Choice of remedy is not easy in law.

Remedy of Criminal Defamation:

#MeToo campaign had started in India a few years ago, after similar incidents were reported in Hollywood about Harvey Weinstein. Then Minister MJ Akbar was accused of sexual harassment by a journalist. Minister sued the journalist for criminal defamation and after trial lost.

The criminal complaint was doomed from the beginning. There are two reasons and both are legal reasons. First is the nature of proof. To prove a criminal complaint the evidence must be of such quality so as to prove beyond reasonable doubt that accused is guilty.

Second is that the an accused has a very light burden to prove. As following extract will explain, the accused can deny the allegation on oath and unless her ‘truthful character’ is impeached this evidence is enough to disprove.

It was a case of one testimony against another duly corroborated by the presence of Akbar at the place and time. Unless the complainant could deny the place and his presence at the given time, this complaint was non-starter.

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Abhimanyu had to die!!

Republic day:

Yesterday was 71st Republic Day of India. On 26th January 1950, India adopted a constitution which converted entire (almost) civilization of Indian continent into one country. It was the first civilizational nation with multiple cultures and languages.

Developments from last two months, had made it clear that yesterday was destined for anarchy. And it happened. One person (protester) died due to freak accident involving rash driving of tractor. The intention to provoke the police to open fire so that vast number of deaths may be shown as proof of fascist Government of India.

At the cost of injury to 300 police personnel, the situation was diffused. Today is the day of reckoning. Two protester groups have already disassociated with the protests and dissipation of protesters has started. Question is could it be avoided? After all if I knew it and was waiting with baited breath to write about it, everyone knew about it. Could anything be done about it?

Where is rule of law?

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Supreme Panchayat stays the amendments in Farm Law.

The Supreme Court, today, suspended the implementation of the three controversial farm laws until further orders and formed a four-member committee to hold talks and resolve the issue of agitators and the Government. Following are the members of the committee formed by the Court:

  • BS Mann, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU)
  • Ashok Gulati, Agricultural Scientist
  • Pramod K Jishi, International Food Policy Research Institute
  • Anil Ghanwant, Shetkari Sangathan

When I joined the bar, somebody told me that the District Court is the court of law as it has very discretion except to implement the law. High Court are Courts of Justice as in India the courts have the jurisdiction of Chancery Courts (of England) as well. On this when I asked about Supreme Court the reply was epic and proves from time to time. He said Supreme Court was Panchayat. The traditional court which used to exist in every village and used to decide on the basis of common sense. Today’s order proves that preposition once again and I would say no more. Though the situation can be summed up in another way as well.

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Remembering attack on Parliament and looking forward to new building!!

On this day (13 December) in the year 2001 Parliament of India was attacked by 5 terrorists . The perpetrators belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. Both were Pakistan sponsered terrorist organisations. Here is a report:

Last week, Prime Minister initiated construction of new building for Parliament, which will look like this:

Proposed Parliament Building

New Building would be ready by 2024, general elections. The interesting point is that the opposition does not seem to be happy about this development. Leaving aside other reasons there are legal reasons for their dismay. Delimitation of Parliament Constituencies was frozen about two decades back.

Delimitation

Under Article 82 of the Constitution, the Parliament by law enacts a Delimitation Act after every census. After coming into force commencement of the Act, the Central Government constitutes a Delimitation Commission. This Delimitation Commission demarcates the boundaries of the Parliamentary Constituencies as per provisions of the Delimitation Act. The present delimitation of constituencies has been done on the basis of 2001 census figures under the provisions of Delimitation Act, 2002. Notwithstanding the above, the Constitution of India was specifically amended in 2002 not to have delimitation of constituencies till the first census after 2026.

Demographic change:

The rural-urban demography has undergone massive change. Presently about 300 member of Parliament represent rural area and remaining represent urban area. The demography has undergone vast change. Presently 60% of population is in urban area or perhaps more. Therefore the present dominance of rural area in Parliament is likely to change. This means more say of middle class in power sharing of the government.

The New Parliament will have seating capacity of 900 members of Lok Sabha up from present 543 members. After 2026 a fresh census shall be held and thereafter A Delimitation Commission will delimit all the constituencies and this number of member is likely to go up. This would require each political party to re-caliberate it’s machinery to gear up for occasion but the opposition which is so disorganized that they can not even have a leader of opposition.

No wonder the Opposition is not happy. It is not the building that is target. It is the possible change after 2026 that worry them.

Farmers’ Protest in Delhi and Rule of Law.

A large crowd of people claiming to be farmers, intermingled with politically motivated people are threatening to block the entire City of New Delhi. They have picketed already on a few roads blocking the traffic. They have refused to move to a designated place to hold protest. The situation reminds me of a class in Law College.

My First lesson at law college:

First day at our Law College we were chatting when Professor Sharma entered the classroom. All went quite. He was holding a few books in his arms. After placing the books on his table, the first thing he did was to ask the name of a student who was seated on the first bench: “What is your name?”

“My name is Ravi, Sir.”

“Leave the classroom and I don’t want to ever see you in my class ever! Get out. Now!!!”

Professor was almost screaming. It was a new experience. We never thought College would be worse than primary school, which we had left long ago.

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