Tag Archives: Supreme Court

“I shall continue my crusade against corruption,” reacts Justice Ganguly to SC order removing him from teachers’ recruitment scam cases

“This is not my decision. The case was shifted from my bench on the orders of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is the highest office of justice in the country and we all need to abide by its orders,” these were the initial words of Justice Abhijit Ganguly after the Supreme Court issued an order asking to reassign proceedings in the West Bengal teachers’ recruitment ‘scam’ to another judge. Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay needs no introduction, he had not only listened but also stood beside the protesters sitting at the Shahid Minar in Kolkata seeking justice against the Teacher’s Recruitment Scam that had destroyed the hopes of thousands of teachers who inspite of qualifying were deprived of their jobs because they could not bribe the officials or in other words fail to buy the job. “As long as I am in the service of justice, I’ll continue to raise my voice against irregularities and corruption. I don’t know what will be the fate of this case but would like to advice the agitators to be patient as the matter is still in court and has only been shifted to a different judge,” added Justice Ganguly who has received immense love, respect, and adulation of the people, many see him like God and worship him.

The order had come like a jolt for many of the protesters who had been carrying their crusade against the corruption after Justice Ganguly had assured them, “aami paliye jabar lok naa, er shesh dekhe charbo” (I am not a man to run away and I assure you that I will see an end to this). “We are still trying to understand the order as things are not yet clear to us. Our next course of action will depend will depend on this. Indeed, it’s a big blow for us as we had been expecting a judgement … this was not expected, we are shocked and confused,” said a member of the Sangrami Jaoutha Mancha.

Justice Ganguly kept his promise, it was due to his intervention, few candidates received the appointment letters just a few days before the Durga Puja last year. “aamraa khub khushi…Justice Ganguly amader kachey bhogoban … aamaader pujo onar jonne anonde bhore uthlo aaj eto maash por.” said a candidate. (We are very happy. We are indebted to Justice Ganguly for bringing happiness during Durga Puja after so many months). It was due to this some of the puja pandals had erected his bust and statue as a mark of respect.

What triggered this sudden development? Justice Ganguly had become an eyesore for the ruling Trinamool especially after he personally supervised the scam cases and began calling the accused. Some of the other developments at a glance:

1) Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to look into the appointments of 269 primary school teachers in West Bengal government-sponsored and aided schools over allegations that they did not pass the eligibility test.

2) In his order, Justice Ganguly directed the primary education board secretary Ratna Chakraborti Bagchi and president Manik Bhattacharya to appear before the CBI at its office later in the day.

3) He had earlier ordered CBI investigation in at least eight cases of alleged illegalities in appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education in government-sponsored and aided schools.

4) During a probe, Justice Ganguly had asked the illegal appointees to confess the truth, “I assure you nothing would happen to you if you confess but if you lie then things will be difficult, I will not tolerate any corruption in teacher’s recruitment.”

5)  He recommended that the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) terminate the services of 2,819 persons who were illegally appointed to Group D posts in government-aided schools. The WBSSC will start the process of terminating the services of nearly 800 Class IX and Class X teachers who got their jobs illegally.” “I want to see that every genuine candidate is absorbed in these posts,” said Justice Ganguly.

On Friday, the Supreme Court objected to an interview given by Justice Ganguly to popular Bengali satellite news channel ABP Ananda in which he in conversation with Senior Vice President Suman De had made critical remarks about nephew/Trinamool General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee. After Friday’s development, many question have been raised by people on social media platforms and mainstream media questioning the integrity of the media that could have stopped Justice Ganguly from making these remarks or could have edited. It has also raised a question on how could Justice Ganguly and the media house flout the Bangalore Protocol that restricts any sitting judge to talk to media or share his or her views. Justice Ganguly may have done it on humanitarian grounds as he once said, “I do understand the pain of being unemployed and I feel ashamed to see such bright young people sitting on roads to attract the attention of the state government.” many have deviated from the Bengali channel that had carried out the interview as they feel it was ‘planned framing’ for an exclusive story. Questions are being asked why the journalist, the channel were not booked as they too had violated the protocol.

On one hand when the development had come like a shock for the common people and agitators, on the other hand, it brought cheers to the ruling Trinamool that called it as right judgement. However, Justice Ganguly without naming a spokesperson (who had earlier verbally attacked and challenged him) said, “aami onake pronaam janai, aamaar jana chilona je uni eto bhaalo bhobishot bolte paaren.” (My respects to ‘him’, I had no idea that he can foresee future so well). However, the spokesperson said, “I have nothing personal against him but yes this teaches him a befitting lesson as he had made a few derogatory remarks against my leaders.” It was clear that Trinamool could not eschew Justice Ganguly’s remarks over so-called poems by their Supremo Mamata Banerjee.

Not just this spokesperson, but many within the party are seeing as their victory since Justice Ganguly’s conviction to see “an end to the teacher’s recruitment scam’ not only became an eyesore but found it hard to eschew as the scam as it is building-up, may turn out to be the biggest scam of this country. Top and close confidants of Mamata Banerjee including former Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, Bolpur Trinamool President Anubrata Mandal (Didi’d Keshta) are already in the custody of Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CBI. It is not know still who else are involved in this scam.

Justice Ganguly will always remain a hero and will be loved, respected as he stood beside the common people. The social media is abuzz with posts praising him for his sincere initiatives.

Will UP Govt take timely decision over release of eligible lifers

Suchhanda Roy takes a sneak peek at the order by the Supreme Court ordering the Yogi Adityanath government to release the convicts who have already served over 14-years in prison. Read more…

Apart from any kind of discrimination, on February 6, 2023, the Supreme Court ordered Uttar Pradesh government to take decisions over the release of lifers lodged in various jails in state within three-months. Inmates, who are lodged in jails for over 14-years, will have to be granted remission of remaining sentences, as they have already served incarceration. This has come in wake of the release of aged and ailing lifters under the policy adopted on August 1, 2018.

As per the reports given by Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Prisons, Uttar Pradesh, out of 6,262 life convicts lodged across various jails in the state, 2,228 have served more than 14 years in prison and therefore eligible for remission. The UP government’s 2018 policy provided a scope that a lifer would be eligible for remission of remaining part of his or her life term once he or she serves 14 years of actual imprisonment. There are more than thousand of lifer inmates dwindling in prison, have no resources or awareness to file a remission application.

If we generalize, the maximum number of  life convicts of state are not aware about the legal part of remission procedure as well as the policy of the state govt regarding remission of lifer. The Apex Court also ruled states should  bound to consider remission of sentences of eligible lifers, who didn’t submit remission application. It is mentioned that, scores of petitions for remission being filed in Allahabad high Court and Supreme court. Uttar Pradesh’s Additional Advocate General Garima Prashad told in the Supreme Court that the cases regarding the premature release of some of the convicts awarded life were already under consideration and may require three months to take final decision. However, it will not be possible to grant their requests if there are any legal hitch within the said time frame. It is therefore suggested that the state government as well as the prison authorities should take positive step to arrange awareness programme of legal process for the inmates, that would enable them to gather knowledge regarding the legal procedures required to apply for remission.

Supreme courts bench headed by Chief Justice of India and justice P S Narshimha and Justice  J B Padriwala strictly said, the government should strictly abide by its policies, as because provisions of law and policy are very much equal for everyone, are to be applied to all eligible equally and transparently, so easily could avoid the discrimination as well as deferential treatments. UP government’s standing counsel Ardhendu Mauli Prasad cited in the court that, lifer who are eligible for remission, their cases are pending before the appropriate committee for consideration in various stages, which would send recommendation to the state, after that  to the Governor for final decisions.

Hundreds of Prisoners filed petition questioning  UP government’s July 28. 2021 policy, which clearly stated premature release applicable to only those prisoners who are in their 60 years of age. They have certain quarries about the change in premature release policy of the state, as they  were entitled  as eligible for remission under the August 1, 2018 state policy.

However, quoting the 2018 policy SC bench clearly stated, no convicts will have to apply for the premature release, said state government shall process the release permission, only after seeking recommendation of the  concerned prison officials. Beside this court directed the District Legal service Authority  to take necessary steps for ensuring that no eligible prisoners are left out.

SC also said, it would institutionalize the frame work for grant of remission across India as well as take up scrutiny of the situation of lifers in all stages and grant remission procedures in Maharashtra, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan very soon.

(The writer is a senior journalist with reputed publication.)

Marital rape victims can now abort, read salient features

Marital rape has been a very serious issue since ages, there has been a strange feeling among married men that they have the right to force a wife into bed irrespective of her liking, dislike, and mood share. Men even forget that the woman going through the monthly difficult days. Women are left with no other option to give in. They have no place to protest. This is a problem with average household. The problem gets bigger when the woman is forced into sex, gets pregnant but doesn’t want to remain in the relationship as she hates the man for many reasons. She can’t go for a divorce being pregnant.

The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday in a landmark ruling said that all women are entitled to safe and legal abortion till 24 weeks of pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act. The Apex court maintained that any distinction on the basis of their marital status is “constitutionally unsustainable”.

The top court also said that the meaning of offence of rape must include marital rape for the purpose of the MTP Act. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, JB Pardiwala and AS Bopanna said the rights of reproductive autonomy give similar rights to unmarried women as that to married women.

The bench, in its verdict, said the distinction between married and unmarried women under the abortion laws is “artificial and constitutionally unsustainable” and perpetuates the stereotype that only married women are sexually active. Under the MTP Act provisions, the upper limit for the termination of pregnancy is 24 weeks for married women, special categories including survivors of rape and other vulnerable women such as the differently-abled and minors.

There is a fear of rapists misusing the provision as ‘all women’ implies to both willing and unwilling to abort. It would have been better had there been some provision of getting a nod of the girl if she is willing to abort or not. Also, then the girl would have been able to vent out her frustration and anger if she was compelled to accept abortion. However, the ruling over marital rapes, is commendable, and it should have been included long back as many females face in India are compelled to face the marital rape day in and day out. This would help the hapless women to raise their voices and protest against the sexual atrocities.

Supertech demolition infuses scare among residents in neighbouring societies

As the day of demolition of Supertech twin towers in Noida’s Sector 93A comes close, scare among the residents in the neighbouring Emerald Court and ATS village is also increasing. Around 5,000 residents of the two societies along with more than 150 pets, have been asked to vacate their flats by 7 am. They can move in after the demolition is over. The officials supervising the demolition have also asked the entire security staff of these societies to move out of their respective buildings latest by 12 pm on Sunday.

The twin towers will be raised to ground at around 2.30 pm on August 28, leaving behind a whopping 55,000 tonnes of debris. However, apart from safe and security issues to the adjoining buildings, the demolition has raised a big concern for the environmentalists who fear there will huge air pollution.

An official of Edifice Engineering, the firm hired to demolish the twin towers, a total of 40 people, including blasters and trained workers, had started charging the Ceyane (29 storeys) and Apex (32 storeys) towers, and would complete the entire process by August 26, 2022. The team comprises of two Indian blasters and Edifice project manager Mayur Mehta and seven members of its South African expert partner Jet Demolition. Security has been beefed up across the region.

The Supreme Court had ordered the demolition of the twin tower – Ceyane and Apex erected by violating the building norms and restrictions.