Friday, 21 September 2012


P M Ravindran
2/18, 'Aathira', Sivapuri, Kalpathy-678003
Tele: 0491-2576042; E-mail:

File:Comp/akp-sk-scorder-ic appt-170912                                                                        17 Sep 2012

Mr A K Patnaik and Mr Swatanter Kumar, Judges
Supreme Court, New Delhi


'Judicial system has not been able to meet even the modest expectations of the society.  Its delays and costs are frustrating, its processes slow and uncertain.  People are pushed to seek recourse to extra-legal methods for relief.  Trial system both on the civil and criminal side has utterly broken down.' And, 'Thus we have arrived at a situation in the judicial administration where courts are deemed to exist for judges and lawyers and not for the public seeking justice'.
-          Report  of the National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution(NCRWC)

Not that I had to wait till your order in the above WP to realise the truism of the above observation. In fact even the Report of the NCRWC is a clear example of the judiciary arrogating to itself, or atleast wanting to arrogate to itself, all the functions of the government. And this is what two non-judicial members have placed on record in the Notes to the Report.

Dr Subash Kashyap has written about the report itself: 'While no comments are being made on what went wrong in the procedure, priorities and perspective, it may be put on record that several of the recommendations now forming part of the report go directly counter to the clear decisions of the Commission on which the unanimously adopted draft report of the Drafting and Editorial Committee was based'.

And Ms Sumitra G. Kulkarni, the only woman member in the judiciary-headed, judiciary-heavy Commission had driven-in the last nails, thus:

1. I believe in a Unified and truly Secular India.  However, the Commission debates seemed often to reduce the Constitution to being a platform for divisiveness and not unification.
2. The Commission did not initiate or promote sincere debate in the public with regards to the issues that it was contemplating.  The efforts was more to "evade and defer" instead of to "identify issues, table them for debate and to deal with them".

But first lesson that this frog learnt after it got out of the well that was the Indian Army, was that the judge-advocate nexus would beat the much bandied politician-bureaucrat-underworld nexus hollow. So began the study and analysis of which was the worst organ under the Indian Constitution. The gist of my analysis is given below.

Of the three organs of the Constitution, the political organ is the best.  Of all the people constituting the three organs, the law maker, politician, is the only one who atleast once in a few years actually comes to the people and presents a balance sheet to him. It is for the people to evaluate their candidate objectively and choose the right one. However, even after being elected, the fact remains that NO politician can do any wrong without the active support of a bureaucrat. Then there is the media always on the prowl looking for news to slander the politicians. And ultimately the politician can always be hauled up before a court by any citizen.

The bureaucrat, the behind the scene operator is actually the real power broker. By twisting facts and laws he can actually make the politician a puppet. But officially atleast he is supervised by the politician, the media and also the courts!

Coming to the courts, once a judge, the person enjoys a lot of unmerited immunity. In the case of higher judiciary it goes to the preposterous extent of absolute immunity! I need not highlight this further as the media is so full of reports about the crimes committed by judges (Dinakaran, Soumitra Sen etc) and the existing system looking helplessly on! The provision of impeachment is a fraud. It is as good as promising free medical aid if the patient can be transported to the moon! Nowhere is the truism in the saying 'power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely' more evident than in our judiciary.

Now coming to your order specifically. The allegation that non-judicially trained citizens are not competent to sit in judgement is one of the biggest frauds that can be imagined. Forget about non-judicial citizens performing the duties of executive magistrates and district magistrates, the question needs to be asked what is the message that the judiciary itself has been sending out about its own competence to dispense justice? Where is the RTI case of judges‘ assets involving the former Chief Justice of India, K G Balakrishnan? And where was the justice in the apex court’s decision in the simple case of the date of birth of the Nation’s Chief of Army Staff? To cut it short, let me place it on record that my own experiences with the judiciary and quasi-judicial organisations like the consumer ‘courts‘, human rights commission, ombudsmen and the information commissions - being shaped into a book titled ‘Courts of Injustice‘- would be more voluminous than the Mahabharatha. And yes, all these organisations have failed miserably not only because they are mostly headed by former judges but also because they have been emulating the judiciary as much as they can. If the judiciary alone has not been able to identify thaareeq pe thaareeq as the hallmark of our judiciary and the most blatant way of subversion of justice and has not done anything about it, is there anything more needed to condemn the judicially trained minds of our country in the harshest terms possible?

Without going into details let me place it on record that this order is a very good example of the warped judicial mind and warrants the law-makers to amend the constitutional provisions that gives the judiciary a pre-eminent place in the scheme of administration of justice. Not only will the provisions of the Constitution regarding contempt of court have to be amended but laws will also have to be amended to restrict its application to cases of disobedience of orders of courts only. Similarly, impeachment provisions will have to be dumped to make way for more practical ways to exemplarily punish judges who act arbitrarily, whimsically and corruptly. And most importantly, there is a need to enact a Contempt of Citizen (Prevention of) Act and ensuring that even judges who summon litigants and do not proceed with the case are made liable to being prosecuted. And here what the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Law and Justice, headed by Rajya Sabha member E.M.S Natchiappan stated has to be borne in mind: 'Judges appointing judges is bad enough in itself; judges judging judges is worse.' And doesn’t that also nail the lie about the need to have judicially trained persons to sit in judgement over every judicial and quasi judical cases?

Before concluding, I would like you to exercise your judicial minds and understand that the task of an information commissioner is simpler than that of a munsif and Sections 13(5)(a) and (b) and 16(5)(a) and (b) of the RTI Act granting them the status, pay and perks of (Chief) Election Commissioners and Chief Secretaries is questionable extravagance and violates the principle of equal pay for equal work. Now, prove me wrong if I believe, and propagate my belief, that these sections will never be abrogated by the judges who want these plum icings on the cake to remain as they make a grab for it!

Yours truly,

(P M Ravindran)

Advance copy to:

Circulated to: media, bloggers and activists

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Law and the layman-petition to prosecute the DC/DM and DSP

There are two classes of people in this country- those in government and those outside government. Though we are supposed to be a democracy and those in government are supposed to be the servants of those outside, in practice we know that nothing could be farther than this. The way our 'democracy' has evolved those in government will make laws and enforce it on those outside in the most obnoxiously whimsical manner and there is nothing that the victims can do about it. And that is why it is truly said that every people get the government they deserve! Unless the people wake up and assert their supremacy over every public servant as befitting a democracy, democracy itself stands doomed. Fortunately everything is still not lost. Sections 217, 218 and 219 of the Indian Penal Code provide a glimmer of hope. Here are these sections reproduced for your convenience.

Sec 217. Public servant disobeying the direction of law with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture- Whoever, being a public servant knowingly disobeys any direction of the law as to the way in which he is to conduct himself as such public servant, intending thereby to save or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby save, any person from legal punishment, or subject his to a less punishment than that to which he is liable, or with intent to save, or knowing that is is likely thereby to save, any property from forfeiture or any charge to which it is liable by law, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.

Sec 218. Public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture- whoever, being a public servant, and being as such public servant, charged with the preparation of any record or other writing, frames that record or writing in a manner which he knows to be incorrect, with the intent to cause, or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby cause, loss or injury to the public or to any person, or with intent thereby to save or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby save, any person from legal punishment, or with intent to save or knowing hat he is likely thereby to save, any property from forfeiture or other charge to which it is liable by law, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years or with fine or with both.

Sec 219. Public servant in judicial proceeding corruptly making report, etc contrary to law- whoever being a public servant, corruptly or maliciously makes or pronounces in any stage of a judicial proceeding, any report, or order verdict, or decision which he knows to be contrary to law shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extent to seven years or with fine or with both.

It is in the context of the above provisions of the IPC that a petition was filed to prosecute the District Collector/District Magistrate, the District Superintendent of Police and and Information Commissioner of the Kerala State Information Commission. The petition is reproduced below.

Co-ordinator: Maj (Retd) P M Ravindran, 2/18, ‘Aathira’, Kalpathy-678003
File: Comp/kla-scstcmte-060912                                                                                06 Sep 2012


References: (Copies attached)

1.      1st appeal, reply by the First Appellate Authority (FAA) and 2nd appeal in the matter of information sought under the RTI Act from the O/o The District Collector/ District Magistrate (DC/DM) after almost 3 months of certain atrocities being perpetrated on the members of SC/ST.
2.      Order of the Information Commissioner(IC), Kerala State Information Commission in the matter of a 2nd appeal (The copies of the application and reply by the Public Information Officer (PIO) are not included to avoid wastage of stationary and resources since the contents of all these have been reproduced verbatim in the order.)
3.      Application under the RTI Act - RTI/dpo pkd-appln-190610-sc-st dated  19 Jun 2010 filed with the O/o The District Supdt of Police (DSP) in the context of the same atrocity
4.      The reply – No G7/46883/2010/P dated 23/6/10- from the PIO of the O/o the DSP
5.      The reply –No 2/RTI/SMS/10 dated 28/6/2010- from the Asst Police Supdt, Agali and
6.      Plachimada Samara Aikyadhardya Samithi complaint –PSADS/comp-pca pkd-sc sc act-310810 dated 31 Aug 2010 to the Police Complaint Authority (PCA), Palakkad

Brief Description of the Case.

7.      As reported in the media and subsequently verified on the ground, there was an attack on the residents of a colony of SC/ST communities at Plachimada in Mar-Apr 2010 wherein 10 members of the community were hospitalized and the houses of two had been destroyed. Under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act ( SC/ST PoA Act) the DC/DM and the DSP are required to take some specific actions. As can be seen from the responses to the applications/appeals under the RTI Act none of these actions had been taken. 

Details of the case.

8.      The PIO of the O/o the DC/DM had not provided any information sought and had merely forwarded the application to various other public authorities as per details given below:
8.1.To PIO, O/o The District Govt Pleader, Palakkad to provide info sought at para 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 of the application, as per their letter No D1-2010/4431/9(2) dated 31/7/2010
8.2.To PIO, O/o The Scheduled Tribes Development Officer, Palakkad to provide info sought at para 1.6, 1.9, 1.11,1.12 and 1.14 of the application, as per their letter No D1-2010/4431/9(3) dated 31/7/2010
8.3.To PIO, O/o The Scheduled Caste Development Officer, Palakkad to provide info sought at paras 1.11,1.12 and 1.14 of the application, as per their letter No D1-2010/4431/9(4) dated 31/7/2010
8.4.To PIO, O/o The District Planning Officer, Palakkad to provide info sought at para 2 of the application, as per their letter No D1-2010/4431/9(2) dated 5/8/2010
8.5.To PIO, O/o The Asst Development Commissioner, Palakkad to provide info sought at para 2 of the application, as per their letter No D1-2010/4431/9(3) dated 5/8/2010
9.      None of the PIOs to whom the application had been forwarded had provided any information they were expected to provide, except the PIO of the O/o The Asst Development Commissioner who had provided some (not complete) information as per para 2.1 of the application and the estimate prepared by the EE, KWA, Palakkad.
10.  The above facts indicate that the DC/DM had not complied with any of the mandatory provisions of the SC/ST (PoA) Act and hence need to be dealt with as an accomplice after the fact in the matter of the crime perpetrated on the SC/ST members at Plachimada.
11.  As the 1st Appellate Authority (FAA) under the RTI Act also he had failed miserably to provide a just decision. While the information against para 1.1 and 1.2 of the application was totally denied, even the information sought at para 2.1 (which is a sanction by the District Collector himself for the drinking water project) had been provided only by the O/o The Asst Development Commissioner! In this context the DC/DM is prosecutable under Sec 217, 218 and 219 of the IPC also.
12.  The IC who had merely reproduced the contents of the application, 1st appeal and statement by the FAA and added just two brief paras about the hearing and his illogical and illegal decision is also prosecutable under Sec 217,218 and 219 of the IPC. Presuming that the conclusion of the IC that satisfactory efforts had been made to provide all available info is correct, it reiterates the ground for prosecution of the DC/DM as stated in para 9 above because no info had been provided only because no info was available which again was only because none of the actions required to be taken had been taken! But having decided that the action of the PIO in denying info by insisting on a particular mode of payment of cost the IC was bound by Sec 20 of the RTI Act to impose the prescribed penalties. Worse, even in his order he has not directed the PIO to provide the info free of cost but only to provide an opportunity to the applicant to inspect the documents and take notes where necessary! This is absolutely illegal as the onus of providing the info is on the PIO as much as the onus of proving that he acted reasonably and diligently shall be (also) be on the PIO (Sec 20 of the RTI Act).
13.  That the police investigations into the crime has also not been done as per law has been exposed through the applications under the RTI Act and replies received, referred to at paras 3 to 5 above. Sec 7 of the SC/ST (PoA) Act mandates that the investigations be done by an officer holding the rank of not less than a Dy SP. A complaint made to the PCA on 31 Aug 2010 has not made any progress so far.

14.  We are supposed to be a democratic country where the highest office of the land is that of the citizen. (Ref:  Report of the National Commission to review the working of the Constitution) All authorities of the government are required to work for him. It follows that all public servants while being subject to all the laws in force in the country as applicable for all citizens are also bound by the additional laws that requires them to provide their services effectively and efficiently. It can easily be seen that the services of public servants are the most essential services for the citizens and any deficiency would lead to break down of the trust reposed on these public servants and ultimately to chaos and even law and order problems. This mandates that failures on the part of public servants have to be dealt with an iron hand. In this context, there is clear need to prosecute the DC/DM, Palakkad, DSP, Palakkad and the IC, KSIC for being accomplices after the fact in the crimes perpetrated on the SC/ST communities at Plachimada and also under Sec 217, 218 and 219 of the IPC.

      Signed and submitted at Palakkad on 06 Sep 2012.