JUSTICE CORPS

Action group for judicial transparency, justice reforms and human rights.

PRESS RELEASE

Posted by justicecorps on May 6, 2007

PRESS NOTE

                      

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    

 

 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS 2007
Irregularities in the presidential and Vice Presidential elections

 

Mumbai, 8th May 2007.

 
A
Writ Petition [WPI 219/07] in the Supreme Court
 on the serious irregularities in the Presidential and Vice Presidential Elections since 1974, which is posted for admission.

 The petitioner Dr. Leo Rebello, World Peace Envoy, and one of the Presidential aspirants from Mumbai, will address the media and elaborate on his writ petition and its historic significance in Indian polity.

 This writ petition filed and admitted via the internet is an oft ignored legal recourse open to the citizens of India, a facility which not many people or advocates are aware of. 

 Dr. Leo Rebello will address these issues while speaking on his Presidential candidacy. Also, he will respond to citizens and media questions.   

 A press conference is being held in this regard on the 8th of May 2007 at 3.00 pm at the Conference Room of Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh (Next to Press Club), Azad Maidan, Opp. BMC Office, VT, Mumbai 400001.

 “In such a gargantuan task of cleaning the Augean’s stable of Indian politics, mired in corruption, casteism, communalism and criminalization of politics I will need every right thinking citizen’s help”, says Dr. Rebello

 Justice Corps cordially invites you to participate in this historic press conference.

 

Dr. Leo Rebello is a qualified Holistic Healer, Educator, Author and Social Scientist. He has delivered over 10,000 lectures in 63 countries and written 30 books. Director of Natural Health Centre, Bombay, President of AIDS Alternativa, Fellow of European Medical Association etc., he has been nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his pioneering work on AIDS and Holistic Healing.

 Dr. Rebello is the founder/president of All India Letter-Writers Association, a 27 years old NGO of conscience-keepers of the nation. He is also the President of Litigants Welfare Forum, Hon. Adviser of Justice Corps, Founder of All India Voters’ Panchayat, and a prominent leader active in public life.

 Winner of World Peace Ambassador Award 2004, President of World Constitution and Parliament Association, Vice President of International Association of Educators for World Peace and is on the Governing Council of UN-Habitat.  

 

 If you would like more information or to schedule an interview with Dr. Leo Rebello, please call, Mrs. Kashmira Rebello at 022-28872741 or Mobile – 9869828619.

E-mail at leorebello@hathway.com | drleorebello@gmail.com .                                       Official website: www.healthwisdom.org
Postal Address – Dr. Leo Rebello, 28 Sunshine, Samta Nagar, Kandivli East,
Mumbai – 400101,
Maharashtra, India.

 

 

 ###

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an open invite

Posted by justicecorps on May 1, 2007

IMPORTANT INVITATION

 

A book entitled MILES TO GO… PROMISES TO KEEP…

Biography of Ronald Rebello compiled by Dr. Leo Rebello

will be released at the College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Churchgate,

on Saturday, 5th May, 2007, at 5.00 PM.

 

Justice Y.V.Chandrachud, former Chief Justice of India,

will be present.

 

You are cordially invited to attend.

Dr. Leo Rebello and family

Tel. 28872741

 

 www.healthwisdom.org

www.justicecorps.wordpress.com

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Minutes of the fifth official meeting

Posted by justicecorps on March 7, 2007

MINUTES OF THE FIFTH OFFICIAL MEETING OF JUSTICE CORPS

 

A meeting was held at Rebello residence on Friday 2nd March 2007 from 7.00 to 11 PM.

The following were present:-

1. Dr. Leo Rebello in chair

2. Ganesh Sodaye

3. Sanket Kashid

4. Hemant Morajkar

5. Sangeeta Kadam

6. Jaya Konar

7. Vinayak Jadhav

8. Riji Nair

9. Pooja Kushwaha

10. Sagar Bhandare

11. Anil Parmar

12. Mrs. Kashmira Rebello

13. Robin Rebello

As per Ronald’s wish Rs.5000 each was given to Ganesh Sodaye and Sanket Kashid. They were reluctant to accept the same, but the parents of Ronald said that his last wish should be respected.

Likewise, Rs.10,000 will be sent to Sarvahara Jan Andolan as per Ronald’s wish, to which the parents may add some more, since Sarvahara is doing excellent work for the downtrodden. Two scholarships will be established at the Nirmala Niketan in memory of Ronald.

It was decided to bring out a book of Ronald’s work, to be released on 5th May 2007 — Ronald’s 25th Birthday. The rough contents of the said book are under:

1. The family remembers

2. Select Photographs

3. Ronald’s Letters to the Editors – Published and Unpublished

4. Ronald’s College Life

5. Sweden University and visit to other countries

6. Various campaigns undertaken by Ronald

7. Messages from his Friends and Faculty

8. Sarvahara Jan Andolan

9. Rationing Kruti Samiti

10. Justice Corps

11. Condolence messages.

12. Useful NGOs where his friends are working

Ronald’s friends will get in touch with the NN Faculty for their messages also also his other friends in Sarvahara, RKS, etc. and ask them to send messages with writer’s photograph/address to reach Dr. Leo Rebello by email (drleorebello@gmail.com or leorebello@hathway.com) by 10th March.

 

Other decisions taken:

1) Justice Corps being an Andolan will work under AILWA — a registered NGO of Conscience Keepers of India, established in 1980. Likewise, Litigants Welfare Forum will be affiliated to the AILWA, as also AIDS Alternativa and Gurukul Education Initiative.

2) The AILWA office bearers will be elected at the next meeting, change report submitted with the Charity Commissioner, 80-G IT certificate will be renewed and bank account transferred to a suitable bank in Kandivali East.

3) AILWA, Justice Corps, Litigants Welfare Forum meetings will be organised monthly or bi-monthly, topical books will be published, PILs taken out, advocacy work will be undertaken, education workshops and lecture series will be held on regular basis, and within 5 years all these NGOs will have land to have activities of permanent nature.

4)A bilingual newspaper called People’s Mandate or People’s Paper will be started on the lines of Asahi Simbhun of Japan and other major publications will be undertaken. 

5) Sanket, Hemant and Ganesh will oversee the Justice Corps work in consultation with the AILWA board, Mrs. Kashmira Rebello with Sangeeta and Riji will be focused on Gurukul System of Education, others will work on Litigants Welfare Forum, which will ask for a permanent room at the Bombay High Court to facilitate poor litigants and network with the Legal Aid Committee, Bar Council, Alternative Redressal Mechanism, etc. Letter-Writing, Rights based and other workshops will be conducted on regular basis in Bombay and other places.

6) Ronald’s friends who had assembled also promised to take away his clothes, other articles, files, books for distribution among the deserving.

Meeting ended with dinner and with a resolve to work for a New Life and better India.

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State of judiciary

Posted by justicecorps on March 5, 2007

Sanket S. Kashid, co-founder of Justice Corps, acquired information regarding pending cases in various cases in courts in Maharashtra. Given below, is a letter written to The Times of India and a digital copy of the reply received.

The dismal state of judiciary is quite evident from the findings.


Sanket Sudam Kashid
New Golden nest Complex,
Phase X, ‘A’ wing, Room no. 304,
Bhayander (E), Thane- 401105.
Mob.No. 98699 46890

Date: 01 March 2007.


To,
The Editor,
The Times of
India.


Sub: Pending cases in lower courts of
Maharashtra.

Sir,
I had applied under Right to Information Act 2005 for the number of courts and pending cases in lower courts of
Maharashtra in Bombay High Court. The reply and application is attached to this message.

First I had applied to the Law & Judiciary dept., but they transferred it to the Bombay High Court because they didn’t have jurisdiction. I asked them information about family, consumer, labour, criminal, civil, revenue, human rights courts etc… But Revenue, Consumer and Human Rights courts are not under the control of High Court.

But the number of pending cases is horrible. And I think it should be publish, as this will tell clear picture of lower judiciary in Maharashtra. And still they have not done double shifts in criminal courts. Earlier Justice Corps (JC’s) campaign was against the non-implementation of RTI Act by the Judiciary in Maharashtra, but now it is against the obstacles in the rules framed. Some of the rules that create obstacles in accessing information are:

– Charging applicant Rs. 10 per Xerox copy when central rules keep it to a reasonable Rs. 2,

– Not providing info if it already exists on website, therefore making it difficult for computer-internet illiterate applicants to acquire information, etc.

Yours frankly,

Sanket S. Kashid
Justice Corps – www.justicecorps.wordpress.com

Statement showing number of courts and pending cases

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In loving memory

Posted by justicecorps on February 25, 2007

RONALD REBELLO
in memoriam

by Fayyaz Pathan

Ronald Rebello (25), son of Dr. Leo Rebello and Mrs. Kashmira Rebello and brother of Robin Rebello, passed away on Friday, 23rd February, 2007, after 25 days of high fever which remained undiagnosed or refused to reduce inspite of comprehensive tests and best of treatment, creating a heavy void for his friends and extreme grief for his family. All those present at his funeral said that a saint had died too young.

Ronald graduated (BSW) from the Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work, in 2004, then went to Sweden on the prestigious SIDA Scholarship. Visited UK, Germany, France, Denmark and Finland and returned to India to work for the poor and downtrodden, like his father. His heart was with the Tribals.

Ronald also participated in the World Social Forum in Bombay and the European Social Forum in London, actively.

Presently he was doing his LL.B part II at the New Law College, Matunga, and, like his father Dr. Leo Rebello, was very active in social work. His letters to the editors were accurate, brief and clear.

He founded Justice Corps to educate people on Law and bring about much needed reforms. Next month he was bound for Japan on a Swiss scholarship, but Allah, the merciful, called him to His side.

Ronald’s friends will meet at the Rebello residence on Sunday 4th March to plan for future activities in his memory and to complete his unfinished goals; like he was working on 25 different manuscripts.

They also wish to bring out a book entitled Ronald Rebello — the saint who died young and institute scholarships at the Nirmala Niketan in his revered memory.

Ronald Rebello, R.I.P. Our sympathies to grief stricken parents, Mrs. Kashmira Rebello and Dr. Leo Rebello and his brother Robin Rebello. Readers of Agni Times may contact them on 28872741.


 

 

I still have not come to terms with the fact that you are not here, with us. My friend. My guide. My inspiration.

Thank you for being there for me. I am sorry for letting you down again, as I have in the past. My spirit mired in guilt, helplessness and angst, I look beyond for my answers but fail to find them. I only hope that time will heal.

In the depths of my soul, your memory will remain frozen, as a reminder of all good things that do exist.

You have passed on to the other side, in the company of those whom I cherish the most. If they permit me, I too, will follow.

Hemant Morajkar

Justice Corps

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DailyIndia.com reports JC’s letter to CJI

Posted by justicecorps on January 18, 2007

The letter written by Justice Corps to the Chief Justice of India criticizing the Supreme Court’s decision to exclude itself from Right to Information Act, 2005, was reported by DailyIndia.com on their website.

Also, it is being circulated by Associated News India (ANI) which implies that it would reach numerous media groups officially.

Although this may be a small acknowledgement of our work, we hope to initiate a wider debate on this issue and demand that the Supreme Court recognizes and adopts RTI, keeping in mind the principles with which this Act was implemented.

See letter:
https://justicecorps.wordpress.com/2007/01/10/sc-must-acknowledge-rti/

 

Article:

‘Justice Corps’ criticizes SC for seeking exemption from RTI Act

New Delhi, Jan 16 (ANI): An action group for judicial transparency, justice reforms and human rights– Justice Corps– has criticised the Supreme Court for seeking exemption from the Right to Information Act (RTI Act).

In a letter sent today to Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, the judges of the Supreme Court and all the High Courts, the group said that the apex court should not adopt “double standards” by passing numerous judgments upholding citizens’ right to information on the one hand and “shying away” from the RTI Act on the other.

“We learn through media reports that the Supreme Court is not receptive to the Right to Information Act and the SC wants to be exempted from the RTI Act for any information which, in the opinion of the Chief Justice of India or his nominee, may “adversely affect or interfere or tend to interfere with the independence of the judiciary or administration of justice”. In addition, the SC has recommended that a decision by the CJI under the Act should not be subjected to further appeal before the CIC,” said the letter.

“We are of the opinion that the above hostility towards the RTI Act of the Supreme Court amounts to double standards adopted by the SC, of late…We therefore condemn this irresponsible attitude of the Supreme Court towards the Right to Information Act. We want to remind the judges that they are not Lords provided with any special exemptions. They are public servants meant to serve the public and are very much accountable to the people,” it added.

They went on to say that the Judges owe much more accountability to the people because “at least corrupt, derelict, inefficient, uncouth politicians can be thrown out by the people every five years during election time, but corrupt, derelict, inefficient, uncouth public servants like IAS, IPS, and Judges rule over the public for more than 25-30 years”.

“The judiciary must know that it too is being watched by the public and it too is accountable to the public, being one major pillar of democracy. Like bureaucrats who wanted to escape file notings, if the courts prefer to escape the Right to Information Act, then all the judgments of various HCs and the SC on right to information will be nothing but mere pontifications,” they said. (ANI)

Accessed on: 17th January, 2007
Circulated on:
‘Hum Janenge’ Yahoo Groups

Article link:
Justice Corps Criticises Sc for seeking exemption from RTI Act

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feedback to the open letter: SC not exempt from RTI

Posted by justicecorps on January 15, 2007

The responses that we got from common citizens, activists and people working in the judicial system have only reaffirmed our faith in the path that we have chosen. We are grateful and hope that this contentious issue would be debated at a broader level. The SC must take cognisance of the peoples voice, with immediate effect.

 

See letter:
https://justicecorps.wordpress.com/2007/01/10/sc-must-acknowledge-rti/

Some of the responses are as follows:

 

I am in agreement with your letter. Please send us more information about your organization and working.

Rajesh Tyagi
Advocate, Supreme Court of India
rajeshtyagi66@rediffmail.com

Contact: 9810081383


International Human Rights Organization too condemns the SC attitude towards the RTI Act.

D S Gill
Chair IHRO

ihro.india@gmail.com

 

 

 

Superb

I really liked it? I respect you guys and wonder some time weather you are the same guys who were studying with me.

I always thought you are doing some thing but never ever expected such work with great foresight and dedication.

Please let me know if I can contribute some how. Again congratulate you for all your work

Take care and all the best
Bye. Take care and keep me in loop

Sachetan

 

I sincerely wish that the media publish your above letter which I doubt. Due to reasons not known the media is
not seen supporting RTI fully. They are not giving adequate coverage in support of RTI

With warm regards

Col N R Kurup
colnrkurup@gmail.com

 

Compliments for the bold and candid as well important and timely stand taken on SC shying away from RTI. I fully support your point.

Jugal Rathi

I find your petition to be unjustified in light of the constitutional separation of powers. The Supreme Court is the highest authority in terms of interpreting the laws of the country. If you want a decision of the Supreme Court to be appeal able by the CIC you are rewriting the constitution.

The CJI’s comments are within the purview of the constitution. If you want a decision of the CJI of he SC to be appeal able to the CIC, where then shall an appeal from the CIC lie?

This just results in unnecessary bureaucracy that results in burdening a legal system where justice is always delayed. Cheers!!

Prashant Kamalapuram

kamalapuram@hotmail.com

 

REPLY

Dear Mr. Prashant,

I think you have read the letter in a hurry and have also missed the news reports that have appeared in the press about SC recommending to the government to amend the RTI Act so as to exempt the SC from it partially.

Additionally the SC has suggested that an amendment be made so that the decision under RTI being taken by it should not be appeal able to CIC.

We are not saying that the judicial decisions should be appeal able to CIC. Please understand the difference between judicial decisions by SC and RTI decisions by SC. Judicial decisions by SC are taken by SC judges, whereas RTI decisions are taken by the Public Information Officers and there is vast difference in the same.

Best regards

Ronald L. Rebello

 

Very interesting. Thanks. you are most welcome to post directly on the “Hum Janenge” board that concerns the transparency law.

Regards

Prakash Kardaley

 

 

Dear Sir,

I strongly support the view and acknowledge my support. RTI is a major major tool for bringing accountability and reducing scope of subjectivity and baises in the public offices.

Keep me informed.

With warm regards,

Subhash C. Vashishth
subhashvashishth@yahoo.com

Advocate
Delhi High Court

 

 

Dear Sir,

Greetings!

Thanks for your mail and valuable campaign information. I appreciate for your action. We must condemn the double speaking of the Supreme Courts on RTI Act. Obviously judges are not Lords provided with any special exemptions. They are public servants meant to serve the public and are very much accountable to the people.

Thanks. Regards.

Gladson Dungdung

gladsonekta@yahoo.com

General Secretary
National Coalition for Human Rights
Kokar, Khorha Toli, Mission Colonly,
Kokar, Ranchi – 834001 (Jharkhand)

 

 

The language is harsh.

There also appears to be some misunderstanding. It is not clear as to what you mean by “SC has recommended that a decision by CJI under the Act should not be subjected to further appeal before the CIC” . Under the scheme of the RTI Act, CJI cannot take any decision under the Act at all. Presuming that an aggrieved appellant files a petition before the SC against the order of the CIC, decision of the SC therein has to be final and cannot certainly be a subject of appeal before the CIC again!

Regards,

Sandeep Thakur,
Mumbai.

REPLY

We do not think our language is harsh, though striking.

I think you have read the letter in a hurry and have also missed the news reports that have appeared in the press about SC recommending to the government to amend the RTI Act so as to exempt the SC from it partially. Additionally the SC has suggested that an amendment be made so that the decision under RTI being taken by it should not be appeal able to CIC.

We are not saying that the judicial decisions should be appeal able to CIC. Please understand the difference between judicial decisions by SC and RTI decisions by SC. Judicial decisions by SC are taken by SC judges, whereas RTI decisions are taken by the Public Information Officers and there is vast difference in the same.

Best regards

Ronald L. Rebello

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Minutes of the fourth official meeting

Posted by justicecorps on January 15, 2007

MINUTES OF THE FOURTH OFFICIAL MEETING OF JUSTICE CORPS

Day: Saturday  

Date: 6th January, 2007

Time: 12 noon to 2:25 pm.

Place: Rationing Kruti Samiti office, Mumbai Central

Members present: Sanket Kashid, Ganesh Sodaye and Ronald L. Rebello,

* Hemant was indisposed; Shabana had gone to Delhi and hence could not come. Ramesh cannot come on a Saturday.

Agenda of the meeting:

  1. Review of previous meetings’ minutes
  2. Action to be taken during the month
  3. Whether to hold a massive demonstration on judicial reforms?
  4. RTI applications to be made
  5. Networks established
  6. Updates on Proposal submitted to funding agency.
  7. Exposure visit to Raigad/ Sarvahara Jan Andolan

 

1… Today’s agenda was decided as soon as the meeting began. There was no pre-decided agenda. Previous meetings’ minutes were reviewed. Enquiries about a bank account for Justice Corps are still going on. In the meanwhile, Hemant has prepared an excellent website on www.justicecorps.wordpress.com. The group is very grateful to him.  

2… Re: Action to be taken during the month by JC:

a) Supreme Court has hosted its annual report (2005-06) on its website. This needs to be printed and studied as it contains important details about disposal of cases, E-petition procedure introduced during the year etc. Ganesh has taken responsibility to print the same from TISS.

b) It was suggested by Ronald that since the SC has also put up the SC holiday calendar on the SC website, this must be studied, analysed and a letter (appropriately an appeal) to all SC judges must be drafted bringing to their notice the futility of long summer and winter vacations and requesting them to give it up voluntarily. Instead of commenting on the court calendar at the end of the year, we must do it in advance. Ronald will draft the said letter. Sanket will similarly find out details of Bombay HC calendar.

c) Re: Bom HC and RTI: Sanket will acquire the HC and District court RTI rules from Govt. Press and hand over to Ronald. Ronald will then draft a protest letter to CJ of Bom HC regarding the rules framed under RTI Act. This is to be done quickly as rules were made in November 2006 and still we haven’t been able to comment on it. Earlier JC’s campaign was against the non-implementation of RTI Act by the Judiciary in Maharashtra, but now it is against the obstacles in the rules framed. Some of the rules that create obstacles in accessing information are:

– Charging applicant Rs. 10 per Xerox copy when central rules keep it to a reasonable Rs. 2,

– Not providing info if it already exists on website, therefore making it difficult for computer-internet illiterate applicants to acquire information, etc.

3… It was suggested by Ronald that JC should have a demonstration at Azad Maidan in June to demand for various judicial reforms. Unless we come out publicly in large numbers, just by writing letters and appeals, we are not going to get the desired results. The group therefore unanimously decided to take up a morcha/public demonstration at Azad Maidan. The date decided was June 04, 2007 as we also need to have enough time for preparation, information gathering through RTI applications and study, mobilization of various groups and student volunteers etc. The basic minimum reforms that JC will demand during this demonstration are:

      • Two shifts in all lower courts in Maharashtra, especially criminal courts.
      • Increase in the strength of number of judges
      • Family Courts in all districts of Maharashtra
      • Computerisation of district courts
      • Citizens Charter for judiciary
      • Proper seating arrangements for litigants in courts
      • Witness Protection Programme
      • Abolishing unnecessary Court holidays
      • Proper and reasonable implementation of RTI Act by courts
      • Information about laws should be disseminated in very simple language on rickshaws, busses etc.

The team also identified probable partners who can be contacted for support. These are Sarvahara Jan Andolan, National Alliance of People’s Movement, Huku-ke-Niswa, Nirbhay Bano Andolan, Apnalaya, Kashtakari Sanghatna, Nav Maharashtra Yuva Morcha, Mahilla Rajsatta Andolan, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights. It was also suggested that some MLAs/MPs should also be contacted for support. Neelam Gore, Shiv Sena MLC who has worked on women’s issues, Mrinal Gore, Dr. S. P. Sathe, Principal of Indian Law School etc. can be invited to speak to the masses and express support.

Ganesh bought to the notice of the team that PUCL of Rajasthan had conducted a Jan Sunvai (Public hearing) on delayed justice. He said that we also need to study their report on the same to learn from it. Ganesh and Ronald will attempt to acquire the same.

Ronald suggested that we write to the Governor, Chief Justice, Secretary of Law and Judiciary Department and Home Department giving them notice of the demonstration and requesting them to give an audience to the group and partners.

We also need to send letters to all social movements in Maharashtra requesting them to identify people in their areas who have been victims of justice and mobilize such groups to come and speak during the demonstration.

4… In order to press for our demands strongly during the June demonstration and in order to study judicial reforms, we need to have sufficient data in our hands. One of the methods of acquiring this could be through various RTI applications. It was decided by the group that following RTI applications will be made to appropriate authorities:

a) Application to Law and Judiciary dept on number of family cases pending all over Maharashtra.

b) Application to Law and Judiciary dept. on whether there is a witness protection programme/ policy of the state.

c) Application to appropriate dept on policy on computerisation of courts.

Ronald will prepare drafts of above all applications and circulate to groups before sending the same to the relevant authorities.

Ganesh also bought up the issue of studying and analyzing the budget for judiciary, legal education and legal aid to poor. Team requested him to acquire info on the same through RTI and other means. Ganesh has agreed to follow-up the same.

Sanket, informed the team that he already has two applications pending before the Bombay HC on number of cases pending in Maharashtra.

5… Re:- Networks: Ronald informed the team that Yusuf Meherally Yuva Biradari after conferring on him the Sane Guruji Yuva Puraskar had co-opted him on their legal committee and also expressed support to Justice Corps. Yusuf Meherally Yuva Biradari has extended support for use of their office resources such as printing, posting, Xerox etc to Justice Corps after Ronald bought to their attention that JC has no funds. Therefore JC members will be able to have access to their office. Ronald will try and arrange the next team meeting of JC over there, including with some team members of Yusuf Meherally Biradri.

6… Project Proposal has been submitted by Sangeeta to Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust. Ronald and Sangeeta will soon follow-up the same and report back to the group. Project proposal copy is sent to team members by email.

 

7… The team was informed about an exposure visit to Adivasi hamlet, Keladh organized by students of Nirmala Niketan in association with Sarvahara Jan Andolan. TISS students, NN students will participate in the same and one of the resource persons will be Ronald who will speak on RTI, letter-writing, judicial transparency and right to food. The exposure visit will be held from Jan 11 to Jan 13. JC team members are also welcome to participate in the same. During this time, it may be also possible for JC team members to identify some students to act as volunteers for the JC team. Sanket said he will try to come. Ganesh confirmed his participation in the meeting itself. Hemant will be informed by Ronald.

 

8… Afternoon was dedicated to field visits in the court. Ganesh and Sanket after meeting went to visit the courts.

 

Minutes written by Ronald Rebello

Hosted on Website by: Hemant Morajkar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SC must acknowledge RTI

Posted by justicecorps on January 10, 2007

We condemn the Supreme Courts attitude toward the Right to Information Act,2005. The SC must acknowledge the importance of RTI in a vibrant functioning democracy like India and imbibe the values that it deems to uphold.

An open letter

 

JUSTICE CORPS

(Action group for Judicial Transparency, Justice Reforms and Human Rights)

C/o Add: 28 Sunrise (552), Samta Nagar, Kandivali (East), Mumbai 400 101

Mob: 9869 828 619. Email: justicecorps@gmail.com


“Nothing rankles more in the human heart than a brooding sense of injustice. Illness we can put up with, but injustice makes us want to pull things down”.

– Justice Brenan

 


To

The Chief Justice and all Judges, January 10, 2007.
Supreme Court of
India
New Delhi.

Subject: Supreme Court should not adopt double standards – on one hand passing numerous judgments upholding citizens’ right to information and on the other hand shying away from the Right to Information Act, 2005.

Dear Sirs,

We learn through media reports that the Supreme Court is not receptive to the Right to Information Act and the SC wants to be exempted from the RTI Act for any information which, in the opinion of the Chief Justice of India or his nominee, may “adversely affect or interfere or tend to interfere with the independence of the judiciary or administration of justice”. In addition, the SC has recommended that a decision by the CJI under the Act should not be subjected to further appeal before the CIC.

We are of the opinion that the above hostility towards the RTI Act of the Supreme Court amounts to double standards adopted by the SC, of late. In the past on numerous occasions, the SC has delivered many landmark judgments upholding citizens’ right to information and has even stated that the right to life as enshrined in Article 21 includes the right to information.

We therefore condemn this irresponsible attitude of the Supreme Court towards the Right to Information Act. We want to remind the judges that they are not Lords provided with any special exemptions. They are public servants meant to serve the public and are very much accountable to the people. In fact they owe much more accountability to the people because at least corrupt, derelict, inefficient, uncouth politicians can be thrown out by the people every five years during election time, but corrupt, derelict, inefficient, uncouth public servants like IAS, IPS, and Judges rule over the public for more than 25-30 years.

The judiciary must know that it too is being watched by the public and it too is accountable to the public, being one major pillar of democracy. Like bureaucrats who wanted to escape file notings, if the courts prefer to escape the Right to Information Act, then all the judgments of various HCs and the SC on right to information will be nothing but mere pontifications.

The present Chief Justice of India, Mr. Y. K Sabharwal and the incoming Chief Justice of India, Mr. K. G Balakrishnan, both have been supporters of the Right to Information Act. Mr. Sabharwal, in fact delivered a full speech on impact of the Right to Information Act on Administrative efficiency, Public Accountability and Constitutional Governance, in December 2005. Therefore, the present stand by the SC vis-à-vis RTI Act smacks of inconsistency and sends a wrong message to other Govt. institutions. For example, the UPSC and CBI and Delhi Metro too, for specious reasons want themselves out of the ambit of RTI. At this rate the good law itself will be defeated and it will be status quo ante deluvian.

The Right to Information Act is a tool to ensure transparency in every public functionary. Mere transparency in the functioning of the judiciary cannot compromise its independence and the SC should not feel insecure about it.

Stated frankly and Pro Bono Publico

 

Ronald Rebello Sanket Kashid Ganesh Sodaye Hemant Morajkar

Founder Co-Founder Member Member

9869 828 619 98699 46890 24032751 9819 4121 33

 

 

Copies to:

Minister of Law and Justice, Govt. of India

Dept. of Public Grievances, Govt. of India

Central Information Commission, New Delhi

All High Courts

University Professors and Students

Print and Electronic Media

 

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Documentaion done by JC

Posted by justicecorps on January 9, 2007

The organisation has already done preliminary documentation on topics such as: 

§         Judicial delays and number of pending cases

§         Judges (Inquiry / Misconduct / Strikes)

§         Vigilance over Judges and Judiciary (National Judicial Commission and Special Investigation Department of HCs)

§         Legal Aid, access to courts (ie SC, HC benches) and Lok Adalats

§         Contempt of Court

§         Law Colleges / Law students / Law courses / Law internships

§         Lawyers/ lawyers’ strikes, Bar councils, foreign lawyers/ Law Clerks

§         Language of the law, of lawyers and the courts

§         Witnesses and whistle blowers

§         Family Courts

§         Personal laws

§         Judiciary – Executive tussle

§         Constitution of India

§         Women and Criminal Justice System (Rape, dowry etc)

§         Judicial system and forensic science

§         Caste and Judiciary / Reservation in Judiciary

§         National and state human rights commissions / SC ST Commissions / Women’s Commissions / Minority Commissions.

§         Prison, Prisoners and Courts

§         Modern Procedures, information technology in Judiciary (video conferencing, E-petitions etc).

§         Public Interest Litigation / Judicial Activism.

§         International Judicial Bodies (ICJ, ICC, European Court of Human Rights etc).

§         Electoral and political law.

§         Police encounters / Extra-judicial killings.

§         Draconian laws.

§         Police and Citizens.

§         Right to information (General).

§         Judiciary and Right to Information.

§         Corruption / Anti Corruption Bureau / Central Vigilance Commission

§         Lokayukta / Lokpal.

§         Judgespeak (Public interviews and lectures by judges).

§         Criminal Procedure (General).

§         Delayed Justice (Cases / stories).

§         Chapter Cases / Externment.

 

APPEAL: Justice Corps doesnot have funds for documentation. Contributions are needed for documentation such as 45 box-files, paper, gum, newspapers, magazines etc. This would come to around Rs. 8,000 annually.

We would appreciate if anyone can sponsor the same.

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