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What next for the Sanders campaign?

first_imgBernie Sanders has given an early, pre-convention endorsement of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party nominee. Thus, the battle that he promised, of fighting all the way to the convention, is largely over.Sanders officially got 12 million votes. He probably received at least 1 to 2 million more in California, which have not yet been counted. Several million more Sanders supporters could not vote for him because of closed primaries and restrictive registration rules in major states.From the very outset, the Sanders campaign was wrapped in a severe contradiction. Sanders was advocating a rebellion against Wall Street, against income inequality and for basic economic rights. Yet he fought from within the Democratic Party, which is the party of Wall Street, big business and the Pentagon, as it has been for the last century. Now he has chosen to remain in the Democratic Party, whose leadership is profoundly opposed to Sanders’ goals.To be sure, Sanders would never have been able to have the national impact he did had he not run in the Democratic Party presidential primaries. This is a reflection of the undemocratic nature of the U.S. electoral system. The winner-take-all elections, the absence of proportional representation, the enormous petitioning obstacles to getting on the ballot, and the control of electoral publicity by the media monopolies are guaranteed to keep the working class and the left on the margins of electoral politics.Despite that, the Sanders campaign has shown the great potential for a real grass-roots rebellion against the political establishment. But it has also led to his present contradiction of backing Hillary Clinton, the very establishment candidate he fought against.But that is his contradiction. The movement that supported him must not be locked into that contradiction.Independent road to fight big businessThe question for millions of followers of Sanders is, what to do now? Should they hold their noses and run to the Clinton camp on the grounds that Trump must be defeated, or should they chart an independent course?The answer at the moment is that the most important thing to do for the future of the movement in the U.S. is to chart an independent course. The answer for what to do about Trump right now is to fight him with demonstrations and disruptions wherever he and his racist, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, anti-women forces appear.The electoral question should not become a reason to give up the freedom to wage an independent struggle against the big-business establishment, as represented by the two capitalist parties — the Democratic Party leadership as well as the Republicans.The elections must not tie the hands of Sanders’ supporters who want to continue and deepen a progressive and revolutionary struggle. The Sanders movement must chart a course that at least includes what they were fighting for when they voted for Sanders in the first place.It must escalate the fight against the rich and their obscene salaries and profits, the fight against the giant banks, for universal health care, for free college tuition, for an end to student debt, to stop the polluters and climate change, for the right to a union, for a woman’s right to choose, an end to deportations and so forth. These were the premises of the Sanders campaign. This program must not be abandoned or left in the hands of Hillary Clinton and the big-business dominated Democratic Party.And because Sanders’ program was limited, the movement has a chance to go far beyond it. A truly comprehensive, independent course must be a working-class course. It must be based on solidarity with oppressed people at home and abroad. It must support the Black Lives Matter movement against police terror, the movements against Pentagon aggression, deportations of immigrants, and the persecution and exploitation of undocumented workers.A course of struggleThe other vital question is: Should an independent course take an exclusively electoral form, or should it be broadened and sharpened and taken to the streets, the workplaces, the communities and the campuses?Given the momentum of the Sanders campaign, many want to pursue an independent electoral course. And there is nothing at all wrong with a truly left, independent electoral campaign. But it must be accompanied by a campaign of struggle.What the establishment really responds to is mass resistance, protest, demonstrations, occupations, sit-downs, strikes and everything that interferes with business as usual. History shows that legislative victories that improve the life of the people in a significant way are the result of mass struggle.The right to organize mass unions was won by hundreds of plant occupations and sit-down strikes in the 1930s. Civil rights were won by African Americans and their allies in the 1950s and 1960s all over the South, confronting the police and racist forces, at great sacrifice. Poverty programs and affirmative action were won after hundreds of urban rebellions in the North. The right to abortion was won by mass marches and countless demonstrations by women all over the country. Gay and lesbian rights began with the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969 and countless mass demonstrations after that.Such examples could be multiplied endlessly.Democratic Party trapNow Sanders and many of his top supporters in the Democratic Party are claiming that the victory of his campaign is represented by “the most progressive program” in party history.A notable exception is Cornel West, an African-American professor who campaigned for Sanders and was appointed as one of his representatives on the Democratic Party platform committee. West has announced that he will be supporting Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, in the general election. West wrote: “We are tied in a choice between Trump, who would be a neofascist catastrophe, and Clinton, a neoliberal disaster.” (The Guardian, July 14)The Democratic Program Committee accepted some of Sanders’ program, but rejected major portions of it. However, that is not the fundamental problem. The real problem is that the first thing to go into the waste basket if the Clinton machine gains the White House is the program. That has been true of all previous Democratic Party programs.The Democratic Party is a capitalist party. As such, no bourgeois leadership is bound in any way to carry out the party program. This is unlike a working-class party, in which the leadership and the rank and file alike are bound to support and fight for the party program. In working-class parties, the program is decisive. In bourgeois parties, the program is just window dressing.Sanders is trying to persuade his followers that progress in the Democratic Party program is a step on the road to a political revolution in the U.S. Should Hillary Clinton get into the White House, however, she will be at home surrounded by Pentagon generals, the CIA, the FBI, bankers, the entire upper echelons of the capitalist state, not to mention business lobbyists, influence peddlers of all types. It will be her job to defend U.S. capitalism and U.S. imperialism.Generations of progressive activists and even revolutionaries have tried time and again to gain a foothold in the Democratic Party in order to “transform” it and push it to the left. This has always been a trap. They have always had to sacrifice their principles and their struggle while the imperialist Democratic Party leadership attacks the masses and carries out one war and intervention after another — from World Wars I and II to Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and on and on.And let’s not forget that Hillary Clinton, as President Obama’s secretary of state, was the leading force advocating regime change in Libya; was a strong supporter of the overthrow of the Assad government in Syria; and defended the coup in Honduras. She also denounced “superpredators,” referring to Black youth, in support of Bill Clinton’s crime bill of 1996, which greatly increased mass incarceration.Let’s not forget how the Clinton machine destroyed welfare, known as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, throwing millions of single mothers and their children into poverty. Nor should we forget the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which severely limited habeas corpus appeals by death row prisoners. All this gives the lie to her attempts to paint herself as “progressive” in the current presidential campaign.Let’s remember how the Clinton machine launched the Yugoslav War and the bombing of civilians in Serbia, continued the Iraq sanctions started under George H.W. Bush, which killed half a million children, and repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, which had been enacted during the Great Depression to put some regulations on Wall Street. This is just a selection of some of the reactionary policies of the Clintons, as well as previous Democratic administrations.A political revolution needsa social revolutionWhile the Sanders campaign represented a sweeping electoral rebellion against the Democratic Party establishment, his program was a relatively mild one. But U.S. politics are so reactionary, including Democratic Party politics, and the crisis of the people is so deep on so many fronts, that the Sanders program caught on and understandably generated enormous enthusiasm.Big business is so dominant in U.S. politics that even demands for basic reforms like breaking up the big banks, Medicare for all, free college tuition, eliminating student debt, strengthening the right to organize, opposing anti-worker so-called “free trade deals” and so forth were like a breath of fresh air and captured the imagination of millions.Sanders talked about carrying out a “political revolution” in the U.S. By political revolution he meant his reformist program. While he called himself a socialist, he never attacked capitalism as a system. He never called for socialist measures to end the people’s suffering.A real political revolution means that the workers, the oppressed communities, women, LGBTQ people, immigrants — all must be in charge of their fate. They must not have to rely on capitalist politicians who serve the rich to determine what happens to them, while year after year they try to survive and can gain only the most meager concessions.For there to be a political revolution in the United States, there has to be a social revolution. The capitalist class, its state, its property, its machine will have to be broken up. The vast resources in wealth that the working class has created will have to be put to use in a planned way, not for profit but for human benefit and well-being. When the workers and the oppressed are in charge, that will be a genuine political revolution.A party that advocates and fights precisely for a socialist form of revolution is Workers World Party. It is running an election campaign, but one that is aimed at keeping the movement in the streets, not diverting it to the ballot box. To struggle for revolutionary socialism, solidarity with the workers and oppressed at home and abroad, become part of the Moorehead-Lilly campaign: #socialists4blacklives on Twitter and Monica Moorehead & Lamont Lilly 2016 on Facebook.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Cuban Communist Party says, ‘Venezuela is not alone’

first_imgThe following article appeared in the Jan. 25 English edition of Granma, the official voice of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee. Go to tinyurl.com/y7crzn9y/.The Venezuelan people are mobilized, following the call of their legitimate President Nicolás Maduro, to defend their sovereignty, peace and constitutionality. The Bolivarian nation also has the majority support of the international communityThe Venezuelan people are mobilized, following the call of their legitimate President, Nicolás Maduro, to defend their sovereignty, peace and constitutionality, after recent moves in the United States to instigate a coup.The maneuvers came after Juan Guaidó, president of a National Assembly in contempt, declared himself interim president of Venezuela, and was recognized as such by the U.S. and its allies.Despite this, the Maduro government continues to enjoy the majority support of the international community, with global powers such as Russia and China reiterating its legitimacy and condemning any foreign interference. Governors, Supreme Tribunal of Justice, the electoral and citizen powers uphold the Constitution The Electoral Power of Venezuela, represented by the National Electoral Council (CNE), demanded respect for the will of the Venezuelan people, who constitutionally elected Nicolás Maduro for a second term as President in May 2018. “The CNE repudiates and condemns the complete disregard and violation of the constitutional order demonstrated on January 23,” stated CNE President Tibisay Lucena.Meanwhile, Maikel Moreno, president of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, confirmed that the judicial system recognizes Nicolás Maduro’s authority as constitutional president of the nation, and does not recognize the move to usurp him, against the will of the people.Attorney General Tarek William Saab, on behalf of the Citizen Power, condemned the attempted coup and expressed unrestricted support for the Executive.According to Prensa Latina, governors of 19 Venezuelan states called for the preservation of peace, respect for democracy and the sovereignty of the South American country, and rejected violent acts by sectors of the opposition. Governor of Miranda State, Héctor Rodríguez, noted: “The country’s security forces are deployed to guarantee the peace of the nation.”Military ratified Maduro as Commander in ChiefCommanders of the Strategic Integral Defense Regions (REDI) of Venezuela ratified their commitment to the Constitution and support for President Nicolás Maduro, as their Commander in Chief, and rejected international interference in the country’s internal affairs.Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino stressed: “The FANB will defend the Venezuelan Constitution as the guarantor of national sovereignty.”The international community supports VenezuelaMember countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA-TCP) supported and recognized Maduro as the legitimate President of Venezuela, in the face of the coup threats promoted by the United States. In a statement they reiterated that they will only recognize as representatives of Venezuela in multilateral and bilateral spheres, diplomatic officials appointed by the Executive Power headed by President Maduro, and no supposed transitional government.Meanwhile, teleSUR reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin called Maduro to express his continued support and “emphasized that destructive external interference is a gross violation of the fundamental norms of international law.”The government of Nicaragua released a statement of its support: “The Great Homeland does not submit, it stands proud, with the Love of its Nations. United in ALBA, we are all Venezuela. Latin America and the Caribbean, the cradle of great and luminous beings, demands dignity and greatness against the empire.”“China supports the efforts made by the Venezuelan government to uphold national sovereignty, independence and stability,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a press conference. “We always follow the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, we oppose foreign interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela and we hope that the international community will also follow this principle,” she concluded.Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told reporters: “The Islamic Republic of Iran supports the government and people of Venezuela against any sort of foreign intervention and any illegitimate and illegal action such as attempt to undertake a coup.”The Syrian Foreign Ministry expressed its solidarity with Venezuela and with Maduro, condemning U.S. interference.Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India also criticized foreign intervention and called on the peoples of the world to show solidarity with the Venezuelan people. The French Communist Party and social organizations such as the Paris Bolivarian Circle and the ALBA-TCP Collective in France, the Paraguayan Guasu Front and the German Left Party also expressed their continued support.In the meantime, the U.S. has hypocritically asked for a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss the situation in Venezuela. Social networks have been flooded with memes denouncing the interference of the Trump administration. One of them read: “Would you like to become president without going through an uncomfortable popular election? Just call 1800 Mike Pence for an immediate guarantee.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

UN is investigating the shooting of radio journalist Laraque Robenson

first_img Another journalist murdered in Haiti HaïtiAmericas HaïtiAmericas News Help by sharing this information Violence against the press in Haiti: RSF and CPJ write to Minister of Justice April 8, 2005 – Updated on January 20, 2016 UN is investigating the shooting of radio journalist Laraque Robenson Organisation October 11, 2019 Find out more Follow the news on Haïti to go furthercenter_img News David Beer, the head of the civilian police component of the UN mission in Haiti announced yesterday that an investigation is under way into the circumstances in which journalist Laraque Robenson was fatally injured in a shootout between former soldiers and UN peacekeepers on 20 March in the southern town of Petit-Goâve. In the week following the incident, UN investigators went to Robenson’s radio station in Petit-Goâve, Tele Contact, to question staff._______________________________6.04.05-Journalist dies from gunshot woundsReporters Without Borders voiced dismay today at the news that Haitian journalist Laraque Robenson, 25, of radio Tele Contact died in a Cuban hospital on 4 April from gunshot wounds he received two weeks earlier in the southern Haitian town of Petit-Goâve in shooting between UN peacekeepers and former soldiers occupying a police station.”We convey our sincerest condolences to Laraque Robenson’s family and the staff at Tele Contact,” the press freedom organization said, noting that Robenson died in similar circumstances to Spanish journalist Ricardo Ortega, who was fatally shot on in March 2004 in Port-au-Prince.”This tragedy once again exposes the situation of anarchy in Haiti, where armed bands are escaping the control of the United Nations Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH), and as long as this continues, neither journalists’ safety nor press freedom will be guaranteed,” Reporters Without Borders said.The organization called for a thorough investigation to determine who fired the shots that caused Robenson’s fatal injuries. It also wrote to the UN security council, which is due to visit Haiti from 13 to 16 April, asking it to clarify MINUSTAH’s role in his death.Robenson was taken to a hospital in Cuba for treatment to the two gunshot wounds he received to the head and neck during shooting that took place on 20 March when MINUSTAH peacekeepers used force to remove former soldiers from the police station they were occupying in Petit-Goâve.Two former soliders and a Sri Lankan peacekeeper will killed in the shootout, which Robenson followed from the balcony of Tele Contact.Tele Contact director Fred Jasmin told Reporters Without Borders: “There was fierce fighting. I was in the stairway with some of my colleagues. We wanted to go on to the street to interview a man who had been hit in the thigh. We could not go out. Suddenly we heard cries from upstairs. We went up and found Laraque on the floor, unconscious.”Jasmin claimed that Robenson was hit by shots fired by MINUSTAH peacekeepers. “There are the ones who fired,” he told Reporters Without Borders. “It seems they carried out an investigation but we were never told anything.” Jasmin also criticized the passivity of the Haitian authorities. “No officials from the justice ministry or interior ministry ever came to the radio station after the shooting, and the police did not contact MINUSTAH,” he said. Tele Contact intends to file a complaint against the government and MINUSTAH. “For that, we are waiting for the return of Laraque Robenson’s family from Cuba,” he said. Receive email alerts Journalist shot dead amid anti-government protests in Haiti November 14, 2019 Find out more RSF_en News News June 11, 2019 Find out morelast_img read more

In crackdown on press, new rules set newspapers and TV back 20 years

first_imgNews April 21, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information RSF_en The new regulations declared by General Pervez Musharraf have wiped out allearlier progress in press freedom. The army has also launched a vigorouscrackdown against independent media and privately-owned televisions arestill blacked out. News Pakistani journalist critical of the military wounded by gunfire News Receive email alerts News Follow the news on Pakistan January 28, 2021 Find out morecenter_img Police yesterday tried to close down the printing works of the Jang media group in the southern city of Karachi. Staff refused to stop the printing of one of the group’s newspapers, Awam (People), which had a supplement on events since the state of emergency was proclaimed. This attempt to censor Awam was thwarted by the actions of the group’s management and employees.Around the same time, police arrested at least five photographers and a cameraman as they were covering a demonstration by human rights activists outside the Karachi Press Club. A BBC correspondent was also arrested yesterday near the home of a Karachi judge as he was trying to take photos. The police erased the shots he had taken. And in Quetta, a police officer smashed an Agence France-Presse reporter’s camera as he was covering a demonstration.The day before, 4 November, the police went to the offices of Aaj TV in Islamabad and tried to seize transmission equipment and a truck used for live outside broadcasts. The police also surrounded the studios of radio FM 99.Sattar Kakar, privately-owned ARY television’s bureau chief in the southwestern city of Quetta, and his cameraman were held for several hours on 3 November. The next day, the security forces searched ARY’s offices in the southern city of Sukkur, arresting the bureau chief’s two brothers and threatening employees.Before the state of emergency was proclaimed, PEMRA members raided the studios of radio FM 103 in Islamabad on 3 November. At the behest of Rana Altaf, a PEMRA official, some 30 policemen surrounded the station and confiscated broadcast equipment. Pakistani TV anchor censored after denouncing violence against journalists PakistanAsia – Pacific PakistanAsia – Pacific Organisation to go further November 6, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 In crackdown on press, new rules set newspapers and TV back 20 years June 2, 2021 Find out more Pakistani supreme court acquits main suspect in Daniel Pearl murder Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns a crackdown by the security forces on the privately-owned news media. Dozens of journalists have been detained, attacked or prevented from working. Transmission equipment has been seized from several broadcast media. New regulations on newspapers and broadcast media promulgated on 3 November are a death warrant for some of the privately-owned TV and radio news stations that emerged in recent years.”For the past three days, Gen. Pervez Musharraf has been destroying all the press freedom gains one by one,” the organisation said. “Pakistan’s media, especially privately-owned TV, radio stations and independent newspapers, are in danger of losing any possibility of disseminating independent news as a result of the military offensive.”Reporters Without Borders added: “We support demonstrations by journalists unions and news media calling for an end to the crackdown on the press and the state of emergency. The international community must not remain indifferent to this programmed murder of Pakistan’s media.”After declaring a state of emergency, Gen. Musharraf modified the 2002 Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance and the 2002 Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance.According to the copies of the amendments obtained by Reporters Without Borders, all the media are now forbidden to broadcast video footage of suicide bombers or terrorists, or statements by militants and extremists; express opinions prejudicial to the ideology, sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan; incite violence or hatred or any action prejudicial to maintenance of law and order; broadcast anything that brings the president, armed forces or state institutions into ridicule; refer to any matter that is sub-judice; or broadcast anything that could be false or baseless.If the new regulations are violated, the government is given full powers to seize newspapers, while the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) is given similar powers to confiscate equipment from broadcast media. Media owners face up to three years in prison and a fine of 10 million rupees. Pakistani radio and TV stations are also banned from signing broadcast agreements with foreign news media without PEMRA’s permission, while cable operators and distributors can be sentenced to up to a year in prison for breaking the new rules.Under national and international pressure, the government had to abandon its plans to tighten the rules for the broadcast media last June, but the repressive changes have been forced through this time.Violence against the presslast_img read more

Judicial Independence : A Fragile Bastion

first_imgColumnsJudicial Independence : A Fragile Bastion Kavin Gulati, Senior Advocate18 Jun 2020 2:29 AMShare This – xJudicial independence, without the judiciary proactively asserting it, is a mirage.One of the leading French philosophers Montesquieu saw despotism, as a constant danger for any government not already despotic, and argued that it could best be prevented by a system in which different bodies exercised legislative, executive, and judicial power, and in which all those bodies were bound by the rule of law.[1] This is referred to as the theory of separation of powers….Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginOne of the leading French philosophers Montesquieu saw despotism, as a constant danger for any government not already despotic, and argued that it could best be prevented by a system in which different bodies exercised legislative, executive, and judicial power, and in which all those bodies were bound by the rule of law.[1] This is referred to as the theory of separation of powers. Leading nations of the world have adopted this theory as a part of their constitutional schemes, USA being a prime example. A rigid separation of powers, as under the American Constitution does not apply to India, but there is nevertheless a separation in the broad sense.[2] The Indian Constitution has made a demarcation without drawing formal lines between the three organs. The separation of powers between the legislature, executive and the judiciary, is a part of the basic structure of the Constitution. Independence of Courts from the executive and the legislature is fundamental to the rule of law. In theory, this sounds utopian, but as James Madison asked, “Will it be sufficient to mark, with precision the boundaries of these departments, in the constitution of the government, and to trust to these parchment barriers against the encroaching spirit of power?” for “the legislative department is everywhere extending the sphere of its activity, and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex”.[4] Judicial independence, without the judiciary proactively asserting it, is a mirage – a myth if you will. Under our Constitution, appointment of judges (to the Supreme Court and the High Court), their transfers and elevation to the Supreme Court are all by the President of India, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of India. The other conditions of service including their salaries, perks and pension are all matters which are determined by legislation by the Parliament. All post retirement appointments including those as governors and to tribunals or commissions of enquiry are in the hands of the executive. Madison described the judiciary as the weakest of the three departments of power.[5] Sir Ninian Martin Stephen says an independent judiciary, although a formidable protector of individual liberty is at the same time a very vulnerable institution, a fragile bastion indeed. [6] SUPREME COURT – A SHIP WITHOUT AN EFFECTIVE CAPTAIN Protection of this fragile bastion requires leadership, not only from the Supreme Court of India as an institution, but also from the Chief Justice as an individual. ‘Judicial independence in is as much about perception as reality. It involves removing reasons to suspect the judiciary of partiality or bias'[7]. Judicial independence can be perceived by ensuring a transparent appointment process, security of tenure, protection of terms of service and more importantly taking steps to ensure that the dignity of the individual and his office is not compromised in any manner .[8] India has had the misfortune of having 47 Chief Justices in its short life of 70 years till now, with tenures ranging between 17 days (K.N. Singh CJ) to 2696 days (Y.V. Chandrachud CJ). The tenure of some other Chief Justices was as follows: A.K. Sarkar (105 days), J.C. Shah (35 days), L.M. Sharma (85 days), S.P. Bharucha (185 days), S. Rajendra Babu (29 days), R.M. Lodha (153 days). Imagine a multinational company such as Apple, Goggle or Levers having to contend with a new CEO at such short intervals. Similarly if the Prime Minister of the Country or the Chief Ministers were liable to change after a couple of months in office , it would lead to either a policy paralysis or complete confusion – with each incumbent trying out a new policy . The Chief Justice is more than a Judge. He is a representative of the Judiciary as an institution. He is expected to speak up for the judiciary of the nation and the States on issues that affect judicial independence. Leadership requires more than just being able to react when a crises develops, but also deciding at what point and when to respond. [9] Time has come for an incumbent Chief to get at least four to five years in order to enable him to put his/her policies in place and gives direction and vision to the judiciary .This of course would require foregoing the rule of seniority, which is now a judicially established rule. It would require the senior most judges to sacrifice their claims to the chair, and elect the most able administrator and visionary amongst themselves. Such a course will also prevent the executive from foisting a person of their choice, as was done previously. INCREASE THE AGE OF RETIREMENT AND PROHIBIT POST RETIREMENT EMPLOYMENT Post retirement employment of the judges is seen as the greatest threat to judicial independence. Independence is as much about perception as it is about reality.[10] Professor Alysia Blackham writes –”While there is no suggestion of bias or impropriety in how these judges behaved prior to retirement, their post retirement careers may have implications for actual or perceived judicial independence”. “Thus when issues arise in relation to a judge’s post retirement career; this may have implications for the perceived independence of the judicial branch as a whole”.[11] It is for this reason the appointment of judges as governors, members of parliament, or as members of tribunals or commissions are not viewed by the citizen in good light. It would be way better therefore to increase the age of judges both for the Supreme Courts and the High Courts to anywhere between 70 to 75 years (as is the case in most advanced countries around the world) with a rider that a judge on retirement, would be ineligible for government service for the next 5 years. Such a step would be perceived as strengthening judicial independence. Chief Justice Posner had the following to say, “Judges are less likely to decide cases with a view towards maximising their future career opportunities, and are therefore more likely to decide cases impartially, the less of a future they have. We want judging to be a terminal job rather than a spring board to another career”.[12] RESTORING THE PAST GLORY OF HIGH COURTS Experience has shown that, most governments have from time to time tried to undermine judicial independence by a combination of fear, harassment, inducement, cajoling and the like. Soon after the famous Kesavananda Bharati [13] decision (which imposed a fetter the power of Parliament, by holding that it could not alter the basic structure of the Constitution), the Government disregarded seniority of three judges who were a part of the majority – Justices J.M. Shelat, K.S. Hegde and A.N. Grover and instead appointed Justice A.N. Ray. Similarly the lone dissenter in the now infamous ADM Jabalpur case [14] (which justified preventive detention without the citizen having recourse to his fundamental rights) Justice H.R. Khanna was again superseded and M.H. Beg was appointed as Chief Justice of India. Similarly, supersession’s were resorted to while appointing Chief Justices to High Courts. Further, the practise of transfers as a punitive measure has been adopted from time to time starting with the transfer in 1980 of Chief Justice K.B.N. Singh from Patna to Madras (now Chennai), and transferring Chief Justice M.M. Ismail form Madras to Kerala , leading to the resignation being tendered by Justice Ismail. This was followed by the transfer of Chief Justice Satish Chandra from Allahabad to Calcutta and Chief Justice Sandhawalia from Punjab to Patna. Both these Chiefs were appointed during the Janta regime and their transfers were affected in the congress regime. All this was possible, as the Supreme Court in the First Judges case [15] had interpreted the word ‘consultation’ used in Article 124(2) and Article 217(1) and Article 222 of the Constitution to not mean concurrence of the Chief Justice, thereby giving the government the handle to ignore the suggestions of the Chief Justice in the matter of appointment of Judges (to the Supreme Court and High Courts) and transfer of Judges from one High Court to the other. The Second [16] and the Third [17]Judges cases, however in the years 1993 and 1998 respectively, while overruling the first Judges case held that in view of a conflict between the President and the Chief Justice, the view of the Chief Justice would have primacy and would prevail. The appointment and transfer of Judges of the Superior Judiciary was now to be controlled by the respective collegiums of the Supreme Court and High Courts, with the Supreme Court collegiums having an overarching control. Sadly, the gains made on the judicial side were soon lost by the Collegiums (consisting of the senior most judges) by resorting to ad hoc and arbitrary transfers of Judges from one High Court to another. About 50 Judges were transferred by a Collegium headed by the then Chief Justice M.N. Venkatachliah. Some years later nearly 20 judges were transferred during Chief Justice Kapadia’s tenure. These transfers were made to get over the nexus between judges and their relatives practising in the same courts as well as to transfer judges who were perceived to be suspect. Needless to say these transfers were made without confronting the Judge concerned with any adverse material against the Judge, without a hearing and in total disregard to the principle of natural justice in the name of public interest. While this measure brought great personal glory to the individual members of the collegiums (projecting them as crusaders against corruption and nepotism), it resulted in showing the High Courts in very poor light. The reputation of the most important judicial institution in the country – the High Courts, was tarnished, not to mention tarnishing of the image of the transferred judges, who were treated as proclaimed offenders, on mere hearsay, and without a hearing. Transfers since then have now become routine. Judges of High Courts, who have ruled against the governments of the day, face transfers or supersession. It has become a tool for oppression and sending out a message to tow the line of the government or face the music. Successive collegiums have failed to stand up to this executive interference and have acted simply on intelligence reports, also prepared at the instance of the executive. Such actions lower the morale of the judges of the High Court and dissuade good candidates from taking up Judgeship. Assuming a judge is tainted, how would it help by transferring him? The answer lies in taking the process of appointment of judges more seriously , by undertaking a more intensive and rigorous examination of the proposed appointees and not recommending or refusing to recommend them simply on the reports of the investigation bureau, which sadly has become a stooge of the government. This would result in a better pool of judges being elevated. The Supreme Court should devise a robust mechanism to deal with complaints against judges, including developing its own intelligence wing. The offending material against the judge must be placed before the judge concerned and their response must be elicited, followed by a deeper examination of the same by a committee of senior judges. If any truth is found, then depending upon the gravity of the misdemeanour, the judge concerned can be warned, or removed from that jurisdiction or asked to resign. Transfer should really be the last option. Such measures would go a long way in enhancing judicial integrity. The fact that there is a power to transfer available by virtue of Article 222 of the Constitution ought not to be the reason to utilise that power routinely and indiscriminately. Similarly, the practise of appointing Chief Justices to the High Court from another High Court has achieved little. The tenure of such incumbents is usually too short for them to do any substantial good for the development of that High Court. Louise Arbour [18] while rendering a speech in 2013 had the following pertinent observations to make “We see at play a circle that can be either vicious or virtuous: in a country where the judiciary is held in low esteem and perceived as incompetent or corrupt or both, it would be difficult to attract the kinds of judges that would, in time, transform that perception. If the opposite is true, and judges are held in high esteem and enjoy public trust and social prestige, better candidates will come forward for judicial appointment and actual selection of one over the other will matter less”. The ball therefore is clearly with the Supreme Court. (Research inputs by Soumya Gulati, Final Year Student of law at Government law College, Mumbai) [1] Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [2]Chandrachud J in Indira Nehru Gandhi v Raj Narain (1975) Supp. S CC 1 [3] State of TN Vs the State of Kerala (2014) 12 SCC 696 [4] James Madison in the Federalist No 48 [5]James Madison in the Federalist No 78 [6] N.Stephen , ‘Southey Memorial Lecture 1981:Judicial Independence – A Fragile Bastion ‘(1981) 13 Melbourne Law Review 334 @338 [7] Julie Debeljak , Associate Director , Castan Center for Human Rights Law , Monash Univeristy – ‘ Judicial Independence : A Collection Of Material For Judicial Conference of Australia [8] Ibid. [9] Honourable David K Malcolm – ‘Role of the Chief Justice ‘- Southern Cross University Law Review- volume 12 -2008 [10] Julie Debeljak , Associate Director , Castan Center for Human Rights Law , Monash Univeristy – ‘ Judicial Independence : A Collection Of Material For Judicial Conference of Australia [11] Alysia Blackham, Senior Lecturer – ‘Judges and Retirement Ages’- Melbourne University Law Review, Vol. 39, Pg.378 [12] Chief Justice Richard A. Posner- ‘Aging and Old Age'( University of Chicago Press, 1995), 350-1 [13] (1973) 4 SCC 255 [14] (1976)2 SCC 521 [15] 1981 Supp (1) SCC 87 [16] (1993) 4 SCC 441 [17] (1998) 7 SCC 739 [18] Louise Arbour Ex Judge ,Supreme Court of Canada ( as reported by the International Crisis Group ) Next Storylast_img read more

Breaking-People Not Wearing Masks Will Have To Offer Community Service At COVID Care Centres: Gujarat High Court

first_imgTop StoriesBreaking-People Not Wearing Masks Will Have To Offer Community Service At COVID Care Centres: Gujarat High Court Sparsh Upadhyay2 Dec 2020 1:13 AMShare This – xCommunity Service At COVID Care Centres A Must For Those Found Without Mask: Gujarat High CourtIn a first, the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday (02nd December) directed the Gujarat government to come out with a policy or order, directing that all those caught not wearing face cover/mask shall be compulsorily sent to COVID-19 care centres for community service. The Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath & Justice J. B. Pardiwala issued the aforesaid direction after the…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginIn a first, the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday (02nd December) directed the Gujarat government to come out with a policy or order, directing that all those caught not wearing face cover/mask shall be compulsorily sent to COVID-19 care centres for community service. The Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath & Justice J. B. Pardiwala issued the aforesaid direction after the State Government took a stand before the Court that it was not inclined to introduce community service for violators of social distancing norms and/or for those not wearing face cover/mask at the COVID Centres on non-medical positions. The Bench, while noting in its order that “stand of the State is unfortunate considering that it is the State which is required to act in the most proactive manner in such times”, remarked, “The stand of the State has left us with no option but to issue certain directions, considering the gravity and enormity of the situation.” The matter before the Court The Bench was hearing a PIL field by Advocate Vishal Awtani, seeking an appropriate direction to the State to increase the fine for not wearing a face cover (mask). Last Friday (27th November), the Court had said that imposition of fine on not wearing masks is not acting as a sufficient deterrent amongst the public and the State Government may consider making violators work at Covid-19 centres. However, it was just a suggestion and it did not attain finality and it was decided that the same shall be discussed by the Court with the State Government on Tuesday (1st December). “State govt in Hamlet dilemma” As per the report of PTI, on Tuesday (01st December), Gujarat government told the High Court that it was unable to figure out how those caught not wearing a mask can be made to do community service at COVID centres, as proposed. “The position of the government is like Prince Hamlet in the Shakespearean play…We could not take any decision because the anxiety of government is not about implementation but post-implementation….to see if each one of them (offenders) have gone for (community) service, to track thereafter,” AG Kamal Trivedi said before the Court. “Sudden Spike in COVID Case” Noting the sudden increase in the number of COVID cases, the Court said that the increase could largely be attributed to the “negligence and recklessness of the public at large, in not maintaining social distancing norms and not diligently and strictly wearing face masks/coverings.” Further, the Court said, “Such conduct is detrimental to the general health and safety of the people. As a matter of fact, many scientific studies have called the face mask/covering as a “Vaccine” for the virus. In such times, there is a great need to instil a habit amongst the people to wear face masks, in order to protect the health of the people, at large.” The Court emphasized that a violator not wearing a face cover/mask “is not only putting himself to risk but is also putting people near and around him or in close contact with him to risk. Such others could be his acquaintances, relatives, friends or strangers.” Importantly, the Court opined, “In effect, he is putting the community at risk and therefore, in line with the concept and in the principle of community service, the said violator must extend services to the community which is put at risk.” Court’s direction The Court directed the State to come up with the notification under the relevant statutes providing that in addition to the imposition of fine, “any person found not wearing face cover/mask to render community service taking the following aspects into consideration”: [a] Any person found to be not wearing or using a face mask/covering in a public place and/or violating the COVID protocol of social distancing, shall be mandated to do community service at any COVID Care centre run by the local authorities. [b] Such mandate of community service to be implemented for all violators without any discrimination favourable or otherwise. [c] The duty should be non-medical in nature and can include activities such as, cleaning, housekeeping, help in cooking and serving the food, preparation of record, data feeding, etc. The nature of the duties given shall be appropriately decided by the authorities, considering the age, qualifications, gender and health status of the violator. [d] Such community service should be for at least 4-6 hours a day, for a period ranging from 5-15 days as the authorities deem it fit and necessary. [e] Such instances should be widely publicized in the media, including social, electronic, digital and print media, so as to have a desirable deterrent effect. Other orders on wearing of face masks: Strictly Implement The Rule Indicating Punishment For Non-Wearing Of Mask, Spitting In Public Places, Etc. : Madras HC Directs Govt.Political Parties Should Take Responsibility And Instruct Members To Wear Face Masks & Maintain Social Distancing : Karnataka High Court”No Person Should be Seen Outside his/ her House Without Mask on Face”: Orders Allahabad HC Saying ‘If Action Not Taken Today, We Won’t Be Able To Face Our Progenies’Covid-19: Allahabad HC Asks DGP To Prepare A ‘Definite Modus Operandi’ To Ensure Social Distancing, 100% People Wear Masks Case Title: Vishal Awtani v. State of Gujarat [Writ Petition (PIL) NO. 108 of 2020] Click Here To Download Order [Read Order]Next Storylast_img read more

Alaska teen allegedly killed friend after man online offered her $9 million

first_imgKuzma/iStock(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) — An Alaska teenager allegedly killed her “best friend” after a man she met online offered to give her millions if she showed evidence of the murder, authorities said.Investigators said Denali Brehmer, 18, launched a plot to murder her 19-year-old friend, Cynthia Hoffman, last month after a man promised her $9 million or more to “rape and murder someone in Alaska” and send him “videos and photographs of the murder,” prosecutors said in an indictment. The indictment, obtained by ABC News on Tuesday, claimed Darin Schilmiller, 21, of Indiana, used another man’s photo for several months online, pretending to be a millionaire named “Tyler” from Kansas.“Brehmer agreed to commit a murder for him,” the indictment stated. “Digital evidence and statements show Brehmer was communicating with and sending videos and/or photographs of the events surrounding the incident to Schilmiller at his directive throughout the duration of the event.”Authorities said they found Hoffman’s duct tape-bound body in a river near a rural Anchorage hiking trail on June 2. Police said she died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, but there was no evidence to show that she was sexually assaulted.Brehmer was charged with first-degree murder in the online “catfishing” case, although police said 16-year-old Kayden McIntosh pulled the trigger and 19-year-old Caleb Leyland provided the vehicle to carry out the plot, the indictment stated.Police said McIntosh, along with Brehmer, attempted to cover up the death by destroying the victim’s clothing, cellphone and purse. Brehmer allegedly texted the young woman’s family after she was dead, saying she’d been dropped at a local park.The suspects admitted their roles in the crime to police and said they were planning to split the money Brehmer received from Schilmiller, who eventually confessed to the scheme, according to the indictment.Police said Schilmiller also admitted to targeting Hoffman. He said the two also discussed murdering a second person, but they abandoned the plan.“[Schilmiller] told police that he knew Hoffman was best friends with Brehmer. He further admitted to telling Brehmer to kill Hoffman and that he and Brehmer had been planning a murder for three weeks,” the document stated. “Schilmiller further admitted to attempting to blackmail Brehmer after the homicide into raping people.”A grand jury indicted the six suspects — Brehmer, McIntosh, Schilmiller, Leyland and two unidentified juveniles — on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder and two counts of second-degree murder and other charges.Prosecutors said Schilmiller is currently in federal custody in Indiana on child pornography charges.In a press conference Tuesday, Bryan Schroder, U.S. attorney for the state of Alaska, announced Schilmiller and Brehmer have also been indicted by a grand jury on federal child pornography charges. The duo is now facing charges of conspiracy to produce child porn, production of child porn, receipt and distribution of child porn and coercion and enticement of a minor.Brehmer allegedly sexually abused a 15-year-old girl at Schilmiller’s urging, the evidence of which the FBI says it found on Brehmer’s phone.“For all the good the internet can do, it can be a very dark place and parents would be wise to monitor the activity of their children online,” Schroder said Tuesday. Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Funding the dream

first_imgWithits trained IT staff in demand around the world, India must reinvest ineducation if it is to become a high-tech superpower in its own right, saysParan BalakrishnanTheIndian government has an ambitious plan to turn India into a high-tech superpower.It wants to hook up one million Internet kiosks by 2005. And that’s only aninterim step: by 2008 it wants 100 million Net connections throughout thecountry – a bold vision when you consider that there are currently only onemillion homes in India linked to the Internet. Butcan the government turn this far-sighted strategy into reality? India’s dreamof becoming a software superpower rests with its army of programmers andtechnicians, many of whom have fanned out across the world – and in some caseseven conquered Silicon Valley. Butthe supply of programmers could be starting to run dry, and that’s where thegovernment is stepping in. It is teaming up with the private sector to set upnew training colleges and add computer departments to existing colleges. SaysPV Jayakrishnan, former chief of the Ministry of Information Technology, whichis spearheading the government initiative: “Unless the government acts asa facilitator to ensure the reach of information technology it will not be possiblefor industry to grow at a faster pace.”Isthere a real fear that India will run short of software programmers? Certainlythere are demands from around the world for trained personnel to man theworkstations. Look, for instance, at what happened when the British governmentrelaxed its immigration regulations for software programmers. In the last year,18,257 computer professionals have entered Britain. Of these, 11,474 are fromIndia. By comparison only 132 are from Pakistan.Indiais currently reaping the dividends of the big investment in education made inthe mid-1950s. The country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, vowed toshake off the shackles of colonialism and was determined to turn out largenumbers of engineers who could push ahead with development. To that end, heordered the setting up of the five Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) inMadras, Delhi, Mumbai, Kharagpur and Kanpur. By the end of the 1960s, theIndian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad was turning out top-qualitygraduates. However,in recent years, the government has run short of money and is reluctant toinvest in these educational institutions. Luckily, the IITs have found newbenefactors among the ex-alumni who left for foreign shores and struck it richthere. One ex-alumnus is billionaire and ace venture capitalist Vinod Khosla,who has just donated $5m to his alma mater, IIT Delhi. In fact, the mostambitious new venture is coming from the private sector, with backing from theregional government in Andhra Pradesh, South India. Agroup of private sector companies have teamed up to start the Indian School ofManagement, which aims to be a world-class institute with students from aroundthe world. The project’s founder dean will be London Business School’s SumantraGhoshal, the management guru and author of bestseller Managing Across Borders.Other backers include prominent expat Indians like Rajat Gupta, chairman ofMcKinsey and Co, and Victor Menezes, chairman and CEO of Citibank. The AndhraPradesh government is chipping in with a large tract of land for theinstitution. Thegovernment, meanwhile, is hoping to catch students at an early age and preparethem for the future. The Ministry of Information Technology based in Delhiwants to take computers to all levels of the educational system, includingvillage schools. It has suggested that ten schools in each of the ruraldistricts should be equipped with computers. It has even suggested that privateentrepreneurs should be allowed to open computer training facilities on schoolcampuses. The cost of equipping schools with computers is estimated at around$500m. Foronce, the government appears to be working in tandem with industry with itsideas on how to spread the infotech revolution. The software industry isdesperately worried about a shortage of personnel and already salaries arebeginning to rise. This could be disastrous, as the industry currently dependson its cost advantage. Whatis the way forward from here? The Indian government must turn its attentionback to education and start spending more heavily in this sector. That is theonly hope for real progress. Furtherinformation –National Informatics Centre, which maintains Websites for the government ofIndia: www.nic.in/–For a list of government ministries and the Websites run by them: www.goidirectory.nic–For information on the white paper, see the Ministry of Information TechnologyWebsite: www.mit.gov.in–For more on how to spread the use of information technology in India, see: www.itformasses.nic.in Related posts:No related photos. Funding the dreamOn 1 May 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

ITS Andrea Doria Docks in Fujairah, UAE

first_img View post tag: News by topic Prior to the docking, the vessel spent a long period of time at sea during which it took part in a replenishment at sea operation with RFA Wave Ruler in the Gulf of Oman.ITS Andrea Doria, commanded by Captain Gianfranco Annunziata, joined the anti-piracy Operation Atalanta on 6 August.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, August 27, 2014; Image: Italian Navy Back to overview,Home naval-today ITS Andrea Doria Docks in Fujairah, UAE Italian Navy’s destroyer Andrea Doria (D553) docked in the port of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, where it was visited by the Ambassador of Italy to the United Arab Emirates, Giorgio Starace. ITS Andrea Doria Docks in Fujairah, UAE View post tag: docks August 27, 2014 View post tag: Anti-Piracy View post tag: EU NAVFOR View post tag: Gulf of Oman Authorities View post tag: Fujairah View post tag: ITS Andrea Doria View post tag: Navy View post tag: Naval View post tag: europe View post tag: middle east View post tag: UAE Share this articlelast_img read more

MATH FUN (Mary J. Donohoe)

first_img× MATH FUN — Students in Ms. Tomace’s class created colorful mosaics using a 100 grid while practicing how to convert a fraction into a decimal and a percent!last_img