Ranjan Gogoi

How has Sadhvi Pragya replied to letter served on her?

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

This was Friday. Hostages, a web-series thriller on Hotstar, is disrupting my home. I keep running to the door whenever the bell is pressed because my wife is glued to the screen, watching one after another of the eight-episode series of five hours. “What if in the end you are told it was only a dream of the protagonist and nothing of the sort happened. What if she wakes up in a sweat and says, sorry guys and gals, it was just a dream,” I blurted to my wife at the end of my patience.

“What if” in entertainment is the password for $100 million business. A viewer is hooked: “What if” the villain succeeds; “What if” the girl chooses her boyfriend over her husband; “What if” the panchayat forces the girl to marry her rapist; “What If” our hero is unable to save his family as tsunami hits his town.

Rarely are we disappointed with outcome. The end never betrays our expectations: Girl does remain with her husband; the villain never succeeds, rapist meets justice and our hero miraculously survives tsunami with his family. Even though movies are predictable, we spend money and hours and watch it again and again.

Politics in a way is also entertainment. More so in the Season of Polls. Politicians and Media are like its’ producers and script-writers. Events are created, star-cast assembled, emotions are heightened and the suckers again are the consumers—in this case readers and TV watchers.

Star-cast choose themselves on their own.  With Rafale issue on the edge, and The Hindu turbo-charged by god knows who, country was on the edge. Heroes are villains and villains are heroes.  Those for Modi know he is clean. Those not for Modi know he is corrupt.  How the end would play out in Supreme Court?  On its judgment—“What if”– rests the fate of 2019 General Elections.

Rafale, The Hindu, Supreme Court,

Then comes the sexual assault charge against the Chief Justice of India.  Again hero is villain and villain is hero.  Those for Gogoi, know it’s fabricated. Those against Gogoi, know he is framed.  The country is hooked: “What if” the CJI’s office is deactivated? Won’t it affect Rafale?

For years, the matter of Rahul Gandhi’s citizenship issue is in public domain. “What if” he indeed was a British citizen?  The matter acquired political tones when Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sought an official explanation from the Gandhi scion.  He was given a fortnight to reply—months have passed on since then.  The nation again had its heroes and villains: but it was a joke.

Or Sadhvi Pragya. She utters words in praise for Nathuram Godse. The secular forces give a lesson in ferocity to Islamic State (IS):  To hell with her. Bury her. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visibly hurt on national television. “I would never be able to forgive her,” says the anguished Prime Minister. The party seeks an explanation from the firebrand leader.  Heroes and villains play out again.

Nathuram Godse, Islamic State, Mediation,  Ayodhya, Ram Mandir, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Balakot,

I am sure you haven’t forgotten the “mediation” team on Ayodhya. Would this team be able to succeed or thwart the attempt on Ram Mandir? Media and secular forces see one of the mediators, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar , as potentially dangerous.  Those in favour of Ram Mandir see hope in him. Again, cardboards of heroes and villains are cut.

Think about 100s of scientists and cinestars coming out in support of one or other political ideology; the debate on whether 300 terrorists were killed in Balakot or not; whether Supreme Court would favourably rule on the re-petition on Sabrimala – all had the nation divided in its heroes and villains. Pure entertainment, wasnt it.

Now the elections are over. Why bother if Rafale was corruption or not; if Rahul Gandhi has replied on his British citizenship issue or not;  if Sadhvi Pragya has explained satisfactorily to the letter served on her. Ayodhya can wait till 2024. Sabrimala? On the backburner till 2024.

I tell this all to emphasize what the sucker they make us out to be. All this looks so stage-managed. Outrage. Anger. Despair. Democracy in danger. The secular fabric of India torn to shreds. Elections over, everything over.  Wait till the next elections. Again, the recorded events are played out.

So relax. Make friends and not enemies for that’s exactly what politicians and media want us to be: at each other’s throat. Have a laugh on the concocted issues. They mean nothing to them so why lose your sleep? Wait till the bugle of Delhi assembly elections start blowing in February next year.  A few seasonal new issues would emerge and fade with the same monotony. Democracy you said?  I call it entertainment. Okay, black entertainment.

 

Sorry Justice Chandrachud, I don’t trust judiciary

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

All too often we hear our honourable judges speak about the “trust” the people of the country have in the institution of judiciary. I am one of the people and unfortunately, I lack complete trust in judiciary, one of the four founding pillars of our democracy.

My angst today is on reading in Indian Express the contents of an alleged letter Supreme Court judge, Justice DY Chandrachud wrote to his colleague Justice Bobde who is heading a three-member in-house panel, presently hearing a sexual complaint charge against the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi.

Before I discuss the content of the letter, I must point out my unease over such leaks which appear to happen by design than any act of intrepid journalism.  Readers would recall a fortnight ago, how the letter of ex woman-staffer against the CJI reached almost at the same time to four news web portals, three of whom are identified with pro-Left leanings. All of these websites prepared almost the same questionnaire for CJI Ranjan Gogoi to answer and sent it to the latter around the same time!!! So much for coincidence.

Then look at how events unfolded. If you pay heed to events of last fortnight, you would learn a great deal how our democracy is sabotaged. First a charge is made. Then the CJI says there are “bigger forces” at work…that it’s a conspiracy to deactivate the office of the CJI.” He also asks media to show restraint. Supreme Court also takes note of a lawyer alleging he has proof that it’s a plot to neutralize CJI. On viewing the lawyer’s content, SC judges are so alarmed that they summon chiefs of Police, CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) in private chamber even as the hearing is on!!! A three-member panel is appointed under the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP). The woman-complainant shows no trust in the panel and quits.  The panel, meanwhile, continues its deliberations.

This entire episode has two sides: One, of the woman-complainant and whether she is being given fair hearing or not. Two, of the “plot” which could “deactivate” the office of CJI as part of a larger “conspiracy.” Let’s call the two sides of story as Story A and Story B.

Now readers, do tell me if you have seen our newspapers discuss Story B at all. The “conspiracy” angle has already been given a quiet burial. For our newspapers, it’s a dud issue. All their energy is on Story A which could be genuine but could also be a part of a “plot.” What if this entire episode is meant to subvert Indian judiciary?

The next logical question is: why certain media houses are so palpably partisan in this case? Or are they themselves a part of the “conspiracy”? Edits are written almost every day. Why no lens are trained on CBI, Police and ED who are probing the “conspiracy” angle.  Why “news leaks” are not emerging from these probing agencies as they are “managed” from the hallowed precincts of Supreme Court judiciary?

Now let’s cast a look at Justice DY Chandrachud’s letter which Indian Express has got hold of. In the letter, as per Indian Express, Justice DY Chandrachud demands a full court in the sexual-complaint case; not only suggests retired women judges in an expanded court but also who these three ex-judges should be; apparently going for judges who are “apolitical and above board”. Justice DY Chandrachud’s letter “was not an individual view but conveyed the sense of disquiet among judges of the apex court after informal consultations with more than 17 judges,” as per Indian Express.

Indian Express reveals that Justice Chandrachud in his letter has raised fundamental questions “for the reputation of the Supreme Court…because people repose `trust in us’ as we are `fair-minded’ and “even-handed.”

Sorry Your Honour. Trust comes with conduct. Neither did I find the press conference of four SC judges last year an action of inspiring “trust” nor does it help that your letter appears to be an act of interference in the functioning of an ongoing three-member panel probe. I have no problem when you dissent on the scope of “Aadhaar” or give a verdict in favour of women devotees in Sabrimala Temple case but this is trespassing in your fellow judges’ domain and functioning.  I am not sure if your attempt “for the reputation of the Supreme Court” actually has ended up damaging it. Your father, retired Justice YY Chandrachud, the longest-serving Chief Justice of India, once was part of the SC bench which abrogated the right of life under the Emergency. I hope future jurists won’t view your present “letter” as a seminal moment in India’s judiciary.

As an aside, I ask readers to read a few reports of Vibhor Anand, a young Supreme Court lawyer, who in his various twitter threads has claimed that judiciary is “fixed” and that appointments of judges in both High Court and Supreme Court are managed at the behest of corporate lobby.  Our judiciary is in dire need of a clean-up. But how do you bell the cat which has all sweeping powers in the form of the Collegium they themselves operate in an opaque manner? 

Judiciary: Dirty linen are now being washed in public

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

Clearly all is not well with Indian judiciary and these are anxious time for India’s democracy.

In what is emerging as a divided house in public domain, barbs are being exchanged and motives assigned by practicing legal luminaries, both advocates and judges. Practically, the dirty lines of our judiciary are being washed in public.

The latest such episode is Supreme Court asking for response from an NGO, Lawyers Collective, and its operators, lawyers Indira Jaising and Anand Grover on a plea alleging FCRA violations by them.

Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, and their NGO Lawyer Collective in a press statement have cried foul and alleged that this is a case of “victimization” since Ms. Jaising took up the cause of ex-woman staffer who had leveled sexual misconduct charges against the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi which now have been rejected by an In-House Inquiry Committee earlier this week.

In these columns, reports have been published how corporate lobbies and corrupt lawyers derail justice. A young Supreme Court lawyer Vibhor Anand in series of tweet-threads has alleged that law firms which hire family members/relatives of judges act as a conduit to influence judicial processes. He has further alleged that the opaque system of Collegium appoints judges in High Court and Supreme Court on recommendations influenced by corporate lobby.

The delicious irony of this all is that the lobby which ignored CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s anguish that the sexual harassment charge was an attempt to “deactivate the office of CJI” is now crying hoarse under the umbrella of “victimization.” So while this could be a plot against Indira Jaising, Anand Grover and their NGO Lawyers Collective, the “plot” theory doesn’t hold true when it comes to CJI Ranjan Gogoi!!! So, what is true for one, isn’t true for another.

While a certain lobby of lawyers and media has worked with clockwork precision to pin CJI Ranjan Gogoi to the wall, treating ex woman-staffer has a hapless victim, no thought has been spared that the CJI himself could be a “victim” in this case. In series of columns, we have highlighted how CJI Ranjan Gogoi has been virtually declared “guilty” while not a single line has been spared to pursue his line of reasoning and argument. We have also outlined the background and the related story of a lawyer claiming he has evidence it was a plot against CJI Ranjan Gogoi.

The political machinations too have played a massive role in destabilizing judiciary. Reputed lawyer Harish Salve had reacted vehemently when an impeachment process was set in motion last year against then CJI Deepak Misra. He had slammed Congress and their lawyer-politicians for vilifying the constitutional institution.

The only way to stem the rot, Salve had opined, was for Contempt of Court Act to be used with firmness and people to be sent to jail.

Speaking to Arnab Goswami, this is what Salve had said: “I believe that it is with great hesitation that the court declined to initiate Contempt of court in the Justice Loya case and I personally think it was a mistake.” With the way things were going, Salve had said, we might as well wind up the constitutional courts…if it could be vilified…without any consequences.”

Salve had cited a personal instance. “I was in Ayodhya case when (Kapil) Sibal threatened to walk out of the court…it’s awfully disrespectful of the court.”

Damningly, Salve had said: “Now that the Congress is reduced to 44, they might use the court to destabilize the government.”

Now the desperation of political survival is spreading its poison in judiciary by invoking the various lobbies they had created in the past. Lutyens Media, as ever, is pliant to their machinations and act as a forward force. In all this, the credibility of the judiciary has taken a serious beating. If judiciary goes, what survives???

Two issues which could bring Rahul Gandhi’s campaign to a grinding halt

(This is a reprint from NewsBred).

In annals, April 22, 2019 could be remembered as the date when Rahul Gandhi’s lies finally caught up with him.

An early call in the day would be taken by Election Commission if Rahul Gandhi indeed could contest the 2019 General Elections after scrutinizing his nomination papers in Amethi. Separate complaints filed in this regard claim that Rahul Gandhi had declared himself a British citizen of a company registered in the United Kingdom in the past. As per the Representation of People’s Act 1951, an individual who is not an Indian citizen cannot contest elections in India.

The second issue concerns Rahul Gandhi’s reply on a contempt notice which must reach the Supreme Court before the day April 22 is out. Supreme Court is due to hear a petition next day on Tuesday, filed against Rahul Gandhi for claiming that even Supreme Court has said chowkidar ne chori karwai (PM Modi caused theft in the purchase of Rafale jets) when the SC said nothing of the sort.

That Congress president is nervous is no-brainer. One, his counsel had sought 48 hours to reply on Rahul Gandhi’s real citizenship!!! Seeking so many hours on a basic issue implies that some ingenuity would be pulled out from under the hat. Even if Rahul Gandhi gets past this sticky issue unharmed, he could be hard put to present his educational degrees for it is alleged it belongs to one Raul Vinci. Is Rahul Gandhi and Raul Vinci the same person???

(An in-depth account on this could be read from this report which says that BJP leader Dr. Subramaniam Swamy way back in 2017 had submitted all the relevant documents to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh regarding Rahul Gandhi’s dual citizenship).

The other issue of SC hearing a complaint petition against him is a time-bomb ticking. If Rahul Gandhi’s reply on April 22, which precedes the hearing next day, contain his apology, all his posturing on Rafale and “chor chowkidar” shrill cry would be busted. If he holds his ground and found to have made false assertions, the punishment could involve fine or jail or both, as per the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971. In such a scenario, Rahul Gandhi would be left with no issue to dwell with in his campaign rallies, that is if he survives the Amethi scrutiny.

The developments of last Friday (April 19, 2019), when four Leftist news portals sent a similar questionnaire to Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on a former woman-staffer’s allegation of molestation against the latter, followed by Justice Gogoi summoning an extraordinary bench hearing on Saturday, looks to have blocked all escape routes for Rahul Gandhi.

If CJI Ranjan Gogoi’s words are any indication –“It’s a plot planned to deactivate CJI office…as I would be hearing important cases this week,”—this coordinated, well-calibrated sharp attack against CJI Ranjan Gogoi has backfired. The sexual misconduct storm could have led to Justice Ranjan Gogoi excusing himself from hearing the contempt of court notice against Rahul Gandhi. Now Justice Ranjan Gogoi has already given hint to his position on the matter by stating that he wouldn’t buckle down under pressure.

Justice Ranjan Gogoi had also asked media to show restraint in covering the matter which clearly is not possible, at least with Indian Express and The Hindu newspapers. Both have penned editorials in their daily edition today (April 22, 2019), criticizing Justice Ranjan Gogoi for dealing with the sexual misconduct allegation in a ham-handed manner. Both have questioned the propriety of Justice Gogoi’s conduct though not once have they questioned the four online news portals—The Wire, The Scroll, Caravan, Leaflet—for publishing the name of accuser and accused which is defamatory in nature. It makes both the Indian Express and The Hindu appear in the same corner, as these four online news portals, accused of conspiracy by the CJI himself.

The reputation of Lutyens Media is also not helped by the fact that they have turned their gaze away from the developments in Amethi where Rahul Gandhi risks being debarred from contesting the 2019 General Elections. If it was to happen, it would be a political earthquake of a magnitude of unimaginable scale.