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October 16-31, 2012
Vol. 8, Issue - 08
KERALA HIGH COURT COMMENTS TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT THE SCRAMBLE FOR “EZHAVA” COMMUNITY VOTES ! It is well known that politics in India is a game of drama by day and cozying up by night between politicians of all hues and colors. But what takes the cake in these games is what is going on in Kerala today over a mere suggestion by the Kerala High Court that has no power to pass laws. The suggestion of the Kerala High Court that toddy tapping should be banned has been turned into a Machiavellian circus in Kerala with the Indian Union
M. Thomas, USA Muslim League (IUML) supporting it and all the other parties making big voices opposing it and criticizing and condemning the High court for even making the suggestion probably because they think they can get more of toddy tappers' “Ezhava” community votes by politicizing this suggestion and turning it into an issue. Forget about Mullaperiyar dam that is threatening the lives of millions of Keralites. Toddy is the
Sunny News Sub-editor , V.K.S. Menon In Conversation with Shri. Kummanam Rajasekharan, Gen Secretary, Hindu Aikyavedi during ONAM Celebration held at Marathi Sahitya Mandir, Vashi on 30th Sep. 2012.
MONEY DOES NOT GROW ON THE TREE ! Mr. Prime minister, I beg to differ Sir Adv. Sivasankaran Money does not grow on the trees, thundered our PM on TV. May be out of compulsion of coalition or revulsion of conscience. There is a sentence in every Indian language synonymous with this. Caught in between allegations of scams after scams, our PM found it obligatory to make a plausible explanation to the nation. But the justifications for the FDI and diesel price hike were not at all convincing and no amount of public rallies are going to convince the public. Even accepting that the estimation of CAG is notional, the truth remains that something has gone seriously wrong and there remains an administrative and confidence deficit. Economic theories are not easy to practice and at the best are only experiments in social engineering, with no accurate predictable results. The theory of demand and supply being one of them. Just like the Malthusian theory, the diesel price hike failed to take into accounts the fall out of diesel adulteration with cheaper kerosene. Before the din and noise died down, the refreshing news of a possible petrol price deduction has cast a spell on our oil policy itself, what an irony? Money does not grow on trees the statement is not expected from an eminent economist PM. The money indeed grows on trees and plants and we are an agro-economy still dependent on the vigorous monsoon. Our food production is directly related to the monsoon even today. We have large treasure of trees and forests fed by monsoon rain. And what about the fossil fuel? The coal and the oil reserves, we mercilessly exploit today are also from trees and plants. The (continued on page 3 )
new topic for Kerala politicians today. While the Kerala High Court is a judicial authority under the Indian constitution whose function is to interpret the laws passed by the legislature without any authority to pass laws banning the sale of toddy; it is a shame to see how political parties in Kerala have exploited this mere suggestion and turned it into an issue and mothballed it into an enormous campaign threatening to divide the state on caste and religious lines. Even the Nair Seva Society or the NSS traditionally opposed to the Ezhava community on caste lines have rallied in support of the toddy tapping 'Ezhaza' community. The NSS even warned the government of dire consequences if it succumbed to the IUML. The BJP was singing the same tune. But the fact remains that IUML did not make this statement. IUML only agreed with the statement of the High Court. What is not understood is where the danger was? It was only a suggestion by the court with no legislative power behind it. It can thus be seen that there was no danger of toddy tapping being banned. All this drama being played out is nothing but a concerted effort by political parties to create divisions among the public on caste and religious lines and divide the community. (Continued on page
Pages : 4
Land stretching from Kalwa to Nerul Unsuitable for human inhabitation ? School play grounds used as marriage grounds ? Adv. Sivasankaran Every war in the recorded history has been fought either for land or for a lady. The next war may not be on these counts- it will be for water, it is predicted .Thus, it is seen that the land grabbing has been a very ancient pastime and not only the rulers but even the common man was tempted to use all the tricks in the books to grab land, enlarge the holdings to the extent possible. Today land grabbing takes place in our county under various schemes and pretexts, the government of the day leading the que. Democratically elected Government acquiring the land and respectable people using the land mafia for acquiring the land from unsuspecting people in order to make it available to the business houses and commercial establishment for a premium has become the order of the day. What a negation of the Government of the people, by the people, and for the people ? A detailed enquiry in to the land transfer and deals over the last few decades shall be revealing. It can pale the 2G spectrum and the recent coalgate scams into insignificance. The worst victims of this land anarchy are the sons of the soil who are by and large marginal farmers. There appears to be a method in this madness and the land records and officials are willing accomplices in this exercise. The success story of our own Navi Mumbai has unleashed a kind of massive land hunt, surreptitiously by many in the garb of building construction and even reconstruction. It is not known to many that the land on which Navi Mumbai is developed was taken over by Cidco from the village farmers and fisherman who tilled the land and fished the water for centuries. They were paid only a pittance as compensation and the offer for their rehabilitation is yet to be fulfilled in toto .The strategy appears to be innovative and progressive. CIDCO, the authority in its larger wisdom has (Continued on page 2 )
SAD DEMISE With profound grief the Staff & Management of Sunny News inform you the sad demise of Mr.M.Vasudeva Menon (96 years) on 5-10-2012, at the residence of Mrs. Manorama Menon & Padmashree TGK Menon at Indore (M.P). He is the father of our Sub-Editor V.K.S. Menon. Wife Late Kamalam V. Menon, son Late V.K. Harishankar. He has donated his eyes, skin & body to various medical institutes at Indore. We highly appreciate his mentality and broad vision. Deeply mourned by family & friends.
Is Airtel on a looting spree in collusion with TRAI ? Adv. Sivasankaran, Vashi An open letter to TRAI from a senior citizen Tring……… Tring …….. Tring……… Thank you for choosing video talkies 30 on your airtel mobile. You have been charged Rs. 30 for 30 days and you're a/c balance post charging is Rs. 291.89. Sender: - AT-Airinf, message Centre : +91 9840011016 dated 28th august 2012. Hey there! Thank you choosing video talkies subscription service. You have been charged Rs.30 for 30 days from your airtel mobile a/c. To stop, dial *121*5#. Sender: - Am-sfalrt, Message Centre : +91 9892051914 dated 28th August 2012. I dialed to stop *121*5# and got prompt reply. “Sorry! that was not a valid option”. We are proud to share that your network airtel has been awarded as India's best network. Thanks for being a part of the 200 million plus and growing airtel family. Sender : AM- Airinf , Message centre: +91 9892051914 dated 1st September 2012. You have been renewed for video talkies 30 subscription service from airtel. You have been
charged Rs.30 Sender:-AT-airinf, Message centre : +91 9840011016 dated 27th September 2012. The kind of unauthorized deductions from the prepaid account with airtel mobile is a glaring example of unfair trade practice and deficiency of service on the part of a mobile company which has a customer base of more than 200 million. Many subscribers are enduring this kind of aggression silently not knowing what to do. At the press of a button Rs. 30 deducted from 50% of the customers amounts to Rs. 10 crore. Under what authority the company is indulging this type of day light robbery remains a mistery and certainly this kind of malpractices cannot take place without the knowledge and support of the regulating agencies. This raises the question of not only ethics but also filling the coffers by robbing. This is also a blatant betrayal of the customer's confidence thus a criminal breach of trust. At this rate the mobile scam shall soon outwit the other scams and pale them in to insignificance. This appears to be only the tip of the iceberg. We need a 100% FDI in this sector.
October 16-31, 2012
HC order on liquor contrasts T the government decision Recently, the Kerala High Court has sought the state government's opinion on allowing sale of liquor in bars only after office hours to counter the drinking habits of people in Kerala. The timing of the liquor sale has already been reduced by three hours per day by the Congress government. Since 1953, bars in Kerala have remained open from 6 am to midnight. The judges observed that the bars opening during office hours prompt many drivers and employees to drink even while on duty. Restricting timings of bars from 5 pm to midnight would help the government in bringing down liquor sale. According to the Excise Minister K. Babu, government's opinion would be framed after holding discussions with all stake holders. He says availability of liquor has been brought down. However, he further stated that during the first two months of this fiscal year, the sale of Indian made foreign liquor recorded 9.9 percent increase in revenue when compared to the corresponding period last year. According to bar owners, the High Court's suggestions will not make any impact as 80% of liquor is sold through government outlets. Also, amidst the professed
policy of curbing liquor supply, the government issued 35 fresh licenses taking the number of bars to 745. The above facts and figures do not indicate the true intention of the government. The government wants the sale of liquor to go down at the same time they are worried about the revenue aspect. Shutting or opening of bars is a social issue and it is the job of the government to tackle such issues. These are issues of social consequences and therefore it is best left to the wisdom of the government in power. By restricting bars, the HC is only adding problems to the government. The more you restrict on bars, the more would be the sale of adulterated liquor through other means. There is total prohibition on the sale of liquor in Gujarat. But, the statistics indicate Gujarat as one of the most liquor consuming states. In spite of the prohibition, all kinds of adulterated liquors are available in Gujarat. On the one side, the prohibition has affected the revenue of the state while on the other hand; the sale of illegal liquor has raised serious health issues. It would not be easy for any government to address this social issue as easily as the HC of Kerala thinks.
(Land stretching from Kalwa to Nerul ..... continued from page 1) allotted large chunks of land to various educational and other institutions as part of their policy of preserving play grounds and ethnic gardens. With the passage of time the land thus allotted and reserved for gardens and recreations were either unutilized or utilized for alternate purposes such as construction on the basis of increased FSI sanctioned from time to time for reasons which are obvious. Many rich and powerful who own and manage such property toady derive large sums of money by way of rent etc, and not from the intended purposes . Lakhs of rupees are charged by making available such premises for private functions such as marriages and parties, profiteering being the sole motive. It is also a case of people with clout abusing the due process of law and breaking the rules with impunity. Being a residential township partly built on marshy reclaimed land, which exists cheek by jowl with a mega industrial complex comprising large number of chemical and hazardous chemical industries it is imperative that vast tracks of green gardens are maintained to preserve the quality of the ambient air. It is not known to many that the committee appointed to study the environment impact assessment of New Bombay way back in early 70's has found the land stretching from Kalwa to Nerul unsuitable for human inhabitation during day time. Topography and temperature inversion made the area unsuitable especially during the night and the winter months. Man proposes and Politians disposes, thus the Navi Mumbai become a Satellite town ship of the planned variety and the people became the victims of economic necessities in utter violation of the constitutional guarantees. The effect of air pollution making its impact on the lungs of infants and elderly with no scope for dry-cleaning. Land in our country are acquired by the government, private parties including mining and infrastructure magnates using various methods and modus operandy While the strategy at Singoor was one of carrot and stick , in Kerala it is one of temptation by compensation and in Goa and Karnataka it is one of political patronage . While the land acquired by the government for the Tatas has been ordered to be retuned to the original owners, the land acquisition in the name of widening of high ways in Kerala continues on a warfooting and in Goa and Karnataka the mining activities are on hold, thanks to judicial intervention. It is surprising and amusing that while the land acquired way back during the year 1990 by the Government for high way widening remains unutilized so far, a further acquisition of 22.5 mtrs on either side of the high way is in progress, subsequent to a newspaper notification. The Government employed a private agency to garner the land even before negotiation with the owners or fixing the compensation package. (continue on next issue) A correction in our Vol.08, Issue - 07 of October 1-15-2012, we have in advertently published a front page article “A Disaster in waiting”. It was due to an over sight and the error is regretted. The actual title may be read as “Sons of the soil” or “soiled sons”.
Right to a Public and Speedy Trial
he right to a public trial is provided by Article 156 of the Constitution of USSR. Though the constitution of India dose not specifically deal with this right separately it can be implicitly inferred in Articles 14, 19 (1) (a) and 21 of the constitution as well as in its preamble which has promised to give to the citizens a socialist democratic republic. None the less, the right to a public trial is provided for under section 327 of the code of criminal procedure. The criminal procedure code of the USSR also contain similar, provisions. Section 327 of the Indian criminal procedure code vests power in the presiding judge or magistrate trying in a criminal case to decide on the venue of the trial. The interpretation of this Article is open to doubt when read in juxta position with other relevant positions of the code. In USSR, the courts hold traveling sessions, that is, hearing are organized at enterprises institutions, collectives or state farms.
(The writer is a Post Graduate from Indian Institute of Human Rights, New Delhi.)
Limitations on the right to a public Trial. Despite the fact that the openness of court proceedings is recognized as a principle of justice in India as well as in the Soviet Union there may be cases involving criminal offences which require the imposition of limitations on the openness in the interest of the individual, state or society. The criminal legislation of both the nations permit the holding of trial in camera in certain cases, though the Indian criminal
procedure code does not specifically define situation which would require that the trial be conducted in a closed session. There have been cases in which the courts have upheld the right of the judge and magistrate to exclude women and children from participating in a trial involving indecent and obscene matters. Right to speedy trial. The Fundamentals of criminal procedure of the USSR and union republics provide under Article 2 that the purposes of soviet criminal procedure are the rapid and full disclosure of crimes. The corresponding codes of the union republic contain a similar provision right from the stage of the institution of criminal proceedings against the suspect or accused to the conclusion of his trial. The agency conducting the inquiry, the investigator, the procurator or the court are obliged to conduct the proceedings strictly in accordance within the statutory time limit stipulated by law.
'Adopting' elderly citizens: Will it be feasible ? Home Minister R. R. Patil has announced recently that every police official from the rank of the Commissioner to the constable should take responsibility of one senior citizen. He has decided to meet few senior citizens of South Mumbai and assured that he too would 'adopt' or take responsibility of one senior citizen. He made the announcement in the context of the growing number of crimes against senior citizens in Mumbai. The Home Minister's idea, if implemented properly may bring relief to the senior citizens, but some critics opined that it was nothing but a damage control exercise. There are an estimated 10 lakh senior citizens in Mumbai but the strength of the police force is a meager 40,000! Furthermore, the Police Department is understaffed and the police constables have additional responsibilities including bandobast and VIP protection. Some senior citizens are asking, if the government is truly concerned about their welfare, why the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007 is not implemented? According to a study on Crimes Against the Elderly in Pune, Mumbai and Delhi conducted by the International Longevity Centre-India Chapter, property crimes top the list of crimes in all the cities, followed by chain snatching and physical assault. Though Delhi tops in crimes against senior citizens, smaller cities like Pune are fast catching up. The Group of Economics & Social Studies (GESS), a New Delhi based registered society conducted a study in 2009 and prepared a Project Report on
V. N. Gopalakrishnan “Rising crimes against elderly people and the responsibility of Police in four Metros”. The study was conceived in the light of public perceptions about the question of safety of senior citizens and was carried out in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta and Chennai. The four major metros were selected because they collectively represent different geographical, economic and cultural settings of the country. The report was submitted to the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR & D), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and the proposals were accepted. According to the report, the exceptional medical success has brought about an unparalleled increase in life expectancy of people. The percentage of 60 plus population in the country is on the rise providing a challenge for their well-being and security. The traditional care and respect for the elderly is on the wane due to change in lifestyle and globalization. There has been a surge in crime against elderly citizens as they become an easy target of criminals. The rich senior citizens are more prone to security risks, since they are vulnerable to exploitation, pressure and physical threats for property and financial gain from
their children, relatives and antisocial elements. Crimes and abuse of elderly citizens has become an urban menace. More often, affluent elderly citizens residing in the posh colonies of the metros have become easy victims. There are multiple factors responsible for the rising crimes against the ageing population. As they advance in age, loneliness sets in, dependence increases, health deteriorates, and they tend to rely heavily on unreliable domestic help. A petition to this effect was submitted to the government in June 2008 at the initiative of Silver Inning Foundation, an NGO dedicated for Senior Citizens and promoted by International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA); Development, Welfare and Research Foundation (DWARF-India Chapter); 'Little Things Matter Initiatives' (LTMI); The Family Welfare Agency, Mumbai; ARDSI (Alzheimer's Related Disorder Society of India (ARDSI-Mumbai Chapter); Society for Serving Seniors (SSS), Hyderabad; Shree Manav Seva Sangh, Mumbai; and All India Senior Citizens' Confederation (AISCCON). The National Policy of Older Persons (NPOP) was formulated in 1999 but has not been implemented due to lack of political will. Nearly one third of senior citizens slip into BPL category annually, on account of healthcare expenses and hospitalization. Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme offers only Rs. 200 per senior citizen above 60 from the Central government funds, with a recommendation that an equal contribution be made by the state governments. (continue on next issue)
October 16-31, 2012
Ajit Pawar resignation - A drama that went awry
No minister in independent India, either in the central government or in the state governments, has ever voluntarily resigned. The only exception and a shining example to follow was the great Lal Bahadur Shastri who resigned as Railway minis-ter following the Ariyaloor train accident. NCP leader and Deputy Chief minister Ajit Anantrao Pawar resigned from the DF government in Maharashtra on Tuesday (25-9-12) evening causing an unprecedented political crisis and the near collapse of the CongressNCP alliance. It came as a total surprise for everyone, even the Chief Minister of the State, Prithviraj Chavan. Following allegations of malpractice in clearing irrigation projects during his tenure as minister for water resources, Ajit Pawar, submitted his letter of resignation to the Chief Minister. “It is my conscious decision. I am fed up with all these false charges (of corruption)”, Pawar said. In fact, the newspapers had been targeting him for quite some time , consistently publishing instances of corruption in awarding contracts for irrigation works in Vidarbha and other parts of the state during the period 1999 to 2009 when he was minister for water resources. Ajit Pawar was accused of clearing projects worth 20,000 crores without obtaining clearance from the governing council of Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation. It was alleged that he hurriedly granted approvals for 38 projects for the astrono-mical amount by-passing the laid – down procedures. It was also pointed out that the rates agreed upon were exorbitant in the case of tenders worth 13500 crores. Another case of irregularity pointed out was the payment of advances amounting to 614 crores in spite of govern-ment rules prohibiting advance payments. It was also alleged that in the case of the Jalgaon Lift Irrigation Project, Pipes which
normally cost Rs. 80000 a tonne, were quoted at double the rate, Rs. 1.6 lakh a tonne. The multi crore irrigation scam in which NCP leader Ajit Pawar is allegedly involved, is the biggest scandal Maharashtra has seen. However, it should be noted that his involvement for personal gain has not been proved. Irrigation projects worth more than 70000 crores were completed, most of these at inflated costs that went into the contractors' pockets. Surprisingly, some of the projects never took off. The ultimate result was that the area under irrigation in the State increased by just 0.1 per cent or not at all. The point is that astronomical amounts were spent over a period of ten years and the results have been totally disappointing. Unfortunately, the multi crore irrigation scam came to light only now, rather late in the day. No doubt, it has to be properly investigated and the people behind the murky deals brought o book. It is understandable that the minister was embarrassed by the media exposes. But there was no compelling reason for Ajit Pawar to resign. Then, why did he quit so suddenly? Was he owning up moral responsibility for the mess in the irrigation sector and stepping down? Political observers say that Ajit Pawar's resignation was indeed part of a larger game plan. 19 other NCP ministers in the DF government, in a show of solidarity with Ajit Pawar, also submitted their resignation to the State party chief Madhukar Pichad. The MLAs of the party too did not lag behind. They all announced their support to their leader who had resigned. If the MLAs from the Nationalist Congress party resigned en mass, the government was bound to fall. Neither the Congress nor the NCP would be able to form a viable coalition with other parties. Sources in the Congress interpreted Ajit Pawar's tough posturing as an attempt to mount press-ure on the party to remove Prith-viraj Chavan, who, he believed, had all along been taking steps which were detrimental to the NCP. The irrigation portfolio had always been with the Nationalist Congress Party. After Ajit Pawar, it is Sunil Tatkare of the NCP who now holds the portfolio. He too is embroiled in controversies. Prithviraj Chavan's statement that the government
would come out with a white paper on irrigation was the trigger for the sudden turn of events. According to political analysts, Ajit Pawar's resignation was not only against the CM, whom he wanted to be replaced, but was also an act of revolt against his own party leadership. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, in the mean time, had consultations with his own party bosses and the NCP chief. Sharad Pawar decided to act and act firmly. He knew that the mass resignations of the ministers was an act of defiance of authority and a show of the growing clout of Ajit Pawar, his nephew in the party. On Friday, the 28th September, Sharad Pawar ended the 4 day old political drama which had taken ctentre stage, by accepting Ajit Pawar's resigna-tion and asking all the 19 other ministers to go back to work. He also asked CM Prithviraj Cha-van to accept Ajit's resignation. Senior Pawar made it clear that Ajit would not take any respon-sibility in the State government till his name was cleared in connection with the charges leveled against him. “Sharad Pawar is my God. I apologize to everybody for not consulting them before taking this crucial decision”, said Ajit Pawar at the meeting of party MLAs on Friday. It was the end of the four day old resignation drama, whose script had gone awry. It was Vijay Pandhare, a chief engineer in the Mahara-shtra Engineering Research Institute and Anjali Damania, a pathologist and member of India Against Corruption who blew the lid on the murky deals in the irrigation projects. Pandhare had access to the documents relating to the various projects and he found serious irregularities in them. Though it was risky, he knew that in the larger interests of the society, he had to expose them. Anjali Damania too pursued the matter and the duo's tenacity ultimately led to the resignation of the Dy. Chief minister. The government may bring out a white paper, but the matter shouldn't rest there. There should be a fair and independent investigation into the multi crore scam and those found guilty should be brought to book.
Police Protection for Senior Citizens The suggestion of the Hon'ble Home Minister Mr.R.R.Patil for giving police protection to senior citizen appears to be a novel idea. The senior citizens are indeed happy that at last the Home Minister has woken up to the reality and has
Staff Reporter become concerned about the security. The follow up action is quick enough to justify the concern. The Housing societies are already under round the clock security cover for which the members pay from their pocket. There was a suggestion by someone from the police department to entrust the deployment of guards to them which did not find favour with the people partly be-
DISCLAIMER The news published by various authors in this publication are their sole opinion and Editor is in no way accountable and responsible.
cause of the impracticability and partly because the improper suggestion came from someone who is already mandated to ensure security of the citizens with guards or no guards. It is hoped that the present suggestion though a radical one will not find the fate of the earlier one since here the initiative came from the Minister himself. It is most humbly suggested that the credibility gap between the police and the citizens has to be plugged before the contemplated move is enforced. It is also necessary for the police to create a confidence level among the citizen. Policeman are already overburdened and under strain and if a senior citizen's security is entrusted to such a man, it may not evoke the desired response .More over the unbridled access of a low rung police man to the homes at all
NAVI MUMBAI - NEWS Butcher threatens animal activist inside police station NAVI MUMBAI: An animal rights activist was allegedly threatened by a butcher insideKoangaon police station in the presence of cops on Friday night. Chetan Sharma (22), a People For Animals (PFA) activist, along with the police, on Friday rescued 48 cows and bullocks from Shahpur and Koangaon. At both places, the cattle had been crammed into a single truck. "The animals were in a bad state when rescued. One of them died due to suffocation. While an FIR was being lodged, the butcher, Jallaludin Shaikh, who was transporting the animals, threatened me," said Sharma. After lodging the complaint, Sharma, his team and a police personnel, who had accompanied them after Shaikh's threat, were allegedly followed by 30-40 people. "The cop accompanying us suggested we go to Shantinagar police station to avoid the butchers," said Sharma, who will soon meet police officials in Thane to register his complaint. Sources said transporters who ferry animals have threatened to strike work to protest against the raids.
Powai Kerala Samajam celebrated Onam - 2012 Powai Kerala Samajam has organized its 26th Onam celebrations with a variety entertainment programme and Cultural Meet on October 7, 2012 at the Jain Mandir Hall, Opp. I.I.T. Powai. The celebrations has been inaugurated by Prof. Dr. James Thomas, Vice Chancellor, Padmashree Dr. D.Y. Patil University, Navi Mumbai. Sarvashri. Sanjay Dina Patil MP, Mangesh Sangle MLA, Chandan C. Sharma, Municipal Councillor, Prince Vaidyan, President, K & K Social Foundation, K.K. Nambiar, Chairman, World Malayalee Council-Mumbai Province, Premlal, Chief Editor,Whiteline Vartha, S.R. Pillai, Chairman, Hiranandani Keralite Association, V.N. Gopalakrishnan, Freelance Journalist and Advisor, Powai Kerala Samajam and A.N. Shaji, General Secretary, Hiranandani Keralite Association addressed the meeting during the Cultural Meeting. Ganamela by Mumbai Kala Bhavan and the Instrumental Fusion by Cochin Heart Breakers was the main attraction besides Thiruvathira and dance, stated Shri. B.K. Varghese, President, Powai Kerala Samajam. Awards were presented to top scorers of SSC and HSC examinations. The winners of the Pookkalam competition organized by Malayala Manorama in association with Akber Travels has been felicitated on the occasion, stated Shri. K. Krishnan, Joint Secretary. Wheel Chairs sponsored by Shri. Venugopal K.Pillai were presented to physically handicapped girls and boys between the age group of five and fifteen. The cultural and entertainment programmes were followed by Onasadhya (Onam Feast). Shri. K. Gopakumar Pillai, Hon. Treasurer distributed the prizes and Shri. George Manjaly proposed vote of thanks.
(Money does not grow ............ continued from page 1) sediments, rudiments and the remnants of the trees and plants went down with the ages and buried beneath is what formed the fossil fuels on which we sustain today. What will be left for tomorrow is anybody's guess we can no more claim to be the trustees of this planet any more. We have forfeited that right by abusing and misusing this planet and will not be exculpated by the generations to come, if any. Rs. 12,000 crorer spent on “Koodamkulam” pales in to insignificance on the face of the scam amounts so far disclosed. Many more are in the offing it appears. When the world is jettisoning the nuclear plants we are clamoring for it and the reasons are obvious. What are we up to with the nuclear waste? Not to speak about the liability. We have been on a destructive spree for the past 50 years in the name of planned development. No doubt development has taken place but the kind of anarchy accompanied it has offset the benefits. The loss and damages on account of reckless tree felling, mining and destruction of forests are beginning to show up. At this rate there will be nothing left for the generation next except for a bunch of degrees and laptops. I am not a luddite nor an anarchist and do not hold brief for any organized group or party but is a firm believer that sanity must prevail over sycophancy, if the dreams of our fore-fathers, freedom fighters and patriotic sons are to be realized. Let us repeat Satyameva Jayathe and not Breshtameva Jayathe. times may not be a welcome move. Self help appears to be the best solution to this vexed problem and the society office bearers are best suited to step in with the security guards under their control. A proactive and humane approach by the society should go a long way in building confidence amongst the senior citizens particularly the sick and the infirm .Unfortunately, most of the office bearers of Housing society's attitude and behavior is
indifferent and callous towards its senior citizens. In such cases police could enforce strict security measures such as installing CCTV, Intercom etc, apart from employing well trained security guards. Special vigil by police especially during night should be done and in case there is a lapse in the security, the concerned office bearers of the Housing societies and the security agencies should be held responsible and taken to task.
October 16-31, 2012
Interview with Adv. Sivasankaran Adv. Sivasankaran is a resident of Vashi for the past 40 years, retired Safety Engineer and a practicing advocate with the High Court Mumbai. He has a number of publications to his credit, the latest one being the book “The Let Down of the Nation”. Sunny News Editor Mr. G.T.Varghese is in conversation with him. Q.F I have gone through your book and find too many topics on various subjects which are very interesting. What motivated you to write the book and select the topics? I am asking this because you are an advocate ? A. As you know I was in the service of the public sector BHEL and subsequently with NOCIL for over 26 years and had a unique opportunity to audit about 300 hazardous chemical industries located in various industrial centers in India. You know I am a statutorily qualified safety professional trained at London and
Holland and a British safety council certified internal auditor. Q. F Tell me how come you became an advocate? A. Very interesting!! During my early days in employment I had an insatiable desire to become an
(Kerala High Court comments .... Continued from page 1) What the Kerala High Court said was that the Kerala government should think of discontinuing toddy business in the State to save the poor from the evils of alcohol and to prevent camouflaged sale of arrack and spurious liquor in the name of toddy. A Division Bench, comprising Justice C.N. Ramachandran Nair and Justice Bhabani Prasad Ray, said that as prohibition was a matter of government policy, the State government should take note of the views of the court and take a decision to be implemented at least from the next financial year. The court hoped the State government would take a “bold decision in the near future liberating Emerging Modern Kerala from the disgraceful business carried on everywhere on the roadside.” The order came in a case related to renewal of Abkari licence under the Kerala Abkari Shops Disposal Rules, 2000. Referring to the Abkari cases booked by the Police and the Excise departments and those pending for trial, the court said that spurious liquor was extensively sold under the label of toddy through toddy shops. As many as 20,547 abkari cases have been pending trial in various courts, and Quilon district came on top of the list with 6,400 cases followed by Trivandrum with 5,000. “Trial in a
large number of abkari cases ends up in acquittals on technicalities; witnesses, under threat, refusing to give evidence and the last-point seller, who is a nonentity in the abkari business, is the accused and the kingpins controlling the business do not figure in the cases or easily escape,” the order said. The court observed that toddy tappers carrying toddy on shoulders was a story of the past in Kerala villages, and their next generation, without exception, would not take up the traditional profession. With few tappers and consequent unavailability of toddy, the government permitted sourcing and transport of the brew from faraway places. It could be implied that artificially prepared spurious liquor with a high alcohol content was sold in toddy shops, most of the cases booked being of this kind, the Division Bench said. The court observed that the prohibition of arrack was “easily got over by sale of the same stuff by mixing it with toddy which itself is artificially prepared for want of adequate production of toddy in the State.” The government was not in favor of closing down the toddy shops. The court said that one explanation offered by the Excise Commissioner justifying the business was that people should be provided liquor with a low percentage of alcohol.
advocate and therefore I completed my legal education along with my employment. It was tough and time management was imperative. Q. FTell me whether your long industrial experience did help you in any way as an advocate? A. Yes, offcourse it indeed helped me. Particularly in the field of labour laws and Environmental laws. Q. F I understand that for sometime you were teaching law, can you tell me about your teaching experience? A. Yes, I was a visiting faculty at the M.G.M law college, Nerul and I have been covering subjects such as environmental law which is a new subject and I found it very interesting. The interaction with the students were very lively and I really did justice to the subject. Q. FHow did you get involve In a way, the court is right in its observations. Toddy in Kerala today is mostly spurious. Most of the toddy shops in Kerala have been found to add adulterants to toddy. None of the parties was interested in the point the high court had actually raised - of the large quantities of fake liquor on sale in Kerala. The state's 5,193 toddy shops sell about 7 lakh litres of toddy a day while production is about 5 lakh litres. Although toddy contains only 6% alcohol, it was found out to be more addictive than Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL). It is very common in Kerala for toddy to be also adulterated with a small quantity of banned narcotics like marijuana (ganja), hashish (charas) etc. to get people hooked. This adulteration is highly improbable in IMFL. Knowing the harsh realities and connection between adulteration and corruption in Kerala, the court must have made the observation out of frustration. And this was capitalized by the political parties. The Government of Kerala should have noted the observations and done something to reduce the instances of adulteration. Instead it was turned into a media circus. Justice Siri Jagan asked what relevance the laws had if people were allowed to live the way they like. “The laws are meant to protect the people. If toddy cannot be banned, the government
in environmental activism? A. As a safety engineer and auditor with NOCIL I had access to some of the most hazardous industries in India and a few abroad. What surprised me was the impunity with which the environmental laws are violated by the industry in India. I could not find a single industry complying with the law of the land. Some of them even had ISO certification promptly displayed. The backyard indicated the sorry state of affairs with the hazardous waste piled up and liquid effluent overflowing. Q. F Really a sorry state of affair! But tell me how the situation abroad is ? A. Basically I have to tell you that in other countries they are by and large law abiding and the enforcement authorities are corruption free. Larger companies have their own corporate policies and programs, most of which are effective and transparent. They take their employs and the communities around in to confidence. When you have policies such as “product stewardship” in has the responsibility to provide unadulterated toddy to the people”, the judge observed which now makes it clear that the intent of the Kerala High court was to not to ban toddy but to see that the public got what they paid for and that is unadulterated toddy. What Kerala Government can and should do is to have very strong controls over the production, transport and sale of toddy just like that for IMFL. Severest punishments for adulterators should be the norm rather than the exception. Local government laboratories or colleges should be appointed as observation and reporting centers where common public can take in toddy samples to be checked free of cost. Maintaining proper records and reporting to the state excise department of all samples and their results found, have to be made mandatory for these testing centers. Surprise inspections and testing by mobile laboratories of the excise department can be undertaken based on these random consumer testing reports and severe punishments have to be legislated for those adulterating toddy or selling spurious toddy endangering the health of people of the state. It is high time the Government take such action rather than harping on the comments of the High Court taken out of context.
place chances are that no one dares to violate them. Q. F Very interesting! Could you educate me on this concept of pro-duct Stewardship and tell me whether any company in India practices it ? A. Product Stewardship is a concept and action program to ensure proper management of chemicals and its hazards. By definition, If I remember correctly, it is the responsible and ethical management of a product (chemical) right from its inception, throughout is progress till its end use and beyond, emphasis being on waste disposal and disposal of empty containers and packages. It is a cradle to grave concept and a very effective one conceived and practiced by large multi nationals such as DOW chemicals. In India I was trying my best to impress upon industries to practice this. I have succeeded only partly largely on account of the indifference on the part of the industries and the ignorance on the part of enforcement authorities. (continue on next issue)
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