Dear Reader,

The arbitrary and unbridled misuse of power by government agencies, without adherence to the letter and spirit of the law has been an issue in all democratic societies, so in India. However, last week, on October 03, the Supreme Court came down hard on the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in the Pankaj Bansal vs. Union of India case, on what it considered an ‘arbitrary exercise of power’ and deemed that the ED has to furnish reasons in written, before making an arrest. This, Article 14, says is not only a reiteration of the citizens’ liberty but also a fillip to the principle of due process of law.

A similar bid to infringe citizens’ rights was thwarted in Karnataka when a report by The File red-flagged an attempt by the government to identify and list ‘frequent RTI filers’. The grantee’s report on how the government’s bid severely compromised the privacy and identity of the RTI activists led to the state first disowning and then withdrawing the offending order.

From Jharkhand, The Probe reports on how the long deprivation of basic nutrition to citizens, primarily children, has turned into a malnutrition crisis. The state is at the near bottom rung in ‘child wasting’ – a result of difficult geography affecting the state’s ability to reach communities and the extremely below-par access to healthcare. While attempts are being made to address the issue, the problem seems to be too large to be solved by ordinary efforts.

And, again from Jharkhand, Mojo Story analyses the efficacy of the Open Defecation Free (ODF) programme, as we marked the fourth anniversary of India being declared ‘open defecation free’ last week. The programme, part of the Swachh Bharat Mission, is in significant parts still afflicted by inadequate provision of water, low-quality toilets and long-inculcated practices, which calls for behavioural changes at the community level, if the facility is to be utilised at its optimum level.

For more such stories from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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A New Golden Rule: The Supreme Court's Timely Reminder On The Importance of Personal Liberty

The Supreme Court takes the ED to task by ordering that any arrest by the agency will have to provide reasons for the incarceration in writing, a boost for the citizen’s liberty, avers Article 14.

Read Here

ಅರ್ಜಿದಾರರ ಪಟ್ಟಿ ಸಂಗ್ರಹ; ಸರ್ಕಾರದ ಅನುಮತಿಯೂ ಇರಲಿಲ್ಲ, ಗಮನಕ್ಕೂ ಬಂದಿರಲಿಲ್ಲ, ಸುತ್ತೋಲೆ ಹಿಂತೆಗೆತ

An impact story by The File, calling out the Karnataka government’s bid to identify ‘frequent filers’ of RTI petitions, which threatened to impact their privacy, led to the state withdrawing the order.

Read Here

Malnutrition: Jharkhand’s Silent Crisis and the Heartbreaking Tales Behind the Statistics

The Probe deep dives into the issue of malnutrition, especially among children, in Jharkhand and the challenges of geography, healthcare infrastructure and poor delivery.

Read Here

Swachh Bharat Mission: ‘खुले में शौच मुक्त भारत’ का दावा निकला खोखला, पानी की सुविधा के अभाव में शौचालय बने स्टोर रूम

As India marked the fourth anniversary of being declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) last week, Mojo Story does a reality check on the efficacy of the Swachh Bharat Mission in rural areas of Jharkhand.

Read Here

More from the grantees
Remission policy: A tug-of-war between the judiciary and the executive
Last year, 11 convicts, who were incarcerated for rape and murder during the Gujarat riots in 2002, in the Bilkis Bano Case, were released under the 1992 Gujarat Remission Policy. Now, as the Supreme Court sits on the legality of the remission, Supreme Court Observer looks at the issues at hand.
Pink Bollworm Wreaks Havoc On Haryana’s Cotton Crops
Farmers in Haryana’s Sirsa, a leading cotton-producing district, are in distress as a ‘pink bollworm’ infestation has devastated the crops. The Citizen reports from the ground.
रेल पटरी पर आदिवासी जीवन की साईकल
Main Bhi Bharat brings the story of the Rupini tribals, in West Tripura, who depend on the bounties of the forest to earn a living, and use the only railway line to reach the hinterland to sell their wares, without once stepping on to the trains!
One Nation, One Election: What will its Implementation Mean?
The government has rekindled the idea of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies – ‘one nation, one election’. However, The India Forum argues that the Constitution makers did not envisage a minimum term for legislatures, and the enforcement of a mandatory period will be against the spirit of both the Constitution and the federal structure.

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