CBI chargesheets Jagan Mohan Reddy

Photo courtesy: Indiavision.com
Photo courtesy: Indiavision.com

In a major blow to YSR congress leader, Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a chargesheet against him in the illegal assets case.
The chargesheet which runs into 68 pages names Jagan and 12 others.
Jagan has been named as the first accused in the case while his close aide who is under arrest, Vijay Sai Reddy is accused number 2 in the case. The chargesheet also names IAS officers among other aides who had assisted Jagan in the illegal assets case.
List of accused:
Jagamohan Reddy,Vijaya Sai Reddy,Aurobindo,Heteroo,Trendent Technologies ,Srinivas Reddy,Nithya Reddy, Sharath Chandra, B P Acharya ,Vijayendra Prasad, Chandramouli, Jagathi Publications and Naani Infrastructures.
The CBI’s 68 page chargesheet has cited 66 witnesses and has annexed 263 documents.
A petition had been filed in the court by the Telegu Desam Party seeking a CBI probe into the assets of Jagan Mohan Reddy. Based on this petition a CBI probe had been ordered.
The CBI which filed the chargesheet is however not clear on whether they would arrest Jagan or not. He is yet to be summoned by the CBI and needs to also be questioned. A member of his legal team said that the allegations made against Jagan are not specific in nature. The CBI on the other hand would want to act on Jagan only on the basis of what the courts would tell them. They would seek directives from the court on the course of action to be taken against Jagan.
There is a good chance of a political backlash in case he is arrested and allegations that the CBI has been acting at the behest of the Congress have been flying high.
Jagan’s lawyers say that they would study the chargesheet first and then move the court seeking to quash it. The CBI on the other hand is also exploring the possibility of filing a supplementary charegsheet in due course of time. It would have to probe further and convince the court that Jagan’s arrest is needed to close the case.
In the past couple of days there were speculations that Jagan may be arrested before the chargesheet was filed. CBI joint director, V Lakshni Narayana was also in New Delhi consulting with higher ups on the course of action to be taken. It was decided in Delhi that they would first go with a preliminary charegsheet and seek further time to investigate the matter.

Breakfast, lunch and politics

Photo courtesy: kannada.oneindia.in
Photo courtesy: kannada.oneindia.in

Yeddyurappa decided to show his strength by having breakfast with his loyalists while his rivals have decided to counter him by having lunch. Former Chief Minister of Karnataka B S Yeddyurappa who is in all sorts of trouble after the Central Empowerment Committee observation on illegal mining yesterday held a breakfast meeting along with 55 of his loyalists. Although his supporters said that not much should be attached to this it was clear that it was just a reminder to his party’s central leadership which had promised to reinstate him or look into his demands by the first week of April.

Govind Karjol who identifies himself with Sadananda Gowda, the chief minister of Karnataka has now hosted lunch for all those opposing Yeddyurappa’s return as the CM of the state. The lunch and meeting will be held today and this exercise is being undertaken to show Yeddyurappa that they too have a good strength opposing him.

However the big issue regarding leadership is not expected to take place. There are expected to be some developments based on the demands that Yeddyurappa has been making only after April 11th.

Yeddyurappa who had put up a brave face seeking his reinstatement after being cleared by the High Court in the illegal mining cases once again finds himself on the back-foot. The Central Empowerment Committee had on Thursday said that based on the allegations that Yeddyurappa and his sons had received kickbacks to the tune of Rs 6 crore to favour mining firms a further probe is needed on the matter. The Supreme Court will now decide on April 11th whether the matter needs to be probed by the CEC or the CBI.

The BJP’s central leadership will await the verdict before deciding on Yeddyurappa’s fate. Yeddyurappa on the other hand has decided to file his reply before the CEC and also the Supreme Court. Yeddyurappa’s legal team feels that the observation of the CEC is unfair. This is a matter which is already pending before the Lokayukta court and we have also moved the Karnataka High Court seeking a discharge in this case. When the matter is pending before the court it was unwarranted for the CEC to make such an observation.

Yeddyurappa will now give a representation to the CEC and also move the Supreme Court regarding the same.

Divorces in 2012- 43K and counting

Photo courtesy: divorceindia.in
Photo courtesy: divorceindia.in

The past one year has witnessed 43000 divorces across the country. However since the awareness that has been created nation wide relating to men related rights the number of mutual consents in divorce cases has also gone up and today statistics would show that the percentage of divorces through a mutual consent is at 60.

The reasons for divorce however remain the same and the main reasons that have been attributed to break up of marriages in India today is related to equal income and stress levels being very high. The maximum number of divorces that have been reported are from employees working in call centers and professionals with a medical background and those in the technology sector. However this year around the maximum cases have not been from Bangalore Karnataka. Topping the list in the past one year is Maharashtra which accounts to nearly 20000 of the cases and Bombay and Pune top the list with 15000 of the cases while the remaining have been reported from Nashik, Aurangabad and Nagpur.

Lawyers who have been fighting these cases say that the change in lifestyle is one of the primary reasons for a marriage ending up in divorce. Around 5 years back there was a ratio of 1 divorce per 1000 marriages in India and today the statistics would indicate that there are 13 divorces for every 1000 marriages. However urban India continues to have the most number of divorce cases and when compared to rural India the rate is 46 per cent more.

The other trends that have been noticed in divorce cases is that 60 per cent of the cases today end with a mutual consent. The setting up of divorce counselors in courts and high litigation costs have ensured that divorces end in a mutual consent. Couples have preferred to separate amicably than battling for years together which often ends up in bitterness, statistics would also reveal.

The trend of filing a dowry harassment case along with a divorce plea has also gone down considerably today. There has been a fight by men’s rights organisations for the past couple of years regarding the unfair dowry laws as a result of which false cases are filed by women in order to extract more compensation or maintenance from their husbands. If one looks at the dowry cases that have been filed across India by women seeking a divorce, 98% of dowry cases result in acquittal. In the rest 2% of the cases, the accused has failed to prove his innocence as this law presumes “Guilty Until proven Innocent” and complaint is taken at face value. Also, in many cases conviction is given on paper to justify the period undergone as under trial (before bail is granted to accused). In layman terms, offense not proven, yet convicted only to cover the delay in bail period.

Speaking of divorces in India, there is quite a mixed scenario. Virag Dhulia – Men’s Rights Activist from India says that the laws relating to maintenance and child custody are highly vague and left to judicial interpretation which is highly influenced by social mindsets and attitudes towards men. This leads to a lot of anti-male judgments wherein judges interpret facts and laws only from a single mindset that a husband/father must pay, irrespective of the merits of the case and it is ok to alienate father and child but the same father is made to pay through his nose for the child. We get around 200 calls a week all over India and our campaigns have been very successful in providing emotional, psychological and legal support to men who are distressed, victimized and vindicated by their wives and in-laws and anti-male gender-biased laws. Such men get the support they need from us and with renewed vigor they face the adversities with a smiling face.

As per our studies and interactions with people, the most primary reason for divorce is growing expectation from men to maintain extended families, in-laws and when the man can no longer take the burden, the chord snaps. Men also put up with a lot of emotional and psychological abuse and suffer in silence as they have no place to go. Government does not provide any official channel to them.

Dhulia also draws our attention to some changing trends in divorce cases where women have been claiming compensation which is quite unthinkable. Either a woman is entitled to compensation (lump sum) or a monthly maintenance. I would however like to draw your attention to one case where the woman has sought a monthly maintenance of Rs 5 lakh per month and has also provided a break up for the same which is something that does not exist as per our laws. In her plea she seeks money for her child, her own expense and goes on to give a break up which includes monthly entertainment allowance of Rs 10000, travel allowance of 30000, telephone bill of Rs 10000, security guard- 9800, clothes and accessories worth Rs 28000 among others.

The other issues are the vague laws which require a change according to the The International Association of Masculinists a Men’s Rights Organization serving  Masculinist Activists around the world. This association points out that India has just seen tabled before the Cabinet, an amendment to the Hindu Marriage Act and the Special Marriage Act entitled Marriage Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2010. This bill sets human rights in India back decades and perhaps hundreds of years. Masculinists spoke against this bill as far back as 2010 informing the Indian Government of the gross degrees of misandry this bill supports. Among the more disgusting forms of misandry this bill would enact we find the following:

 A wife may oppose a husband’s filing for divorce at any time.

A husband is restrained however from opposing his wife’s filling for divorce.

Courts are given great freedom to decide that a husband’s property should be granted to his wife, perhaps leaving the husband impoverished. Many Indian courts are corrupt and there have been reports about the Indian Judiciary being incompetent.

No such option is granted to provide a wealthier wife’s property to an impoverished husband.

The anti-male clause entitled ‘Financial Security of Women’ restrains courts from granting divorce unless adequate moneys are paid to the wife.

 This creates an unlawful system of Dowry wherein the husband is now paying his wife, something forbidden by Indian law. This law is thoroughly gender biased because specifically ignores all issues of Men’s rights, yet provides special consideration for women’s rights.

Justice Hegde booked

Photo courtesy: Deccan Chronicle
Photo courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

Justice Santhosh Hegde, former Lokayukta of Karnataka and team Anna Member has been booked by the police for falsifying charges against an IPS officer.
Hemanth Nimbalkar, who is now the Deputy Inspector General of police in a complaint alleged that Justice Hegde had conspired to ruin his reputation. He stated that when he was the Superintendent of Police, Belgaum, the lokayukta had conducted a raid against him the details of which Justice Hegde made public to the media. This case however ended in a closure with the Lokayukta filing a B report.
He then filed a complaint with the Vidhana Soudha police. Nimbalkar challenged Justice Hegde’s claim and even filed a defamation case against him in the city civil court. The matter was referred to the legal department which gave consent to file an FIR against Justice Hegde.

Fresh mining trouble for BSY

Photo courtesy: India TodayThe Central Empowerment Committee cosntituted by the Supreme Court has indicted former Chief Minister of Karnataka, B S Yeddyurappa in the illegal mining case. In a report before the Supreme Court of India, CeC has said that the matter requires a further probe. The probe could either be conducted by the CBI or the CeC and this would be decided by the Supreme Court on March 11. The committee stated that the matter pertaining to the Rs 6 crore kickbacks he and his sons got to favour a mining firm needs further probing.
The report states that prima facie it shows that Yeddyurappa in his capacity as the Chief Minister along with his sons had shown favour in awarding mining lease to a company. It has alleged that they had received Rs 6 crore for the same.
The CeC had been constituted by the Supreme Court to look into illegal mining in Karnataka. The court was then petitioned stating that the CBI ought to probe Yeddyurappa’s role in the matter. On the last date of hearing the Supreme Court directed the CeC to find out and report back on whether the Yeddyurappa case mandated a CBI probe.
This would mean that the pitch raised by Yeddyurappa recently to be reinstated as CM would be lowered. He had sought to become the CM once again after the High Court had cleared him in the illegal mining case. The former CM had questioned the report of the Karnataka Lokayukta who had held him guilty of taking favours to facilitatae mining leases during his tenure as CM.

Lashkar on the global stage

 

From Left: Saeed Hafeez, David Headley and Sajid Mir
From Left: Saeed Hafeez, David Headley and Sajid Mir

The capabilities of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba was seen during the horrific 26/11 attack. Post this incident many had been speaking of the manner in which the Lashkar is positioning itself to become the next Al-Qaeda which meant it was slowly but surely spreading  its tentacles into becoming an international outfit. It was clear when the big boss Hafiz Saeed swore that they would have their flags flying at Washington DC, New Delhi and Tel Aviv.

The intelligence agencies in all the above three mentioned countries are working full time on the movements and operations of the Lashkar and its operatives. The expansion plan is on the cards says an officer from the Indian Intelligence Bureau. During the 26/11 attack we saw the manner in which the outfit put together the resources of global terrorists such as David Headley and Sajid Mir.

There is activity galore and one does not get to see the movements of the Lashkar just in the South Asia region. They are looking to expand in Europe, United States, Australia and the Middle East. The target nations would however continue to be India, the US and also Israel. Terror groups in Pakistan have been sensing foul play by the Israelis and they feel that attacks are being stage managed in order to further their cause. There is a likelihood of retaliation and forces are being trained against the Israelis who are present in various parts of the world. The threat is very serious, an official says. However the likelihood of an immediate attack is not on the cards, but the build up suggests that they are gearing for something very big.

The Indian Intelligence says that the Lashkar may not carry out all their international operations alone. They are trying to merge smaller groups across the world present in Europe, Australia, Middle and also South Asia into their fold. Most of the attacks on the international circuit according to the Lashkar plan will be carried in the name of these smaller outfits, but the entire operation would be overlooked by the Lashkar. The Lashkar is aiming at destruction on a large scale and the targets would be the citizens of enemy nations. However they would not want much heat on them on the international circuit as this would be the movement of their operatives would be crippled.

Unlike the Al-Qaeda the Lashkar has not yet managed to set up a proper formula where in funds flow in automatically. The Al-Qaeda was considered to be favourite among a section of the rich Muslims present in various parts of the world and these persons continued to pump in the funds more on sympathetic grounds. The Lashkar is now trying its best to attain that status. It may have announced itself on the world stage after the 26/11 attack, but does realise that attacking nations other than India on a more regular basis will give it the Al-Qaeda sort of status.

The Lashkar has been relying more on the money that it generates through drug lords and smugglers for its operations. This may have generated a lot of money, but it continues to be a risky proposition for the outfit and hence it would like to channelize more funds through donations.

The Lashkar has also been found to be setting more and more cells in Europe and is recruiting people for fidayeen missions which it plans on carrying out in different parts of the world.

The ambitions that the Lashkar is nurturing on the international circuit would not however mean that the threat perception for India comes down. India and Kashmir in particular will always continue to top the Lashkar’s priority list. The ISI which has been remote controlling the Lashkar feels that at any cost it cannot get out of Kashmir since this is something that keeps the outfit going in Pakistan at least. For the radicals in Pakistan the Lashkar needs to keep its interests alive in India failing which they could find the sympathy factor dwindling in their own country. Moreover the Kashmir battle is considered to be a freedom fight for Pakistan and hence the common man too in Pakistan would continue to support any group that is battling for Kashmir. Moreover any attack on the Indian soil will always be given the Kashmir spin and the act becomes completely justified then for them.

While India will have to deal with this menace the world too needs to prepare itself for the Lashkar assault. According to Ahley J Tellis, Senior Associate
South Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment, the Lashkar is a formidable and highly adaptable adversary with a genuinely global reach and the ability to grow roots and sustain operations in countries far removed from its primary theater of activity in South Asia. He also goes on to point out that they have a global vision and international ambitions which include- distinct ideology that underwrites Islamic revanchism, justifying collaboration with other terrorist groups, loyalty to Pakistan and willingness to protect its patron state against domestic opponents, diversified network for mobilizing resources, promoting its international presence, and recruiting members, which minimizes its dependence on the state and proficiency at exploiting science and technology, extra-national social links, and state vulnerabilities in order to advance its political aims.

Student’s suicide revives Telangana sentiment

The suicide problem in Telangana has commenced yet again. Another incident involving a student committing suicide in the Warrangal district has come to light just now. Raja Mouli, a student immolated himself a couple of meters away from the Warrangal headquarters just a couple of hours ago and he died instantly.

This is the second incident in less than 50 hours. B Nayak, an MBA student again from Warrangal committed suicide near the Collector’s residence yesterday.

The suicides in the Telangana region had come down drastically in the past couple of months, but now it appears that the sentiment has returned and there is expected to be a rise in the number of suicides once again.

Speaking to a couple of Telangana activists regarding these suicides one gets the indication that the suicides have started once again to show that the sentiment for Telangana is not dead as yet. People were expected to react in this manner thanks to two statements made by the Congress leaders after the by-elections. Some activist say that the people are particularly irked by the statement made by Renuka Chaudhary who had said that Telangana will take time it is not instant coffee. However what has upset the people even more is the statement made by Ramanna Reddy, an MLA from the Congress. He had said that going by the results of the by-poll in Telangana region it is clear that the vote percentage of the pro-Telangana parties had reduced a great deal even through they won the elections. He also said that by the time the next elections are held the vote share would reduce much more which means that the Congress will return to power. These are all indications that the sentiment for Telangana is dying.

These statements have not gone down too well with the pro-Telangana supporters who say that the sentiment is intact. They are likely to intensify their protests and also the number of suicides are likely to go up only to show that the sentiment is very much intact.

I am still the CM, haven’t quit- Sad Gowda

Denying reports of his resignation, Chief Minister of Karnataka, Sadananda Gowda has said the question of a leadership change does not arise in Karnataka. On his arrival at Bangalore from New Delhi at 11 PM today he informed that he had been assured by both Nithin Gadkari and L K Advani that he would not be changed and would continue as the Chief Minister. They spoke with me about the budget that I had presented and expressed happiness with the work I had done. Yes there is a small turbulence in the party and it shall be resolved.
The state president of the BJP, K S Eshwarappa sounded upset about the rumours of a resignation. It is the job of mischief mongers. Just because we met with the national president twice today does not mean Gowda has resigned. People who have been floating this rumour have nothing better to do. I do not know in what language to tell you that Gowda will not be changed and he has not resigned.
Law Minister Suresh Kumar who travelled with the CM today said that the information was wrong. This was also confirmed by senior BJP leader, Ananth Kumar and also Dhamendra Pradhan.
While the faction opposing B S Yeddyurappa have returned to Bangalore, the other camp will stay in Delhi another day. Yeddyurappa was told clearly that there would be no change in the leadership and was asked to wait until April 1 for further discussion on the matter.

Wait till April 1, Yeddy told

The BJP leadership in New Delhi has managed to quieten B S Yeddyurappa once again and told him that further talks on a leadership change can only take place on April 1. The leadership stated that they do not want any constitutional crisis in the state of Karnataka especially when the budget has not been passed as yet.
The budget is expected to be passed on March 28 after discussion. Yeddyurappa and his followers have been told that they would need to remain quiet and cooperate with the party until then. All leaders have been asked to get back to Delhi on April 1.
However Yeddyurappa will stay a day longer and meet with Murali Manohar Joshi before returning to Bangalore.
Yeddyurappa who had sported a very confident attitude when he landed in Delhi looked down after the meetings. His body language indicated that not all had gone as per plan. He had urged that a decision on the issues raised by him be made latest by tomorrow.
The Yeddyurappa camp was given a patient hearing and it looked as the central leadership would give in. However the strongest opposition came from L K Advani who had opposed any change from day one.  Moreoever Sadananda Gowda put forth a fierce argument accusing his mentor, Yeddyurappa of anti party activities.
Sources say that the road ahed for Yeddyurappa appears to be tough and todays events suggest that he may not be reinstated. He would however be asked to settle for the post of party president, sources also said.

Capt. Gopinath on the Kingfisher crisis

Pic-financial express

These are troubled times for the King of good times, Dr Vijay Mallya. His airline, Kinghfisher is all over the news for the wrong reasons. The accounts have been frozen as a result of which the staff have been unpaid and several flights have been grounded. In addition to this we wait and watch what the next course of action would be regarding Kingfisher-whether it would fizzle out completely or would there be a bail out.
Captain Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar Gopinath who had paved the way towards low cost flying through his Deccan Airways feels that the best way out of the crisis is to convert all the debt into equity and appoint a professional board. Captain Gopinath’s airline which was rebranded Kingfisher Red after it was sold to Dr Mallya for a sum of 1120 crore also feels that a professional board ought to be appointed to save the airline and not the management.
In this chat with rediff.com, Captain Gopinath speaks about the Kingfisher crisis and also suggests ways on how to wriggle out of this situation.
One must think of the 10000 plus employees associated with the airline and taking action against the airline for their anger against Mallya is not the solution. The government must act fast and should be decisive. Firstly the banks should convert the debt owed by Kingfisher into 100 per cent equity at the market value. Through this they may recover only a part of the debt and in order to recover the balance they should mortgage shares and assets of the promoter and his holding company. Further the government should also take complete control of the airline. They should hand it over to professionals who will be capable of stabilising operations and sell it to new investors. Through this the government can ensure that the airline is stable and also many jobs could be saved apart from saving the assets as well which could deteriorate soon. If this is not done then it would be very difficult to bring back life into the assets.
The government must also take into consideration that there is no vacuum created in the airline sector. This would only lead to a complete mismatch in demand and supply which would lead to flying costs soaring and also carelisation. Bringing in new airlines at this point to fill a vacuum is also not the solution as this process could take nearly 5 years. A smooth transition in so far as the airline is concerned is the solution to the problem like how the government did in the case of Satyam Computers. This would be an ideal solution because if one allows bankruptcy it would not be the choice as the banks would anyway lose everything and it would also cause a great deal of problems to the employees and also the small investors who would also go bankrupt.
Vijay Mallya had recently sought a bail out from the government of India, but he was told that it would privatisation of profits and socialisation of losses. There is an increasing chorus against a bailout, but there are certain factors that are likely to go against him when he seeks a bailout. Shooting hot models in fancy destinations, running a cricket team or an F1 team are factors that are not likely to go in his favour when he seeks a bailout. His flamboyant lifestyle is something that could go against him in case the tax payer has to save the airline. Mallya however does claims that he owes no one an explanation regarding his lifestyle as he pays his taxes. He may be filing his personal income tax, but the fact is that there is Rs 400 crore in tax that is not paid and there are dues which exceed 2000 crore and not to mention the un-serviced bank debts. Moreover nearly half the fleet of the airline is on the ground for want of parts. While on one hand this is the case on the other he buys exotic islands, yachts and villas. The ideal thing to do would be deal with this with humility, pay the price and move on.
On Kingfisher Red, which was Deccan Airways, I feel that it was a mistake to club the airlines together. Everything should have been converted into Kingfisher Red and all domestic routes should have been under this name and the international route under Kingfisher Class.
The other airline which needs an assessment is Air India. It needs to move towards privatisation and the employees should be taken care of. Airlines such as British Airways were privatised over a period of 8 years and it was successful. Moreover unlike Kingfisher, Air India is rich in assets when it comes to land holding and buildings. It would be better if the assets belonging to Air India are put into a separate entity and the funds obtained through the sale should be used to compensate the employees. The remaining money could be stored in the treasury and then the airline would be completely privatised.
The government needs to create a good aviation sector. The government headed by the Prime Minister needs to step in, in order to create a long term plan for the aviation industry. A system ought to be built to sustain the aviation sector instead of coming up with individual policies that suit a Jet Airways or Kingfisher or even Air India. We need to adopt the Singapore model where manpower, a great economy and aviation being treated as core infrastructure be adopted. We need to act fast or else it would be too late.