Thursday, September 23, 2021

Income Tax Notices to a Prominent Actor

The Income Tax Department conducted a search and seizure operation at various premises of a prominent actor.

I don't have any comments on what they found in the search. The actor, his accountants and lawyers would deal with that. But, I have an issue with one point that they said about his Charity Foundation. 

The Charity Foundation incorporated by the actor on 21st July, 2020 has collected donations to the tune of Rs. 18.94 crore from 01.04.2021 till date, out of which it has spent around Rs. 1.9 crore towards various relief work and the balance of Rs. 17 crore has been found lying unutilized in the bank account of the Foundation till date.

I absolutely do not see any issue with the information in the above paragraph. But, the Income Tax Department projected that information to defame him and it was widely published in the media as if he had done a fraud.

The Charity Foundation collected around Rs.18.94 crore in 6 months (From April to September of 2021) and they spent Rs. 1.9 crore. What is the Income Tax Department expecting? Is it expecting to spend everything within a month and not do any more charity work later on? 

If an organization receives more money than they need at that time, they would keep the money and utilize only the interest/income arising from that money. By that, they can do their social work regularly without depending on the donations from others later on. 

If the Income Tax Department has really found some fraud in the Charity Foundation, they should disclose those details, rather than blaming the foundation saying, "found lying unutilized in the bank account of the Foundation till date", as if it has been idle for decades, when it was just 6 months. 

With the present information that they disclosed and the news coverage, I could only say that they are trying to malign his Charity Foundation. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021

National Judicial Appointments Commission

In "Shades of Truth: A Journey Derailed", Kapil Sibal supported, "National Judicial Appointments Commission" (NJAC) and said that the Executive also should have role in selecting judges for higher judiciary.

He also wrote about the unfair treatment of the judges for not favoring the BJP Government at different times.

When Collegium refers for the appointment of higher judiciary, the Union Government can send back the proposal once. If the Collegium refers the same candidate once again, they have to accept the appointment. 

Justice K.M.Joseph quashed the president's rule in Uttarakhand in April 2016. When Collegium referred his promotion, the Union Government did not accept his promotion. A year later, when Collegium referred him once again, then only they accepted his promotion.

The Union Government rejected the appointment of Gopal Subramanium as Supreme Court judge. He was amicus curiae in Kausar Bi and Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case and persuaded the Supreme Court to entrust the CBI with the investigation.

Kapil Sibal also says, in another appointment, the Law Ministry raised fictitious complaints and delayed the promotion for two years in the name of enquiries etc. 

Kapil Sibal criticized the Modi Government in the case of Jayant Patel, who was not promoted at various times, eventhough all his juniors were promoted. Jayant Patel ordered CBI investigation into the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case (When Narendra Modi was CM of Gujarat). He also criticized for the Arbitrary transfer of Justice Abhay Thipsay, who imposed life sentences in the Best Bakery Case during the 2002 Gujarat carnage. 

But, he did not mention how the Modi Government stopped the promotion or transfer. Did he mean, Modi influenced Collegium to stop his promotion?

If Modi influenced Collegium or could do within the powers of the Executive, then it clearly contradicts Kapil Sibal's initial support for NJAC. 

When the Union Government could do many things even when they did not have official powers, what would they do, when they get official powers in the form of NJAC. That would be a terrible idea.

Kapil Sibal mentioned a few drawbacks in Collegium, like giving high priority to people whom they know in promotions etc. But, that is there in any system. Also, many times, it is not unfair.

For example, in a private company, there are two equally capable people who performed equally in the organization. One is regularly in touch with his/her reporting manager, and the other one is not that much in touch with the manager. The person who was in touch with the manager gets the promotion and the other one does not get. Can we say that the manager unfairly treated the other person?

Not necessarily. For a manager to give or recommend for promotion, he/she has to show a lot of data about the candidate that the candidate is performing at the next level already and promotion is just making it official. To show the data, the candidate has to regularly meet the manager and appraise what is going on in his/her work. If the manager does not have enough data, then even if he/she wishes to promote the candidate, it won't be possible. 

Before 2014, after the elections, if a party or an alliance is short of the majority, they try to buy the legislators and then try to form the government. But, after 2014, BJP is forming the government without having the majority and then buying the legislators by using the power. Many times, courts interfered and stopped that or restricted a few things. If the judges were appointed by the Union Government, then it would lead to dictatorship. 

Even if Collegium has its own flaws, the flaws are negligible, when compared to giving power to the Government