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Right to Emergency Care : Bloody Rumours Again

Three days back, I received a forwarded mail from Pragnya, a friend of mine, that was about a judgment of Supreme Court. At first, even I got excited by that amazing information. And why not, it was about the right to emergency care that at first sight, gave me an impression of a revolutionary step by the judiciary system. At the next moment, my mind started playing with its database by the help of heuristics. Within moments, I recalled another similar forwarded mail that I had received last year or something. That was about Section 49′O (negative / neutral voting).

According to 49′O, in a particular constituency, if a voter has dislike to all of the candidates competing there, then he can show his dislike to all of them by registering for 49′O. Now, if the number of 49′O count is larger than that of the winning candidates total vote count, then a re-election is called there.

We will discuss about 49’O at the end of this article (must read the end of this article). This time again, the mail looked too much promising to me. I was busy with work so I ignored this rumour and got back to work. Last night, in an Orkut community Rational Behavioural, I saw that another friend of mine has posted the same thing. Surprisingly, dozens of people already had replied to that post and even few had forwarded the mail to others as well. Lets look at the mail first.

Right to Emergency Care:

Date Of Judgment: 23/02/2007.

Case No.: Appeal (civil) 919 of 2007.

The Supreme Court has ruled that all injured persons especially in the case of road traffic accidents, assaults, etc., when brought to a hospital / medical centre, have to be offered first aid, stabilized and shifted to a higher centre / government centre if required. It is only after this that the hospital can demand payment or complete police formalities. In case you are a bystander and wish to help someone in an accident, please go ahead and do so. Your responsibility ends as soon as you leave the person at the hospital. The hospital bears the responsibility of informing the police, first aid, etc.

Please do inform your family and friends about these basic rights so that we all know what to expect and what to do in the hour of need.Please not only go ahead and forward, use it too!!!!

I was astounded. The first thing that kicked my mind to get some details was the date of the judgment. According to the mail, the Supreme Court verdict came in the month of February. And the verdict was very much revolutionary. So, when our media fills a complete page on absolutely redundant issues, then how come it missed such great news. The suspicion raised.

I started browsing official sites of Judiciary and I arrived at JUDIS(Judicial Information System), an official website of Supreme Court of India. The mail already had given me some initial details to find out more. It said that the judgment came for the “Appeal(Civil) 919 of 2007“. So, first I searched in the JIS that any such judgment ever existed or not. Here are the Judgment search details:

Judgment:

Link: http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/chejudis.asp

I entered:

case type = civil, appeal
case no = 919
year = 2007

Result:- Record Not Found

Undoubtedly, no such judgment existed in the database of Supreme Court who had supposedly declared this in February, 2007. That means, this was a very false information and obviously a rumour. If it had been true, JIS search would have shown the details of the Judgment.

Then, I tried searching if there any such cases ever existed or not! This time, I arrived at Case Status (disposed and pending case status), again a website run by Supreme Court. This website keeps track of each and every disposed and pending cases in Supreme Court of India, all High Courts, and some district courts.

Case Status:

Link:- http://www.courtnic.nic.in/courtnicsc.asp

Case Type – Appeal Civil
Case No – 919
Year – 2007

Status:

Case Status: DISPOSED

Status of : Appeal (Civil) 919 OF 2007
SHARE MEDICAL CARE Vs. UNION OF INDIA & ORS.

Pet. Adv. : MR. Y. RAJA GOPALA RAO

Res. Adv. : MS. SUSHMA SURI
Subject Category : INDIRECT TAXES MATTERS – APPEALS UNDER CLAUSE (B) OF SECTION 130E OF THE CUSTOMS ACT, 1962 ANDSECTION 35L OF THE CENTRAL EXCISE AND SALT ACT, 1944

Date of Disposal : 23/02/2007
Detailed Status:
http://courtnic.nic.in/supremecourt/temp/dc%2010429-1043105p.txt

It was about right to stop elections then, it is right to emergency care now. So, a case of Indirect Taxes had been turned out to be a judgment for the right of emergency care. I am sure that this mail must have reached to thousands of people till now. Instead of having a great resources like Internet and a revolution of e-governance in India, people don’t try to find the truth and stop spreading such rumours. The motive they possess while forwarding such mails get corrupted and affects inversely to thousands. I agree that people are not that much aware and don’t even try to be so until they themselves get affected by the social evils and problems. But, wrong information surely affects people more. Now, it will take a 2-page description to let them understand that this information was actually fake. And what about those who didn’t get access to this clarification?

Anyways, this is a very bad idea indeed and people should verify it once before they spread such information. Try googling for such information, get a list of authorised websites such as websites promoted by government of India and its other entities, or atleast ask people who acquire relevant knowledge. We can’t do for those people who starts these chains but we can break it at the moment they reach us. This is an irony that in the information age and thriving Indian industry and society in this age, it is actually “lack of awareness” that has been lagging the development of people, society, and nation behind. Lack of awareness is the biggest problem that exists in the most informative and elite junta, broadly including who are having access to all such resources such as the virtually-active people or people having regular access to Internet. We need to understand that E-world and E-governance exist for only one reason – to make us aware – to make us informative and wise.

For your quick reference, here is the 49′O case from my mail archive:

Please take some time to read this entire mail. You will definitely feel ts worth. Hope some of you have already got this mail and got to know about the 49′O. It says :

“In a particular constituency, if a voter has dislike to all of the candidates competing there, then he can show his dislike to all of them by registering for 49′O.

Steps for doing this :

1. while registering the name by the time of voting, convey the booth officials that “I want to go for 49′O”.

2. Register your signature in the 49′O form available there.

Done. Now, if the number of 49′O count is larger than that of the winning candidates total vote count, then a re-election is called there.

More than all, the shameful fact is, This 49′O is available ever since 1960, but it is in no way conveyed to the people. Neither the government communicate this, nor did the election commission. As long as the people are unaware of this one, the political parties are enjoying by winning the election and ditching our country. To stop this disaster to continue further, we don’t need to take a swordand fight against the government.

Just help every citizen to know that they have such a powerful weapon which can be used for ensuring their welfare. None of the media will be ready to publish this 49′O. Let us do this by ourselves. Communicate this information with all your family, friends, neighbors as much as you can and let them know their right. Please send this mail to everyone you know and request them to spread it across to everyone. Convey this information to as many people you know.

Not only that, we get a satisfaction that we have done a good service for our country’s welfare. This is very well equal to what our patriots have done for the independence of our country. Very less time left before the next election drama. Before that lets make sure that everyone speaks about this word “49′O”.

Important Update:

After going through comments raised by Bhawna and Ashok, I had to look for the validation and truthfulness of 49 O. And with due apologies to more than 2000 readers of this article, I would like you all to inform that Section 49 O (under the conduct of elections rules, 1961) explicitly says that the elector can decide not to vote and duly notify the election commission of the same. Although not popular and much utilized by the general public, this rule has been in practice since almost 50 years. According to Election Commission of India, THE CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS RULES, 1961says:

49O. Elector deciding not to vote.-If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.

source: MANUAL OF ELECTION LAW

In 2004, Election Commision of India sent a proposal to parliament which included an extension of 49 O, among other proposals. In this proposal, the ECI suggested two main things:

1. Providing a mechanism to use this facility with the electoral voting machine

2. Amendment to specifically provide for negative / neutral voting. For this purpose, Rules 22 and 49B of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 may be suitably amended adding a proviso that in the ballot paper and the particulars on the ballot unit, in the column relating to name of candidates, after the entry relating to the last candidate, there shall be a column “None of the above” , to enable a voter to reject all the candidates, if he chooses so. (this proposal was made in 200l also)

source: Press copy of the proposals on “Electoral Reforms”, 2004 (pdf file)

Notably, famous speaker Shiv Khera-promoted organization Country First is also working for the implementation and promotion of “right to reject” practice by a general Indian.

Also, after many recent incidents and cases where the “right to emergency care” could have helped enormously, the media and the social service organizations have turned their eyes upon relevance and demand of such rights and mechanisms.

Published in National Interest

22 Comments

  1. Well done Mr. Pandey….that was gr8 information piece…good going…I hope people learn to use their right to information……

  2. Girish Girish

    Agreed my friend, I googled on the subject after i got this spam, and landed at your post.
    I’d also say that people who started this post should realize perhaps their cause and motive was good, but the approach is demeaning. I am hoping the people who started this understand that our country is smitten by lack of awareness and education. This country need enlightenment, and by sending such emails, these well wishers of the country are only pushing their fellow citizens into deeper darkness rather than enlightenment. I would have appreciated if this was a movement corroborated by a truthful approach. Once again, these guys have proved, how we Indians just love to cut into each other and make a fool of our fellows. Wake up guys, everday is not 1st of April!!

  3. Raghunath Raghunath

    I guess even if the intentions are right by forwarding it, we might be doing more harm by spreading such email…. I did the same…googled and came to this page… info well put…. thanks!

  4. Atul Atul

    same here.. I sent a message to all the emails in the hoaxmail with this link..

    gr8 info! 😀

  5. Thanks for the info.

    I liked it.

  6. shashi sagar verma shashi sagar verma

    thanx, this is what our RIGHT TO INFORMATION, search….search…..search

  7. Premji Premji

    ok the mail seems to be an hoax. Yet the subject matter “Right to emergency care” is very important. What is the legal status and practice regarding it.

  8. Just received for forward myself.. and a friend of mine asked me to go through this post… Needless to say, very good work… Thanks!

  9. Gaurav Methi Gaurav Methi

    Well done ! I was about to forward this mail. Thanks.

    However, I do agree with Girish’s points.

  10. Bayard Bayard

    Thank you guys! I guess the motto of this post has been fulfilled very well. This post has been viewed more than 300 times, more than any other posts on this blog. The most surprising fact is that almost 70% of the visitors came from search results of Google, WordPress, Yahoo, etc. This stat clearly indicates that the mail hoax has become very popular in virtual arena. Few doubted, googled, and arrived on this blog or another. Rest are considering it a truth. Well, I know that this information (right or wrong) is not going to affect them too much and also they will neither help people falling in the related situations nor will they use this legal facility, even if it would have been right. A person who doesnt bother to verify these information will not also bother for someone else’s benefits. But the issue is the emergence of a wrong information. The Indians are immensely faith-oriented and anything that looks good to them also looks right to them. But, that can not be the same all the time.

    Girish, you are right. An unaware person is not a curse, rather the person who is aware but not populating it or the person populating falsified information are the curse for the society. And the people who just don’t try to verify these information, just trust this and immediately continue the trail. pathetic!

    Yes Shashi, we got to find out our rights(like right to information) and have to know that how’ll we use it.

    Pb, no such thing exists legally and also no related cases are pending in the court. However, this is a nice issue and you or anybody can file a PIL to raise this issue and let the case appear in the court.

    Thanks to everybody else. Don’t forget to tell this to people who think it is a correct information.

  11. George Raju George Raju

    I came across this hoax mail rather late, when i finally decided to do away with all my pending emails!
    Was rather too skeptical to bliv wat was said and hence googled and came across this blog. Actually, I was searching for any news report in any of the leading dailies on such a phenomenal judgement. Thanks mate.

    But wat astonishes me now is, if the whole educated lot is so eager to have such a law, then why isn’t there one??? After all itz a govt for the people and if we are all so excited abt such a Judgement from SC being actually true , then why isn’t it TRUE. I guess, bureaucracy must end in India and some fast need based rule must come into effect. When will our country grow?

  12. Nagi Nagi

    Agreed, it is rumour. when i got this mail, i too did google search & got to know, no such judgement existed.

    Still there is a little good in such forwards. If such right exist, it will save many lives. Why not this rumor create awareness among people?

    why cant action be taken in this regard by legal pundits?

    While someone is bleeding to death, is it humane to question FIR process completion & proof?

  13. I received another mail regarding 49-0 today. But, this time with an evidence of existence of such rule. The only difference being it is not under some constituency thingie, it is rule 49-0 in conduct of election rules. just check this out and specially the link embedded in the appended mail.

    Here is the mail I received.

    There is a system in our constitution, as per the 1969 act, in section “49-O” that a person can go to the polling booth, confirm his identity, get his finger marked, and convey the presiding election officer that he / she doesn’t want to vote anyone !

    Yes, such a feature is available, but obviously these seemingly notorious leaders have never disclosed it. This is called “49-O”.

    Why should you go and say “I VOTE NOBODY” ? … Because, in a ward, if a candidate wins, say by 123 votes, and that particular ward has received “49-O” votes more than 123, then that polling will be cancelled and will have to be re-polled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their decision on them.

    This would bring fear into parties and hence look for genuine candidates for their parties for election. This would change the way, of our whole political system… it is seemingly surprising why the election commission has not revealed such a feature to the public…. Please spread this news to as many as you know… Seems to be a wonderful weapon against corrupt parties in India… show your power, expressing your desire not to vote for anybody, is even more powerful than voting… so don’t miss your chance.

    So either vote, or vote not to vote (vote “49-O” 😉 and pass on this info…

    We, the People of India, can really use this power to save our nation.

    Use your voting right for a better INDIA.

    Refer to “Rule 49-0″ in the Conduct of Election Rules (see http://www.eci.gov.in the official website of election commission of India),

  14. Anonymous Anonymous

    Regarding Bhawna’s Comment, this is the actual Election Commission Rule.

    “49-O. Elector deciding not to vote.-If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form-17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.”

    I have read in another blog that Mr. UPS Madan, an erstwhile Chief Electrol Officer saying about the publicity of this section to the general public. The only problem in this the elector has to give away his identity to the electrol officials.

  15. Jason Jason

    Hi Abhishek,

    Nice going … after I got this mail I googled to check the veracity. Indeed like all things it proved too good to be true.

    Thanks for the nic link.

  16. Ritu Ritu

    Thanks for this post … I also thought this was too true to be true. Then I checked on google, and came across your site. I wish this had been a true piece of news!

  17. Khan Sufiyan Khan Sufiyan

    Hey thats a good work bro. thanx for informing us.

  18. Ankur Ankur

    Thanks for these details. After i saw the mail, it hinted as if its a spam, and the details and links on your link confirmed it.

  19. Ashok Ashok

    I found this after a long search in the INDIAN govt website.
    http://209.85.175.104/custom?q=cache:2SibaTdahMwJ:www.eci.gov.in/Press/current/PN_030804.pdf+Conduct+of+Election+Rules+49+O&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&client=pub-6709012001182848

    Its nothing but the ECI.GOV.IN.
    So this information bout 49 o is true Mr. Pandey.

    Please dont think that all the informartion are rumours.
    Kindly change your contents if possible.
    ——See the below copy pasted information ———-
    Page 18
    7. Negative / neutral voting

    The Commission has received proposals from a very large
    number of individuals and organizations that there should be provision
    enabling a voter to reject all the candidates in the constituency if he does
    not find them suitable. In the voting using the conventional ballot paper
    and ballot boxes, an elector can drop the ballot paper without marking
    his vote against any of the candidates, if he chooses so. However, in the
    voting using the Electronic Voting Machines, such a facility is not
    available to the voter. Although, Rule 49 O of the Conduct of Election
    Rules, 1961 provides that an elector may refuse to vote after he has been
    identified and necessary entries made in the Register of Electors and the
    marked copy of the electoral roll, the secrecy of voting is not protected
    here inasmuch as the polling officials and the polling agents in the
    polling station get to know about the decision of such a voter.
    The Commission recommends that the law should be
    amended to specifically provide for negative / neutral voting. For
    this purpose, Rules 22 and 49B of the Conduct of Election Rules,
    1961 may be suitably amended adding a proviso that in the ballot
    paper and the particulars on the ballot unit, in the column relating
    to name of candidates, after the entry relating to the last candidate,
    there shall be a column “None of the above” , to enable a voter to
    reject all the candidates, if he chooses so. Such a proposal was
    earlier made by the Commission in 2001 (vide letter dated
    10.12.2001).
    (A petition by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties seeking such a
    provision filed at the time of the recent general elections is pending
    before the Hon’ble Supreme Court)

  20. Mohamed Sadiq Mohamed Sadiq

    Great work, I appreciate u do it to safeguard our community being affected by having such hoax “mental viruses”. keep it up.

  21. Nikhil Mathew Nikhil Mathew

    49-O is not a rumour….

    But the civil petition 919/2007 is….

    the blogger seems to have guessed 49-O too good to be right

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