The police might have registered a case against Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia for his provocative speech in Bhokar town on January 22 but it’s nowhere close to arresting him. Mail Today had reported on Thursday that while the police had filed an FIR against Togadia for his speech, they will not arrest him until the state government gives a go ahead.
On Friday, Home Minister R. R. Patil said “It is the prerogative of the concerned investigation officer whether to arrest him or not. As government we don’t interfere in such matters.” Police officials from Nanded said they would be able to arrest Togadia only after the state allows it as it was a “political decision”
(Police can’t arrest Togadia, Mail Today, 9 th Feb 2013)
Mr Praveen Togadia, the international secretary general of VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) is sitting pretty. It has been more than a week that a FIR has been filed against him for his alleged hatespeech in Bhokar town but since then there has been no progress. Continue reading ‘Police Can’t Arrest Togadia’
Guest post by NIKHIL DEY and RUCHI GUPTA
For many who quite rightly guessed that the Lokpal Bill drafted by the Government would be a non-starter, the alternative merited automatic support. However, little was known about the contents of the two Bills, except that the alternative being proposed by ‘India Against Corruption’ had the prefix of being a “peoples” Lokpal. The consequences are too important to leave to the expertise of the drafting committee. The people must comprehend, and play their part in ensuring that there will be an Act that will empower them to fight corruption- not make them surrender their hopes to yet another anti-corruption organization. How people-centric is the Jan Lokpal Bill (JLP)?
While the JLP is going through rapid revisions – 12 so far – the basic framework and some principles have remained constant. Broadly the Bill can be divided into four sections: the mandate and scope of the Lokpal; composition and selection of the Lokpal; powers of the Lokpal; and functioning of the Lokpal. The composition and selection of the Lokpal is substantively one of the least contentious sections – concerned largely with procedural matters and subjective preferences, rather than ideological or legal viewpoints. A discussion of the other three sections follows.
Continue reading Putting the “Jan” into the Lokpal Bill: Nikhil Dey and Ruchi Gupta
Guest post by RUCHI GUPTA
Subverting Democracy 
It took 47 days of a protest sit-in in Jaipur to make the State budge. It’s notable that the objective of this protracted protest wasn’t to coerce the government for an extra share of State resources but to hold the government accountable to the Constitution and its own laws. The protest, “mazdoor haq satyagraha” was staged by workers employed under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) to demand enforcement of their constitutional right to earn minimum wage. Even now after some initial encouraging signs, the matter seems to have stalled. Continue reading Democracy and the Politics Around NREGA: Ruchi Gupta