Don’t S[PIL]L the Fuel!

I am on my way to the business capital of India: Mumbai and I am supposed to reach on 31st May which had been called on for a Bharat Bandh by the opposition parties. I was more worried because the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) is currently led by the supporters of the strike hence eliminating the option of even BEST public buses. I have ordered an Easy Cab but I’m still skeptical yet hopeful of them to ply, of course I don’t see any other option available.

Coming back to the topic, the strike was called in protest of the recent steep hike in the prices of petroleum products. on 30th, I came across an order of Bombay High Court wherein it had asked the Central Government and the petroleum companies namely IOCL and BPCL to file an affidavit in reply to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Rajendra Phanse, general secretary of a group called ‘Dharmarajya Paksha’ in Maharashtra. The bench of Justices R Y Ganoo and N M Jamdar ordered the respondents to explain their stand on increasing the price. [Times of India, Hindustan Times]

There is nothing odd with filing PILs. But with all due respect to the Court and with an opinion that it may have issued the order only when it was pertinent to do so after dealing with the petition, I happen to notice certain peculiar issues in the PIL. I shared a status on my Facebook Page Law School Tips which stated:

A PIL has been filed in the Bombay High Court asking it to term the hike in petrol prices to be ultra-vires of the Constituion as its not backed by the mandate of the Parliament.

Guess what? Court has asked the Central Govt. to file an affidavit in reply!

It was aimed at the unconventional nature of the PIL challenging an economic policy decision. Supreme Court has continuously observed that “it shall not interfere in financial and economic policy decision matters are they are the exclusive domain of the executive and the legislature.”

Facebook Status gone wrong: The status caused a stir when a just became lawyer, ridiculed the status claiming that all the law student who either liked or shared the status were stupid and they do not understand that the Central Government was elected by the people. Just as this came up, some others termed the said lawyer himself as being stupid. Later on few chose to delete their comments. Though I share the same emotions over the hike, I do not share the same view on the petition.

How I see the Hike: The best way to drive people crazy with inflation is to increase the rate of petroleum prices. Not only do the fuel prices increase, the prices of those products which involve transportation get affected, grocery items and vegetables being the worst victims. Though no government would deliberately with an intention to irk its people would stir the prices yet this has to be understood that the UPA Government has failed to control the prices. If we say that the conversion rate of USD-INR has increased we cannot ignore that the prices of crude oil have gone down. Rather, I am not at all getting into the submitting of Indian Government to United States while ruining its relations with Iran. Mr. Jai Ram Ramesh suggested completely doing away with the subsidies which I still can’t get over with. People in India have adjusted to these subsidies for ages. If they are removed then I wonder if people will come on streets rioting. State may tax at some place and may subsidies prices at some other place, but such statements may make a common man puzzled.

Supreme Court has already made it clear on numerous occasions that it does not consist of experts on economy matters in this modern age of specialisation to question them. I am no expert on Constitution can still garner some views:

Issues in the PIL:

Totally Illegal: It has been stated that the hike does not have approval of the Parliament. Examples were given of the past increase in postal and telecom services which were mandated in the budget. However I feel that there remains a difference in both. Petroleum prices are now regulated by public sector players such as Indian Oil Corporation, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. unlike the previous situation where the Government had the major role to play, though the same may not be true with postal services. A comparison here will lead us to the a situation where tomorrow a PIL may claim the increase in call or SMS charges by public players like BSNL to be illegal.

Undemocratic: Of the people, by the people, for the people. This is equally true as the fact that no Government wants to turn its vote bank against itself. The prices increase only when it fails to control it on a different level. If this contention has to be believed then all those actions which do not make us happy are certainly all undemocratic.

Natural Justice: Petitioner said that the hike was against the principles of natural justice, as it is bound to affect the entire population of the country. Fact accepted but the logic? Come on, natural justice? Like seriously?

Ultra Vires to Constitution – Violative of Art. 14: Article 14 of the Constitution of India provides for equality by State (State as per the definition of Art. 12) and this may therefore include public sector companies like IOCL and BPCL. It has been claimed in the PIL that the prices of petroleum products are different in different regions of the Country hence being a geographical discrimination in contravention of Article 14. I try a lot but still fail miserably to concur with this view. Difference in prices is due to different rate of Value Added Tax or VAT applicable in different states and not because Central Government has some ulterior motive in keeping prices different in different states. As I already pointed out different products may be taxed differently in different places, basic aim being the same i.e. revenue collection. If they leverage one item they may ask higher tax for some other item.

For example, Uttar Pradesh has a high rate of VAT applicable leading to a high price of petrol in UP. Samajwadi Parry had declared in its election manifesto to reduce the rate of petrol after coming into power, however ironically they have now refused to do so and yet are participating in the Bandh and more so it still remains a part of UPA.

Its 7 am and the free unwanted speaker in the train has indicated that the breakfast shall be served soon. I feel good as I am hungry and need to re-fuel myself.

In the Democratic Assembly of Uttar Pradesh

In Re Bahujan Samaj Party

v.

Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya Janta Party+, Indian National Congress + and Ors.

[Election Commission of India Notification 1 of 2012]

Along with

National Democratic Alliance, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajvadi Party and Ors.

 v.

United Progressive Alliance

[Anti Incumbency and Corruption Petitions of 2009-2012]

Citation:                [2012] Indian Elections (March) Uttar Pradesh (1)

Judges:                 Hon’ble Voters of Uttar Pradesh

Dates of Hearings: February 8, 2012 to March 3, 2012

Reserved on:         March 3, 2012

Judgment on: March 6, 2012

Counsel for BSP:    Kumari Mayawati (Sr. Adv.)

Counsels for SP:     Mulayam Singh Yadav (Sr. Adv.)

Counsels for BJP:   Arun Jaitely, Sushma Swaraj (Sr. Advs.), Uma Bharti

Counsels for INC:   Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi (Sr. Adv.), Ajit Singh, Rita Bahuguna Joshi

Amicus Curie:         Election Commission of India and Anna Hazare

Key Issues Raised:

  1. Anti Incumbency
  2. Corruption of State and Central Governments
  3. BSP – Bijli-Sadak-Paani
  4. Dalits
  5. Minorities

Other Issues: Development

Keywords: Inflation, Corruption, Muslims, Dalits, Anti-Dalit, Reservation, Cast, Secularism, Higher Cast Poor, Elephants, Rahul Baba.

Ratio:                    Uncertain

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Steve Jobs – The Apple I knew less about

I have never been a great fan of Apple™ products. No hard feelings but I just feel more comfortable with keypad rather than a touch pad. I am not sure of the future but at least as of date, this feeling continues. I have also got to admit that I knew less of Steve Jobs at the time he left the CEO post at Apple Inc  and I only began to read about him when I read of his death. Today, I kind of feel embarrassed that how could I remain ignorant of this great entrepreneur?

The entire day I kept reading articles related to Jobs. The Facebook news feed was full of posts related to him. At some moment I came across Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address being repeated on a News channel. I kept listening to it and by the end of it I was pretty sure that I had become a fan of what Jobs was. I searched for a line I remembered and got the article online and then re-read it. A cancer patient, someone who didn’t know that which moment could become his last and yet, so hopeful for life and still willing to do something new, something which someone has not done before. I loved these lines from his address:

Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

and then something which felt close to my heart:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Another interesting article which I came across was Why Mark Zuckerberg Is The Heir To Steve Jobs’ Legacy.

Entrepreneurship is something which I have always feared of. I feel Jobs is having a new impact on me. Perhaps its the time to add Jobs to my Facebook – People who inspire me section.

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Back to Blog…

My last blog post came on December 11, 2008. Then onwards, my blog address kept on changing but no posts came. From the old Blogspot blog to Now n Later and then to Observer Status; a bit of time was also devoted to Extremely National Party.

Finally I have decided to settle with my own name and my regular number ‘8’. I hope I shall stick to this address. However the Lexcetera love continues to have its effect and this blog shall be redirected also from http://www.lexcetera.com/mohit.

Coming soon with regular posts.

B-EA-T SAT

This incident took place a long time back but still I’m posting it here because it has been one of the most funniest incident happened ever in my life.
Huh……..The morning of 22nd April. After a sleepless night, got up early not for the D-day but coz I had to leave for Nagpur for the BITSAT test with Harsh. Rohit was missing here coz he was in Cuttack and hadn’t filled his forms for the same. While I was packing and getting ready for the Trip, the time in the clock was giving me the ‘creeps. Finally I switched on the PC and sat down for the much awaited (not for me) results. Damn….the CBSE people where again late to put up the results on their website. My finger was on “F5” for a long period till I felt its helplessness, I couldn’t succeed. Finally it was 9 and was the time for my leaving and I was feeling some kinda relieved that at l was gonna hear the results alone somewhere. So finally I decided to shut down the PC but my bro who was together keeping an eye and asked me not to do so as he would keep checking the site………..huh……
“OK……..”
So finally I was getting outta my room when he shrieked: “Its there now…..”
No……………….Damn!!! Why do such things happen to me…………..
“Ok……let’s check it out…….”
I knew what was in stored for me there. I moved to Harsh’s house.
“How was it????”
“Fine.”
“Those bloody CBSEiens gave me just 93 in Computer Science……….How could they do so???”
Confused??? He was not amazed with his marks but actually was angry about it. No one doubted his C++ skills. He was nicknamed by Rohit as Charles Babbage. He had got 100 outta 100 in all the school home exams and had represented some zone in the computer science programming and had done well at COFAS, stood 2nd in the National Cyber Olympiad, a NTSE scholar, KVPY qualified…………….enough !!!
“ I’ll give the paper for re-evaluation, will u??”
I was ready coz I too didn’t expect to get below 85………..
Anyways we moved away and finally were at the Durg junction…………
Thanks God, train was on time…………..otherwise I had the firm faith that nothing good was gonna happen to me the rest of the days of the same academic year…….
Got into the train and got All da best wishes and waved bye to dad………….
I guessed that the people at the front were also moving to Nagpur for the same test. “Again……….” Last time when I was on my way to Bangalore with Rohit, same thing had happened…… This guy had Arihant BITSAT Explorer open in front of him and the elder who was with him and whom we had guessed to be his teacher was guiding him on the questions he had a problem with.
Don’t know if the T.T.E. was waiting for us or if he was eager to make some money….of course black one……. Just as we were in, T.T.E. approached.
“Tickets please”
“Sure”
He checked them and moved to the people who were sitting just in front of us……
“Tickets”
Verifying the tickets, T.T. asked them:
“Sorry, But you’ve got the wrong tickets”
Shocked at what he had heard, Uncle (person in front of me) shouted:
“What”
“Yea, the person with you is a male, but you got the ticket for a female”
“What nonsense!!! Show me the tickets”
T.T.E. was right. He had got the wrong tickets.
“Please wait. I wanna make a call.”
He made the call. Don’t know what benefit he could make by making that call.
“Now when I’ve the wrong tickets, you have the right to fine me. Only thing I can ask you for is to exempt me from this. If you want you can check his identity card. He is a male . Age is also correct and the name in your list is also correct. Only mistake is with the gender……plz………..”
Both the T.T.Es checked the documents and finally decided to give him the relief….
“Ok……But be careful next time………”
Uncle was relaxed!!!
Journey:
The guy on the nearby birth had Chetan Bhagat’s “ Thee Mistakes of My Life” in his hand.
“Howz dat???” an involuntary question from our side……….
“Fine. But not as good as the first two…………..”
Oh…but anyways I’ll buy the book. I was pre-decided.
Suddenly T.T. called me near the gate.
“Take this”
He was giving me a Rs.50 note. I was shocked. What was I getting bribe for???
“What for” I asked.
“I had to give you Rs.50 back naa?”
“NO !!!”
I never knew Nagpur was so near. Just after 5 hours after we had left Bhilai, we were in Nagpur. After we got down we were confused which way to go? Whether towards Paschim or Purab. I asked Harsh to call the Uncle with whom we were going to stay there with. He called him and got the info about reaching his home. We were there within half an hour. Nagpur was not as hot as Bhilai was. We had our lunch. Uncle and aunt there were too much helping. They treated us as if we were their own kids.
Then we went into our room. The room had a TV.
Wow!!! Suddenly Harsh exclaimed.
“You know Mohit, today is da final between ManU n Chelsea……..
“we gotta have our exmas tomorrow dude !!!”
But finally we decided to watch the match.
Suddenly, my cell bipped for a message. It was Henna.
“How were the results?? I got blah %, Harshit got blah %”
“I got blah %. Didn’t do that well yaar. No one happy wid my marks :`(” I replied.
My cell rang. It was Henna again. Don’t know what happened but I cut the call.
She messaged again.
“Hey Sydney (she calls me Sydney…….long fable behind it). What happened. I called coz I tht u r upset n also coz msgng me wud cost u more dan da call charges 😉 ” she meant about the roaming charges
“Oh. Nothin such yaar, I cut coz I ws nt in my room u knw.” I’d to make some excuse and this was the best I could guess that very moment….lol
“Its ok. Don’t be upset……………………………………………”
After the message session, we took a nap and then in the evening had the hot cups of tea, thanks to aunty. After the dinner we were resting in our room and yeah, we had some studies…after all we had an exam the next day. Time was around 12 am and it was the time for match. Harsh switched on the TV. After the match had started Harsh was fully in the match and was on with his comments… I was shocked when suddenly after watching for 1 hour he said that he was going to sleep. When I got up in the morning Harsh was before TV watching the news of the last night.
“ManU won !!”
“Congrats dude”
So when we were ready we left for the exam centre which was at a walking distance. Exam was cool. It was an online exam and in front of every candidate there was an ‘on’ web-cam….huhh. I thought why didn’t they even give a mic too…lol. We met many school friends there at the examination centre. After the exam we went back to our home. In the eve we left home for our train. We gladly thanked uncle and aunt for such a grand care of ours. While we were on station we met five of our school friends on the station. They had missed their train. When we asked the reason we didn’t knew that there was laughter installed there in. They told that they wrongly noted the timings of the train. They had to board the UP train while they had noted the timing of DOWN train. While they were enjoying their lunch in the cafeteria their train passed the station. They realized this only when they inquired about the train. So now they too were boarding the train that we had. As I and Harsh were in reserved class and they didn’t have the reservation for this train, they requested us to please take care of few of their bags to be left in our compartment while they were busy trying to get reservation from the T.T.E.. We didn’t have any problem. When we had left Nagpur those few bags of theirs were with us. The train journey was pleasant as it wasn’t a big journey again When we had reached Dongargarh we thought that the next stoppage was gonna be Durg. So we got ready to get down. In the time I called my dad that we were reaching Durg. We thought that we would be approached by them for their baggage but they didn’t come. Finally when we reached the next stoppage we got down and hurriedly started searching for them to find out if they had got down. But we could not locate them. Our temper was sure to increase. Suddenly Harsh asked me “Look at the sign board, which station this is”. When I looked up I realized that this was gonna be the crappiest and funniest thing that had ever happened to me. It was Rajnandgaon station. We didn’t know that the train had its stoppage at Rajnandgaon too. I didn’t know how to react to the situation. We were laughing at our friends on their missing the train but now we were laughing at ourselves…lol. We told our friends about the thing. It was about 12:15 am. My cell rang and it was dad “where are you?” I didn’t know what to reply him. I told him the story. He asked me to stay there and wait for the next train which was due half an hour later. Don’t know how we passed that time. We were cursing the train that why did it have to stop at that station. When the train Ahmadabad- Howrah exp. reached the station we got into and went to Durg. As it was late in night only a few people were there at the station. My dad met few people who were also waiting for the same train. On the way home he told me that few friends of their sons took their bags and had got down at Dongargarh. Both I and Harsh were left just smiling and looking at each other’s face…………..

Dark Days of Parliament

So finally the long trauma for the central Congress led UPA government is over and it’s at the peace that it can be in power for the next 9 months. Who cares for the way they made it. Its a real shame for the country. It was the real time for the MPs not happy with their party to have their fun and to show their worth. They got pocketful bucks and made the parties dance. Break in was made into almost all major parties including BJP, Shiv Sena, Biju Janta Dal, Telgu Desham, National Conference, Janta Dal (united) and most importantly Samajvadi Party. Defection has now become a common phenomenon in Uttar Pradesh. Sometimes MPs and MLAs move from Behenji to Mulayam ji or sometimes the other way round. The funny thing here is this that the party which prompted itself to the hero of this whole drama is now on backstage. Left parties had thought that they could run government according to their own wishes. I don’t know why the Leftists always have a problem with anything related to US. They don’t want India to be entering into any kinda deal with them. I’m not sure if they would have agreed for the deal if it was to be with their beloved Chinese. Whichever be the party in the centre, communists have only one thing to do and that is to oppose the government. They have problem with everything. Now the Samajvadi Party. Its not a long way off when Mulayam Singh and Amar Singh had alleged Congress for using CBI against them. But now they don’t have the same view about CBI when it’s the case with Behenji. Suddenly CBI for them has become an autonomous body with no interference of government in it. Anyways Samajvadi Party was the second most powerful party of the third front or the UNPA. Now BSP has replaced them and Behenji is the Prime ministerial candidate from their side. It’s worth noticing that Behenji has accused NDA and UPA for an inside coalition so that the so called Dalit woman doesn’t make it to the PM’s post. I’m not of the view that there might be someone who could be convinced that NDA and UPA had formed a coalition just to stop her.
Well………. now everything is over but it has set way for many things. Firstly Somnath Chatterjee is out of CPM and the cases for the bribing of BJP MPs have also started.
For the people like me who had wished for the fall of government, shouldn’t forlorn. The much necessary Nuclear deal can now be smoothly carried further and even if its not complete the next government (hopefully if it’s of NDA) will surely complete it as BJP was never against the deal but as an opposition party couldn’t cease to oppose the bill and wanted it to be “renegotiated”. Having won in states like Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Uttaranchal and Karnataka, BJP is now a bigger power than before. Now the states that BJP has strength in include Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal. The coming elections in the states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi would be of great importance for both Congress and BJP. Chances that BJP will be back in power are strong in the first three. The figure for Delhi is still not clear from here. BJP had won all the seven seats in the previous elections but could regain only one in the current parliament. Lets hope that we don’t have to face another hung parliament this time.
Today Amar Singh expelled the seven MPs from his party. Criminals like Afzal Ansari and Atik Ahmed who were a part of his party have now become criminals for him. Anyways it’s not at all surprising coz it’s the law of politics that a criminal is a saint till he is in your party………
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