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Why Does 45th Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra Need ‘Z’-Category Security of Armed NSG Commandos?

Jjustice Depak Misra, who had been recommended as a successor by Justice J.S Khehar in July, becomes the 45th Chief Justice of India and was administered the oath of office by President Ram Nath Kovind.

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Chief Justice of India.
The swearing in ceremony of Justice Dipak Misra as the 45th Chief Justice of India. Twitter
  • Justice Dipak Misra was sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India
  • His tenure will span for the next 14 months until his retirement in October 2018
  • Justice Misra is the only CJI to have armed protection of black commandos

New Delhi, August 29, 2017: The Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S Khehar demitted office on August 27. The next in line was Justice Dipak Misra, who was sworn in on August 28 as the 45th Chief Justice of India at a ceremony held at the Darbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

President Ram Nath Kovind administered the oath taking ceremony of Misra, who had been recommended as a successor by Justice J.S Khehar in July this year.

In his career spanning 40 years, Justice Dipak Misra ventured into most realms of the law- civil, criminal, constitutional, revenue services and matters concerning sales tax, proving his grit to take over the new position. But that is not the only intriguing aspect of his career.

Justice Deepak Misra is the first ever Chief Justice of India to have a ‘Z’-category security cover.

The 45th CJI was provided with an upgraded security cover in 2015 after he had received a death-threat letter from terrorist organizations.

Why Would A Supreme Court Judge Need Security Cover?

On July 30, 2015, Justice-Misra headed the three-judge bench in a hearing when Yakub Memon, convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, pleaded for a 14 days’ stay on his death penalty just hours before he was to be hanged. The pleas were starkly dismissed in an incomparable 2:30 am hearing and the judgment went on to become a landmark in the Indian legal history.

However, shortly after the hearing, an anonymous letter enclosed in an envelope threatening Misra of dreadful consequences was delivered at his official residence following which he was provided with a ‘Z’ security cover which remains till date.

ALSO READ: Threat letter to judge who rejected Memon’s mercy plea

A protectee under ‘Z’ category gets security cover from armed commandos of the National Security Guards (NSG) along with an escort vehicle and a pilot vehicle, each having three armed personnel, for the protection of his official vehicle.

Today, Justice Misra is the only top judge to ever use a bullet-proof ambassador car supplemented with a police escort.

Chief Justice of India
CJI Dipak Misra, seen here with Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Narendra Modi. Twitter

However, death threats never stalled the 63-year old Justice Dipak Misra from taking monumental judgments and he has been at the forefront of some of the landmark judgments in the recent history. We take a look at the highlights from his career,

1. In May 2017, Justice Misra doctored the long-awaited landmark ruling and confirmed death penalty of the four convicts in the monstrous 2012 Nirbhaya gang rape that shook the entire world.

2. Justice Dipak Misra also headed the bench that mandated to play the National Anthem in cinema houses before the start of every movie for which he received a lot of flak. He also ordered for the viewers to stand up in “committed patriotism and nationalism” every time the National Anthem and/or the National Flag are featured in the theatres.

3. One of the most noteworthy decisions by Justice Misra include directing all State and Union Territories to upload all FIRs registered on their websites within 24 hours of registration at the police station. The move has made the entire process transparent, allowing the accused to download complaints and seek redressal of their grievances.

4. Justice Misra was also one of the seven judges of the special bench set up by the Supreme Court for a contempt of court hearing against Justice C.A Karman who had levied corruption charged on 20 judges of the High Court. The bench defended the constitutionality of the 150-year old law on criminal defamation and sentenced Karnan to six months in jail.

5. In 2015, a Justice Misra-led bench stayed the Maharashtra government’s ban on dance bars that had mushroomed in Mumbai and other parts of the state during the 90s. However, it maintained that the government must take steps to protect and uphold the dignity of women who performed at these bars.

6. Justice Misra is also known for his strict stand against frivolous litigations. He previously rejected one such appeal that had objected to the use of the term ‘Dhobi Ghat’ in a film’s title and had warned the petitioner.

7. He was also part of the bench that rejected the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow for reservations in promotions and asserted that this can only be allowed if there is sufficient supportive data and evidence to justify the decision.

8. Holding chair as the executive chairperson of the National Legal Services Authority, Justice Misra introduced the facility of Legal Assistance Establishment or Nyay Sanyog in states to simplify activities to provide free and faster legal aid to the deprived people.

9. Justice Misra also headed the three-judge bench that instructed the Centre in April 2017 to conduct NEET examination in Urdu from academic year 2018-2019 onwards. NEET examinations are held for students who wish to pursue a graduate medical course or a post-graduate medical course in private or government colleges.

Justice Dipak Misra’s tenure as the 45th Chief Justice of India will span for the next 14 months until he retires in October 2018 and is expected to see judgments in some high-magnitude issues like the validity of the Aadhaar card, the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir and the Ayodhya land dispute.


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What are Indian Adversaries Trying?

With no change International border/LAC/LoC/AGPL, this administrative reorganisation is an internal matter of India, which was essential

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Indian, Adversaries, Jammu and Kashmir
The sight of only the Tricolour on the Secretariat building in Srinagar symbolises complete integration as 'One Nation, One Constitution and One Flag', which represents national will. Pixabay

Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) became history after August 6, when the Bill was passed by more than two-thirds majority in both houses of Parliament, through the laid down democratic process in consultation with Sadr-e-Riyasat vested in the Governor of the erstwhile state. The Bill reorganizes the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate Union Territories (UTs), J&K being one (to get statehood when there is peace) and Ladakh being another UT. The sight of only the Tricolour on the Secretariat building in Srinagar symbolises complete integration as ‘One Nation, One Constitution and One Flag’, which represents national will and resolve. With no change International border/LAC/LoC/AGPL, this administrative reorganisation is an internal matter of India, which was essential for inclusive growth of the erstwhile state.

This reform was long overdue, as it was seen that Articles 370 and 35A were hurting India and common people of J&K since inclusion. These provisions were being misused by few local politicians, separatists, elite businessmen, terrorists and their supporters, at the cost of brewing inequality, depriving legal benefits, voting rights, welfare related rights to common people of Kashmir including safai karmacharis, and daughters marrying outside and their children. It helped the agenda of Pakistan and terrorists, allowed forcibly pushing out some natives like Kashmiri Pundits with blatant abuse of power and left India helpless in mitigating their grievances.

No investments were possible to create jobs, hence terror industry bloomed. Needless to say that the people enjoying such abuse of power will continue to cry foul, along with some more trying to gain political mileage out of it but the fact is that this decision was backed by thumping mandate of the country through laid down democratic process.

What are Indian adversaries trying?

Indian, Adversaries, Jammu and Kashmir
Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) became history after August 6, when the Bill was passed by more than two-thirds majority in both houses of Parliament, through the laid down democratic process in consultation. Pixabay

Pakistan’s frustration is that declaration of J&K as UT will expose its terrorists fuelling proxy war in Kashmir, out of the umbrella of local political patronage. The separatists will be exposed to central security forces and laws, and its terror industry/infrastructure built in Kashmir over decades will start crumbling. Pakistan Army, ISI and political class have enjoyed power domestically, on their narrative of efforts of Kashmir’s liberation so far; hence the Indian action has disturbed their plans. China’s disgruntlement stems from the fact that Ladakh becoming a UT weakens their false, incremental claims in that region, besides weakening Pakistan’s proxy to keep Indians engaged on their behalf.

Pakistan has been waging hybrid war with a large number of terrorists already infiltrated, along with separatists instigating violence, coupled with conventional fire at LoC in the last few decades, resulting in more than 42,000 deaths. Its efforts to re-ignite hybrid war post abrogation of Article 370 have not met much success because of heavy deployment and alertness of Indian security forces and restrictions on mobile and internet.

Pakistan’s irrational actions like lowering of diplomatic relations with India, scrapping trade ties, stopping rail communication and blocking air routes have been to its disadvantage. Pakistan and China went through diplomatic offensive by approaching UNSC for informal meeting, which also yielded no results as the world community did not find it a worthwhile to even issue any joint statement. On the sidelines of the G7 Summit, Prime Minister Modi, while talking to President Trump, ruled out any mediation efforts by any other country, which Pakistan was vehemently trying. This has put to rest all diplomatic efforts of Pakistan for internationalisation or mediation of Kashmir Issue. Enhanced military deployment including SSG and artillery along LoC is part of escalating hybrid war.

Large-scale attempts of infiltration of terrorists including under water operators, is to create fear psychosis amongst people of Kashmir, especially their erstwhile sympathisers not to change sides and be helpful in commencing terror actions in Kashmir as and when the restrictions on communication means are lifted by India. China seems to be signalling moral and material support to Pakistan through MoUs for defence capacity building and cooperation during visit of Deputy Chairman of its Central Military Commission, which seems to be more of optics as China already accounts for more than 70 per cent of import of military hardware to Pakistan. After UNSC embarrassment, China has been relatively quiet on propaganda or rhetoric.

Also Read- Eco-Minded Prince Harry Announces Massive Travel Sustainability Initiative

Information Warfare by Pakistan

Pakistan has enhanced the dimension of warfare by graduating to all out ‘Information Warfare’ (IW), which encompasses propaganda, fake news, threatening statements, rhetoric, manipulating social media and invisible cyber warfare. To combat this warfare it is necessary to understand the strategy of Pakistan regarding application of IW. Their first narrative is to give religious colour to propaganda campaign, falsely projecting it as Hindu encroachment on Muslim rights, and restrictions on internet and mobile, (which is lifeline of its terror networking, propaganda campaign and terror strikes) as atrocities on Muslims. The aim being to garner support of Muslims globally including Indian Muslims to stand up for supporting terror in the garb of Jihad to prevent falsely claimed atrocities on Muslims.

Unfortunately for them, except for members of their terror industry and their sympathisers, not very many have bought this narrative. The second narrative is posing fake Indian threat from India (Although India has no intention of any war with Pakistan, except that it intends respond offensively to any threat posed by Pakistan, including terror attacks), posing helplessness, repeatedly threatening the world of its nuclear status and its irrationality to get into nuclear exchange, blackmailing the world community to intervene and save the situation.

The third narrative is to remind US, China and India of its terror potential, blackmail US for its need to quit Afghanistan in exchange of leverage on Taliban (if any?) and blackmail China for protecting its economic interests and workers in the country and doing the dirty job of containing Indian forces on their behalf. Imran Khan’s acceptance of approximately 40,000 terrorists on his soil and threat to unleash his strategic assets (terrorists) for Pulwama type actions does not deter India, which anticipated such actions in its strategic calculation.

Indian, Adversaries, Jammu and Kashmir
The Bill reorganizes the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into two separate Union Territories (UTs), J&K being one (to get statehood when there is peace). Pixabay

Pakistan’s targets for information warfare are different for each type of narrative. For religious agenda it is targeting people of Kashmir valley, people of Pakistan, terror groups, Muslim diaspora, global community of Muslims (like planned processions in UK), Khalistan terrorists and sympathisers (to exploit another fake narrative of alleging suppression of minorities under Hindu regime). It is also targeting some disgruntled elements in India including political opponents/aspirants trying to fish in troubled water by following a narrative against the national mandate to score some petty political gains. The methodologies adopted for IW ranges from management of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), psychological operations, electronic warfare, misinformation campaigns, information attacks and manipulating public perception through social media.

Mobile, internet and radio transmissions are fast modes of connectivity being used. Structured television programmes are also being made use of with YouTube links having operators stationed globally. Fake videos of atrocities on people picked up from any global incidents are being played up as current situation in Kashmir, which are getting identified to be of different incidents globally on investigations. Pakistan has also influenced some international news agencies, which carried fake news on their behalf, as sensational news for commercial interests.

Combating Information Warfare of Pakistan

Information war by adversary cannot be taken lightly and needs to be combated professionally. One of the best methods of combating it is to flood the global environment with hard facts countering fake news and propaganda. India had anticipated the security challenges arising out of such decision and has done its best to quarantine the potential problem creators and flash spots with tight restrictions. Kashmir valley has been quite peaceful as never before in last so many years, after India strengthened the security force level in the terrorist threat prone areas, and restricted use of mobile and internet there to ensure safety of citizens.

Also Read- Huawei Commits to Provide the Most Advanced 5G Products: Report

India’s priority is to save lives of innocent people; hence it is carefully lifting restrictions in graduated manner, resulting in delay in risky areas causing some inconvenience to some people there. With Pakistan openly trying everything possible to re-ignite Kashmir valley through its terrorists, Indian administrators and security forces/agencies will have to strike a fine balance between relaxing restrictions or continuing it to save lives, on daily basis, with an option to re-clamp some restrictions, if problem creators manage to pose threat to prevailing peace.

The criticism against restrictions by those who abused power under Article 370, interested groups/political opportunists/activists is natural, but if it can save lives of innocent people then it can be endured, as loss of lives will also invite criticism, which will be the worst case. In IW, the propaganda campaign has to be based on partial truths to succeed; hence Pakistan has cleverly picked up some internal criticism in India, which is routine to any matured democracy like India, and mixed it with fake information of atrocities, backed by fake videos to base its propaganda campaigns. It needs to be understood by all making public utterances in India that any divergence from the mandated decision will be picked up by adversary and twisted to launch fake propaganda; hence there is a need to exercise caution to combat Pakistan’s IW.

Propaganda has to be confronted with truth by organised IW apparatus. All forms of Indian media need to call the bluff of adversary by exposing fake news. Rebuttals to wrong news by paid/motivated authors globally, need to be given rebuttals in the form of facts by all Indian authors. Every Indian using social media is an information worrier of India; hence every fake news he/she comes across must cease circulation or marked fake. Awareness campaign needs to be planned for population, especially people from Kashmir. The recent attempt of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan trying to portray himself as the poster boy for Muslims and Kashmiris must be rebutted with his continued silence over atrocities in Baluchistan and Xinjiang internationally to expose human right record of both adversaries.

The Indian secular fabric is strong not to fall prey to religious fundamentalism, but counter propaganda speeches in various forums may well be the need of the hour to quarantine the thought process of innocents from radicalised sleeper cells. The education system in madrassas in Kashmir will need monitoring to check anti-national agenda of terrorists. Besides IW, India needs to ready for next round of hybrid war, because the terrorists and sleeper cells will be active again, wh