Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jeevan Das of 'green ply' plywood

Click on the image to enlarge.

Jeevan das is young, Jeevan Das is middle aged and Jeevan Das is old and similarly prosecuter also advances in age. The ad is about greenply plywood, which during this lengthy period has withstood the hammerings by the judge. This small ad has given tremendous insight into the judicial process in our country.
Jeevan Das was a young upright man working as a junior executive in a PSU. He was required to sign invoices both for sale and stock transfers by rail, and trucks against cash receipts issued by different locations. Contractors for stock transfers were appointed by different office. Supplies were made against delivery orders and cash receipts issued by different offices of the same PSU.
Cash receipts and delivery orders were checked and the current delivery and balances of delivery order quantity and cash receipts were noted in the columns provided on the reverse of the documents by an assistant. The assistant after these checks and balances issued a blank but serially numbered invoice to a typist clerk. The typist clerk typed the challan giving the details of cash receipt, reference of delivery order and then passed on the entire bunch to Jeevanl Das for his signature. In the course of time it became a routine for Jeevan Das to sign the invoices. Signing the invoices was one small part of his job. As a unit head he had many other functions.
Some stock transfers did not reach their location. But the stock transfers were effected through authorised trasporters appointed by another office. He signed an invoice for sales, which was put up to him after completing the formalities by the assistant and the typist clerk. After a year it was found that the cash receipt was counterfeit. Matter was reported to police.
Management of JeevanDas did not find any fault with him and filed FIR for recovery of goods from the contractor. He continued in his job.
After five years of investigation police filed a criminal case against Jeevan Das.
He received court summons and appeared before the court with a lawyer arranged by one of his colleagues.
once he reported, he was told he was under arrest and had to obtain bail of Rs. 30000/- Jeevan Das had never seen thirty thousand at any time in his life and was in a state of shock. But 'peshkar'( court clerk) came to his rescue. there was a wonderful system of obtaining bail. There were some registered 'bailers', who charged ten percent of bail amount to stand surety. JeevanDas managed RS.3000/- pooled and given to him by some of his colleagues. Peshkar's fees were additional.

JeevanDas’s journey to court begins at the age of thirty-six.
‘Jeevan Das ko kadi se kadi saza milni chahiye’ says police prosecutor. Jeevan Das was charged for conspiracy and cheating along with the contractor. In the court he was almost treated like a criminal and not accused. The lawyer would demand his fees in advance and some times would not even turn up resulting in adjournments. Lawyers would order tea and snacks for their colleagues as well and would ask Jeevan Das to pay. Afterall lawyers say “We do not render any service to the litigant-----it would be harsh to make lawyers pay for alleged deficiency in service under the consumer law”.

Prosecution took four years to present twenty witnesses; Jeevan Das had never seen them before except four from his office, who narrated the procedure of despatches. All other witnesses told the court how the contractor sold the goods to them. Even then the judge took cognisance and proceeded with the trial of JeevanDas. Years rolled by but cross-examination of witnesses was not even half way through. Twenty years after the case began just fifteen witnesses were examined. JeevanDas was fiftysix and the case continued.

I am grateful to ‘greenply’ plywood advertisement for providing inspiration. Green ply’s strength is symbolic of our judicial process. ‘Chalata Rahe Chalta Rahe!’

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nehru and his great grand son

Varun Gandhi thus spoke in Pilibhit as reported by PTI on their web site.

"This is not not a 'Hand' (Congress symbol), it is the power of the 'Lotus' (BJP symbol). It will cut the head of ....... Jai Shri Ram,"

, "All the Hindus stay on this side and send the others to Pakistan. This is the Lotus (BJP symbol) hand, it will cut their throats after elections. They have names such as Karimullah, Mazurullah. If you see them in the night you would get scared."

"If anyone raises a finger towards Hindus or if someone thinks that Hindus are weak and leaderless, if someone thinks that these leaders lick our boots for votes, if anyone raises a finger towards Hindus, then I swear on Gita that I will cut that hand."

It is interestig that only Naqvi and Shah Nawaz Husain of BJP said that what Varun said was not the view of BJP. But no comments came from any other leader of BJP. If you see the discussion board of rediff, you find majority have appreciated Varun’s stand. But alas! Varun has denied having said anything to that effect. Subsequently 'important' leaders supported him. He said it was doctored. Varun lacks courage of conviction.
The latest is:
New Delhi, April 18: Defending the action taken against Mr Varun Gandhi, the Chief Election Comm-
issioner, Mr N. Gopala-swami, on Saturday said his controversial speeches in Pilibhit were virulent and “much more than” what was shown on TV.
Ahead of his demitting office on Monday, he said in interviews that the fact of the matter was a stronger message must go.
“We said file a case and all cases have been filed. So the virulence of the particular incident is such that we had to go beyond what normally we keep as our limit. I think is perfectly valid as far as I am concerned,” he said.
Asked if the commission studied the tapes, Mt Gopalaswami said, “yes, we did see. It was much more than what was seen on television. We never felt the tapes which we got were doctored.”
And Gopalswamy is considered sincere even by BJP except, perhaps, in this case.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Dalits and Tribals

‘Caste bias can't be equated with racism: India’ (18 Apr 2009, 0428 hrs IST, Indrani Bagchi, TNN) has two issues:
1) Caste discrimination is equated with racial discrimination.
2) Of giving tribals the status of "indigenous people".
In both the cases there is hypocracy. It is a fact that discrimination does take place and it is also a fact that Aryans, Kushans, Hans, Pershians, Turks, Arabs and Afghans were all invaders, who made India their home. Aryans called "indigenous people" ‘rakshasas’ and ‘nagas’. It is high time we apologise to tribals and dalits for the atrocities committed against them.

The news in NDTV web site should make us look within. The Govenment of India should accept the reality with dignity and come clean.

Employment bias mars private sector – Study (NDTV)

Adhana Sharma
Saturday, October 27, 2007 (New Delhi)
The private sectors' refrain that affirmative action is good enough may not stand now. Fresh studies have proved that there is discrimination in employment.

It was subject of much dispute - many had been saying it, others contesting it. On Friday, a study was released by the Indian Institute of Dalit Studies in collaboration with Princeton University.

The study was conducted against 548 job advertisements with 4808 applicants over 66 weeks, across five metros.

It reveals that in fact a person's caste and religion could be a hindrance in getting a job, despite equal qualification.

Inequality in private sector

The study says that a dalit had 60 per cent less chances of being called for an interview, and a Muslim had 30 per cent less, as against their higher caste peers.

The wage earnings too were found to five to 20 per cent lower, between SC as compared to upper castes.

And that is not all, one may also carry the baggage of family background, when being interviewed for a job.

''Here in India, it is a routine practice for employers to enquire about family background and use it as a means for screening. This is an anti-thesis to what one expects in a merit based system,'' Professor Katherine S Newman, Princeton University.

The survey contradicts what employers have been claiming all this while that jobs are given purely on merit, a contradiction that needs to be addressed urgently.

''The result of the studies need to be taken seriously and we need an equal opportunities policy in the form of reservation in addition to what everyone is already doing,'' Professor Sukhdev Thorat, report author and UGC chairperson.

Affirmative action, like skill and enterprise development, taken up by the private sector so far, may just not be enough, if employment opportinities in the country are to become inclusive.

Friday, April 3, 2009


In February or early March 1995 I received my first promotion order after putting in 25 years of service. I said first promotion because it was in five years. Grade ‘A’ to ‘B’ it took 12 years and ‘B’ to ‘C’ 8 years and they were really not promotions but just considerations based on management’s understanding with the officers’ association.
Unfortunately, a few days after my orders I suffered MI (heart attack) and was hospitalised and there after I was on leave as advised by doctor to take rest. When I joined duty some time in May, I was told by Manimuthu that Ram Mohan, then GM, had asked to verify whether I faked an attack to avoid tranfer.

My requests for change of tranfer order to Regional office instead of Lube Blending Plant were not considered. I never asked for retention.

I joined Lube Plant. I got accommodation in guesthouse from where the plant was about 8 kilometers. But half the distance was through a very crowdwd road. From underbridge leading to Kurrukupet the road was along the railway tracks. One could not see the tracks because on either side of the road for a stretch of 2 kilometers there were huts. Women were seen washing clothes and utensils and children easing themselves sitting on the edge of footpath. There were two level crossings and invariably gate would be closed for some train to pass resulting in traffic chaos.

I just wish to share the suggestion that I gave under the ‘suggestion scheme’, which will explain the atmosphere in the plant. Here are the scanned copies.

I did not receive any communication to say my suggestion was rejected. I followed up with Satish but got evasive replies.

My purpose in submitting my suggestion was to express to the management my views on the chaotic working conditions in the plant.