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Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation passes £3m mark

first_img Howard Lake | 6 April 2009 | News  21 total views,  2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation has now donated over £3 million to over 7,000 charities and local good causes. Half of the total was donated by the Society’s members as part of its Small Change, Big Difference scheme.The first Foundation cheque was awarded in 1999 and since then the number of donations has increased year on year. In 2008, 1,999 donations were made totalling over £400,000, but already in 2009 more than 600 charities and good causes have been nominated for support.The Charitable Foundation receives most of its funding through the unique Small Change, Big Difference scheme. Through the scheme Society members donate just the pennies from the interest earned on their accounts. Society members are then invited to nominate charities and good causes to receive support. Last year over 85% of causes that received a donation were nominated by a Society member.Louise Neill of the Charitable Foundation said: “Over 630,000 accounts currently participate in the Small Change, Big Difference scheme and this number is growing every day. Members of the scheme donate no more than 99 pence per year on an account – an average of 47p – and have the opportunity to nominate a charity or good cause to receive a much larger donation” Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation Tagged with: Funding Research / statisticscenter_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Researching massive growth in giving. Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation passes £3m marklast_img read more

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Activists demand ‘U.S. Hands off Venezuela!’ in Portland, Ore.

first_imgActivists and organizers with the Hands Off Venezuela PDX coalition hosted an event June 15 at the Sunnyside Community Center in Portland’s southeast neighborhood. Featured speakers were Dan Shea, president of the Portland chapter of Veterans For Peace, and Sara Flounders, co-director of the International Action Center and Workers World Party representative. The event was moderated by Christopher McLaughlin of Hands Off Venezuela PDX and Democratic Socialists of America.Shea and Flounders traveled in March to Venezuela as part of a peace delegation, which included 2016 Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Ajamu Baraka and many others. These two reporters told of their experiences in the country which has recently been rocked by a U.S.-backed coup attempt and sabotage of its electrical grid after years of sanctions and imperialist interference. Shea and Flounders told of the massive support in Venezuela for the pro-socialist government led by President Nicolás Maduro.  Their remarks were in stark contrast to the lies and distortions in much of the U.S. media. The Venezuelan constitution was created with the mass involvement of the people.  The Bolivarian government has made huge investments in social programs, which have extended health care and education to many working-class people, primarily Indigenous and Black Venezuelans.  Also, millions of units of public housing have been built. The working people of Venezuela regularly come out into the streets to defend their country from right-wing, U.S.-backed sabotage and counterevolution.  Reactionary opposition demonstrations, which were planned to take place during the peace delegation’s visit, attracted relatively few protesters, while thousands of Chavistas filled the streets and squares of Caracas to support the Bolivarian government.  Sanctions = a silent killerSpeakers discussed the impact of the U.S.-led sanctions.  They highlighted the fact that thousands of people have died due to lack of life-saving medications. The sanctions were described as a silent killer which harms, even kills, civilians — children, women and men.  This brutal impact of the sanctions receives little, if any, coverage in the corporate media. Portrayed as a “humane” alternative to war by many in the imperialist ruling class, sanctions are anything but that. Flounders reported meeting  Venezuelan government agricultural experts who are developing a system of sustainable urban agriculture to address food insufficiency resulting from the sanctions. Rooftops, yards and empty lots are being converted into gardens, while small animal husbandry, primarily chickens and rabbits, is being promoted to provide local, sustainable sources of protein. The Venezuelans reported that they have received technical support from experts from Cuba, Vietnam and north Korea — all countries with deep historical experience in building functional agricultural systems while under extreme imperialist attacks. The peace delegation met with President Maduro, who extended his gratitude to the anti-war, anti-imperialist movement in the U.S. for the work it has done opposing U.S. imperialism from within the “belly of the beast.” The delegation attained somewhat celebrity status while it was in Venezuela, with many residents intrigued by the visit of a U.S. group which opposes U.S. imperialist aggression.  Q&A exposes Guaidó, supports MaduroA question-and-answer session followed Flounders and Shea’s description of their visit. In reply to a query about the nature of the opposition movement, Shea and Flounders explained that it was disorganized and beset with infighting. Juan Guaidó, the U.S.-backed, self-proclaimed coup leader who contends he is the legitimate interim president of Venezuela, doesn’t even have the support of all those in the opposition movement.  And Guaidó certainly does not have the support of the Venezuelan masses who largely back Maduro’s democratically elected government. After the public event, Shea and Flounders met with members of the Hands Off Venezuela PDX coalition to discuss the next steps for the anti-war, anti-imperialist group. While the latest anti-Maduro coup attempt appears to have failed — with the opposition falling into disarray — it is still critically important for all anti-war, anti-imperialist forces to loudly and publicly keep the pressure on U.S. warmakers and proponents of the deadly sanctions. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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“Don’t leave news out of the race”

first_img Tenth anniversary of Bahraini blogger’s arrest Receive email alerts April 18, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 “Don’t leave news out of the race” News RSF_en Help by sharing this information BahrainMiddle East – North Africa BahrainMiddle East – North Africa News June 15, 2020 Find out more News German spyware company FinFisher searched by public prosecutors Obstacles to freedom of informationThe authorities have taken a number of measures to restrict journalists entering the country during the Formula One Grand Prix. Only those with “F1 visas” will be allowed entry from 7 to 21 April and they will be prohibited from “violating the security and national welfare of Bahrain.”This will allow the government to arrest journalists who try to cover the human rights situation because it can claim that this violates the country’s “security and national welfare.” So, journalists will be restricted to covering the Formula One event and will be unable to report on any of the on-going political unrest.A number of international media are meanwhile still awaiting visas for their photographers and cameramen. The authorities have already issued visas for the print media’s reporters but, careful as always of their image, are delaying the issuing of the precious visas for other categories.On 14 April, a week before the Grand Prix, the government approved an amendment to article 214 of the penal code, increasing the penalties for defaming the king and insulting the national symbols (flag and coat of arms) to five years in prison and a fine of up to 10,000 dinars (20,000 euros).If parliament passes the amendment, it will pose a major threat to freedom of expression and information, especially as the article is loosely worded and allows judges to interpret in an arbitrary manner.News providers in prisonAhmed Humaidan, a well-known photographer who has received 143 international awards for his photography, has been held since 29 December after months of continual harassment by the security forces. He is charged with attacking a police station in Sitra in April 2012, although he was there just to take photos of a protest.Reporters Without Borders recently condemned the inhumane treatment he has received while in detention and called for the withdrawal of the charges. After repeated postponements, his trial is now supposed to take place on 15 May. A court decided in a hearing on 16 April to keep him in detention.On 4 September 2012, the high court of appeal upheld the harsh sentences that a military tribunal had passed in June 2011 on 21 defendants accused of belonging to terrorist organizations and trying to overthrow the government.On 7 January 2012, the court of cassation rejected the appeals filed by 13 human rights activists, including the blogger Abduljalil Al-Singace, spokesman and head of the human rights bureau of the Al-Haq Movement for Civil Liberties and Democracy. As a result, he was one of eight people to be sentenced to life imprisonment.Ali Abdulemam, a fellow blogger and one of the Internet’s pioneers in Bahrain, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in absentia.Although the publication of the findings of Cherif Bassiouni’s Independent Commission of Inquiry in November 2011, under international pressure, forced the Bahraini judicial authorities to order a new trial before a civilian court, the judges still imposed long jail terms on human right activists and news providers.Lack of judicial independenceThe next hearing in the appeal against police officer Sarah Al-Moosa’s acquittal on a charge of torturing a journalist is due to be heard on 12 May. A Manama court cleared her on 22 October (LINK) of torturing and mistreating Bahraini journalist Nazeeha Saeed at Rifaa police station on 22 May 2011.Bahrain correspondent for France 24 and Radio Monte-Carlo Doualiya, Saeed filed a complaint against three of the police officers who were present while she was mistreated but only Moosa was prosecuted. Reporters Without Borders was shocked by her acquittal, and said it illustrated the judicial system’s lack of independence.The prosecutor’s office decision to appeal against the acquittal was clearly motivated by concern for Bahrain’s image and a desire to show the international community that everything possible is being done to punish those responsible for human rights abuses. But the appeal has repeatedly been postponed and there is only one defendant. The many other human rights violators will never be tried and punished. March 17, 2021 Find out more Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives News to go further October 14, 2020 Find out more Read in Arabic (بالعربية)Reporters Without Borders is launching a campaign entitled “Don’t leave news out of the race” for this weekend’s Formula One Grand Prix in Manama. The campaign visual shows an image of Bahrain’s uprising reflected in the helmet of a racing driver who is about to start the race.The aim of the campaign, which will be widely circulated on social networks, is to draw attention to the government policy of orchestrating disinformation about Bahrain’s street protests and the ensuing crackdown, and to the way news and information have been the crackdown’s collateral victims.The Bahraini authorities have skilfully used double talk for more than two years with western governments that have supported democratic aspirations in other countries but have been reluctant to condemn the suppression of democracy in Bahrain, instead accepting its rulers’ insincere promises and superficial reforms.On the eve of this world sports event, Reporters Without Borders wants to draw the international community’s attention to the continuing abuses in Bahrain. Ever since the start of the uprising in 2011, the government has clearly sought to impose the maximum restrictions possible on coverage of the demonstrations and the ensuing crackdown.At the same time, it has mobilized an impressive public relations apparatus to defend its image, promising change, playing up the meagre progress that has been made and waging a disinformation campaign in constant in press releases.The government boasts that, of the 176 recommendations by a working group during its Universal Periodic Review by the United Nations Human Rights Council in September 2012, it has accepted 145 fully and 13 partially. But these commitments are flouted as soon as the cameras leave. Journalists are still prevented from working freely. Organisation Follow the news on Bahrainlast_img read more

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Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns ban on al-Jazeera

first_img July 1, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns ban on al-Jazeera News AlgeriaMiddle East – North Africa News AlgeriaMiddle East – North Africa Reporters without Borders has strongly condemned the decision of the Algerian authorities to “temporarily freeze” the activities of the Arabic satellite channel al-Jazeera in Algeria and called for an immediate lifting of the ban.”This unfair decision amounts to nothing more nor less than censorship” said the international press freedom organisation, adding, “This is the first time for more than ten years that a foreign television channel in Algeria has been banned from covering news in this way.”This latest attack on press freedom was extremely worrying and appeared to sound a warning to all the foreign media in Algeria particularly in the light of conflict between the authorities and Algeria’s privately owned press which has been going on for months.The latest escalation raised fears of a further lurch towards repression on the part of the government following the re-election of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.The ministry of culture and communications on 30 June 2004 told Mohamed Daho, correspondent for al-Jazeera in Algiers, that his activities were frozen “until further notice”. He was told the official reason was a reorganisation under way of the work of foreign correspondents. Reporters Without Borders said it was surprised that this reorganisation had only affected the Qatar-based TV channel.A number of sources agreed that it was probably in reprisal for the broadcasting last week of a debate on Algeria on the channel’s popular programme “El-Itidjah el-Mouakass”. Opposition figures spoke in the debate openly criticising Algerian generals and President Bouteflika’s national reconciliation policy. The programme also aired the results of a poll organised by the channel that showed 72 % of viewers considered that there had been no improvement in the situation in Algeria. May 12, 2021 Find out more Algeria : Reporter jailed after covering Tuareg protests in southern Algeria RSF_en Follow the news on Algeria Reporters Without Borders expressed concern in February 2004 at the refusal of the culture and communications ministry to renew press accreditations for several Algerian journalists working for foreign media on the pretext that in future it would be banned to work for several media. Several correspondents for international media are currently still waiting for their accreditation. Receive email alertscenter_img Organisation Help by sharing this information May 18, 2021 Find out more Harassment of Algerian reporters intensifies in run-up to parliamentary elections to go further News Algeria pressures reporters by delaying renewal of accreditation The channel is highly regarded by satellite viewers in Algeria along with other Arabic and French stations. News April 29, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Gap Inc. Announces Plans to Build New Distribution Center in Longview, Texas to Meet…

first_img Facebook Pinterest TAGS  Twitter SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb 24, 2021– Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS), today announced plans to open a new state-of-the-art Customer Experience Center in Longview, Texas. By delivering inventory faster and more efficiently to customers across the country, the $140M investment will help Gap Inc. meet the rising customer demand for online shopping and reach its future plans for digital growth. Gap Inc. anticipates the new campus will create more than 500 full-time jobs in Longview by the end of 2023 and will grow to more than 1,000 full-time jobs in the city over the next five years. Additionally, the company expects to create more than 1,000 part-time and seasonal jobs by 2026. This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: Gap Inc. Announces Plans to Build New Distribution Center in Longview, TX. Shown: Gap Inc. Distribution Center in Fresno, CA. (Photo: Business Wire) The new campus will become Gap Inc.’s latest facility to feature industry-leading technology that has been tested and optimized in other campuses across the Gap Inc. network. Upon completion, the new facility will be able to process up to one million units per day. “As we look to deliver on our three-year strategy and double our online business, we needed to expand our fulfillment network to provide a great experience for our customers today and ensure we have the ability to grow in the future,” said Shawn Curran, Chief Operating Officer, Gap Inc. “We are thrilled to join the Longview community and look forward to developing a facility that will provide employment opportunities and job training to work alongside cutting-edge technology.” Prior to the pandemic, Gap Inc. set out on a journey to transform its fulfillment network by piloting and implementing some of the world’s most advanced fulfillment technology and robotics. The result has transformed our traditional distribution centers into highly automated, cross-channel Customer Experience Centers, intended to serve customers wherever they are shopping. While the Longview facility will initially serve Old Navy’s growing online business, many of the company’s Customer Experience Centers have the capability to seamlessly serve both online and retail orders in one facility. The new facility in Longview is expected to total approximately 850,000 square feet. Construction will begin in April 2021 with plans to be fully operational by August 2022. This campus will supplement our six existing campuses in North America, including those in Fresno, CA; Phoenix, AZ; Groveport, OH; Gallatin, TN; Fishkill, NY; and Brampton, Ontario. While Gap Inc. had plans in place to open a new facility beforehand, as a result of changing customer needs during the pandemic the timeline has been accelerated to create more capacity for online growth. “We are incredibly excited to welcome Gap Inc. to Longview,” said Mayor, Dr. Andy Mack. “This significant investment by Gap Inc. will provide a large number of jobs for East Texans and is a continued diversification of our economy. We believe Gap Inc. will play a tremendous role in supporting economic growth and opportunity in our city and we look forward to working together to deliver a lasting, positive impact on our community.” For images of Gap Inc.’s existing Customer Experience Centers, click here. About Gap Inc. Gap Inc., a collection of purpose-led lifestyle brands, is a leading global retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta, Intermix, and Janie and Jack brands. Fiscal year 2019 net sales were $16.4 billion. Gap Inc. products are available for purchase worldwide through company-operated stores, franchise stores, and e-commerce sites. For more information, please visit Gap Foundation Donates $100K to Winter Storm Relief To support communities impacted by the recent devastating winter storms, Gap Foundation has made a $100,000 commitment to the aid in the recovery of the hardest-hit states of Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. The Foundation team is working closely with community partners to determine where the need is the greatest and how funding can best support recovery efforts. For more information, please visit here. View source version on CONTACT: Justine Jordan [email protected] KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA CALIFORNIA TEXAS INDUSTRY KEYWORD: SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT FASHION RETAIL LOGISTICS/SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT STORES SPECIALTY SOURCE: Gap Inc. Copyright Business Wire 2021. PUB: 02/24/2021 12:30 PM/DISC: 02/24/2021 12:31 PM Pinterest Twitter Gap Inc. Announces Plans to Build New Distribution Center in Longview, Texas to Meet Rising Demand for Digital Shoppingcenter_img WhatsApp By Digital AIM Web Support – February 24, 2021 WhatsApp Local NewsBusiness Facebook Previous articleAffise destinará ocho millones de dólares recaudados en la serie A a convertir las asociaciones en un canal de marketing cuantificable y transparenteNext articleRenowned Cardiologist and Vein Specialist, Dr. Armin Foghi, Joins La Jolla Vein Care Digital AIM Web Supportlast_img read more

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Zues confirms 10 million euro expansion to create 75 jobs

first_img Twitter HSE warns of ‘widespread cancellations’ of appointments next week Google+ Pinterest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest By News Highland – December 17, 2010 Twitter PSNI and Gardai urged to investigate Adams’ claims he sheltered on-the-run suspect in Donegal Facebook Dail hears questions over design, funding and operation of Mica redress scheme Man arrested in Derry on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences released center_img Dail to vote later on extending emergency Covid powers WhatsApp Previous articleBad weather forces closure of Derry airportNext articleCounty Council slashes roads salting routes News Highland Zues confirms 10 million euro expansion to create 75 jobs News WhatsApp Facebook Google+ 75 new jobs are to be created by the Zeus company in Letterkenny.The company is investing €10m in an expansion and creating 75 new manufacturing jobs over 3 years.The expansion of its facility at the IDA Business and Technology Park, Letterkenny, Co Donegal is supported by IDA Ireland.Its local spokesperson is Joe McHugh – he has praised the company for the efforts in boosted employement numbers:[podcast][/podcast] Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derrylast_img read more

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Donegal would be hit hard by changes to commericial vehicle tax – Deputy McGinley

first_img Donegal Deputy Dinny McGinley has called on the Government to recognise reality and scrap the proposed changes to commerical vehicle tax.The Fine Gael Deputy claims that Donegal would be severly hit as almost 1400 vehicles have been registered in the county for the first 7 months of this year.He says plumbers, electricians, tradesmen, farmers and many others in the commercial economy would need to purchase a second vehicle for non-work related journeys.[podcast][/podcast] Previous articleAer Arann going into administration will not affect Donegal airportNext articleDonegal counselling services to help to those bereaved in Kerry car crashes News Highland Facebook Newsx Adverts Twitter Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire WhatsApp Donegal would be hit hard by changes to commericial vehicle tax – Deputy McGinley WhatsApp Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry Facebook Pinterestcenter_img Google+ 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic By News Highland – August 27, 2010 RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Google+ 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Main Evening News, Sport and Obituaries Tuesday May 25th Pinterestlast_img read more

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The Constitutional Court And The ‘Attached Office’

first_imgColumnsThe Constitutional Court And The ‘Attached Office’ Shahrukh Alam4 April 2020 10:08 PMShare This – x”Professional PIL shops must be locked down till the country comes out of COVID-19 tragedy” – Solicitor General for India.I will start by confessing that when the Courts decided to shut down in the face of the pandemic, I was nervous. We aren’t used to functioning without the general and benign supervision of our Courts. As the Delhi government announced a lockdown on the evening of March…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?Login”Professional PIL shops must be locked down till the country comes out of COVID-19 tragedy” – Solicitor General for India.I will start by confessing that when the Courts decided to shut down in the face of the pandemic, I was nervous. We aren’t used to functioning without the general and benign supervision of our Courts. As the Delhi government announced a lockdown on the evening of March 22nd, it was clear that everybody had forgotten about those who earn from one meal to the next. Thus in the very first hours, several opportunities presented themselves for people to rush to Court to complain about the insufficiency of shelters, or the inadequacy of available food on the street (the migrations hadn’t even begun, then).Since the constitutional courts were less accessible, at least some lawyers who would normally have gone to court, called upon their contacts amongst community volunteers to ask why workers were not utilizing the shelters/food kitchens that had been set up; then relayed feedback from the ground back to their contacts in government, and so it went – back and forth – the Delhi government tweaking its implementation mechanisms every day, and many families still remaining outside the safety net, which was not cast wide enough. It was trial and error and families remained hungry. And, I reluctantly admitted to myself that the writ court could not have enforced an efficient implementation mechanism either, in a situation where the administration has only just discovered the social and economic realities of a large number of citizens and has no institutional structures to quickly respond. The courts could impose punitive damages for ‘forgetting’, but that’s another matter.In times of stress, PILs are sometimes framed around questions of immediate relief. Sometimes, they are framed around the larger question of rights, but given the exigencies of situations, (and the heckling from the opposite side), decided as a matter of administration of relief. As we have witnessed in the Kashmir lockdown cases (and the Kashmir Habeas Corpus cases), whenever an act of the state takes on a meaning greater than its immediate import, the writ Court will only be somewhat gentle with its victims, ask the state to ameliorate suffering (in accordance with law), but not do much more. In any case, PILs on immediate relief, and the decisions that they invite, tend to view the constitutional court as an attached office: that which provides detailed executive directions required for the proper implementation of policies. Actual constitutional questions get clouded in the process. The state, on the other hand, seems not only to be discouraging PILs in the law courts, but also all attempts at critical engagment outside the courts. The government seems quite content in its handling of all crises, and views all questions and criticism as ‘fake news’ and bad form. Outside the PIL court, there are no sites left for engagement where the citizen can make demands on the government on equal terms. To protest now is to be subversive, to write against the ‘war like’ efforts is to be propagandist. The deceit of the metaphorsSusan Sontag was a philosopher and political activist. She was diagnosed with cancer when she wrote Illness as Metaphor and made a point that may be of relevance here: “The purpose of my book was to calm the imagination, not to incite it. Not to confer meaning [to disease], but to deprive [it] of meaning.” In the book, she strips disease of its military metaphors (of an invasion, of the body being colonized) and argues that “the transformation of war-making into an occasion for mass ideological mobilization has made the notion of war useful as a metaphor for all sorts of ameliorative campaigns whose goals are cast as the defeat of an ‘enemy’.” The invocation of such metaphors does nothing to capture the actual experience of an illness, or as we have seen in the present case, to avoid making ‘collateral damage’ of its most vulnerable citizens.Thus, when the analogy of war has been invoked and when all efforts are expected to be resolute and focused on the primary disaster, it is not easy to challenge the constitutionality of the state’s responses to the disaster. It is simpler to ask the constitutional court to direct the state to ameliorate suffering, than to ask why people were put in that vulnerable place at all.The countrywide lockdown, sealing borders between states and discontinuing all modes of public transport was notified under the National Disaster Management Act, 2005 [NDMA] and under the various state regulations as per the Epidemic Act, 1897. The NDMA defines ‘disaster management’ as a continuous and integral process of planning, organizing, coordinating and implementing measures for capacity-building towards preparedness to deal with disaster, as also prompt response and mitigation of further risk.It is important to question the lack of continuous and integral planning especially with regard to building public health infrastructure, or public housing, or any kind of reliable safety net in Court, even in ‘times of war’. Although the court does not always show an inclination to hear matters at such times, preferring to adjourn it for calmer occasions. [When the challenge to the word ‘socialism’ in the Constitution one-day reaches the Court, as it will do, then perhaps questions relating to continuous and integrated preparedness in meeting the disaster of forced migration could be addressed.]Other questions that cannot wait until the ‘war’ is overI believe that these questions are a century old and although they contributed to radical thought within the freedom movement, and also the subsequent unseating of the colonial government, they are as yet constitutionally unresolved. Amidst the 1896-97 crisis of the bubonic plague , the British colonial administration brought about a hastily drafted Epidemic Act, 1897. Even during the brief debate in the Imperial Legislative Assembly on the Bill, members had pointed out that it was vague and had a propensity for abuse of power. The law gave extensive powers to the executive to inspect people and residential houses for signs of the plague, in order to prevent the spread of disease. The authorities had the power to order people into quarantine, seal dwelling houses and destroy contaminated goods. Soon enough, instances of disrespectful inspections, forced indignities on people, arbitrary detentions and deaths from starvation accumulated. Walter Rand was at the time, the plague commissioner of Bombay, almost certainly short-staffed, and under a lot of pressure in the face of an uncooperative population and increasing spread of the disease. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, political editor and activist, diligently reported the excesses, protested them, and inadvertently also took the issues to court when he was tried for having caused disaffection against the colonial government by writing about its disease control policies. [Damodar Chapekar of Poona had felt so enraged by the indignities heaped upon the women by the authorities acting under the Epidemic Act, that he assasinated Rand in June 1897. The colonial police arrested Tilak for sedition, accusing him of having provoked Chapekar through his writings].Tilak had been asking the following questions:1. Is law or executive action that disrupts so significantly and in such systematic ways the lives of such large numbers of people valid? For good measure, he also asked: does a government that repeatedly harms a section of its people, in order to safeguard the interests of another section retain its legitimacy? 2. Even in the time of bubonic plague, can the authorities be allowed to arbitrarily punish and humiliate defaulters? 3. Is it an act of sedition to ask questions even at a time of great public excitement or unrest? As I write this, I am receiving news of other notifications issued under the Epidemic Act, which reiterate restrictions on movement of persons, and threaten punitive action. Then there are exhortations ordaining community actions at appointed times. The time of the pandemic is also the time of bio politics.The situation today can be encapsulated in Sontag’s formulations and Tilak’s questions. I pray that the courts recall Tilak and the freedom movement, and that actions of the government continue to be challenged – and heard – every step of the way in the constitutional courts. Author is a Lawyer practicing in Supreme Court of IndiaViews are personal only.Next Storylast_img read more

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The Collegium & Open Secrets

first_imgColumnsThe Collegium & Open Secrets Prof. (Dr) Yogesh Pratap Singh & Lokendra Malik16 Feb 2021 5:05 AMShare This – xUnlike the British and American Constitution, the Indian Constitution provided for a method of appointment that neither gives the executive absolute authority (which the British model does) nor does it permit the Parliament to have any role in the appointment (American model of appointment) that involves a possibility of subjecting judicial appointments to political pressure. The…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginUnlike the British and American Constitution, the Indian Constitution provided for a method of appointment that neither gives the executive absolute authority (which the British model does) nor does it permit the Parliament to have any role in the appointment (American model of appointment) that involves a possibility of subjecting judicial appointments to political pressure. The text of the Constitution postulated a consultative and participatory process which unfortunately has not been adhered to and therefore the inherent check necessary for the maintenance of balance between the institutions exercising the power has been obfuscated. The fallout is that the power to appoint judges has flip-flopped between the executive and the judiciary. In the second judges’ case (1993), this power to appoint judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts has come to vest in a collegium of judges and, the executive’s role was effectively obliterated. This is how India became the first and probably the only country where judges acquired democratic political power to appoint judges through judicial interpretation of the constitutional text. The union executive is now bound by the decisions of the collegium, and if it has a view different from that of the collegium, it can send it back to the collegium with the reasons, asking for a reconsideration. But if the collegium reaffirms its recommendation then the central government is bound to accept it. Because, no timeline is prescribed during which the President of India needs to sign the warrant of appointment of the judges, the central government delays the judicial appointments taking the advantage of this loophole. The central government’s recent decision modifying the recommendation of the collegium to extend the tenure of Justice Pushpa Ganediwala, an Additional Judge of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court by one year is per se against the prevailing scheme. The collegium had recommended giving her two years’ extension but the central government modified the proposal and gave her an extension of just one year as an additional judge. But this is not shocking. The primacy of collegium was directly-indirectly interrogated by the central government on several occasions. The union government unilaterally modified the collegium’s recommendation and segregated the name of Mr. Gopal Subramanium from the panel of four names recommended for appointment as Supreme Court judges. Similarly, the central government had also segregated the name of Justice K.M. Joseph from the recommendation of the collegium and resisted his elevation on the flawed grounds of “fair representation” and a junior in all India seniority list. But a more precarious trend is visible where the Supreme Court collegium itself has changed its recommendations without giving any reasons. The central government did not notify the collegium’s recommendation (2016) to transfer Justice M R Shah from the High Court of Gujarat to the Madhya Pradesh High Court. At that time, the then Chief Justice T S Thakur was heading the collegium. The matter was pushed to an extent that the CJI told the Attorney- General that he would withdraw the judicial work from Justice Shah if the central government did not process his transfer. But the firm central government finally prevailed and the government returned the recommendation to the collegium for its reconsideration in February 2017 after Chief Justice Thakur retired and Justice J S Khehar became the Chief Justice of India. Surprisingly, the collegium headed by Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, instead of restating Justice Shah’s transfer, recalled the previous recommendation made by the collegium. Justice Shah continued to serve in the High Court of Gujarat till July 2018 as the second senior-most judge. Later on, he was elevated as the Chief Justice of Patna High Court based on the recommendation made by the collegium headed by the then Chief Justice Dipak Misra. In November 2018, he was elevated to the Supreme Court of India. It is pertinent to mention here that recently during a function to celebrate the diamond jubilee of the Gujarat High Court Justice Shah described PM Modi as “our most popular, loved, vibrant, and visionary leader”. In 2018 also, when he was appointed the Chief Justice of Patna High Court, he had called PM Modi “a model and a hero”. The only other Supreme Court judge in recent times to openly praise Prime Minister Modi was Justice Arun Mishra, now retired. In February 2020, Justice Mishra had said that PM Modi was an “internationally acclaimed visionaryand a versatile genius who thinks globally and acts locally”. Many prominent members of the bar had criticized his statement saying that such statements reflect poorly on the independence of the judiciary which is a basic structure of the Constitution and the judges should not display any proximity with the executive which is the biggest litigant in the courts of law and should maintain a distance from the executive functionaries to strengthen the public trust in the institution of the judiciary. Notably, the Supreme Court collegium comprising the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices Madan B. Lokur, A.K. Sikri, S.A. Bobde, and N.V. Ramana on 12th December 2018 recommended elevating Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, and Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajendra Menon to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Justice Lokur retired from the office on 30 December 2018 and Justice Arun Mishra joined collegium, a body of five senior judges. The Collegium met again on 10 January 2019 and surprisingly changed its 12 December 2018 recommendation and made a fresh recommendation to elevate Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Judge, Delhi High Court (Sl. No. 33 in the combined seniority list of all India High Court Judges) and Justice Dinesh Maheswari, the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court (Sl. No. 21 in the combined seniority of all India High Court Judges) superseding several High Court judges. On 10 May 2019, the Supreme Court collegium recommended the appointment of Gujrat High Court Judge Justice Akil Kureshi as the Chief Justice of Madhya Pradesh High Court. However, the appointment of Justice Kureshi was not notified by the Law Ministry apparently on the ground that he had passed strictures against Amit Shah in 2010 when Shah was Home Minister of Gujarat. The collegium, not to anyone’s surprise, changed its 10 May 2019 recommendation with the modification that Mr. Justice A.A. Kureshi should be appointed as the Chief Justice of the Tripura High Court. As usual, no reason was given for this abrupt modification. Justice Pushpa Ganediwala was recommended to be appointed as a permanent judge by the collegium on 20 January 2021. However, this decision was changed within a week following media reports after her controversial interpretation of the POCSO Act which was later stayed by the Supreme Court. This once again raises apprehensions regarding the functioning of the collegium. Whether the senior-most Supreme Court judges sitting in administrative capacity can dissect a judicial decision or based on some judgments which received massive media attention can decide the elevation or confirmation of a judge. It can set a bad precedent. Justice Ganediwala’s wrong judgment should have been overruled by the appellate court. What will collegium do if a permanent judge of the High Court delivers wrong judgments? Will such judges be impeached for delivering wrong judgments? Since its conception, the Supreme Court collegium has been functioning in an “opaque” and “non-transparent” manner. Increasingly greater reliance was placed on the principle of qualitative worthiness of a judge as opposed to a more objective parameter. But it never assigned any credible parameters for decrypting one judge more worthy than the other. In absence of any transparency, nobody knows whether collegium undertakes the examination of judgments rendered by those for consideration for either appointment or confirmation. If it takes into account then what is the weightage given to it and whether all judgments are taken into account or recent judgments? The Supreme Court while declaring NJAC unconstitutional in 2015 proposed to modify the existing Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) to plug the loopholes. The new MoP is yet to be finalized because of perpetual differences between the Collegium and the central government over the issues. A news report published in February 2018, informed that the law ministry wrote a letter to the Supreme Court in July 2017 admitting three points of disagreement: First; the central government wanted to keep the reasons for rejecting any selection confidential if it is essential in the interest of “national security and overriding public interest” and can share only with the CJI. Second; the Supreme Court was not in favour of establishing a secretariat for examining and clearing the names of judges and creating a committee of judges beyond collegium to examine the complaints against sitting judges. And third; it was also against the search and evaluation committees for selecting suitable candidates. In absence of MoP, the governmental grip over collegium has amplified immensely and has twisted into a pseudo collegium. Perhaps, the collegium is responsible for its decline. It should put its house in order. The Supreme Court collegium has failed to devise a defensible mechanism for the appointment of judges. Even in the case of qualitative assessment of a judge, a more objective and transparent criterion should be developed. These may include- number of majority judgments authored by a judge, number of dissents authored by a judge, number of concurring opinions authored by a judge, number of cases disposed of by a judge as judge of the High Court and also as the Chief Justice of the High Court, number of significant judgments authored by a judge which were later approved by the Supreme Court, etc. Such criterion can be further sharpened by defining as to what would constitute a landmark judgment and probably also the number of working days devoted by a judge in office and so on. In addition to this, seniority attached with differential weightage and his integrity, honesty, character, class-bias, caste-bias, communal leanings, political alignments, and any other attributions would bring a lot more credibility to the merit and qualitative worthiness argument of the collegium. In absence of it, merit base argument would remain a shallow drum being played often by the collegium when they prefer to favour one judge over the other disregarding seniority.Views are personal.(Prof. (Dr) Yogesh Pratap Singh is the Vice-Chancellor (I/c), NLU Odisha and Lokendra Malik is a practicing Advocate at the Supreme Court of India)Next Storylast_img read more

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Minorities happy to offer NHS a hand

first_imgMinorities happy to offer NHS a handOn 27 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today A recruitment campaign designed to specifically appeal to candidates fromminority groups has attracted more than 9,000 enquiries to the NHS. The ‘We Need a Hand’ Campaign, by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital NHS Trust,ran for three months last year, and has led to more than 300 formal jobapplications. It was the first NHS campaign to specifically target a range of minoritygroups and was designed to help increase the diversity of the hospitals’workforce. The hospitals serve the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark – wheremore than 130 languages are spoken – and the trust says it is essential thatits staff reflect the area’sculture. Terry Coode, deputy director of personnel, said the overwhelming response tothe campaign demonstrated the value of targeting the local community. “We wanted people to feel that Guy’s and St Thomas’ were their localhospitals and part of their community so that people who might not considerworking in the NHS would come and work for us,” he said. At least 13 staff have been appointed as a direct result of the campaign sofar, including six clerical workers and four nurses. The campaign included press, radio and poster advertisements and was fundedby a £204,000 grant from the hospital’s charitable foundation. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Continue Reading... Minorities happy to offer NHS a hand