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Follow ‘true spirit’ of Constitution, not individuals: Justice AK Goel at HP LSA lecture series

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Justice sanjay karol with Justice Goel

 The day, people of India would be able to understand that instead of following the politicians or political figures, people should follow the spirit of the Constitution, they will realize its power.

Shimla: The Supreme Court judge, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, on October 7, 2017, inaugurated the fifth lecture in the series of lectures titled “Different Facets of Indian Constitution” being organized by the Himachal Pradesh Legal Services Authority (HP LSA).

The event was held at the new auditorium of the State High Court. It was attended by over 300 students of law and teaching faculties from various law universities.

The purpose of this series is to spread legal awareness among all sections of the society and to empower them.

In his welcome address, Justice Sanjay Karol, acting Chief Justice of the High Court, said Justice Goel is a great scholar, a jurist who is also known for his simplicity, and a sage who is full of knowledge and wisdom.

He has delivered several landmark judgments taking into consideration the ground realities. He is also one of the two judges in SC division bench hearing the case related to Vijay Mallya.

HP SLA Lecture Series

Along with showering appreciation over Shimla city, Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel spoke over a very sensitive topic – allegiance to the true spirit of the Indian Constitution instead of following individual figures as heroes.

One must not follow or treat any individual as a hero; rather we must understand and follow the true spirit of the Constitution,

Justice Goel said in his inaugural speech.

This statement holds the key to the healthy democracy and dream of corruption free India. The day, people of India would be able to understand that instead of following the politicians or political figures, people should follow the spirit of the Constitution, they will realize its power.

However, first the people need awareness about their constitution and this is the purpose of the State Legal Authority.

As a reminder to the government, he said the first and foremost duty of the State is to ensure the “welfare of its people” and to secure “justice for all”, which is the guiding spirit of the Constitution.

A great debate is going on among the great jurists in the Constituent Assembly as to how the principals of Equality, Liberty and Fraternity can be achieved and how justice can be secured for all, he said.

Justice Goel at HP SLA Lecture Series

He praised Shimla city of its great attractions and simplicity of the inhabitants.

Himachal Pradesh is one of the unique places on the Earth,

he said

He referred to the concluding speech delivered by Dr. B R Ambadker in the Constituent Assembly and said,

Dr. Ambadker was the greatest Jurist that India has ever had.

The ultimate aim behind the adoption of the Constitution is to secure “justice for all” enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution. The Preamble is the soul of the Constitution of India, he said.

Justice Goel said that there are several incidents described in the great epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana which shows us how the “Rule of Law”, was maintained in the society at that time.

Referring to “Chanakya”, he said that almost in every age, India had well-defined sets of laws as a mean to maintain good governance.

During the British rule in India, there was a so-called rule of law, but there was no justice for the common people,

said Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel.

Justice Goel appreciated the initiative of the HPSLS A for the organization of the lecture series and said it is rendering a great service to people in providing “access to justice for all”.

The lecture was also attended by Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan, Justice Sureshwar Thakur,   Justice Vivek Singh Thakur,  Justice Ajay Mohan Goel,  Justice Sandeep Sharma, Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia, Judges of HP High Court, Former Judges,. V.K. Sharma, Chairman, H.P. Administrative Tribunal, P.S.Rana, President State Consumer Commission,  Assistant Solicitor General of India ,  President High Court Bar Association, Senior Advocates and Bar Member.

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HP Health Dept Scam: Vigilance Probe an Eyewash, ‘Medical Mafia’ Given Time to Destroy Evidence, Alleges CPI(M)

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Himachal PRadesh Health department scam vigilance probe

Shimla-The alleged scams in the Health Department of Himachal Pradesh Government in the purchase of medical equipment like PPE kits, ventilators, sanitizers etc. in a time of a pandemic has shocked the people. Alleged corruption in the Government Departments has come as a shock because during an emergency like corona pandemic when the positive cases are still spiraling upward in the State, it was expected that corrupt officials and politicians would spare the people as it was about their lives.  

Also Read: HP Health Dept Scam: Accused Director Granted Bail

The State Government led by the Chief Minister Jairam Thakur might have ordered a probe into the scam but questions are being raised over the authenticity of these investigations as influential politicians from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have been linked to these scams.

Also Read: Official Suspended in ‘HP Secretariat Sanitizer Scam’

The opposition, some senior leaders of the ruling party, MLAs, and activists in the State are of the opinion that the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau is just another tool under the State Government. Chief Minister Jairam Thakur is running the Health Ministry, and the sudden resignation of BJP Chief Rajeev Bindal after a week the scam came to light has already raised several questions.

Also Read: HP Health Dept Scam: There is More to It Than Just Alleged Bribery

The opposition Congress and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) have been expressing fears of biased investigations in which justice won’t be served. Both had been demanding transfer of the case to the State High Court. Congress has already submitted a memorandum regarding the same to the Governor. On June 3, 2020, Theog MLA Rakesh Singha with a delegation of CPI(M) also met the Governor with a demand of transferring the case to the State High Court for a fair probe.   

In its memorandum, the party said that there is prima facie evidence to establish the failure of the government to prevent corruption in the purchase of vital health equipment required to combat corona pandemic. 

Also Read: HP Health Dept Issues Clarification Over Alleged Irregularities in ‘Ventilator Purchase’

In the memorandum, the party cited several reasons to convince the Governor that the Vigilance Inquiry instituted by the HP Government is just an eye wash.

Following are the reasons/facts cited in the memorandum:

(Note: The below-given information has not been edited by Himachal Watcher and published as mentioned in the memorandum)

  1. The Vigilance investigation failed to take steps between 21.05.2020 and 25.05.2020 to siege relevant documents, question the possible chain of culprits, and take relevant persons in their custody when one of the accused Dr. AK Gupta was allowed admission in IGMC. In fact, it is with the tacit approval of the Vigilance that the accused was permitted to avoid investigation at the earliest point of time and opportunity was given to the “Medical Mafia” to destroy relevant evidence available. Political Powerful of the ruling party are remote controlling the Corruption Gangsters.
  2. It is indigestible that Mr. Prithvi Singh the Marketing Manager of Apex Diagnostics and Former President (SC Morcha) BJP, District Sirmour was not taken into custody under the provisions of Section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption (Amended) Act 2018. He has been given preferential treatment for obvious reasons.
  3. The of the Vigilance team is determined to exonerate the accused, which is evident from the fact that by examination of the purchase of various items essential for dealing COVID19 pandemic would have unearthed another corruption deal of the 10 ventilators purchased by the Health Department. Which, as per the report of the Danik Jagran, the so-called ventilator were purchased for approximately Rupees Ten lacs each while the same ventilator cost approximately Rupees 3 lacs only. Had it not been for the vigilante media, this vital fact would also have been brushed under the carpet.

Moreover, historically the organ of Vigilance department has been used as a tool by successive governments:

(i) To dilute the obvious resentment of the people whenever corruption cases are brought to light by the media, by competing groups attempting to corner the fruits of corrupt practices, or unearthing corrupt deals by progressive forces in the society.

(ii) To shield the corrupt but at the same time create illusions amongst the people that the government is serious on the issue of corrupt practices and the culprits would not be spared.

“ You are also well aware under the era of crony capitalism the nexus of the corporate, bureaucracy and politicians needs to be smashed to save the system from a total collapse which is heading towards given the depth and intensity of the crises which is the visible world over,”

the memorandum stated.

Therefore, the party requested the Governor to intervene under the special  powers bestowed  on his honorable office  by the Constitution  of India to direct the government  on specific  issues i.e.:

  1. To direct the Government to hand over the corruption case of purchase of medical items and equipment (e.g. Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs), sanitizers etc.) being investigated by the Himachal Pradesh Vigilance department to the Hon’ble High Court for appropriate directions as well as investigations.
  2. To direct the Himachal Pradesh Government to place all fund collections received by it for combating COVID-19 pandemic in the public domain by publishing a white paper.
  3. To advice the Government to constitute an Ethical Committee for approval of all medical equipment purchased for dealing with COVID-19 as mandated per the Medical Devices Rules, 2017 and abide by the guidelines of the Drug Controller General of India in relation to items which fall within its purview. The system should be placed to put all the details of purchases, tenders and stock be placed in the public domain, preferably on Government web site.

 

 

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Patwari Recruitment: High Court Dismisses Petition Alleging Irregularities in Holding Exam

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Himachal PRadesh Patwari Recruitment Cleared by High Court

Shimla-While hearing a petition, the State High Court, Himachal Pradesh, on June 3, 2020, cleared the State Government of allegations of irregularities in the recruitment of Patwaris.

More than three lakh candidates had applied for appearing in this examination and about three lakh candidates appeared in it for approximately 1200 vacancies.  As many as 1150 candidates passed the examination but the further process remained pending due to the petition.

On November 17, 2019, a written examination was conducted through various Deputy Commissioners in different districts. Some candidates challenged the recruitment of the Patwaris in the State High Court, alleging irregularities in the recruitment.

State Government filed a detailed reply on this appeal and stated that there was no irregularity. One of the candidates, who had challenged the appeal had not even appeared in the examination, the State Government said.

Jal Shakti Minister Mahender Singh and Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that on January 8, 2020, State High Court asked to further investigate the matter.  CBI filed a detailed investigation report in this regard on May 29, 2020. High Court observed that as per CBI’s report, nothing objectionable was about the conduction of the examination and selection process. The court then dismissed the petition.

“The leaders of the opposition were raising unnecessary hue and cry in this regard, which was completely baseless,”

said Mahender Singh and Suresh Bhardwaj in a joint statement.

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Kinnaur Reports Its First Two Cases, 10 Others Reported from Five Districts  

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Himachal Pradesh COVID-19 cases on June 3, 2020

Shimla– According to the daily COVID-19 bulletin (5:00 PM) released by the Health Department for June 3, 2020, 12 cases were reported from Kangra, Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Shimla, Mandi, and Kinnaur district, taking tally for the Himachal Pradesh to 357.

Kinnaur entered the list of COVID-19 affected districts as it reported its first two cases – a man and his wife who had returned from Delhi. Their 10-year-old son also accompanied the parents during the travel but was tested negative.  They were under institutional quarantine. Now, Lahaul-Spiti is the only district where no case has been reported so far.

Kangra district reported four new cases. While Hamirpur reported two new cases, Bilaspur and Shimla reported one case each. Shimla reported its 10th case as a returnee from Delhi who belongs to Rampur tested positive. He was under institutional quarantine at a centre in Juri.

In Kangra district, the COVID-19 tally has reached 96 with four new cases. One of the persons, a resident of Golwan village in Fatehpur, was said to have no travel history, which has become a matter of worry for the district administration. Another person out of these four, who had returned from Delhi in an Air India flight, also tested positive. The Superintendent of Police, Vimukt Ranjan, has confirmed the report. Further, a girl from the Shahpur area was also tested positive. She had returned from Delhi in a Spice Jet flight. The fourth person had returned from Madhya Pradesh on May 27. He was identified as a resident of Fatehpur.

District-Wise COVID-19 Cases in Himachal Pradesh Till June 3, 2020 (5:00 PM)

Himachal Pradesh First COVID-19 cases in Kinnaur

Mandi also reported two cases in which 23-year-old and 26-year-old residents of Sundernagar testes positive for COVID-19.

In Hamirpur, two persons who had returned from Delhi and Chandigarh were tested positive. Both were under institutional quarantine. With these new cases, the total number has risen to 114 in Hamirpur, of which 74 are active.

In Bilaspur district, a 31-year-old tested positive. The person was identified as a resident of Solan, who was stopped at Bilaspur-Punjab border while he was returning from Delhi in his vehicle and was placed under institutional quarantine at Swarghat.

Further, eight patients – two in Una and six in Kangra district – have recovered. So far, 144 patients have recovered and 204 cases are still active. Result of 1061 samples sent for testing on Wednesday was awaited.  

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