45 petitions

Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to Veena Kumari Dermal

Safeguard our minerals, our children's inheritance, from theft

The National Mineral Policy is open till Feb 9, 2018 for public comments. Minerals are a shared inheritance. The present mining system in India is leading to enormous losses of our mineral wealth, and a few cronies are benefiting. What little is received by governments is also spent, a total loss for our children. This must stop. Hence we are sending the representation to the Ministry. As the draft National Mineral Policy acknowledges, “natural resources, including minerals, are a shared inheritance where the state is the trustee on behalf of the people to ensure that future generations receive the benefit of inheritance.” If we fulfill this duty, we may enjoy the fruits of our inheritance. A loss is a loss to all of us and all our future generations. ​In order to reflect these principles meaningfully, the National Mineral Policy must incorporate the following: 1. ​The objective of the MMDR Act must be to ensure that rights of future generations to our shared inheritance are safeguarded, not just “development and regulation of mines and minerals”. 2. Mineral conservation must be defined to mean conservation of the value of the minerals. Mineral development would include zero waste mining – extract every bit of value including associated minerals, now dumped as waste. 3. Minerals represent opportunities. Mining must be capped to ensure availability of the mining jobs and income from extraction over multiple generations. Mining must also be capped to ensure availability of the mineral over multiple generations. Some part of our minerals must be set aside as strategic reserves. The draft policy discusses a “disaggregated approach … considering aspects like reserves/ resources and potential for reuse through recycling” without mentioning that this would be to establish these two caps and strategic reserves. 4. For the environment, as the policy suggests, we must first establish no-go areas. Then we must impose area-wide limits on extraction under the Precautionary Principle. We must first try to avoid any damage. If damage is inevitable, it must be fully compensated for under the Polluter Pays Principle. These constitutional principles are ignored in the draft Policy. 5. FPIC (“Free Prior Informed Consent”) of the mining affected is necessary before mining. During mining, the District Mineral Foundation must be controlled by the mining affected, and the plans must be developed through participatory planning and budgeting. 6. State Governments, as owners, must do more than “endeavour to ensure that the full value of the extracted minerals is received by the State.” All mining must be on a zero loss basis. We cannot afford to lose any part of our children’s inheritance. This requires the following: (a) Illegal mining is simply theft from our children and must be punished severely. Offenders must be blacklisted, prevented from handing public resources. (b) The Government must prove that the terms of any fresh mining prevent a loss. The present auction structures used for the mineral and coal auctions guarantee losses to the people when mineral prices boom. This must stop. (c) If there are any mines where we are losing any of the value of our children’s inheritance, the Government must pursue all legal avenues to cancel the lease. Ministry of Mines TAMRA data (Jan 25) shows that for 33 leases auctioned so far, the amounts payable towards royalty, DMF and NMET add up to Rs. 29,556 crores, while the auction premia is Rs. 98,832 crores. This indicates massive losses are being suffered on the pre 2015 mining leases. 7. Intergenerational equity is the primary objective of the FRBM Act 2003. For the definition of “revenue deficit” in Section 2(e) of the FRBM Act 2003 (or its proposed replacement), all receipts from minerals should be treated as a capital receipt from the sale of our children’s inheritance. 8. Following the Goa example, all mineral receipts must only be deposited in a Future Generations Fund, with the state as the trustee on behalf of the present and especially future generations. This is already the practice in over 50 countries and sub-national entities. The following steps must be followed to achieve this: (a) Any receipts from new leases must be deposited into the Future Generations Fund. (b) All auction premia from mineral auctions should be deposited into this Fund. (c) At present, royalty is treated as revenue and spent. This must stop within five years. Any loss is a loss to everyone equally, effectively a per-head tax, highly regressive. 9. The Future Generations Fund should be managed by the National Pension Scheme. The primary investment goal must be to maintain the real value of the corpus in the face of rising prices, and various other threats like corruption, expropriation, etc, and to earn real income. The real income must only be distributed to all the people as a Citizens’ Dividend. Any loss or diversion is effectively a hidden per-head tax, immoral. 10. As minerals are some of our most valuable assets, the state must implement a cutting edge control system. This includes satellite, drone and lidar imaging, system auditors, Aadhaar tracking, fit and proper person tests, a whistleblower and PIL litigants rewards and protection scheme, etc. Mining entities should also be audited frequently. 11. The people, as the real owners of the minerals, should be permitted to satisfy themselves at any time that their children’s inheritance is protected. This requires radical transparency including the ability to conduct social audits, and open access to the public to all data (including the data feeds) in real time at no cost. 12. India must achieve global best practices including membership of EITI and the WAVES partnership, and adopt practices like Open Budgets, Open Fiscal Models, Open Contracts, Open Data, Mandatory Disclosure of payments to governments, Beneficial Ownership Registries, registry of interests for politicians, mineral chain control systems, prevention of tax Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), Free Prior Informed Consent (“FPIC”), etc. 13. The Policy must be implemented through changes to the laws, rules and regulations in a time bound manner. Timelines should be set out in the policy. Boost to the people and our economy India is trying to maintain a high growth rate. One key constraint is the availability of savings to finance the required investments, especially in infrastructure. If all states save all their mineral receipts instead of consuming them, it will increase the savings rate. The permanent funds would invest in the capital markets, deepening them with a new pool of savings. The investments are intended to earn real income in perpetuity. This makes them ideal for investment in equity or infrastructure, both much needed. There have been extensive discussions around the feasibility of a Universal Basic Income in India. The benefits of a UBI are many – direct welfare benefits like improved health or education outcomes, equity effects as the same money helps the disadvantaged more, freedom effects as it acts as insurance or for paying off debt, and economic benefits. Economic benefits include increased entrepreneurship in villages due to the regular inflow of cash and lower migration to cities as a result. The Citizen’s Dividend paid from the permanent fund is a Universal Basic Income. Openness and transparency with government data has been shown the spur economic growth. There are a few reasons. It becomes easier to locate problems. It becomes easier to check corruption. And most importantly of all, new applications can be created on top of the base data sets. Other than the “open dissemination of geoscientific data as a public good”, the government is quite closed, not open. Being closed closes off business opportunities, stifles entrepreneurship. The five key elements of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. Implementing the intergenerational equity principle positively impacts all five key elements by lowering extreme poverty, reducing the environmental impact of mining, increasing prosperity, reducing conflict and finding the financing for it. The ongoing corruption from mining is a huge drag on the economy. World Bank research shows good governance leads to a 300% increase in per capita income in the long term. Most of our large scams have dealt with natural resources. The corruption is leading to political capture and poor governance. It is also behind our civil war and much of our environmental issues. It is a driver of our galloping inequality and our persistent extreme poverty. The principles we are advocating will make a significant dent of corruption, which is sorely needed. We insist that these principles be included in the new National Mineral Policy. Let us be remembered as the generation that changed the course of history, not the one that destroyed the planet.

The Future We Need
7,448 supporters
Started 1 month ago

Petition to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Law and Justice

Support live-streaming of proceedings in the Supreme Court of India

Dear all, Most Indians have no idea how some of the biggest decisions that impact them are taken. I am Indira Jaising, a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India, I go to argue my cases and see other cases being argued. I can understand how and why decisions were taken. But the vast majority of Indians do not have this opportunity. The law and judicial processes play a huge role in all our lives. It governs our behavior, it protects our rights and property. I am a lawyer and I strongly believe that all Indians should be able to see and understand how the Supreme Court of India functions. When people understand how the judiciary functions it gives them more power, it gives them the tools to protect their rights, it gives them more respect and confidence in the judiciary. I have filed a public interest petition in the Supreme Court to live stream and video record cases of national interest that impacts each one of us. The Supreme Court has advanced the human rights jurisprudence of this country and heard pleas of citizens on environmental concerns, gender justice issues, and ensured that these rights are protected equally for all. All of us cannot be physically present in New Delhi to hear the arguments of the lawyers, or the concerns of Judges on such issues. Technology will help us bridge the gap and make it possible to access the Supreme Court and virtually enter the courtroom even when not present. Proceedings in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have been telecast and live streamed for over 10 years now. This has brought awareness about the functioning of Parliament, all State Assemblies and our elected representatives. The higher judiciary all over the world provides means for viewing their courtroom proceedings, which enhances the transparency in its working. Live streaming of cases of national importance would do the same for the Supreme Court of India. To give one example, you were all able to see the arguments in real time in the Kulbushan Yadav case at the International Court of Justice. Why can we not see the proceedings in our courts? The law and judicial processes are confusing to most citizens who have no legal training. Yet the law plays a huge role in all our lives, it impacts each and everyone. That is why I strongly believe that all citizens must be given an opportunity to understand how the law functions. If the Supreme Court approves of the prayers in my petition, it will help increase awareness and bring transparency in the decision making process. Ordinary Indians will be able to see and understand how decisions are made. It will inspire confidence in the judiciary. The people of this country, can hear first-hand arguments and concerns raised in the court. The next generation of lawyers and citizens will also gain from the immense educational and archival value of the landmark cases. This is our chance to bring in the new era of the justice system, in which we participate by getting access to information. Join me in this movement to strengthen democracy and watch the Supreme Court of India develop human rights jurisprudence, which impacts us all.  All it takes is copy/paste the petition link on facebook and appeal to your friends to join you in the movement. Thank you. Indira Jaising    

Indira Jaising
91,806 supporters
This petition won 5 months ago

Petition to Hon Prime Minister shri Narendra Modi, Honorable Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Honorable Shri Alok Verma, Shri Mukul Rohatgi, Boris Johnson MP, Theresa May MP, Paul Uppal MP

Expose the truth and evidence in Jiah Khan Murder

Dear Prime Minister, 
I am the mother of jiah Khan, who was murdered in Mumbai on 3.d }.une 2013. Despite clear signs of foul play at the crime scene, the local police declared it a suicide. After the initial traumatic shock from the loss of my daughter, it became clear to me that the "investigation" by ]uhu Police was entirely sabotaged in order to benefit the Accused, for reasons best known to them. With tireless support from my advocate Mr. Dinesh Tiwari I moved the Bombay High Court in October 2013, with all the forensic evidence that I have obtained from experts in India and England that is pointing towards homicide. 
Analysis of the forensic experts shows that the injuries on my daughter/s body are inconsistent with the alleged suicidal hanging and the forensic evidence strongly suggest that she was murdered and then hanged to make it look like a suicide. Since then, it has been four years now that I had been persistent$ fighting for justice. 
The Hon'ble Bombay High Court, in July 2014 heard my petition and prayer for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), supposedly the premier investigating agency in India, to investigate my daughte/s death. The case was transferred to the CBI with a clear mandate to find out whether my daughter/s death was homicidal or suicidal, and, if it was found to be homicidal, to launch a further investigation and take appropriate action.For some reason, CBI was reluctant to take over the case from the beginning, and in fifteen months of delay in their findings, the CBI investigation got compromised. It would be an insult to the capabilities of the CBI to say that CBI just failed to conduct a proper investigation. There is no doubt CBI has all the powers and skills required to get to the bottom of my daughter,s death. But somehow, the CBI investigation went off track, for reasons best known to them. Even CBfs own independent forensic expert opinion from PGI was inconclusive and does not rule out either homicide or suicide. 
The CBI had been misleading me about the direction of their investigation ever since the first meeting with the participation of two representatives of the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai, Rachel sunden and Kenneth D'Me[lo, on 10th Februarv 2015 atmy residence in Juhu, Mumbai.  Anyone tooking at the acfual facts in this case realizes that the case has been heavily "managed". It is not my task to speculate about the police's and the CBIs motivation, but a connection and the influence of the Accused's father Aditya Pancholi would not be too far-fetched. 
UK-based forensic expert Jason Payne James clearly states in his report that this appears to be a staged homicide. So I approached the Hon'ble High Court earlier this year with all the relevant grievances and expert reports requesting reinvestigation by an SIT. CBI strongly opposed, but the Hon'ble High Court noted in its order that all the points raised in my petition can be submitted to the trial court. 
I submitted the application 95 to the trial court through the State-appointed Special Public Prosecutor mr Dinesh Tiwari who knows the history of this case from the beginning. During the argument in the trial court the Hon'ble Judge asked the CBI why evidence like crime scene photographs, mention of ligature, call logs, Blackberry phone text messages, GPS and expert reports were not part of their supplementary report? Following this submission, the CBI has been trying to remove SPP Tiwari and to replace him with one of its own prosecutors who has no knowledge about the case and has been displaying a hostile attitude towards me. 
Recently, when my application to submit key evidence and forensic expert reports was argued in the trial court the CBI, along with the Accused, strongly opposed the application being accepted by the court. How is justice going to be served, if the prosecution CBI has teamed up with the Accused to suppress evidence?The forensic report by ]ason Payne-James and a report by Professor Deborah Barneveld which highlight what CBI has ignored to investigate and denied justice to the victim's family. It is in this light that I have no other recourse than to plead to you about the case of my daughter Jiah. My grief my pain as a mother is not just words, truth and justice must be surfaced and served and only you the honourable Prime minister have the power to ensure this. May God guide you to help us. Please let me know what are your plans and advice for the victim's mother and family to grant them a closure. May almighty God bless you and the nation India. Sincierely yours rabyakhan victim jiah khans mother

rabya Khan
810 supporters