Friday, April 20, 2018

[National Election Watch news] Crimes against women declared by sitting MPs & MLAs: In past 5 yrs, 26 given ticket with self-declared rape charges; Maharashtra tops the chart with 12 MPs/ MLAs with cases on crimes against women

Press Release

 19th April, 2018

Analysis of MPs/MLAs with Declared Cases Related to Crimes against Women

Dear friends,

Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch have analyzed 4845 out of 4896 election affidavits of current MPs and MLAs. It includes 768 out of 776 affidavits of MPs and 4077 out of 4120 MLAs from all the states of India.

For complete report with details of IPC sections related to crimes against women declared by sitting Rajya Sabha, Lok Sabha MPs and Members of Legislative Assemblies, please refer to: 

Summary and Highlights

Out of 1580(33%) MPs/ MLAs analysed with declared criminal cases, 48 have declared cases related to crimes against women.

Among these 48 MPs/MLAs with declared cases related to Crimes s against women, 45 are MLAs and 3 are MPs.

327 candidates analysed who had declared cases related to crimes against women, were given tickets by recognized political parties.

118 independent candidates analysed with declared cases related to crimes against women had contested for Lok/Rajya and state assembles’ elections in last 5 years.

Among these candidates, 40 candidates were given tickets by parties for Lok Sabha / Rajya Sabha elections. Various recognized parties have given tickets to 287 candidates with cases related to crimes against women for state assemblies’ elections.

In the last 5 years, 18 independent candidates with declared cases related to crimes against women contested in the Lok Sabha/ Rajya Elections. Similarly, 100 independent candidates with declared cases related to crimes against women contested in the state assemblies’ elections.

Among the states, Maharashtra has the highest number of MPs/ MLAs i.e. 12, followed by West Bengal with 11 , Odisha and Andhra Pradesh each with 5 MPs/MLAs who have declared cases related crimes against women.

·    Among the states in the last 5 years, Maharashtra has the highest number of candidates i.e. 65, followed by Bihar with 62 and West Bengal with 52 candidates who were given tickets by political parties even though they have declared cases related to crimes against women in their affidavits.

·  Among various recognized parties, BJP has the highest number of MPs/ MLAs i.e. 12, followed by SHS (Shiv Sena) with 7 and AITC (All India Trinamool Congress) with 6 MPs/MLAs who have declared cases related crimes against women.

·  Among the major parties in the last 5 years, 47 candidates with declared cases related to crimes against women were given tickets by BJP. The second highest number of candidates, i.e. 35 who had declared cases related to crimes against women were given tickets by BSP, followed by 24 candidates from INC who had declared cases related to crimes against women who had contested for Lok/Rajya Sabha and State Assemblies Elections in last 5 years.

·  Following are 3 MLAs who have declared have declared cases related to rape :

Gonuguntla Suryanarayana from TDP who has won from Dharmavaram constituency in Andhra Pradesh (2014)
Jethabhai G.Ahir from BJP who has won from Shehra constituency in Gujarat (2017)
Gulab Yadav from RJD who has won from Jhanjharpur constituency in Bihar(2015)
·  In the last 5 years, recognized parties have given tickets to 26 candidates who had declared cases related to rape.

·  In the last 5 years, 14 independent candidates with declared cases related to rape have contested for Lok/Rajya Sabha and State assemblies’ elections.

Recommendations of ADR

All major political parties give tickets to candidates with cases of crimes against women especially rape and therefore hindering the safety and dignity of women as citizens. These are serious cases where charges have been framed and cognizance have been taken by the courts. Hence, political parties have been in a way abetting to circumstances that lead to such events that they so easily but vehemently condemn in Parliament’. ADR and NEW strongly recommends that:

·          Candidates with a serious criminal background should be debarred from contesting elections.

·          Political parties should disclose the criteria on which candidates are given tickets.

·          Cases against MPs and MLAs should be fast tracked and decided upon in a time bound manner.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Chelameswar letter text: ‘Bonhomie between judiciary, government sounds death knell to democracy’

On March 21, Supreme Court judge Jasti Chelameswar wrote a letter to Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra flagging government interference in judiciary. In the letter, the second-senior most judge in the country took exception to the Karnataka Chief Justice launching a probe against a subordinate judge based on a complaint forwarded directly by the Union government. In the letter, copied to all other judges of the Supreme Court, Justice Chelameswar sought a full court sitting to discuss the problems.

This is the full text of the letter:

Lord Bingham in his book ‘The Rule of Law’ said that “there are countries in the world where all judicial decisions find favour with the powers that be, but they are probably not places where any of us would wish to live”. Let us also not live where Bingham loathed to live.

We, the judges of the Supreme Court of India, are being accused of ceding our independence and our institutional integrity to the Executive’s incremental encroachment. The Executive is always impatient, and brooks no disobedience even of the judiciary if it can. Attempts were always made to treat the Chief Justices as the Departmental Heads in the Secretariat. So much for our “independence and preeminence” as a distinct State organ.

Someone from Bangalore has already beaten us in the race to the bottom.The Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court has been more than willing to do the Executive bidding, behind our back.

I read with dismay and disbelief the “confidential report” sent to the Hon’ble Chief Justice by Shri Dinesh Maheswari, the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court. To begin with, it was unasked for. Second, it is uncalled for. The confidential report blatantly records the impropriety of the executive directly contacting the High Court to reassess a collegium recommendation of the Supreme Court.

It is a moot proposition that any Principal & Sessions Judge is the administrative head of the district he works in. He has to exercise his supervisory, and “disciplinary” power over all other judicial officers in that district.

From the letter of the Hon’ble Chief Justice, Karnataka, the following facts can be culled out. In 2014, when Shri Krishna Bhat, a District & Sessions Judge, was working in Belagavi district, he sent to the High Court a report concerning the (mis)conduct of Ms. M.S. Shashikala, a 
Judicial Magistrate of First-Class. The High Court registered a vigilance case (HVC) No.93/2014 but did not choose to act upon the same till 18.02.2016. Till that time, Krishna Bhatt had faced no allegations from any quarter, including his subordinates.

With Shri Krishna Bhatt’s elevation around the corner, Ms. M.S. Shashikala chose to complain against him.

If such retaliatory complaints are entertained, no career conscious judge would ever risk disciplining his subordinates.

From the material available on record, it appears that Ms. M.S. Shashikala offered her resignation in April 2016 and withdrew it in June 2016. The then Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court was asked to provide the details and background of Ms. Shashikala’s resignation. The then Chief Justice, after inquiring into the issue, sent two confidential reports dated 14.10.2016 and 14.11.2016. He asserted that the allegations levelled against Shri P Krishna Bhatt were incorrect and concocted. He has found that Ms. M.S. Shashikala has made her allegations only to malign Shri P Krishna Bhatt.

In the meanwhile, acting on the recommendations of the Karnataka High Court collegium, we recommended his name, along with five others from the service category, for elevation. At that time we were aware of the allegations but we consciously and rightly disbelieved them. 
Surprisingly, the Government selectively withheld his elevation and accepted that of the remaining five others’, though all the five are juniors to Shri Krishna Bhatt.

Now comes what is unpredictable and unthinkable. If the government had any reservations or misgivings about Shri Krishna Bhatt’s nomination, it could have sent back the recommendation for our reconsideration — a well-established though long forgotten practice. Instead, it sat 
tight on the file. In other words, our recommendation still retained its validity and legitimacy.

For sometime, our unhappy experience has been that the Government’s accepting our recommendations is an exception and sitting on them is the norm. “Inconvenient” but able judges or judges to be are being bypassed through this route.

I do not think any of us disputes that elevating a person to be a judge of a High Court is a constitutional concern involving two authorities: the Supreme Court and the executive. The role of High Court ceases with its recommendation. Any correspondence, clarificatory or otherwise, has to be between these two authorities. To my mind, I could recollect no instance from the past of the executive bypassing the Supreme Court, more particularly while its recommendations are pending, and asking the High Court, as if it were an interdepartmental matter, to look into the allegations already falsified and conclusively rejected by us. Asking the High Court to reevaluate our recommendation in this matter has to be deemed improper and contumacious.

Now the Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court informs us that he had received a communication from the Ministry of law and justice “to look into the issue.” The Chief Justice, establishing himself to be more loyal than the King, acts on it, convenes a meeting of the Administrative Committee, and decides to reinvestigate the issue, thus burying the previous Chief Justice’s findings on the same issue, given at our asking. He has been gracious enough to inform us, at least now.

A long time ago, an idealist, without knowing the ways of the world, has said this: the accumulation of all powers legislative, executive and judiciary in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, selfappointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. Na├»ve as it may sound now, that was James Madison 
in the Federalist Papers No.47.

We only have to look forward to the time, which may not be far-off if not already here, when the executive directly communicates with the High Courts about the pending cases and what orders to be passed. We can be happy that much of our burden is taken away. And an Honourable Chief Justice like Dinesh Maheswari may perhaps be ever willing to do the executive bidding, because good relations with the other Branches is a proclaimed constitutional objective.

We cannot deny Robert H. Jackson’s assertion in United States v. Wunderlich that men are more often bribed by their loyalties and ambitions than by money. Let us also not forget that the bonhomie between the Judiciary and the Government in any State sounds the death knell to Democracy. We both are mutual watchdogs, so to say, not mutual admirers, much less constitutional cohorts.

I am of the opinion that this matter is now ripe for the consideration of the Full Court on the judicial side, if this institution really is to be any more relevant in the scheme of the Constitution.

Since we are a precedent oriented institution, I may be pardoned for quoting a precedent to the Master of Roster that it was exactly a similar letter written by the then Union Law Minister which sparked up a judicial debate in S.P. Gupta.

The above is from Scroll+ here. 

April Fool Banaya!

April Fool Banaya!

Jumla wasn’t the only joke Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled on the nation. On the appointed annual day for tomfoolery, Upala Sen takes sombre stock of the many rides the nation has been taken for

It was always apparent for anyone who chose to see it for what it was. By the time the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, was done campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, he had participated not only in 400-plus rallies but also 1,350 3D hologram-based interactions that were broadcast to 5,390 locations.
Now, a hologram is a three-dimensional image, created with photographic projection. A sleight of light on eye and reason. It was reported that in several remote parts of the country, when projectors beamed the image onto the darkened stage, villagers took the hologram for the man. And when the lights came on at show-end and he was nowhere to be found, it puzzled them a little. But it was nothing compared to the thrill of having such a big leader interact with their humble selves.
The BJP's 2014 campaign was not only high on visuals but also on rhetoric, and when it came to power, it became its manner of functioning. With a year to go before the next general elections, here's a look at some of the promises that captured the imagination of the electorate and then, in large measure, remained imagination.
Promise 1: Jobs
'If BJP comes to power, it will provide one crore jobs.'
Narendra Modi
November 2013, at a rally in Agra
Modi had promised to create 10 million jobs every year if voted to power. There is no one way to measure this, nor any one consolidated figure, but according to a report published by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy Pvt. Ltd - a business and economic database and research company - in February 2018, post demonetisation, the unemployment rate continued to rise steadily. And by February end, it was at 7.1 per cent. In 2013-2014, India's unemployment rate had been 4.9 per cent.
In the report titled "Sharp increase in unemployment rate", Mahesh Vyas states that the estimated number of persons unemployed and actively seeking employment almost touched 31 million by February end. He writes, "The labour force shrunk by 30 million - from about 450 million before demonetisation to close to 420 million within six months of demonetisation... The labour force has still not recovered entirely."
The government instead of owning up to the employment gap has been busy looking for new narratives to explain away the shortfall. The PM said in a television interview not long ago, "In one year, EPF [employees' provident fund] accounts of 70 lakh youth... have been opened. Seven million new EPF accounts, doesn't this show new employment?" In that very interview, he also made the comment about pakoda selling being a viable employment but one that would not reflect in any consolidated data.
The EPF-employment generation connect was borrowed from a paper titled "Towards a Payroll Reporting in India" that was actually making a case for creating a more foolproof measure of employment in India. Its optimistic note was recognisable in this year's Economic Survey too, when it stated: "Notwithstanding the caveats regarding the specific numbers, the broad conclusion is likely to be robust: formal payrolls may be considerably greater than currently believed."
And while everyone here was looking for hopeful signs, definitions, maybes and playing down the reality, China continued to keep its nose to the grindstone. Against its 2016 target of 10 million annual jobs, it created more than 13 million new jobs a year.
Promise 2: Farmers
'You will be surprised to learn that the number of farmers who have been forced to commit suicide is more than the number of jawans who died fighting the wars.'
Narendra Modi
April 2014, in Pathankot, Punjab
In its 2014 manifesto, the BJP promised to ensure for farmers a minimum of 50 per cent profits over the cost of production. Other than that, the party spoke of adopting a National Land Use Policy, implementing farm insurance and so on and so forth.
In January 2018, NGOs ASHA-Kisan Swaraj Alliance, Jai Kisan Andolan, NREGA Sangharsh Morcha, People's Action on Employment Guarantee, Rythu Swarajya Vedika and Swaraj India came out with the Kisan Green Paper. The report exposed how the government had reneged on its minimum support price (MSP) promise "by solemnly affirming in the Supreme Court that this formula suggested by the National Farmers' Commission... as unworkable".
Some of the other points the Green Paper makes are: MSP was not only not increased to the promised level, it was brought down to a level lower than what it was during the UPA regime; how the government had tried to stop state-specific bonus on select crops offered by the state governments and tried to dilute the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.
The Centre, it says, even made a "determined bid" to scrap the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and when it could not - owing to public opinion and the Supreme Court - it "choked the programme of adequate and timely funds".
It makes the point that when farmers were just about recovering from a spell of droughts, the demonetisation blow left them gasping for air. And it also takes note of the fact that the debt relief burden was shifted to the states, which in turn were doing a poor job of the loan waivers announced. It reads: "This, despite the fact that much of the agrarian crisis can be attributed to Union Government's policies."
Last month, thousands of farmers in Maharashtra embarked on a long march demanding loan waivers and, among other things, the implementation of the Swaminathan Committee report, which says farmers should be paid one-and-a-half times the cost of production.
In full poll mode, party president Amit Shah said while campaigning in Karnataka this week, "We are often told by the opposition parties that there are rampant farmer suicides in the country but I would like to inform you that there have been BJP governments in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh for the last 15 years and the number of farmers committing suicides in these states has been very low."
Suicides by farmers, according to Shah, have happened mainly due to depression and personal issues.
Promise 3: Fighting Corruption
'Mera mantra hai, na khata hoon, na khane dunga... My mantra, I won't indulge in corruption, nor will I allow anybody else.'
Narendra Modi
May 2014, in Amethi 
The main thrust of the 2014 polls was ending corruption. The UPA's contribution to the rhetoric cannot be ignored - 2G spectrum scam (2008), Commonwealth Games scam (2010), chopper scam (2012), cash-for-vote scam (2011), Antrix-Devas scam (2011), coal scam (2012)... All through the pre-poll campaign Modi harped on his seminal identity - that of a chaiwalaas opposed to the Congress's shehzada.
In the manifesto, the party had also promised transparency in governance. Because of all this, when the PM urged countrymen to go through with the demonetisation exercise, a lot of people decided that even if they couldn't keep the grin, they'd bear it. A year on, even when it started to get clearer that no obvious gain had come off it - experts also pointed out that the fake currency in circulation was a tiny fraction of what had been killed - there was no chorus of complaint.
In the meantime, there surfaced allegations that a company co-owned by Jay Shah, son of Amit Shah, had grown "16,000 times" in one year. More recently, it came to light that diamantaire Nirav Modi had run out on the Punjab National Bank and the Indian taxpayer with Rs 11,000 crores. NiMo fled the country in the first week of January. Weeks later, before the scam became public, he was spotted in a group photo with the Indian PM. Before NiMo, Vijay Mallya had been allowed to slip away. Even the judiciary has not been exempt from suggestions of compromised honesty, as indicated by four Supreme Court judges.
But the biggest breach of transparency and one that makes a fool of the Indian electorate is the introduction of electoral bonds. In the 2017 budget speech, finance minister Arun Jaitley introduced this mechanism, which will legitimise anonymous donations to political parties and also open up Indian elections to foreign lobbying for the first time. And it did so by tweaking four different statutes - the Reserve Bank of India Act 1934, the Representation of People Act 1951, the Income Tax Act 1961 and the Companies Act 2013 - which, because they were part of the finance bill, didn't have to be tabled before Rajya Sabha. On one hand, Jaitley maintained: "These bonds will be bearer in character to keep the donor anonymous." And on the other, he insisted this was going to be, "a substantial improvement in transparency".
Promise 4: Ek Bharat 
'Acche din aane wale hain... Good times are a coming.'
Narendra Modi
May 16, 2014, after poll victory
The BJP manifesto read: "The biggest reason for a sorry state of affairs is bad intentions on the part of those who have ruled... And this where we would show the first difference... the goal of the policies and practices would be: Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat."
Indeed. In the past four years, BJP has done everything to lay over the plurality of India with a monolithic construct of Indianness. And all square pegs have got the message that they have to recast their old ideas and beliefs, somehow, anyhow, to fit into the round hole.
The measures have been varied. Genial suggestions: read the Vedas, practise yoga, say Bharat Mata ki Jai or else... Blanket diktats: stand up in movie theatres when the national anthem plays or else... Rituals: convert to Hinduism or else... Brute force: venerate who we venerate or else... Rampant vigilantism in the name of cow protection has claimed many lives and left millions of cattle-farmers fear-struck. According to data journalism initiative IndiaSpend, since 2012, the country has witnessed 78 cow-related hate crimes and 97 per cent of these occurred since BJP assumed power. News reports suggest there were 8,000 instances of ghar wapsi or ritual conversion in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in 2014; 53 in Jharkhand in 2017.
Post the BJP's Tripura triumph over the Left last month, party supporters vandalised Lenin's statue in the state triggering similar lumpen behaviour across the country. As statues of Syama Prasad Mukherjee, Vivekananda, Ambedkar and others fell, the PM, who is known for his characteristic silence off campaign trail, stirred. The PMO issued a statement that read: "Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has strongly condemned the reported incidents of vandalism in certain parts of the country and said stern action will be taken against those found guilty."
When it comes to this party, imagery - light or stone - is serious business. You might express surprise or discomfort now, but it was always apparent for anyone who chose to see it for what it was.

How Asansol flames were lit Provocative chants cited as trigger

Asansol: The second biggest city in Bengal derives its name from the Asan species of trees ( Terminalia elliptica) found on the banks of the Damodar. The tree's bark is fire-resistant but several parts of Asansol this week fell prey to the flames lit by an inflammable cocktail of infiltration by outsiders, pinpointed provocation and rumour-mongering.
Life is now returning to normal in the cosmopolitan city after multiple days of communal clashes in which at least one person was killed.
The Telegraph, which followed the journalistic convention of not reporting sensitive details that can be misused to ignite passions while explosive situations are unfolding, collected the following information after spending two days in Asansol and speaking to several people.
Provocative chants: An organiser of a Ram Navami procession conceded that provocative chants by some people while the rally was passing through a Muslim-dominated area may have played a role in triggering the clashes.
"I still remember that some people in the rally were shouting ' Jai Shri Ram,' followed by cries like 'maro, maro'.... The body language was not right, either. In retrospect, I think, these chants triggered the clashes. I also think that we should not have included the area in the procession's route," said the organiser of one of the 150-odd Ram Navami rallies in Asansol on Tuesday.
As many as 146 rallies went off peacefully but not four in Asansol North, which falls on one side of GT Road, which cuts through the city.
Cushioned in the safety of a 1,200sqft-plus apartment while armed police marched outside, the organiser kept repeating that what had happened in Asansol since Tuesday was "not right".
The possibility of provocative chants having been the possible triggers popped up during conversations with several other residents.
Some residents - both Hindus and Muslims - referred to an audio CD that had been played in several processions as another cause.
"In some Ram Navami rallies, I heard people shouting 'Pakistan jao, Pakistan jao'," said Anjum Jamal, a Raniganj resident who has businesses in Asansol and Varanasi.
Strangers: As in Raniganj, so in Asansol. The rally organiser who spoke to this newspaper said that when some of the participants rejected requests to scale down the chants, the organiser realised that several of them were strangers.
"When the scream of ' maro, maro' after each 'Jai Shri Ram' became too loud, I requested them to stop.... I told them to say ' Bharat Mata ki jai' but they would not listen and I realised that things were getting out of control. Within minutes, bricks started raining on the rally.... Some Muslim brothers, known to me for years, tried to intervene, asking 'Kya kar rahe ho (what are you doing)?' but it was too late by then. People started running helter-skelter," the organiser recounted on Friday afternoon.
The news of the clash spread and affected other rallies, which finally prompted the authorities to stop the processions midway on Tuesday evening.
Some Trinamul leaders claimed goons from neighbouring Jharkhand had been brought in to create trouble.
Rumour-mongering: Some youths, whom this correspondent met near a deserted Sufi More in Railpar area, were showing amateur videos on smartphones to accuse the Bengal administration of inaction and of siding with the Muslims.
The boys - all of them speaking in Hindi - shared several conspiracy theories that echoed themes usually associated with the Sangh parivar.
A young man on a motorbike, with a saffron flag mounted on the handlebar, sped off after receiving a call alerting him to the arrival of a police team somewhere to arrest a group.
Charon taraf afwahein fail rahe hain (Rumours are being spread everywhere)," said a man running a tea stall near Sufi More. This is the primary reason Internet services have been suspended till April 4.
Fear hung heavy in areas like Hajinagar, Srinagar and OP Road - the main Muslim mohallas in Asansol North. All the shops were closed and men sat outside their homes, casting a suspicious eye on visitors.
"We want peace as that has been the way of life here for years.... But there is fear now and we can be under attack anytime," said Marghub Rahi.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Bahut angreji bolta hai: Cops torture student for English

Patna: Asking questions in English to the police in Khagaria has landed a Class XII student from Patna in hospital.
Abhishek, 18, was detained on Tuesday at Khagaria's Chautham police station, around 194km east of Patna, thrashed repeatedly in custody, and released on personal bond on Thursday.
Abhishek, who was in his native village Chautham after his examinations, had gone to the police station to ask about his maternal uncle Indal Kumar, lodged in the police lock-up. Abhishek said he had asked Chautham police station house officer (SHO) Mukesh Kumar in English: "Sir, I want to know the reason behind the detention of my uncle. What's the crime he has been booked for?"
At this, Abhishek said, the SHO saw red.
Peeto ise, bahut angreji bolta hai (thrash him, he is flaunting his English)," Abhishek quoted the SHO as saying.
He said SHO Mukesh and assistant sub-inspector of police (ASI) Shyam Murat kept thrashing him till he fainted.
"They would sprinkle water on my face when I fell unconscious," said Abhishek, who is recuperating at the Khagaria sadar hospital.
Abhishek, a relative said, fell unconscious when he was released on Thursday, which compelled family members to admit him in hospital.
The schoolboy alleged that the cops pressured him to admit that he was involved in stealing vehicles. "When I didn't budge, they started thrashing me more violently," he said.

'Meddling' forces Jesuit school exit

Mita Mukherjee
Calcutta: St Xavier's School, Haldia, is changing hands after more than four decades as a Jesuit institution primarily because the two public sector companies that fund it have been opposing academic decisions, sources said.
The Calcutta Province of the Society of Jesus wanted to retain complete academic autonomy, which Indian Oil and the Calcutta Port Trust had allegedly become unwilling to give.
"For many years since the school's inception, the Jesuit Fathers would have the final word when it came to hiring teachers. But they were gradually being denied this freedom. It is difficult to follow our education policies if there is such interference. Jesuit-run institutions have excelled everywhere, so we can't compromise on the quality of education," a church official said on Friday.
The Jesuit Fathers started contemplating handing over the responsibility of running the school to another organisation nearly a year ago, the official said.
Funding was also a bone of contention, according to sources in Indian Oil and the Calcutta Port Trust. The two companies would often seek information on how their money was being spent and the church saw it as meddling, they said.
A teacher who spoke on condition of anonymity said the companies wanted more control on spending, something that the school administration staunchly opposed. "That was the root of the tussle over the past two years," the teacher said.
A section of teachers is worried that they might be asked to clear fresh interviews to qualify for employment under the new management, Dayanand Anglo-Vedic (DAV) schools.
An Indian Oil official said: "We wanted to keep St Xavier's but it could not be done. We decided to bring in a new management (with effect from April 1) in the interest of our students."
Indian Oil and Calcutta Port Trust had been under pressure from alumni and residents of the port town to retain the Jesuit Fathers. By the time a reconciliatory gesture was made, the church had already given its approval to the Jesuit Fathers to exit the institution, sources said.
Father Ajay Kumar Ekka, the outgoing principal, said "certain problems" not linked to the PSUs played their part in the decision. "Apart from interference, we had some other problems for which the management of the companies are not responsible. For example, the number of priests have declined, which has resulted in a shortage of manpower to run the institution," he said
Calcutta: The Jesuit Fathers are exiting a CBSE-affiliated St Xavier's institution set up in Haldia 47 years ago after a dispute over allegedly inadequate funding and interference by the two public sector companies that co-own the campus.
St Xavier's School, Haldia, will become part of the Dayanand Anglo-Vedic (DAV) group of institutions from April 1, according to a notice on its website.
"The Jesuit Fathers will be in charge of St Xavier's School, Haldia, only up to March 31, 2018. From April 1, 2018, the school transfers to DAV School. The Jesuit Fathers have nothing to do with the administration of the school from then on," states the notice.
Father Ajay Kumar Ekka is the current principal of the school, established in 1971 by the Society of Jesus with infrastructure and funding by Indian Oil and Calcutta Port Trust.
The two companies had invited the Jesuit Fathers to set up the co-educational school to ensure quality education for their employees' children.
A church official said the school had been facing problems over the past few years because neither company had allegedly kept their commitment of financial and other support to maintain the standard expected of a St Xavier's institution.
"The school is owned and fully financed by two public sector companies. It is administered by the Calcutta Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Fathers). We had been facing some problems over the past few years. The teachers were not being paid proper salaries, They (the owners) were not maintaining the school well.... There has been interference in certain administrative matters. It is not possible for us to run the school this way," the official said.
Jitendra Saha, whose two children are students of the same school where he studied from kindergarten till Class XII, said he was "shattered" by the news of the Jesuit Fathers' exit.
"I can't believe my daughter and son won't be called Xaverians from tomorrow," he told Metro. "This is a great loss for past and present students. We are strongly opposed to the manner in which the companies had been interfering in the autonomy of the Jesuit Fathers. They should have realised that this is a loss for this entire industrial town."
An official of Indian Oil accused the "school management" of not following CBSE norms. "There were differences in opinion about how to run the school. The management was not abiding by the stipulation to hire teachers with BEd or an equivalent degree. They were also not implementing the retirement age of 60. An amicable solution (to the dispute) could not be arrived at," he said.