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Friday 4 November 2011

“It's proof how deep-rooted untouchability is in our society”-

Judge rubbed his shoes against me, says Justice Karnan
TNN | Nov 4, 2011, 01.38AM IST
CHENNAI: Justice C S Karnan of the Madras high court, who alleged humiliation by fellow judges on November 2 (first reported in TOI), on Thursday said other dalit judges, too, are targeted and their reputation tarnished whenever they assert their self-respect. He added that "more than four or five high court judges" have humiliated him on the basis of his caste and that the National Commission for Scheduled Castes may look into his complaint.
Addressing a crowded press conference in his chambers two days after TOI reported the details of his plea, the judge said he has faced humiliation and embarrassment since April 2009 and it still continues.
"Some judges are very narrow-minded; they seek to dominate dalit judges," Karnan said.
He said he did not rake up the issue all these months as he wanted to safeguard the dignity of the institution. "I was forced to approach the national forum for SCs only after the atrocities crossed tolerable limits," he said, adding that several other dalit judges in the subordinate judiciary too face similar ordeal. "It's a black mark on Indian judiciary," he said.
Justice Karnan claimed that after the National Commission for Scheduled Castes forwarded a copy of his complaint against fellow judges to the Chief Justice of India, he has permitted the panel chairman to hold an inquiry into his allegations.
Asked why he rushed to the forum instead of taking it up with the chief justice of the Madras high court, Karnan said: "The National Commission for SCs is the watchdog for all dalits, including dalit judges, in the country. It is the competent and appropriate body to safeguard the interests of dalits." Justice Karnan reiterated that a judge deliberately rubbed his shoes against him and then trampled a card carrying his (Justice Karnan) name at a function, and said he would reveal the identity of the judge at the time of inquiry. "The judge, sitting cross-legged next to me, touched me with his shoes deliberately and then said sorry. Two other judges were watching it smiling," he said. Justice Karnan claimed that he was discriminated against on basis of caste at several get-togethers such as full court meeting, high tea and dinner. "It's a chain of occurrences, and not once or twice," he said.
On rumours about his transfer, Justice Karnan asked what was the need to do so. "I have given the highest disposal, and all my decisions have been upheld by the higher judicial forum".
The Hindu
“It's proof how deep-rooted untouchability is in our society”
Special Correspondent
The complaint by a sitting judge of the Madras High Court that he was subjected to harassment on the ground that he was a Dalit demonstrated how strong and deep-rooted untouchability was in our society, the Tamil Nadu Untouchability Eradication Front, affiliated to the CPI (M), said on Thursday.
“How disgraceful it is to note that even a High Court judge has been a victim and that the alleged perpetrators are his colleagues on the Bench. No greater proof is needed to show that the shame of untouchability still remains in our society,” the Front's State president P. Sampath said in a statement here.
The sad and painful aspect of this issue was that judges who were in a position to consider appeals arising from verdicts of subordinate courts in cases involving untouchability and caste atrocities were themselves facing such charges, he said.
If despite the existence of stringent laws against untouchability such practices were still rampant, the responsibility for that should not only be borne by society, but should also be shared by limbs of the State such as the judiciary, executive, police and legislature, he said.
Along with advancement in science and technology, even forms of untouchability appeared to have become modern, Mr. Sampath said, adding that this was revealed during field investigation by the front.
Some of the forms of untouchability that activists had come across included a Dalit being chastised and punished for speaking on a mobile phone in front of a caste Hindu, another being pulled up for having a song with assertive lyrics as his phone's ringtone and even matrimonial advertisements that sought alliances with the tag ‘caste no bar' making an exception for Dalits.
The Hindu
Villupuram records highest number of atrocities against Dalits: study
Staff Reporter
Sivaganga tops in pendency in court with 395 cases followed by 358 in Madurai
The statistics on crimes against weaker sections released by the State Crime Records Bureau point out that the atrocities against Dalits do not overwhelmingly hinge on the strength of their population in a specific geographical area.
Pitching a field study on the SCRB data, Madurai-based Evidence, a Dalit rights organisation, has inferred under-recording of Dalit atrocities, even though atrocities against Dalits were independent of the strength of their population.
The SCRB-released data had the following statistics. Villupuram, with largest Dalit population in State, has recorded the highest number of atrocities against Dalits with 103 cases; Virudhunagar with 14{+t}{+h} position in Dalit population recording 99 cases; followed by Madurai (excluding Madurai Corporation) with 28{+t}{+h} position in Dalit population recording 93 cases. The report says Vellore, with second largest Dalit population, recorded 27 incidents and Nilgiris in the 19{+t}{+h} position on atrocity.
However, the field survey by Evidence has recorded gross under-recording of violence against women and children under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act, 1989.
The statistics for an 18-month period from January 2010 to June 2011 point to over 66 incidents of atrocities against women and children. Of these 33 cases, accounting for 50 per cent of cases, fall under rape and sexual harassment.
“The SCRB had recorded just about 24 rape cases under the SC/ST (POA) Act. However, the field study we conducted in just 40 villages of the State revealed nine rape incidents during the same period that went unrecorded under the SC/ST (POA) Act,” says Kathir, Director, Evidence.
Of an average of 1.75 lakh cases registered annually in Tamil Nadu, only 1664 cases (1631 cases on Dalit atrocities and 33 on Tribals) were registered in 2010 under the Act.
According to Mr. Kathir, the State-level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee, mandated to meet every six months to ascertain the functioning of the SC/ST (POA) Act had met just once in 2010 in the last five years.
Pitching its research inference on the SCRB data, the study points to low conviction rates and high pendency rates under the SC/ST (POA) Act.
Despite under-reporting and under-recording of atrocities against Dalits, the conviction rates in crimes against Dalits stood as low as 5 per cent; and at 5.8 per cent conviction in Dalit rapes, with acquittals at 95 per cent.
As of 2010, pendency of cases under the Act stood at 2,092.
Sivaganga has topped in pendency in court with 395 cases; followed by 358 in Madurai; 343 in Villupuram; 277 in Tirunelveli and 205 in Virudhunagar.
The study states that Dalits are pitched against embedded institutional biases at every stage from the recording of complaint up to prosecution and conviction.
The Times Of India
Bigwigs oppose dalit procurement quota, but Sonia mantra does the trick
TNN | Nov 4, 2011, 03.49AM IST
NEW DELHI: The proposal to make it mandatory for central government bodies to source at least 4% of their purchases from enterprises owned by Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes was greeted with scepticism in the Cabinet, before an invocation of Congress president Sonia Gandhi made the doubting Thomases fall in line.
Sources said a number of members of the Cabinet, including three who are in-charge of largePSUs, strongly expressed their reservations about the proposal. One the sceptics doubted there were enough entrepreneurs among dalits/tribals to help the government meet the mandatory requirement, while another expressed the fear of quality being compromised.
The misgivings threatened to hold up the decision when one of the attendees reminded his colleagues that it was Congress president Sonia Gandhi who had made a commitment to give preference to dalit/tribal enterprises in government procurements. The Cabinet minister recalled that Sonia, who visited South Africa in August 2007, was impressed by the country's policy to leverage public procurements to encourage businesses promoted by blacks.
The Congress chief, who shared her experience with her colleagues, made it a point to insist on its incorporation in a meeting she presided over in January 2009 to draft the party's manifesto for Lok Sabha polls. Accordingly, the manifesto committed the party to "use government procurement to stimulate entrepreneurship activities among SCs/STs.
The decision, which will generate business worth at least Rs 7,000 crore annually for dalit and tribal entrepreneurs, is to be implemented through Pune-based Dalit Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
A group of dalit MPs belonging to Congress who feel that the decision will help them counterMayawati politically among the dalits in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh and Punjab called on Sonia to thank her for the initiative. The delegation included chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Castes P L Punia, Prem Prakash Guddu, 'Commando' Kamal Kishore, Ashok Tanwar, Praveen Rashtrapal and J D Seelam.
The Hindustan Times
Placements take off at DU
Shaswati Das Shaswati Das, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, November 04, 2011
Last Updated: 00:58 IST(4/11/2011)
The race to grab the most coveted job has begun at Delhi University (DU). While companies have already started making an appearance in some of DU’s colleges, the university’s Central Placement Cell (CPC) is also leaving no stone unturned in seeking lucrative opportunities forstudents.
“The CPC will begin the first round of placements on November 8, the second round on November 29 and it will go on throughout the year,” said Gulshan Sawhney, deputy dean of students’ welfare.
“The companies are looking at recruiting from across all the streams and profiles, including all post-graduate and undergraduate courses. Some companies are giving strong preference to the physically challenged, OBC and SC/ST candidates,” Sawhney added.
However, despite an impending recession in the global market, a foreign organisation is coming to campus to recruit, raising the competition bar much higher among students.
“This year, the main attraction has come from a Japanese organisation called ‘Uniqlo’, which will recruit students and send them for training in after which they will be placed globally. The package that they are offering is R1.25 lakh per month along with benefits. This company wants managers and supervisors and they will be looking out for the best in DU,” added Sawhney.
Colleges too, have much to be proud of with some popular organisations recruiting from within these campuses.
“This year, the placements have begun even before the B-Schools. So far about 100 students have been placed, with the highest package so far touching R10 lakh. American Express has come to campus for the first time this year and other regular recruiters like Ernst & Young, KPMG and Deloitte have already recruited quite a few students,” said PC Jain, principal, Shri Ram College of Commerce.

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