Showing posts with label Guest-Posts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guest-Posts. Show all posts

Scopus is the citation and abstract database of Elsevier. It was launched in the year 2004 with several thousands of peer reviewed journals and covering various topics ranging from life sciences, social sciences to health sciences and physical sciences. They cover three types of sources, namely, book series, trade journals and other journals. The journals in the database are reviewed each year to ensure their high quality regardless of their publication. Each search conducted in Scopus is incorporated in its patent database. Scopus also has an option for author profiles which includes their publication number and other information related to their publications including bibliographic records.

Here are a few tips to guide you through the publishing of a research paper with Scopus:
·         Selection of topics: This is the most basic but also the most important part of paper publishing. A paper is easily worked out if the topic chosen is comfortable for you to work with. The topic will decide the fate of the paper. Though it appears to be an easy task, it is difficult to choose a topic that is easy at the same time impressible.
·         Read and select samples carefully: A research paper is a lot easier if you have people who have already explored the discipline in similar ways that you wish to pursue and this can be of great help especially when you are stuck with a lack of information. Read as many samples as you can and filter it to top 20 related to your topic and find more points to brainstorm about.
·         Initiating the research: A research paper may not be the easiest thing to do but it is surely worth the efforts. Refer to the samples; observe how the author of that paper has written their paper step wise and how they have followed the style that they chose to work upon. Check out the way they have written the abstract, introduction or conclusion to gain help in developing your own without violating the initial guidelines provided.
·         Coming up with a suitable title: This should not be one of your initial steps due to the reason that you are likely to have to keep changing it according to the variations you keep making in your draft as you proceed with the paper. The title is obviously an essential part of any paper because it will convey in a single line the content you wish to depict within the following pages. Writing a title is a tough job but it can also be made easy with sample reference.
·         Proof reading: One of the essential end-game steps of any paper is to go through the whole writing once again to ensure that you have not missed on any vital points. Checking plagiarism is another important step that has to be ensured when you work on a research paper, this is important because it can even lead to your paper being rejected and this is not a good impression to create. Your vocabulary comes next in the queue and it has to be up-to-date with your field of research and should include all the technical terms strictly followed by your discipline. Grammar is the key to everything that you are working on.
·         Submission of your final draft: The final draft should be inclusive of all the above points along with the style you have chosen and not to forget the citations and bibliography. They also carry credentials when you are submitting a paper. The final draft will undergo peer reviewing and the like to ensure that you have done your researches in the right way.
·         Acceptance or rejection: If the peer is convinced regarding your efforts, they will accept your paper and publish the paper, which is a very good achievement for your future. In case your paper gets rejected, try not to get disappointed and keep working on your conference alerts research and keep the efforts going.
Scopus is easy to use even for a person who may not have much knowledge about the working of the internet. The software makes it easier to search even backwards and forwards with regards to citations and this makes researches a lot easier for the International conferences. Following the above mentioned steps will help you build a good research paper that will benefit your future in your respective discipline.
Tips 
·         Spend adequate amount of time to do your research and try not to copy lines from the source that you are referring to. In case you want to borrow a line, make sure you cite it, by following the guideline that our style manual follows.
Work simultaneously on your bibliography. It will be a tedious task to find out all your sources at the end of your paper. You are likely to miss out if you keep it until the end.

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Research & Development has been scaled up to a commendable level since last decade. In fact, a country’s strength is now measured on the scale of how efficient its R&D is! Research has currently been inculcated into each & every field be it science or arts. Research & development in the life science area alone has witnessed a steep rise. This has helped in eradicating life-threatening diseases like polio and pox and treating morbid disorders & numerous cancers. No doubt, it has led to betterment for humanity associated with health and quality of life.
But research must be conducted beneath the umbrella of ethics and consistent with the pre-determined, acceptable rules developed by the community of scientists. Once the results are obtained, publishing them is the responsibility of every scientist, in order to spread across the word globally. This will aid different researchers to analyze further on the obtained results and facilitate clinicians to relinquish additional care to the sick.

Writing analysis isn’t solely a science but also a tough art. It needs honesty, hard work, patience, and perseverance. Increased competition in the field of good research has made it even difficult for the researchers to get their manuscript published in a highly reputed journal. Best of the journals look forward to those manuscripts which have the best quality research supported by ethical guidelines on scientific backgrounds. To each researcher, his own data/ manuscript/ finding is most important and relevant to the current world scenario. However, all of those manuscripts do not pave their ways into leading journals. Rejection obviously discourages the author/researcher. But does that mean that his research is not good quality, or is not up to the standards that are laid down internationally? We will try to find an answer to this particular question while going through views of leading researchers.
Now, anyone, who is from the research background knows that the quality of a journal is determined by its Impact Factor. The impact factor is the measure of the impact of certain journals in the scientific community that represents the average number of citations which every article in that journal has received over the last few years. The higher the impact factor of the journal the higher the reputation among those scientists. Its calculation is based on the number of times items published in that journal in previous years were cited by indexed publications in the succeeding years.
This term is also governed by other factors like H-index, self-citations, citations per document, etc. Although there are numerous available impact factors and scientific ratings, the most acceptable is one by Thomson Reuters. Leading scientific journals like Nature, science, IJR has a rating of more than 30.
Impact factor (IF) calculation has several advantages, being:
  • The most vital and up to date
  • The calculation of impact issue is well understood
  • It provides a tool for managing library journal collections
  • Gives a gross approximation of the prestige of journals (this is done in conjunction with
  • Alternative considerations like peer review, productivity, and subject specialty citation rates
There are also certain disadvantages associated with Impact Factor:
  • The journal’s impact issue isn’t essentially representative of the individual journal articles it’s extremely passionate about the number of references per article within the analysis field
  • Language barriers for journals that aren’t in English
  • Selective journal self – citation
  • Expensive costs for access to databases
  • Citations of papers in journals aren’t in correlation with the standard of the journal and
  • Even less with the scientific quality of the paper
  • Journals that are less obtainable to readers can almost ne’er come through the next impact issue regardless of the standard of papers it publishes
  • Leading to a reduction in the popularity of newly established and local journals with lesser impact factors
The use of journal IF to live the standard and impact of individual papers is invalid from a statistical point of view. The high Impact Factor of selective journals results from their ability to draw in many papers that are terribly cited. However, the publication venue could be a poor predictor of the number of times that an article is going to be cited. Thus, for many authors, the advantages of publication in high-IF journals result in a lot of from their association with different papers within the same journal that happens to be extremely cited than from their own extraordinary content.
In different words, publication in a very high-Impact Factor journal is also easier than manufacturing extremely cited work.
The journal Impact Factor exerts an amazing influence on the conduct of scientists. The obsession with IF has been compared to a medical condition, typically mentioned as “IF mania” or “impactitis.”

5 measures to fight this “IF-Mania” malady:
(i) to diversify journal club selections,
(ii) not to judge science on the publication venue,
(iii) to reduce the reliance on journal citation metrics for employment and advancement, 
(iv) to discuss the misuse of the IF in ethics courses, and
(v) to cite the foremost acceptable sources.
A news in 2013 grabbed the attention of masses, when Randy Schekman, a US biologist who won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine of that year stated that his lab would not send research papers to the highest-impact journals, Nature, Cell and Science. Schekman said pressure to publish in “luxury” journals inspired researchers to chop corners and pursue fashionable fields of science rather than doing a lot of necessary work.
According to him, the matter is further worsened, by editors who weren’t active scientists but professionals who favored studies that were doubtless to form a splash.

Not only the Nobel Laureates but listening to the views of the overall scientific community, one will realize that young researchers are more interested in citation count and h-index than impact factor. Citation indexes were originally designed for data retrieval, they’re progressively used for bibliometrics and alternative studies involving research analysis. Citation information is additionally the idea of the favored journal impact issue. The impact issue (IF) of a journal may be alive reflective of the average range of citations to recent articles published in the journal. It is often used as a proxy for the relative importance of a journal in its field, with journals with higher impact factors deemed to be additionally vital than those with lower ones. The h-index is an associated index that makes an attempt to measure both the productivity and impact of the research work of a scholar. The index relies on the set of the scientist’s most cited papers and also the range of citations that they have received in alternative publications. The index can even be applied to the productivity and impact of a bunch of scientists, like a department or university or country, as well as a scholarly journal.
The citation count will automatically increase if the research paper follows ethical guidelines and contains all the relevant information. It will draw the attention of researchers, even if it is not a part of a high impact journal.
Try improving the quality of your manuscript by:
  • Being focussed on the topic
  • Giving a detailed analysis of the research work in hand
    Including novel available methods (you can even design a new method and get it patented)
  • Giving detailed research protocol for reference by others
  • Providing support data (pictures, diagrams, flow charts, tables)
  • Relating wisely with an already existing problem and suggesting a valid solution to that
  • Take requisite time to complete your work in an elaborate manner
Ultimately the whole and sole of research are to give some piece of information which can be used by others to develop something which is going to bear fruits. There is no use of such ground-breaking research that wins the Nobel Prize and gets published in Cell, Nature, Science, IJR.
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NOTHING MUCH FOR MINORS

Minors are those less than eighteen, 
As they don't have knowledge in keen.

They don't have a driving licence,  
As don't have driving sense.

Minors are given just pen and page, 
Their life is not more than a cage. 

Holiday is not given even on sundays,
As their age is negligible for fundays.

Parents are worried not to get blame,
From minors they just want their fame.

Circumstances are same for every minor,
Parents are just their life designer. 

-Sahaj Sabharwal
-Jammu city,
Jammu and Kashmir, India .

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“Publish or perish.” That’s the mantra that academics have drilled into their heads from the moment they start their quest for an academic career. In today’s academic world, publishing in an academic journal isn’t just an important way to improve one’s reputation or make a dent in the intellectual community. Instead, it’s a life-or-death factor in determining each step on the career ladder. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that the modern university system has turned academic articles into the most important measurement of a professor’s worth.

Publication in Academic Career.jpg

The phrase “publish or perish” was coined in 1932 to describe the pressure that academics faced to place research articles in scholarly journals. But now, almost nine decades later, publication is the measurement by which universities judge the value of scholars for hiring and promotion. The reason for this is a series of perverse incentives tied to publicity.

Originally, academic articles were designed to share research with other scholars in order to further the intellectual development of academic fields. However, over time, academic articles came to be seen less as a way to share information than as a way to promote one’s own research skills and ability to generate groundbreaking new information.

Universities, in turn, saw journal articles as a way to call attention to the quality of the research work done in their institutions, and a way to gain mainstream media attention, and thus to attract new sources of fundraising and revenue. There are a lot of websites which offer custom academic writing services for students. Such online writing companies hire professional freelance writers to prepare essays and research projects for money.

This, in turn, has led administrators to see scholarly publications as a way to determine which professors offer the school a good return on investment. According to a study released in 2010, a growing number of universities evaluate potential new hires based entirely on the length of their publication list, without consideration of other factors, such as teaching experience and quality.

However, because many administrators have no background in the subjects taught by the professors they are evaluating, this has created a perverse incentive to simply publish anything, no matter the quality, in order to rack up publication credits to pad a C.V. To that end, the number of scholarly journals has exploded in recent decades. Currently, there are now more than 28,000 scholarly peer-reviewed journals, publishing an astonishing 2.5 million articles each year.  The number of published articles has grown at a steady rate of 4-5% per year, according to the International Association of Scientiļ¬c, Technical and Medical Publishers.

Obviously, that volume cannot represent unalloyed quality. The more papers that are published each year, the more papers that will have quality problems.

The glut of publishing is driven by the university system, in which the number of scholarly publications determines a professor’s fitness to advance through the ranks and to gain tenure. Recently, impact scores—referring to the quality of the journal in which a paper is published, how many other scholars cite a paper, or how many news articles refer to it—have come into vogue as a way to distinguish between an academic with high quality work and one who churns our hack work for credits, but the overwhelming pressure remains to produce volume over quality. This has led to a bizarre phenomenon known unofficially as “salami slicing,” where professors will divide their research into the smallest units possible so that they can wring extra articles out of a topic that previously would have been covered in a single paper. This makes it harder for future researchers to gather the applicable information, but it means that the author ends up with extra papers on his or her C.V.

What makes the explosion of articles as a metric of success so disturbing is that most universities do not pay professors to write them, nor do journals, which typically seize the writer’s copyright and then profit from the articles themselves. Instead, professors are asked to squeeze article writing into their free time outside of their professional teaching and research obligations, or else to fit a growing number of articles into limited annual research periods.

The resulting distortion of priorities has unintended consequences: Universities that prioritize publications end up with professors who must place writing articles—their unpaid labor—above their official job of teaching undergraduate and graduate students and conducting research. Consequently, both purposes of the modern university—teaching and research—suffer as professors scramble to prioritize whichever and whatever subjects can generate the most articles and the most media attention, rather than the research that will result in the greatest impact on the world.

While most academics would prefer to do important work over voluminous work, the consequences of not publishing are daunting: An academic who does not publish regularly will not receive tenure, and will quickly find that his or her position has been replaced by someone with a longer C.V. Academic publishing is less about sharing knowledge than an arms race to pad a C.V. for the benefit of administrators who will never read the articles listed on it.
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To begin with, in a latest, landmark and laudable judgment which has sent shivers down the spine of many former Chief Ministers of Bihar, the Patna High Court on February 19, 2019 has clearly and categorically struck down an amendment brought to Bihar Special Security Group Act, 2000 pertaining to the life time allotment of Government premises for residential purposes to Ex-Chief Ministers, who have already demitted office. The two Judge Bench of Patna High Court comprising of Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Anjana Mishra have convincingly observed that, “There is no provision in the Constitution that such an elected representative can claim or ask for a price after he demits office. A claim of this nature reflects as if it is something parasitical.” Very rightly said!

                                    To put things in perspective, the Bench said eloquently and elegantly in para 34 that, “Having heard learned counsel for the parties, the competence of the Legislature to enact a law within the constitutional limits on the issue relating to the salaries and allowances of Ministers is saved under Article 164 (5) of the Constitution of India as noted above. This does not, however, extend any such privileges to Ex-Chief Ministers and, therefore, the validity of the Amending Act of 2010 (Bihar Act No. 10 of 2010) has to be tested on this anvil. We do not find any constitutional provision enabling the State Legislature to enact any law with regard to Ex-Chief Ministers. The entries in the Seventh Schedule, particularly Entry 40 of List II as contained in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution does not empower the State Legislature to make any law for Ex-Chief Ministers. It is for this reason that the State under the garb of its legislative authority took resort to an amendment in the Bihar Special Security Group Act, 2000 in the name of security of an Ex-Chief Minister. The object and reason of the 2010 Amendment Act recites that in order to provide ample security to Ex-Chief Ministers was considered appropriate keeping in view the threat perception of extremists and terrorists organization. In order to further fortify this, another reason was added in the Cabinet Resolution dated 2nd July, 2014 that since Ex-Chief Ministers during their tenure in office have to remain in contact and continue to perform their social obligations, therefore, such facilities should be made available.”

                               Continuing in the same vein, it is then held in this same para 34 that, “This in our opinion has no nexus with security. It is more for maintaining a lost status. What is more interesting in the reasons disclosed is that by allotting and by ear-marking a particular premises, repeated expenses can be avoided. This addition is in Clause 5 of the Office Memorandum dated 22nd March, 2016. This is also evident from the file noting No. (7) extracted hereinabove. What is also noticeable is that the file noting also refers to the availability of such facilities in four other States throughout the country, namely, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka. Needless to mention that the date on which the aforesaid Memorandum was issued, the earlier round of litigation in the case of Lok Prahari Versus State of Uttar Pradesh and others was pending which came to be decided on 1st of August, 2016, reported in (2016) 8 SCC 389. The first judgement in the case of Lok Prahari (supra) held that such a largess given to former Chief Ministers is without any element of reasonableness. The Rules which had been framed by the State of Uttar Pradesh were struck down.”  

                           Going ahead, it is then further elaborated in para 35 that, “The State of Uttar Pradesh brought about a legislation in order to overcome the said decision by an amendment in the year 2016 similar to that which is involved herein being U.P. Act No. 22 of 2016. The same was struck down after discussing all the constitutional provisions holding that such Bungalows constitute public property which by itself is scarce and meant for use of current holders of public offices. It was held that questions relating to allotment of such properties are, therefore, questions of public character and hence amenable for being adjudicated on the touchstone of reasonable classification as well as arbitrariness. The Court then went on to hold in paragraphs 38 and 39 that such a legislative exercise is based on irrelevant and legally unacceptable considerations, unsupported by any constitutional sanctity. The said paragraphs have already been extracted hereinabove and quoted in our earlier order dated 8th of January, 2019.”

                                        Not stopping here, it is then observed in para 36 that, “We may further analyze that the cover of security which is sought to be given for allotment of such official premises for a life time is nowhere borne out from any material in the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the State. There is nothing to indicate as to how would the security be jeopardized of any Ex-Chief Minister unless he is allotted a Government Premises free of all charges for his life time with unlimited financial maintenance facilities. The same cannot be traced to any constitutional provision or any statutory provision, apart from the offending part of the Amendment Act of 2010 presently in question. It is further to be noted that the Amending Act of 2010 only makes a provision for allotment of a premises for the life time of an Ex-Chief Minister. All further benefits have been added by way of executive decisions either through the Resolution of the Cabinet or the issuance of a Government Order or an Office Memorandum as noted hereinabove.”

                             While pooh-poohing the tall claims made in favour of allotment of bungalows to Ex-Chief Ministers, the Bench then further holds in para 37 that, “We are unable to trace any authority available for making such provisions that even in the teeth of the pronouncement of the Apex Court in the case of Lok Prahari through its General Secretary Versus State of Uttar Pradesh and others, reported in (2018) 6 SCC 1. We had also noticed in our order dated 8th January, 2019 that in paragraph 12 of the said report, the Apex Court had through the Amicus Curiae informed the law officers of the Union and all the States/Union Territories throughout the country and pursuant thereto, the State of Bihar had responded in the said proceedings. In paragraph 13 it had been categorically noted that in the case of State of Bihar, such a provision has been made by executive instructions under Article 162 of the Constitution of India. It is true that executive instructions had been issued as noted hereinabove, but that had been with the aid of a statutory provision in the Bihar Special Security Group Amendment Act (Bihar Act No. 10 of 2010) that was similar to the amendment in the U.P. Act of 2016 that was struck down. The State of Bihar, therefore, appears to have not responded correctly to the Supreme Court by bringing to its notice the Amendment Act, 2010 (Bihar Act No. 10 of 2010) which has been made the basis for the issuance of the executive instructions and is being considered by us in the present proceedings. The State of Bihar also does not appear to have taken any steps for amending or rescinding any such offending provision in spite of the pronouncement of the Apex Court judgment on 7th May, 2018. The only re-deeming feature that the learned Advocate General was able to point out was that the present Chief Minister has given up the allotment of the Bungalow made to him as an Ex-Chief Minister and has confined himself to the Bungalow allotted to him as the Chief Minister of the State. The other allottees have not put in any substantial resistance on being confronted with the aforesaid legal position.” 

                                 To be sure, the Bench said there is no such concept of a life time privilege available for elected representatives after demitting office merely because they are in politic. It observed clearly and convincingly in para 38 that, “A perusal of the entire facts as discussed above would indicate that the salaries, allowances and other benefits as envisaged under Article 164(5) of the Constitution of India are all intended to be co-terminus with office and are limited by budgetary expenditures. In a democracy which is founded on principles of socialism, it is difficult to comprehend unlimited expenditure being made available, that too even through executive instructions without any corresponding provision in any statutory law. This is clearly arbitrary being unguided and unbridled. This sort of a benefit being introduced has absolutely no rational nexus with the object of security under the garb of which such facilities are sought to be conferred by elected public representatives on themselves fully knowing that there is no such concept of a life time privilege available after demitting office merely because they are in politics. This is a blatant example of over spending from the public exchequer and drawing from the well of finances that are already deficit. It is high time that the boundaries of such expenditure are re-drawn and funneling of State finances is checked. Not only has the Legislature exceeded in its authority against public interest, but the executive fiat of the State has also travelled beyond its legal and ethical limits, that is witnesses by the executive instructions which are examples of bureaucratic skills that eludes all ingenuities. The authority to confer such benefits on themselves in an unmeasured fashion is clearly unconstitutional and tends to reflect predatory instincts for usurping public exchequer. It is a collective expression of acquiring public property perpetually in the name of public service. The attitude therefore is divorced from morality and withers the faith of the public.” There can be no denying it!

                                Furthermore, it is then observed in this same para 38 that, “Any law or executive instructions in excess of powers, as involved in the present case, is, therefore, ultra vires showing complete disregard to the Constitution and being repugnant to the Constitutional philosophy of democratic socialism. The action clearly infringes the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution and militates against the ideas of justice. The executive instructions not only suffer from infirmities like procedural irregularity and illegality, but are also irrational as per the test laid down by Lord Diplock in CCSU Vs. Minister for Civil Service, 1983 (1) AC 768. The entire action reflects as to how innocence of public faith has been bartered in conferring privileges on themselves long after the Constitution itself has denounced recognition of titles and conferment of privileges during the British regime. It is strange that the privy purses were withdrawn on the philosophy of socialism in a modern democracy, but in practice such actions in the name of democracy are now being conferred unilaterally by the holders of public office in the manner aforesaid.”    

                                 As it turned out, the Patna High Court further observed in para 39 that, “It has rightly been observed by James Hacker, a former Prominent Member of Parliament of House of Commons in his famous critique “Yes Minister,” “The Public do not know anything about wasting public money. We are the experts”. The law makers of the country have a patriotic duty to take right decisions and not claim compensations as presently involved under the garb of security. To create a sanctuary for oneself that involves heavy finances and public resources, has to be viewed strictly under the parameters of the Constitution, that too even for a person who demits a public office which he has occupied for a fixed tenure on being elected by people.”

                                  Apart from what has been mentioned above, it was also pointed out in this same para 39 that, “There is no provision in the Constitution that such an elected representative can claim or ask for a price after he demits office. A claim of this nature reflects as if it is something parasitical. It is a legacy of a continued red carpet treatment riding rough shod over the law. The legislation and the executive instructions are not based on reason so as to be called rational. They are not even moderate and therefore, there is no rationale behind the action under scrutiny. The apostle of modern India-Mahatma Gandhi and one of his disciples Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri are examples who believed that democracy meant a Government of the People, by the People and for the People. In the present case, the extension of benefits after demitting office reflects a Government by the Law Makers unto themselves.”

                                  To put it succinctly, it is then observed in para 40 that, “We, therefore, find that the provision made under the Amending Act, namely Bihar Act No. 10 of 2010, for allotting a premises to an Ex-Chief Minister throughout his life is contrary to the law laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Lok Prahari (supra) and is otherwise constitutionally unwarranted. The same is hereby struck down.”

                               Finally and perhaps most importantly, it is then held in para 41 that, “Apart from this, the Cabinet Resolution dated 2nd July, 2014 that took the shape of a Resolution of the Building Construction Department, Government of Bihar, dated 30.12.2014 also suffers from the vice of an excessive extension of benefits beyond the constitutional limits to an Ex-Chief Minister by providing a Bungalow free of charges after demitting office throughout his or her life and with unlimited financial maintenance facilities. The same to that extent is also struck down. As a consequence thereof, the allotments made under the Office Memorandum dated 22nd March, 2016 and 25th May, 2018 are also quashed to the extent indicated above. All the said allottees therefore, are called upon to vacate the premises allotted to them unless they are otherwise entitled to retain the same under any other law of allotment for the time being in force in the State of Bihar. The Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar, is therefore, directed to issue an appropriate order in the light of above.” The last para 42 then states that, “This Public Interest Litigation stands disposed of with the aforesaid directions.”

                       No doubt, many former Chief Ministers stand affected adversely by this landmark, latest and laudable ruling. Those affected include among others Satish Prasad Singh, Dr Jagannath Mishra, Lalu Prasad, Smt Rabri Devi and Jitin Ram Manjhi! They have the option to appeal to Apex Court but they have no strong ground to sustain their tall claims and are therefore likely to lose their also! So they have no option left before them but to evict. No doubt, very rightly so!    

Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,

s/o Col BPS Sirohi,

A 82, Defence Enclave,

Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,

Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.  
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How long will we keep tolerating terrorism sponsored directly from Pakistan? How long will we keep giving the benefit of doubt to Pakistan? How long will we keep overlooking Pakistan’s open support to terror leaders in not just holding rallies but also in arming their men with latest weapons which includes RDX with help of which a suicide bomber named Adil Ahmad Dar who was a local Kashmiri sponsored directly by Jaish-e-Mohammad terror organization based in Pakistan whose leader Masood Azhar along with other dreaded terrorists were released after terrorists had hijacked an Indian plane in December 1999 and who since then has been responsible for carrying out numerous terror attacks including the one on Jammu and Kashmir Assembly in which scores of people were killed as also the aborted attack on Parliament in December 2001 which led to deployment of Indian troops on the border yet we didn’t attack them and now once again Jaish has proudly acknowledged its role in carrying out terror suicide attack on Pakistan in which we lost more than 40 soldiers and few days later 2 Major died as also a Brigadier got bullet injury in leg as also a DIG?

Why is Centre not breaking all diplomatic relations with Pakistan? Why is Centre not listening to a humble person like me when I say this? Why is Centre not listening even to eminent journalists like Tavleen Singh who in her enlightening editorial titled “This is war, not terrorism” dated February 17, 2019 very rightly points out that, “So what happens now? ‘The sacrifice of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain,’ tweeted the Prime Minister and the Home Minister echoed this sentiment. But is there nothing more we can do? Since we are in a state of undeclared war with Pakistan, surely we can, at the very least, break diplomatic relations. Is there any point in having an embassy in Islamabad when Pakistan has made it so clear that it has no intention of calling off its cowardly, shameful war?” She also rightly added that, “Attacks like the one that killed 40 CRPF men last week are not acts of terrorism; they are acts of war.”

Needless to say, Tavleen Singh is a very eminent and straightforward journalist with an impeccable reputation who always right directly from her heart and we hear her not just in news channels but also read her articles in reputed newspapers like ‘The Indian Express’. She has hit the nail on the head and it is high time that not just PM but all those who have the final say in deciding the relations between India and Pakistan ponder deeply over what she has said so elegantly and excellently! She has always admired PM Narendra Modi and in her editorial dated February 10, 2019 has noted without mincing any words that, “As someone who has criticized him in this column for his mistakes, let me admit that when I compare him with those who seek to unseat him, he look good. In the name of ‘secularism’ we have in that maha-caboodle leaders whose politics are founded on caste, creed and a sickeningly obvious desire to be in politics for personal gain. They make Modi look like a real leader. Having said this, it also needs to be said that Modi’s great achievement is that he has managed to drag India, kicking and screaming into the digital age. This is no small achievement.”

We need to act very tough now on Pakistan if we want that it feels the heat! All diplomatic relations with Pakistan must be broken right now! Why should we give Pakistani diplomats opportunity to meet Hurriyat leaders and fish in troubled waters?

People all over the country are boiling in anger against Pakistan! Just revoking Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status which India unilaterally conferred on Pakistan about 23 years back in 1996 or withdrawing security for just 5 Hurriyat leaders and not for the remaining about 10 Hurriyat leaders is nothing more than a cosmetic exercise which must be replaced by a more serious exercise which includes withdrawing security from all Hurriyat leaders and announce stopping of all water from Indus river till Pakistan acts strongly against terror leaders like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar among others as the former Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal very rightly pointed out in Hindustan Times editorial dated February 19, 2019! Even Col VN Thapar who is the father of late Captain Vijayant Thapar who won Paramveer Chakra in Kargil war has endorsed this same point and underscored that by doing this Pakistan can be brought to knees! Why then is Centre not doing anything on this?

Why Centre is not immediately ordering breaking of all diplomatic relations with Pakistan and closing its embassies in Pakistan and similarly asking Pakistan to close its embassies in India? Why Centre is not ordering closure of third rated Wagah border ceremony with a rogue state like Pakistan? Why is India not declaring Pakistan a terror state?

It goes without saying that the people of India now don’t want few small steps against Pakistan which has been at war with India since independence! They want hard and concrete steps which really hurts Pakistan! We have lost more soldiers in last three decades by proxy war than by the three wars we fought with them in 1948, 1965 and 1971! Still why are we not breaking all diplomatic relations with Pakistan?

It is a national tragedy that we rarely get to hear a son of politician or bureaucrat being sacrificed in fight against Pakistan ever! I have never heard so far in my life! Is this is why they don’t feel the heat and they feel that diplomatic relations must continue undisturbed? This is nothing but total disloyalty and treachery with India!

Pakistan is sending trained terrorists to attack and kill not just our soldiers but also innocents which includes woman and children but still should we have diplomatic relations with Pakistan? Pakistan ensured that more than 600 soldiers of ours were brutally killed in Kargil war still should we keep diplomatic relations with them? Pakistan has ensured that more than a lakh of our soldiers are killed in last 3 decades still should we continue to have diplomatic relations with Pakistan?

Pakistan has ensured that terrorists attack our financial capital that is Mumbai repeatedly as they did in 1993 on March 12 in which more than 300 people were killed and thousands were injured, in 2006 when a train was blown off in which many hundreds lost their lives, 26/11 in 2008 in which again more than 200 people lost their lives along with some of our brave soldiers like Captain Sandeep Unnithan and our Parliament in 2001 and many other reputed places still should we have diplomatic relations with Pakistan? Terrorists trained in Pakistan attacked Pathankot air base just after PM Modi visited Pakistan and we again lost many of our soldiers yet we invited ISI agents to inspect the spot most foolishly and they flatly refused when we asked them about NIA’s visit to Pakistan!

How long will politicians continue to fool the common man? How long will the life of common man be endangered by continuing to open more and more corridor like Kartarpur corridor in which we saw how Pakistani Army Chief Bajwa was smiling cunningly with a Khalistani terrorist and how hoardings of Bhindrawale the dreaded Khalistani terror leaders of the 1980s were pasted all over including in the Gurudwaras where Sikh pilgrims will go to visit Guru Nanak’s birth site? How can religious sentiments be placed above national security? But this is what this PM Narendra Damodardas Modi has done even though Punjab’s CM Captain Amarinder Singh had voiced his strong objections and this made Navjot Singh Sidhu most happy and he went and hug proudly Gen Bajwa which left whole nation fuming but he cared a damn just like former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee cared a damn when he invited the Pakistani invader Gen Pervez Musharraf to India just about 2 to 3 months after Kargil war in which we lost more than 600 soldiers as per official figures even though unofficial figure was quite high!

What did he get in return? Plane hijacking in December 1999 and gifting of Rs 1 lakh by Gen Musharraf to dreaded Al Qaeda terrorist Iliyas Kashmiri for presenting him a severed head of an Indian soldier as trophy which he promised to always keep with him in 2000 as reported in all newspapers at that time! Not stopping here we then received attack on Parliament in 2001 which brought both countries on verge of war but again we relented and allowed to Pakistan to get away. Then Akshardham temple was attacked in which children and women were shot dead after asking them to sing national anthem as also attack on Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly in which more than 40 died but still Vajpayee always trusted Pakistan! 

Vajpayee lost because of Pakistan! Vajpayee is one of the greatest politician India has produced who gave India its finest President Abdul Kalam and conducted nuclear explosion Pokhran Part II but Ramzan ka ceasefire with terrorists, embracing of Pakistani invader Gen Musharraf after Kargil war, inviting dreaded terror organizations like Hizbul for talks and caring a damn for national sentiments but what did he get in return? People slapped him out of power because mollycoddling in front of a rogue nation like Pakistan where military calls the shot can never be approved by the people of India! Yes, a few politicians like Farooq Abdullah among others hailed him as “Shanti ka Messiah” whenever he bended in front of Pakistan but ultimately people boxed him out of power which no one can deny!

Now what does Narendra Damodardas Modi want? To meet the fate of his mentor Vajpayee? It is Modi who has to take the final call! No self-respecting nation will tolerate any other nation who regularly sends terrorists and even its own soldiers specially trained like Border Action Team (BAT) to brutally attack our soldiers, behead them and take their head to Pakistan so that it can be used as football to be played with or to be given to Pakistani invader like Gen Musharraf who kept it like a trophy and himself acknowledged that he had entered 15 to 16 km inside Indian territory during Kargil war to boost terrorists and his soldiers to brutally massacre our soldiers as was done with Captain Saurav Kalia and 5 soldiers of 4 Jat Regiment who were brutally tortured for 22 days, their eyes were gouged out by piercing iron hot rod in it and other body parts maimed and then handed over their mutilated body back to India and yet India continued not just diplomatic relations with Pakistan but extended red carpet welcome to Musharraf like aroyal emperor! If people approved of it as some secular leaders like Farooq Abdullah claims then why did he lose elections?

Stop fooling the nation and break not just all diplomatic relations with Pakistan but also all other kind of relations like bus service, train service, air service, trade and business not just imposing 200% custom duty on import of Pakistani items and make sure that all those who come from Pakistan go back and not disappear to unleash more attacks and no Pakistani is allowed to visit India under any circumstances without renouncing Pakistani citizenship as we saw in case of noted Pakistani singer Adnan Sami who is now an Indian and has permanently left Pakistan! Withdraw security not from just few but all Hurriyat leaders and order soldiers to fire on stone pelters whenever they interrupt any operation and not just indulge in request to withdraw! Only then in real sense will it mean that soldiers have been given free hand! Otherwise people will take it as just election jumla and for this PM cannot hold anyone else responsible!

Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,

s/o Col BPS Sirohi,

A 82, Defence Enclave,

Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,

Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.
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Time and again, our brave soldiers are being repeatedly slaughtered by terrorists who are trained and armed to the teeth with deadly weapons by Pakistani Army and Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) as we saw most recently in Pulwama where more than 40 soldiers were killed in the most dastardly manner by a suicide bomber belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad armed and trained in Pakistan when they were going in army vehicles from Jammu to Kashmir! The whole nation stands shocked and aghast! It is the Hurriyat leaders who always justify terrorism and stand by Pakistan as we all know!

                        But what is most disgraceful is that Centre led by I don’t know whom decided to proudly spend crores and crores on the security of Hurriyat leaders even as many families of slain soldiers don’t even get their due money  in many cases a long time back. Every successive Prime Minister proudly decides to continue with it without saying a word! This open mockery of the supreme sacrifice of our brave soldiers has been continuing unabated which is most disgraceful! Is it under the relentless pressure of some foreign power? I just don’t know!

                              It is well known that Hurriyat leaders openly chant anti-India slogans, proudly clap when Indian flags are burnt and what not yet since last many years all the successive Prime Ministers proudly by their act decide to continue shamelessly with giving security to Hurriyat leaders at taxpayers cost! What could the nation do? Watch helplessly like a silent and helpless spectator as Centre overrules all queries on this as for them Hurriyat leaders stood very close to their heart!

                                  Many leaders tried to justify it as this would project India’s image as liberal! This is nothing but stupidity of the highest order! Not just this, it is disloyalty and disservice to the supreme sacrifice rendered by our brave soldiers!

                              What is worse is that even judiciary never intervened on this and watched everything like a helpless spectator like the common man! How can those ranting openly against India and attending rallies organized by dreaded terror leaders like Hafiz Saeed who is chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba as we have seen many times in case of Hurriyat leaders like Shabir Shah and Yasin Malik enjoy security at state’s expense which is taxpayers money and yet Centre not saying a word on it and what is worse is that even Opposition leaders not saying a word on it? Which sovereign and truly independent country behave like this? 

                                     Why all the National Security Adviser along with other big officers from the time security cover was provided to Hurriyat leaders many years ago till now  never object to security being granted to Hurriyat leaders at State’s expense? What message did Centre send by this? That those who rant against India and hate India deserve to be honoured and given Z plus security at the cost of taxpayers money!

                                       I have myself since last many years been pointing out repeatedly that not a single paise should be spent on Hurriyat leaders who directly speak the language of Pakistan and leave no opportunity to attack India from every platform they get and leave no stone unturned to embarrass India not just within India but also at all international forums! But Centre never cared not just for ordinary mortals like me but even for the veteran security forces officials and parents of slain soldiers as for them Hurriyat leaders are very special VVIPs who deserve to be always provided security  and many crores spent for the purpose as this enhances India’s image!

                            To hell with such image! How can this happen? But it has happened and is still happening just like till recently we saw how from 1996 till 2019 India shamelessly and unilaterally conferred Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to Pakistan which was revoked just recently after relentless public anger exploded against Pakistan! Why do our Indian leaders hold Pakistan and Hurriyat leaders in highest esteem?

                                 Why even Kargil war, attack on Mumbai, attack on Parliament etc fail to shake our leaders? Thank God that at least now MFN status has been revoked! But is this alone enough? Certainly not!  

                                   We all saw how recently Col. VN Thapar who is the father of Paramvir Chakra awardee late Captain Vijayant Thapar just recently strongly advocated that India should not allow water from Indus to go to Pakistan and if this is done, Pakistan will bend on knees and will be forced to take India seriously! But shamelessly we saw how Centre preponed the meeting on Indus Water Treaty and accorded again all benefits to it by affirming it once again! When will Centre wake up?

                                 Which is the foreign power or internal power that has always ensured that Hurriyat leaders who celebrate the killing of our brave soldiers and enjoy burning our national flags and insulting India from every platform they get enjoy security at taxpayers money? Why all parties whether it is BJP or Congress ruling at the Centre succumbed to that foreign power or internal power who favoured that crores of rupees should be spent on Hurriyat leaders even though many families of slain soldiers don’t get even their basic dues? Truth must come out!

                          How long will this open sham and open insult of our brave soldiers and sentiments of nationalists be mocked at so brazenly by Centre? Why should India keep any relation of any kind with a rogue country like Pakistan which has been mercilessly masterminding the killing of not just our people but also our brave soldiers? Why should Pakistanis be allowed to come to India? Why should India continue diplomatic relations with a rogue state like Pakistan?

                                   Why should Centre not declare Pakistan as “Aatankistan” as was demanded firstly by Maulana Mehmood Madani who is leader of Jamiat-e-Ulema and nuke all relations with them? Which is the power – internal or external we don’t know which is hampering this from happening? Should we be proud of this?

                        It will not be an exaggeration to say that RSS enjoys no clout in Centre and this stands vindicated from this that even after Kargil war we saw how MFN status continued unabated and not just this we saw how the mastermind of Kargil war and Pakistani invader Gen Pervez Musharraf was given a grand red carpet welcome to India even though we lost more than 600 soldiers as per official figures and that too within two to three months after Kargil war! It is this Gen Musharraf who paid Rs 1 lakh to dreaded Al Qaeda terror leader Iliyas Kashmiri for presenting him a severed head of Indian soldier as trophy in 2000 yet Indian politicians and media glorified him! It is this same Gen Musharraf who acknowledged that he had entered India 15 to 16 km inside Indian territory to boost the morale of terrorists and Pakistani soldiers to slaughter Indian soldiers and capture Kargil from Indian control and had even threatened to nuke India yet our leaders accorded him a grand reception! What could RSS do? Just nothing!

                                     This is the biggest proof that RSS never interferes in Centre’s functioning and it is centre which itself calls all the shot! We saw how stupidly we invited Pakistan’s notorious ISI officials to inspect Pathankot airforce base where terrorists had carried out attack in which we lost many soldiers and Pakistan rewarded by refusing permission to NIA to visit Pakistan to cross examine terror leaders! Why after repeated backstabbing do our leaders trust Pakistan blindly?

                                         It is because politicians never send their own children to army or any other defence services and so their own children never die and so they don’t feel the real pain which alone explains why unilateral MFN status to Pakistan continued since 1996 till 2019 and why Hurriyat leaders who are open Pakistani agents are provided security at taxpayers cost! But now the national mood against Pakistan and terrorists is very high and even PM Narendra Modi acknowledged this himself! Hope security for Hurriyat leaders is withdrawn soon!

                                    Hope all Pakistani citizens are ordered to leave India! Hope all train and bus service from India to Pakistan and from Pakistan to India are discontinued forthwith! Hope Indus Water Treaty is scrapped as Col VN Thapar, Maj Gen GD Bakshi and many others from defence fraternity have been repeatedly advocating since last many years!

                                   Hope brave soldiers like Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit are restored their due honour and not harassed and victimized for being die hard nationalists and exposing the dark underbelly of dangerous link of politicians with Pakistan and underworld dreaded dons like Dawood Ibrahim! Hope all diplomatic relations with Pakistan are ended! Hope the useless Wagah border retreat ceremony which we share every year with Pakistan is discontinued forthwith!

                               Hope those who burn Indian flags and wave Pakistani flags are not treated like Indians and their citizenship should be taken away as no person can be an Indian and Pakistani at the same time! Hope they are immediately deported to Pakistan! Pakistan is the right place for them and not Indian jail! Hope illegal migrants from other countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan etc are all identified and deported as they are a big security threat!

                                     Hope soldiers are given full liberty to fire at those who pelt stones at them which tantamount to acting like Pakistani soldier! No justification should be permitted for them to take refuge and no cases should be withdrawn against them unlike what we saw when more than 10,000 soldiers were given full impunity and allowed to get away most easily even after killing our soldiers and most brutally wounding them without any provocation! Just lip service now won’t do!

                                 Centre has to act now! It has no option and this entire nation will support it as the Opposition also just recently pledged! National security comes first, always and every time and all politicians must demonstrate this by their acts and not just by doing lip service if they want to retain their credibility among the common man!    

                                 In conclusion, just taking few cosmetic steps like withdrawal of MFN status which does not affect Pakistan much is not going to shake Pakistan! It must be accompanied by all such hard measures as I have mentioned above in addition to what the eminent and experienced defence veterans suggest repeatedly! If this is not done immediately then that day is not far when people will themselves demand that army should be given control of country and democracy should be given a goodbye! This will not be a happy situation and it should never arise but for preventing this Centre must act by withdrawing all security for Hurriyat leaders and not just this also take them to task for their anti-national acts! No excuses!

Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,

s/o Col BPS Sirohi,

A 82, Defence Enclave,

Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,

Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh. 
0
  At the outset, it has to be acknowledged and applauded that in a latest, landmark and laudable judgment titled Gagan Kumar v The State of Punjab in Criminal Appeal No. 266 of 2019 (Arising out of S.L.P. (Cri.) No. 10727 of 2018 delivered on February 14, 2019 and authored by Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre for himself and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari has remarkably held that it is a mandatory legal requirement for Magistrate to specify whether sentences awarded to an accused convicted for two or more offences, would run concurrently or consecutively. This has to be complied with. But in practice, we see that it is observed more in breach and this is why Supreme Court frowned on it and declared it as a mandatory legal requirement.

                                  To start with, para 1 sets the ball rolling by holding that, “Leave granted”. Para 2 then going one step forward discloses that, “This appeal is directed against the final judgment and order dated 26.11.2018 passed by the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh in CRR No. 42 of 2018 whereby the Single Judge of the High Court dismissed the revision petition filed by the appellant herein and affirmed the judgment and order of the Courts below.”

                                    To put it succinctly, after noting in para 3 that, “The appeal involves a short controversy as would be clear from the facts set out hereinbelow”, it is then noted in para 4 that, “The appellant was prosecuted and eventually convicted for the offences punishable under Sections 279 and 304-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred to as “IPC”) in CH188530 of 2013 by the Judicial Magistrate 1st Class, Jalandhar by order dated 12.05.2017. On the quantum of sentence, the Judicial Magistrate passed the following order:

Under Section 279           To undergo rigorous                       

Of IPC                                imprisonment for six

                                          months and to pay a fine of    

                                          of Rs. 1000/- and in default of

                                          payment of fine to undergo  

                                          simple imprisonment for

                                          fifteen days.

Under Section 304-A       To undergo rigorous

Of IPC                                imprisonment for two years

                                          and to pay a fine of Rs. 1000/-

                                          and in default of payment of fine    

                                          to undergo simple imprisonment

                                          for one month.”   

                                     As it turned out, it is then observed in para 5 that, “Felt aggrieved by the said order, the appellant (accused) filed CRA/324/2017 before the Additional Sessions Judge, Jalandhar. By order dated 08.12.2017, the Additional Sessions Judge dismissed the appeal and affirmed the order passed by the Judicial Magistrate.”

                          Needless to say, para 6 then states that, “The appellant (accused) felt aggrieved by the aforementioned order and filed revision in the High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh. The High Court, by impugned order, dismissed the revision and upheld the conviction and sentence awarded by the Courts below.” Para 7 then points out that, “The appellant (accused) felt aggrieved and filed the present appeal by way of special leave in this Court.”

                             It has to be noted that it is then enunciated in the next relevant para 8 that, “So, the short question, which arises for consideration in this appeal, is whether the Courts below were justified in convicting the appellant.” Now coming to para 10, it points out that, “Learned counsel for the appellant (accused) while assailing the legality and correctness of the impugned order argued only one point.”

                                 Elaborating further, it is then pointed out in para 11 that, “The only submission made by the learned counsel for the appellant was that the Judicial Magistrate while passing the order of sentence erred in not mentioning therein as to whether the two punishments awarded to the appellant under Section 279 and Section 304-A IPC would run concurrently or consecutively.”

                              More importantly, it is then brought out in para 12 that, “Learned counsel pointed out that under Section 31 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as “Code”), it is mandatory for the Magistrate to specify as to whether the sentences awarded to the accused would run concurrently or consecutively when the accused is convicted for more than one offence in a trial.”

                                Going ahead, it is then stated in para 13 that, “Learned counsel urged that since in this case the appellant was awarded two years rigorous imprisonment with a fine amount of Rs. 1000/- and in default of payment of fine amount, to further undergo simple imprisonment for one month under Section 304-A IPC and six months rigorous imprisonment with a fine amount of Rs. 1000/- and in default of payment of fine amount, to further undergo simple imprisonment for 15 days under Section 279 IPC, these two punishments should have been directed to run concurrently as provided under Section 31(1) of the Code.”

                            While strongly countering what has been stated above, para 14 then envisages that, “Learned counsel for the State, however, could not find fault in the legal position, which governs the issue, and, in our view, rightly.” What we then see in next para 15 is this: “Having heard the learned counsel for the parties and on perusal of the record of the case, we are inclined to allow the appeal and modify the order of the Magistrate dated 12.05.2017, as indicated under.”

                                   In plain and simple language, it is then stated rightly in para 16 that, “In our considered opinion, it was necessary for the Magistrate to have ensured compliance of Section 31 of the Code when she convicted and sentenced the appellant for two offences in a trial and inflicted two punishments for each offence, namely, Section 279 and Section 304-A IPC.”

                                     To be sure, it is then underscored in para 17 that, “In such a situation, it was necessary for the Magistrate to have specified in the order by taking recourse to Section 31 of the Code as to whether the punishment of sentence of imprisonment so awarded by her for each offence would run concurrently or consecutively.”

                           What’s more, it is then enunciated in para 18 that, “Indeed, it being a legal requirement contemplated under Section 31 of the Code, the Magistrate erred in not ensuring its compliance while inflicting the two punishments to the appellant.”

                               Not stopping here, para 19 then further goes on to add that, “If the Magistrate failed in her duty, the Additional Sessions Judge and the High Court should have noticed this error committed by the Magistrate and accordingly should have corrected it. It was, however, not done and hence interference is called for to that extent.”

                      At the cost of repetition, it is then reiterated in para 20 that, “As mentioned above, the appellant was convicted and accordingly punished with a sentence to undergo two years rigorous imprisonment with a fine amount of Rs. 1000/- and in default of payment of fine amount to further undergo one month simple imprisonment under Section 304-A and 6 months rigorous imprisonment with a fine amount of Rs. 1000/- and in default of payment of fine amount to further undergo 15 days simple imprisonment under Section 279 IPC.”

                           Most importantly, it is then held in para 21 that, “In our view, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the case and keeping in view the nature of controversy involved in the case, both the aforementioned sentences awarded by the Magistrate to the appellant would run “concurrently”.”

                           It would be imperative to mention here that para 22 then illustrates that, “So far as the merits of the case is concerned, when three Courts have on appreciation of evidence, found that the prosecution was able to make out a case against the appellant, we find no good ground to interfere in such finding.”

                                  Of course, para 23 then states that, “Even otherwise, the learned counsel for the appellant though made attempt to question the finding on merits but not with seriousness and, in our view, rightly. We, therefore, confirm the finding of conviction and sentence under both the Sections, which is awarded by the Magistrate.” Lastly, para 24 concludes by saying that, “The appeal thus succeeds and is allowed in part. The impugned order is modified only to the extent mentioned in para 21 above.”

                                 No doubt, what has been so elegantly and excellently held by this top court must be implemented strictly. All the lower courts must adhere to it in totality. This is the correct proposition of law as very rightly expounded and explained by the top court! Magistrates must adhere to it and specify whether the sentence awarded is to run concurrently or consecutively in the order! There can be no two opinions about it!


Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,

s/o Col BPS Sirohi,

A 82, Defence Enclave,

Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,

Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh. 
0
It has to be acknowledged, appreciated and applauded right at the outset that in a landmark and laudable judgment titled Satishchandra Ratanlal Shah v State of Gujarat and another in Criminal Appeal No. 9 of 2019 [arising out of SLP (Cri) No. 5223 of 2018] delivered on January 3, 2019 held explicitly that inability of a person to return the loan amount cannot give rise to a criminal prosecution for cheating unless fraudulent or dishonest intention is shown right at the beginning of the transaction. There can be no denying or disputing it! This noteworthy and commendable judgment authored by Justice NV Ramana for himself and Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar of the Apex Court were dealing with an appeal against a High Court order refusing to quash summons issued to the accused in a cheating case.

                           As we see, it is first and foremost pointed out in para 1 that, “Leave granted”. It is then pointed out in para 2 that, “The present appeal is preferred against the impugned judgment, dated 12.04.2018, passed by the High Court of Gujarat, in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 4033 of 2012, wherein the High Court has dismissed appellant’s application seeking quashing of the order framing the charges dated 04.12.2013 by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Criminal Case No. 388 of 2012.”

                                    Be it noted, para 3 then stipulates that, “It is pertinent to note the facts giving rise to the appeal in a detailed manner. The respondent no. 2- complainant is the director of a money lending company by the name of Dharshan Fiscal Pvt. Ltd. The appellant, who is a retired bank employee, approached the complainant’s company in the month of January 2008 for a loan of Rs. 27,00,000/-. Accordingly, the respondent no. 2 transferred the funds as a loan, which was to be repaid by the appellant within a year with interest. Thereafter, the appellant has not repaid the amount back to the respondent no. 2. Further, respondent no. 2 alleged that when he approached the appellant, he was threatened by the appellant with dire consequences. Thereafter, the respondent no. 2 filed a complaint based on which the FIR bearing I/C.R. No. 22/2012, dated 25.01.2012, was filed before the Kagdapith Police Station, Ahmedabad, against the present appellant under Section 406, 409, 417, 420, 294(b) and 506(2) of IPC. On 23.02.2012, the appellant was enlarged on bail by the High Court after being arrested on 29.01.2012. The appellant preferred an application under Section 482 of the Cr.P.C. for the quashing of the FIR bearing I/C.R. No. 22/2012.”

                         As it turned out, it is then envisaged in para 4 that, “The charge sheet No. 28 of 2012 dated 01.03.2012, came to be filed against the appellant under Sections 406, 420 and 417 of IPC. Pursuant to the same, the Magistrate issued summons. The appellant alleged that on 04.12.2013, he was given a copy of the said charge sheet and that the charges were framed by the Metropolitan Magistrate on the same day in a blank sheet without giving him an opportunity of being heard, as the appellant was unaccompanied by any counsel. The appellant alleges that the same was in violation of Section 239 of the Criminal Procedure Code.”

                                 To put things in perspective, we then see that it is stated in para 5 that, “In light of the aforesaid developments, the appellant filed an application seeking amendment of the prayer in Criminal Miscellaneous Application no. 4033 of 2012 wherein he sought for the inclusion of prayer seeking to quash and set aside the charge sheet no. 28/2012 in FIR No. I/C.R. No. 22/2012 and the charges framed by the Metropolitan Magistrate vide order dated 04.12.2013 and all further proceeding carried out in Criminal Case no. 388/2012 pending before the Additional Metropolitan Magistrate.”

                                  It cannot be lost on us that it is then observed in para 6 that, “It is pertinent to note that, simultaneously respondent no. 2 had preferred a summary suit in Summary Civil Suit no. 928/2011 seeking the recovery of Rs. 33,46,225/- which was inclusive of the interest upon the principal amount. The same was admitted on 25.04.2011 and is still pending before the City Civil Judge, Ahmedabad.”

                            Going forward, we then see that para 7 stipulates that, “Vide order dated 12.04.2018, the High Court dismissed the quashing petition preferred by the appellant and directed the trial court to complete the trial within three months. The High Court further went on to observe that, prima facie an offence of cheating under Section 420 is made out but charge under Section 406 pertaining to criminal breach of trust is not applicable in the given factual scenario. However, the High Court did not remove the charges under Section 406 and observed that no case has been made out to get the charges quashed. Aggrieved by the aforesaid dismissal, the appellant has preferred the present Special Leave Petition.”

                       Needless to say, para 8 while elaborating on what counsel on behalf of appellant urged spells out that, “The counsel on behalf of the appellant has urged that a perusal of the complaint would reveal that the allegations as contained in the complaint are civil in nature and the requisite averments so as to make out a case of cheating are absent. Hence, prima facie does not disclose the commission of the alleged offence. Moreover, it is pertinent to note that after filing Summary Suit No. 928 of 2011 on 21.04.2011, the complainant has filed the written complaint dated 05.01.2012 and has attempted to give the cloak of a criminal offence to the present case which is purely civil in nature, just to harass the appellant. Lastly, the criminal complaint filed by the respondent no. 2 is initiated after a lapse of more than three years from the date of offence i.e. 21.03.2008.”

                                Interestingly enough, we then see how para 9 brings out that, “On the contrary, the counsel on behalf of respondent no. 2, while supporting the judgment of the High Court has stated that the appellant had fraudulent intention from the beginning having induced the respondent no. 2 to lend the aforesaid amount of Rs. 27 lacs. Further, the appellant never had the intention to repay the loan even though multiple requests were made to him. The counsel pressed that whether the intention was to cheat from the inception or not is a question of fact and the same can only be decided by trial after appreciating the entire evidence.”

                                More importantly, the Bench then goes on to rightly point out in para 10 that, “Before we analyse the case, it is to be noted that the criminal application preferred by the accused before the High Court was against the order of the Trial Court at the stage of framing of charges, wherein it is the duty of the court to apply its judicial mind to the material placed before it and comes to a clear conclusion that a prima facie case has been made out against the accused. An order for framing of charges is of serious concern to the accused as it affects his liberty substantially. Courts must therefore be cautious that their decision at this stage causes no irreparable harm to the accused.”     

                            What’s more, the Bench then goes on to add in para 11 that, “Coming to the aspect of quashing of the charges, it is well settled that such exercise needs to be undertaken by the High Court in exceptional cases. It is also well settled that the framing of charges being initial stages in the trial process, the court therein cannot base the decision of quashing the charge on the basis of the quality or quantity of evidence rather the enquiry must be limited to a prima facie examination. [refer to State of Bihar vs. Ramesh Singh, 1977 CriLJ 1606].”

                             More pertinently, it is then further added in para 12 that, “Having observed the background principles applicable herein, we need to consider the individual charges against the appellant. Turning to Section 405 read with 406 of IPC, we observe that the dispute arises out of a loan transaction between the parties. It falls from the record that the respondent no. 2 knew the appellant and the attendant circumstances before lending the loan. Further it is an admitted fact that in order to recover the aforesaid amount, the respondent no. 2 had instituted a summary civil suit which is still pending adjudication. The law clearly recognizes a difference between simple payment/investment of money and entrustment of money or property. A mere breach of a promise, agreement or contract does not, ipso facto, constitute the offence of the criminal breach of trust contained in Section 405 IPC without there being a clear case of entrustment.”

                           Continuing in the same vein, it is then added in para 13 while lamenting and acknowledging that, “In this context, we may note that there is nothing either in the complaint or in any material before us, pointing to the fact that any property was entrusted to the appellant at all which he dishonestly converted for his own use so as to satisfy the ingredients of Section 405 punishable under Section 406 of IPC. Hence the learned Magistrate committed a serious error in issuing process against the appellants for the said offence. Unfortunately, the High Court also failed to correct this manifest error.”

                              Having said this, it is then stated in para 14 that, “Now coming to the charge under Section 415 punishable under Section 420 of IPC. In the context of contracts, the distinction between mere breach of contract and cheating would depend upon the fraudulent inducement and mens rea. (See Hridaya Ranjan Prasad Verma v. State of Bihar, (2000) 4 SCC 168). In the case before us, admittedly the appellant was trapped in economic crisis and therefore, he had approached the respondent no. 2 to ameliorate the situation of crisis. Further, in order to recover the aforesaid amount, the respondent no. 2 had instituted a summary civil suit seeking recovery of the loan amount which is still pending adjudication. The mere inability of the appellant to return the loan amount cannot give rise to a criminal prosecution for cheating unless fraudulent or dishonest intention is shown right at the beginning of the transaction, as it is this mens rea which is the crux of the offence. Even if all the facts in the complaint and material are taken on their face value, no such dishonest representation or inducement could be found or inferred.”

                                         Not stopping here, the Bench then proceeding ahead notes in para 15 that, “Moreover, this Court in a number of cases has usually cautioned against criminalizing civil disputes, such as breach of contractual obligations [refer to Gian Singh v. State of Punjab, (2012) 10 SCC 303]. The legislature intended to criminalize only those breaches which are accompanied by fraudulent, dishonest or deceptive inducements, which resulted in involuntary and in-efficient transfers under Section 415 of IPC.”

                      While giving a rap on the knuckles to the High Court, the Apex Court Bench then minces no words in clearly and categorically holding in para 16 that, “However, the High Court appears to have been carried away by the moral element involved in the breach of promise and made certain observations. Being a policy consideration, such suggestion need to be restricted. The aforementioned observations of the High Court were not only unnecessary for the adjudication of this matter, but the same could have been understood as casting some kind of aspersions on the accused. This clearly reflected a loaded dice situation against the appellant herein.”

                                  Furthermore, it is then held in para 17 that, “In our considered opinion, the High Court should have maintained judicial restraint and desisted from making such general observations at this stage of the criminal proceeding, as they may had a bearing on the adjudication of the trial. Therefore, the observations made in paragraphs 42 and 43 of the impugned judgment stand expunged.”

                                      In addition to what has been stated above, the Bench then underscored in para 18 that, “In view of the above, we are unable to uphold the impugned order passed by the High Court in Criminal Miscellaneous Application No. 4033 of 2012 and the same is hereby set aside. The application filed by the appellant under Section 482 of Cr.P.C. is allowed and the proceedings initiated based on the FIR instituted at the instance of respondent no. 2 are hereby quashed.” Lastly, it is then stated in para 19 that, “The appeal is allowed in the aforesaid terms.”

                                         In essence, the Apex Court Bench very clearly and convincingly lays down in simple and plain language that, “Mere inability to repay loan does not constitute cheating”. There has to be a fraudulent or dishonest intention that must be shown right at the beginning of the transaction as it is this mens rea which is the crux of the offence. Only then can it give rise to a case for a criminal prosecution for cheating!

                                This is exactly what Justice NV Ramana and Justice Mohan M Shantanagoudar of the Apex Court have laid down rightly in this noteworthy and commendable judgment! It must be always borne in mind by all judges of all courts right from top to bottom before delivering any judgment in a case like this!   

Sanjeev Sirohi, Advocate,

s/o Col BPS Sirohi,

A 82, Defence Enclave,

Sardhana Road, Kankerkhera,

Meerut – 250001, Uttar Pradesh.
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