SC directs UOI to regularize the Army Porters engaged for more than 10 years

A special vacation bench of the Supreme Court of India comprising JJ Dr. Justice B.S Chauhan and Mr. Justice Deepak Mishra directed the Union of India and the Ministry of Defence to consider the case of regularization of the Army porters who have been engaged for more than 10 years as Army Porters in Nowshera (Rajouri) sector in J&K. The court further directed the Union of India and the Ministry of Defence to consider their appointment on the basis of their service record within a period of four months from the date of judgment.
Prof. Bhim Singh, Sr. Advocate has been representing the porters since 2010. He also filed an appeal before the Army Tribunal which did not hear the matter on the dispute of jurisdiction. Prof. Bhim Singh has been arguing this matter vehemently before the Supreme Court. Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Mr. Altamas Kabir had admitted this matter as an appeal. This appeal was fixed before the vacation bench on the request of Prof. Bhim Singh.
The Supreme Court observed after hearing the final argument, “Admittedly, the appellants had been working as ‘Porters’ in the civilian part of the Army for 15 to 25 years. The Central Administrative Tribunal vide its judgment and order dated 21.5.2009 has taken note of the fact that as per the pleadings taken before the Tribunal that they had been working for 10 to 22 years.
However, the Tribunal rejected their claim placing very heavy reliance on the Constitution Bench judgment of this Court in Secretary, State of Karnataka and Others vs. Uma Devi (3) and Others (2006) 4 SCC 1. Thereafter, the petitioners had been approaching one court or the other but they could not get the relief. When they went to Armed Forces Tribunal, the question of jurisdiction arose and the Tribunal came to the conclusion that it has no jurisdiction to deal with the case of civilian part of the Army.”
The Supreme Court also observed that in view of the fact that the appellants had been working for 15 to 20 years as on today and in view of the paragraph 53 of judgment in Uma Devi (Supra), would come in their aid. The said paragraph is reported below:
“53. One aspect needs to be clarified. There may be cases where irregular appointments (not illegal appointments) as explained in State of Mysore vs. S.V. Narayanappa (1967) 1 SCR 128, R.N. Nanjundappa vs. T. Thimmiah (1972) 1 SCC 409 and B.N.Nagarajan vs. State of Karnataka(1979) 4 SCC 507, and referred to in paragraph 15 above, of duly qualified persons in duly sanctioned vacant posts might have been made and the employees have continued to work for ten years or more but without the intervention of orders of courts or of tribunals. The question of regularization of the services of suchemployees may have to be considered on merits in the light of the principles settled by this Court in the cases above referred to and in the light of this judgment. In that context, the Union of India, the State Governments and their instrumentalities should take steps to regularize as a one time measure, the services of such irregularly appointed, who have worked for ten years or more in duly sanctioned posts but not under cover of orders of courts or of tribunals and should further ensure that regular recruitments are undertaken to fill those vacant sanctioned posts that require to be filled up, in cases where temporary employees or daily wagers are being now employed. The process must be set in motion within six months from this date. We also clarify that regularization, if any already made, but not subjudice, need not be reopened based on this judgment, but there should be no further by-passing of the constitutional requirement and regularizing or making permanent, those not duly appointed as per the constitutional scheme.”
The Supreme Court also quoted the Union of India and others vs. Vartak Labour Union (2) (2011) 4 SCC 200 in support of the porters. The Supreme Court had observed in this case in para 22 that,
“In the facts and circumstances of the instant case, where members of the respondent Union have been employed in terms of the Regulations and have been consistently engaged in service for the past thirty to forty years, of course with short breaks, we feel, the Union of India would consider enacting an appropriate regulation/ scheme for absorption and regularization of the services of the casual workers engaged by the BRO for execution of its ongoing projects.”
Prof. Bhim Singh described the judgment of the Supreme Court as a beacon light to realize the dream of the most exploited Army Porters who shall get their due according to the mandate of the Constitution and principles of natural justice.

Panthers Party’s tributes to Rajiv Gandhi, Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq & Abdul Ghani Lone assassinated on this day

English: Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Delhi

English: Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Delhi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Panthers Party held a meeting in New Delhi, Jammu and Srinagar in memory of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India, Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq, Chairman, Awami Action Committee and Shri Abdul Ghoni Lone, Chairman of Peoples Conference who were brutally assassinated on 21st May, 1991, 1990 & 2002 respectively. Those who participated included Prof. Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of National Panthers Party, Shri Harsh Dev Singh, Chairman of the party, Shri B.S. Billowria, B.S. Sajan, President-DPNPP, Shri Rajiv Jolly Khosla, Shri K.K. Manhotra, Chairman, National Bahujan Party among others.
Prof. Bhim Singh in his tributes to the assassinated leaders that the youth of the country should take a lesson that violence is not a solution to any political problem. He said, can only be resolved by understanding, dialogue and honesty.
Prof. Bhim Singh was closely associated with all the three leaders at different stages and in different situations. Prof. Bhim Singh reminded that Shri Rajiv Gandhi had invited him to join political campaign in 1991 in Bihar & Uttar Pradesh. “Shri Rajiv Gandhi spoke to me on telephone on 19th evening and invited to join him in the election campaign on behalf of the Panthers Party. Shri Rajiv Gandhi had spent one week in Assembly campaign in 1983 in Chenani Assembly Constituency where the Congress was defeated and I won. Shri Rajiv Gandhi was the second person to congratulate me on my victory. The first person to congratulate me was Mrs. Gandhi herself. Shri Rajiv Gandhi would have transformed India into rosy revolution had he survived”, said Bhim Singh in his tributes.
In his memorial lecture, Prof. Bhim Singh said that he had wonderful days with Abdul Ghani Lone inside and outside the Assembly as well as in the prisons. Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq was one of the most trusted friends of Prof. Bhim Singh. Assassination of these Kashmiri leaders was a terrible blow to peace and human dignity.
 

No election in J&K without Delimitation Warns National Panthers Party

“J&K National Panthers Party has threatened that there shall be no Assembly or Parliamentary election in J&K if Delimitation is not held in the State. The party accused the Congress-NC ruled state for discriminating with the people of J&K by keeping the state out of the Delimitation process. This demand has been addressed to Shri N.N. Vohra, the Governor of J&K urging him to exercise his constitutional power to hold Delimitation of the Assembly constituencies before holding the election for the next Legislative Assembly in the State.”
Prof. Bhim Singh, the Chief Patron and Founder of the Panthers Party in his memorandum to the Governor has urged him to take stock of the entire situation and the mischievous role being played by the ruling clique in the state. He accused the UPA government also for kneeling before the Abdullah family to surrender its authority before an unconstitutional authority. He pointed out that Delimitation was held after the census of 2001 throughout the country by the Kuldip Singh Delimitation Commission except J&K. He said that the Panthers Party had moved the High Court and the Supreme Court in this regard but could not succeed, mainly for the reason that the effects of the census 2001 were getting diluted because of the fresh census of 2011.
The Panthers Party Supremo has raised the most important issue of reservations. He pointed out that there are seven Assembly constituencies reserved for the SC only in Jammu Pradesh for the past 18 years. Because J&K Assembly has a term of six years which itself is violative of the mandate of the Constitution. However, he said that there is no justification nor there is any mandate of the Constitution to continue reservations for 40 years without rotation. This is, he declared, a criminal discrimination against the people of Jammu that the non-Scheduled Caste electorates of the seven Assembly (reserved) segments are denied their fundamental rights to contest Assembly election for 40 years. This is a glaring example of violation of Article 14, 19, 21 among other provisions of the Constitution and shall not be accepted by the people. He said both the Congress and NC are responsible for this criminal conspiracy against the people of Jammu to humble them, disgrace them, humiliate them only because they are the Dogras and they belong to Jammu Pradesh. Why J&K was ignored from the Delimitation process?
Prof. Bhim Singh said that the Scheduled Tribes have legal entitlement of political reservation in the Assembly. The present government did not go for Delimitation because they do not want to grant reservation to the Gujjars, Bakerwals and the Gaddies.
Prof. Bhim Singh urged the Governor for his urgent intervention in this regard. He said that the party shall take up the battle from the streets to the Supreme Court to ensure that people shall not suffer from discrimination at the hands of NC and the Congress.

NPP Supremo urges Pak PM-Designate to respond to call of history to build bridges of peace between Islamabad & DelhiNPP Supremo urges Pak PM-Designate to respond to call of history to build bridges of peace between Islamabad & Delhi

Prof. Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of National Panthers Party & Member of National Integration Council has urged in a letter addressed to Janab Mian Nawaz Sharief, the Prime Minister-Designate of Islamic Republic of Pakistan to respond to call of history to build bridges of peace between Islamabad and New Delhi so that the Indian sub-continent shall lead the peace process in response to the aspirations of the people of India and Pakistan.
In his letter to Janab Nawaz Sharief, the NPP Supremo demanded the release of all Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails. He urged the Prime Minister-Designate that about 30 prisoners who have completed their sentences in Pakistani jails should be repatriated to India without any delay. He also said that those who have completed their sentences need to be repatriated without any condition. He also hoped that Janab Nawaz Sharief may take steps to repatriate all Indian prisoners who have completed five years in Pakistani jails and take steps that trials of the remaining prisoners (about 300 of them except fishermen) are completed within one year.
He said in his letter that the Supreme Court of India has directed Govt. of India to expedite the trials of all the Pakistani and other foreign prisoners and should be completed within one year. He said that Supreme Court of India has directed the Govt. of India to release all Pakistani prisoners (all foreign prisoners) immediately who have completed their respective sentences in the Indian jails. More than 300 of them have already been released in the past three years by the direction of the Supreme Court of India on the writ petitions filed by the Panthers Party, State Legal Aid Committee & other representatives of the Panthers Party. The NPP Supremo also urged the Prime Minister-Designate to take appropriate steps for the identification of about 29 Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails, most of them in Amritsar jail who are under medical care being declared as ‘mentally challenged’. They have completed their sentences and there are no cases pending against them in India.
Prof. Bhim Singh has also urged the PM-designate of Pakistan to find a reasonable mechanism so that the residents of both sides J&K may cross LoC/LAC with passports issued by the their respective sides India and Pakistan. This will be a great gesture to the residents of the both sides of J&K to move across the LAC without much problem. This is the only way to make LOC/LAC irrelevant.
The letter addressed by Prof. Bhim Singh to Janab Nawaz Sharief today has been reproduced below:-
“The nature has granted your honour a great opportunity in the history to build bridges of peace between Islamabad and New Delhi. These are the aspirations of the people of both sides of the international borders that people of Pakistan and India live in peace and harmony in the same way they had been living for hundreds of years before 1947. Ten years of your struggle combined with unprecedented patience and new imagination to rebuild roads to democracy in Pakistan shall remain an everlasting page in the political history. The nature has played a unique role and this is the time that you have to write the second chapter to build new bridges of peace between Islamabad and New Delhi.
We are all aware about the new challenges before you in the coming years as the Prime Minister of Pakistan but we are also aware about the determination God has vested in you to continue the battle for peace, development and cooperation.
The political scenario in Gilgit-Baltistan and Muzaffrabad may attract your first attention. LoC/LAC in J&K is an extraordinary situation which can be resolved with confidence and realization of the existing realities of the present combinations and permutations prevailing in Asia and in the sub-continent.
‘Wisdom lies in daring’ and you have demonstrated it on record by the declaring to constitute a commission of inquiry on the ‘Kargil war’ of 1999. Your visit to the USA before you were overthrown needs to be brought to the notice of the people of Pakistan. It was your courageous decision not to allow Pentagon (US Army) to settle in Baltistan. You realized the consequences, refused to budge an inch even at the cost of your life and power. It is important for India and Pakistan to understand that ‘Dixon Plan’ is a serious threat to the security of both, India and Pakistan. The US has not given up her designs to settle their military bases on the foothill of Himalayas to keep watch over China. This game plan you did not allow in 1999. And I am sure you shall keep it up so that the roots of democracy are entrenched well on the soil of Pakistan, so that the elected representatives shall not face expulsions, exiles and jails at the hands of unconstitutional authorities.
I would like to suggest that the first message that you may send from Islamabad across the international borders to the people of India should touch the hearts of common people. There are more than 300 Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails. Those who have completed more than five years as under trials or as convicts may be given General Amnesty and repatriate to their homes. There are about 30 Indian prisoners in Pakistani jails who have exhausted their sentences and deserve to be repatriated without delay. This will be a great gesture to the people of both the countries. The trials of the rest of the Indian prisoners can be expedited. If your government permits, the State Legal Aid Committee, I heading in India shall take take care of their defence.
As far Pakistani prisoners in the Indian jails, I have been fighting for their release in the Apex Court, the Supreme Court of India for the past 10 years. More than 300 of Pakistani (including POK) prisoners have been released by the orders of the Supreme Court of India on petitions filed by me, the Panthers Party or State Legal Aid Committee. There are 264 Pakistani prisoners (excluding fishermen) in the Indian jails. Most of them had come with guns to J&K and you know for what. I am sure that most of the Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails may be released by the court this year. In the Indian Constitution, there is Article 21 of the Constitution of India which guarantees fundamental right to life and liberty to every person and any person (irrespective of his/her nationality or home). The Supreme Court of India has been intervening under this Article that ensured the release of foreign prisoners who had completed their sentences. During my visit to Pakistan in 2007, several parents, of the prisoners in the Indian jails met me at Press Club of Islamabad seeking my legal support for the release of their wards. I was amazed to find a large banner in Urdu hanging on the wall of the Press Club reading ‘Bhim Singh Insaan Nahin, Farishta Hai’. This message from the suffering parents of the Pakistani prisoners in India gave to me was very strong as it was the voice of the voiceless parents whose children were suffering in Indian jails.
I assure you, Nawaz Sharief sahib that your unconditional gesture in this regard shall open the windows of hope for the Pakistani prisoners in India also. Punjab Govt. has appointed a Judicial Committee to probe the murder of Sarabjit Singh. Equity demands that similar probe into the death of Chamel Singh of Jammu, the Indian prisoner in Lahore Jail should be instituted in the interest of justice and rule of law.
I also hope that you may consider my suggestion that residents of both sides of J&K should be allowed to visit the respective sites with valid passports of the respective countries across the LAC/LoC. This will provide a great relief to the residents of both sides of J&K. Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, had declared long ago that he would like to see the LAC/LoC turned irrelevant. We all are waiting for your humane respond in this regard, after you take over as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, with the grace of God, for the third time.
Hopefully I shall see you in Islamabad, if I am lucky to get visa for Pakistan on the day of your installation as Prime Minister.”

NPP Supremo urged PM for his urgent intervention to rescue earthquake affected residents of Doda, Chenani

Prof. Bhim Singh, Chief Patron of National Panthers Party and Member of National Integration Council (NIC) urged Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh for his urgent intervention to save the lives of thousands of earthquake affected residents of erstwhile Doda District who have been facing tremours since 1st May, 2013. In his most immediate letter to Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India, Prof. Bhim Singh demanded that a Central Team to study the situation and provide quick relief to the suffering people in the Districts of Doda and Kishtwar should be dispatched. He urged the Prime Minister to send a monitoring team so that the relief provided by the Central government should reach the affected persons directly lest the corrupt government fails the Centre efforts to help the people of the area.
Prof. Bhim Singh also sought the intervention of the Prime Minister to provide adequate compensation, relief and security to the petty farmers of Chenani (Lower Mada) whose houses have been damaged or devastated by the criminal negligence of M/s.   Leighton Welspul Contractors Pvt. Ltd., Lower Mada, Chenani. He has accused the coalition government for robbing and cheating the farmers.
The letter addressed to the Prime Minister by Prof. Bhim Singh is reproduced as under:-
“The residents of erstwhile Doda District have been under the wrath of nature since May 1, 2013 when earthquake shook most of the areas in the District on May 1, 2013. It was nearly a similar situation that brought disaster in Karnah Tehsil of Tangdhar area in the Kupwara District in 2005.
A team of JKNPP led by its President, Shri Balwant Singh Mankotia, MLA visited several earthquake affected areas yesterday. Another team led by Syed Mohd. Rafiq Shah, MLC, President Young Panthers also visited several far-flung areas in the Doda District. The reports on the ground situation dispatched by JKNPP leaders suggest that the State government has failed to take measures necessary to provide appropriate relief to the families dislodged from their homes in thousands. The JKNPP team after visiting Bhaderwah, Prem Nagar, Thathri, Doda, Kishtwar (Kishtwar District) have made a strong appeal to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh for his urgent and immediate intervention.
1.    The Hon’ble Prime Minister may be pleased to send a Central Team to the earthquake affected areas without any delay to study the loss of property and take appropriate action to provide adequate relief to the suffering people of the area.
2.    The Hon’ble Prime Minister may be pleased to rush immediate ad-hoc relief to the families turned homeless and shelter less. They need urgent medical care, children need continuity in schooling, thousands need tents to provide them protection from rain and the sun. There is an urgent need provide them ration so that the people may feel mentally, physically and psychologically secured.
3.    Any financial assistance from the Centre should be monitored by a representative of the PMO who should be directed to sit at District Headquarters in Doda & Kishtwar. This may ensure that the assistance meant for the affected people reaches straight to the affected families.
4.    A similar situation has arisen in Chenani Tehsil following the damages caused to the houses and properties of the local residents of Chenani and Mada Panchayats. M/s. Leighton Welspul Contractors Pvt. Ltd., Lower Mada Chenani had acquired the agricultural land of the petty farmers at throw away price with the connivance of the ruling clique. This is very important for every national leader to understand that in J&K a Hindu Joint Family cannot have more than 12 acres of agricultural land. Acquiring that piece has caused a disaster for the family. The compensation to the farmers has to be on different footing all together. The company without paying full compensation started digging the tunnel road to connect the tunnel site leasting realising that the residential houses of the people in the area who belong to erstwhile state of Chenani (This state was founded during the times of Mahabharata and 54 generations ruled the state till 1947). I have represented this state (constituency) for two terms and feel my responsibility to ensure that the people of this area are not robbed of their properties or cheated by the NC-Congress rule which has all along remained hostile to the people of Chenani.
The company started digging process for the road connectivity with criminal intension which has caused a devastating effect to the entire area. Dozen of houses have either collapsed or have been damaged. The residents of the area have been turned homeless and I found them lying on the road side without any assistance from the administration. This is pity that the administration has been working as bonded labour for the company. The company has been behaving as colonial masters. I would like to request to Hon’ble Prime Minister to intervene so that appropriate compensation is paid to the farmers for their agricultural land, the only source of their survival. The company should be made to pay appropriate compensation to the families who have been dislodged from their houses because of the criminal negligence of the company.
I hope and trust that justice shall be delivered to the voiceless people of  the area.”