Tag Archives: ESIC Medical College

TANSI land grabbing & ESIC Medical College grabbing!

Ms. Jayalalitha, as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, manipulated law and procedure, in the year 1991 and 1992, to grab the land that belonged to the TANSI Foundry. The TANSI, the Tamil Nadu Small Industries Corporation Limited, was a Government Company, the entire shares of which were held by the Government of Tamil Nadu. She manipulated the tender procedure and got the land sold by the Government to Tamil Nadu, through G.O. Ms. No. 18 issued on 20.01.1992 to her own business concern, M/s Jaya Publications. This was an unregistered partnership concern in which she and one Ms. Sasikala were partners.

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The Office of the TANSI, Guindy. One of the many.

 

It was a fact that for long, a Code of Conduct for Ministers had been in force in Tamil Nadu. It was a G.O, a Government Order. “A Code of Conduct for Ministers was brought into force by G.O.Ms. Nos. 1350 on June 16, 1968 which was revised from time to time and clause 2(b) thereto provides that ‘a Minister shall refrain from buying from, or selling to, the Government any immovable property except where such property is compulsorily acquired by the Government in the usual course and refrain from starting, or joining, any business’. There was allegation that Ms. Jayalalitha had violated the provision of these conduct rules.

The matter was taken to court of law and she was found guilty by the trial court. The Trial Judge convicted Ms. Jayalalitha, Ms. Sasikala and the  bureaucrats involved in the case.

Thus spake the Supreme Court

When the matter went to the Supreme Court later, it held in its 24 pages judgment in R. Sai Bharathi Vs. J. Jayalalitha and others on 24.11.2003, as under:

supreme court

“Officers even holding small posts like a Railway Property Keeper or a Cattle Pound Keeper or a Process Nazir who is put in charge of the sale of properties in a court auction cannot purchase the properties over which they have control. In the present case, in view of the fact that Government headed by the 1st Respondent has to give permission in respect of the sale of property of these two companies, it certainly exercises powers over the same and thus there is conflict of interest. Where there is conflict of interest law has always avoided such sales being effected in favour of those who can jeopardise the fair outcome of the transaction. Whatever may be our findings on the question of valuation of the property whether it resulted in a pecuniary advantage to A-1 or not, we are clear in our mind that if the officers and others become aware of the fact that the Chief Minister of the State is interested in purchasing some properties, the bureaucracy will be over-enthusiastic to see that the sale goes through smoothly and at a price desired by such Chief Minister. Though we can visualise such situation, such facts have to be established by concrete evidence to be convicted in a criminal case and is hard or difficult to get. At any rate, it is plain that such conduct is opposed to the spirit of the Code of Conduct if not its letter.

Morally speaking, Can there be one law for small officials of the Government and another law for the Chief Minister? In matters of such nature, is the Code of Conduct meant only to be kept as an ‘ornamental relic’ in a museum but not to be practised ? These aspects do worry our conscience. Respondent No.1 in her anxiety to save her skin went to any length even to deny her signature on documents which her auditor and other Government officials identified.

Report leading to IPC makes it clear that criminal law merely prescribes the minimum standards of behaviour, while in public life, those who hold high offices should not take shelter under the umbrella of criminal law but stand by high probity. Further, criminal law is meant to deal with criminals ordinarily, while Code of Conduct is observed as gentlemen’s agreement. Persons in public life, who are gentlemen, follow such Code instead of taking escape routes by resorting to technical pleas as arise in criminal cases. Persons in public life are expected to maintain very high standards of probity and, particularly, when there is likely to be even least bit of conflict of interest between the office one holds and the acts to be done by such person, ought to desist himself from indulging in the same. Such standards of behaviour were scrupulously observed in the earlier days after independence, but those values how now dwindled and instances of persons holding high elective offices indulging in self- aggrandisement by utilising Government property or in distribution of the largesse of the Government to their own favourites or for certain quid pro quo are on the increase. We have to strongly condemn such actions. Good ethical behaviour on the part of those who are in power is the hallmark of a good administration and people in public life must perform their duties in a spirit of public service rather than by assuming power to indulge in callous cupidity regardless of self imposed discipline.

Irrespective of the fact whether we reach the conclusion that A-1 is guilty of the offences with which she is charged or not, she must atone for the same by answering her conscience in the light of what we have stated not only by returning the property to TANSI unconditionally but also ponder over whether she had done the right thing in breaching the spirit of the Code of Conduct and giving rise to suspicion that rules and procedures were bent to acquire the public property for personal benefit, though trite to say that suspicion however strong cannot take place of legal proof in a criminal case and take steps to expiate herself.” (For more, please visit: Indian Kanoon – http://indiankanoon.org/doc/447378/ )

And Ms. Jayalalitha expiated herself by returning the land grabbed from the TANSI. All because she did not have the assistance of bureaucrats who were as clever as the bureaucrats of the present Central Government who drafted the Bill on the Code of Social Security, 2019 (which has been placed before the House of the People as Bill No. 375 of 2019). Also because she did not have a son or daughter who could be shown to be the purchaser instead of having her own name recorded in the sale deed. Also because she did not and could not have faith in any benami.

ESIC Medical Colleges grabbing

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ESIC Medical College & Hospital Complex, Joka, Kolkata, one of the many.

 

It would be appropriate to keep the TANSI – Jayalalitha episodes in mind while examining the puzzling provisions in Clause 39 (5) of the Bill on the Code of Social Security, 2019 (Bill No. 375 of 2019) which was referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour, on 23.12.2019, reads:

The colleges and training institutions referred to in sub-section (4) may be run by the Corporation itself or on the request of the Corporation by the Central Government, any State Government, any Public Sector Undertaking of the Central Government or the State Government or any other body notified by the Central Government.

Explanation: For the purposes of sub-section (5), the expression ‘‘other body’’ means any such organisation of persons which the Central Government considers capable to run colleges and training institutions referred to in sub-section (4).”

Significantly this provision had never been put in public domain by the draftsmen. In fact, this provision is an improvement from the earlier provision inserted by the bureaucrats in Clause 41(5) of the earlier draft Labour Code on Social Security, 2019, which had been put in public domain on 17.09.2019 but had been withdrawn by the PMO in the first week of October 2019. That was the third draft, the earlier ones being those publicised for the information and response of the stake holders in 2017 and 2018.

The first two drafts put in public domain in the years 2017 and 2018 had, rightly, been dumped because of their having been amateurish at the very first sight. But the third draft dated 17.09.2019 had betrayed the intention of the persons behind the draft at first sight. The said Clause 41(5) read:

The colleges and training institutions referred to in sub-section (4) may be run by the Corporation itself or on the request of the Corporation by the Central Government, any State Government, any Public Sector Undertaking of the Central Government or the State Government or any person notified by the Central Government.”

The words “any person” found in the above Clause in the third draft showed very clearly the intention of the draftsman to make smooth provision to divert the huge property of the ESI Corporation to private individuals. The same is the intention behind Sec. 39 (5) of the Bill No. 375 of 2019. i.e., to enable some interested private person to take over the medical colleges, built at a humongous cost.

Diverting the possession of public property to private hands

While the handing over of those mammoth structures to the Central Government, any State Government, any Public Sector Undertaking of the Central Government or the State Government is the right and understandable decision, there is no justification in handing over those Medical Colleges and Training Institutions to private sector let alone private individuals either as a single person or as a body of persons or as ‘organisation of persons’. The fine phrases used in the Clause to qualify the phrase, “the organisation of persons”, with subsequent phrases such as  the “consider”ation of the “Central Government” or  examination whether they are  “capable to run colleges and training institutions” are simply attempts at cheating the legislators and the public at large. The phraseology in Clause 39 (5) is a clear indicator of bureaucratic skulduggery of the year 2019 typical of many such amendments proposed ten years ago in 2009, vide Bill No. 66  of 2009,  in the ESI Act.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee is therefore required to examine this provision thoroughly, with open mind, keeping public interest in mind. The Committee may please take action to obtain the explanation of the draftsman and the other bureaucrats who colluded with him. It is also necessary that these facts have to be documented correctly and taken to its Report submitted to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha.

Essential Questions that need answers

Some of the essential questions that need proper answers of the bureaucrats in respect of the said Clause 39(5) are:

1. Who was the individual who came up with the original proposal for the inclusion of the phrase “or any person notified by the Central Government” in Clause 41(5) of the draft Labour Code on Social Security put in public domain on 17.09.2019?

2. If nobody had proposed inclusion of that sentence, was it included personally by the concerned draftsman only?

3. Who was the individual who proposed the modification of the phrase “any person” in the said Clause 41(5) in the previous draft and included in Clause 39(5) of the latest Code on Social Security placed before the Parliament, the phrase “any other body” and added an Explanation also to it to clarify that the phrase “other body” was to mean “organisation of persons which the Central Government considers capable to run colleges and training institutions referred to in sub-section (4).”? (It is very clear that such an inclusion in the earlier draft and modification in the current Bill are conscious, calculated and deliberate moves with an intended purpose. So, the draftsman concerned should explain before the Parliamentary Committee what motivated him or who advised him to insert such phrases with such a devotion, attention, care and caution.)

4. What was the advantage to the Indian public if these ESIC medical colleges and training institutions are handed over to such ‘organisation of persons’ or to some private individuals masquerading themselves as ‘organisation of persons’? Was any such issue examined on file before it was decided to include those phrases in the present Bill?

5. What would be the terms of such handing over? Have those terms been already finalised or would be finalised only after the Bill concerned has been made an Act?

6. What would be the duration for which those ‘organisation of persons’ would be allowed to run those medical colleges and training institutions? For a lease period of 5 years, 10 years or 99 years? (The records showing the examination of this issue before inclusion of this phrase should be produced before the Parliamentary Standing Committee).

7. What are the precedents, if there are any, which gave the idea to the draftsman to draft the said Clause 39 (5), the way he has drafted?

8. Can a law ever be framed with nebulous provisions like the ones in Clause 39 (5) along with its peculiar ‘Explanation’, without extensive discussion of the pros and cons of such phraseology and without keeping the details of such discussion on record? Should those files not be produced before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour now?

9. How will those Medical Colleges and Training Institutions be run by the private “organisation of persons”? Will it be in public interest or for private profit? If for private profit, how can running those colleges and training institutions by such private organisation be equated, in Clause 39 (5) and treated to be on par in status, with the running of those institutions by the Central Government and State Government or the PSUs of the Central Government or State Government?

10. Will the large ESIC Hospitals attached to the said Medical Colleges would also be handed over to those “organisation of persons”? If so, what will happen to the secondary and tertiary care of the insured persons covered under the ESI Act? Where are the papers in which these issues had been examined before venturing to insert the phrases to facilitate the entry of private persons for taking over the property of the ESIC to run the medical colleges?

 

To sum up,

These are essential questions but only minimum. The draftsman who drafted the said Code on Social Security which is pending consideration of the Parliamentary Standing Committee now as Bill No. 375 of 2019, has the bounden duty to answer these questions before the legislators. Because he knows the answers. Also because his role could be the root cause of a very big scandal that is going to erupt.

Carte blanche Subordinate Legislation

The present provision in Clause 39 (5) can, if made law, be easily used to divert the possession of the ESI Medical Colleges, in the name of lease for decades and decades, to the sons and daughters of the powerful ministers or leaders of the ruling dispensation who could cock a snook at every law  and every citizen of the country. The subordinate legislation required for enforcing the Clause 39 (5) is not in public domain. The Parliament is also not going to be aware of the nature of such a subordinate legislation, until it gives approval to the present Clause 39 (5). As things stand, this Clause is actually an unwanted and unwarranted blank cheque, a carte blanche in the hands of bureaucrats.

The Apex Court had said, “Unlike Parliamentary legislation which is publicly made, delegated legislation or subordinate legislation is often made unobtrusively in the chambers of a minister, a secretary to the Governor or other official dignitary.” (ITC Bhadrachalam Paperboards Vs. Mandal Revenue Officer 1996 (6) SCC 634 and Harla Vs. State of Rajasthan AIR 1951 SC 467 and B.K. Srinivasan Vs. State of Karnataka AIR 1987 SC 1059). There is no guarantee that that subordinate legislation would be drafted by the bureaucrats to serve public interest when the parent legislation, the Bill in hand, itself has been drafted in a wily manner to serve private interests.

Such subordinate legislations of many public institutions like the IITs, which have been loosely and carelessly prepared and put to use, have not been placed even before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subordinate Legislation for decades, resulting in continued mismanagement of the organisations like the IIT-Madras by the bureaucrats of the IITM in collusion with the bureaucrats of the Ministry of HRD with impunity. Evidences are aplenty and many cases are pending judicial review of the commissions and omissions of these bureaucrats.

Coalgate

Clause 39(5) in the Bill No. 375 of 2019 is an enabling provision which is patently unlawful in its content and purpose. This will result in favouritism and corruption of a colossal size.  Unrestricted and unconstitutional discretionary power is given to the bureaucracy to frame subordinate legislation in this regard to suit extending such favouritism to the people who are seemingly kept in the mind of the draftsman already. By recommending complete deletion of the words and phrases in the said Clause that enable diversion of possession to private hands, the  Parliamentary Standing Committee would be doing yeoman service to the nation, by saving  not only the public property and the public of the nation but also the Bureaucrats who forget the extent of their accountability and the importance of their role to defend the constitutional values. What is more, they choose even to ignore the fate of bureaucrats involved in the Coalgate. The sudden inclusion of these phrases in the year 2019 needs deeper probe into the issue.

Prayer to the PSC on Labour

It is prayed that keeping the interest of the nation and the public in mind the members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour would pour into the facts and circumstances behind this mysterious and mischievous Clause 39 (5) of the Bill No. 375 of 2019 and recommend the total deletion of the phrase “or any other body notified by the Central Government” along with the Explanation given therein to clarify the expression ‘other body’.

That will be a real service of the Hon’ble Members to the working population of India for all the time to come. It is in their hands now to ensure that no TANSI is repeated elsewhere.

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ESIC Medical Colleges, Clause 39 (5) & The Race of the Ultra-Rich!

(The insertion of the phrase “any other body” in Clause 39 (5) of the Bill of the Code of Social Security, 2019 is a cunning bureaucratic act to facilitate handing over the mammoth medical colleges built by spending the funds of the Corporation to private individuals masquerading as “organisation of persons”. What prompted the draftsman to insert this phrase in the Bill is a question worth probing by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour. This clause can have no place in a law meant for providing social security to the people, which is a sovereign function of the State, in a civilised democracy. This phrase should be removed first and the persons who inserted it and the persons who advised them to insert it should be made accountable and answerable to the people. The following narrative attempts at explaining the intricacies behind this provision and the consequences of it.)

 

 

Scene I

Early February 2020.

 

(Early February 2020. Pre-lockdown days. A luxury hotel in New Delhi. A glittering marriage function is going on. Only the ultra-rich were the invitees. Two of the invitees, Mr.A and Mr.B, just enter the premises. They are industrialists in different fields and are, therefore, close friends. The lifetime ambition of Mr. A is to reach the top 1% population of India and be counted as one among them. The Oxfam reports every year kept them propelled to do anything to achieve their dream. The top 1% which had in its possession 53% of the national resources in October 2015 had reached 58% in January 2016 and by January 2018 cornered a whopping 73%. These two men, though ultra-rich, were not computed within that top 1%. But Mr. A had been so particular about attaining that status had, therefore, been sad always. He wanted to amass more by acquiring more. And then he heard that there was a chance for him to take possession of the ESIC Hospitals, which had been constructed, unnecessarily, at various state capitals. He reckoned that if he acquired control of a few such medical colleges his image would increase phenomenally which he can use market himself more among those who were more moneyed than him. He could then move into the said 1% club, he perceived. It was in the backdrop, Mr. A wanted to meet Mr. B and examine the facts of the case and devise his further strategy. And they are there now in the marriage function just for their purpose.)

Mr. A: Good Evening Mr. B! (With a warm handshake) How do you do?

Mr. B: Fine, dear Mr. A! Come on, lets find a place for us to sit.

(Both of them search for a place which would be dark, although the restaurant is a glitzy one. And they find a relatively dark area and seat themselves comfortably.)

A: I find it comfortable when I sit in a shadowy area. The convenience is that we can see the others but they cannot see us.

B: True. It is just like the governments of the pre-RTI Act era.

A: I do not get it.

B: In those days when there was no RTI Act in force, rulers’ in power could see what people were doing but people could not see what the rulers were doing. Moreover, shadowy area suits us as we are inclined to indulge in many shady activities.

(Both of them laugh boisterously)

A: Yeah, now I know why the RTI Act is attempted to be diluted. Okay, Let us get down to brass tacks. What happened to the Labour Code on Social Security. I am waiting for it from 2017 onwards. My sources said some PPP, or Privatisation was being allowed to run the medical colleges built with the funds of the workers. But nothing came of it till date. I am also told that the drafts codes of 2017 and 2018 used many fine phrases to privatise anything and everything pertaining to social security, sprinkling within them the terms like Licence, Scheme, Fund Management Agency, Intermediate Agency, Point of Presence agency, Record Keeping Agency, Service Delivery Agency, etc., Yet people understood the motive behind these  terminogies and opposed those drafts. Valuable time has been lost for me in that process.

B: Yes, you are right. Those draft Labour Codes on Social Security publicised in the years 2017 and 2018 were prepared by officials and some outside “experts” who had not been trained in legislative drafting. So people could easily see through those drafts. That was the reason for the strong opposition to those drafts, which the government could not explain away. Ultimately, the government dumped those two drafts lock, stock and barrel. The latest one published on 11.09.2019 has been done in a professional manner. So the mala fide intention behind that draft has been camouflaged very cleverly. It is very difficult for the people to traverse beyond the text and understand the real purpose behind various provisions.

A:  Yes. After all, how many people would be ready to go through hundreds of pages to unearth the hidden agenda behind the draft. That is good for us anyway. My aim is to own the ESIC Hospitals constructed recently at New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. When shall I have them in my possession? I do not like to wait indefinitely. I am tired.

B: I find that you have no reason to worry. I have brought with me the copy of the bill No. 375 of 2019 dated 06.12.2019 placed before the Lok Sabha on 13.12.2019. Just go through Clause 39 (5). If the Bill gets passed, it will be called Sec. 39 (5). Read for yourself what that Clause says.

A: Give it to me. (Receives the paper and reads the relevant portion aloud). Clause 39 (5): “The colleges and training institutions referred to in sub-section (4) may be run by the Corporation itself or on the request of the Corporation by the Central Government, any State Government, any Public Sector Undertaking of the Central Government or the State Government or any other body notified by the Central Government.Yes, I have read it. What does it mean? I wanted to run these three hospitals myself. I do not think that has been enabled here.

 

B: You are in a hurry. I think this is the first time you are seeing Bill tabled on the Lok Sabha. Now read the Clause. 41(5) of the draft put in public domain last on 17.09.2019. That was the third draft, the earlier ones being those publicised in 2017 and 2018 and which had been dumped. Now read that clause 41(5).

A: Let me see. (Reads aloud). Clause 41(5). “The colleges and training institutions referred to in sub-section (4) may be run by the Corporation itself or on the request of the Corporation by the Central Government, any State Government, any Public Sector Undertaking of the Central Government or the State Government or any person notified by the Central Government.” (He throws the paper on the table). Yes, I like this draft of 17.09.2019. It very clearly says that the medical colleges may be run by “any person”. I had only to get that permission given to me “notified” by the Central Government. That I can get it done in a jiffy. Why is it that the phrase “any person” is not available in the latest Bill placed before the Lok Sabha?

B: (Smiles.)

A: Why do you smile? That Clause 41 (5) of the 17.09.2019 precisely answered my requirement. I am upset that that Clause has not made it to the Lok Sabha.

B: (Again smiling). Now read again the Clause 39 (5) of the Bill now pending in the Lok Sabha. Do you see the phrase “any other body” incorporated therein?

A: Yes, I do. But that does not serve my purpose.

B: Do not be so rash! Now see the Explanation given below the said Sec. 39(5) in the Bill.

A:  (Reads aloud) the Explanation under Clause 39 (5):For the purposes of sub-section (5), the expression ‘‘other body’’ means any such organisation of persons which the Central Government considers capable to run colleges and training institutions referred to in sub-section (4).” (Pauses for a moment and then jumps with irrepressible joy) Yeah! I know, I know! Now, the words “other body” mean “organisation of persons” also. I can have any number of AOPs, the Associations of Persons. What a simple idea to easily take over the costly hospitals built at prime metros and run them merrily treating them as virtually my own hospitals”. Hurrah! Hurrah!!

(Now the guests who came for the marriage had been dancing. Seeing them, Mr. A drew away Mr. B along with him and joined the dancing group and continued dancing. He was very happy that he could become the virtual owner of three ESI Hospitals at New Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata, once the Bill on Social Security Code became law. His joy knew no bounds. He was dancing and dancing without noticing Mr. B’s withdrawal from dance. It was when he got tired because of his physical exertion that Mr. A sat on a sofa. And he was shocked to find Mr. B sitting there, looking worried and pondering over certain issue. Mr. B continued to look puzzled. And, Mr. A felt concerned.)

 A: Mr. B! What is it you look concerned about something? You stopped dancing with us too, all of a sudden. Anything worrying you?

B: Yeah, I have a nagging question.

A: What is it?

B: All of a sudden, a question struck me. I am not able to find any logical or reasonable explanation. Mhm…… The ESIC is not able to run the medical colleges. But, why in the first place, they built so many medical colleges?

A: Don’t you know that? It is an interesting but sad commentary on the type of bureaucracy that we do have in India. Once the bureaucracy decided upon it, it manipulated the politicians in power according to its will, in every direction. Not only in forward direction but also in reverse also. And the politicians obliged them. There were so many hands in the till. Even the Ministry of Law and Justice played an active role in giving clearance to the controversial Bill to amend the ESI Act. The CAG too did not want to do his work right in detecting the crime. Anyway, my attention now is focused on getting my “organisation of persons” notified by the Central Government as one “capable”, as per Sec. 39 (5), to run the medical colleges and training institutions. I am now working on the manner in which I should float an Association of Persons (AOP) with appropriate papers to claim that I am capable of running medical colleges.

B: But you have not answered why they started building so many medical colleges all of a sudden.

A: Okay, I shall tell you! They started constructing so many medical colleges, all of a sudden, without even testing waters through Pilot project. It was because some persons in position wanted to loot the reserve funds of the ESIC in the name of construction activities. At that time, they said that they were constructing medical colleges “with a view to improve the quality of services provided under the Employees’ State Insurance Scheme.”

B: Then?

A: Also they said that the medical colleges were required to be run by the ESIC, to recruit doctors for running the ESIC Hospitals and dispensaries. That was a blatant lie but that statement was made to be believed by the Parliament which was shown to have voted, under questionable circumstances, for Sec. 59-B to be inserted accordingly in the parent Act.

B: Then?

A: Then what? They even went through a motion of getting bonds executed from the students who got graduated from the ESIC Medical Colleges. But when the doctors came out of these colleges, they were not recruited but outsiders were invited to apply.

B: Then?

A: Yeah. There was a somersault too. They admitted later that these massive structures constructed by them were a liability. They wanted to get rid of these white elephants born out of white-collar crimes. So, they said on 04.12.2014, that the “ESIC should exit the field of medical education entirely” as that was “not the core function of the organization”. They, therefore, wanted to divest those properties.

B: Then?

A: Even the CAG had recorded caustic comments in his report. He said, “Due diligence, if any, carried out to ascertain the number of colleges required to be opened, to fulfill the future requirement of doctors and other paramedical staff was not available”. (Para 2.6)

B: Was any action taken against anyone in this regard?

A: Neither the bureaucrats nor the politician in power ask themselves this question? The way they manipulated and cheated the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour at that time could serve a sad but interesting training material, a case-study paper to train the legislators about the way in which they would be cheated by bureaucrats. Even the tricks played by the British bureaucrats in the famous BBC serial, “Yes, Minister” would pale into insignificance before the tricks played by the Indian bureaucrats. So these bureaucrats do not have any concern about what you asked. Anyway, the proposed Sec. 39 (5) is now helping me to manipulate things and enabling me to run the medical colleges, virtually, as my own. I am only concerned about the manner in which I should make my moves. There would be many other ultra-rich and nouveau rich, who would be in the race and vie for these three medical colleges. But I know how to win this race of the rich. I khow to conspire against them. I know the power centres. In fact, you can say that I am the power centre. After all, India is not ruled as per the norms governing real democracy. It is ruled by corrupt bureaucracy sidelining the honest among them. What else can you say about the decayed state of Indian democracy, when even the CAG does not file counter affidavit in important cases for years and does not care to ensure that his actions should inspire confidence among the public? Be on the right side of that corrupt bureaucracy. You can become richer and make the poor poorer. And, that is how the 1% club came into existence in India.

(Both of them move towards the dinner hall).

Scene II

 Second Week of April 2020

 

(Second week of April 2020. Mr.A calls Mr. B over phone. Mr. B responds.)

A: Mr. B! How do you do? Heard the news?

B: I am fine Mr. A. What news do you talk about. In these days of lockdown due to Corona virus, I am getting to read many newspapers online. All are full of news only about Corona.

A: That is good. You know that the government thinks of bringing out an ordinance to enforce the provisions of the Code of Social Security, which was placed before the House of the People on 06.12.2019? It was referred to the Standing Committee of parliament on 23.12.2019. It had to give its report within three months. But the time granted was extended up to the commencement of the Monsoon Session that would begin in July 2020. I got fed up. My dream of taking three medical colleges at the three metros was getting delayed. Now the news is that the government is toying with the idea of bringing out an Ordinance to enforce the Social  Security Code.

B: How can there be an Ordinance for this Code, even when the matter is pending with the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour and that Committee has not yet given its report? In fact that draft had never been placed before the public for discussion by stakeholders, after the PMO returned in the first week of October 2019, the 17.09.2019 draft code. Even the action of the government in having introduced that document before the Lok Sabha on 11.12.2019 was wrong.

A: Hey! Who cares for all these niceties. I am for making use of the pandemonium created by Corona in the entire nation. This is the time opportune to get anything done for the ruling elite. I welcome the move. If rulers want to be powerful they should defy the law, defy the Constitution and defy the democratic conventions. If you want to be rich you make others poor. If you want to have power you make others weak. Now the Social Security structure of the nation is systematically weakened by the Code of Social Security, 2019 to make the rich richer. (Smiles heartily).

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Prof. Adarkar and ESIC Medical Colleges

The ESIC was intended to provide not only medical care in a better manner but also financial security in cases of sickness and in certain other contingencies.

Violation of the Fundamental Principles

While formulating the ESI Scheme, Prof. B.P. Adarkar had, very thoughtfully, specified eleven Fundamental Principles. They are, in fact, sound directive principles to be kept in view by the Government not only for any social security measure to be introduced through the ESI Scheme but also on any labour-welfare related matter. The one of his Fundamental Principles is that the proposed scheme “must not be too ambitious in the beginning”.

In the case of ESIC Medical Colleges, the following were the basic questions:

  1. Is it necessary for the ESIC to open and run Medical Colleges?
  2. Should those colleges be for post-graduate courses only or for under-graduate courses too?
  3. How many colleges must be opened and run by the ESIC?
  4. What would be the cost and what could be the benefit?

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