Law


When the state transport secretary GS Gill was taken for a ride by a cabbie in Mumbai, all hell broke loose. But the result is that rides in Mumbai cabs are going to be easier on the pocket as electronic meters will be installed. Electronic meters are not only difficult to tamper with, they will come with a printed handout which will make it easier for customers to prove that he/she has been cheated. In fact a cabbie taking an unusually long route from point to point will also be caught. This itself should act as a deterrent.

Fines for rigged meters will also rise. We hope. Because cabbies are not too happy with the move as they feel that not only are electronic meters expensive, they will cost more to repair. In any case taxi unions are already very unhappy… taxi fares have been reduced by 50 paise per km, because cabs have switched to CNG. And fines for faulty meters now stand at anywhere between Rs 500 to Rs 1500/-

Unfortunately the reduction in fares as well as the increase in fines is going to be challenged in court by the taxi union. Reduced fares or not, the union hasn’t accepted it, and consumers have to pay the original fare.

We have to admit that though Mumbai cabs are said to be the safest in the world – when it comes meter tampering, they don’t score very well.

Actually, the move to improve the cabbie system in Mumbai is not a new one. Upgradation of the rickety black and yellow cabs is very much in keeping with the state government’s policy for improving the city of Mumbai. In fact recently the chief minister inaugurated a modern fleet of GPS-based technology taxi services, with the flag off fare of Rs 15. Six months ago, a similar service was introduced.

One can only hope that the taxi union’s plans to scuttle the government’s move to reduce fares does not succeed. Well, at least the union has not opposed electronic meters, and once they are installed, Mumbai will be safer from cheating cabbies. If there are complaints one can complain online at trafficpolicemumbai.org

Finally, it took the state transport secretary to suffer at the hands of a cheating cabbie for all this to happen. While electronic meters were to be installed on all new cabs anyway, now they will have to be installed on all cabs. 🙂

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The curtains have been drawn for a show that promises to be quite interesting.The PM Manmohan Singh’s suggestion yesterday that judiciary should not breach the thin line dividing judiciary and legislature and asking the courts to follow some guidelines before accepting PILs was followed by the CJI,KG Balakrishnan’s asserting the judiciary’s independence and its power to review the actions of Parliament and legislatures.

There were a good number of incidents where there was a confrontation between the two systems-the Bihar assembly dissolution, Jharkhand government formation, expulsion of MPs in cash-for-query scam, reservation in promotions, 9th schedule and now the stay on implementation of 27% OBC quota.The legislature responded favourably only in the case of cash-for-query scam.

Its natural for the ruling class to be irked by the constant ‘interference’ by courts in what they consider to be their own domain,but its very much essential for the smooth functioning of the democracy.As the CJI rightly said,there may be some tensions between the legislature and the judiciary some times,but its a sign of a healthy democracy.There were many clashes between the two forces earlier too,the most famous being the Allahabad High Court’s ruling that declared the then PM of India,Indira Gandhi’s election as void.Indira Gandhi retorted by imposing Emergency,a blot on Indian democracy.Now though we can be sure of such situations being repeated,thanks to a much politically-aware society and the media revolution and the emergence of internet as the most popular means of communication, answerability of the legislature to public is still a distant dream.

The PILs are one of the few options left to the public to question the policies of the Govt.The Govt has tried to tamper with the other option,RTI act,but was met with stiff resistance by the public.If all the policies are made in the larger interest of the public and not for political mileage or personal benefits,why does the Govt want the courts to restrict PILs?Absolute power in the hands of a few people will be disastrous for everybody.And healthy discussions are an absolute necessity for a flourishing democracy.Just because you are elected by the public
(?) doesn’t mean you are immune from from judicial review gentlemen.There is a rule of law in this country and let it be there.

And why does the Supreme Court still wants to be out of the purview of RTI?

Image Source:http://www.hindu.com

Cross-posted here

 Here’s what happened in Mutiny this week.

Jo started off the week with the tragic news of Laurie Baker’s death. He also blogged about how Google played an April Fool prank and the ABCs of audio/music blogging
 
Nita wrote about some students who have moderate views on reservations. She is concerned that couples can no longer enjoy sunsets on sea fronts without looking over their shoulders and is worried about wild Life in India which is under grave threat
 
Swetha takes a sneak peek at Sivaji – Rajnikant’s Next Blockbuster
 
Jerry blogged prolifically about Eragon, Mid-Night Hot and The New Detectives  CPM. He rants about why the M6A1 is being deployed overseas.
 
Guru tells us about Network Computers and provided some very informative links in HowTo: Startups
 
Chacko writes about  a league for cricket and  gives his opinion on the BJP. He also shows us a very  interesting piece of Indian art in a restaurant in Smash Menu.
 
Cakerfare informs us about ATM Access in Bihar
 
Maltesh writes about Logan and opines that we should not give a reservation to folks who don’t want to stay in India
 
Gentledude writes about the ubiquitous hand pump
 
Sridhar ended the week informing us that Musharraf is deliberately letting Talibanization creep into main cities
 
 Keep coming back for more at the Mutiny !
 
 

Today I read in the newspaper about how couples were hounded at Bandra Reclamation. This is not the first time that this has happened. Every once in a while the cops go into overdrive and start harassing couples. It was on Marine Drive that they did it some time ago. The cops insist that these couples are being obscene, but I beg to differ. It is rarely that one comes across obscenity here, at least I have never seen it on Marine Drive.

Ofcourse I don’t think that kissing lightly in public is obscene. There are those who feel that kissing in public is wrong, but the young do not feel that way. I am past the college going age, but I feel there is nothing wrong with it either. Maybe it is because places such as Marine Drive hold special memories for me. Marine Drive was a place that my husband and I frequented when we were in college and a little later when we took up our first jobs in Mumbai. Not a single cop ever harrassed us, and all we did really was hold hands and stare into each other eyes. From newspaper reports today it is apparent that couples are not even being allowed to do that, and in fact even those simply snacking or talking were hauled to the police station! The criteria apparently is that the couples should be married?

Just a few days ago I was reminiscing about Marine Drive and posted a slideshow on my personal blog. We enjoyed a sunset there, after a gap of some years. Here it is:

[rockyou id=62025271&w=426&h=320]

 

Marine Drive has always been one of my favourite places. I have been coming here ever since I was a kid. And sunset on Marine Drive is one scene I will never tire of. And by the way, it is one of the most romantic sights ever.

😉 Guys !!! Take your eyes of them and tell me what brought these ‘awesome’ pics appear in a daily. Your options are (a) because they are Victoria Secret Models (b)Models from Milan Fashion Week (c) I dont care what it is, i just want to keep staring at them.

Then here is the next one …

WOW Celina Jaitly… Ohhh… What brought this photo of this bomb-shell in the papers? Options (a)Kingfisher Calender 2008 (b)She donated her clothes to the poor (c)(I see the leopard skin)She is protesting like Rakhi Sawanth against animal cruelties (d)I don’t give a damn, i just want to drool…

🙂 gotcha .. The answer is no where in the options. If u seriously burnt your brains over it, don’t blame me. Blame the reporter who put these pics in his article, blame the editor approved these contents in the paper and the least blame me for putting it here. If it was not for the pic i wouldn’t have read these articles in the first place… ( 🙂 ya thats a confession i make).

The first two models in lingerie came as the photos for an article reporting the apparent ban of FTV by the government.Now the funniest part, the second photo was for the article on Celina Jaitly’s apparent comment that “The more you dress, the more sexier you look”… 😆

Now to the real matter, FTV is banned for 2 months for beaming objectionable content programs

The official Report said : The channel has been banned for showing programmes that were against good taste and decency, denigrate women and likely to adversely effect public morality, it said.

How sad!!! Many people are going to be heart broken. What the hell. The banned a TV channel for airing such a program. Then what about this paper that have these fotos in a daily basis. This appeared in the Bangalore Times supplement of the famous Times of India news paper.The funniest thing is that Bangalore is a place where ‘Night-Life’ like pubs, discos and parties are banned after 10PM (if u call that as night life) by the police.

So the print media has the authority to print anything. If its the morale of the society that the ‘government’ is planning to protect, then this is not the way to deal things.

How many schools offer proper sex education? How many youngsters have the liberty of having an open conversation with their parents on these matters? In how many homes speaking or mentioning of sex is still a taboo? Ya they might argue that they give their kids the liberty, the freedom to have a drink with them at times. But that is what you shouldn’t encourage and teach them about much important things. At least teach them to be responsible citizens, the crime rate may come down.

So for the time being guys don’t loose heart, Mid-night Hot and Too Hot at 2 will be back after 2 months. Till then read the daily edition Bangalore Times of Times of India.

(cross posted here)

Listen to this – “US caused the Nandigram killings”, “CIA running a media-syndicate in Kerala”. Stop smiling .. its serious.. its the latest intelligence report from CPM(ya its our own communist party).

US intelligence agency sponsoring a “media syndicate” in God’s Own Country to drive wedges into the Left, and destroy the VS Achuthanandan government in the state.“If what our intelligence reports say on such activity is found serious enough, the Central Government would be informed,” VS Achuthanandan.[Indian Express Report]

What does he mean by our intelligence reports?Is it KGB? May be, but this time it could be Kerala Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti and not Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti. Stop blaming and try to so something useful for the Nation. Let the Intelligence work be done by RAW. We didnt elect you to do make baseless comments like this.

VS also added that he would “neither deny nor confirm”

Well watch out they might even come out with the news that MI6 cause India’s exit from the Wordcup so that England has a chance.

The Reports – Economic Times News – CPM blames US for Nandigram(you would require an IndiaTimes ID to view the news)

Indian Express News – God’s Own Country fights ‘CIA demon’

(cross posted here)

At Mutiny, Polite Indian has covered the Supreme court verdict on the reservation issue comprehensively. I have been following other news on this too, specifically television programmes which aired the opinions of young students on this issue. It is interesting to note that some students who are anti-reservation are not against reservation per se. A programme on CNN IBN for example shows one student (in the anti reservationist group) saying that he doesn’t mind reservations, but for gods sake let their be a time line! Say 50 years. Another student, again from the same group, is against the creamy layer getting reservations. Another says that he wants the percentage of the quota to be reduced. I have watched other programmes too, on Times Now for example and here it is a similar story. A lot of heartburn on the creamy layer being entitled to reservations. Some insisted on reservations in elite primary schools, not higher education.

I emphathise with the moderates, although they are not called moderates. They are clubbed under anti reservationists.

I had written about the Supreme Court staying the OBC quotas on my personal blog, and had gone a step further saying that not only should the creamy layer be excluded, but people from all religions be brought under its fold. That is a very controversial opinion I realised after I got a comment about how easy it is for Brahmins to talk like this. I couldn’t quite understand that comment because I simply cannot think in terms of caste however hard I try. My identity is not Brahmin, its Indian, and to some extent – regional (Maharastrian). I think this is a lot to do with the fact that I studied in St. Mary’s school, Pune, and half the class were Christians, several Muslims and Parsees, Jains, and in fact the Hindus were in a minority. I was never conscious that I was a Brahmin and I guess that has remained with me throughout my life.

Today I feel that the disadvantaged, whatever the community they come from, should get reservations. No, I am not for reserving such a great number of seats, and I am not sure whether it is a good thing to have reservations in higher educational institutions, but I can be convinced. Also, I feel the modalities can be worked out better and there should be transparency… right now there is a belief (probably erroneous) that even those with 50 per cent marks can get into a higher educational institutions.

The good thing about the Supreme Court judgement is that everything will now come out in the open (hopefully). The main question as to who the reservations are for, should be answered satisfactorily.

And let us never forget the reasons why the non-Hindu disadvantaged are where they are today. Many of those who converted (how I hate writing this, in case someone misunderstands!) were not Brahmins.

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