Saturday, June 23, 2012

President Pratibha Patil goes on mercy overdrive

Himanshi DhawanHimanshi Dhawan, TNN | Jun 22, 2012, 05.55AM IST
NEW DELHI: Ahead of demitting office, President Pratibha Patil has scored a new record. She has commuted the death sentence of as many as 35 convicts to life — among them are those convicted of mass murder, kidnapping, rape and killing of children.
On June 2, Patil gave her pardon to four more — Bandu Baburao Tidke from Karnataka, Buntu from Uttar Pradesh and Lalchand alias Laliya Dhoom and Shiv Lal from Rajasthan. As a swami of Sadashiva Appana Math, Bagalkot, Tidke abducted a 16-year-old schoolgirl, raped and murdered her. UP's Bantu, on death row since July 2008, was convicted of raping and killing a five-year-old girl.
In fact, almost all the convicts pardoned are guilty of the most blood-curdling crimes. Piara Singh, Sarabjit Singh, Gurdev Singh and Satnam Singh had massacred 17 of a family at a marriage function. Gopi and Mohan (Tamil Nadu) and Molai Ram and Santosh (Madhya Pradesh) had raped and murdered little girls.
The large scale of presidential pardons is seen as surprising. That is because India has not yet abolished the death penalty.
Were these pardons diluting the legal provision through the backdoor? Archana Dutta, Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson, said the President was well aware of constitutional provisions as she was a lawyer herself. "The President only takes a decision to commute a death sentence or reject it after she is satisfied by the advice tendered by the government. The President ensures that the government has put in certain application of mind to give mitigating and extenuating circumstances for their advice,'' she said.
Notwithstanding Dutta's assertion, the speed with which Patil has granted pardons would indicate haste. Those shown clemency have been held guilty of barbaric crimes. These appear to have met the criterion of the "rarest of the rare" crimes that attract death penalty. While Patil has shown mercy to mass killers and rapists and killers of children, she has not given the same treatment to political assassins like the killers of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh or Rajiv Gandhi.
With the June 2 decision to grant four more pardons, the President boasts of a disposal rate of 200%. In recent times President K R Narayanan received 10 petitions and disposed of only one in his tenure. A P J Abdul Kalam inherited nine petitions with another 16 added in his term, taking the total to 25. He disposed of only two — rejecting one and pardoning the other.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cement Companies turn Rogues to defraud the public

CCI issues order against Cement Manufacturers, Imposes penalty of more than six thousand crores on 11 Cement companies
The Competition Commission of India has found cement manufacturers in violation of the provisions of the Competition Act, 2002 which deals with anticompetitive agreements including Cartels. The order was passed pursuant to investigation carried out by the Director General upon information filed by Builders Association of India. The Commission has imposed penalty on 11 Cement Manufacturers named in the information @0.5 times of their profit for the year 2009-10 and 2010-11. The penalty amount so worked out amounts to more than Six thousand Crores. The Commission has also imposed penalty on the Cement Manufacturers Association.
The Cement Manufacturers upon whom the penalty has been imposed are ACC, Ambuja Cements Limited, Ultratech Cements, Grasim Cements now merged with Ultratech Cements, JK Cements, India Cements, Madras Cements, Century Cements, Binani Cements, Lafarge India and Jaypee Cements.
While imposing penalty, the Commission has considered the parallel and coordinated behaviour of cement companies on price, dispatch and supplies in the market. The Commission has found that the cement companies have not utilised the available capacity so as to reduce supplies and raise prices in times of higher demand. The Commission has also observed that the act of these Cement Companies in limiting and controlling supplies in the market and determining prices through an anti-competitive agreement is not only detrimental to the cause of the consumers but also to the whole economy since cement is a crucial input in construction and infrastructure industry vital for economic development of the country.
The contravening Cement Manufacturers had been directed to deposit the penalty amount within 90 days. They have also been directed to ‘cease and desist’ from indulging in any activity relating to agreement, understanding or arrangement on prices, production and supply of cement in the market.
CMA has been asked to disengage and disassociate itself from collecting wholesale and retail prices through the member cement companies and also from circulating the details on production and dispatches of cement companies to its members.
The order of CCI has been passed in r/o case no.29 of 2010 and a copy of the order has been uploaded on the website of CCI at CCI RC/JR
CCI issues order against Cement Manufacturers, Imposes penalty of more than six thousand crores on 11 Cement companies
Comment: India should import cement from China at Rs 100 and sell it in the market for Rs 120/. We need to kill the Cement Rogues.

Adarsh Scam: Evidence Destroyed- Sabotage Suspected?

Adarsh scam files destroyed in Mantralaya fire?
Thursday, June 21, 2012, 18:35  4   Zeenews Bureau
Mumbai: A massive fire, which broke out in Maharashtra's State Secretariat or the Mantralaya building in south Mumbai on Thursday, has given triggered a bitter controversy with reports claiming a sabotage angle in the incident.
Media reports claimed that the fire which started on the fourth floor of the building and later spread to the sixth floor, which houses Chief Minister’s Office, has destroyed several important documents related to the Adarsh Housing society scam, in which several Ministers in the Maharashtra government are facing inquiry.
Sources have also confirmed that files related to the Kargil war have also been damaged in the incident. When quizzed by the reporters, Maharashtra Chief Minmister Prithviraj Chavan said, “Our concern right now is to save people. Issues such as destruction of important files will be discussed later.”
Suspecting a conspiracy in the Mantralaya fire incident, the main opposition BJP has sought an explanation from the Maharashtra government regarding the safety of Adarsh scam related documents.
However, the CBI has categorically denied reports that Adarsh scam related files have been destroyed in the fire.
The central probe agency gave an assurance by saying, “All the files relevant to the Adarsh housing society scam are safe with the courts and have not been damaged as a result of the Mantralaya fire.”
The fire - supposedly caused by a short-circuit- started on the fourth floor and later spread to the sixth floor, which houses the Chief Minister’s Office; luckily Chavan was not in his office.
Indian Navy commandoes were pressed into the rescue operation. Specialist Marine Commandos also arrived with specialist equipment.
The fire reportedly started from the cabin of Maharashtra Tribal Affairs Minister Babanrao Pachpute located on the 4th floor at around 3 pm. Pachupate is from the NCP.
The Mantralaya is the State Secretariat and houses the offices of all ministers of the Maharashtra government. From the fourth floor - which houses urban development and education departments – the fire then spread to fifth and sixth floors of the building.
The landmark Mantralaya Building is located in the heart of South Mumbai very near to the Mumbai High Court.
No casualties have been reported so far as the building was evacuated soon after fire was noticed.
The police have cordoned off the area and are in control of the situation

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

IESL forges ahead with welfare activities

Haryana Ex-Services League-
One of the most significant activities of the League has been performance of the outsourced duties to HESL assigned by Haryana State Electricity Board. This pilot project undertaken by the League has resulted in gainful employment by Defence Veterans of the State. To date almost 20000 Defence Veterans have been absorbed in these duties, ensuring a respectable retired life with employment availability in the vicinity of their place of residence. As a result of the successful implementation of this project, a number of our other State/UT leagues have also evinced interest and are in the process of getting such projects allotted by their respective State/UT Govts, expertise for which will be provided by HESL based on their experience. Successful implementation of this project also resulted in Haryana Govt allotting some other outsourced duties to HESL i.e. census of BPL (Below Poverty Line), Animal Husbandry count etc.  The League is regularly involved in the conduct of periodic Blood Donation Camps, Medical Camps and rallies wherein Assistance (Education, War Widows, Kanyadaan, Diffrently Abled Defence Veterans and their wards.)
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Congratulations, Gen Bikram Singh

Dear General Bikram Singh,
Heartiest Congratulations on your assumption of the appointment of COAS. I wish you an eventful and a satisfying tenure.
I have never met you, and neither did i have the opportunity to meet your predecessor Gen VK Singh. The only attachment i had with VK was that he joined NDA as a 36th course cadet when i was in the final term as a 31st course CSM(Cadet Sargeant Major). This created a natural bond and somehow compelled me voluntarily to take ownership of his conduct. I compliment him for all that he achieved and take full responsibility for his non achievements or misdemeanours (if any) as my cousemates and me may have been found wanting in his initial grooming. VK did a wonderful job and i salute him for single handedly taking on the political establishment where and when it mattered, notwithstanding the behind-the-scene effort by a faceless bureaucracy to place hurdles and sabotage well meaning and well intended initiatives of VK to promote the interests of the Army he commanded with courage of conviction and dignity. Of course he had a few irritants both from serving as well as ex-servicemen, disgruntled and trouble makers who always indulged in such activities for their vested interests.
Some say that you are taking over a controversial army. I am absolutely confident that you are not going to be mislead by such rumours and misinformation, created by the political class, voiced by a select group of subservient sycophants from the veterans and the journalistic field and an irresponsible and sensational media obsessed with TRPs. Not that you are not aware of these trouble makers, i thought it would be worthwhile to just apprise you to be a little discreet as to who you interact with in the public domain.
As regards the brothers-in-arms, i am a little wary of persons like Lt Gen Shankar Prasad (somehow has a close resemblance to Kapil Sibal of politics and Vinod Sharma of HT), another named Maj Gen Ashok Mehta (cannot spell out what everyone already knows as i have some degree of loyalty towards him being my DS in IMA), a young and innocent-looking Maj Gen Sheru Thapliyal (still to grow up) and lately Lt Gen Kadyan who appears to have lost his faculty of reasoning. Beware of the first visitor to your office, Lt Gen Tejinder Singh who is looking forward to call on you and renegotiate the TATRA deal at a more realistic offer.
Many say that you have a tough task ahead of you after a tumultous tenure of VK. Let me assure you that VK has given you a road map which is an absolute smooth ride. The netas will bend backwards to give you whatever is on your wishlist, the babus in the MOD are shell shocked and most have headed to Tirupati/Shiridhi/Vaishno Devi and will be down on their knees to give you full support. As regards your own Army is concerned they shall live up to each and every expectation of yours as they are charged, resolute, inspired and proud that they have another Chief with spunk, spine and guts, a distinct change from the days of the three successive predecessors of VK. A word about the media. Handle the anchors with shrewdness and smartness. Most of them consider to be know-all being fauji brats; do not fall for the likes of Karan Thapar/Arnab/Rahul Kanwal and of course Barkha Dutt. And take my advice, keep Shekhar Gupta at an arms length.
Bikram, all the best to you and your family. You have your own style and personality and i for one am sure that the Indian Army is in good hands. One thing which i have totally fallen for is your beautiful smile !! Keep smiling !!
With best regards,
(Col AJ Bahadur)
9/204, The Heritage, Yelahanka, Bangalore - 560064

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Land sharks squat on defence ministry’s 12,000 acres

TNN | Jun 12, 2012, 02.34AM IST
NEW DELHI: A staggering 12,000 acres of land managed by the defence ministry has been encroached on and much of it for more than 20 years, the ministry informed Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday.
Of the total land encroached, 4,500 acres is under the defence estates management and the ministry is now engaged in recording, updating and microfilming lakhs of documents while also reviewing leases that have either expired or are under dispute.
Ministry officials faced some sharp questions from PAC members like N K Singh, Bhatruhari Mahtab and Shashi Tharoor over how proceeds from land developed by government and private parties was used and whether there were records of No Objection Certificates (NoCs) granted by defence authorities.
There was a brief reference to the Adarsh scam with Congress MP Sanjay Nirupam wanting to know whether the ministry could claim ownership of the controversial real estate in south Mumbai if it had never received an ownership deed.
Mahtab, however, pointed out that the relevant record of defence owning the land could be a part of military land records that the ministry has been asked to locate. The land on which the society came up in violation of norms with flats worth in crores allotted to influential persons has been in the defence ministry's possession for several years.
Perhaps wariness about land issues after the Adarsh scam, saw the ministry respond to the committee's queries after five reminders and a year after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report reached the PAC.
The defence establishment owns a little over 17 lakh acres of land and with the NoC granted, although not executed, for a private school leading to the highly publicized Sukna land case, members wanted to know how many NoCs have been granted in recent years.
The query, however, drew a blank as a senior ministry official said the information was classified leading to MPs demanding that it be shared with the panel internally. The ministry carefully told the committee that it has made public information regarding "old grants", many that have been concluded in British times.
Tharoor is believed to have expressed surprise over the manner in which funds generated from land transactions were not monitored under a separate head as he felt these should be deposited in the consolidated fund of India.
In its presentation, the ministry said it has now banned any NoC being issued to private parties and this was being strictly complied with while all defence organizations were actively computerizing records that were placed under electronic time seals signed by relevant officers.
Land sharks squat on defence ministry’s 12,000 acres

Brajesh Mishra aids RAW spy to escape

Maj Rabindra Singh disappeared taking advantage of the then National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra not agreeing to the RAW report for his arrest. Brajesh Mishra, awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2011 for his anti- national activity!
Missing Indian spy found in US
By Iftikhar Gilani Tuesday, March 14, 2006
NEW DELHI: Rabindra Singh, a senior Indian spy who went missing in May 2004 after suspected of becoming a double agent and passing on secret and classified documents to the Americans, has been ultimately traced in the countryside of Virginia state in the United States after 22 months of hunt.
The government knew from very first day of his escape that he had fled to the United States for whom he was spying in Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s top external intelligence agency. His whereabouts, however, remained unknown until recently. A Delhi daily on Monday said Rabindra, a clean-shaven Sikh who was a joint secretary in RAW at the time of his escape just as he was to be arrested, is living in disguise with his wife and two children in Virginia. The Indian agencies have established his identity on the basis of his latest photograph in disguise and other evidences and now intense efforts are on to bring him to justice.
India and United States have the extradition treaty that may be explored to ask the US authorities to arrest Rabindra and send him back to India, though the authorities are sceptic in succeeding since Rabindra had become the American agent in RAW. Rabindra was under surveillance by the counter-intelligence unit of RAW on suspicion that he was photocopying sensitive files and classified information and handing them over to the US intelligence officials based in Delhi. He was already filmed zeroxing classified documents in his office after the agency bosses smelt rat the way he was hosting parties for the foreign secret agents.
He and his family, however, disappeared taking advantage of the then National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra not agree to the RAW report for his arrest. His handlers in the US intelligence network in the American embassy had tipped him off that their clandestine dealings with him were no longer secret. He fled to Nepal via Bihar border and then managed to reach the Untied States with the help of the undercover operatives of the US intelligence.
Rabinder was part and parcel of several undercover missions and was one of the 15 joint secretaries in the country’s top external intelligence agency’s secretariat at the time of his escape. His disappearance had caused a lot of concern in the government since he knew a lot about the counter-intelligence missions and as such he can harm the national interests.
He was a major in the Army before he came to RAW on deputation to RAW in the 80s and was absorbed in the RAW service on completion of the deputation. Rated a poor intelligence analyst, he had talent to be a better field operative. During his RAW career, he worked in Amritsar and subsequently as a field operative in West Asia and West Europe to monitor activities of the terrorist groups and Sikh militants operating from there. In Amritsar, he was assigned the task of collecting transborder intelligence.
Missing Indian spy found in US

AIESWA in the forefront of welfare for Veterans


The All India Ex Services Welfare Association became THIRTY YEARS old on 21 Nov 2011. To mark this huge milestone they organized a Sainik Sammelan at Netaji Nagar New Delhi on 16 June 2012. The second one in the on going Celebrations. The first one having already been assembled at Charkhi Dadri on 22 Jan 2012.
Smt Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister of Delhi, very kindly graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
Right from early morning the Veterans started pouring in by various means of transportation. On arrival at the Netaji Nagar they were served tea. By the time the program started the entire premises were full.
  • Remembering Stalwarts Who Are No more
    Before starting the proceedings Brig Bhagwan Singh, the Secretary General requested all to rise and observe two minutes silence in the memory of those who were not with us.
  • Our Stalwarts Honoured
    Smt Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister honored their Stalwart members for their past services in making the Association what it is today, with a shawl, mommento and a citation . The names of Stalwarts are Capt Gurcharan Singh, Capt Inder Singh Mokha, Capt Laxman Singh, Sub Subhash Chand, Hav Maan Singh, Capt Chattar Singh, Sgt Manohar Bhatkulkar, Hav Ram Karan and Hav Shri Ram.
  • Tailoring Centres Donated
    The Association Chairman Lt Col Inderjit Singh donated two Tailoring Centers for initiating the families to look after themselves by doing tailoring work in their villages. Of these one each was given to Vil Sundhana and Kheri Khatiwas. The letters of intent were presented to the District Presidents/ representatives by Smt Sheila Dikshit, the Chief Minister.
  • Maharashtra Chapter
    Capt Udaji Nikam the President of Maharashtra who is also the Chairman of the Col RD Nikam Sainik Sahkari Bank stated that he is running 17 Branches of his bank in Maharashtra. Now two more have been sanctioned. He proposed that it could be started in Delhi too if the Veterans desire.
    Memorandum Presented
    The Chairman Lt Col Inderjit Singh then presented the Memorandum to the Hon'ble Chief Minister about the problems of Veterans both at State and Central level and appealed to her for her kind indulgence to have those solved.
  • Delhi Problems
    a) Sainik Boards should be set up for all five Districts. All appointments should be made regular.
    b) Ten per cent seats for employment should be reserved for Veterans.
    c) House Tax rebate of 30 % is too inadequate. No house tax should be charged from Veterans for one house as is the practice in most of the States.
    d) Electricity rebate of 75 units allowed earlier to war widows and disabled should be restored.
    e)Free travel by State transport should be allowed to war widows and disabled Veterans.
    f) Accommodation in one of the Palika Bhawans at concessional rates be allotted to the Association.
  • National Problems
    a) OROP: The Chief Ministers help was sought to have the matter expedited.
    b) The Sixth CPC was a disaster. To sort out the mess created by the CPC and the Cabinet Scretary's Committee an Interim Ex Servicemen Commission be appointed.
    c) Ex servicemen Deptt should be fully manned by Veterans and serving soldiers.
    d) Standing Committee of Voluntary Agencies be appointed for Defense Ministry as well on the same lines as the one we have in Pension Ministry.
    e) The ECHS is a basically flawed Scheme. It should therefore be scrapped and Medicare Policy scheme brought in.
    f) Representation of Armed Forces personnel should be ensured at all levels of decision making in the MOD.
    g) Ex Servicemen Commission with full powers be appointed.
  • Chief Minister Speaks
    The Chief Minster then addressed the huge gathering. She assured the Veterans that she would do whatever is possible to solve their problems both at State and National level.
    The Sammelan ended with the Secretary General Brigadier Bhagwan Singh thanking the Hon'ble Chief Minister for her generosity to come and grace the occasion and all the gathering for coming and participating in our Celebrations.
    Brig Bhagwan Singh
    Secretary General
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