[This is a guest post by Kieran Correia.] The Supreme Court recently handed down a split verdict in Janhit Abhiyan v Union of India, upholding the 103rd Amendment to the Indian Constitution. The Amendment, in the main, enabled affirmative action for economically weaker sections (EWS), defined by an annual family income of less than Rs […]Guest Post: Equality as Non-Exclusion: Justice Bhat’s Dissent in the EWS Case
Dear friends,The AAF is closely observing the injustices to the SCs and STs
You are aware that ,in Judiciary,the collegium system was in existence for selecting Advocates for elevation as Judges for the high court and Supreme Court .
Recently ,the collegium has cleared (3) three panels from both the States and they were appointed as Judges for both the High courts.In these (3) panels,no Scheduled Caste or scheduled Tribe advocate from the bar was elevated.In all these (3) three panels less than 5 percent of the population of
forward class advocates were elevated.Kindly note that ,the
Government of India considered necessary for transparency and accountability in appointments of judges and amended ,and brought Article 124 A by 99th Constitutional amendment by constituting “National Judicial Appointments Commission” (NJAC).This amendment was struck down by the Supreme Court and the collegium system is in operation.
Mr .John Brittas ,MP .Rajya Sabha raised this issue in the parliament that “No diversity in Judiciary,collegium system distorting Judicial Independence.He further said Judiciary is dominated by upper castes of the society “.
Mr Kiren Rijiju ji ,the Hon’ble Minister for Law and Justice said in the parliament that “we have been stressing time and again, that ,while recommending names preference may be given to women ,backward class ,scheduled castes and scheduled tribes “
Inspite of the above,even after 75 years of independence the weaker sections of the society particularly the SC&STs are being deprived and discriminated in appointments of judges in higher judiciary and are not getting proportionate representation.
It’s not in dispute that the Chief Justices and their colleagues are non-elected and non-accountable.
It may be welcoming feature ,if the selection is initiated by an independent body like Judicial Commission ,which may be accountable
In US ,the appointment of judges through recommendation by the president and confirmation by the Senate on the basis of territorial representation.In Australia, the appointments are by nomination .In Canada ,the appointments to the Supreme Court are made by giving regional/territorial representations .In United Kingdom and Ireland ,by the Chancellor .May be ,its not working out satisfactorily.
The executive, is totally for all practically purposes is sidelined in our Democracy.
The Present strategy of High Level committee of AAF is that to go to people through “Jai beem Radha Yatra “for inviting valuable suggestions and trying to identify and to place on record the injustices before legislature ,executive and particularly in judiciary and to make a request to the respective Excutive authorities to follow the Democratic values as per the Indian constitution and provide proportionate effective representation to SCs&STs for Social justice and Economic Empowerment in all the three wings of the Democracy.
This is for your information
Jaya Prakash babu G
Previously on this blog, we have discussed the recent spate of home demolitions that have been carried out at the behest of various state governments (see here and here). These home demolitions follow a familiar pattern. A protest takes place in a locality or neighbourhood, which turns violent. Soon after, the police declares that a […]Responding to Illegal Home Demolitions: The Doctrine of An Unconstitutional State of Affairs
After the demise of Gail Omvedt, many events are organised to remember the giant of the social movement all over and she will be remember for her contribution to further the Phule- Ambedkarite movement. This not is to remind ourselves of her spirit. In 1966, Gail Omvedt wrote her MA thesis as a student in the University of California (UC), Berkeley, which was titled as: Caste, Conflict, and Rebellion. It was later published as CuItural Revolt in a Colonial Society: The non-Brahman movement in Western Maharashtra 1873 -1930. The readers will not fail to notice the loaded words like rebellion and revolt. The theme of revolution features in her last books like Building the Ambedkar Revolution: Sambhaji Tukaram Gaikwad and the Kokan Dalits.
Gail Omvedt was many persons to many people but the integrated whole of her personality can be captured in her spirit of rebellion and revolutionary. Gail Omvedt was a revolutionary and she was stressing on revolution from the start of her career.
What kind of revolutionary was Gail Omvedt?
She was seeking Begumpura of Ravidas, Prempur of Kabir, Balirajya of Jotiba, Prabuddha Bharat of Babasaheb Ambedkar, and Sukhawati of the Buddha. She was revolting against oppression of caste, class, patriarchy, and ethnic nationalism and pushing the society towards evolution of more equal, egalitarian, free, and democratic society.
Her revolutionary creed can be summarized in the Gatha of Dhammapada, she used to recite in Pali:
na hi verena verani sammati ca kudacanam
averana ca samanti, eso dhammo sanantano
(The hatred can never be quenched by hatred, only by non-hatred the hatred can be quenched: this is the eternal law)
Gail Omvedt was the Buddhist Revolutionary who worked all her life with a dictum: love towards all and malice towards none. Unlike arm-chair revolutionary, Gail Omvedt was always engaged with the people and communities throughout her revolutionary life. Engagement with people and their problems as belonging to them was very much a part of her being.
It will take a lot of pages to describe the intellectual dimension of Gail Omvedt, but suffice here is to say that Gail Omvedt developed revolutionary intellect, revolutionary ideas, and revolutionary categories. If one wants to understand how Gail Omvedt created revolutionary intellectual concepts, pick up her small and powerful book: Understanding caste. The titles of the chapters are enough to give us intellectual shock value. Think of the title like Hinduism as Patriarchy and discussion on Ramabai and Tarabai. Think of Hinduism as Delhi Rule followed by discussion on Periyar and the emergence of BSP as a challenge to Hinduism in the same book.
Her revolutionary ideas were not forged in the speculative abstraction or running away from the society. If philosophising is a bid to transform the world, Gail Omvedt was a revolutionary practitioner of such a philosophy. She did not just think of the world around her, but acted with all her being and strenght to transform it into a better and more humane world. She derived her revolutionary intellect by being with the people, living with them, travelling with them, and by becoming inseparable part of them. This sort of life that in reality becomes the part and parcel of other’s life is the beginning of the revolution and her relationship with people was never hierarchical.
Gail Omvedt engaged with almost all the issues that concerns the humanity due to unjust social, cultural, economic, and political structures. Be it an issue of farmers, the landless, water, food, caste, gender, class, and religion, her intellect explored them widely and deeply. Early on, her interest was in all kinds of movements. She was in a way a Philosopher of Movement. Look at the book which was published in 1993, she gave it a title ” Reinventing Revolution: New Social Movements and the Socialist Tradition in India.” She wrote a small tract in 1990 called Violence against Woman: New movements and new theories in India.
Her inquiry into the movements in India is interesting not just to study her take on them, but also because she was preparing grounds for the movements to understand each other, find the common grounds, and communicate on that common basis to work in solidarity. Gail Omvedt was someone who moved freely between the movements and become part and parcel of various movements. She sometimes acted as a bridge between various movements. She fed her ideas in the movements and derived her ideas from the movements.
As far as Phule- Ambedkarite movement goes, she wanted not to theorize the thoughts of revolutionary Phule and Ambedkar, but make that theory to understand various movements in India: old and new. Her broader methodology was to study the present, understand its various dimensions and study the past of the present issues and problems with a quest to find their resolution and solution in the future. In this methodology, she was always people-centric. She wanted to communicate the pain of untouchability when she translated autobiography of Vasant Moon: Growing up Untouchable in India. She wanted to tell the world how Ambedkar Revolution is based in villages, on ground, in different parts of India when she wrote on a less known figure in the Ambedkarite movement like Sambhaji Tukaram Gaikwad.
In her intellectual quest, she made cultural revolution an integral part of her being. Cultural revolt was a theme of her life. V. Geetha recently brought to my notice and interesting paper written by Gail Omvedt: Revolutionary Music of India published in 1977. Gail Omvedt even sought revolution in music. Gail Omvedt would use all the vehicles she would to further the cause of her ” Buddhist Revolution” and find solace in the Navayana Framework of Babasaheb Ambedkar and will be always with us through her rebellious and revolutionary spirit imbibed with rationalism and singing with us the Abhangs of Tukoba, Dohas of Kabir, Guruvani of Ravidas, Akhands of Jotiba, Gathas of Buddha, and people’s songs of Bhim towards people’s revolution for liberty, equality, and fraternity.
NIA Special Court, Hyderabad, grants bail to the three accused charged under draconian UAPA.
NIA special court firmly stood on asserting its previous judgements of granting bail to the three accused in a NIA case filed against them charging under the draconian provisions of UAPA. This is despite the NIA challenging the earlier bail orders granted to them by the NIA Special Court, by preferring a bail cancellation appeal in the TS High Court and the High Court after hearing the elaborate arguments advanced by the NIA Counsel and the Counsel for the Accused – Sri V.Pattabhi, Senior Counsel, assisted by Sri Nandigama Krishna Rao and Sri Raghunath, remitted the matter to the NIA Special Court asking it to consider the bail petitions afresh, taking into consideration the provisions of Section 43 (d)(5) of the USAP, which makes it impossible for bail to be granted.
The IV Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge cum Special Court for NIA, Hyderabad heard the matters afresh, and upon hearing the arguments by Senior Counsel Sri V. Pattabhi, and assisted by Sri Nandigama krishna Rao and Sri V. Raghunath the Counsel for the accused, and after hearing the Senior Public Prosecutor for NIA, granted bail to all the three accused viz., Nalamasa Krishna, Menchu Sandeep who are advocates and bandari Maddileti journalist by three separate orders dated 15.9.2020, 28.9.2020 and 21.8.2020 respectively. The Special Court thus confirmed its earlier orders of granting bail, by now dealing with Section 43 D(5)of UAPA reiterating that no prima facie case as required to deny bail was made out against each of the accused.
Gail Omvedt: The embodiment of unshakable resolve for the realisation of vision of Jotiba Phule and Babasaheb Ambedkar (Remembering Gail Omvedt) – written by Mangesh Dahiwale
Gail Omvedt: The embodiment of unshakable resolve for the realisation of vision of Jotiba Phule and Babasaheb Ambedkar (Remembering Gail Omvedt) – written by Mangesh Dahiwale
In the social movement and revolution, the enample of people sacrificing their everything is rare and those who sacrifice their everything for the community in which they are not born is the rarest. Gail Omvedt was not only the rarest one, but very special human being. Just a couple of days back when I was in Pune, Advocate Priyadarshi Vaishali suggested that we should go to Kasegaon to meet Gail Madam. We used to call her madam in a sense of a teacher and teacher indeed she was of many in the movement. We just could not address her as Gail as she wanted us to. How can we? She was a teacher par excellence.
Born in USA with a passion for social change initially inspired by Marx, Gail Madam’s life completely changed after pursuing her research work on Jotiba Phule. What a vision of “Democratic Revolution” she inspired through her research work! She was not satiated in exposing the vision but gave herself totally to that great vision with her life time commitment. She fearlessly talked in Marathi with the rural women. She addressed academia with sharp intellect. She moved mountain of masses with her writings committed to social transformation. There is so much one can write about her intellectual contribution, just the title of the books she wrote will give us the idea of her towering contribution.
But for me, Gail Omvedt will remain in my heart as the motherly compassionate embodiment of the committment to the cause of Dalits, OBCs, and the most marginalised communities. She was committed to freedom of women and she would sometimes break into spontaneous slogan of the women’s movement of which she was a leading member: तुरुंग फोडा (break the prisons of patriarchy).
I met Gail Madam in Delhi in 2002 when she was based in ISI and working on a few very important project. I cannot forget my first meeting with Gail madam. She was writing on the computer and when she got bored she would play Solitaire (an online cardgame) for a few minutes and would again go back to writing. Some of us are really lucky that Gail Madam stayed with us in a very tiny house in Vasant Kunj in New Delhi and we are very fortunate to be blessed by her loving presence and learn at her auspicious feets whatever we could.
She brought Kabir in our lives by gifting as Abida’s rendering of Dohas. She used to love listening to Abida’s Kabir. She introduced forgotten Indologists to us like Gustav Oppert. She gave so much in the form of love, knowledge, and awakening. Her eyes shone whenever she uttered the words: Jai Joti; Jai Bhim. She used to sing Tukoba’s Abhang so effortlessly. She never liked to call Tukoba as Tukaram. We boys alongwith Gail madam and Bharat sir listened to music, sometimes watched movies. And some movies like A boy in Stripped Pyjama moved both Gail madam and Bharat sir to tears. They were a special couple like Jotiba and Savitrimai.
I often took Gail madam on my bike to meet people in New Delhi whenever I could. And this one episode will remain forever with me. Manyavar Kanshiram Saheb had a brainstroke and Saheb was admitted in Batra Hospital in New Delhi. Gail madam was restless hearing this tragic news and she was emotionally moved and shattered. This is because Gail madam and her research work was one of the guiding lights for the BSP and BAMCEF. Saheb Kanshiram used to meet Gail madam whenever he got the opportunity.
Gail madam took me to see Kanshiram Saheb to Batra Hospital. Saheb was bedridden and despite of repeated requests Gail madam was not allowed to meet or see Manyavar. Gail Madam sat emotionally near the room for half an hour and we left without seeing ailing Manyavar.
Madam was such a kind personality. She loved and cherished people. She was prompt in introducing people and connect the dots. While she was working on Korean Translation of her Ambedkar biography, she introduced me to Korean publisher for Babasahab’s photographs and thus opened a window to link up with South Korean Human Right groups.
Her quest in life was Raidas’s Begumpura, Buddha’s Sukhavati, Tukoba’s vaikunth, Jotiba’s Satyashodhak Samaj and Balirajya, and Babasaheb’s Prabuddha Bharat.
She contributed to this vision by utmost dedication and supreme sacrifice. India will awaken to her life and mission as the Bahujan movement will progresses. If anyone deserved to be Bharat Ratna, that was Gail Omvedt. In reality, she was more than any recognition which she never cared for. She was happy writing her books in a remote village of Maharashtra in a tin shade sometimes without fan in the scorching heat. That was Gail, the sublime life, well lived life, and enlightened life dedicated to others without asking anything in return and without making any complaints.
Jai Joti and Jai Bhim to you, beloved Gail Madam!
The sudden demise of Smt. Sumitra Devi, known to all of us as Sumitra Di has awakened the Dalit community of Bihar.
The sudden demise of Smt. Sumitra Devi, known to all of us as Sumitra Di has awakened the Dalit community of Bihar. Didi has spent more than 40 years with the community. Through her activities, Didi has immensely contributed for the empowerment of Women in general and Dalit women in particular. At very young age she shouldered the Dalit cause as a whole time worker, by sacrificing her personal live completely. She transformed the Prayas (Prayas Gramin Vikas Samiti’s) office as her own home and lived with the community.
Her contributions to the Dalith community are countless. To quote a few : The village developed for the rehabilitated bonded labour near Patna is a live example. She is the ‘God Mother’ for every family in the village. In my experience with Bihar Dalit community, this is the only village where every Dalit child is in the school, every household is part of the self-help groups without a defaulter and a total liquor free community.
Didi improved her skill in tailoring along with her long companion Karuna Di ( Smt. Karuna Prakash) and trained several Dalit girls and empowered them to earn considerably to support their families. There are few hundreds of Dalit women who are in to tailoring. Both the Didis’ Tailoring skills have supported the activities of Prayas for several years and is known to all.
As a ‘Mahila Kosh’ in-charge of Prayas, she is not interested in linking the self-help groups to Banks. In her opinion, bank linkages would bring in the element of business into the community that would defeat the self-help purpose of the groups. Hundreds of self-help groups established by her are still adhere to this value of Didi.
Didi has held several positions in the governance of Praysas. Whatever position Didi held, she is all in one and used to feed all of us at the office. She is the fond mother of every one who stayed at the office, including my own parents and family members enjoyed the hospitality and affection during our visit to Bihar in 2012.
Didi was one of the founder members of DAM, ( Dalit Adhikar Manch) Bihar the State chapter of NDF (National Dalit Forum).
Didi’s sudden demise pushed all of us in to deep sorrow…especially Kapil ji (Kapileshwar Ram, President of Prayas) She is the eldest of his family…….
Didi….. we will March forward in the path laid by you…….
May her soul rest in peace…
Ravi Kumar – NDF
Bail is a provisional release of an accused person who is in jail, but the crime has not been proven against him. There are three kinds of bails, and as per the requirement, the bail application is filed before the court:
• Regular Bail: The provisions of the regular bail are explained under Section 437 and Section 439 of the Indian Penal Code, to grant bail to the person in police custody.
• Anticipatory bail: Anticipatory bail can be granted only by a Session Court or High Court under the provision of Section 438 of CrPC. When a person is apprehending that he can get arrested for a non-bailable offence, he can apply for anticipatory bail.
• Interim Bail: Interim bail is bail for a short period, before granting the regular bail. For example, there is a requirement where on the humanitarian ground the court allows the accused to be free from police custody, the interim bail is granted for a limited period.
Bail doesn’t get granted just by applying for it before the Court as a matter of right. There are certain grounds:
• Bail shall be granted if the investigation is not completed within the prescribed time, and the charge sheet is not submitted. The bail is granted when the Court does not have enough ground to believe that the accused has committed the crime, the trial is going on for more than 60 days or if the accused is not proven guilty or the judgement is not pronounced.
• For non-bailable offences, the court has the discretionary power to grant bail based on the facts and circumstances of the case.
Some incidents where the doctrine of “Bail is a rule, Jail is an exception”
Incident 1: Freelance journalist Mandeep Punia was released on bail by the Delhi High Court granted bail on the ground that there is no enough ground to believe that he has committed the crime.
The Court observed that the complainant, victim and witnesses all were police personnel, and Mandeep was not even in a position of influencing any of the parties.
He was accused under Section 186 (obstructing any public servant while discharging public functions), Section 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and Section 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) of the Indian Penal Code.
After 14 days of remand, he was granted bail.
Incident 2: The Editor-in-Chief of Republic TV, Arnab Goswami was granted bail by the Supreme Court in November 2020, who was accused of abatement to the suicide of Anvay Naik and his mother Kumud Naik.
Even after the first investigation, there was not much reliable evidence to prove that Arnab Goswami had committed the crime. Previously the interim bail petition of Arnab Goswami was rejected by the Bombay High Court.
Why jail is an exception?
Except there are some effective and believable evidence for custodial interrogation and sustained detention at the stage of pre-trial, detaining an individual and infringing his fundamental right to liberty is wrong and against the principles of natural justice. Moreover, with a rising concern and stress on Human rights preservation, the balance between the liberty of an individual and the interest of welfare has become the main concern.
Therefore, unless there are some logical reasons such as chances of the accused fleeing, where the police cannot reach or fear that the accused may tamper with the evidence or induce the witnesses, detention of the accused is against his fundamental right to liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
Therefore, the courts through the legal doctrine of “bail is a rule, jail is an exception” ensure that a person is not detained unless he is guilty of the accused crime.