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The plight of criminologists: To believe or not to believe women

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India, as we know, is a land of diversity and culture which as per the mythological readings, places a high status on women by considering them as a reincarnation of a Goddess. They are also regarded as a savior of customs, traditions and beliefs which can be evidently seen in the case when a mother passes on moral education and learnings to the next generation. But, are we really abiding and upholding the value system imbibed in us by the scriptures that dictate major portions and events of our lives?

This dog-eat-dog world that we live in, is full of obstacles with a continuum of issues disturbing the peace of everyone and/or disrupting social order (Crowell, 2013). At such a point, discussions pertaining to deviance and crime arise. Society is predominantly known for its ever evolving and adapting nature alongside the passage of time. Owing to this dynamic nature, the values and beliefs held also go through a makeshift change from time to time. When people fail to adapt to these changes, the problem arises. Terms like deviance and crime are often considered to be highly subjective and vary from the viewpoint of one society to another.

Deviance can be explained as any behavior or act that departs from social norms. In other words, that which goes against the values, norms or beliefs held by the society in question; while crime, on the other hand, is any action which violates the law of the land (Siegel, 2006). Both, deviance and crime, to a considerable extent serve as a mirror of the society as it exemplifies the thought processes and frameworks in which that society is constructed (Coomber, Donnermeyer, McElrath, & Scott, 2014).

Every crime constitutes a victim as well as a perpetrator. We are often surrounded by instances where a female victim has been subjected to a ruthless male offender; which is also supported by statistical data records. However, it does not negate the fact that females too can commit crimes. It can be factually seen that serious offences like murder are usually committed by men, whereas minor crimes like substance abuse or cheating can be committed by both men and women, alike. The degree, intensity and extent of violence severely differs in men and women (epg pathshala, n.d.). There are various disciplines which have made a conscious effort to understand female criminality, better, namely: criminology, psychology and sociology among others.

Prominent criminologists namely, Cesare Lombroso and William Ferrero authored, “The Female Offender”, 1895, which gives a deep insight about female criminality, in general. As stated in the book, they suggested that women are more likely to display the characteristics of an occasional criminal (Bhosle, 2009). Lombroso viewed the born female criminal have the criminal qualities of men and the worst ones of women; however, in India, criminality amongst women is attempted to understand as a result of social and economic scarcity as opposed to, certain biological throwbacks (Mili & Cherian, 2015). Freda Adler, in her book, “The Rise of the New Female Criminals”, 1975, attempts to explain the involvement of women in crimes against property by emphasizing on the masculinity behavior of females. The masculinization theory did however, receive criticisms owing to their male-centrism ideology of understanding female criminality (Islam, Banarjee, & Khatun, 2014).

From a psychological perspective, female offenders are known to be devoid of emotional stability and more prone to insecurity, rejection and frustration. Unbearable living conditions, societal pressure, stress, family concerns, financial dependence, social status, etc. may compel women to subdue their inner most feelings and emotions, which may possibly be negatively channelized into unpredictable anger, which in certain cases may result in violence, too (Mili & Cherian, 2015). This can be theoretically backed up by the works of Meda-Chesney Lind in her book, “The Female Offender”, 1986 where she elaborately explains the marginalization theory. This theory states that the victimization or marginality (lower class position; low income; inadequate job; harassment by family) of a woman may provoke her to commit a crime in the modern society (Islam, Banarjee, & Khatun, 2014). Discussing psychological matters in India, is not well looked upon, aggravating the issue further.

Besides, a range of social factors may also influence our understanding of female criminality in India. Some of them being: inequality, poverty, lack of education, gender discrimination, strained relations with spouse or family, denial of basic needs of life or social oppression may also serve as motivating factors (Pattanaik & Mishra, 2001).

The supposed association between poverty and female criminality has been adequately emphasized in certain judicial judgements like: in the case of Shreerangyee v. State of Madras 1972, the accused was a hardworking but unfortunate woman who was deserted by her husband. She had five children and was unable to support them due to lack of adequate earning. Her financial position further worsened when her youngest child was diagnosed with a severe illness and the doctor demanded for money for the treatment. She tried to raise the funds, but in vain. Having exhausted all the legitimate means to earn a living, she, in exasperation, killed all her five children by drowning them and then herself jumped into the well. She was, however, rescued and convicted, under Section 302 IPC for killing her children. The Court in this case also ruled out poverty as an excuse for the murder of innocent children and attempt to suicide (Ghosh, n.d.).

Among the different types of crime committed by women, the one gaining tremendous amount of attention is that of false accusations, i.e. wrongly accusing a person to have committed a crime. If an individual is correctly accused of an offense, it serves them right to face the consequences that follow its path; however the flip side of it lies in cases where a person is falsely accused of a wrongdoing, that results in a huge toll on their reputation, putting them through a severe emotional turmoil and can also negatively impact their personal as well as professional lives.

This could be in the case of dowry, rape, molestation, casting couch, harassment, domestic violence or even cheating. This issue can be considered as an essential one to deal with, by criminologists as such women tend to take undue advantage of the law that strives to protect them, in totality. These nature of events have been noticed in more or less all sectors, be it household, corporate workplace, educational institutions or the media industry. A practical instance in support of the statements mentioned above, is in the form of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The section was introduced in the year 1983, with special regard to the increasing cruelty (use of verbal and/or physical abuse) towards married women on the hands of the husband and/or his family members and providing them with the requisite legal protection. However, over the years, with rising cases of this section being misused, the Supreme Court observed that it was being used as weapons rather than a shield by disgruntled wives. (Ray, 2018).

There are a number of cases that have circulated like wild fire featuring women who have falsely accused men on many grounds. One such case being that of Nisha Sharma and Munish Dalal in May, 2003 in Noida. Nisha had accused her to-be-groom and his family of demanding a sum of Rs. 12 lakh as dowry and a car; post which, Munish, his mother and paternal aunt were arrested, on the grounds of dowry harassment. They were unfortunately made to visit the Court for hearings, nearly 320 times and after a 10 year long ordeal, were finally acquitted from the false allegations made by the complainant (Vashishtha, 2012).

Such cases do being along with them a series of problems for the wrongly accused member or members of a family: loss of existing job, difficulty in finding a new one, immense stigma and labels attached, loss of respect within the community, psychological concerns: loss of appetite, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and in extreme cases also end their lives in the aftermath of these baseless accusations. The excessive misuse of the anti-dowry law to threaten the groom and his family, has compelled the Supreme Court to term such conduct as “legal terrorism”.

As of August 23, 2015, Jasleen Kaur, a student of St. Stephen’s College, New Delhi, accused a man, Sarvjeet Singh, for passing lewd comments and molesting her, while she was volunteering to control the traffic at a nearby signal. The former’s post on her Facebook handle, caused a lot of stir resulting in the arrest of Singh. Within no time, Kaur became popular and was praised by both the common masses as well as those in authority, for her courageous stand. Soon, the tables turned and on questioning, an eyewitness validated Sarvjeet’s innocence and testified against Jasleen for misbehaving and abusing the man (Surendran, 2016).

An infamous case that sadly did not reach the masses was that of a 22 year old Aman Baisla, based in Delhi, in October 2020. He committed suicide, as he was threatened with false allegation of rape. He posted a live video on Facebook and Instagram to explain how a girl had taken about 12.5 lakhs and when he asked to return, she threatened him of false rape charges and asked for more money instead. This shocking incident caused outrage among the public, however, no media aired this on any news channels.

As a criminologist, it is significant to consider all prospects and more importantly, acknowledge the contribution of social media in shaping society’s perception about a case. The most recent example being that on March 9, 2021 of the Zomato delivery man, named Kamaraj and a girl, named Hitesha Chandranee, who is a Bengaluru-based content creator and model.

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She resorted to Instagram and posted a video accusing the delivery in-charge of physical assault, insult and criminal intimidation. In a series of investigation, it was concluded she had falsely accused Kamaraj and an FIR was filed against her, under Section 355, 504 and 506 of the IPC (Jagran News Desk, 2021).

The media landscape, be it in the form of print, audio-visual, or even digital for that matter, is in a state of constant flux. Media is often regarded as the fourth pillar of democracy and can play a significant role in creating awareness of the laws and the consequences of filing fake cases against the innocent who is accused. They can considerably help in combating this menace by bringing to light, the cases of people involved in such acts, improve literacy among the masses, in this specific arena and in turn, open space for a stream like investigative journalism, to flourish, as well.

All in all, tackling cases of false accusations is undoubtedly the need of the hour which can be substantiated by the rising number of cases in India. This increasing hazard, which can harm society’s fabric and abuse of law for different purposes, needs to be regulated early. It becomes highly crucial to identify, rectify and moreover, spread awareness about this matter so as to not punish an innocent person. The idea that policy recommendations may be focused on inaccurate data does also present a challenge, since such data could contribute to needless or mistaken criminal justice changes (Rawat Rani & Maharshi, 2020). It is high time that we tackle this issue effectively, because in the course of these false claims, the genuine victims may have a hard time trying to seek justice.

References:

Bhosle, S. (2009). Female Crime in India and Theoretical Perspectives of Crime. Kalpaz Publications. Retrieved March 2021, from https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/Female_Crime_in_India_and_Theoretical_Pe/v22H2izsiHUC?hl=en&gbpv=0

Coomber, R., Donnermeyer, J. F., McElrath, K., & Scott, J. (2014). Key Concepts in Crime and Society. SAGE Publications. Retrieved March 2021, from https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/Key_Concepts_in_Crime_and_Society/6JXgBQAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=key+concepts+in+crime+and+society&printsec=frontcover

Crowell, E. L. (2013, March). Sociological Theories of Deviance: Definitions and Theoretical Perspectives. Retrieved March 2021, from www.study.com: https://study.com/academy/lesson/sociological-theories-of-deviance-definitions-and-theoretical-perspectives.html

epg pathshala. (n.d.). Gender related crime. Retrieved March 2021, from www.epgp.inflibnet.ac.in: https://epgp.inflibnet.ac.in/Home/ViewSubject?catid=1608

Ghosh, P. (n.d.). Essay on ‘Criticism of Konger’s Theory’. Retrieved March 2021, from www.shareyouressays.com: https://www.shareyouressays.com/essays/essay-on-criticism-of-kongers-theory-1816-words/121488

Jagran News Desk. (2021, March). Zomato delivery boy Kamaraj files case against Hitesha Chandranee for false accusation. Retrieved March 2021, from www.english.jagran.com: https://english.jagran.com/india/zomato-delivery-boy-kamaraj-files-case-against-bengaluru-woman-hitesha-chandranee-for-false-accusation-10024516#:~:text=The%20alleged%20incident%20happened%20on,punching%20her%20on%20the%20nose.

Mili, P., & Cherian, N. S. (2015). Female Criminality in India: Prevalence, Causes and Preventive Measures. International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, 12. Retrieved March 2021, from https://www.sascv.org/ijcjs/pdfs/milietalijcjs2015vol10issue1.pdf

Pattanaik, J. K., & Mishra, N. N. (2001, September). Social Change and Female Criminality in India. Retrieved March 2021, from www.researchgate.net: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258185546_Social_change_and_female_criminality_in_India

Rawat Rani, A., & Maharshi, D. A. (2020). A Study on Rising Amount of Fake Rape Cases in India. PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/ Egyptology. Retrieved March 2021, from https://www.archives.palarch.nl/index.php/jae/article/download/5923/5893

Siegel, L. J. (2006). Criminology- Theories, Patterns and Typologies (Ninth ed.). Thomson Wadsworth. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.in/books?id=umgEFec4U4YC&pg=PR1&dq=criminology+by+larry+j+siegel+ninth+edition&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNjcX-hLTpAhXVxzgGHY4tCPMQ6AEIMDAB#v=onepage&q=criminology%20by%20larry%20j%20siegel%20ninth%20edition&f=false

Islam, M. J., Banarjee, S., & Khatun, N. (2014). Theories of Female Criminality: A Criminological Analysis. International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory. Retrieved March 2021, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334113027_Theories_of_Female_Criminality_A_criminological_analysis

Ray, K. A. (2018, October). Section 498A Of IPC: A Weapon Or A Shield? – Supreme Court Of India. Retrieved April 2021, from www.mondaq.com: https://www.mondaq.com/india/crime/743068/section-498a-of-ipc-a-weapon-or-a-shield-supreme-court-of-india

Surendran, V. (2016, November). Remember Jasleen Kaur case? Accused Sarvjeet Singh talks about how false complaints ruin men’s lives in India. Retrieved April 2021, from www.indiatoday.in: https://www.indiatoday.in/fyi/story/jasleen-kaur-sarvjeet-singh-kundan-srivastava-false-accusation-354200-2016-11-27

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Policy & Politics

IMPACT OF ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE IN TRACKING AND COMBATING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

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Artificial Intelligence can be a very powerful tool in regard to monitoring and controlling Covid-19 situation across the country. Man-made brainpower (artificial intelligence) is an inventive innovation which is useful to battle the Coronavirus pandemic. This innovation is useful for appropriate screening, following, and foreseeing the current and future patients. The significant uses of this man-made intelligence are intended for early identification and conclusion of the infection.AI is utilized for the advancement of medications and antibodies, and the decrease of the responsibility of medical services laborers. Today, man-made intelligence advancements and devices assume a vital part in each part of the Coronavirus emergency response:understanding the infection and speeding up clinical examination on medications and medicines identifying and diagnosing the infection, and foreseeing its evolution,assisting in forestalling or easing back the virus\’ spread through reconnaissance and contact tracing,responding to the wellbeing emergency through customized data and learning,monitoring the recuperation and working on early notice apparatuses.

To assist with working with the utilization of artificial intelligence all through the emergency, strategy producers ought to energize the sharing of clinical, atomic, and logical datasets and models on collective stages to help artificial intelligence specialists construct viable instruments for the clinical local area and ought to guarantee that scientists approach the fundamental processing limit. The initial not many long stretches of 2020 have significantly changed the way we carry on with our lives and do our day by day exercises. Albeit the far reaching utilization of modern robot pivot and self-driving business vehicles has not yet turned into a reality, the Coronavirus pandemic has drastically sped up the reception of Man-made brainpower (artificial intelligence) in various fields. We have seen what could be compared to two years of advanced change compacted into only a couple of months. Regardless of whether it is in following epidemiological pinnacles or in executing contactless installments, the effect of these improvements has been practically prompt, and a window has opened up on what is to come. Here we examine and talk about how man-made intelligence can uphold us in confronting the continuous pandemic. In spite of the various and evident commitments of man-made intelligence, clinical preliminaries and human abilities are as yet required. Regardless of whether various procedures have been created in various states around the world, the battle against the pandemic appears to have discovered wherever a significant partner in artificial intelligence, a worldwide and open-source instrument equipped for giving help with this wellbeing crisis.

Coronavirus might be viewed as the primary flu pandemic to be spread in our hyper-associated world. It has demonstrated to be a wonder that fundamentally and quickly impacts many layers of our general public. In spite of the numerous control measures embraced to restrict Coronavirus transmissions, like the end of boundaries and the presentation of times of lockdown, we are seeing upwards of 116 million affirmed cases and multiple million passings in 235 unique nations, as revealed by the World Association Wellbeing (WHO) toward the finish of February 2021. Genuine worries about medical care frameworks’ ability have emerged because of the extraordinary interest for wellbeing administrations, particularly concerning distraught states. In this situation, techniques ready to accelerate demonstrative methodology, improve observing and following abilities, foresee the transformative phases of the virus just as its consequences for society, and reproduce the aftereffects of a regulation system, a clinical convention, or another particle, can address a progressive achievement in the advancement of the world in confronting these sensational occasions.

Before the world was even mindful of the danger presented by the Covid (Coronavirus), computerized reasoning (artificial intelligence) frameworks had identified the flare-up of an obscure kind of pneumonia in Individuals’ Republic of China (in the future “China”). As the episode has now turned into a worldwide pandemic, computer based intelligence devices and advancements can be utilized to help endeavors of strategy producers, the clinical local area, and society everywhere to deal with each phase of the emergency and its outcome: location, anticipation, reaction, recuperation, and to speed up research.AI devices and procedures can help policymakers and the clinical local area comprehend the Coronavirus infection and speed up research on medicines by quickly breaking down huge volumes of exploration information. Computer based intelligence text and information mining instruments can uncover the infection’s set of experiences, transmission, and diagnostics, the board measures, and examples from past pestilences.

Profound learning models can assist with anticipating old and new medications or medicines that may treat Coronavirus. A few organizations are utilizing artificial intelligence to recognize medicines and foster model vaccines.Dedicated stages or fora permit the solidification and sharing of multidisciplinary mastery on artificial intelligence, including globally. The US government for instance has started a discourse with worldwide government science pioneers that incorporates utilizing computer based intelligence to speed up examination of Covid writing made accessible utilizing the Kaggle stage.

Admittance to datasets in the study of disease transmission, bioinformatics and atomic demonstrating is being given, for example through the Coronavirus Open Exploration Dataset Challenge by the US government and accomplice associations that makes accessible more than 29 000 scholastic examination articles for Covid and Coronavirus.

Registering power for artificial intelligence is likewise being made accessible by innovation organizations like IBM, Amazon, Google and Microsoft; people giving PC preparing power (for example Folding@home); and by open private endeavors like the Coronavirus Elite Registering Consortium and simulated intelligence for Wellbeing.

Inventive methodologies including prizes, open-source coordinated efforts, and hackathons, are speeding up research on artificial intelligence driven answers for the pandemic. For instance, the Unified Realm’s “CoronaHack – computer based intelligence versus Coronavirus” looks for thoughts from organizations, information researchers and biomedical analysts on utilizing simulated intelligence to control and deal with the pandemic.

To battle falsehood – the Coronavirus “infodemic” – interpersonal organizations and web search tools are utilizing customized man-made intelligence data and instruments and depending on calculations to discover and eliminate tricky material on their foundation.

Menial helpers and chatbots have been conveyed to help medical services associations, for instance in Canada, France, Finland, Italy, the US, and by the American Red Cross. These instruments help to emergency individuals relying upon the presence of manifestations.

Medical care associations are in a dire requirement for dynamic advancements to deal with this infection and help them in getting legitimate ideas progressively to stay away from its spread. Artificial intelligence works in a capable manner to impersonate like human insight. It might likewise assume an essential part in comprehension and proposing the advancement of an antibody for Coronavirus. This outcome driven innovation is utilized for legitimate screening, breaking down, forecast and following of current patients and logical future patients. The huge applications are applied to tracks information have affirmed, recuperated, and demise cases.

The extraordinary speed of endeavors to address the Coronavirus pandemic circumstance is utilized by large information and man-made consciousness (artificial intelligence). Different branches of artificial intelligence have been utilized in a few illness flare-ups prior. Artificial intelligence can assume a fundamental part in the battle against Coronavirus.

Computer based intelligence is in effect effectively utilized in the recognizable proof of illness bunches, observing of cases, forecast of things to come flare-ups, mortality hazard, analysis of Coronavirus, sickness the executives by asset assignment, working with preparing, record support, and example acknowledgment for concentrating on the infection pattern. A few utilizations of simulated intelligence that are accumulating a ton of interest and bringing trusts up in the battle against Coronavirus are as per the following:

MAN-MADE INTELLIGENCE IN EXPECTATION AND FOLLOWING

Computer based intelligence can be saddled for guaging the spread of the infection and growing early admonition frameworks by separating data from web-based media stages, calls, and news locales and give valuable data about the weak districts and for forecast of bleakness and mortality. Bluedot distinguished a bunch of pneumonia cases and anticipated the episode and topographical area of the Coronavirus flare-up dependent on accessible information utilizing AI. HealthMap gathers the openly accessible information on Coronavirus and makes it promptly accessible to work with the powerful following of its spread. As of late, the job of artificial intelligence in ID and determining of Coronavirus episodes by utilizing multitudinal and multimodal information was underscored.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN CONTACT FOLLOWING

Computer based intelligence can increase versatile heath applications where keen gadgets like watches, cell phones, cameras, and a scope of wearable gadget can be utilized for determination, contact following and proficient observing in Coronavirus.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN OBSERVING OF CORONAVIRUS CASES

Artificial intelligence procedures are applied for observing patients in clinical settings and expectation obviously of treatment. In light of the information got from fundamental insights and clinical boundaries, computer based intelligence might give basic data to asset designation and dynamic by focusing on the need of ventilators and respiratory backings in the Emergency unit. Artificial intelligence can likewise be utilised for anticipating the odds of recuperation or mortality in Coronavirus and to give day by day updates, stockpiling and pattern examination and diagramming the course of treatment.

Medical care associations are in dire need for dynamic advancements to deal with this infection and help them in getting legitimate ideas progressively to stay away from its spread. Artificial intelligence works in a capable manner to impersonate human insight. It might likewise assume an essential part in comprehension and proposing the advancement of an antibody for coronavirus. This outcome-driven innovation is utilised for legitimate screening, breaking down, forecast and following of current patients and logical future patients. The huge applications applied to track information have affirmed, recuperated, and demise cases.

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Policy & Politics

Analysing reservation and the ceiling limit of 50%

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INTRODUCTION

Recently Supreme Court struck down the Government of Maharashtra order in which it was decided to give reservation to Marathas. This particular decision of Maharashtra government was violating the well-established ceiling limit of 50%. After this parliament passed Constitution (One Hundred and Twenty-Seventh Amendment) Bill, 2021. While debate was going on the bill, a statement was also made by one parliamentarian, Asaduddin Owaisi where he urge government to lift the cap of 50% on reservation quota. So some fair and reasonable question here need to be addressed. Can the State in the zeal of promoting backward class ignore all together the other? Doesn’t it violates the basic right to equality of rest of the community not the part of reservation?

The concept of ‘Reservation’ can be understood in the backdrop of the historical injustice that happened in past. The Indian society has unique social structure. This society is divided mainly in four class in the form of caste. Few caste or class did not get well resource due to this caste system so they could not got progress with time. They faced lots of exploitation and injustice. This injustice led to inequality in the society. Therefore to bring socio economic equality in our society different constitutional provision is there. The notion of reservation is bought to uplift the disadvantaged and downtrodden people. In order to secure socio-economic justice to the vulnerable class the provision of reservation is made in our constitution. After the advent of constitution the government of India started its initiative to provide reservation to backward classes in order to fulfil theircommitment.

Reservation is an affirmative action taken by state which implies enforcing equal opportunity. Affirmative action of state means that the policy and programme of state by which state machinery tries to redress the past injustice through the active measures to ensure employment and education for the disadvantaged class. United States favours members of disadvantaged group who have suffered within a culture/system in the name of positive action. Employment equity in Canada is positive action by state. In the same way the concept of reservation is affirmative action of state in India to bring equality in unequal. So we can conceive affirmative action is something to protect people from the present effects stemming from past discrimination. Although the positive action policies are controversial in nature but it pervades in one and other form. Some of the affirmative action are like gender quota, racial, religious and caste quota. The fundamental reason to take affirmative action in Europe was rampant slavery and segregation. In India the caste system led to backwardness, social exclusion, segregation, discrimination and exploitation of certain communities which necessitated affirmative action in India. The caste based reservation is unique kind of affirmative action that is taken by state to uplift the backward and downtrodden section of society. In this affirmative action, state provide reservation to backward section or class by reserving jobs and providing some special facilities for their uplifting.

Constitution of India gives the commitment and mandate for the protective discrimination. Constitution of India grantees the right to equality. Right to equality means that one shall be discriminated on the basis of caste, creed, class, sex, place of birth, race and religion. Everyone shall be equal in the eye of law. The preamble of constitution of India guarantees the equality in terms of status and opportunity. The part III of the Indian constitution deals with fundamental right. This part contains Article 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 which assures the right to equality under constitution of India. The specific application of article 14 is laid down in succeeding articles 15, 16, 17 and 18. Part IV of the constitution deals with Directive Principal of State Policy which is provides the guiding principle to the state. Under this part Article 46 is there which says that the state shall take special care of educational and economic interest of weaker section.

CONSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK

Article 14 of constitution of India states that ‘The state shall not deny any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India’. Thus the article 14 uses two expression ‘equality before the law’ which is of English origin and the expression ‘equal protection of law’ has come from American constitution. Equality before law is a negative concept. It shall ensure that there is no special privilege in favour of individual. It implies that everyone shall be equal subject of the ordinary law of land and no person is above the law. Whereas, equal protection of law is a positive concept. It does not mean that identical law will apply to all people irrespective of their circumstances. It means equal treatment of people in equal circumstances. It implies that application of law without discrimination and also application of laws alike to all person similarly situated.

The article 15 is more specific then article 14 under constitution of India. It provides for a particular application of article 14. Clause 15(1) of Article 15 is general prohibition. It prohibits the state from discriminating between people on the ground or the basis of religion, caste, sex, and place of birth or any of them. So law would be invalid if it discriminates on any of these grounds. Whereas clause 15(2) is specific application of 15(1). Clause (3) of Article 15 is one of the exception of general rule laid down in in clauses (1) & (2) of article 15. It empowers the state to make special provision for women and children. According to this clause nothing in article 15 shall prevent the state from making any special provision for women and children. After the judgement of State of Madras Vs Champakam Dorairarajan clause (4) of article 15 was added. It is another exceptions to general rule laid down in clause (1) and clause (2) of article 15. It enable the state to make special provision for socially and educationally backward class of citizen or for the schedule castes and schedule tribes.

After the judgements of TMA Pai Foundation V State Of Karnatka & P.A.Inamdar V State Of Maharashtra in which court held that government can’t make provision for reservation in privately run educational institution, parliament inserted clause (5) of article 15. Parliament by 93rdamendment inserted article 15(5) in constitution of India to nullify all these judgement. According to this clause sate can make special provision for the advancement of any socially or educationally backward classes of citizens or for the SCs & STs in relate to admission in educational institutions whether it is aided or unaided by state. This clause mention one exception to this provision that minorities educational institution under article 30(1) is not included. This 93rdconstitutional amendment was challenged in Supreme Court of India and upheld by the court.

The most recent clause under article 15 was clause (6) which has been added in our constitution through 103rd constitutional amendment act 2019. This clause (6) provides 10 percentreservation to economically weaker section from the upper caste of society for admission to central-government educational institutions and private educational institution except for minority educational institution whether aided or unaided by the state. Parliament also made certain criteria to define economic weaker section on the basis of family income and indicators of economic disadvantage. This amendment crosses the ceiling limit of 50% which was established by Supreme Court of India in Indira Sawhney Judgement.

Article 16 of the constitution gives the principle of equal employment opportunity which applies to access to jobs, conditions of employment, and relationships in the work place and the evaluation in performance. Article 16(1) of the constitution of India guarantees equality of opportunity in matters of employment or appointment to any office under the state for all the citizens. Clause (2) of article 16 says that no citizen shall be ineligible for or discriminated in respect of any employment or office under state only on the ground of religion, race, caste, caste, sex, descent, and place of birth, residence or any of them. So, State shall treat every citizen equally in matter of appointment and public employment. Clauses (1) & (2) of article 16 is general rule of equality of opportunity in matters of employment or appointment to any office under the state and that no citizen shall be ineligible for or discriminated in respect of any employment or office under state only on the ground of religion, race, caste, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them. Both clauses mandate the state that not to discriminate the citizens on mentioned ground only in respect of employment or office under the State. Clause(3) of Article 16 enable the parliament to make any law prescribing residence within the state as mandatory condition for particular class of appointment andemployment for the specified state under schedule 1 and any local or authority. It thus makes exception in appointment and employment and restricts clause (2) of article 16. A non-resident cannot be denied employment in any state.

Article 16(4) of constitution provides reservation to the backward class about whom state has the opinion that they have not proper representation in the service of the state. So two compelling circumstances under which state provides reservation under the clause 4 of article 16 is backwardness and inadequate representation in state services. The Article 340 of the constitution has the provision to establish commission for deciding the backwardness. Clause 4A of article 16 flows from its clause 4. Article 16(4A) of constitution provides reservation to SCs & STs which, in the opinion of state are not adequately represented in the services under the state. This reservation must be consistent with the efficiency in administration. 85th constitutional amendment act amended the Article 16(4A) by the substitution of “in matters of promotion with consequential seniority, to any class” in place of “in matter of promotion to any class”. This was challenged and court upheld its constitutional validity. Clause 4B of Article 16 was inserted by 81st amendment of constitution in 2000. This Constitutional Amendment allowed the State to carry forward unfilled vacancies from previous years to next year and to breach the 50% ceiling set on reservation for SCs, STs and OBC which could not be filled up due to non-availability of eligible candidates. Article 16(5) says that state is competent enough to make reservation for the religious office related to particular religion.

Article 46 of the constitution mandates the state to take special care for SCs, STs and weaker sections. It says that state take care economic and educational care of SCs, STs & economic weaker section and protect them from social injustice and all form of exploitation.

Constitutional string of Reservation can be called to Articles14, 15 and 16. Preamble of constitution of India guarantees the right to equality. This commitment can be seen through the articles 14, 15 & 16. These article provides the provision of reservation by which state takes affirmative action to bring equality.

EVOLUTION OF RESERVATION BY JUDICIAL PRECEDENTS

Supreme Court of India by its precedent shaped the modern reservation system. It started with case of ChampakamDorairajan case where court held reservation invalid. This judgement led to the first constitutional amendment. Then it went to many landmark cases like Balaji, Indira Sawhney, Ashok Thakur, M Nagraj, jarnail singh and many more cases. Here I am going to deal with detail discussion how today’s reservation system evolved through judicial precedent.

In the State of Madras Vs Champakam Dorairajan case, government of Madras by a government order madereservation in seats of State Medical and Engineering Colleges for different communities on the basis of religion, race and caste in certain proportion. This was challenged by respondent on the ground of violation of article 15(1) and 29(2) of the constitution. The government contended this reservation is made to promote social justice for all sections of people as required by Article 46. The Supreme Court of India held that the government order is void since it discriminates student on the basis of religion, race and caste instead of merit. Court held that fundamental rights cannot be override by directive principle of state policy.

To modify this judgement the parliament of India amended the article 15 through the first constitutional amendment and inserted clause (4) in this article.

In the Balaji V State of Mysore case, Government of Mysore order to reserve 68% seats in Medical and Engineering College for different communities under article 15(4). This order declared that every community except Brahmin community is socially and educationally backward. Reservation was made in favour of SCs, STs and Socially and Educationally Backward communities. This socially and educationally community was again divided into backward classes and more backward classes. This order was challenged on the ground it’s unconstitutional. In this case court held that the sub-classification of backward class into ‘backward class’ and ‘more backward’ class was not justified under article 15(4). Court held that backwardness dealt in article 15(4) must be social as well as educational and not either social or educational. Caste cannot be sole criteria to decide whether any class is backward class or not though caste can be relevant factor to decide backwardness. Court held that the order in which reservation of 68% for backward class is made is invalid since article 15(4) is enabling provision not exclusive provision for backward classes. Court pointed out that the special provision of reservation must be less than 50% and the extent of the special provision depends on relevant prevailing circumstances in each case.

In Devadasan V Union of India case constitutional validity of ‘carry forward’ rule was challenged. ‘Carry forward rule’ was a concept framed by government to regulate appointment of persons of backward classes in Government services. According to this rule if in any appointment was made in which there are not sufficient number of candidates belonging to SCs & STs available then that vacancies which remained unfilled would be treated unreserved and filled by new available candidates. Consequently 68% of the vacancies were reserved for SCs & STs. This was challenged in Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of India by majority of 4 to 1 stuck down the ‘carry forward’ rule on ground that it is unconstitutional. Court held that Article 16(4) of the constitution does not enable the state to make provision so as to deny reasonable equality of opportunity in matters of public employments for members of classes other than backward classes. Court pointed out that each year recruitment must be considered by itself. Court held that reservation for backward classes should not create monopoly for particular class or interfere with the legitimate claims of other communities. So the court concluded, reservation for backward class should not cross the ceiling limit of 50 percent and the extent of reservation would be determined by the prevailing circumstances in every particular case.

In State of Kerala V N.M.Thomas case, court made the observation that the application of measures to ensure equality of services for the unrepresented classes after satisfying basic needs of efficiency of administration does not violate the rule of equality under Article 16. Court held that article 16(4) is not the exception of article 16(1) but one of the methods of achieving equality embodied in article 16(1). It means that the State can make reservation to the extent of 80% in appropriate cases.

In A.B.S.K. Sangh (Rly.) V Union of India case, court upheld the validity of ‘carry forward rule’. In this case 17% reservation was made for SCs & STs candidate which was extended for 2 to 3 years. This led to the reservation quota 64.4 %. But the court held that this was not excessive as mathematical precision could not be applied in dealing with human problems. Justice Krishna Iyer pointed out that some extent will not affect the reservation but the substantial extent will void the selection. In this case majority permits the reservation beyond 50% but subject to judicial approval. Finally, court upheld 64.4% reservation on the ground that it is excessive.

In Indiara Sawhney V Union of India case, the government on Mandal commission report order to reserve 27% government jobs for other backward class provided creamy layer among them. This order was challenged on the ground that it violates the basic structure of the constitution. This order was upheld by the 9 judge bench of the Supreme Court by 6:3 majority. Court struck down the order of the government for reserving 10% Government jobs for economically backward classes among higher classes. Court also held that the extent of reservation should not exceed 50 percent. Court considered that in extraordinary situation like when people living in remote or in far flung areas who because of their peculiar conditions need a different treatment this rule can be relaxed. But in that case State must take special caution. The court reaffirmed the rule led down in Balaji and Devadasan and overruled the Thomas and Vasanth Kumar case. Court relied on the speech made by Ambedkar in the Constituent Assembly where Ambedkar said “reservation must be confined to a minority of seats”. Court pointed out that the clause (4) of article 16 talks about adequate representation not about proportionate representation. If the member of SC & ST is selected on the basis of merit in the open competition then he will not be counted as reserve quota. The rule of 50% shall be applicable to reservation proper only not to relaxations or concessions, exemptions provided to backward classes. The court also held that the ‘carry forward rule is valid in which the unfilled vacancies are carry forward to next year is valid provided it should not crosses ceiling of 50%.

In Chebrolu Leela Prasad V state of Andhra Pradesh case constitutional validity of government order in which 100% reservation was made in favour of schedule tribe candidates for the post of teachers in the schools in the schedule area of Andhra Pradesh was challenged. The issue raised in the case was weather the reservation to the extent of 100% is permissible under the constitution. Court held the 100 percent reservation to schedule tribe is invalid, unreasonable, unfair and arbitrary. Court said giving 100% reservation to schedule tribe has disadvantaged the opportunity for other community. The court pointed out the judgement of Indira Sawhney case and said that the main idea behind the reservation is adequate representation not proportionate reservation. So the notification issued by Andhra Pradesh government is arbitrary and unreasonable and it violates the Articles 14, 15 & 16 of the constitution.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE CEILING LIMIT OF 50% IN RESERVATION IN THE BACKDROP OF SUPREME COURT DECISION

The Supreme Court of India by its judicial pronouncement has made it clear that the state can make reservation as long as it does not crosses the limit of 50%. After the judgement of Champakam Dorairajan case parliament inserted the Article 15(4) to modify the judgement. In the Balaji case state made reservation under the clause (4) of article 15 exceeding the limit of 50%. Court held the reservation invalid and said that state cannot ignore altogether the rest of the society on the zeal of promoting the backward class. Finally the ceiling limit of 50% with certain exception was upheld in Indira Sawhneycase and affirmed the Balaji case and overruled the judgement of Thomas case. In the most recent case Chebrolu LeelaPrasad V state of Andhra Pradesh Supreme court of India again upheld the limit of 50%. Thus this 50% ceiling limit is constitutional rule but in exceptional circumstances like for far flung and remote areas this limit can be relaxed.

Our constitution has given us the right to equality as fundamental right. Right to equality means treating equals equally but treating unequal equally. Due to historical injustice to some backward classes they cannot be treated equally with rest of the society. Therefore to bring socio-economic equality in our society different constitutional provision is there. The notion of reservation is bought to uplift the disadvantaged and downtrodden people. But in numerous cases court held that reservation is about adequate representation not poverty eradication. The State would not be justified if in the zeal to promote the backward class the state will altogether ignore the rest of the society. If the state will compromise with the merit in admission in educational institution or in the employment in the Government jobs then it would affect badly the nation interest. Court in its decision held that the clause 4 of Article 15 is not exclusive provision but enabling provision to make special provision for backward classes. Clause 4 of Article 16 talks about adequate representation not about proportionate representation. The reservation exceeding 50% is unreasonable and unfair for the rest class. It would violate article 14, 15 and 16 of the constitution of India. However, in the extraordinary circumstances the 50% rule can be relaxed in favour of people living in remote areas of the country because of their peculiar conditions they need different treatment. In Union of India V Rakesh Kumar court allowed the reservation excess of 50% limit on the ground of extraordinary circumstances.

The parliament of India through 103rd constitutional amendment amended article 15 & 16 inserted Article 15(6) & 16(6) in our constitution and made provision of 10%reservation in favour of economic backward classes other than SCs, STs and OBCs. This will lead to crossing of 50% ceiling limit. There are number of petition has been filed against the amendment on the ground it violates basic structure of the constitution. Petitioner contention is that economic criteria cannot be sole basis of reservation. Supreme Court headed by Justice SA Bobde found that the petition has involved ‘question of law’ so it is transferred to 5 judge constitutional bench. In my eyes, the amendment violates the basic structure of the constitution. This amendment damages the constitutional identity of the Articles enshrined in the equality code. This constitutional amendment can be struck down by the Supreme Court if it affects the basic structure of the Constitution.

Right to equality is basic structure of the constitution. The provisions of reservation is to uplift the backward class and to bring them at the same level of the other class. But reservation should not be used to nullify the basic idea of equality. Rest of the people cannot be ignored in the zeal of promoting backward class. If merit will not allow to take admission in educational institution or in government services then it would seriously affect the interest of nation.

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Policy & Politics

Pride does not cometh before a fall: The LGBTQ+ community, religion and media

A 2019 study by the Pew Research Center shows that about three quarters of U.S. Catholics have opined that society must be accepting of homosexuality and majority of Catholics in Western Europe are in favour of same-sex marriages, and yet, this has barely been reported. This poses the question: where does the problem lie?

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THE BAD:

As the LGBTQ+ community grew and collided with several religious beliefs of many religions, staunch believers in the religion resorted to forcing minors to conversion therapies or “gay cure therapy”. Conversion therapy is heavily criticised as being cruel and inhuman to the community. In Curbing deception – A world survey of legal restrictions of socalled ‘conversion therapies’ by ILGA, several extreme methods used in conversion therapy were identified, such as physical and sexual abuse, internment, electric shock therapy, hypnosis, hormone regimens, psychotherapy and religious counselling. It has been reported by the international LGBTQ organisation ILGA that these pseudo-scientific practices have a destructive effect on people’s lives from an early age and that the main reason for such practices still being accepted in the society is religion and prejudice.

Over the years, very few countries like Malta, Germany and Albania have actually banned conversion therapy taking the advice of several organizations like the WHO and psychologists. A few other countries like Canada, New Zealand and the U.K. have taken a step in the right direction in expressing their will to ban this practice. However, it is pertinent to note that, it is the 21st century and in this fastpaced world, these changes are not enough for the community to survive, much less, live. There have been several instances of people from the community being killed, tortured and even resorting to suicide because of conversion therapies all over the world but no serious action has been taken against this practice. Ironically, the countries that have taken a step towards banning this inhuman practice are facing the hurdle of religious groups from their country opposing the ban. Even recently, as Canada sought to ban the practice, the Catholic Bishops in the country expressed their objections to this and gender identity was even referred to as an “aggressive ideology” and against the moral fabric of the Canadian society. This is not just a view that has been taken by the religious followers of one religion in one country alone. Several religious groups all over the world believe that the LGBTQ+ community is merely a phase of children and can be cured if given the right atmosphere. One can only wonder if this is because of the lack of awareness or the rigid ideals of several religions on what is morally correct and wrong.

On one hand, psychologists around the world stood against conversion therapy stating that it is not effective and is also harmful to the community and on the other, religion has stood strongly against the community and encouraged people to cure it.

THE GOOD:

All negativity aside, the author would like to look into how religion, being an integral part of most peoples’ lives can actually contribute positively to fostering the needs of the community. Although some religions have shown express distaste regarding the community, several other religious groups have also promoted the marriage of same-sex couples in the past two decades, such as the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA). According to the 2019 Pew Research Center Survey, 66% of white mainline Protestants are in favour of same-sex marriages and a similar share of Catholics (61%) are as well. There have also been many instances of religion supporting the community in past few years. In May 2021, German Catholics offered blessings to same-sex couples in 100 different churches in the country, openly defying the ‘Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith’ which said that the Catholic clergy cannot bless same-sex couples as God will not and cannot bless sin. More than 230 German theologians signed a statement expressing their stance against the Vatican’s pronouncement. Recently, Catholic parishes in New York have also taken efforts to build gay-friendly Catholicism. In addition, Rev. Dawn Bennet, Nashville’s first queer Lutheran pastor was ordained in 2021 and preached against antiLGBTQ hate in Tennessee. Revisiting the relationship between religious freedom and the LGBTQ+ community, the author would like to conclusively state that religion can most definitely complement the community and help them grow in a society that is weighed down by empty hatred.

Through this article, the author is not looking to validate the recent efforts taken by various religious groups but only contour how religion can help the community thrive substantially, even if the society and the government aren’t willing to accept and include the community in an express manner. When one delves deeper into this, one would be able to identify that people’s religious and spiritual experiences and beliefs manifest at an individual pace at cognitive, affective, physical and behavioural levels with the help of various studies. Religious fundamentalism has been noted to influence negative attitudes towards the community in the past and a study has even shown that the rejection of homosexuality by religion could be understood by authoritarianism and traditional beliefs of gender. But, one needs to place reliance on the strong influence that religious fundamentalism has and comprehend that religion has the potential to positively shape attitudes as well.

THE UGLY:

 A 2019 study by the Pew Research Center shows that about three-quarters of U.S. Catholics have opined that the society must be accepting of homosexuality and majority of Catholics in Western Europe are in favour of same-sex marriages, and yet, this has barely been reported. This poses the question: where does the problem lie?

To find the answer to that question, one will have to delve into the subtle role played by the media in deepening the hatred against the community. Relying on the findings of a recent study, the author would like to throw light on how the news media coverage of LGBTQ+ rights and religion often highlights only religiously identified sources that stand against the community and this is contrasting to the support expressed by religious Americans. It was identified that several national and local media outlets had focused on the anti-LGBTQ sources more than the proLGBTQ sources.

While our earlier understanding in this article was that religion can shape attitudes, it is crucial to take into account that media can too. News could accidentally warp our perception of reality and this isn’t always for the better. One of the potential reasons for the ways that news affects our perception is through the hack of negativity-bias, which means that, when things of equal intensity are presented to a person, the things which are of negative nature will have a greater impact on the psychological state of the person as opposed to neutral or positive things. For example, when the City Reporter, an online news media based in Russia decided the publish only good news for just a day considering all the negative information surrounding people, it lost two-thirds of its readers. Through these factual scenarios, one can comprehend to an extent, if not fully, that media has thrived on feeding negative information to the public and, subconsciously it is what the public have craved for as well.

CONCLUSION:

Change cannot be seen in a day, but it is only pragmatic to note that there has been change. As several people struggle with accepting change, media has only furthered this aversion. Admittedly, religious fundamentalism has dismissed of homosexuality through the years and promoted conversion therapies. But, it is time for change and several majority religious groups like Christians, Muslims and Hindus are beginning to comprehend that homosexuality is not a disease and traditional gender norms cannot be placed complete reliance on in the 21st Century. As lay men in the society, we read the news on hate crimes and oppositions against the community and develop a negative bias. As the efforts of several religious groups go unreported, more religious groups fail to stand up for the rights of the community, and as media focuses on how religious groups have not stood up for the community, the LGBTQ+ community develops a negative bias against them. The lack of awareness has always contributed to the perception against the community. Media outlets, being our source of information have the responsibility to report news in a manner that focuses on both the good and the bad, without leaving out information for their benefit. People need to be taught about digital literacy in order to find reliable sources and understand how clicking on news regarding hate crimes will only show you more content that adds to the bias against the community. Only when people start to understand that there has been change in the past few years and acceptance is not far away, will the hate crimes stop and the bias be eliminated, and only when news becomes more objective rather than emotional will things begin to look less bleak for the community as well as the entire society.

To find the answer to that question, one will have to delve into the subtle role played by the media in deepening the hatred against the community. Relying on the findings of a recent study, the author would like to throw light on how the news media coverage of LGBTQ+ rights and religion often highlights only religiously identified sources that stand against the community and this is contrasting to the support expressed by religious Americans. It was identified that several national and local media outlets had focused on the anti-LGBTQ sources more than the pro-LGBTQ sources.

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Policy & Politics

Offence of extortion not made out in absence of delivery of property: Chhattisgarh HC

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While clearing the air on when the case of extortion is made out, the Chhattisgarh High Court in a learned, laudable, landmark and latest judgment titled Shatrughan Singh Sahu v. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors. in WPCR No. 133 of 2017 that was reserved on July 27, 2021 and then finally pronounced on September 7, 2021 has held in no uncertain terms that to make out a case of ‘extortion’ punishable under Section 384 IPC, the prosecution must prove that on account of being put in fear of injury, the victim voluntarily delivered any particular property to the accused. It must be apprised here that the single Judge Bench of Justice Narendra Kumar Vyas of Chhattisgarh High Court said unequivocally that if there were no delivery of property, then the most essential ingredient for constituting the offence of ‘extortion’ would not be available. Justice Vyas also made it clear that if a person voluntarily delivers any property without any fear of injury, then also an offence of ‘extortion’ cannot be said to have been committed.

To start with, the single Judge Bench of Justice Narendra Kumar Vyas of Chhattisgarh High Court sets the ball rolling by first and foremost observing in para 1 that, “The petitioner, who is an Advocate by profession, has filed the present writ petition (cr.) challenging the registration of First Information Report against him under Sections 384 and 388 of IPC on the basis of complaint filed by respondent No.5 Kuleshwar Chandrakar before the Police Station Rudri in connection with Crime No. 106 of 2015 on 9-10-2015 and subsequently, the Police has submitted the final report before the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dhamtari, now the case has been transferred to learned Judicial Magistrate First Class, Dhamtari, bearing Criminal Case No. 1405 of 2015 (State vs. Shatrughan Saho).”

As we see, the Bench then enunciates in para 2 that, “Brief facts, as projected by the petitioner in the present petition are that the Government of Chhattisgarh has enacted the Shakambhari (Nal-Jal) Scheme for benefit of agriculturists by granting subsidy. The beneficiary farmers applied for irrigation instrument in the Department of Agriculture. As per scheme, the State Government is giving them instrument and subsidy after following certain procedure. The Rural Agricultural Extension Officer, Village and Post Bhatgaon, Tahsil Kurud, District Dhamtari, Agricultural Development Officer, Village and Post Charmudiya, Tahsil Kurud, District Dhamtari, Agriculture Sub Divisional Officer, Collectorate Dhamtari, Deputy Director Agricultural Collectorate, Dhamtari and respondent No.5/complainant Kuleshwar Chandrakar and Roshan Chandrakar, Proprietor of Shri Ram Bore-wells have committed gross embezzlement at the time of granting subsidy to the concerned agriculturists, therefore, the petitioner made a complaint before the Collector, Dhamtari on 3-3-2015 and 24-4-2015 with regard to corruption done by them.”

To put things in perspective, the Bench then envisages in para 3 that, “On 18-3-2015 the petitioner made a complaint before the Superintendent of Police, Dhamtari for registration of FIR against the corrupt employee/officers. Again, the petitioner along with other person namely Naresh Kumar has also filed a complaint before the Superintendent of Police, Dhamtari stating that the persons involved in the embezzlement under the Shakambhari (Nal Jal) Scheme threatened them to cause death. But the respondent authorities i.e., Collector and Superintendent of Police, District Dhamtari and Director of Agriculture Department Raipur did not take any action against the corrupt persons including the respondent No.5.”

As it turned out, the Bench then observed in para 4 that, “The Superintendent of Police has directed Rudri Police Station to enquire into the matter. Though the statements of persons namely Manik Ram, Tomar Sahu, Abhimanyu and Devendra Kumar have been recorded and all have supported the case, still Police has not taken any action against the erring officials. Being aggrieved, the petitioner has filed complaint under Section 156(3) of Cr.P.C before the learned District and Sessions Court, Dhamtari for registration of offence under Prevention of Corruption Act. On 9-10-2015, the complainant Kuleshwar Chandrakar lodged FIR against the petitioner contending that the petitioner has demanded Rs.25,00,000/- by way of extortion. Police has registered the FIR without conducting any preliminary enquiry. Though the petitioner was present at his office along with other advocates on 9-10-2015, still he has been roped in crime number 106 of 2015 for committing alleged offence under Sections 384 and 388 of IPC.”

While continuing in the same vein, the Bench then brings out in para 5 that, “On 20-12-2015 the petitioner has submitted an application before the Police Station Rudri and prayed for an opportunity of defence and also submitted the representation on 24-12-2015 along with documents, but the same has not been considered. On 31-12-2015 when the petitioner was going to court, at that time four persons came in motorcycle and threatened the petitioner by pressing and compelled him to do compromise and withdraw the complaint. On 31-12-2015 the petitioner made a complaint before the Superintendent of Police, Dhamtari but no action has been taken. The Police on the strength of the FIR lodged by respondent No. 5, after investigation, registered the offence and final report has been submitted before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Dhamtari. Now the case is transferred to the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, Dhamtari and learned Magistrate registered the case bearing Criminal Case No. 1405 of 2015.”

Needless to say, the Bench then discloses in para 6 that, “On the above factual matrix of the case, the petitioner prayed for quashing of FIR registered against the petitioner in connection with Crime No. 106 of 2015 at Police Station Rudri, District Dhamtari for offence under Sections 384 and 388 of IPC.”

Truth be told, the Bench then unfolds in para 7 that, “This Court issued notice to the respondents and in pursuance of notice, respondent No.5 has entered his appearance and filed his return. The State counsel has also filed their return in which they have stated that on the basis of complaint made by the petitioner, an enquiry has been conducted by the Additional Collector & Inquiry Officer, Dhamtari has submitted his report on 28-11-2016 wherein charges levelled against respondent No.5 and other Government officials have been found false and baseless. It has also been stated that the petitioner being an Advocate indulged in making complaint with regard to corruption under the scheme of the State Government and requesting for registration of FIR. It is further contended that the petitioner made another complaint before the Superintendent of Police, District Dhamtari, regarding corruption being made in the Rajya Poshit Sukshma Sichai Yojna by one Roshan Chandrakar which was enquired into and upon enquiry no incriminating was found for taking cognizance and the complaint of the petitioner was found to be false and baseless and copy of the report has been forwarded by the Incharge of Police Station, Dhamtari to the Superintendent of Police, Dhamtari on 7-2- 2015. He would further submit that the charges leveled against respondent No.5 are false and baseless, therefore, the petition filed by the petitioner deserves to be dismissed by this court.”

Simply put, the Bench then states in para 8 that, “Complainant/respondent No.5 has also filed his return in which he denied the allegations made by the petitioner and would submit that as per material collected by the Investigating Officer case under Section 384 and 388 of IPC is made out. It has been further contended that the petitioner is a habitual complainer and blackmailing the people and he has filed a complaint against the Officer of the Agriculture Department alleging certain irregularities and thereafter vide letter dated 24-10-2015 has withdrawn the same which clearly shows the conduct of the petitioner itself. He would further submit that prima facie the allegations leveled against him are made out, therefore, the writ petition, at this juncture is not maintainable and is liable to be dismissed by this court.”

Furthermore, the Bench then remarked in para 9 that, “The petitioner has filed his rejoinder on 24-6-2021 and would submit that at the time of incident, the petitioner was in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate to argue the criminal case and in this regard a copy of the order sheet thereof has also been annexed. He would further submit that he has been falsely implicated in this case as he was not present at the time of alleged incident, therefore, the story projected by the complainant is false, baseless and cannot be accepted at this juncture and would pray that the petition filed by him be allowed and the criminal proceeding be quashed. In support of his arguments, he has relied upon the judgments rendered by Hon’ble Supreme Court in State of Haryana vs Bhajanlal reported in 1992 Suppl. (1) SCC 335.”

Significantly, the Bench then states in para 15 that, “Learned counsel for the petitioner would submit that from perusal of the FIR it is nowhere reflected that on extortion made by the petitioner, complainant/respondent No.5 has delivered any valuable property to the petitioner, as such, he has not committed offence under Section 384 of IPC. Even from perusal of the final report, it is clear that the documents submitted by the investigating agency regarding statements of the witnesses, none of the witnesses has stated that on extortion made by the petitioner by demanding Rs.25,00,000/- from respondent No.5. The respondent No. 5 has given Rs.25,00,000/- to the petitioner, as such, there is no ingredient of offence under Section 384 of IPC is made out.”

Of course, the Bench then points out in para 16 that, “It would be evident from the reading of Section 383 of the IPC that the ingredients of ‘extortion’ are; (i) the accused must put any person in fear of injury to that person or any other person; (ii) the putting of a person in such fear must be intentional; (iii) the accused must thereby induce the person so put in fear to deliver to any person any property, valuable security or anything signed or sealed which may be converted into a valuable security; (iv) such inducement must be done dishonestly. The terms ‘dishonestly’, ‘illegally’ and ‘injury’ used in “Section 383 of the IPC” and in “Sections 24, 43 and 44 of the IPC” respectively. On a careful consideration of the above definitions and ingredients what appears is that if someone puts the others intentionally in fear to any injury and thereby, dishonestly induces that person who has been put into fear to deliver to the person any property or valuable security or anything signed or sealed or which may be converted into valuable security shall be liable to be punished for ‘extortion’.”

Most significantly, what forms the cornerstone of this brief, brilliant and balanced judgment is then stated in para 17 wherein it is put forth that, “Thus, what is necessary for constituting an offence of ‘extortion’ is that the prosecution must prove that on account of being put in fear of injury, the victim was voluntarily delivered any particular property to the man putting him into fear. If there was no delivery of property, then the most important ingredient for constituting the offence of ‘extortion’ would not be available. Further, if a person voluntarily delivers any property without there being any fear of injury, an offence of ‘extortion’ cannot be said to have been committed.”

While citing the relevant case law, the Bench then stipulates in para 18 that, “Hon’ble Supreme Court in R.S. Nayak vs. A.N. Antulay and another, reported in (1986) 2 SCC 716, has held in para 60 and relevant portion thereof is extracted as under:

“60. Before a person can be said to put any person to fear of any injury to that person, it must appear that he has held out some threat to do or omit to do what he is legally bound to do in future. If all that a man does is to promise to do a thing which he is not legally bound to do and says that if money is not paid to him he would not do that thing, such act would not amount to an offence of extortion. We agree with this view which has been indicated in Habibul Razak v. King Emperor, A.I.R. 1924 All 197. There is no evidence at all in this case that the managements of the sugar cooperatives had been put in any fear and the contributions had been paid in response to threats. Merely because the respondent was Chief Minister at the relevant time and the sugar co-operatives had some of their grievances pending consideration before the Government and pressure was brought about to make the donations promising consideration of such grievances, possibly by way of reciprocity, we do not think the appellant is justified in his contention that the ingredients of the offence of extortion have been made out.

The evidence led by the prosecution falls short of the requirements of law in regard to the alleged offence of extortion. We see, therefore, no justification in the claim of Mr. Jethmalani that a charge for the offence of extortion should have been framed”.”

Be it noted, the Bench then observes in para 21 that, “From perusal of the aforesaid judgment, it is apparent that the alleged offence under Section 384 of IPC has been quashed on the ground that no valuable assets have been delivered because of extortion, threaten, pressure created by the accused. In the present case also respondent No.5 has not delivered any valuable assets to the petitioner, therefore, the judgment referred to by respondent No.5 also support the contention of the petitioner and in that case also Madhya Pradesh High Court held that offence under Section 384 of IPC is not made out. Therefore, the judgments cited by learned counsel for respondent No.5 are distinguishable from the facts of the present case.”

Quite forthrightly, the Bench then holds in para 22 that, “From bare perusal of the FIR it can be very visualized that if we take the face value of the allegation made in the complaint, then also it can be very well seen that no offence under Section 388 of IPC is made out as respondent No.5 in his complaint has nowhere stated that on the basis of extortion made by the petitioner, respondent No.5 was put in fear of an accusation by the petitioner or he committed or attempted to commit any offence punishable with death and has delivered any valuable assets to the petitioner. When prima facie provisions of Section 383 of IPC is not made out, then the offence under Section 388 of IPC cannot be made out, because unless and until the ingredient of extortion is established, then only the alleged offence, prima facie, is said to have been committed by the petitioner. Since the ingredients of Sections 383 of IPC are not made out, the ingredient of Section 388 of IPC cannot be, prima facie, established, therefore, registration of FIR, prima facie, is nothing, but an abuse of process of law.”

To put it succinctly, the Bench then hastens to add in para 26 that, “From bare perusal of FIR it is crystal clear that no case of extortion is made out, therefore, offence under Sections 384 and 388 of IPC against the petitioner is not made out. The proceeding initiated by the complainant is nothing, but an abuse of process of law and on this count alone this court is quashing the FIR, therefore, no other ground is required to be dealt by this court.”

It is worth noting that the Bench then holds in para 27 that, “In view of above legal provisions, considering the facts of the case and from perusal of FIR, prima facie, no case is made out against the petitioner and criminal proceedings is manifestly attended against the petitioner with malafide, therefore, initiation of criminal proceeding is nothing, but an abuse of process of law.. Considering overall the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the view that the petitioner has made out strong case for quashing of FIR. Accordingly, FIR No. 106 of 2015 registered at Police Station – Dhamtari on 9-10-2015 for alleged offence said to have been committed under Section 384 and 388 of IPC is quashed. Consequently, the criminal proceeding pending before the Judicial Magistrate First Class, Dhamtari is also quashed.”

As a corollary, the Bench then holds in para 28 that, “Accordingly, the instant petition is allowed. No order as to costs.”

Finally, the Bench then holds in para 29 that, “A copy of this order be sent to learned Judicial Magistrate First Class, for closure of the proceedings.”

All said and done, the inescapable conclusion that can be drawn from this noteworthy judgment is that the offence of extortion is not made out in absence of delivery of property. It is a no-brainer that the property has to be delivered in order to prima facie make a case of offence of extortion. It is also made amply clear that the victim too must be put in fear of injury before he/she delivers the property. To put it differently, if there is no fear of injury and property is still delivered then the offence of extortion cannot be prima facie said to be made out!

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Policy & Politics

Scope of the application of doctrine of identification to company law in India

In H.L. Bolton Company v. T.J. Graham & Sons, Lord Denning explained the position and
said that the company could in many terms be equated with a human body. They do have a
brain and a nervous centre which controls the entire body. They have people as their hands
and legs, under instructions of whom work of the nervous centre is carried out.

Vijpreet Pal

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INTRODUCTION

The concept of Doctrine of Identification finds its roots in the English Law. The growth of this doctrine has helped in the implication and prosecution of the criminal activities of directors/ managers of many companies. The corporate personality of a company is different and separate from the promoters, directors or owners of the company. This is a widely known principle in law and has its source in the celebrated case of Solomon v. Solomon. In this case, the Court held that the corporate entity is different from the people who are in the business of running of the company. The misuse of this principle led to “Lifting of the Corporate Veil” wherein the shareholders or creditors of the company are protected if the company is engaged in any fraud or other criminal activities.

A corporate entity can sue and be sued in its own individual name. In criminal cases, the company can be prosecuted against but it is quite ineffectual as the company cannot be punished with imprisonment or death. The only punishment that can be levied on the company is by way of fine, which at times is quite minimalistic. The question then raised is whether a company can ever be prosecuted for criminal offences and be punished with more than just a monetary fine.

EVOLUTION OF THE DOCTRINE OF IDENTIFICATION

The 1940s saw the emergence of a new mechanism to impute criminal liability to Corporations in the form of the “identification principle.” Until the 1940s, the courts stuck firmly to the view that it was inappropriate to bring a prosecution against a Company for common law offences requiring proof of a subjective mental element. However, through the 1940s it was observed in a variety of cases that a Company is capable of being malicious, can intend to deceive and can conspire.

First, was the case of DPP v. Kent and Sussex Contractors, in which the Company was charged under the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939 of making use of a document which was false in a material particular and making a statement which they knew to be false in a material particular, with an ‘intent to deceive.’ The Company was made liable.

Next, was the case of R v. ICR Haulage Ltd., in which the Company was charged and found guilty for ‘conspiring to defraud’ and thirdly, was the case of Moore v. Bresler, in which the Company faced charges for embezzlement and tax evasion under the Finance Act No. 2, 1940.

Among the three, the most important was the case of R v. ICR Haulage, since it was the only case among the three to deal with a nonstatutory offence.

In H.L. Bolton Company v. T.J. Graham & Sons, Lord Denning as explained the position and said that the company could in many terms be equated with a human body. They do have a brain and a nervous centre which controls the entire body. They have people as their hands and legs, under instructions of whom work of the nervous centre is carried out. Lord Denning equated the brain and nervous system to the directors and managers who represent the directing will of the company. He held that:

“The state of mind of these managers is the state of mind of the company and is treated by law as such. So also in the criminal law, in cases where the law requires a guilty mind as a condition of a criminal offence, the guilty mind of the directors or the managers will render the company themselves guilty.”

 In the celebrated case of Tesco Supermarkets Ltd. v. Nattrass, the Appellant was marketing a packet of washing powder at a price lower than the market price, but the Defendant did not find the packet of washing powder at the reduced price, as advertised. The Defendant therefore filed a complaint under the Trade Descriptions Act, 1968. One Mr. Clemant of the Appellant was in charge of the packets with the reduced price being displayed in the store. Lord Reid discussed the law relating mens rea and the importance of the same in criminal law.

“A living person has a mind which can have knowledge or intention or be negligent and he has hands to carry out his intentions. A corporation has none of these: it must act through living persons, though not always one or the same person. Then the person who acts is not speaking or acting for the company. He is acting as the company and his mind which directs his acts is the mind of the company. There is no question of the company being vicariously liable. He is not acting as a servant, representative, agent or delegate. He is an embodiment of the company or, one could say, he hears and speaks through the persona of the company, within his appropriate sphere, and his mind is the mind of the company. If it is a guilty mind then that guilt is the guilt of the company. It must be a question of law whether, once the facts have been ascertained, a person in doing particular things is to be regarded as the company or merely as the company’s servant or agent. In that case any liability of the company can only be a statutory or vicarious liability”

Lord Reid also discussed which people can be ‘identified’ with the company. He stated that the main considerations are the relative position he holds in the company and the extent of control he exercises over its operations or a section of it without effective superior control. In this case, it was held that the shop manager could not be identified with the company.

In Meriden Global Funds Management Asia Ltd. V. Securities Commissioner, Lord Hoffman discussed the principle of identification and stated that if an employee had be considered the ‘directing mind and will’ of the company, the employee should have the authority to act as he did. In the same case, the Court in its obiter stated that conviction of a smaller company is easier (on application of this principle) because the relationship between the culprit and the company can be identified with more ease and certainty. That is not the case in larger companies.

 In Lennard’s Carrying Co. v. Asiatic Petroleum Co., Viscount Haldane propounded the “alter ego” theory and distinguished that from vicarious liability. The House of Lords stated that the default of the managing director who is the “directing mind and will” of the company, could be attributed to him and he be held for the wrongdoings of the company. It was famously stated that:

“a corporation is an abstraction. It has no mind of its own any more than a body of its own; its active and directing will must consequently be sought in the person of somebody who for some purposes maybe called an agent, but who is really the directing mind and will of the corporation, the very ego and centre of the personality of the corporation.”

There was a different view taken in Tesco Stores Ltd. V. Brent London Borough Council wherein a store clerk sold a over -18 video to an underage customer. The Court noted that Doctrine of Identification could not be applied here and the company was hence not liable. The reason for this decision was that in a large company, the senior management could not be expected to know each and every customer and whether the customer was a minor or not. In that event to locate a person for this knowledge was hence impossible and the doctrine of identification was hence inapplicable in this case.

 Again in R v. Redfern & Dunlop Ltd. (Aircraft Division), the Court held that where the employees who were not in the decision making level could not be ‘identifiable’ with the company and therefore were not deemed to be the controlling mind of the company. The question that comes up is that if a person at a lower level commits a crime in the name of the company, the company cannot be held liable for the same. This may pose to be a problem in the sense that the company may make a division between the senior management and the employees to avoid criminal proceedings against them.

SCOPE IN INDIA

We are also going to examine the growth and importance of the Doctrine of Identification in Indian Law during the recent years. The most recent judgment of the Supreme Court in the Reliance Natural Resources Limited v. Reliance Industries Limited, discusses the Doctrine of Identification. This case is a dispute over two brothers namely Mukesh Ambani led RIL and Anil Ambani led RNRL. After the death of their father Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani, the entire Ambani Group of Companies was divided between the two brothers. An arrangement was reached between the parties, with their mother as the mediator. Mukesh Ambani had in this family arrangement, made certain concessions on behalf of the RIL, which RNRL had sought to rely upon in the present case.

The Bombay High Court in its judgment held that Mukesh Ambani being the majority shareholder of the company was hence the ¨controlling mind and will¨ of the company. The observation of the judges was that in the Identification Doctrine, the company was “identified with such key personnel through whom it works”. These “key personnel” were described to be the alter ego of the company and their actions were deemed to be the actions of the company itself.

The Supreme Court overruled the judgment of the Bombay High Court in respect of the Identification Doctrine. It observed that the family arrangement was between three parties namely the mother and the 2 sons.

The legal entity of the company was different than the individual entity and in the present case, the company having more than a million shareholders, one person could not be said to have had the knowledge with respect to the company, which knowledge he had in his personal capacity. The court discarded this doctrine on the fact that the facts of the case did not fall into their preview.

The other Indian cases where the Courts have followed the doctrine of identification are Union of India v. United India Insurance Co. Ltd. and others and Assistant Commissioner, Assessment –II, Bangalore and others v. Velliappa Textiles Ltd. & Ors.

 The first case was about an accident that occurred at an unmanned level railway crossing in Kerala when a hired vehicle was hit by a train passing through and passengers were injured and the driver was also killed. Claims were made by the injured and the relatives of the deceased and after many appeals, the case reached the Supreme Court. The question in that scenario was whether the passengers were to be held liable as the driver who was negligent was appointed or retained by them. The court discussed the principle of identification or imputation, in the present case whether the defendant can plead contributory negligence of the plaintiff or of an employee of the plaintiff where the employee is acting in the course of his business.

In the second case, the question was whether in the case of criminal misdemeanors, the employees can be charged with imprisonment or is the company is liable for fine and/or imprisonment. The Court held that the director / mangers of the company, who are the directing will and mind of the company, should be held liable. The case of U.S. Supreme Court in New York Central & Hudson River Railroad Company v. United States stated that.

 “It is true that there are some crimes which, in their nature, cannot be committed by corporation. But there is a class of offences, of which rebating under the Federal statutes is one, wherein the crime consists in purposely doing the things prohibited by statute. In that class of crimes we see no good reason why corporations may not be held responsible for and charged with the knowledge and purposes of their agents, acting within the authority conferred on them. If it were not so, many offences might go unpunished and acts be committed in violation of law where, as in the present case, the statute required all persons, corporate and private, to refrain from certain practices, forbidden in the interest of public policy.”

CONCLUSION

The directors/ managers try to avoid the penalty by taking the defense that the company being a separate legal entity, should be prosecuted separately. The problem that arises in particularly criminal cases is that, the punishment for the crimes are fine and / or imprisonment. If the offender is a company, only a monetary penalty can be imposed. This led to more offences being committed on the name of the company by the directors/ managers, who are protected under the “separate legal entity” theory.

By this doctrine of identification, those offenders are being held liable for the acts committed by the company. The main objective of the doctrine is to punish the people who are actually committing the crime who are the brain and mind of the company through which the crime is being committed.

The Bombay High Court in its judgment held that Mukesh Ambani being the majority shareholder of the company was hence the ¨controlling mind and will¨ of the company. The observation of the judges was that in the Identification Doctrine, the company was “identified with such key personnel through whom it works”. These “key personnel” were described to be the alter ego of the company and their actions were deemed to be the actions of the company itself

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Policy & Politics

MAKING IT HAPPEN: LEND A HAND INDIA

Anil Swarup

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I was on an official visit to Pune as Secretary, School Education, Government of India during 2017. Raj Gilda, co-founder of Lend A Hand India had been after me for a while to visit one of the schools run by the organization to impart vocational education to high school students. Despite wanting to, I had not been able to squeeze time out of hectic schedule. When he got to know about my visit to Pune, he once again approached me. Impressed by his perseverance and persistence, I decided to visit the school on the way to the airport as I was returning to Delhi. What I saw was an amazing demonstration of dedicated work.

Journey of Lend A Hand India (LAHI) began when the co-founders, Sunanda Mane and Raj Gilda visited Vigyan Ashram, an NGO running 1 year full time residential skill development program for rural youth in 1995. Ten years later, while they had settled in New York, they thought of ‘giving back’ and work for the cause of education back in India. They believed that real life vocational education could naturally complement existing educational curriculum and provide students with a more hands on experience. In partnership with Vigyan Ashram, they launched the multi skill vocational education program in 100 secondary schools with the consent of Maharashtra Government. The program was evaluated by Tata Trust in 2011 and demonstrated significant impact. This led Sunanda and Raj to quit their full time jobs in New York with UN and Citibank respectively and focus full time on LAHI.

The flagship program supported by LAHI, “Multi Skill Foundation Course” complements the existing secondary school curriculum of Grade 9 and 10 with skill education to help the students learn better. It provides students with practical focused hands-on experience in skills such as health and hygiene, food processing, gardening, electrical wiring, woodwork etc. Without any gender bias, boys learn cooking and girls learn electrical wiring. Students curiously undertake minor installations such as electric bell, repair of a bench, growing vegetables and selling in market, or helping at home to change fuse wire or fix a mixer. The course is now a 100 marks subject with the state board exam and certification.

As LAHI was exploring scaling up strategies in 2013, they were introduced to Suvarna Kharat, Joint Secretary, Government of Maharashtra, who was then heading the state for scheme of “Vocationalisation of School Education” by Central Ministry of Education. With support from dynamic Secretary of Education, Ashwini Bhide who was later succeeded by another efficient IAS officer, Nandkumar and the guidance from an extremely supportive Joint Secretary, Ministry of Education, Radha Chauhan, LAHI began its journey of forming strong partnership with State Governments to implement and scale up vocational education in the State. Qualified staff was identified, trained and paid by LAHI. It worked side by side with the State Department of Education with strong focus on policy execution. LAHI team members were co-located and work with the government officials to prepare a long-term strategic roadmap, annual plans, and execute the policy. LAHI also set up demonstration model in government schools to showcase model school and the best practices. It is an ideal example of three-way, public-private partnership, where the nonprofit delivers technical and domain expertise, funded by philanthropic capital, and backed by policy making power of the State Governments. To retain the independence and avoid conflict of interest, the support is provided at no financial cost to the Government. LAHI’s partnership with the state of Maharashtra set an ideal example of how three pillars of our society (private, civil society and the government) can come together to achieve greater good.

Emergence of LAHI’s State partnership model coincided with regional workshops by the Central Government where many innovative models of public-private partnerships were showcased. With the support the Central Government, LAHI replicated the Maharashtra model in 24 states/UTs across India covering 10,000+ schools and 1 million plus students each year.

LAHI also partnered with the State of Maharashtra to get National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) compliance for “Multi Skill Foundation Course”. It also secured support from G P Upadhyay, a visionary IAS officer in the State of Sikkim. Many other states also joined in this path-breaking achievement wherein an innovative grassroots program was recognized by a National Body. Subsequent to recognition as NSQF Compliant, the Multi Skill Foundation Course is currently offered in 10 states.

Another important focus area, identified by LAHI’s decade long experience is ‘internships’ – hands on experience in real life situation. Starting 2017, LAHI has been focusing on ‘internship’ for Grade 11/12 students with small and micro enterprises in Pune during summer/winter vacation in partnership with Pune Municipal Corporation. Internship has now become part of the national policy. The initial results of the internship program have been extremely encouraging e.g. 76% employers were willing to hire the students who had completed internships, 82% of the parents say that they would have no problems in allowing their daughters to pursue a non-traditional careers, 90% students felt that internship helped them develop employability skills, and 88% students felt that it helped them make informed career choices.

Ultimately, LAHI hopes to remove the age old misconception about vocational education that it is for economically weaker class, or only for those who are not good in studies. A strong believer in Gandhiji’s philosophy of “Buniyaadi Shala” and “Nayi Taalim”, LAHI hopes to restore dignity of labor by introducing the young minds to “learning by doing”.

It has launched a program to revive three Buniyaadi Schools in West Champaran District in Bihar started by Gandhiji as a homage to him during the 150th birth anniversary year.

LAHI has demonstrated that despite challenging set of circumstances, appropriate and meaningful vocational training can be imparted. They made it happen. NEP2020 has placed huge emphasis on vocational education with the aim to introduce vocational education in 50% of the schools by 2025. LAHI can contribute to bring this policy objective to reality in the years to come.

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