Our Fact-Check Article Got Amit Shah’s Statement Wrong

Dear All,

We are sorry for our lapse.

We made a mistake in our fact-check article dated 7th April 2017 titled “Most BJP Ruled States Fare Worse On Law & Order, Contrary to Amit Shah’s Claim!”

We stand by the content of the article highlighting that the state of law and order, as determined using crime records, is worse in BJP ruled states when compared to national average. However, the problem with the article was the alleged statement by Amit Shah itself.

Amit Shah, the BJP President, never said that most BJP ruled states better on law and order!

What he said was, “Mitro, Modi ji ke netratv me 14 rajyo me bhajpa ki sarkaar chal rahi hai. Vo 14 rajyo ke andar kanoon aur vyavastha ki sthiti sudhaar di hai!” (Friends, under the leadership of Modi ji there are 14 states which have BJP ruled governments. [We] have improved the state of law and order in these 14 states!)

Therefore, this needed to be fact-checked. Instead, we fact-checked the statement that BJP ruled states have better law and order situation compared to the national average. Amit Shah didn’t say this.

We are sorry for this inadvertent error and assure you of more rigorous diligence and higher standards going forward.

This is no relief but the Fact-Checker and Scroll got it wrong too.

We apologize for not being able to live up to high expectations that we have  set for ourselves in terms of rigour of research and diligence.

This is to reiterate our commitment to reporting the truth, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will, striving always to understand, learn and improve. You can continue to rely on Election Promises Tracker as we set higher standards of scrutiny, research and reporting for ourselves.

We aim to hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly. Yes, we will make mistakes in our journey but we won’t hesitate in admitting them and correcting.

Therefore, we take this opportunity to introduce Khoji Awards. We encourage you to cynically investigate our claims and facts. Go ahead and find an error. We will not only rectify our mistake, but also apologize for it and publicly acknowledge your contribution towards upholding truth and keeping us accountable. Be a Super-Khoji!

We are happy giving the first Khoji award to Sujoy Ghosh for pointing out this discrepancy to us.

Our only loyalty lies to presenting the truth and nothing but the truth!

Sincerely,

Anurag Kundu
Founder and CEO,
Election Promises Tracker

 

 

Dr. Shashi Tharoor’s Claim About India Ratifying UN Convention Against Torture False!

By Anurag Kundu  (With inputs from Robin Keshaw)

In an interview to British journalist Tim Sebastian, Indian Member of Parliament Dr. Shashi Tharoor in a response to Tim’s question claimed that Indian Parliament had ratified  United Nations Convention Against Torture [Video: 23:21 to 24:13] in the year 2010.

Fact-Check Report: False. Only Lok Sabha had passed it not Rajya Sabha. In 2014, with general election and dissolution of Lok Sabha, the bill had lapsed. It means that Indian Parliament is yet to ratify the convention.

Explanation: Three steps are required before the process of ratification can be termed complete: Both Houses of Parliament need to pass the bill, President granting the assent and gazette notification issued.

Only Lok Sabha passed the bill but Rajya Sabha didn’t. In May 2014, the Lok Sabha was dissolved leading to general election and the bill lapsed. Since then, no effort has been undertaken by NDA government in this regard. Therefore, Dr. Tharoor’s claim that India has ratified the UN Convention Against Torture is false and misleading.

UN Convention Against Torture aims to prevent torture and other acts of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment to anyone under arrest. The convention has following main provisions:

  1. That all acts of torture are considered criminal offence.
  2. Government must promptly investigate any allegation of torture.
  3. Victims of torture or their dependents in case victims died as a result of torture, must have an enforceable right to compensation
  4. Government must also ban the use of evidence produced by torture in their courts.
  5. Country also must keep interrogation rules, instructions, methods, and practices under systematic review regarding individuals who are under custody or physical control in any territory under their jurisdiction, in order to prevent all acts of torture

In a country where the torture under police custody is quite common, it is important Indian Parliament ratifies the convention and enacts the law that prevents any form of torture.

Indian Supreme Court in Prithipal Singh etc. Vs. State of Punjab case came down heavily about police brutality and recommend that the government “must ensure prohibition of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment to any person, particularly at the hands of any State agency/police force.”

However, 19 years since India signed the convention, Indian Parliament is yet to ratify it.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more Fact-Checks!

Join Election Promises Tracker Team:

What is the claim of any politician or government that you would like us to Fact Check? Write to JoinUs@electionpromisestracker.in and we would attempt to present the complete, unbiased and meaningful truth about the claim!

Found An Error?

We make every effort to ensure that our fact-checks present accurate, latest and the most relevant information. However, in case you find any discrepancy in our data, please write to us at Anuragkundu@electionpromisestracker.in and we promise to address it immediately with due acknowledgement to the individual who corrects.

AAP’s Claims About Their Performance Found True!

By Anurag Kundu

Sanjay Kumar submitted photos of claims made by Aam Aadmi Party that he came across in newspapers or social media and requested us to Fact-Check them.

On rigorous examinations, we have found the claims to be TRUE. 

Claim #1:

Fact-Check Report:  TRUE. However, whether this is the biggest boost ever to Higher Education is contestable.
Explanation:

Government of Delhi launched Higher Education Guarantee Scheme that offers interest free loans to students on 9th September 2015. The scheme covers the 105 professional and academic courses run by accredited private institutions also. However, the students of Delhi University and other central institutions are not eligible under this since the overall fee of these institutions is already very low. According to the outcome budget document 2017-18, the government disbursed loans under this scheme to 131 students last year. However, it is difficult to establish that this is the biggest ever to Higher Education in India. In my limited knowledge of history of education, much bigger boosts have been given to Higher Education in India.

Having said this, the claim about the collateral free education loan is completely true.

 

Claim #2:

Fact-Check Report: TRUE.
Explanation:

The Delhi Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in its meeting dated 3rd November 2015 approved the abolition of 200 affidavits being sought by various departments, local bodies and other organizations. The cabinet note urged the departments to trust the citizen and directed them to adopt self-declaration.

Though the claim has been found true, however it is not clear how that would affect ease of doing business since most affidavits relate to ration card, registration card, permits, license, pensions and scholarships. Only a small fraction of these 200 affidavits affect the ease of doing business, though they substantially make the lives of poor people easy.

 

Claim #3:

Fact-Check Report: TRUE.
Explanation:

Here, the corruption is measured in terms of number of corruption related complaints received by Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the anti-corruption body. CVC releases annual report detailing the statistics about the corruption related complaints related to several Ministries and departments. The latest report of 2016 has been tabled in Parliament but is yet to be uploaded on its website. Therefore, one can only reply upon the reportage of the issue by the media organizations. However, its 2015 is publically available on its website.

According to Business Standard reportage of the CVC report (and reiterated by several news organizations including Hindustan Times, India Today and Times of India), the number of complaints of corruption against Delhi government departments has come down from 5,139 in 2015 to 969 in 2016,  a decrease of 81.2%. During the same time, the anti-corruption body received 49,847 complaints of corruption in 2016 compared to 29,838 in 2014, an increase of 67.1%.

Therefore, the claims made in the photo are true.

 

Claim #4: Daily wages increased and medicines freely available.

Fact-Check Report: TRUE.
Explanation:

The claim has two parts:

I)  The Delhi Cabinet on 25th February 2017 approved a 36% hike in minimum wages for unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers. In first week of March this year, the Lieutenant Governor gave his approval to the increase. As per the new policy, minimum wages for unskilled labour has increased from Rs 9,724 to Rs. 13,350. Wages for semi-skilled labour has been increased from Rs 10,764 to Rs 14,698 while those for skilled labour rose from Rs 11,830 to Rs 16,182. This decision makes Delhi the state to provide the highest minimum wages to the working class population. This is the second time Aam Aadmi Party led government increased the minimum wages.

The claim about the wages has been found to be true.

II)  With regard to medicine availability in hospitals and Mohalla Clinics it is hard to establish or dispute the claim. Therefore we rely on newspaper reports, news channels stories, and the government’s own internal records. Several credible newspapers like Hindustan Times which have covered this subject have reported a 50% decline in the sale of medicines in the private chemist shops because of medicines availability in government hospitals. Live Mint has done a full coverage of Mohalla Clinics started by Delhi government. The coverage has reinforced the claim of availability of medicines.

Government’s outcome based budget 2017-18 document reflects that the lead time for replenishment of any drugs or medicine in case of non-availability is 1-day.  Delhi Government had launched an app and a helpline using which the patients can message the names of medicines that they are unable to procure from government hospitals.

The claim about medicine availability, therefore, has been found to be true.

 

Claim #5: Delhi government shutting down 46 liquor shops. No such shops to be allowed in within 500 metres range of highway.

 

Fact-Check Report: PARTIALLY TRUE.
Explanation:

In compliance with Supreme Court judgment to shut down all the liquor shops within the 500 metre range of highways, Delhi government conducted a survey and found that 46 liquor shops were operational in violation of the court judgment and hence is in process of shutting them. However, no government order could be found on the Delhi Government website.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned!

Join Election Promises Tracker Team:

What is the claim of any politician or government that you would like us to Fact Check? Write to JoinUs@electionpromisestracker.in and we would attempt to present the complete, unbiased and meaningful truth about the claim!

Found An Error?

We make every effort to ensure that our fact-checks present accurate, latest and the most relevant information. However, in case you find any discrepancy in our data, please write to us at Anuragkundu@electionpromisestracker.in and we promise to address it immediately with due acknowledgement to the individual who corrects.

BJP’s Claims About Its MCD Performance Largely False!

By Anurag Kundu

Sanjay Kumar submitted few photos he captured while travelling in the Metro and requested us to Fact-Check them.

Claim #1: CCTV Cameras in MCD Schools For Better Monitoring

On examination, the claim has been found false and misleading.

As per the documents submitted by the corporations themselves to Planning Department of Government of Delhi in February 2017, SDMC has installed CCTVs in only 22 schools out of 588 schools, North DMC in 0 Schools out of 764 schools, and EDMC in 15 out of 387 schools. Therefore, in a total of 37 of 1739 schools (2%) schools. In those 2% schools, not all classes have been covered. Only 10 classrooms in each school have been covered. This means only half the classrooms have been covered in each school reducing the effective number of schools/classrooms (in equivalent terms) to a mere 1%,

Therefore, we term the claim false and misleading.

 

Claim #2:  Largest Plant to Convert Waste to Energy Started

On examination, the claim has been found partially false since the plant has been inaugurated but not made operational yet.

The plant in question is a Waste-To-Energy plant in Narela-Bawana. The plant was inaugurated in March 2017.  However, the plant was expected to be operational by 2013 since the tendering had been done in 2009. This is the third waste-to-energy plant that is slated to produce 24-mega watt energy from 2,000 metric tonnes of garbage. The project, however, is yet to become operational.

The claim, therefore, is partially false!

 

Claim #3:  Birth Certificate, Death Certificate, Tendering, Property Tax, etc. now online

On examination, the claims have been found majorly false and partially true.

Since the MCD has launched several other e-initiatives with fanfare, I am including them too. It includes online RTI Application, Grievance Redressal System, and Nursery Admission. Let’s examine each one by one:

  1. Birth/Death Certificate: MCD has made a provision of securing the birth/death certificates online. The local body has partnered with the institutions where birth and deaths take place (hospitals etc.) by means of which the institutions register the birth or death and the people can simply obtain their certificate from MCD’s website after 21 days. Therefore, the claim has been found to be true.
  2. Property Tax: It can be paid online only for properties that are under the net. As per The Hindu report, only 30-40% properties are under the net. Therefore, the claim is only partially true.
  3. Online RTI Application: MCD had become the first department in the country to receive online applications through its portal in 2011. However, the website for online submission of RTI Applications has been dysfunctional for more than 5 years now. Hence, the claim is false.
  4. Online Grievance Redressal: Several evidence exist that establish that Delhi Municipal Corporation Public Grievance System fare the worst in the country. Though the Municipal Corporation has online portal for grievance redressal. However, no actions are initiated or grievances resolved for submissions through online portal. Hence, the claim is false.
  5. Online Nursery Admission: Municipal Corporation of Delhi has a dedicated portal for online Nursery Admissions. However, the portal shows “Admissions Are Not Opened” all round the year including the current admission cycle. Hence, the claim is false.
  6. Tendering: Some of the tendering process is online, though some remain offline. Therefore, the claim is partially true.

Of the 6 services that BJP has claimed making online, 3 claims are false, 2 partially true and 1 completely true. Hence, their truth score is a mere 30%!