Let me get moving the nib of my pen by first and foremost pointing out that a Special CBI court in Ranchi on January 24 awarded five years of rigorous imprisonment in jail and a fine of Rs 10 lakh to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav in a third fodder scam case RC 68(A)/96 for fake withdrawal of Rs 33.61 crore from Chaibasa treasury out of the five lodged against him 22 years ago. Earlier, a total of 50 accused persons including Prasad and former Bihar Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra were also convicted in the case while six others were acquitted. They were all convicted in the scam case related to the Chaibasa treasury from which Rs 33.13 crore were fraudulently withdrawn against the annual allotment of Rs 7.10 lakh for the year 1992-93.
                                          While craving for the exclusive indulgence of my esteemed readers, let me also inform them that the Special CBI Court of Judge SS Prasad convicted Lalu Prasad Yadav, Jagannath Mishra and 48 others in the RC 68 (A) / 96 fodder scam case which pertained to the fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 33.67 crore from Chaibasa (now in Jharkhand) district treasury during the period of 1992-93. Altogether 56 persons were facing trial in the case. The Rs 900 crore fodder scam probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), relates to fraudulent withdrawal of public funds from different government treasuries over fictitious expenditure on fodder and other expenses for cattle.
                                           For my esteemed readers exclusive indulgence, let me also inform them that the CBI counsel BMP Singh told journalists in Ranchi that, “Under different Sections of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act, Lalu Prasad has been sentenced.” Prasad who has been cooling his heels here at the Birsa Munda Central Jail since December 23, 2017, after his conviction in another fodder scam case, appeared in person to hear the verdict. He was given a seat in the courtroom’s front row where he waited for at least two-and-a-half hours until the punishment was pronounced at 2 pm.
                                     To be sure, while communicating the sentence, the Special Judge of CBI Court – SS Prasad announced that Lalu Prasad Yadav had to undergo rigorous imprisonment (RI) of five years for committing offences under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and another five years for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The Judge said that, “Both sentences shall run concurrently”.
                                         Of course, Lalu has the option now of appealing in the High Court and then in the Supreme Court. Let us wait and see whether there he gets convicted or acquitted! We cannot prejudge what will happen in Lalu Prasad’s case finally!
                                       Without getting personal, I very strongly feel that those who indulge in corruption and mint crores of rupees must be punished either with death sentence or at the least life imprisonment! Five years or three years or ten years makes a mockery of our legal system and those who are corrupt are easily able to waste many years fighting legal battles and then just come out of jail in few years time! This should never happen!
                                              To say the least, punishment must be either death or life! Nothing else! Also, the property and bank balance of the corrupt should also be seized completely!
                                      Needless to say, the sword of discretion with the Judges that arms them with the option to award minimum punishment which can be very light must be taken away! Corruption cannot be justified under any circumstances! They must be face to face either life or death!
                                         Only and only then will the corrupt fear indulging in corruption! But we don’t see this happening as there have been no changes made in the Prevention of Corruption Act enacted way back in 1988, 30 years ago! Now we see how they come out within few years with a big smile on their face and no sign of remorse!   
                                 To put things in perspective, out of the total 76 accused in this third case of fodder scam, 14 had died during the trial, three became approvers, two pleaded guilty while one has been absconding. Of the remaining 56 facing trial, 50, including Lalu Prasad yadav and Jagannath Mishra were convicted and sentenced to jail terms and fines. Six of them were politicians, three former IAS officers, six Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) officials, one a treasury official and 40 were suppliers to the AHD.
                                       As it turned out, earlier Lalu Prasad Yadav’s lawyer Chitranjan Sinha passionately pleaded for a lighter punishment citing his client’s multiple health issues as the main reason for it. But the CBI, on the contrary, demanded maximum punishment arguing that the accused deserved no leniency as the offences were grave. The CBI’s argument found favour with the court!
                                        Be it noted, Lalu Prasad is currently lodged in the Birsa Munda Central Jail of Ranchi after being convicted for 3.5 years in the RC 64(A)/96 fodder scam case on December 23, 2017. The case pertained to the Deoghar treasury withdrawal in which the quantum of sentence was pronounced on January 6, 2018 by the CBI Special Judge Shiv Pal Singh. Lalu has appealed in the Ranchi High Court against his conviction in the case. He was first convicted in a fodder scam case, RC 20(A)/96 for fake withdrawal of Rs 37 crore from Chaibasa treasury on September 30, 2013 for five years and was barred from contesting elections for a period of six years. Later, he had got bail in the case. In two other fodder scam cases related to illegal withdrawal of money from Dumka and Doronda district (both in Jharkhand) treasuries, verdicts are likely to be pronounced in the coming months! The pending cases are RC 38(A)/96 for fake withdrawal of Rs 3.31 crore from Dumka treasury and verdict expected in February or March and the other is RC 47(A)/96 for fake withdrawal of Rs 139.39 crore from Doronda treasury in Ranchi. The verdict is expected by end of 2018.
                                     Truth be told, Prasad as told earlier has already been convicted in two fodder scam cases in 2013 and 2017 and got five and 3.5 years of imprisonment respectively. His first conviction, on September 30, 2013, was a major blow to the veteran politician who faced disqualification from Lok Sabha and a ban on contesting elections. Lalu has spent about 398 total days in jail till now!
                                       At the risk of repetition, I would say again that corruption must invite the strictest of punishment which should be either death or life along with attachment of all bank accounts and property! There has to be zero tolerance for corruption. Corruption cases must be decided within two years right from the lower to the highest court! If this is implemented earnestly, I challenge that no one will dare indulge in corruption! Those who still dare will meet their just desserts soon! How many will dare then?
                                         But Centre I have to say with regret is just not prepared to change the law of corruption enacted when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister way back in 1988 and 30 years later we still see no changes being inserted! This alone explains that why now in every state and every big deal we keep hearing of scams involving crores of rupees and still we hardly see quick punishment coming soon! The firm determination to fight corruption will only be displayed when laws on corruption are amended and those indulging in it are punished most strictly as enunciated above! Will it ever be done? It is Centre which holds all the cards!
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 start shaking my pen by first and foremost pointing out that the Supreme Court on January 22 said that the court “can’t rest” its “hands” on the death of CBI Special Judge BH Loya in 2014 in view of the controversy swirling around it since a long time ever since it was first reported in the Caravan magazine. The death of Loya came under the spotlight in November 2017 following a report in Caravan magazine in which Loya’s sister and other close relatives raised questions over the circumstances surrounding the death. The Supreme Court demanded the original records on his death to have a look at the circumstances which led to his death. This it felt imperative to understand the exact reasons which led to his untimely death.
                                        According to official records, Judge Loya, 48, died of a massive heart attack in Nagpur on December 1, 2014 that is a day after he attended the wedding and reception of the daughter of fellow Judge Swapna Joshi who is now a Judge in the Bombay High Court. But there have been media reports pointing at several inconsistencies in the factual scenario surrounding his sudden and untimely demise! This is what many feel need to be probed.
                                        At the time of his death, Loya was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case in which BJP President Amit Shah was one of the accused. Shah was later discharged from the case within a month after Loya died on December 30, 2014. and the trial in the case is expected to begin next week. The CBI is yet to appeal against Shah’s discharge.
                                             Needless to say, the petitioners who are demanding an independent probe into the death of CBI Special Judge BH Loya claimed in the Supreme Court that there were contradictions in the statements of four Judges recorded by Maharashtra police in the matter. A three-Judge Bench led by CJI Dipak Misra on 22 January dubbed the case “serious”. It also said that it would look at all the records.
                                       Truth be told, Justice DY Chandrachud minced no words in making it clear that, “Let it never be on our conscience that we didn’t look at what we should have. We must look at facts. We would like to see everything.” He also said that, “This case involves serious issues. We have to deal with it with a certain degree of objectivity.” Rightly said!
                                      As it turned out, the Bench on 22 January withdrew all the cases pertaining to Judge Loya’s death to itself. The Supreme Court restrained all other courts from dealing with the issue. CJI Dipak Misra waived all procedural technicalities to refuse to issue notice to any party. He said that, “Notice? Why? Who to? The state is here.”
                                    Going forward, the CJI also rejected a plea by Maharashtra to restrain lawyers from sharing any material with the press. He said that, “We will not pass any gag orders. These are now records of the court.” Opening the arguments, Maharashtra counsel and former Solicitor General of India – Harish Salve claimed that after the recent media reports suggesting that it was not a natural death a second discreet inquiry was done with the Bombay High Court Chief Justice’s consent and that inquiry had not thrown up anything. This is a very significant event and cannot be brushed aside lightly!     
                                        Not stopping here, Salve also urged the court to tread cautiously reminding the Bench that the case involved many serving judicial officers, including some elevated to the High Court. Former Supreme Court Bar Association President Dushyant Dave while appearing for the Bombay Lawyers Association which had gone to the Bombay High Court seeking a probe into the death, immediately contested the report. He claimed that “there are very serious contradictions on the face of the record”.
                                              To be sure, Dave alleged that none of the four Judges had accompanied Loya to the hospital the night he died. Dave was baffled to see that not a single Judge accompanied Loya to the hospital inspite of seeing him suffering such a massive heart attack! He also demanded to know why the Judge’s security had been withdrawn in the days preceding his death and contested the entry register of the place he had allegedly last stayed citing RTI replies.
                                            Simply put, Dave said police records show that Dr Prashant Rathi, who claimed to be a relative of Loya, had informed police about the death of the Judge. He asked that, “Why should he have been the informer and why didn’t one of the Judges do this?” There is some merit in what Dave has said!
                                         As if this was not enough, Dave said the Loya matter was initially dealt with by the Sitamarhi police station but subsequent records show the name of Sadar police station. He also questioned why Loya was not taken to reputed hospitals like the Lata Mangeshkar hospital and sought to question the bills raised at Meditrina hospital where Loya was declared “brought dead”. He said that, “The bills were raised under the head of non-invasive lab, neurosurgery, etc., while the police case was that Loya was brought dead to Meditrina.”
                                Truly speaking, Dave said that, “There is sufficient evidence to show Loya never stayed at the guest house. On November 24, 2014, Loya’s security was withdrawn in Mumbai. Why were Loya’s family members not called to the hospital? There are serious contradictions which require a deeper, independent probe. No one has a personal interest in this case.” He also said that, “It is sad that Justice Mohit Shah transferred the first judge in the Sohrabuddin trial. The second judge (Loya) died. The third judge acquitted Amit Shah and others within a month of Loya’s death.” Senior advocates Indira Jaising and Rakesh Khanna too supported the stand taken by Dave.
                                             Elaborating further, Dave asked: “The Sohrabuddin Sheikh case trial is being held in camera. Why?” He demanded to know why there was secrecy over the documents relating to Judge Loya’s death when two High Court Judges had already addressed a press conference claiming it was a natural death. He repeated Amit Shah’s name several times, prompting Harish Salve to protest.
                                                To put things in perspective, Harish Salve said that, “The case is unnecessarily being politicized.” Salve urged the court not to allow any references to Shah. But Dave persisted saying that, “Why should a case not be discussed because it involved someone high?”
                                       Bluntly put, Salve said categorically that, “Let’s not cast aspersions by saying things against a person who holds public office.” Dave retaliated by saying that if cases on Shashi Tharoor and P Chidambaram could be discussed publicly, why not that of Shah? Salve said two district judges had accompanied Loya for the marriage reception in Nagpur and they stayed together in a guest house where in the wee hours of December 1, 2014, Loya suffered a massive heart attack.
                                       Salve also said that, “Loya was taken by the two district judges in a car to a hospital and then to another hospital and then to another. These two judges were later joined by another two district judges. All of them have given statements during the discreet inquiry that they had been with Loya all along during his last hours and that there was no foul play or suspicion about the nature of his death.” “The claim in the media report that Loya was taken to hospital in a three-wheeler was completely baseless as the judges have stated in their statements that Loya was taken in a car to the hospital,” Salve said, adding that the then Bombay High Court Chief Justice Mohit Shah was informed about the developments on a real time basis and the Chief Justice had taken steps for adequate medical help to Loya, who could not be revived. Eventually, the Supreme Court asked the Maharashtra state to produce the complete, original records on Judge Loya’s death.           
                                          It cannot be lightly dismissed that senior advocate Indira Sawhney who has intervened in the case contended that there were several “overwritings” on the records. She said that the court must summon the original documents, including the register of Ravi Bhavan where the Judges stayed the night of his death, to ascertain their veracity.
                                         It is most shocking to learn that Dave even alleged conflict of interest against Salve for having appeared for BJP President Amit Shah who is an accused in the Sohrabuddin case and now representing the BJP-ruled Maharashtra. The CJI-led Bench said that, “We are looking at the circumstances in which Loya died. Let it not be deflected by personal allegations.” Rightly said!
                                     Alleging that the entire “institution” was out to protect Shah, Dave pointed out serious inconsistencies in the records presented by the State and hinted at a larger conspiracy that could possibly be at work to save Shah. The Supreme Court, however, asked Dave not to cast aspersions as on date records suggested that Loya had died a natural death. Unless and until there is substantial evidence against anyone, the lawyers must desist from making sweeping allegations against anyone!  
                                           Of course, hurt by Dave’s diatribe alleging conflict of interest, Harish Salve hit back at the former saying that, “Only some people are concerned about the death while there are some who are using the death of a Judge for other reasons.” As allegations flew thick and fast, the Bench also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud intervened and asked Dave to lower his voice. Dave had heated arguments with Salve.
                                              Let me hasten to add here that Justice Chandrachud assured both sides of a fair hearing. Speaking for the Supreme Court Bench, he said that, “We are looking into the circumstances that led to a district judge’s death which is a serious issue. Let us look at the matter with a sense of objectivity and not allow the real issue to be deflected by arguments of conflict of interest. Each of you is the judge of his own conscience. We like to see every record and won’t restrict our attention to only those records produced by state.” The court asked both the parties to file documents in a sealed cover. The Apex Court rightly said that, “The issue raised is serious. We must look into the documents with some seriousness. We need objective assistance from counsel, including from Dave.”
                                            All said and done, unless the Supreme Court indicts anyone in this case while delivering its judgment, it shall not be fair on our part to pronounce judgment against anyone because we are not the right person to pronounce verdict against or in favour of anyone. Amit Shah is the BJP President and he too has the right to reputation and the right not to be defamed by anyone. We all must keep our fingers crossed until and unless Supreme Court finally pronounces its verdict on this high profile case! I am sure that truth shall ultimately prevail here also!
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 at the very beginning by pointing out that after an unprecedented press conference by four senior-most Supreme Court Judges on January 12 over “selective” allocation of cases and amid subsequent parleys to resolve the huge rift, the frozen ice and the huge deadlock has now finally been broken. The Chief Justice of India – Dipak Misra on February 1 published a subjectwise roster for allocation of cases to various Benches. These would be implemented from February 5.
                                                In fact, it would not be an exaggeration if it is concluded that this should have been the norm right from the beginning but it is better to be late than never! The publication of such a roster is a first in the history of the Supreme Court. All credit for it must go to those four Judges who took the great risk risking their own career in the process especially Justice Ranjan Gogoi who is due to take over after the present CJI Dipak Misra retires later this year in November. Justice Gogoi has taken the biggest risk of his life and he has an impeccable record throughout his life and one cannot but appreciate his forthright nature in coming out totally in the open without bothering about antagonizing the present CJI as well as the Centre!
                                                To put things in perspective, the move follows a decision of a Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra declaring the Chief Justice of India’s dominance as the master of the roster in order to protect the Supreme Court from “anarchy”. The five-Judge Bench, onNovember 10 in 2017, had proclaimed that it was the Chief Justice’s sole prerogative to decide what case has to be heard by which Judge. There can be no denying or disputing this!
                                            To be sure, it had effectively nullified a judicial order passed by the Apex Court’s number two Judge, Justice Jasti Chelameswar to constitute a Bench of the five seniormost Supreme Court Judges to hear a PIL petition for an SIT probe into the Lucknow medical college scam involving an alleged conspiracy to bribe Supreme Court Judges for a favourable order. A Bench led by CJI Dipak Misra had heard the medical college case. A huge controversy had erupted over the composition of the Judges in the roster.
                                                As it turned out, in a sharp departure from past practice where any matter could be allocated to any Bench, Chief Justice of India – Dipak Misra on February 1 had issued a new roster indicating the nature of cases that would be listed before 12 Benches. This latest move is being seen as addressing the grievance of the four seniormost Judges who were not happy with the CJI allotting important cases to any Judge of his own choice even though he/she was much junior as compared to the senior Judges!
                                            Simply put, the new roster shows that the CJI has kept the PIL jurisdiction entirely to the Bench he is presiding over. None of the four seniormost and Collegium Judges – Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph have PILs assigned to their rosters. This again is not correct. Why should four seniormost Judges not hear PILs? But some other positive changes have certainly been made in this roster system!
                                      Truth be told, the Chief Justice’s Bench roster includes PILs, letter petitions, social justice cases, election matters, habeas corpus cases, contempt of court, criminal and all ordinary civil matters, appointments of constitutional functionaries, matters regarding Commissions of Enquiry, disputes on statutory appointments and law officers along with criminal cases. While PILs would be listed only before the Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, there is an overlapping of work assigned to different benches as social justice matters would be listed both before the Bench of CJI and that headed by Justice Madan B Lokur. Besides matters pertaining to social justice, Justice Lokur’s Bench will hear matters involving environment protection and conservation, mines, minerals and mining leases.
                                        It is noteworthy that similarly, matters pertaining to religious and charitable endowments will be listed before six different benches. If Bench headed by Justice Lokur is essentially seen as social justice bench, the Bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman is being viewed as one largely dealing with corporate matters rooted in company law, mercantile law and commercial transactions. Similarly, Justice J Chelameswar who is the second senior most Judge after the CJI will hear petitions relating to 14 category of cases.
                                      It must be recalled here that on January 12, the four seniormost Judges – Justice Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph had in an unprecedented press conference alleged arbitrary conference alleged arbitrary allocation of work by the CJI and demanded transparency. It is purely because of their outspokenness that we see finally the CJI Dipak Misra relenting and agreeing to bring out roster to allot cases. Had they not spoken out in the media, things would have continued to simmer but nothing would have changed on the ground!
                                             It must also be recalled here that after the press conference, there were hectic parleys that involved the Judges of the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Bar Council of India to defuse the crisis. The role played by each of them in defusing the unprecedented supreme crisis in the Supreme Court must be lauded. The SCBA headed by its President – Vikas Singh had come out with a resolution that the Apex Court should follow a roster system for the allocation of matters to the Judges as was prevalent in the Delhi High Court. According to sources, some of the Judges had also suggested to the CJI to examine the roster system prevalent in the Bombay High Court. In fact, this roster system must be implemented not just in Supreme Court alone but also in all the High Courts and not just few as we see right now!   
                                                  It cannot be lost on us that there are at present 12 Benches headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and also comprising Justices Chelameswar, Gogoi, Lokur, Joseph, AK Sikri, SA Bobde, RK Agrawal, NV Ramana, Arun Mishra, AK Goel and Nariman. The Bench headed by Justice AK Sikri will exclusively hear appeals against the orders of statutory bodies. It also must be mentioned here that the matters pertaining to employees in top court, High Courts and the subordinate courts, armed forces and paramilitary forces, personnel law, civil and criminal matters, land acquisition and requisition matters, land laws and agricultural tenancies and matter pertaining to educational institutions have been entrusted to various benches.    
                                            As per the roster, the Bench headed by Justice Chelameswar who is the senior-most Judge after the CJI even though he is due to retire soon would deal with matters related to judicial officers, employees of the Supreme Court, High Courts, District Courts and Tribunals for hearings. The Bench will also deal with matters like labour, indirect tax, land acquisition and requisition, compensation, criminal matters, etc.
                                 Going forward, Justice Ranjan Gogoi who is tipped to be the next CJI and who during the press conference had answered in affirmative the concern over the allocation of the PILs pertaining to the late special CBI Judge BH Loya to a Bench headed by a particular Judge has been allocated matters pertaining to labour, indirect tax, company law, MRTP, TRAI, SEBI, RBI, criminal matters, contempt of court, personal law, religious and charitable endowments, mercantile laws, commercial transactions including banking etc. He will also hear matters related to judicial officers, state excise-trading in liquor-privileges, licences and distilleries and breweries.
                              Now coming to Justice Madan B Lokur. He has been allocated matters including service, social justice, personal laws, land acquisition, mines and minerals and consumer protection. He will also hear matters related to ecological imbalance, protection and conservation of forests throughout the country, protection of wild life, ban on felling trees and falling of underground water level. Justice Kurian Joseph’s Bench has been assigned to deal with matters including labour, rent act, family law, contempt of court, personal law etc. He will also hear matters related to religious and charitable endowments and all land laws and agriculture tenancies.
                                 Now coming to Justice Arun Mishra who became the root cause of the controversy as he was given important cases by CJI even though he figured low in the seniority list. The roster has assigned to him matters related to admission and transfer of candidates in engineering and medical colleges which recently saw a sitting High Court Judge – SN Shukla and a retired High Court Judge of Odisha – IM Quddusi caught on the wrong foot. Quddusi was even arrested as part of the probe. Justice Mishra will hear matters related to all admissions/transfers to engineerings and medical colleges, allocation of 15 percent all-India quota in admissions/transfers to medical colleges and establishment and recognition of educational institutions. He will also hear labour, land acquisition, service, criminal, family law and ordinary civil cases. But he has been divested of the PIL matters. He had also recently recused himself from hearing the PILs related to the death of Special CBI Judge BH Loya who was dealing with the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case in which the name of BJP President Amit Shah had cropped up!
                                  Be it noted, the rosters of the four seniormost Judges who had called the joint press conference have been changed to some extent. Now the distribution of matters to different Benches have been made absolutely clear. This is certainly a good thing and a good beginning has been made. This is also clearly an acknowledgement that “something was amiss” in the earlier system and this was certainly a “moral victory” for the stand taken by the four seniormost Judges! Now let us see how this gets implemented in the days ahead!
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.
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 It is most hurting to see that Pakistani Army is killing our soldiers and those living in border areas which includes children, women old people etc most mercilessly yet our politicians are fully determined that Most Favoured Nation Status (MFN) to Pakistan cannot be revoked under any circumstances which India unilaterally granted in 1996! They say that how can we disregard Farooq Abdullah who is the former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir or how can we disregard Mehbooba who is now the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir! It is their firm demand that even if lakhs and lakhs of soldiers are killed still Most Favoured Nation status for Pakistan must continue and talks with them must continue endlessly!
                                       Just now we saw how Captain Kapil Kundu 22 years old was due to turn 23 on April 10, Rifleman Ramavatar 28, Rifleman Subham Singh 22 and Havilder Roshan Lal, 42, were mercilessly killed after five or six anti-tank guided missiles were fired upon them! Captain Kapil was only son of his mother who just one year back lost her husband but our politicians are firm that they will not go beyond just registering a strong protest with Pakistani High Commission and rendering lip service by saying “Aab bardasht nahin, bharat maange baaadla, ek ke badle daas, daas ke beadle tees etc, Muh tod jaawab denge, surgical strike kaarenge etc”. It is time we move beyond rhetoric and inflict such deep wound on Pakistan that they never again are to attack our soil. But politicians are just not prepared for it under any circumstances for reasons known best to them!
                                     Why can’t India revoke the Indus Water Treay and stop giving all water to Pakistan? Why can’t MFN status to Pakistan be revoked? Why can’t we send suicide squads to Pakistan and blow off their terror training camps as former Army Chief of India – Gen Shankar Roy Choudhary very rightly advocated in a news channel in 2017! Why can’t our politicians expel all the Pakistani diplomats who are indulging in anti India activities and financing terror attacks on India?
                                          How much more shamelessly our politicians will act? How long will our soldiers and people living in border areas along the long border with Pakistan keep getting killed, their houses get destroyed, their schools get burnt, their hospitals also bombed and worst of all even their religious places not spared and still this Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status for Pakistan keep continuing relentlessly which was unilaterally and shamelessly granted to them way back in 1996? How long will politicians ignore everything and keep ranting against Pakistan from every public platform but doing nothing on the ground to substantiate it except returning the cross fire?
                                                    How long will politicians keep insisting that you can change your friends but not your neighbours? How long will soldiers of Indian Army, BSF and other forces keep getting killed on the border regularly after being targeted by Pakistani soldiers, terrorists fully trained and armed to the teeth by Pakistani Army and yet our politicians will continue maintaining cordial relations with Pakistan? How long will our politicians keep going to Pakistan shamelessly without being even invited and keep kowtowing before them like a pet dog?
                                     How long will our Ministers keep threatening of more surgical strikes knowing it fully well that Pakistan cares a damn and keep firing at our soldiers daily on border areas and keep killing them as also the civilians staying near border continuously? How long will politicians shamelessly ignore the repeated demands by leaders cutting across party lines like Shashi Tharoor of Congress, Subramanium Swamy of BJP, Udhav Thackeray of Shiv Sena, Rajeev Chandrashekhar who is independent MP etc of declaring Pakistan a “terror state” and still do nothing on this score? How long will politicians shamelessly call Pakistan as “Aatankistaan” in UN but do nothing to translate it into reality by declaring Pakistan as “Aatankistaan” as Maulana Mehmood Madani who heads Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind very rightly demanded and stop giving it all concessions and nuking all relations with Pakistan?
                                        Why the hell is MFN status for a rogue country like Pakistan who has been waging relentlessly a proxy war against India still continuing till 2018? Should we all Indians be proud of it? Whom are our politicians fooling by openly attacking Pakistan by lip but doing nothing on ground to totally boycott Pakistan?
                                                  Why attack on our temples like Akshardham, Raghunath, etc fail to shake our politicians who still strongly favour MFN status for Pakistan and feel it must continue at any cost come what may? Are we slaves of Pakistan? Then why inspite of facing so many casualties by proxy war sponsored directly by Pakistan are our politicians determined that lives of soldiers and people cannot be above Pakistan and so MFN status for Pakistan must continue unrelenting and unabated?
                                   Why even our national media is so conspicuously silent on it and hardly raises it forcefully? Is there some external power who is behind all this? How can we be so insensitive and nonchalant towards the suffering and brutal killings of people living close to border areas and soldiers?             
                                    Why is India keeping an army of Pakistani diplomats and not sending them off to Pakistan until and unless cross border terrorism stops completely? Why can’t all Pakistanis be expelled from India just like Kuwait expelled all Pakistanis from Kuwait as they are a threat to their national security? Why inspite of NIA disclosing that Pakistani diplomats were funding separatists and terrorists to carry out more terror attacks in India still no strict action is being taken on the ground by expelling them all from India? Why are Pakistani diplomats and ex-diplomats allowed to fish in troubled waters by allowing them access to politicians of India, former Army Chiefs of India etc as we witnessed during the recent Gujarat Assembly polls?      
                                       Why inspite of attack on our Parliament, Red Fort and other places of national importance by terrorists trained and sponsored directly by Pakistan are our politicians very firm that MFN status for Pakistan must continue uninterrupted which cannot be disturbed under any circumstances? Is there some grain of truth in what Vineet Narain alleged way back in 1995-1996 that politicians of India receive unaccounted money from foreign countries by Hawala route as was testified even in Jain diaries but  which was not pursued to the end? Is this is what compels our politicians to look the other way and still keep ensuring that MFN status for Pakistan continues uninterrupted and unabated?   
                                          Why even repeated terror attacks sponsored directly by Pakistan and executed by terrorists trained and armed and paid by Pakistan on our financial capital Mumbai as well as administrative capital Delhi and many other cities all across India are our politicians very firm that MFN status for Pakistan must continue and it cannot be withdrawn under any circumstances? Why politicians are not ready to declare Pakistan a “rogue and a terror sponsor country” even though it keeps pleading in UN and also in talks with other countries to do the same? Is it just because of the old adage that, “When money speaks truth is silent?”
                                            What else is the reason behind politicians not withdrawing MFN status from Pakistan and instead placing it in “rogue country status”? Why can’t politicians really speak out on this? Why don’t they speak out when they have nothing to hide from the people as they time and again make tall claims? Can any politician come out in the open and explain on this?
                                         Why inspite of losing lakhs of soldiers and millions of people to proxy war directly sponsored by Pakistan are we not behaving like a tiny country called Kuwait who has not lost so many lives but still has decided to expel all Pakistanis from Kuwait as there are a direct threat according to them on their security and for them national interests are paramount and has severed all relations with Pakistan? Can anyone again explain this to me? Can any politician explain that why just 2 to 3 months of Kargil war in which we officially lost more than 600 soldiers did our politicians decide to invite Gen Pervez Musharraf who was the then Pakistani Army Chief and who masterminded Kargil war like a royal emperor to India?
                                          What did we get in return? Our plane hijacked and dreaded Pakistani terror leaders like Maulana Masood Azhar, Omar Sheikh and others were released  and they later plotted terror attack on Parliament and have till now killed thousands of people and soldiers and are still at large! Gen Musharraf mocked at India and hailed terror leaders as “heroes” and terrorism as “freedom struggle” still why our politician left no stone unturned to woo him disregarding completely the supreme sacrifices made by our Kargil war heroes like Captain Saurav Kalia who along with 5 soldiers of 4 Jat Regiment were tortured mercilessly for 22 days, eyes, ears and nose pierced with hot iron rods, whole body burnt with cigarette and even their private parts were not spared before finally shooting them on the head and then handing their dead body badly mutilated back to India, Captain Vikram Batra who sacrificed his life fighting enemies to win back Tiger Hills etc ?
                                                As if this was not enough, Gen Musharraf even paid Rs 1 lakh cash prize to dreaded Al Qaeda leader Iliyas Kashmiri for presenting him a severed head of an Indian soldier Bhausaheb Maruti Talekar and vowed to keep it with him as trophy! But how are our politicians concerned for whom inviting Gen Musharraf like an emperor and having lunch and breakfast and dinner were more important than anything else within few months of Kargil war? Is this the real reason why Justice Markandey Katju calls our politicians as “rogue and scoundrels”?
                                                Why can’t all Pakistanis be expelled from India? Why can’t our Ministers stop this stupidity of allowing Pakistanis medical help by citing humanity even as our people living close to border areas are regularly on daily basis facing bullets and becoming blind or suffering other physical disabilities yet we see this not affecting our politicians in any manner who are surrounded by many black cat commandoes and who are totally safe and stay in big houses peacefully? Why can’t they go close to border areas and stay there the ground reality for themselves?
                                             Why MFN status was given to Pakistan at the first instance in 1996 when they had engineered the killings of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits and even those Muslims who had supported them in any manner? Why is it still continuing even 22 years later in 2018? Why is J&K not being fully and finally merged with India even after more than 70 years of independence?
                                             What message are politicians sending by lashing out with their lips in public rallies but doing nothing concrete on ground to substantiate that they mean seriously what they say and that it is not said just for public consumption? MFN status for Pakistan! Most disgraceful and most hurting!
                                              Why can’t politicians nuke all relations with Pakistan? Why can’t Pakistan be boycotted completely until and unless they mend their ways? Are we not encouraging them by maintaining still cordial relations with them as if nothing has happened and even inviting and honouring Pakistani invaders like Gen Musharraf? This alone explains why India has always been taken for granted in the international forum!
                                                It will not be an exaggeration if I conclude my write-up by saying, “Politicians are far, far, far more dangerous than Pakistan and Justice Markandey Katju is right when he calls them as ‘rogues’ and ‘scoundrels’ for whom MFN status to Pakistan is more important and not our people and brave soldiers who are being killed mercilessly by proxy war sponsored directly by Pakistan since last many decades yet our politicians are just not affected at all which alone explains why MFN status for Pakistan is still continuing till now without being revoked even once since last more than two decades”! Can on earth there be anything more shameful than this? Which self-respecting nation will behave like this? Why politicians like Digvijay Singh who is former CM of Madhya Pradesh and not just him but even those who have served as senior diplomats like former Foreign Secretary – Mani Shankar Aiyyar address Hafiz Saeed who masterminded Mumbai terror attack in which about 200 people were killed and many other such terror attacks and who vows to liberate J&K from India in 2018 as “Hafiz Sahab” just like a courtier addresses his king! What message are such leaders sending to people? That they favour global dreaded terror leaders like Hafiz Saeed and care a damn for the feelings of millions of Indians who since independence are facing the wrath of terrorists sponsored directly by Pakistan! How long will politicians fool people and keep mocking at our soldiers by constantly going to Pakistan, not resorting to a massive retaliatory action against Pakistan, not scrapping the Indus water Treaty with Pakistan, not expelling all Pakistanis from India, not increasing the budget of defence which is now lowest since 1962 and not expelling all Pakistani diplomats from India and keep tolerating the waving of Pakistani flags and chanting of anti-India slogans in India under any circumstances? Why should citizenship of those who indulge in anti-India acts not be revoked? Why is Centre just taking no concrete action on this even after completing 4 years in power?  
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 beginning itself by pointing out that I fully endorse and support the Government’s stand that India can’t be the refugee capital of the world. Centre rightly told the Supreme Court on January 30 that, “We do not want India to become the refugee capital of the world.” What wrong has Centre said?
                                            To put things in perspective, the government was responding to a submission made by Rohingya refugees that the Border Security Force (BSF) at the borders was “pushing back” their compatriots fleeing persecution in Myanmar with chilli spray and stun grenades. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta while appearing for the government orally submitted before a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra orally submitted very rightly that, “People from every other country will flood our country.” Very rightly said!
                                             To be sure, Tushar rightly submitted that, “India will be flooded with refugees. We don’t want India to become the refugee capital of the world. Anybody can enter the country and we can’t do anything? These things are better left to the executive.” What wrong has Tushar said? Judiciary must leave this delicate issue which falls within the government’s purview and which has tremendous security implications to decide for itself!
                                   With due respect to judiciary, I very strongly feel that it should instead first set its own house in order. The 230th report of Law Commission strongly recommended the setting up of more high court benches in different states. But see the unbeatable irony that only one state that is Karnataka has alone gained from it. Karnataka already had a bench at Hubli but 2 more benches still were created at Dharwad and Gulbarga for just 4 and 8 districts by the previous UPA government in 2012! UP has more than 10 lakh cases pending and Karnataka has just less than 2 lakh cases pending still Karnataka has 3 benches and UP just one! Worst of all, West UP which alone accounts for more than half of the pending cases and which alone has 26 districts and whose population alone is 9 crore which is 3 crore more than that of Karnataka has not even a bench leave alone high court and 3 benches! Why judiciary has never stepped in to correct this?
                                      Why Justice Jaswant Singh Commission appointed by former PM late Mrs Indira Gandhi to recommend where all benches were needed in late 1970s had recommended that UP must have 3 benches at Agra, Dehradun and Nainital but not one bench was set up even though on its recommendations benches were set up at Aurangabad in Maharashtra which already had 2 benches, Madurai in Tamil Nadu and Jalpaiguri in West Bengal? Why judiciary never probed this baffling and blatant disregard of the landmark recommendations of the Justice Jaswant Singh Commission report? Why people of West UP and people of Uttarakhand who till 2000 formed part of UP were compelled to travel thousands of kilometers all the way to Allahabad to get justice and not a single bench was given to them despite the landmark recommendation to create 3 benches here by Justice Jaswant Commission and yet judiciary never investigated into the same?
                                             Why judiciary has never ensured that the vacancies in subordinate judiciary the filling of which is in its hands are filled completely and still more than 6000 posts are lying vacant? Why UP has maximum pending cases, maximum population, maximum districts, maximum MPs, maximum MLAs, maximum Judges but has least benches only one at Lucknow which is so close to Allahabad and no bench at West UP which witnesses maximum crime, maximum riots, maximum killings etc and yet judiciary has never taken any action on this? It is high time and judiciary must act on this as soon as possible so that people of West UP especially litigants are not compelled to travel whole night to Allahabad which is more than 700 km away and the high court and benches of 8 states and even Lahore High Court in Pakistan is nearer to West UP as compared to Allahabad and this was raised by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Parliament as Leader of Opposition in 1986 when he demanded bench of high court for West UP but 32 years later still there is no bench!
                                          Anyway coming back to the main topic: How can this be ignored that India is already an overpopulated country? How can this be ignored that India already has its own refugee problem and lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits have been displaced from their own house in Kashmir? How can this be ignored that Rohingyas are being planted in Kashmir and Jammu which will only serve to further fuel the growing imbalance and fuel further militancy in the area?
                                      Why do Muslim countries especially Pakistan which always champions the cause of Muslims not take Rohingyas in their own land? Why do European countries which lecture India on human rights not either grant them refuge in their own country? Why is America which again believes in lecturing us on human rights not forthcoming in giving refuge to them in their own country?
                                              Why only India is expected to give refuge to Rohingyas? Why no other country comes forward to welcome them in their own country? Why even Bangladesh which has given refuge to Rohingyas seeks all sorts of help for Rohingyas from India and not Pakistan? India has generously helped Rohingyas in Bangladesh by providing them all humanitarian help but how can it disregard its own national and security interests and give refuge to all Rohingyas who have been displaced from Myanmar?
                                          What is the guarantee that terrorists will not infiltrate along with Rohingyas to India? What is the guarantee that those Rohingya terrorists who killed about 100 Hindus after brutally maiming them and torturing them and then killing them will not enter India along with Rohingya refugees? What is the guarantee that those who come to India will not be brainwashed and after getting paid by ISI will not work to destabilise India?     
                                        Who can deny that Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army is a Rohingya insurgent group active in northern Rakhine State of Myanmar? Who can deny that Hafiz Saeed who is chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba has close links with these terror groups? Who can deny that Hafiz can easily use Rohingyas in India as mere pawns to destabilize India and carry out terror attacks to kill innocent Indians in large numbers? Who can deny that India will become a refugee capital if such people are not stopped promptly from entering India?
                                        Who can deny that Rohingyas already in large numbers have been staying illegally in India since many years? Who can deny that they must be sent back to their original country from where they came? Who can deny that some parties don’t want them to go back as they are playing voter bank politics and by illegal means have got them Indian citizenship?
                                                I have absolutely no hesitation in concluding that Supreme Court must stay away from ruling in such cases which involves policy making decisions and especially which directly concerns the security of citizens. Tushar rightly said that if the argument of the petitioner is accepted then, “The country would be flooded by refugees. We do not want India to become the refugee capital of the world. These are matters between countries involving diplomatic relations. We cannot allow people to enter like this.” The court will take up the matter next onMarch 7.
                                             On a concluding note, the Supreme Court must take very seriously what Tushar has rightly said and instead direct its whole energy in setting up more benches in lawless states like UP whom former UN Secretary General Ban ki moon had termed as “rape and crime capital of India” still has least benches in India and West UP and Bihar which is another lawless state has none!
Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,
s/o Col BPS Sirohi,
A 82, Defence Enclave,
Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,
Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.
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