They Call it Function Creep!

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Among the many concerns that are being discussed in the Aadhaar cases before the Supreme Court is the whole question of ‘Function Creep’. The expression Function Creep is used when a technology or system is being used beyond the purpose for which it was originally intended, especially when this leads to potential invasion of privacy. This expression is now being used by Aadhaar critics to indicate how the compulsory Aadhaar card began as a way to check the siphoning of welfare monies to ghost beneficiaries, but is now becoming a basis for denial of hospital admission and a potential tool for prosecution, or, rather, persecution. One wonders whether it is a function that ended up creeping or was already meant to creep in the first place.

 

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#TheyToo – The Judges

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

The discussions that have followed the press conference by the four judges of the Supreme Court, as well as certain directives to the lower judiciary regarding the manner of maintenance of the case information system, have brought into sharp focus the fact that they too – the judges – must be held accountable and that they too – the judges, can be victims of systemic deficiencies.

 

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My Way – the Highway

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

As 2018 begins, a major challenge facing those standing for Goa is to ensure the reversal of the laws, and legislative and executive moves that have resulted in the continued dispossessing of Goa and its people of its land and resources. Throughout 2017, the Centre and the State have legislated or moved in ways that have posed alarming threats. The attitude of the state and its enforcement mechanisms has been My Way the Highway.

 

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Illegal but Legalisable: On What Basis?

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Goa is about to make sale and development of orchard land a criminal offence that could attract imprisonment of one year. When revealing this information, Vijai Sardesai, the Town and Country Planning Minister claimed that 20 lakh square metres of land had been illegally converted across Goa, and that an amnesty period would be given to those who had illegally developed land to seek conversion from the Town and Country Planning Board by March 31, 2018.

 

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Recent State Decisions and Recommendations: More Nails in the Coffin for Goans and for Tourism?

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Commodification of the environment for tourism in Goa is reaching endemic proportions. It has the potential to kill the very goose of environment that could lay the golden eggs of revenue and income generation from tourism. The Government dismisses such critical ecological concerns as the work of naysayers, and argues that no development can occur if every time a new project is proposed, environmental concerns are brought to the drawing board to oppose it. However, if people’s concerns about environment are not addressed, then the insensitively planned projects that follow have the potential of completely destroying the livelihoods of people in Goa, and putting their health in jeopardy.

 

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Access to Justice – ISDS style!

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

On 11th October, 2017, the Honourable High Court of Bombay at Goa quashed the notification shifting the jurisdiction for Goa of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to the Bench in Delhi, thereby retaining the jurisdiction of the Western Zone Bench at Pune. This welcome decision for the citizens of Goa in the trajectory of asserting access to justice, could, however, be shortlived.

 

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Freedom of Speech and Expression: Caste, Creed, Cringe!

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By ALBERTINA ALMEIDA

 

Recently, with the killing of Gauri Lankesh, the controversy over Sudirsukt and the death threats to writers such as Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd, certain facets of freedom of speech have come under sharp scrutiny, making one question  who cringes about what speech and expression, what is the ambit of freedom of speech that we value, and who does so at what times.

 

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