’s employers, and workers to improve the lives of domestic workers. They must be provided legal protection. There must be joint action at national level by government’s trade unions, employer’s and domestic worker’s organizations to bring about reform in legislation as well as in practice. All must follow the new ILO Convention and Recommendation on domestic work which ensures equal treatment between domestic and general workers in relation to working hours, rest periods and annual leave.
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Think before you act
Sayings of Swami Vivekananda
• So long as millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense pays not the least heed to them. • All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in your own mind. • It takes people a long time to learn things because they can’t concentrate their minds at will. You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul. • The best thermometer to the progress of a nation is “its treatment of its women”. • Life is beautiful: first, believe in this world – that there is meaning behind everything. Everything in the world is good, is holy and beautiful. If you see something evil, think that you do not understand it in the right light. Throw the burden on yourselves! • Don’t play the blame game: condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way. • Be yourself: the greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves. • Think different: all differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything. • Learn everyday: the goal of mankind is knowledge…now this knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside: it is all inside. What man ‘learns’ is really what he discovers by taking the cover off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge. • It’s the way you feel: feel like Christ; feel like Buddha and you will be a Christ or Buddha. It is feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God. • Sectarianism, bigotry, and the horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now? But their time has come; and I fervently hope that the bell that rolled this morning in honor of this convention may be the death-knell of all fanaticism, of all persecutions with the sword or with the pen, and of all uncharitable feelings between persons wending their way to the same goal.”
(Source: Indian Currents, Pg. 19-20, 21-27, Jan, 2013)

Para - Legal Training Course
Aim To train and enable social activists to teach and guide the weaker sections of society how to protect and promote their legal rights. Contents of the course Rights of the common people, women, children, senior citizens, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribles, minorities, workers, consumers, prisoners and patients. Study of Laws Constitutional, Criminal, Civil and Labour laws Duration of the Course 1st April, 2013 to 30 March, 2014. Classes A week of classes after every 3 months (Total 5 weeks) Minimum qualification to join the course Passing the SSC examination. Director of Training P. D. Mathew S. J. And team Number of Participant 25 Persons

One - Year

Those desiring to participate in the course may apply as soon as possible.
P. D. Mathew, S. J.
(+97373 59772) Director

Patrick. A. Christy
(+99242 70199)

Administrator

5, Sushilnagar, Nizampura, Vadodara - 390 002 Gujarat Tel: 0265 – 2750 199 •Email: nyaydarshan5@gmail.com
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Nyay Darshan

Venue of the Course

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