Amnesty International: Scheduled Tribes Panel Order on Unlawful Land Transfers is Welcome

 

Amnesty International India

 Statement released by Amnesty International India

Bangalore
11 May 2017

A recent order by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes to the District Magistrate in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh directing action in cases of unlawful transfer of Adivasi land is a positive move, said Amnesty International India today.

On 9 May, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) directed action to be taken under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act – a special law to protect the rights of Dalit and Adivasi people – in cases where Adivasi land was transferred to other people through forgery. The order follows recent allegations that over 300 acres (121 hectares) of Adivasi land had been unlawfully transferred to non-Adivasis in Kunkuni village, Raigarh between 2009 and 2015. A farmer named Jailal Rathiya who had filed a petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court in relation to the transfer was found dead in March 2017.

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Fact Finding Report on Police Excesses in Nadukuppam Village, Marina Beach

 

[Via Trevor Jeyaraj]

Fact Finding Mission to Enquire into Alleged Police Excesses on 23rd January 2017 in Nadukuppam Village, Marina Beach, Tamil Nadu

 January 25, 2017

"நாங்க காலம்காலமா இந்த குப்பத்திலே இருக்கோம். நாங்க இன்னிக்கி திடீர்ன்னு பயங்கரவாதிகளா ஆயிட்டோமா? அடிபட்டு, ரத்தம் சிந்த ஓடிவந்த கொழந்தைங்க, அவங்க பயங்கரவாதிங்களா? அவங்களும் எங்கள மாதிரி தமிழங்கதானே? எங்க கொழந்தைங்க மாதிரிதானே? தமிழனுக்குத் தமிழன்தானே ஆதரவு தரனும்? அவங்கள காப்பாத்துறது எங்க கடமை இல்லையா? அதுக்கா எங்கள இப்படி அடிச்சு நோறுக்குனாங்க?"

"We have been living in these Fishing hamlet for ages, Have we become Terrorists, out of the blue? The kids who have run to us, bleeding, after being hit, were they terrorists? Aren't they Tamilans like us? Aren't they like our Children? It is a Tamilan who should stand by a fellow Tamilan, is it not? Is it not our duty to protect them? Have they beaten us to pulp like this, for all this?" ~ Woman resident, Nadukuppam, as told to Dr. V. Vasanthi Devi.

cff 1

An all-women fact-finding team consisting of Dr. V. Vasanthi Devi, former chair State Commission on Women, Prof. Anandhi Shanmugasundaram, Adv. Poongkhulali Balasubramanian, and Chandrika Ramanujam from Thozilalar Koodam visited Nadukuppam between 2 and 5 p.m. on 24 January to file the following fact-finding report. Considering the urgency of the situation and the threat of destruction of valuable evidence at Nadukuppam, the Fact finding team has decided to release this report immediately. This report maybe further updated to include versions of other affected individuals and the police personnel.

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The Long Exit: Conferences of the Depressed Classes During the 1930s

 

Gerard Baared

babasaheb reading1

[The long exit from Hinduism/Brahmanism for the 'untouchables' is naturally an ongoing movement, given the scale of the task, the multiple levels of responsibilities to understand, process and communicate people's aspirations regarding their rights, and the complex logistic factors to be dealt with.

The term exit predicates an imagined or real inclusion, but the 'untouchables' were never included in Hinduism/Brahmanism. Hence this exit is basically an exit from the manufactured 'included discourse' of the state-aided dominant castes' political strategies.

The 1930s were marked by several major conferences and meetings led by Dr Ambedkar and other leaders from Depressed Classes deliberating on the complete rejection of Hinduism for the emancipation of their communities. This unique history of a marginalized community's engagement with issues of individual and collective rights guaranteed or denied in different religions, produces one of the most intellectually complex discourse. To document these debates which examined the social, political, economic and spiritual possibilities for 'untouchable' communities that are spread across different languages and regions, we have to splice together narratives from many sources.

 The following is an excerpt from the paper titled, The Depressed Classes of India: Their Struggle for Emancipation, by Gerard Baared published in 1937. This section details the churning and the organized activities by the leaders of Depressed Classes as they pursued the exit from Hinduism and systematically evaluated the alternatives.~ Round Table India]

 ~~

At long last, on the 10 May 1935, the Poona Pact with the Government Amendment was adopted in the Commons by 152 votes to 35. It is indeed, as the Depressed Classes President Rao Bahadur M.C. Rajah called it, the "Magna Carta of the Depressed Classes community."

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Judicial Discourse and Caste Violence

 

Aditya

Reading Bathani Tola and Laxmanpur Bathe Judgment* 

aditya 1“Everyone strives to attain the law...how does it come about, then, that in all these years no one has come seeking admittance but me?....The doorkeeper replies.......

No one but you could gain admittance through this door, since this door was intended only for you. I am now going to shut it.”[1]

The situation in which people of Bathani Tola and Laxmanpur Bathe are is much like the situation of the man who received this reply from the doorkeeper. Acquittal of all the accused and rejection of every witnesses account led to massive critique from the academic, activist, victims and survivor’s side of the judgment. The following paper is an attempt to sift through this situation of legal justice that was named as normalising injustice in legal way by many. The paper is an attempt to understand the judgment to reflect on judicial discourse emerging from the judgments in Bathani Tola and Laxmanpur Bathe. The discourse is set out in relation with citizenship and constitutionalism, with special emphasis on working of courts. The paper is divided in three sections. The first section shall attempt to unravel and make clear the relation between citizenship, marginalised communities (Dalits and Muslims), constitution and courts. This will be followed by brief explanation of judicial discourse and the discourse which appears in the judgments on Bathani Tola and Laxmanpur bathe. The final section shall attempt to explore the judgment and develop a critique based on caste with a brief input from constitutionalism. This shall strive to understand essences of caste, and its manifestation in instances of Narsamhar and Judgment. 

 Unintended Making Base for the Intended: Clarifying the Course of Action

This paper does not intend to provide a critique of state. It is more about engaging with the state in Bihar that is contextualized[2] in case of caste violence in central region of Bihar. It is further narrowed down to two judgments on cases of caste violence, that is, Bathani Tola and Laxmanpur (Lakshmanpur) Bathe[3]. The question then emerges is; can we not by engaging in this manner are capable of providing a critique of the State.

Second, it is not aimed at providing an adamant critique of the judgment as unjust[4]. It is an attempt to understand Judicial Discourse in general and in particular via these two judgments. It is about understanding how judiciary makes sense of violence. Why does it has such an understanding and what is left out in this understanding? It is more about asking why judgment came in this particular form, not in the form that we all had expected. The question that perhaps emerges is that can we not in this manner provide a critique of the judgment?

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Threatening Indian democratic system: Case of Anti-Defection Law

 

S Kumar

Abstract

Once touted as one of the most vibrant democracies based on modern principles, Indian democracy has gradually slipped to a chaotic governance system. For the mainstream Indian political parties, this may be due to the past legacy of British laws resulting in sharp differences between caste, region and religion as the divisive principles. However, the Indian constitution was built on modern principles to unite the diverse peoples for solving problems of the poverty stricken population. But as the historically subjugated population started asserting their political rights guaranteed by the Constitution, the anti-defection law with fundamentally undemocratic principles was allowed to overtake this vibrant democracy. Western political philosophers would be surprised to know that the individual parliamentary member does not have a right to dissent within the parliament, and members may lose their house membership in case they vote against the wishes of their respective parties within the house. This paper provides detailed evaluation of the anti-defection law and how it is against the fundamental principles of modern democracy. The primary target of this paper is the political science student, however, it should be of interest to a broad readership including those interested in law and governance.

Keywords: Anti-defection law, Constitution, Politics, Democracy, Parliament, Political party

Nidhin connecting thread

Introduction

Schedule X of the Constitution of India, containing the anti-defection law, was enacted after three and half decades of India's experience with parliamentary democracy. During the initial 15 years of Indian parliamentary democracy, the first Prime Minister Mr. JL Nehru led the government with Congress party majority. The phenomenon of defection became more apparent from the 4th Lok Sabha, that is, from 1967 onward. As per the debates of Rajya Sabha during the discussion of the bill, it was explained that the defection phenomenon really happened when the Congress Party suffered reverses - in some of the States in the elections, resulting in the reduced majority of the Congress Party in the Lok Sabha. (Rajya Sabha debate 1985)

Post Nehru era, multiple factions within the Congress party started to emerge along with more representation of opposition parties. Further, India experienced the most tumultuous period of Emergency which tested the strength of Indian constitution and parliament. The 70s era marked floor crossing as a common problem facing all parties, wherein any member changes his/her stance abruptly just before the voting inside the parliament, probably many times due to monetary allurement. After many cases of floor crossing on crucial voting, the term "Aaya Ram Gaya Ram" was coined to describe this phenomenon in the mass media.

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The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016: Responses From the Trans & Intersex Communities


The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 has been introduced by the Government in Lok Sabha this session. While we have all been waiting for legislation for protection of trans rights, this draft bill is a massively diluted, criminalizing and pathologising text while standing on distorted premises that amount to human rights violations. In fact, far from protecting the rights of the trans community, this bill, if passed, will end up curtailing the very rights already granted by the Supreme Court in the NALSA verdict. The kind of deletions the government has made from the 2015 draft bill, especially after the community recommendations that were made in January this year, only goes to show that the government has no real interest in the trans community. This bill is mere tokenism.

telangana transgender

This document details some of the issue in the bill that need to be addressed.

Right to Self Determination of Gender Identity & Expression

The current bill continues to use the 'Rehabilitation' framework that has been opposed by many trans groups as part of the recommendations and meeting/s with the MSJE in January earlier this year. This framework has lead the government to come up with definitions of transgender, as mentioned below. This definition is a gross violation of human rights and is against the very ruling of Supreme Court's NALSA judgment.

The definition of 'transgender person' in the 2016 draft bill is:

"transgender person" means a person who is— (A) neither wholly female nor wholly male; or (B) a combination of female or male; or
(C) neither female nor male; and

whose sense of gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at the time of birth, and includes trans-men and trans-women, persons with intersex variations and gender-queers.

The 2015 draft bill on the other hand, gives the following definition of 'Transgender Person':

Transgender Person' means a person, whose gender does not match with the gender assigned to that person at birth and includes trans- men and trans-women (whether or not they have undergone sex reassignment surgery or hormone therapy or laser therapy etc.), gender-queers and a number of socio-cultural identities such as — kinnars, hijras, aravanis, jogtas etc. A transgender person should have the option to choose either 'man', 'woman' or 'transgender' as well as have the right to choose any of the options independent of surgery/hormones.

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Atrocities & other offences committed by Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy of A.P. High Court against a Dalit Judicial Magistrate

 

Kula Nirmulana Porata Samiti (KNPS)

I) a) Mr. S. Ramakrishna was born in a poor Dalit family in a remote village of Chittoor District, A.P. and with his hard work he could get his Law degree and was selected as a Junior Civil Judge in A.P. State Judicial Service in 2003. He consciously discharged judicial and administrative functions without any blemish at Gadwal, Nandyal, Dharmavaram and Ponnur until 2012 when he was transferred to Rayachoti of Kadapa District, the native area of Mr. Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy. It is at Rayachoti he has to taste all sorts of atrocities which a common Dalit is facing in this area dominated by upper caste Reddy's.

b) Mr. C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy belongs to Rayachoti of Kadapa District where he had lot of relatives and friends in Public Life and legal profession. At the cost of deserving persons he had inducted his relatives and henchmen in the Judiciary of Kadapa District, particularly at Rayachoti. His brother by name Mr. Pavan Kumar Reddy is Additional Public Prosecutor & Govt. Pleader for over a decade and no other competent person could venture to replace him from these posts, due to muscle and financial power of these brothers. Pavan Kumar Reddy, who had lot of followers in forest & police departments, is a successful Red-Sanders Smuggler and does not hesitate to go to any extent to commit offences for his selfish-ends. (See dying declaration of his servant quoted hereunder)

c) After C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy became Judge of High Court, virtually these brothers became the de facto rulers of Kadapa Judiciary, particularly the Courts at Rayachoti

& Lakkireddypalli. In order to get their writ prevailed, these brothers commit all sorts of illegalities either by murders or threats or by tampering, or causing disappearance, of court records/documents etc. Justice c.v. Nagarjuna reddy frequently visits Rayachoti at the cost of the Sate and make Police, Revenue and judicial officers go round him hinting threats to those who do not dance to his and his brother's tunes.

II) JUSTICE NAGARJUNA REDDY'S ATTROCITIES AGAINST THE DALIT MAGISTRATE TO REMOVE THE NAME OF HIS BROTHER FROM THE DYING DELARATON OF A VICTIM

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