A Seed: What You Sow ……



If you plant honesty, you will reap trust

* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends

* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness

* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment

* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective

* If you plant hard work, you will reap success

* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

* If you plant faith in God , you will reap a harvest

So, be careful what you plant NOW;

It will determine what you will reap later..

“Whatever You Give To Life, Life Gives You Back”

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Madras High Court: Srikrishna report: Another version


The unsavoury incidents in the HC premises of Madras have not enhanced the reputation of Lawyers or judicial officers.

The coverage in various national newspapers and magazines have not been soft on the lawyers either.

The police anyhow did not have any great reputation to live up to.

May be, the public expects far better standards from the judiciary and lawyers than from the police.

Another  version of the incidents and an opinion on the report is placed below.This has been received by email.


PP Raghavachary
raag62@gmail.com

Srikrishna Commission’s Report is absolutely biased. Please read my comments below:

Srikrishna Committee Report on Madras High Court Mayhem

Lawyers being Court Officers form part of the justice administration system. The lawyers and judges are one family, they need to see each-other’s face in the day-to-day business of the Courts. The report of one-man Committee of Justice B.N. Srikrishna seems to have rubbed the lawyers on the wrong side. This is not only for the indictment and genaralising lawyers as hooligans and miscreants but because the report of the Committee is vitiated due to bias and onesided approach. Major part of the comments made in the report is outside the scope of the specific directions of the Supreme Court in its Order dated 26.02.2009:

1) The Supreme Court in its order has stated that “the terms of reference to the Committee shall be finally decided at the earliest by the Acting Chief justice of the Madras High Court. The Committee is silent on what terms of reference was given.

2) The Supreme Court has specifically mentioned in its Order that the Committee should report on whether any immediate action against the police officers who are allegedly allowed armed policemen to enter the premises of the High Court without permission of Acting Chief Justice. The Committee has failed to answer this point in the report.

3) While the Supreme Court directed that the Committee be given the assistance of two senior police officers attached to CBI Unit (Southern Zone) of the Madras. The report of the Committee is silent as to who are those senior police officers that assisted the Committee.

4) The report extensively deals with the incidents those have taken place commencing from November, 2008 in about eight pages of the report while the Order of the Supreme Court is specific that the Committee should inquire into the incident which happened on 19.02.2009.

5) Justice Srikrishna in his report says he had interviews, received number of written representations, affidavits, several CDs containing videos, still photographs of the incident and also recorded versions of a number of persons including concerned Hon’ble Judges of the Madras High Court. However, not a single instance of who and what such persons have stated during the course of interviews or who are the Judges those have given interviews and what they had stated was mentioned in the report.

6) The specific comments made on the Acting Chief Justice that he appears to have merely advised the lawyers to disperse peacefully, the soft-pedaling policy followed by the Madras High Court Judges has led to the present piquant situation are all uncharitable, unwarranted and outside the scope of the order of the Supreme Court. In such unpleasant and unexpected turn of events, it is but natural that no judge could have acted in a better way than the dignified way it was handled by the Madras High Court Judges, especially by the Acting Chief Justice.

7) The report says that “once the policemen were given the order to lathi charge the unruly mob of lawyers to quell them it would appear that the police interpreted it as a license to unleash mayhem at will”. This is purely a surmise of the Committee. The Committee should confine itself to what it has seen, heard or happened. Strangely, the Committee does not mention who has given the order to lathi charge.

8)The report is emphatic on the rampage of the police who came in armed with lathis, wore helmets and shields. The police have barged into the Court rooms of the Judges of the Small Causes Court and Family Court within the High Court complex and indulged in deliberate destruction of the tables, chairs, fans, computers, Xerox machine, and other articles. Further they went to the lawyers’ chambers not only in the High Court premises but in Linghi Chetty Street, Thambu Chetty street, Armenian street, Sunkurama Chetty Street, Kondichetty Street and Baker Street in the vicinity of the High Court, systematically barged into their chambers, caused damage and beaten up some of the lawyers. It is reported that even the lady lawyers or children’s creche were not spared. When this is so, the report does not specifically name the Police Officers at whose command the police have resorted to riots and unruly violence. Surprisingly when so much violence was reportedly resorted to by the Police in the report, the Committee gives a clean-chit to the Police commissioner “As far as the Commissioner of Police is concerned, I do not think that any blame can be laid at his door”. It is sad to note that the Committee which does not spare the lawyers or even the judges of the Madras High Court had shown such a soft-corner to the Police Commissioners who alone should be blamed for the police excesses on 19.02.2009.
9) Justice Srikrishna in his report says that the Bar Councils have not been acting as an effective regulatory body of their professional conduct and suggests that it would be ideal that the Supreme Court should take this opportunity to exercise its extra-ordinary Constitutional powers and lay down sufficient guidelines for the behavior of the lawyers within and without the Court premises and further that Advocates Act needs to be amended. If this is so, it is not understood why Justice Srikrishna does not make similar suggestions to discipline the Police who have reportedly caused the havoc in the entire episode on 19.02.2009.

Even there are many contradictory incidents that the Police Commissioner was present in the High Court premises prior to 4.30 p.m. on 19.02.2009 according to an FIR, whereas the report is categorical that the Commissioner is present only after 17.14 hrs.

It is not clear as to how Justice Srikrishna could withdraw from the Committee by merely submitting an interim report. Who will submit the final report?

These comments on the report demonstrate how the Committee went wrong on various issues and how the report is biased and one-sided. This type of reports will only rub the lawyers on the wrong side and aggravate the situation unnecessarily.

NHAI: Suit filed against NHAI. and construction co


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(Info placed in public domain in public interest.
Hope HT will not object)

93 Deaths so far. Who’s responsible ?

 Hindustan Times Exclusive - 

Who’s responsible for his death?

Parents of boy who died on expressway to sue NHAI,

construction company

Sanjeev K Ahuja

Gurgaon

FOR THE first time since the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway was thrown open for use in January last year, relatives of one of the accident victims have decided to drag the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), concessionaire company DSC Ltd and the Haryana government to the court of law.

Since January 2008, 93 people have died on the Expressway in various accidents and about 50 per cent of the deceased were pedestrians.

Parents of 19-year old management student Rahul Anand said their son died trying to save a pedestrian crossing the stretch at IFFCO Chowk on March 7 for want of footover-bridge. He rammed his SX4 car into a stationary water tanker. The car’s front portion was damaged beyond recognition and Rahul succumbed to his injuries at a hospital later.

Workers of the concessionaire company had parked the water tanker right next to the median on the top lane with no sense of safety of the motorists, said an apparently angry K.S.

Anand, the father of the deceased, with tears in his eyes.

Rahul Anand, the first year student of Indian Institute of Hotel Management, Gurgaon and resident of East Punjabi Bagh, Delhi, was on his way to college to attend the annual convocation when the accident took place.

“The expressway is a killer highway that has taken the lives of many people and this time it was the turn of my son.

So many deaths on this stretch are only because of the reck lessness of the NHAI, DSC and the state government and I have decided to sue all of them,” said Anand who owns a clearing & forwarding (cargo) firm in Mahipalpur and uses the expressway almost on a daily basis himself.

The aggrieved father said his son was driving sensibly when he all of a sudden he saw a pedestrian in front of his car while driving down from IFFCO Chowk flyover.

He said, “My son immediately turned the car to the right to avoid hitting the pedestrian and rammed his car into the water tanker. I do not under stand as to why the tanker was parked on the top lane of the expressway where vehicles run at high speed?

I wonder as to why NHAI and DSC did not construct foot-over bridges for pedestrians?”

skahuja13@gmail.com MAJOR DEATHS ON EXPRESSWAY

February 23: Two pedestrians mowed down by speeding vehicles. Four motorcyclists were also injured at various places on the expressway.

February 8: An executive of an MNC killed when a mini truck rammed into the rickshaw he had taken.

January 19: Woman pedestrian mowed down beyond recognition by a number of vehicles on the expressway.

Key Data

Total Cost

Rs7.5bn

Construction Management

Jaypee DSC Ventures Ltd

Contractors

Jaiprakash Industries Ltd (JIL), DS Construction Ltd (DSCL), Jaypee DSC Ventures Ltd, M/s Rites Ltd, Sheladia LR Kadiyali

Number of Flyovers

11

Length of Road

28km with the possibility of an extra 3km

The 28km Delhi to Gurgaon expressway is one of the most important road construction projects currently underway in India. The road is being constructed by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).

The project comprises the widening and conversion of the Delhi to Gurgaon section of the National Highway (NH)-8 into a six- to eight-lane access-controlled highway on a Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) basis.

150,000 passenger car units a day and this is likely to increase by over 7% per annum.

FLYOVERS AND INTERSECTIONS

The expressway involved the design and construction of the following flyovers, which included precast, segmental superstructures, Pre-Stressed Concrete (PSC) voided slab superstructures and cast-in-situ PSC continuous superstructures:

  • Rao Tula Ram junction -three lanes
  • Palam junction – three lanes
  • Mahipalpur junction – eight lanes
  • Radison / IGI junction – four lanes
  • Rajokri junction – eight lanes, opened in 2006
  • Shankar Chowk / HUDA Chowk – eight lanes
  • IFFCO Chowk – eight lanes, 90% completed; will open February 2007
  • Small flyover near IFFCO Chowk – eight lanes
  • South City junction – eight lanes, 90% complete; will open February 2007
  • Jharsa junction – eight lanes, 90% complete; will open February 2007
  • Rajiv Chowk – eight lanes, opened 2006

Andher Nagari:Bangalore:Women under attack. Police should wake up


Women under attack.

Police should wake up

Assault must STOP now!

TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: More than 70 cases of moral policing in Karnataka over the past six months, and police commissioner Shankar Bidari’s comment that the incidents in Bangalore were ‘stray’ cases: protesting against attacks on women and police inaction, over 200 persons under the banner of Fearless Karnataka gathered in front of the DG & IGP’s office on Nrupathunga Road on Saturday. Men and women from all walks of life, including sexual minorities, foreigners and members of various development organizations, voiced their anguish.

In the absence of DG & IGP Ajay Kumar Singh, IGP (grievance) R P Sharma met the protesters and assured them that the cases will be investigated and a meeting will be scheduled next week.

The activists said commissioner Bidari’s response was irresponsible and led to greater fear in women. “He has to be pulled up for his statement,” Vimochana spokesperson Dona Fernandez said.

“I have to hear both sides and investigate. Your security is our concern,” Sharma said.

MORE ATTACKS COME TO LIGHT

More cases of attacks on women are coming to light. Olivia (name changed), a young American who has been working here for the past two years, said she was attacked last month. “I was feeding a pup on a road in Sanjaynagar when a car almost ran over it. When I went protested, the driver backed at a high speed and tried to hit me. I fell on a motorcycle and was injured. I can identify the men.

The police in Sanjaynagar did not register my complaint. They asked me to go to Hebbal, where I was told to go to R T Nagar. I don’t know why. They were just not ready to take the complaint,” she said.

The protesters said investigations in the two registered cases have been insensitive towards the victim. “After aggressive sessions with police, they come away feeling they are the wrongdoers” their memorandum states.

“There have been seven attacks in Bangalore and assaults take place everyday in other parts of the state, especially Mangalore. The burkha ban is ridiculous. Here they attack us for wearing jeans and there they have problems with women covering their bodies? What are we doing?” said a furious Shakun Mohini, a member of Vimochana.

HELP IS HERE
The protesters came up with colourful posters and slogans like ‘Stop cultural fascism’, ‘Do you enjoy seeing women being beaten up? Be a man!’, and a helpline too: ‘Single and looking for help? Call me on 9986804264’.

CAMPAIGNS TODAY
Awareness campaign from 6 pm: People will gather at five locations across the city ‘Take Back The Night, Take Back Our Streets’ at 9 pm: Gathering at Bannappa Park new-picture-15

Madras:Anderson Church at Parrys turns 150


Anderson Church at Parrys turns 150

Daniel P George | TNN 

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Chennai: The Church of South India’s Anderson Church at Parrys turned 150 on Tuesday, March 3. The following Sunday, a special thanksgiving service was held, presided over by Rt Rev V Devasahayam, the Bishop-in-Madras of the Church of South India.
It was on February 22, 1837 that Reverend John Anderson arrived in Madras as the first missionary of the Church of Scotland.

He established The General Assembly’s School in a rented house on the east side of Armenian Street with the headmaster and 59 boys from the St Andrew’s School forming the core (the institution in 1877 became the Madras Christian College and School and shifted to George Town).

In March 1855, Anderson died. Four years later, the Anderson Church was constructed, with Reverend P Rajagopaul, the first convert of Anderson, becoming the first minister of the church. Surprisingly, the name of Anderson, an educationist, is associated more with the church than with the school he founded.

For decades, the church remained a landmark of the Madras Christian College on the Esplanade until the college was shifted to new premises in Tambaram (1937).

Currently, the church is the only building of the institution that remains in Parrys. At the thanksgiving, Reverend J Jacqulin Jothi of the church said: “At this moment we are grateful to John Anderson and remember his yeoman service to the society. He taught us the joy of giving and we pledge to rededicate ourselves to serving society and the downtrodden.’’

Echoing a similar sentiment was E Martin Caleb, secretary of the church. “It is a proud moment for the entire congregation as we celebrate 150 years and remember John Anderson for his selfless service,’’ he said.

“I live in Anna Nagar. On the way to Anderson Church, there are eight CSI churches but I prefer to go to my parent church, Anderson,’’ Samuel Vijayakumar, church treasurer.

On Sunday, a special prayer was also held at the grave where Anderson and his wife lie buried – at the Old London Mission Cemetery on Thana Street.

The CSI Anderson Church is listed as a landmark heritage building by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Tamil Nadu chapter, and Chennai Heritage.

daniel.george@timesgroup.com

Lawyers and Judges Madras HC: A scathing report


Panel: Striking lawyers behaved like hooligans

Police used excess force than required

Dhananjay Mahapatra | TNN 

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New Delhi: Striking Madras High Court lawyers behaved like “hooligans and miscreants” and were squarely responsible for triggering the bloody February 19 clashes between advocates and police, the Supreme Court-appointed inquiry panel headed by retired SC judge B N Srikrishna has said.

An otherwise vociferous group of lawyers from Tamil Nadu present inside the chief justice’s court listened in stunned silence as every line of the 22-page caustic report was read out by senior advocate R Vaigai.

Justice Srikrishna held Madras HC and its acting chief justice equally responsible for the lawyers’ rowdy behaviour.

“The soft-pedalling policy of the HC judges has led to the present piquant situation,” the report said, adding the soft policy of the acting chief justice only emboldened the lawyers to become law breakers.

Commenting on the advocates who brazenly threw stones against police to incite them, Justice Srikrishna said, “Regretfully, far from being upholders of the rule of law, the lawyers seem to have behaved as hooligans and miscreants.”

Clearly putting the blame on the lawyers as instigators, the report said, “The incidents that transpired over a month or so make it clear that the lawyers seemed to be under the impression that, because they are officers of the court, they are immune from the process of law and that they could get away with any unlawful act without being answerable to the law enforcing agency.”

It narrated how lawyers had been exceeding norms by holding public meetings within the HC and that too to celebrate the birthday of LTTE leader V Prabhakaran, who has been declared an absconding accused in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

“Undoubtedly, political cross-currents from the Sri Lankan Tamil issues and castebased issues contributed to and aggravated the situation.

It should have been made clear to the lawyers from the beginning, in no uncertain terms, that whatever their political ideologies, the court premises could not be utilised for airing them,” Justice Srikrishna said.

If lawyers were the instigators, the police did not behave in a responsible manner and used force much in excess of what was required to disperse the lawyers, the report said. While giving a clean chit to the Chennai police commissioner and other senior cops who had been transferred on SC orders to facilitate a fair probe, the report said,

There is no material, at this time, to suggest that any of the officers had directed or ordered the policemen to behave in the atrocious manner in which they behaved.”

Though the report justified police action, it said that “police went much beyond what was permissible use of force”. “They indulged in wanton lathi blows to lawyers, who were not even resisting or being violent, wanton destruction of property, both inside the compound as well as the court premises and then in the chambers of lawyers inside and outside the court complex,” it added.

SC sends report to HC, TN govt

With TN lawyers refusing suggestions from the SC to end their strike, the top court decided to send the Justice Srikrishna report to Madras HC and the TN government for further action.

When the lawyers, present in large numbers in the court room, repeatedly asked for action against police officials first, a bench asked them for a response for that part of the report which blamed the advocates.

The bench also rejected their demand for a judicial probe into the February 19 violence. TNN

Government getting a taste of people’s power in metros


Col Kohal & Mr Pankaj Agarwal President & Secretary respectively of Delhi RWAs Joint Front took a delegation of RWAs to the office of Mr Ajay Maken, Minister on the deteriorating conditions of Deer & District Parks & a few other issues of South Delhi.

Mr Ajay Maken & Prof Kiran Walia both visited these Parks on 28th Feb 09. I forwarded to you copy of Memorandam  which we gave to Ministers & also a few photographs covering  one & half hour visit of Ministers to these Parks.

Minister’s visit has been  covered by Ms Garima Vohra of HT Live South Delhi. Attaching the Press clipping & e-link of HT for your information please. It is understood that after the visit of Ministers, there has been momentum in the activities of DDA officials & we hope to see some good  eye soothing environment change in  these parks. Lets hope for the best.

Regards

S L Watwani

PS:  Visit of Minister was also shown by NDTV Metronation & Sahara NCR & Samay at their News Channels.

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We had sent Press Briefing to a few more Newspapers/Magazines & hope that they will also cover the news shortly.

Government getting a taste of people’s power in metros

Aparna Ramalingam | TNN

Chennai: As the country gears up for elections, a different kind of movement is making its presence felt in India. Call it neighbourhood activism, private-public partnership civic movement or urban development movement, citizens are becoming more proactive than ever before in voicing concerns on issues affecting their lives — security, water, electricity, sanitation, good roads, to name a few.

As Adolf D’ Souza of the Juhu Citizens Welfare Group in Mumbai puts it, “The participatory approach is the way forward. We can’t be solely dependent on politicians and other authorities. People are clamouring for political and judicial reforms more so after 26/11. Citizen groups need to intervene politically.” For the record, D’ Souza is also a corporator from Juhu.

Community activism is pretty aggressive in India’s capital New Delhi. Residents’ welfare associations in Delhi have locked horns time and again with the government and other agencies on numerous issues and have also been successful in some. In 2003, the associations, with support from the media, scuttled CAS (conditional access system) in Delhi as it was not citizen-friendly.

The whole aim of CAS was to bring in regulation in the television space. While the intentions seemed noble, the ground reality was different. Set-top boxes were prohibitively priced (upwards of Rs 2,500) and there were many reports of cable operators extorting huge sums money from residents under the guise of implementing CAS. But residents did not take this lying down and there was quite a bit of public outrage to this new form of viewing. CAS was eventually rolled out in Delhi after modifications in 2006-end.

Similarly, in 2005, the Delhi government was forced to completely rollback the 10% power tariff hike effected by private distribution companies on account of vociferous protests from the public. “We make it a point to raise our voice against any lapse in governance which in turn affects our lives,” says Anant Trivedi, founder member, United Residents’ Joint Action (URJA) group, a body which took up the issue of inflated power bills and faulty meters three years ago. Around 500 residents’ associations in Delhi are registered with URJA, of which 150 are active.

But all is not rosy on the public activism front. In 1999, the SM Krishna government in Karnataka had launched BATF (Bangalore Agenda Task Force), a public-private partnership model to address issues related to the crumbling infrastructure in the garden city on account of rapid urbanisation due to the IT boom.

India’s silicon valley was plagued with a variety of civic problems like traffic congestion, garbage accumulation, water and electricity shortage. BATF comprised prominent volunteers like Nandan Nilekani, the IT czar, and Ramesh Ramanathan of public governance not-for-profit institution Janaagraha. The organisation’s main objective was to closely work with various civic departments in the state to make Bangalore a better place.

Unfortunately, BATF made a premature exit after Dharam Singh came to power in Karnataka in 2004. According to observers, the top leadership in Congress felt that Krishna’s obsession with urban issues proved detrimental to the Congress in the 2004 general elections.

So the new government distanced itself from the corporate world. Bangalore now has ABIDe (Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure and Development), a task force that is being headed by corporate czar and Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

MASSMATTERS

Residents’ associations in Delhi scuttled the implementation of conditional access system in 2003

Also in Delhi, residents’ associations forced state government to withdraw 10% hike in power tariff in 2005

In Mumbai, citizens are becoming more proactive and united in security matters post 26/11

Bangalore used to have BATF (Bangalore Agenda Task Force), a publicprivate initiative, which folded up in 2004

In Chennai, citizens took to rainwater harvesting after the 2002 drought and the results are showing — there is a considerable rise in the city’s water tables