To begin with, in a landmark judgment with far reaching consequences which shall ensure that all those litigants hailing from the hilly state of Uttarakhand who had to earlier go from Uttarakhand to very far away place like Lucknow, the Uttarakhand High Court has pronounced a landmark verdict just recently. The Uttarakhand High Court in the landmark case of Lalit Kumar v Union of India & Ors in Writ Petition (PIL) No. 203 of 2014 dated 12 June 2018 directed the Centre to establish a Regional Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal in the State of Uttarakhand within four months. This has certainly galvanized all those people from the hilly state of Uttarakhand who were earlier compelled to travel so far away to Lucknow just for attending court hearings!

                                  While craving for the exclusive indulgence of my esteemed readers, let me inform them that the Bench of Uttarakhand High Court comprising of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Lok Pal Singh while pronouncing the landmark judgment observed that, “We, as a nation, are proud of the armed forces. The sacrifices made by the armed forces personnel during the active war and in peace cannot be forgotten. It is the duty cast upon the society as a whole to ensure that their grievances are redressed immediately. The Central Government cannot deny issuing notification for establishment of Regional Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal in the State of Uttarakhand on the pretext of huge expenditure. It is the duty of the Central Government to provide speedy justice to its citizens more particularly to the ex-servicemen.” Absolutely right! The Central Government must now stop coughing out excuses for not creating a Regional Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) in the State of Uttarakhand and should implement the landmark judgment delivered by the Uttarakhand High Court.
                               For my esteemed readers exclusive indulgence, let me also inform them that the Uttarakhand High Court was hearing a petition filed by ex-serviceman and practicing advocate Mr Lalit Kumar, contending that it becomes difficult for serving as well as retired ex-servicemen to access the Armed Forces Tribunal at Lucknow. The petition had been filed for the establishment of a permanent Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal in the State of Uttarakhand.  According to the averments made in the petition, it is difficult for the serving as well as retired ex-servicemen to have access to the Armed Forces Tribunal at Lucknow.
                                      It would be imperative to mention here that the Regional Bench at Lucknow was constituted in November 2009, and initially had jurisdiction over the States of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Chhatisgarh. Thereafter, in May 2016, a Regional Bench at Jabalpur was constituted with jurisdiction within the territorial limits of the States of Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The question that naturally arises here is: When a Regional Bench can be created at Jabalpur then why can’t a Regional Bench be created at Nainital?
                                 To be sure, the Uttarakhand High Court now noted that 220 cases of the State of Uttarakhand are pending before the Lucknow Bench, and attributed the low figure to the inconveniences faced by the litigants in approaching the Bench. So this perennial problem had to be addressed now to provide a lasting solution to it. The Bench of Uttarakhand High Court opined that, “The reason for low pendency of the cases in the Armed Forces Tribunal, Regional Bench, Lucknow might be that most of the litigants have waived/sacrificed their legal rights in non approaching the Armed Force Tribunal Act as is difficult for the serving armed forces personnel as well as ex-servicemen including widows and minors to approach the Armed Forces Tribunal Bench at Lucknow, taking into consideration the geographical and hilly terrain of the Uttarakhand State.”  
                                    Going forward, the Court further refused to accept concerns of there being heavy expenditure in establishing a Bench of the Tribunal, noting that the difficulties being faced by the armed forces personnel need to be taken into consideration. It also asserted that, “The access to justice within a reasonable cost is the underlying principle of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007. If the Central Government is concerned about the expenditure incurred on the Circuit Bench, the plight of the armed forces personnel to go too far of Lucknow cannot be undermined. It is very difficult for the armed forces personnel and the ex-servicemen including widows and minors to espouse their grievance by going to Lucknow.”  
                                     Simply put, the Uttarakhand High Court reiterates in para 10 of the landmark judgment that, “This Court had been emphasizing upon the Central Government to have a permanent bench in the State of Uttarakhand taking into consideration, the highest density of servicemen employed from the State of Uttarakhand including large segment of retired armed forces personnel, ex-navy men and ex-air force personnel. Several prime offices like The Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, Garhwal Regimental Centre, Gorkha Regimental Centre, Kumaon Regimental Centre, Ranikhet Cantonment, Pithoragarh Cantonment, Joshimath Cantonment, Chakrata Cantonment are situated in the State of Uttarakhand. The purpose of constituting Armed Forces Tribunal is to provide speedy justice to the armed forces personnel. The armed forces personnel cannot approach the civil courts including the high courts as per Section 33 of the Act. The pending matters have also been transferred under Section 34 of the Act. In the counter affidavit, it is highlighted that Government incurs heavy expenditure for the Circuit Bench to come to Nainital. The access to justice within a reasonable cost is the underlying principle of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007. If the Central Government is concerned about the expenditure incurred on the Circuit Bench, the plight of the armed forces personnel to go to far of Lucknow cannot be undermined. It is very difficult for the armed forces personnel and the ex-servicemen including widows and minors to espouse their grievance by going to Lucknow. In case, there is a permanent Bench in the State of Uttarakhand, the number of cases would also automatically go up. The number may be low today but it is likely to increase with the passage of time. The Central Government is empowered, under sub-section (4) of Section 5 of the Act, to establish Benches by issuing a necessary Notification. Speedy justice is the fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. We, as a nation, are proud of the armed forces. The sacrifices made by the armed forces personnel during the active war and in peace cannot be forgotten. It is the duty cast upon the society as a whole to ensure that their grievances are redressed immediately. The Central Government cannot deny issuing notification for establishment of Regional Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal in the State of Uttarakhand on the pretext of huge expenditure. It is the duty of the Central Government to provide speedy justice to its citizens more particularly to the ex-servicemen.”  
                                   It would be pertinent to also mention here that para 11 of this landmark judgment makes it a point to specifically observe that, “It is apt to note here that considering the pendency of cases the Central Government already decided to notify the Circuit Bench at Nainital. Therefore, it can be safely presumed that there is a requirement of Regional Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal in the State of Uttarakhand. Easy access of justice is a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.” Rightly said! There can be no denying or disputing it!
                                      Last but not the least, para 12 finally disposes of the petition observing that, “Accordingly, present petition is disposed of with a direction to the Central Government to issue notification for establishment of Regional Bench of Armed Forces Tribunal in the State of Uttarakhand, at an appropriate place, taking into consideration the availability of infrastructure, within a period of four months from today. Till the issuance of Notification of Regional Bench, the Circuit Bench shall hold the proceedings every month at Nainital.”
                               All said and done, it is an excellent and an exemplary judgment. Centre must promptly implement whatever the 2 Judge Bench of Uttarakhand High Court comprising of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Lok Pal Singh have directed in their 13 page landmark judgment. Regional Bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal must be established within four months as directed in this landmark judgment! Centre should waste no further time in implementing it. It is unquestionable that this is the crying need of the hour also!   
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.
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Let me begin at the very beginning by first and foremost explicitly pointing out that in a landmark judgment with far reaching consequences that shall benefit many students and teachers, the Uttarakhand High Court on June 19, 2018 in the case of Dr Bhupal Singh Bhakuni v State of Uttarakhand & others in Writ petition (PIL) No. 127 of 2014 ordered the State to establish a National Law University (NLU) in Uttarakhand within three months. It also directed the State to run the NLU from government buildings or a hired private accommodation until the construction of the campus is complete. It must be complied with promptly by the State.
                                           Needless to say, it is rightly pointed out in para 2 of this judgment that, “A question of great public importance has been raised in this writ petition for establishment of National Law University. The grievance of the petitioners, precisely, is that though the National Law University of Uttarakhand Act, 2011 (Uttarakhand Act No. 11 of 2011) has been promulgated and came into force but despite that, the State Government has not established the National Law University in the State of Uttarakhand. This Court has passed number of orders, but no steps were taken pursuant to the orders passed by this Court from time to time.” This is really what is most unfortunate. The State of Uttarakhand should have complied with it but we see that inspite of the Court passing a number of orders no steps were taken by the State of Uttarakhand in this regard.
                                  As it turned out, the Bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Lok Pal Singh directed that the first academic session should begin from September this year. Meanwhile, the State is expected to begin construction for the NLU in District Udham Singh Nagar, where the Court noted that the Government had land measuring about 1800 acres available. As for the modalities of functioning of the NLU, the Court directed the State to formulate Regulations under the National Law University of Uttarakhand Act, 2011 within a month, and make all appointments to the NLU as per such Regulations within three months.  
                                             It would be pertinent to mention here that the Uttarakhand High Court was hearing two petitions – one by Dr Bhupal Singh Bhakuni and another by Dr Mahendra Singh Pal pointing out that despite enactment of the 2011 Act, an NLU has not been established in the State. In response to the petitions, the authorities had pointed out that the Act provided for establishment of the head office of the NLU at Bhowali, Nainital. It had however submitted that the land required for the establishment of the University was not available at Bhowali, and therefore requisite amendments had to be made to the Act in order to proceed forward.
                Availability of sufficient land
                                  Truth be told, the Court noted that sufficient land is available in District Udham Singh Nagar, and rapped the State for delaying the establishment of the NLU. The Court minced just no words in observing that, “The Court has not accepted the plea raised by the State Government that the land is not available. We have already noticed hereinabove that sufficient land is available. There are always teething problems as and when a new establishment including a University is to be set up. This could be overcome if there was a will of the State to establish/start the University as per Section 3 of the Act of 2011. The University could be established and thereafter the classes could start in any government building or rented accommodation.” Very rightly said!
                                             To be sure, the Court further opined that the requirement of a library can be avoided as of now, as the students can download judgments and statutes online. Very rightly said! There can be no denying or disputing it! We can see for ourselves how quickly the judgments are uploaded in different websites from which anyone can quickly download and have the entire judgment with him/her within no time!   
          Laudable object lost in red tapism
                                    Truly speaking, the Uttarakhand High Court also refused to accept the contention that this was a policy matter to be left to the State, rapping it for having avoided establishing an NLU in the State despite the enactment of the legislation way back in 2011. It observed clearly and categorically that, “We are not dealing with the policy matter but we are dealing with the enactment which has been legislated especially for the establishment of University u/s 3 of the Act. The same has not been implemented yet except the prolonged correspondence. The laudable object of the University has been frustrated in the rigmarole of redtapism. The State machinery should have been sensitive to establish the University in the right earnest at the earliest.” But most unfortunately that was not to be!
                                      But at least now the State machinery should comply by what the Uttarakhand High Court has said so explicitly! It further came down heavily on the State and left no punches to further remark that, “The current PIL has been pending before the Court for 4 years now, and due to the State’s lethargy, brilliant students of the State have been deprived from getting the standard legal education under the National law University.” Who can deny it?
     State’s responsibility to gather funds
                               It cannot be lost on anyone that when confronted with the lazy submission that funds had to be gathered for establishing the NLU, the Uttarakhand High Court shot back saying that it was the State’s responsibility to address this concern. It observed in no uncertain terms that, “The State Government was aware of this contingency at the time when the National Law University of Uttarakhand Act, 2011 was legislated. It was for the State Government to garner the funds. There cannot be any compromise as far as the field of education is concerned. The National Law University could have been a feather in the hat of the State of Uttarakhand.”
                                   Be it noted, senior advocate CD Bahuguna then promptly stepped forward to take the laudable initiative to pay a sum of Rs 1.00 lakh for creating the corpus for running the University. While approving of the idea, the Uttarakhand High Court then directed Bahuguna to collect donations from members of the Bar, Judges as well as the public at large, after opening a separate fund for collecting such donations. The amount shall be received only by way of cheque/draft/NERT.
                    Directions Given By Court
                                  Before winding up, it would be extremely important to bring out here what the Uttarakhand High Court directed in para 36 of this landmark judgment. It held clearly and categorically that, “Accordingly, we allow both these petitions by issuing the following mandatory directions: -
A.  The State Government is directed to start the National Law University in the State within three months from today.
B.  The respondent-State is directed to run the University from the government buildings or by hiring a private accommodation at a reasonable rate.
C.   The State of Uttarakhand is directed to raise construction for the University preferably in Tarai area including in District Udham Singh Nagar where the government land measuring about 1800 acres is available.
D. The first academic session shall start from September, 2018. Necessary permission shall be obtained by the National Law University from the Bar Council of India.
E.   The respondent-State, till date, has not framed the Regulations within a period of one month from today. All the appointments in the University shall be made as per the Universities Act and the Regulations, framed thereunder, within a period of three months from today including appointment of teaching faculty and ministerial staff.”
                              Conclusion

                               All said and done, it is a landmark and laudable judgment with far reaching consequences. It must be implemented at the earliest by the State Government. It should not waste any time further by not implementing it by indulging in dilly dallying as the Uttarakhand High Court has itself noticed in this very case. This has callously been the attitude of the State Government by not ensuring the creation of a National Law University at the earliest! To say the least, one hopes that now the State Government will pay heed to what the Uttarakhand High Court has directed so rightly!      
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.
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 A brave and die hard nationalist like Aurangzeb Khan can never die. His life is the biggest offering that he himself voluntarily sacrificed for the nation! No weapon, no terrorist, no Pakistan, no China or any other country can ever kill the likes of brave soldiers like Aurangzeb of 44 RR who belonged to 4 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry at Shadimarg in Shopian and hailed from the village Salani in Poonch district of Jammu.

                                   Any Indian who does not feel to salute Aurangzeb can never be a true Indian! What Aurangzeb has done so willingly cannot be done even by me and I candidly acknowledge this! No award, no Bharat Ratna, no Nobel Prize, no Paramveer Chakra or any other award can ever honour Aurangzeb because Aurangzeb stands tallest above all these petty awards!
                                     Even after being captured by terrorists and even after being tied to a tree, he did not show any sign of fear nor did he plead to be spared. He voluntarily acknowledged his brave role in eliminating several terrorists along with Maj Shukla when cross questioned by terrorists without showing any sign of fear! He could have blamed others for killing terrorists and could have escaped being killed but he dared to confront them and didn’t fear for his life nor pleaded for mercy!
                                   Aurangzeb is our national pride, national icon and no politician, no political party can ever mock at him by denying him any award because he stands above all such petty considerations and his supreme sacrifice is the biggest testimony to it. The biggest tribute that we can pay to Aurangzeb is by adopting zero tolerance policy towards terrorists and Pakistan! No license should ever again be given to Pakistan or terrorists in the name of Ramzan because this tantamount to mocking at Ramzan which under no circumstances can ever be associated with terrorists and Pakistan who leave no opportunity to slaughter our citizens and soldiers whenever they get any opportunity to do so!
                               Mohammad who is Aurangzeb’s brother and who himself serves in the Army and is currently posted in Pune was very angry over the cowardly and dastardly manner in which his brother Aurangzeb was murdered by terrorists after capturing him at gun point says point blank: “We want justice for Aurangzeb. The terrorists who carried out his assassination must be eliminated. We want revenge. I am myself prepared to do this. Post me in Kashmir and I will see to it that I kill my brother killers ruthlessly. I spoke to Aurangzeb on Thursday morning, the day he was kidnapped, we both planned to celebrate Eid in a grand way with our parents in our native village.” His anger stands perfectly justified. Every patriotic Indian stands with him, his father and mother in this hour of grief! He certainly deserved to live much longer but terrorists killed him!
                                    How long will politicians plead ceasefire for terrorists, traitors and Pakistan? How long will politicians plead “talks and dialogues” with these rogues? How long will politicians refuse to learn anything from past experiences like the brutal murder of Lieutenant Umar Fayyaz and continue appeasing terrorists and Pakistan? How long will Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status for Pakistan continue since 1996 unilaterally like unilateral ceasefire till now? How long will Pakistan enjoy benefit of Indus Water Treaty will killing our citizens mercilessly?
                                                    Mohammad Haneef Khan who is Aurangzeb’s father who is himself an ex-serviceman stands perfectly justified when he says that, “I want to ask PM Modi if he’s listening to me, why are you appeasing stone-pelters and separatists? Punish the terrorists who killed my son. Why was Ramzan ceasefire announced? Terrorists have no religion, then why operations were stopped against them during Ramzan? Why Pakistani flags are allowed to be waved openly in India?” What Mohammad Haneef has said is perfectly right and no sane person will ever question this!
                                         How can cases be withdrawn suddenly against more than 10,000 stone-pelters by J&K State Government? How can a crime be encouraged openly by a duly elected State Government? How can Centre too endorse it by doing nothing to stop this? Does Centre favour stone pelting on our soldiers! Never saw stone pelting on such a large scale as we are now seeing in PM Narendra Damodardas Modi’s Raj!
                                          Why this blind appeasement of Pakistan since 1947 which never deserved independence as an independent nation? Why whole of J&K not annexed? Why people of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir keep agitating against Pakistan and why India allowed Pakistan to get away with it? Why even after winning 1971 war decisively did we not annex Bangladesh as well as whole of Kashmir? Why we gave back more than 93,000 Pakistani soldiers who were captured as prisoners of war even though  they didn’t free more than 100 of our soldiers and they were ruthlessly tortured by Pakistani soldiers as testified by former Pakistan PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in his book who wrote that he could not sleep whole night as he could hear helpless cries of Indian soldiers being beaten mercilessly?
                                       Why Pakistani invader Gen Pervez Musharraf who masterminded Kargil intrusion as he himself claims that he entered about 15 km inside Indan territory to boost soldiers and terrorists to brutally slaughter our soldiers was given a red carpet welcome to India just 2 to 3 months after Kargil war and who had even dared to nuke India if we dared to step even one step inside Pakistani territory as Pakistani forces he feels alone has the right to intrude? Why the brutal torture of 5 soldiers of 4 Jat Regiment led by Captain Saurav Kalia who were tortured for not 5 days or 10 days or 15 days or 20 days but for nearly a month before blinding them with hot iron rods, maiming their body parts like nose, ears and even private parts before shooting them at head and then handing over dead body to India back? Why this was never raked up by India in any international forum even though former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee along with former Defence Minister Jaswant Singh had assured the same to father of Captain Kalia?
                                       Why was “talks and dialogues” held with dreaded terror groups who were behind Kargil war and merciless killing of our soldiers? Why was Ramzan ceasefire declared which had to be revoked later? Why terrorists were given so freedom that they dared to then hijack plane which led to release of 3 dreaded terrorists including Omar, Mehmood Azhar, attack Indian Parliament, attack J&K State Assembly, Red Fort, etc and blow off train in which more than 300 people were killed in July 2006 near Mumbai?
                                           Why politicians never want Pakistan to be declared a “terror state” and named “Aatankistan” as demanded by Maulana Mehmood Madani  who is leader of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and MP from Bangalore Rajeev Chandrashekhar even though they demand the same from world at very international forum like UN? What is the real mystery behind this? Why is free license given to “traitors, terrorists and Pakistan” to kill our brave soldiers and others during Ramzan? Is Ramzan meant to kill Indians? How long will leaders fool themselves and this nation?
                                      Subramanium Swamy who hails from BJP which is the ruling party too is critical of his own party’s handling of J&K. He slams it as “political impotency” while calling for the dismissal of Mehbooba government who is too soft on terrorists and Pakistan and cutting Pakistan into 4 pieces! Why has Centre encouraged stone pelters to freely attack our soldiers by allowing withdrawal of criminal cases against them and instead allowing police to register FIR against soldiers in many cases like we saw when father of an Army officer approached Supreme Court to seek relief which he did get?
                                       What is happening now so brazenly in PM Modi’s time in Kashmir is most shocking and still he keeps appearing in fitness challenge along with his cabinet colleagues like Colonel Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore who inspite of having an Army background shamelessly does “fitness exercise” even as Pakistan kills many of our BSF soldiers in Samba along with an Assistant Commandant as also Aurangzeb and a senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari who was editor of “Rising Kashmir” and bombards our border areas forcing lakhs to migrate and here too many women and children are killed! Pakistan merges PoK with Pakistan but our politicians don’t have the guts to ensure the “full and final merger of J&K with India! Why can’t we also act similarly?
                                        Former CJI JS Khehar while in office as CJI had rightly said that, “How can one country have two flags, two Constitutions, two laws and two citizenship?” Why can’t Centre abrogate Article 370 and Article 35A which are most discriminatory and forbids Indians from outside the state to settle there or even appear in any exam there? What have we gained by it? Flags of Pakistan and ISIS! For how long this disgraceful appeasement will continue? No law, no Constitution, no Judge, no court not even Supreme Court can be above the unity and integrity of India which has to be ensured under all circumstances!
                                             Many small children tell me that Ramzan means the most sacred time when Pakistan and terrorists are given complete free hand by Centre headed by PM Narendra Damodardas Modi along with Home Minister Rajnath Singh to mercilessly kill our soldiers, journalists and all those who stay close to our border areas so that more soldiers and journalists get opportunity to join forces and press in their place! Who is responsible for it? Centre itself!
                                           What message is Centre sending by caring a damn for the repeated killings of our brave soldiers and instead appearing in news channels to issue “fitness challenge” to heroes, heroines, and others? What message is Centre sending by celebrating “Yoga Day” and caring a damn for the anger of the families of our brave soldiers like Aurangzeb who got killed because of this Ramzan ceasefire? Is this the biggest tribute that is being paid to our soldiers? Should we be proud of it?
                                      ISI plots attack on Pathankot and we invite ISI agents to inspect the place where attack was carried out! What is happening in our country? Who is the great military adviser who is advising and guiding our PM and Home Minister to resort to all such foolish and self-destructive actions like Ramzan ceasefire, continuing with MFN status for Pakistan unilaterally, retaining Article 370 and Article 35A, continue spending Rs 560 crore every year from taxpayers money on Hurriyat leaders who openly shout slogans favouring Pakistan, continue allowing Pakistan to take advantage of Indus Water Treaty which Modi had earlier himself criticised  and many more such foolish acts? On a concluding note, Aurangzeb is a national icon who needs no recommendation or citation or award or anything else from any leader or politician to be respected because every true Indian will salute him always for the supreme sacrifice that he has rendered without any hesitation!
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.          
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Coming straight to the nub of the matter, let me begin first and foremost by pointing out that in a landmark judgment with far reaching consequences, the Uttarakhand High Court in Arun Kumar Bhadoria v State & others in Writ Petition (PIL) No. 48 of 2017 decided on May 15, 2018 directed the State Government to ensure that a police personnel does not work for more than eight hours at a stretch. Police personnel too should be given time to rest as they too are human beings and not superman! This is exactly what the Uttarakhand High Court too reiterated in its landmark judgment.
                                        To be sure, while observing that police is the primary agency of the criminal justice system which protects human rights, the Uttarakhand High Court has directed the State to improve their working and living conditions and overall well-being to ensure efficient and people-friendly policing by making amendments to give at least three promotions to a police personnel in entire career, not making them work for over eight hours at a stretch, appoint dedicated doctors and psychologists for police personnel, ensure recreational facilities at police stations and a housing scheme for the police force. It is the primary duty and obligation of the State Government to adhere to what the Uttarakhand High Court has directed so categorically! There can be no denying it!
                                          As it turned out, a Bench of Uttarakhand High Court comprising of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sharad Kumar Sharma passed the landmark directions while deciding a PIL filed by Arun Kumar Bhadoria seeking better conditions of service for the lowest level of recruitment to the force and is often subjected to humiliation by seniors and public with not more than one chance at promotion to head constable. Bhadoria had also made representation on this issue before the Chief Minister in 2013 and also the Chief Justice in the year 2014 before coming to the High Court. Bhadoria’s grievances are certainly genuine and this alone explains why the Uttarakhand High Court also concurred with him and issued landmark directions as sought by him.
                                        Truth be told, the Bench minced no words to convey the clear and loud message that, “Most of the health problems occurred due to occupational hazards attributed to long hours on job. The long duty hour takes a toll on the morale, motivation and self-esteem of staff. The overall frustration manifests itself in the offensive conduct and behavior with the public at times. It is the duty cast upon the State to make provisions for securing just and humane conditions of work under Article 42 of the Constitution.” Very rightly said! State must address this vexed issue right now and should not attempt to brush it aside as has been the case most unfortunately since the last several decades!
                                       Simply put, while deciding the PIL, the Uttarakhand High Court noted the submission of the state that as per Section 42 of Clause No. 1 of the Uttarakhand Police Act, 2007, the police officers are supposed to work for 24 hours. The police officers get one month’s additional salary as per Government Order dated 09.09.1979 in lieu of not availing Gazetted holidays. The Non-Gazetted police officers are given causal leave for 30 days in a year. It is further averred that to maintain law and order, the police department has taken the duty from the police officers for eight hours a day approximately, which is necessary to discharge the government liabilities.
                                           Needless to say, it also noted that 10,248 cases were registered in the year 2015 in Uttarakhand and the ratio of crime in per lakh population was 97.2. The strength of state police as on 01.01.2016 was 21,155. The actual appointments were 19,991. There are 1,164 vacancies. Only 6 percent vacancies were lying vacant. The total budget of Uttarakhand for the year 2015-16 was Rs 32,694 crore. The budget allocated for the police was Rs 1207 crore and the expenditure was Rs 879 crore which is only 2.7 percent of the total budget.
Court takes note of poor state of constabulary, the first interface with public
                                        It would be imperative to mention here that the Bench took strong note of the sorry state of constable in the police force where the post is devoid of any dignity. It observed that, “According to the observations of the second Administrative Reforms Commission, constables have become ‘machines’ carrying out the directions of their superiors with little application of mind or initiative. There is constant political interference in transfers, placements and crime investigation, long and difficult working hours, the menial duties they are often forced to perform as orderlies to senior officers, and the emphasis on brawn rather than brain in most situations. A constable devoid of dignity, lacking opportunities for vertical mobility, constantly pressurized by superiors and politicians, often not liked by the public and habituated to easy recourse to violence and force cannot generally be expected to sustain his/her self-esteem or acquire the professional skills to serve the citizens.”  
                                            The Bench underscored the dire need to usher in police reforms by saying that, “The constabulary is usually the first interface of the police with the public, any reform to be meaningful has to begin at this level. Radical improvements in the recruitment, training, emoluments, working and living conditions are essential to improve their morale, reduce their frustration and increase their professionalism.” The Bench ordered that the state government should develop psychological tests for the police force. There should be constant evaluation of the performance, attitudes and behavior of all recruits during training.  
                                           Going forward, while taking note of the stress that comes with VIP bandobast, the complexity of crime work, shortage of manpower in police stations, disorganized functioning of police stations, diversion of manpower on ‘attachments’ and other duties not related to police station functions, inadequate infusion of technology ad nonavailability of technological tools/aids, the Bench said that the police force should be provided one month’s additional salary in lieu of working overtime, as also on holidays and during their weekly off days. The police force should adopt shift system.
                                     Let us now discuss the international scenario of the working hours of police station personnel as discussed in para 34 of this landmark judgment. A few examples of shift systems in vogue in some police jurisdictions are briefly discussed here. They are as follows: -
                   In the United Kingdom most police departments follow the European Working Time Directive. The specific shift schedules operated by them vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, in overall conformity with these directives. For example, the Kent Police Department has both 8-hour and 10-hour shifts embedded in their system, with the shift duration alternating every week in a 4-week cycle. Kent Police regulations stipulate a limit on average weekly working time of 48 hours, along with a maximum daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours in every 24 hours. Minimum weekly rest of 24 consecutive hours in each seven-day period or 48 consecutive hours over a 14-day period are also provided for in the regulations.
                   In the case of Essex Police, provisions are made in the regulations that staff shall not be required to work in excess of an average of 48 hours in a week in usual circumstances. These working hours include normal duty hours, as well as any overtime work, including work performed on a rest day or public holiday, or during off-duty hours. Personnel are also entitled to a rest period of not less than 11 hours in between two days of duty, and shall not be required to work for more than seven days between each rest period of a minimum of 24 hours. The Staffordshire Police follow a shift pattern of 2 morning-shifts, 2 day-shifts and 2 night-shifts, followed by 4 rest days. Some police departments follow the so-called Regulation Shift Pattern, under which personnel work through a rotation of eight hour shifts (0600-1400 hrs., 1400-2200 hrs., 2200-0600 hrs.). In Scotland, Regulation 22 of the Scottish Police Federation prescribes guidelines for the normal periods of duty of police personnel, the periods allowed for rest and refreshment, variable shift arrangements, etc.
                      In Canada, the Ottawa Shift System is commonly used by police stations. Originally developed in 1981, the system works on a three-shift basis – a 10-hour day shift, a 10-hour evening shift and an 8 ½ -hour night shift, on a 35-day cycle. The working hours of shift are calculated on the basis of annualized hours, and not on monthly or weekly hour basis. The system enables police personnel to enjoy increased rest days resulting from longer shifts.
                        Various police departments in the United States of America follow a 40-hour work week. The shift patterns and durations differ from one department to another. The work schedule of New York Police consists of shifts of 8 hours and 35 minutes, arranged in a 15-day cycle of 5 work days – 2 off days, followed by 5 work days – 3 off days. The cycle is rotated every 15  days. During their shifts, personnel are given one hour meal time and two twenty-minute breaks. The personnel of Georgia City Police currently work in 12-hour shifts, which are switched every 8 weeks. The County Police in Georgia work in 10-hour shifts. In Seattle Police Department, patrol officers work on a rotating schedule of 9-hour ‘watches’, in a 6-day cycle. They work for four days in a row, in the 6-day cycle followed by two off days. The Lincoln Police Department, Nebraska, has the traditional 8-hour shift schedule, coupled with some instances of 10-hour shifts. They also introduced 12-hour shifts on a trial basis some time back. The Middletown Police in Rhode Islands observe a 12-hour shift schedule in a 14-day cycle: 2 days off – 3 day work, 2 days off – 2 days work, 3 days off – 2 days work.  
                In Australia, Victoria Police had been following a 12-hour shift system till 2009, when they switched back to 8-hour shift schedule.
            In South Africa, priot to 1994, the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) followed an 8-hour shift patter, consisting of three shifts (0600 – 1400 hours, 1400 – 2200 hours, 2200 – 0600 hours) in various cycles. In 1994, this was replaced by a 12-hour shift system. In May 2002, the Commissioner, SAPS and the employees unions concluded a collective arrangement which stipulated “the ordinary working hours of an employee shall not be more than 40 hours per week. The daily hours of work shall not be more than 8 hours per day for those performing administrative duties. Employees performing 8-hour shifts would do so five times a week. Those rendering services on 12-hour shifts would work on average of three or four times per eight-day cycle”. This arrangement continues to be in vogue.
                      In Japan, the Police Kobans in Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department work in four daily shifts, while in other prefectures they work in three shifts. In Hong Kong, police officers work in three shifts a day.
                                 On a concluding note, the mandatory directions issued by the Bench while the writ petition is disposed of must be discussed. This constitutes the real cream of the judgment. They are as follows: -
A.  The respondent-state is directed to ensure that a police personnel does not work for more than eight hours at a stretch.
B.  The state government is also directed to pay at least 45 days’ extra salary to improve the conditions of service of the police personnel for undertaking the arduous duties.
C.   The state government is also directed to create corpus as per the recommendation of One-member State Police Reforms Commission, constituted on 13.04.2012, within three months from today for the welfare of the police force.
D. The state government is advised to undertake housing scheme for the police personnel for improving the living conditions of the police force.
E.  The respondent-state is directed to make suitable amendments to the rules by providing at least three promotions to police personnel throughout his career to remove stagnation and for improving efficiency.
F.    The police department is directed to be liberal in granting leaves to the police personnel. The family members of the police force should be duly compensated in the eventuality of police personnel receiving bodily injuries, disability or death in the line of duty.
G. The state government should recruit qualified doctors specifically for the police force.
H. The state government is directed to constitute Special Selection Board for recruitment of police personnel for timely filling up the vacancies.
I.     The state government is directed to provide sufficient recreational facilities at police stations as well as police housing colonies, including gym and swimming pool etc.
J.    The state government is directed to appoint in each district the psychiatrist to counsel the police personnel who are under tremendous pressure and strain.
K.   The state government is directed to ensure that the traffic police is given sufficient breaks while discharging their duties in summers by rotating them.
L.   The traffic police should be provided masks to protect them from injurious gases and fumes while discharging traffic duties.
M.                     All the police personnel should be medically examined after every three months to assess medical fitness.
N. The state government is directed to ensure that the police stations work in shifts for efficient and people-friendly policing.
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.
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Let me begin with a disclaimer: I am no supporter of any one particular political party nor have I any affiliation of any kind with any political party! I am completely aghast at the repeatedly betrayal of India’s interest by political parties who are controlling the helm of affairs in India since 1947! The creation of Pakistan itself should never have been accepted since we believe in “unity of all religions” since ages! How did then we compromised with it and accepted creation of Pakistan on the basis of religion in 1947?
                                      As if this was not enough, we did not allow full and final merger of Jammu and Kashmir with India and allowed Pakistan to take away a huge chunk of the state with them in 1947-48 by foolishly rushing to UN and calling for “third party intervention and ceasefire” without taking over whole of the state even though our Army was fully prepared for it! In 1971 war, we won decisive victory against Pakistan yet made no effort to ensure full and final merger of J&K with India! We had captured more than 93,000 Pakistani Army prisoners of war but we left them all though they didn’t release about 100 of our soldiers who they held as captive to be brutally tortured as even former Pakistan PM Zulfikar Ali Bhutto testified that he heard Indian soldiers being tortured throughout the night in adjoining jail rooms!
                                       Even now things don’t end! In 1999, our leaders led by then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee invited Pakistani invader Gen Pervez Musharraf just 2 to 3 months after Kargil war thus mocking at the more than 600 soldiers who were slaughtered at the order of Musharraf! Captain Saurav Kalia and 5 soldiers of 4 Jat Regiment were tortured for not 5 or 10 or 15 or 20 days but for nearly a month before blinding them with hot iron rods, maiming them by cutting their body parts including private parts and then finally shooting them at the head and handing over their mutilated body to India! Ramzan ceasefire was declared which only saw terrorists attacking J&K Assembly, Parliament of India, hijacking aeroplane and ensuring release of dreaded terrorists like Maulana Mehmood Azhar who founded Jaish-e-Mohammad which till now is ensuring killing of many soldiers and civilians, Omar and others and ultimately ceasefire had to be revoked!
                                        Learning nothing from history, our leaders repeatedly declared ceasefire and ensured that our soldiers were killed most unprepared and so were civilians living in border. Just recently we saw how more than lakh people living in border areas had to vacate their houses when Pakistan taking full advantage of Ramzan ceasefire killed many of them and shelled their homes and even police stations! Most recently we saw how one Assistant Commandant and 4 soldiers of BSF were slaughtered during “Ramzan ceasefire”!
                                        Just yesterday we heard and saw in news how terrorists brutally killed Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari and also Army soldier Aurangzeb of 44 RR who belonged to 4 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry at Shadimarg in Shopian after kidnapping him at gun point! But the worst came when we saw how PM Narendra Modi and Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore appeared in advertisements on “Physical Fitness” in different news channels! Our soldiers and journalists are being brutally killed in J&K but our leaders are busy with “physical fitness challenge shows” and “Yoga Day” on June 21 most shamelessly! This is just not done!
                                  Is Ramzan a licence to Pakistan and terrorists to kill our brave soldiers? Yes! This alone explains that why our leaders learn nothing from past experiences and give a “free license” to Pakistan and terrorists to kill our brave soldiers and journalists and other civilians including women and children! Which self-respecting and sovereign country will behave like this?
                                   Are we really a sovereign country? Is some foreign power giving political donations to our leaders and remote controlling them? Is this is why leaders learn nothing and laugh shamelessly indulging in “physical fitness shows” even as our brave soldiers and journalists are publicly massacred? Supreme Court must order an independent probe into this!
                                      Supreme Court cannot keep on seeing all this like a mute spectator! Why are leaders take such steps like ceasefire with terrorists and Pakistan in the name of Ramzan whose only objective is to kill all those who are loyal to India? Why leaders say they have given full and free hand to soldiers but ground reality is that pro-Pakistani people are given freedom to attack soldiers, stone their vehicles, beat them and yet FIR registered against our soldiers! If this trend continues then we are certainly allowing UN to pass “adverse remarks” against India as we just saw and India will be mocked as the “weakest country in the world who is like a tiger without teeth” as is happening also and happened during Kargil war also when we shamelessly invited Paksiatni invader Gen Musharraf to India even though he and his soldiers could not win in Kargil and take away any territory from us!
                                      It is in “Modi Raj” that we are seeing pro-Pakistani elements being given a free hand and yet criminal cases against more than 10,000 of them are withdrawn who indulged in stone pelting at our brave soldiers without any provocation! What message is being sent? Which foreign power is being favoured by all this? At whose instance? This needs an independent and fair investigation by a Special Investigation Team constituted by Supreme Court itself!     
                                       Centre is responsible for killing of our brave soldiers like Aurangzeb and others and our brave journalists like Shujaat Bukhari! Why Centre repeatedly trusts Pakistan? Why Centre refuses to learn from repeated betrayals and backstabbing by Pakistan and terrorists sponsored and trained directly by Pakistani Army? Why our leaders are behaving like “agents of Pakistan and terrorists”?
                                       No law, no Constitution and no party can be above India! The interest of our nation and its forces and people are supreme which cannot be substituted by anyone else! But leaders just don’t seem to get this in their head!
                                      How can Indian flags be burnt in Kashmir and flags of terror groups like ISIS be allowed to be waved openly in Kashmir? How can separatists group like Hurriyat keep getting every year more than Rs 500 crore from Centre for spending it on security, travelling, staying in hotels and other expenses at our taxpayers cost? How can Pakistan keep butchering our brave soldiers and journalists and yet Centre unilaterally keep extending Most Favoured Nation status granted to Pakistan since 1996?
                                    How long will we allow Pakistan to benefit from Indus water which belongs to India even as they kill our soldiers and wage proxy war against India by which terrorists repeatedly attack big cities like Mumbai and others and massacre our people and brave soldiers every now and then? How can Supreme Court keep seeing all this like a “mute spectator”? How can our soldiers security and security of journalists and other people be compromised in the name of “Ramzan ceasefire”?
                                 Subramanium Swamy rightly slammed it as “Political impotency”! Many retired generals have slammed this “ceasefire sham” which only serves terrorists to “re-group, re-arm and re-strike” for which no one but Centre itself is responsible! Ceasefire with Pakistan and terrorists is India’s betrayal which under no circumstances can ever be “pardoned or justified or overlooked”!
                                    Why stop all operations in Ramzan against Pakistan and terrorists? What has Ramzan got to do with terrorists and Pakistan? Do Pakistan and terrorists respect Ramzan?
                                            We have seen them killing our brave soldiers and journalists among others every years since ages yet our leaders most shamelessly again resort to “Ramzan ceasefire” thus clubbing Islam and Muslims with terrorists! How else can this be justified? This is “worst appeasement not of Muslims but of terrorists and Pakistan” which every good Indian detests but our leaders care two hoots about it!
                                        Is some Islamic country behind all this “Ramzan ceasefire sham”? Islamic countries like Egypt themselves don’t care for Ramzan and attack other Islamic country as Egypt did when it attacked Syria and so has been the case many times with many other countries! It is only in India that we see “Terrorists and Pakistan” being given a free license to kill Indians in the name of “Ramzan ceasefire” with some leaders and journalists justifying it for their own vested interests which we shall never come to know!
                                          Retired Army soldiers and generals keep shouting at this “ceasefire sham” and mockery being made of our people and soldiers by leaders in different news channels but they don’t really bother about it and indulge in sabre rattling against Pakistan and terrorists only during election time! Right now they are busy in “fitness challenge” shows! Most disgraceful and shocking!
                                        Such leaders are more dangerous than Pakistan and terrorists which alone explains why even former Supreme Court Judge Markandey Katju slammed them as “rogues and scoundrels”! They are just not bothered about safety of brave soldiers like Aurangzeb and fearless journalists like Bukhari and want to just appease Pakistan and terrorists at all costs and under all circumstances as if they have  voted them to power or financed their election campaigns!
                                   It is high time and now this too must be investigated independently by SIT comprising of eminent former CJI, senior and independent journalists and former Judges of Supreme Court constituted by Supreme Court! The very survival of our nation is at stake! These shameless politicians have now  completely stopped caring at all for the repeated killings of our brave soldiers and journalists under the garb of “Ramzan ceasefire” and try to grab people’s attention in name of “fitness challenge”! Families of slain soldiers call for “revenge and lesson to be taught to Pakistan” but what they get to hear is licence given to terrorists and Pakistan to kill Indians in name of “Ramzan ceasefire”!
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh. 
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