JUSTICE CORPS

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

Archive for the ‘Minutes’ Category

These are the minutes of official justice corps meetings held on every first Saturday of a month. The core team members meet to discuss various strategies , assess goals and devise a plan of action for future activities.

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 Ronald’s Letters to the Editors – Published and Unpublished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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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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Minutes of third official meeting

Posted by justicecorps on January 4, 2007

Day: Thursday

Date: 28th December, 2006.

Time: 11 am to 5:20 pm

Place: Rationing Kruti Samiti office, Mumbai Central

Members present : Ronald L. Rebello, Sanket Kashid, Hemant Morajkar, Ramesh Kadam.

 

1.. Ronald first made a detailed presentation on the problems affecting the justice system of the country as of today, the dynamics involved, the problems of citizens in accessing justice, the recent trends of judiciary, the visits of Sanket and Ronald as team members of JC to various courts and their observations, the judicial reforms demanded by Justice Corps and need for the same etc. Additionally, an idea of the activities of Justice Corps during the year (2006) were discussed such as campaign by JC to get the RTI Act, 2005 implemented by Bombay High Court, responses of various people to it and notice to Maharashtra CM calling him to fill up the vacancies in MHRC, letters to the Editor on judicial reforms etc.

3.. Similarly, the various topics of documentation done by Ronald and Sanket were also presented. So far JC has been able to do documentation on around 40 issues concerning justice reforms, judicial transparency, law and human rights. It was emphasized that systematic documentation has come to a halt since October 31st, 2006 as Ronald has resigned as an employee from Rationing Kruti Samiti. This is because when he was in RKS while doing RKS documentation, he used to also do documentation on judicial reform. Nevertheless, while now newspaper cuttings are being collected on the same, there are absolutely no resources or funds for gum to paste the clippings, for paper, box-files to maintain these clippings etc.

4.. After this presentation, the inclusion of new members in the team was discussed. Hemant Morajkar a budding young journalist and a graduate in Bio-technology has decided to join the Justice Corps team as a core committee member. Shabana Shaikh of Women’s Research and Action Group (WRAG) and a third year student of law has also consented to be a team member, telephonically. She could not make it to the meeting as she had an illness in the family to attend. Ramesh Kadam, involved as a full-timer with Rationing Kruti Samiti and associated with various movements and Unions, in the afternoon session of the meeting said that he would be interested in becoming a member, though he would not be able to participate fully into it and suggested that decisions should be conveyed directly to him. Therefore, as of today, the team strength of Justice Corps is a total of 6 members, namely, Ronald Rebello (Founder), Sanket Kashid (Co-founder), Ganesh Sodaye (Member), Hemant Morajkar (Member), Shabana Shaikh (Member), Ramesh Kadam (Member). The team felt that it is of significance to have one more lady member in order to have a balanced team.

5.. So far there has been no progress on the front of having a bank account for Justice Corps. Sanket and Ronald made enquiries with two-three banks – HDFC, New India Co-operative Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce. None of these banks are ready to open an account for Justice Corps as it is an unregistered organization. It was decided to further make enquires on the same and not give up hope. Ramesh informed the group that Bank of Maharashtra permits opening a “current bank account” for even unregistered organizations. Hence, Sanket and Ronald have decided to make further enquires. Sanket will follow-up the issue of a bank account for Justice Corps. It was emphasized that in order to get even a small amount of funding, a bank account is very much essential.

6.. Justice Corps in order to make its presence known to a wider audience, needs to have a website and an E-group on which essential messages can be disseminated. Hemant, a regular blogger has taken the responsibility of designing, monitoring and updating a website for JC. The content is to be provided to him and he would host it on one of the free blogs available on the internet. Hemant would host the material on www.justicecorps.wordpress.com.

7.. It was brought to the notice of the team that since its inception in March 2006, Justice Corps has met officially only thrice. (Though Ronald and Sanket have met on numerous occasions and have discussed issues unofficially). This is because the team members have not been able to match their schedules. Therefore, it was decided that in the year of 2007, a fixed date should be decided for the entire year, so as to dedicate time to JC. The team decided that the first Saturday of every month will be a JC meeting day come what may. The meeting will be a full day meeting beginning 11 am sharp and should end by around 5 pm. Meeting will be held in the RKS office at Bombay Central till such time as it is permitted by RKS. This was decided in the morning. Ramesh who participated in the meeting in the afternoon expressed his inability to take part in this meeting as he has already pre-booked this day in the month for RKS activities, which cannot be altered. Ganesh Sodaye and Shabana have agreed telephonically to the said schedule.

8.. Sanket bought up the issue of visiting cards. It was discussed that in the course of networking with other activists, organizations and representing JC, there is no identification or contact details that can be given. Hence, it was decided that each one of us would print our visiting cards for JC, for which each of us would bear our own expenses since there are no funds. It was decided that a model visiting card would be designed by Ronald and will be sent to team members via email.

9.. Regarding the activities for JC, it was discussed that each one of the team members need to identify sensitive lawyers connected with various courts and streams of law, who would help us in understanding the problems of those particular courts. For instance, a labour court lawyer to advice on problems of labour courts/laws, a criminal court lawyer on criminal matters/courts and so on. Similarly, we much identify litigants in each court and document their cases in case study formats.

Lectures in various colleges on different topics such as right to information, judicial reform, and public interest litigation too can be organized to mobilize opinion. NSS, student units, principals and faculties of these colleges can be contacted for the same.

To make entry into the slums, it was decided that printing of RTI pamphlets in Hindi and Marathi should be distributed with JC details on it.

Ronald mooted before the group the idea of sending circulars to various colleges inviting students for internship with Justice Corps. This will give an opportunity for JC to mobilize the student community on the issue and also the shortage of human power for documentation will not be felt. These students can indulge in an array of activities at various levels depending on their skills. Ronald has taken the responsibility of co-ordinating the same and following it up. Sarvahara Jan Andolan (Raigad), Kashtakari Sanghatna (Dhanu-Talasari), Rationing Kruti Samiti (Mumbai) are the three organizations where students can be placed for internship in addition to doing JC work.

Ramesh came up with the idea that the organization needs to be membership-based rather than a federation of networks. This idea was supported by all. Ramesh averred that he can collect over 1,000 members within three months. However, the team was clear that the members of JC need to be empowered and concerned individuals and not any Tom, Dick and Harry should be part of it for their personal gain.

Sanket suggested that JC members should get co-opted in All India Press Letter Writers Association (AILWA), a 26 year old registered body of letter writers from the country. The object of joining the association is that JC can be run through AILWA, in particular to obtain funding for JC activities as at present JC is unregistered and no funding agency may provide funds. More appropriately many issues are in common with AILWA such as the recognition of the right to information, judicial transparency and reform and good governance. Besides AILWA members are in the mood of retiring after serving 25 years and want young people to run it. It was proposed by Ronald that Hemant and Sanket, both who are also letter-writers may join AILWA. Unfortunately, the idea of taking costly membership of Rs. 1,000 acts as a deterrent and makes the organization appear elitist. Sanket and Hemant will take their own decisions in this regard.

A short break of an hour was taken during the day to read pending newspapers in RKS office so as to acquire clippings on Justice Reforms. It was decided that such activity would be continued every time and in this way clippings on food security would also be culled out for RKS team, mutually benefiting both organizations.

The meeting completed at 5:20 pm.

 Minutes written by Ronald and Sanket.

 

 

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