Tuesday, June 12, 2018


In the written exam held earlier this month at the King George’s Medical University in Lucknow for doctors in the program for obtaining post-graduate degree in medicine (M.D.), a question simply asked, “Write briefly on violence against doctors: Causes, effects and solution“. 

A valid point may be raised whether this question at all belongs in the examination for would be medicine specialists but more importantly, having been involved with the unequal fight for justice for the victims of medical negligence, we wonder what would be the standard for the examiners to judge the “correct” answer to this unusual question for M.D. examinees? 

Apart from the debatable answers for the “causes” or “effects” of violence against doctors, what is the right “solutions” to solve the crisis of wide-spread medical negligence and sporadic attacks on doctors?

PBT never supports the idea of doctor bashing or hospital vandalism under any condition, even in the event of death from genuine incidence of “medical negligence” because two wrongs can never make a right. But there is no argument that most cases of violence against doctors happen due to deep erosion of public trust on the medical community. 

When a loved person dies in front of your eyes from apparent act of gross medical negligence, friends and family of the victim want medical justice. Unfortunately, it is a common knowledge today that, unlike in the West, doctor-members of the medical council primarily work to shield their errant medical colleagues without caring for the loss of life of an ordinary citizen. 

The idea of violence against doctors is simply unimaginable in the Western Countries including USA and UK because medical councils in these countries (composed of doctor and non-doctor members) investigate complaints against doctors in an impartial and transparent manner and routinely suspend/cancel license of the negligent doctors. There is no need for the ordinary citizens in these countries to take law into their own hands in a futile attempt to find medical justice by physical violence against doctors/hospitals as in India. 

No new law to put the victim’s friends/families in jail for their momentary lose of control under acute grief and lack of hope for justice in the medical council after losing their loved one from gross medical negligence cannot be an effective solution to prevent attacks on doctors. 
Compassion and proper understanding from victim’s perspectives are necessary to eradicate the social evils of medical negligence and violence against doctors. 
But will the examiners in Lucknow give appropriate credit for this answer to the M.D. candidates?

After DJB, Arvind Kejriwal accuses CBI of going after mohalla clinics

NEW DELHI: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today alleged that the CBI has started investigating the mohalla clinics project, "summoned" several senior officials and seized documents related to it. 

The chief minister made the accusation in a series of tweets, a day after he alleged that the CBI and the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) had started random picking of files from the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), of which he is the minister-in-charge, to "somehow frame him in something". 

"Now, CBI starts investigating moh clinics-takes 3 lac pages incl all patients prescriptions. All CDMOs, 2 Addl Dirs, Project Dir, Addl secy, OSD to Dir n many other officers summoned (sic)..," Kejriwal tweeted. 

He also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, tweeting "Modi ji, instead of closing Delhi's mohalla clinics, open mohalla clinics across the country." 

Mohalla Clinics is one of the flagship projects of the AAP government. There are currently around 165 mohalla clinics aimed at providing free primary health care to city residents closer to home. 

The government has a target of setting up 1,000 such clinics across the national capital. 

In another tweet, Kejriwal alleged, "Del govt has spent Rs 3 lacs to get these pages photocpied. Spl permission was taken by officers for this money. 

"I challenge Modi ji if these Rs 3 lacs photocopying charges and CBI officers' salary cud be recovered out of this investigation (sic)." 

In a series of tweets yesterday, the chief minister had announced that he will put in the public domain the list of all files sought by the two agencies, and asked them to either explain the reason or else "apologise to Delhiites for this witch hunting exercise

BJP fumes at Pawar plot jibe

New Delhi: The BJP was livid on Monday over NCP leader Sharad Pawar mocking a purported letter plotting the assassination of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and accusing the party of trying to gain sympathy, saying it didn't befit a senior leader to play politics over a serious issue.
"When a letter talking about a conspiracy to assassinate the Prime Minister is recovered... the country should condemn it in one voice.... Instead, a senior leader like Sharad Pawar says that this is being used for advertisement.... This is the lowest point of insensitivity and politics," human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar said.
Addressing a rally in Maharashtra on Sunday, Nationalist Congress Party chief Pawar had sought to play down the letter recovered by Pune police purportedly baring a Maoist conspiracy to assassinate Modi. The veteran leader said the BJP was fast losing support among the people and trying to use the "assassination story" to gain public sympathy, adding people would not fall for such tactics.
"They (the BJP) say there was a threat letter. I spoke to a retired police officer who had worked for the CID. He said there is no substance in the letter. The letter is being used to garner public sympathy," Pawar had told the rally.
"The BJP has realised they are losing popular support and so to gain sympathy they are now playing the threat letter card. However, I am sure people will not fall prey to such tactics," the NCP veteran had added.

The BJP's Mystery Treasurer Has a 1000 Crore Touch But Nobody Knows His Name

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party is one of the richest political parties in the world, with a declared income of Rs 1,034 crore during 2016-17, the last year for which returns have been filed with the Election Commission.
This was a particularly good year for the BJP, with its income shooting up by a stupendous 81% compared to the year before. More significantly, the money raised by the party was more than double the figure raised by all other national parties combined.
Chart depicting total income of national political parties for 2016-17. Source: Association for Democratic Reform
So which BJP leader should take a bow for the amazing financial performance of the party and having given it the biggest ever war chest ahead of the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha elections?
This is where things get murky, and a huge question mark emerges over the role of the Election Commission (EC), which is supposed to regulate and audit the working of political parties, in addition to conducting elections in the country.
In its mandatory declarations to the EC, the BJP for the past few years has not been disclosing who its treasurer is. The BJP’s audited returns for 2016-17, for example, have an indecipherable signature which appears to say “for treasurer”, without disclosing who the party’s treasurer actually is.
Instead of the party treasurer’s signature, the BJP’s returns are signed ‘for treasurer’.
The secrecy continues on the party’s official website; the page titled ‘National Treasurer of BJP’ has been left blank.

Former chief election commissioner S.Y. Qureshi told The Wire that the BJP’s declaration to the EC was wrong, and the EC, instead of meekly accepting the declaration, should have issued notice to the party and asked them to declare who the treasurer of the BJP really is.
Another former CEC, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the guidelines for financial transparency adopted by the EC in 2014 clearly require “the treasurer of the political party or such person as authorised by the party” to maintain its consolidated accounts. Asked why the commission had not insisted on the party identifying who its treasurer or “authorised” person was, he said the financial returns are scrutinised at a “lower level” and this issue was never referred up.
Intriguingly, before the BJP’s 2014 win and the installation of the Narendra Modi government, the party’s declared treasurer was Piyush Goyal, now Union finance and railways minister. When Amit Shah announced the names of the party’s officeholders in August 2014, the post of treasurer was not among them. There was some speculation in the media that a Modi confidante Parindu Bhagat, known as ‘Kakaji’, would get the job but that did not happen. So does Piyush Goyal continue to be de facto treasurer of the party even while in government, which would be a clear cut case of conflict of interest? Or if he has fully disengaged, who is the party’s treasurer? The BJP has kept mum on the subject.

Former CEC N. Gopalaswami told The Wire that the signature and name of the responsible authority signing such an account statement has to be legible and if it isn’t, the EC needs to find out who it is.
Another former CEC, T.S. Krishnamurthy, said that while he would not like to comment on the current matter pertaining to the BJP as he has not seen the documents in question, “from my past recollection, I can state that it all depends on what the party says in its constitution about who would be responsible” for making its account declarations.
The BJP’s constitution mandates the party president to appoint a national treasurer. It also says that the treasurer’s duties are to maintain income and expenditure accounts and have them audited. As far as raising funds for the party is concerned, printed receipts have to be issued  and “each receipt [of party funds] shall bear the facsimile signature of the concerned treasurer” at the Central or state level.
So the question which arises is whose facsimile signature has been appended to the receipts the BJP has issued for hundreds of crores it has raised at the national level since 2014?
If Goyal is involved even peripherally with the party’s accounts, this would not be the first case of conflict of interest at the highest level of the Modi government. Goyal, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, commerce minister Suresh Prabhu, minister for state for aviation Jayant Sinha and minister of state for external affairs M.J. Akbar all continue to be directors of the India Foundation, a think-tank run by Shaurya Doval, son of national security advisor Ajit Doval, and BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, whose programmes have attracted corporate sponsors, including MNCs.
In general, political parties have insulated their treasurers from allegations of conflict of interest by keeping them away from government positions as treasurers typically get their hands dirty while raising funds. Motilal Vora is the treasurer of the Congress party and signs its accounts. He was never a minister in the Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
The secrecy around the treasurer has come about after Amit Shah was appointed BJP president in July 2014 to finish Rajnath Singh’s interrupted tenure. In January 2016, Shah was elected unopposed to a full three-year term as party president. Under the constitution, he is entitled to a second consecutive three-year term. Authoritative sources have told The Wire that the consensus within the RSS mothership is that Shah will either get a second term or continue on extension as president till the general elections. Modi has apparently said that Shah’s current term as all-powerful BJP president will be co-terminus with his own tenure as prime minister.

Speculation is rife that perhaps Shah, who along with Goyal is said to be the main fundraiser for the party, has assumed the functions of BJP treasurer as well. In a transparent political party, which the BJP used to pride itself on being, details like the identity of the treasurer should be in the public domain. But it seems that in the ‘Modified BJP’ – where Modi and Shah call all the shots – nobody else, inside the party or outside, not even the EC, can dare ask these questions.
A senior cabinet minister told The Wire, “ We used to pride ourselves on electing our president, yet Shah was nominated… I am a cabinet minister and I honestly cannot tell you who the BJP treasurer is. Who took over after Goyal, or whether he continues, is a mystery. But I know from my corporate contacts that he and Shah are the main fundraisers of the party.”
The telling blanks in the declaration to the EC and on the party’s official website suggest that the Modi-Shah duo are aware of the irregularities in the party’s records.
Constitutional experts say that the EC, which has acquired a reputation of partisanship after Modi nominated A.K. Joti from his Gujarat days as CEC, should be asking the BJP tough questions.
After the disqualification of Aam Aadmi Party MLAs on Joti’s last day in office – a decision subsequently struck down by the high court in a huge snub to the EC – and the recurring controversy over electronic voting machines, the EC has lost face. Not asking the BJP to reveal who its treasurer is will just be the latest example of caving in to the Modi government.

Friday, June 8, 2018


In a stunning development during hearing of a PIL filed by PBT seeking court’s permission to exhume the body of 6-month old baby and perform post-mortem to help in search of justice, Calcutta High Court division bench presided by the chief justice said that they may allow the writ petition provided PBT makes an advance deposit of Rs. 10 lakh which will be returned only if it is proven that this death involved medical negligence. 

Akshay Ghosh, a poor man from Asansol (200 km from Kolkata) whose 6-month old daughter, Kushi Ghosh, died last March at HLG Hospital in Asansol from alleged gross medical negligence after an injection was given the child, recently came to PBT seeking help to find justice. The HLG Hospital denied all charges of medical negligence and tried to botch up medical records. 

In order to find the cause of death, PBT moved a PIL with supporting opinion from forensic expert seeking exhumation and post-mortem of the baby. 

Although post-mortem after almost three months of death provides no guarantee that the exact cause of death may be identified for obvious decomposition of the body, there is some chance that the cause may become clear following the post-mortem. But post-mortem report may at most be useful as a piece of supporting evidence. Proving a case of “medical negligence” before the court of law requires many such supporting evidences and testimonies from the witnesses. 

Is it possible for PBT, a purely charitable organization working selflessly to help the hapless victims of medical negligence find justice, to put up Rs. 10 lakh in advance with a guarantee that “medical negligence” will be proven in the court of law? 

Nobody can be prejudiced with exhumation and post-mortem of Kushi Ghosh and her unfortunate parents also provided written submission requesting the court to allow exhumation and post-mortem of their deceased child. So why to impose this heavy financial burden to a bona fide NGO like PBT before the court may allow their PIL to exhume the body of Kushi and perform post-mortem examination?

‘Absolutely Rubbish’: Pranab Mukherjee’s Office On Fake Quote On Manmohan Singh

A quote by Former President Pranab Mukherjee in Hindi is going viral on social media.

The quote reads, “मैं मनमोहन की तरह गुलाम नहीं हूं मुझे जो ठीक लग रहा है मैं वह कर रहा हूं आज भारत को RSS जैसे संगठन की आवश्यकता है : प्रणब मुखर्जी” (I am not a slave like ManMohan Singh. I am doing what what I feel is correct. Today, India needs an organisation like the RSS.)

The tweets that began on June 4 has seen a number of Twitter handles post this fake quote.

Jeetendra Singh @jeetensingh
मैं मनमोहन की तरह गुलाम नहीं हूं मुझे जो ठीक लग रहा है मैं वह कर रहा हूं आज भारत को RSS जैसे संगठन की आवश्यकता है : प्रणब मुखर्जी

1:03 PM - Jun 4, 2018
710 people are talking about this

neha kakkar @ nehakak5
मैं मनमोहन की तरह गुलाम नहीं हूं मुझे जो ठीक लग रहा है मैं वह कर रहा हूं आज भारत को RSS जैसे संगठन की आवश्यकता है : प्रणब मुखर्जी

4:18 PM - Jun 4, 2018
122 people are talking about this

But speaking to BOOM, Pranab Mukherjee’s office has called the quote “Absolutely Rubbish”. The team clarified that Mukherjee has not given any such quote at any event or to any journalist and it is clearly fake.

The fake quotes have also gone viral on Facebook pages, including several fan pages that support the BJP and its leaders. The posts have been shared by thousands of users.

The spread of this fake quote comes at a time when Pranab Mukherjee accepted the invitation to attend an RSS event at its Nagpur headquarters, starting Wednesday. Mukherjee will participate in the concluding ceremony of the RSS training camp on June 7 and will deliver a speech that is expected to last for about 30 minutes, reports The Economic Times.

Mukherjee’s acceptance of the invite had created quite a storm among his former Congress colleagues who expressed their reservations. His former cabinet colleague P Chidambaram had urged him, to take this as an opportunity to tell the RSS what is wrong with their ideology, “Now that he has accepted the invitation, there is no point in debating why he accepted it. The more important thing to say is, Sir you have accepted invitation, please go there and tell them what is wrong with their ideology,” said Chidambaram.

Reacting to the criticism, Mukherjee had issued a firm response, saying that he will be attending the event. “Whatever I have to say, I will say in Nagpur. I have received several letters, requests and phone calls, but I haven’t responded to anyone yet,” Mr Mukherjee was quoted as saying by Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika.

Fake quotes attributed to famous personalities has now become a regular feature. In the past, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Sundar Pichai, Bollywood actors Swara Bhasker and Farhan Akhtar and recently, Kairana RLD MP Tabassum Hasan have been targeted by those creating fake quotes to spread confusion and further their ideological agenda on social media.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Gauri Lankesh killed for ‘anti-Hindu views’: charge sheet

The charge sheet in the Gauri Lankesh murder case, a copy of which is with The Hindu, says the journalist and activist was killed for her ‘anti-Hindu views’.

“The accused were angry with her for speaking against Hindu dharma, Gods of Hindu dharma and insulting Hindu dharma,” said the Special Investigation Team in the 651-page charge sheet against K.T. Naveen Kumar, the first accused in the case.

However, the confession statements of Naveen Kumar and statements of his three friends from Maddur, made before a magistrate, have not been made public. According to sources, this was done on request by the SIT for fear that the publication of the statements would tip off other accused who are still at large.

‘On Dasara, he offered pooja to the pistol’

Though the charge sheet is silent on the organisational affiliations of Naveen Kumar, his wife Roopa C. N., a Group D employee with KPTCL in Birur, in her statement to the SIT, said he was associated with the ‘Sanatan Dharma Sanstha’ mostly in 2017.

In her statement, Ms. Roopa said that her husband took her for a programme in Shivamogga in 2017 where he introduced her to people from Sanatan Dharma Sanstha. He had procured a pistol and a few bullets, about three months before Dasara. When she complained, he said they were ‘dummy’ bullets to scare away monkeys.

“On Dasara festival, he offered pooja to the pistol,” her statement read.

Ms. Roopa recalled Naveen Kumar inviting a person from Sanatan Dharma to their house after Dasara. He stayed overnight.

She claimed that her husband said he was one of 400 Hindu activists selected for a Dharma Shikshana Sammelana in Goa, which he attended. Two months later, he attended a similar programme in Hubballi.

At one point, he booked an appointment for her at Sanatan Ashram in Mangaluru. The day after they reached the ashram, she saw on TV that Gauri Lankesh had been murdered.

Forensic reports on websites

The charge sheet includes a forensic report of websites sanatan.org and hindujagruti.org. It notes that sanatan.org carried a report of a meeting purportedly held in Maddur on December 10, 2017. Police sources said that Naveen Kumar had attended this meeting.

However, the charge sheet does not name Sanatan Sanstha. “There is no evidence so far to indicate that the organisation itself as a whole was involved in the conspiracy,” a senior police officer said.

Bullets procured from Kalasipalya

The charge sheet accuses Naveen Kumar of supplying the bullets that were used to kill Gauri Lankesh in September 2017. It alleges they were from Bangalore Armoury, an ammunition store on N.R. Road. They were procured by Naveen Kumar about eight years ago.

Syed Shabbeer, 30, working in another ammunition store City Gun House in Kalasipalya, claimed to have sold 18 bullets to Naveen Kumar for ₹3,000. “About eight years ago, Naveen Kumar came to our shop and bought two air guns in a week for ₹3,500 each. He asked me to sell a pistol and bullets, though he did not have a licence. When I refused, he pleaded with me to sell at least the bullets, which he said he would only use to make a locket around his neck. I was in need of money. So, I asked my friend Amjad, working at Bangalore Armoury, to give me some testing wastage bullets. Three days later, Amjad gave me 18 bullets of 0.32 calibre wrapped in paper. I sold them to Naveen Kumar for ₹3,000,” Syed