Category Archives: States

MP Cabinet approves revised pay-scales for college teachers and equivalent cadre

Newsroom24x7 Network

Bhopal: After prolonging the matter, the Madhya Pradesh Cabinet finally on Tuesday (4 September 2018) accorded approval for giving the benefit of 7th pay scale to college professors and all the officers posted at equivalent cadre in government colleges of Madhya Pradesh and Registrars of the Universities (Excluding Private Universities)from January 01, 2016, as per the amendments in rules by Human Resources Ministry and University Grant Commission. The arrears due to the College staff following the pay revision, will be deposited in their GPF accounts in a single installment during the current financial year.

The cabinet meeting held under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has also taken a decision to raise the maximum limit of economic assistance of Rs. 100,000 to the dependent wife and minor children in case of death of accredited working Journalist to Rs. 400,000.

It has also been decided by the cabinet to increase monetary assistance of Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 50,000 from the Journalist Welfare Fund in case of damage caused to vehicles and cameras of working journalists/cameramen.

Interest subsidy of 5 percent on housing loan for journalists

The cabinet has taken a decision to give 5 percent subsidy on interest, charged from the accredited journalists on housing loan. This interest subsidy will be payable on obtaining loan from any financial institution recognized by the Reserve Bank of India. The interest subsidy will be paid for 5 years on housing loan of Rs. 25,00,000. This facility will be provided to journalists and their spouses for a single house from the current fiscal. year.

Latest Amendment in SC/ST Atrocities Act and its fallout

Lalit Shastri

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has been imposed in five districts of Madhya Pradesh ahead of the nationwide bandh (strike) on 6 September called by a number of organisations opposing the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Bill passed in Parliament in August 2018.

In poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Section 144 has been imposed in Gwalior (city), besides Shivpuri, Guna Bhind and Ashok Nagar districts.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said in Lok Sabha on 3 April 2018 after large-scale violence and arson in some parts of the country that he could fully appreciate that there was widespread anger among the people, following the Supreme Court order (of March 20, 2018) that provided for a protective mechanism under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, permitted anticipatory bail and made it mandatory for a preliminary inquiry within seven days by the Dy. S.P. concerned to find out whether the allegations make out a case under the PoA and that arrest in appropriate cases could be made only after approval by the Senior Superintendent of Police.

The Home Minister had reassured the House that there had been no dilution of the PoA Act by the BJP led NDA Government, rather after coming to power and examining the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, a decision had been taken to strengthen it.

Immediately after the judgement of Supreme Court, the Union Government was quick in filing a review petition in the Supreme Court.

The Modi Government did not delay its act in this matter and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill,2018 was passed by the Lok Sabha on 6 August 2018 and three days later also by Rajya Sabha.

Section 18A has been inserted in the PoA Act to nullify conduct of a preliminary inquiry before registration of an FIR, or to seek approval of any authority prior to arrest of an accused, and to restore the provisions of Section 18 of the Act.

Section 18A, inserted in the Act, states that:-

(1) For the purpose of the PoA Act:

(a) preliminary inquiry shall not be required for registration of a First Information Report against any person; or

(b) the investigating officer shall not require approval for arrest, if necessary, of any person, against whom an accusation of having committed an offence under the PoA Act has been made and no procedure other than provided under the PoA Act or the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, shall apply.

(2) The provision of section 438 of the Code shall not apply to a case under the Act, notwithstanding any judgment or order or direction of any Court.

While Section 438 of the CrPC deals with direction for grant of bail to a person apprehending arrest. Under section 18A (2) of PoA, “The provision of section 438 of the Code shall not apply to a case under this Act, notwithstanding any judgment or order or direction of any Court.”

Earlier the PoA Act was amended in January, 2016. Rule 3 of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995, specifies precautionary and preventive measures to be taken by the State Government.

Rule 7(1) of the PoA Act specifies that an offence committed under the PoA Act, shall be investigated by a police officer not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.S.P.). Rule 7(2) of the Rules stipulates that the Investigating Officer shall complete the investigation on top priority within thirty days and submit the report to the Superintendent of Police who in turn will immediately forward the report to the Director General of Police of the State Government.

Section of 14 of the PoA Act, specifies that for the purpose of providing for speedy trial, the State Government shall, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify for each district a Court of Session to be a Special Court to try the offences under this Act. Accordingly, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, NCT of Delhi and Puducherry have designated District Session Courts as Special Courts. Further, to accelerate the pace of trial of cases under the PoA Act, 192 exclusive Special Courts have also been set up by the States namely Andhra Pradesh (13), Bihar (11), Chhattishgarh (6), Gujarat (26), Karnataka (8), Kerala (2), Maharashtra (2), Madhya Pradesh (43), Rajasthan (25), Tamil Nadu (4), Telangana (10), Uttar Pradesh (40) and Uttarakhand (2).

For dealing with false cases under the PoA Act, relevant Sections of the IPC can be invoked by the concerned agencies.

The directions of the Supreme Court in its judgment earlier this year in Criminal Appeal No. 416 of 2018 (Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan Vs the State of Maharashtra and Another) amounted to amending the PoA Act.

The apex Court said that an accused person was entitled to anticipatory bail and directed that preliminary inquiry should be conducted within seven days by the Dy. S.P. concerned to find out whether the allegations make out a case under the PoA Act and that arrest in appropriate cases may be made only after approval by the Senior Superintendent of Police.

Pointing out that there was a large-scale misuse of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the court held that an arrest is not mandatory under the SC/ST Act, and the automatic arrest was scrapped.

The Supreme Court said that the implementation of PoA Act “should not result in perpetuating casteism which can have an adverse impact on the integration of society and constitutional values”.

 

Prevention of Atrocities Act & quota system: BJP and Congress are facing the heat in Madhya Pradesh

Newsroom24x7 Network

Bhopal:  Ahead of the Assembly election in Madhya Pradesh, the anti-reservation movement led by SAPAKS (Samanya Pichda Alpsankhayak Kalyan Samaj) has intensified and there is also widespread anger in a large section of the people, especially among the youth, due to the amendment to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at the initiative of the BJP led NDA Government and brazen support of political parties of all hues.

Those from the unreserved category, cutting across religious and caste lines , are already angry because of the discriminatory provision for reservation that too for the SCs and STs in the creamy layer. The Madhya Pradesh Government officers and employees have been up in arms under the banner of SAPAKS (Samanya Pichda Alpsankhyak Adhikari karmchari Sanshta) after the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had gone on the offensive following the Jabalpur High Court order on 30 April 2016 declaring the State Government provision for Reservation in Promotion for SCs and STs. At his behest, the State Government not only went in appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court order but also did everything to delay the proceedings in this matter.

SAPAKS SAMAJ founder President Lalit Shastri wearing the popular “Hum hain Mai ke Lal” cap

After the High Court judgement against reservation in promotion, the Chief Minister was quick in declaring that the State Government was ready to pay any fees to the Supreme Court advocates engaged by the State and also the officers and employees belonging to the SC/ST category. Chouhan has continued to remain a target of strong criticism on this count and also because he went to the extent of publicly daring the citizens by saying “Koi Mai ka Lal Arakshan Samapt Nahi Kar sakta) (no mother’s true son can abolish reservation). SAPAKS members have responded to the challenge thrown by the Chief Minister by wearing caps that carry the slogan “Hum hain Mai ke Lal” ( I am the true son of my mother)

The declaration by SAPAKS that it would be fielding candidates in all the 230 Assembly constituencies in the general elections to the Madhya Pradesh Assembly and the widespread anger and resentment that has spread across the State, is causing sleepless nights for those in the ruling BJP as well as in the main Opposition Congress party that was seeing the coming State Assembly election as an opportunity to return to power after 15 years in exile.

On Sunday night (2 September 2018), at about 9.30 pm, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s Jan-Ashirwad Yatra (procession) was attacked by an angry mob at Churhat in Sidhi district.

According to reports received here, protesters started pelting stones when Chouhan’s Yatra reached Churhat. The Chief Minister’s decked up Van, also called Rath (chariot), was hit and the driver’s window was damaged.

A day earlier, also on Saturday (1 August 2018), angry protesters raised slogans during Chouhan’s vote garnering Yatra.

Union Minister Thavarchand Gehlot and senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia had to be escorted out by the police through the back door of the Guna Circuit House to escape the wrath of angry youth. The protesters were there to lodge protest and show their anger against the SC/ST Act.

Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar was gheraod (encircled) by slogan shouting supporters of SAPAKS in the Vidisha Circuit House on Saturday. They gave him a memorandum demanding that the draconian Prevention of Atrocities Act be withdrawn immediately.The same day in Bhind, BJP MP Bhagirath Prasad and in Morena State Minister Rustam Singh faced angry protesters who blocked their cars and raised slogans against the SC/ST Atrocities Act and the Modi Government at the Centre.

On Friday (31 August 2018), Scindia and BJP national Vice President Prabhat Jha were shown black flags in Gwalior district.

The Supreme Court had passed an order recently stating that for persons accused of committing an offence under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, approval of the Senior Superintendent of Police will be mandatory before any arrest.

In sharp contrast, the CrPC categorically defines the powers of arrest by police officers and what has been re-established in the case of complainants belonging to the SC/ST category by amending the SC/ST Atrocities Act in gross disregard of the Supreme Court order is discriminatory and strikes at the root of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution

Whereas, merely a complaint lodged by an SC or ST person can lead to arrest without investigation, a police officer  can arrest without a warrant under Sections 41, 42, 151 CrPC, only in the following conditions:

  • Who has been concerned in any cognizable offence or
  • Who has in possession, without, lawful excuse, of any house breaking weapon or
  • Who has been proclaimed as an offender either under CrPC or by order of the State Govt. or
    Who is in possession of any stolen property or
  • Who obstructs a police officer while in the execution of his duty or who has escaped, or attempts to escape, from lawful custody or
  • Who is reasonably suspected of being a deserter from any of the Armed forces of the Union or
    Who has been concerned in any law relating to extradition or
  • Who, being a released convict commits a breach of any rule made under sub-section (5) of Section 356 CrPC or
  • For whose arrest any requisition has been received from another police officer specifying the person to be arrested and the offence and other cause for which the arrest is to be made

Terror fund linked with banned Kangleipak Communist Party case: NIA seizes Rs. 4800,000

Newsroom24x7 Network

Imphal/New Delhi: A team of NIA on 30 August 2018 seized Rs 48,00,000 in cash said to be meant for terror funding from one Ms K Pramodini, an employee of RIMS, Imphal in Manipur.

The money seized by NIA was produced by Ms Pramodini in the presence of an independent witnesses. The money belonged to Ms N Sobita Devi, wife of another accused Dr Mutum Shyamo Singh (Ex Director JNIMS Hospital, Imphal, Manipur). During Investigation, it had come to light that the said amount was handed over to Pramodini by Sobita Devi for the purpose of concealing the terror funds collected by Mutum Shyamo Singh as part of his activities in support of the proscribed organisation KCP. NIA had arrested Dr Mutum Shyamo Singh on 6 July 2018 for his active involvement with KCP. Following his arrest, Search was conducted at his house and Rs 40,03,000 in new currency and Rs 1,00,000 in old
currency were seized as proceeds of terrorism.

During investigation of this case, Khoirom Ranjit Singh, Commander in Chief of KCP, and his associates Irungbam Sanatombi Devi and P. Prem Kumar Meitei @ PK @ Ibomcha were arrested and a charge sheet was filed on 10 July 2017 before the NIA Special Court Delhi. A supplementary charge sheet against Sanabam Inaobi Singh has also been filed in this case on 24 May 2018.