Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Courteous Court

Today I went to the Gurgaon District Courts. I was asked to appear personally for a case Karwal Vs the State. It was something regarding the Shop and Establishment Act. The experience was pleasant.

Our advisors had suggested that we do not need this registration. Anyway, an inspector came and met someone in our office about 6-7 months ago. He was spoken to nicely and treated with respect. He was told that we have been advised that we do not require this registration. He insisted and fined us. Opinions can differ so we decided to pay the fine. He asked us to apply for registration and we did. Our person wasn't given the receipt of the application. We asked him to get one. He got one with some difficulty and the man put a signature (initials) without a stamp despite requests.

A few weeks later the inspector again came. He was told that we have already applied as he suggested. For some reason we got a fine again...this time in my name. I or my representative was to appear in the court. Our efforts to understand the reasons were not successful. My office requested our lawyer to appear. We told him that we must solve it purely on merits. He appeared and informed the court that we have already applied.

A few weeks later...i.e on the 6th Aug evening at 1830hrs my office again got a challan and this time for me to appear personally the next day at 1000Hrs. I was abroad and my office requested for a few days. Unfortunately on all the 3 visits of the inspector I was traveling. Today, I went to the court with my lawyer. The judge was very nice. His court was well run. I was asked to pay a fine of 1105/- Rs which I paid and came back. I was asked to just keep quiet all through and I did... like an obedient student. The challans never said anything beyond asking us to appear. No word was exchanged between me and the judge except that my lawyer informed the judge that I was personally present.

I still do not know why we are being challaned, I still do not know whether this is the last time I/we would be called to the court to understand the 'shop and establishment' act but I know for sure that I will keep going to the authorities as many times I/we are called to. My/Our belief in our value system is stronger than ever!

Feels good when you are able to spare such time because you run your own business. I would have felt guilty of wasting time, if I was working for someone :-)


Pijush Kanti Mukherjee said...

The red tapism in India will never allow the common man to reason their doing.The bureaucracy is India is worse than the Iron curtain system which was prevelant in erstwhile USSR.

Only hope for the common man is Right To Information Act.

Anonymous said...

A sorry state is that most of govt. officials think they are able to show their POWER only when they disrupt something or harass someone. I wish they demonstrate their powers by constructing something.

Anonymous said...

it is not just a show of power but also a form of revenue collection in a nation where dishonesty is a way of life. How many shops and such establishments pay their taxes honestly without fudging records, without concealing information? People keep quiet and pay up the meagre amount because they fear that a deeper investigation may lead to a bigger loss. Such systems will disappear once ALL become honest.
Problem is our systems are based on the belief that all are dishonest, and require lot of monitoring and control. Perhaps greater decentralisation and delegation of power in our governing systems - more community centric design for the executive and judiciary instead of centralised as today or may be a parallel system with communities as unit, may be the need of the hour.

adarsh said...

It seems that Haryana is some steps ahead of Delhi in this. OR, the other possibility, it seems, is that Local authorities wanted an AUTOGRAPH of Mr Rajeev Karwal and they thought of this unique idea.