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In blow to Rajasthan, SC stays, caps Gujjar quota

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a setback for the Vasundhara Raje government, the Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday stayed Rajasthan’s move to grant reservation benefits to Gujjars. The top court further directed the state to cap reservations to Gujjars up to 50 per cent until the High Court finally decides the issue.The order came on the heels of an appeal filed by the Rajasthan government challenging a November 9 High Court (HC) order which restrained the state from implementing a bill that provided five per cent quota to five OBCs (Other Backward Classes) and six sub-castes, including Gujjars, raising the reservation in the state to 54 per cent.The order, pronounced by a bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, comes months ahead of next year’s Rajasthan Assembly polls.”…taking into consideration the facts and circumstances of the case and various decisions of this court, we are inclined to restrain the state government from taking any action or decision on the administrative side or in any manner conferring the benefit of reservation, which will have the result of crossing the total reservation beyond 50 per cent,” the SC said. During the course of hearing, state government said that it has power to pass such a bill and the court cannot interfere with the legislative process. Agreeing with this reasoning, the apex court bench, that also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, proceeded to partially set aside the HC order.Earlier this month, Rajasthan High court had said that since the SC had already asked the state government to maintain status quo after the 2015 Gujjar reservation Bill was struck down by Rajasthan High Court, “it will not be appropriate to allow the state government to do anything contrary to the Supreme Court’s order and they are restrained from acting upon the Bill.”The Rajasthan Backward Classes (Reservation of Seats in Educational Institutions in the State and of Appointment and Posts in Services under the State) Bill, 2017, which was passed on October 26 this year, sought to increase OBC quota from 21 per cent to 26 per cent, and create a separate category of ‘More Backward Classes’ for Banjara, Gadiya Lohar, Gujjar, Raika and Gadariya castes, giving them a five per cent reservation.Ganga Sahay Sharma, the petitioner who had approached the Rajasthan HC against the bill, said the state government introduced reservation bills for Gujjars in 2008 and in 2015; both were quashed by the High Court, mainly because they exceeded the 50 per cent reservation limit set by the apex court.

Delhi High Court won’t interfere with Sambit Patra’s appointment as ONGC director

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High court has dismissed a petition that challenged the appointment of BJP leader Sambit Patra as the Director of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, stating there was no procedural flaw.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar did not entertain the PIL, which also sought the cancellation of the appointment of Shashi Shanker as ONGC Chairman and Managing Director (CMD).Energy Watchdog, an NGO, had questioned the eligibility of Patra to be appointed as an independent director and alleged that proper procedure was not followed during his appointment.The bench rejected the NGO’s contention saying it was “completely untenable and devoid of any factual or legal merit”.Senior advocate Jayant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, had also said that the BJP spokesperson was a doctor and ONGC has nothing to do in the field of medicine to appoint him on its Board.The Centre had defended the appointment, saying Patra was successfully running an NGO for the downtrodden which shows his management skills and hence was eligible for the post.The NGO’s lawyer had also argued that appointing Patra to the post for a remuneration of around Rs 23 lakh per year amounted to grant of state largesse to a private person.Shanker’s appointment as ONGC CMD was opposed on the ground that he was suspended in February 2015 for six months in connection with a probe into the award of a contract by the PSUIn its 52-page order, the court noted that there was no allegation in the entire petition that Shanker was not eligible or competent to hold the post in question or that he did not have the requisite experience.With regard to the contention that he was closely related to the ruling party in power, being its spokesperson, the court said the NGO has not alleged that Patra or his relatives have or had any pecuniary relationship with the PSU or its subsidiaries, holding company or promoters.”Therefore, to doubt his independence to discharge his duties and functions as a director, merely because he is a spokesperson of BJP “would be highly inappropriate”, the bench said in its order.

After ouster of Barkati, new imam appointed at Tipu Sultan mosque

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the ouster of controversial imam of Tipu Sultan Masjid, Syed Nurur Rahman Barkati, authorities of Tipu Sultan Masjid have silently appointed a new imam, Abdus Sukur, early this month. The appointment has been kept under the wraps by Members of Wakf Estate of Prince Golam Mohammad, who are the custodian of the historical mosque.It was found out that the new imam, Abdus Sukur, had been kept on trial for some days before he was given an appointment letter. “He has been kept on probation for six months and upon successful completion his appointment will be confirmed,” said Shahzada Anwar Ali, patron manager of the trustee board.The 55-year-old Sukur, hailing from Alinagar area of Darbhanga in Bihar, has been allotted the imam’s room which was previously occupied by Barkati and will receive a remuneration of Rs 8,500 every month. “There is a little renovation going on after which it will be handed over to him and there will be an official announcement in about a week’s time,” Ali said.Sukur has been given strict instruction to stick to his religious duty and not to indulge in politics. Sources said that in the terms and conditions of his appointment, he has been instructed to stick to religious deliberations and not to speak anything political in nature or meet mediapersons frequently. Sources also said that unlike during the times of Barkati, there will be no marriages conducted at the mosque by the new imam. “The members are very careful this time after the Barkati episode,” said an official of the estate.Sukur, said, “My work is to lead the prayers and to teach people about our religion. I will try my best to do the same.”Asked what would be his stand if approached by political leaders, he said, “I would not meet any political leader. I would have several books in my room at the masjid and would be busy studying Islam and to spread it among people in society.”Sukur’s family comprises his mother, wife, a son and two daughters. “They are all at our native place. All my children are married,” he said. Qualification wise, he is a hafiz, a qari and a mufti.It was also found out some belongings of Barkati were still in the room allotted for Sukur and he had been issued a notice to remove those to which he didnt reply. Contacted, Barkati told DNA he didnt want to comment on the issue.

What he said in last 3 years can’t be ignored: FTII students’ body decry Anupam Kher’s appointment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Within few hours of the announcement of actor Anupam Kher’s appointment as the chairman of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), students’ body of the FTII has questioned the decision of the ministry. The students’ body claimed that Kher runs a private acting institute and with his appointment at the government institute, the issue of conflict of interest will arise. Though the authorities at FTII claimed that they have not yet got the notification of Kher’s appointment as the chairman, the veteran actor tweeted about his appointment stating, ‘I feel deeply humbled and honoured to be appointed as the chairman of iconic FTII. I will perform my duties to the best of my abilities.’Soon after the news about Kher’s appointment broke, the students’ body of the FTII questioned his appointment. Robin Joy, president of FTII students’ association told DNA, “Kher is already running a private acting institute and still government has decided to appoint him as the chairman of a government institute. His appointment (as chairman) will surely raise the issue of conflict of interest.”This is not the first time that the students’ body has raised question marks over the central government’s decision over appointment of the chairman. In the year 2015, students of FTII had observed 140 days long strike to oppose the appointment of Gajendra Chauhan as the chairman of the institute. While opposing Chauhan, the students’ body had claimed that he did not have the credentials to be the chairman of the iconic institute.Now after Kher’s appointment as the chairman, the students’ body has stated that though Kher has the credentials, his proximity to the ruling party will not serve any good to the institute. Rohit Kumar, general secretary of the association said, “There is no doubt that Kher possesses the required credentials. But at the same time the statements that he has made over the last three years also can’t be ignored. Taking a pro-government stand, Kher has made some statements against students over issues like JNU, intolerance.”The students’ body will be holding a meeting on Wednesday night to decide future course of action. “We have not yet decided the future course of action. We have called a general body meeting of the association on Wednesday night in which we will take further decision,” Robin said.

Shrichand Kriplani to chair Housing Board

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The urban development minister of Rajasthan Shrichand Kriplani is all set to also chair the state housing board under his department. He will replace senior IAS Umesh Kumar who has been transferred to chairperson of the Rajasthan Tax board, Ajmer.According to reports, the urban development department has issued necessary orders in this regard on directions from the chief minister’s office. It is probably for the first time that a sitting minister has been trusted with the responsibility.The appointment of urban development minister Shrichand Kriplani, on the chair has shattered hopes of various bureaucrats aspiring to hold the ‘valuable’ post. This also ends possibilities of a political appointment on the post as the assembly elections are scheduled next year. However, this also indicates for radical changes at the board which has long been losing on grounds of corruption within.

Salaried priest for Kolhapur temple soon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state government plans to bring out a a legislation for the Kolhapur Ambabai temple trust, through which it will have to appoint a priest on salary. The bill, to be introduced in the winter session of the Assembly, will not look at the appointment on the basis of family succession. Guardian Minister for Kolhapur Chandrakant Patil said that the district collector had prepared a detailed report, which has been sent to the law and judiciary department for preparation of a draft for the proposed legislation within a month. Kolhapur witnessed tension in June when pictures of the deity Ambabai wearing a ghagra-choli instead of traditional saree went viral. Patil had to intervene to prevent a law and order situation. Minister of State for Home department Ranjit Patil, while replying to a debate in the state Assembly, said that the government would bring out a legislation to govern the temple. Patil informed that this also would be part of the bill to be introduced for Kolhapur temple trust.

5 Oppn MLAs launch satyagraha in Assembly complex

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five opposition UDF MLAs today began satyagrah in the assembly complex, demanding the resignation of Minister K K Shylaja over the high court’s stricture against her in connection with the appointment of members in the state child rights panel. Legislators of the Congress-led UDF V P Sajeendran, N Shamsuddin, Roji M John, Eldose Kunnappally and T V Ibrahim began the agitation at the portal of the Assembly hall. Armed with the recent court order that quashed the appointment of members to the Kerala State Commission For Protection Of Child Rights, the opposition attacked the CPI (M)-led LDF government, alleging nepotism and misuse of power by the Health and Social Justice minister. In a bid to put pressure on the government, they also decided to boycott the minister in the assembly and objected to the tabling of the Kerala Medical Education Bill by her. The MLAs trooped out of the House after tearing off the copy of the Bill. They alleged that the CPI(M)-led LDF government had extended the last date for submitting applications for the appointment of members in the panel with a view to induct party men. Earlier in the day, the opposition had disrupted the House proceedings during zero hour over the issue but had agreed to cooperate with the proceedings later after a discussion with the Speaker, P Sreeramakrishnan. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged that it was one of the biggest examples of nepotism by a minister. Stating that continuation of the minister in the cabinet was a “disgrace” to the democratic principles, he said a number of Congress ministers had resigned in the name of adverse court remarks in the past. Both Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Health Minister, however, rejected the charges and said the government would take legal measures to get the remarks against her expunged. They also said the date was extended with a good intention and expressed confidence that the government would be able to convince the Court about its position. Talking to reporters at the media room in the Assembly complex later, Shylaja said she had not done anything wrong and so “there is no need to resign”. She also said she was not a party in the particular case, in which the High Court had made the observation and expected that the court would hear her version and expunge the remarks. “The government extended the last date for submitting applications for the posts with good intention to get efficient persons in the panel,” she said. The minister also rejected the opposition charge that the induction of one Suresh, a CPI(M) leader from Wayanad, as member in the panel, was a political one. On his appointment being quashed by the High Court, she said it had not questioned the qualification and efficiency of Suresh, but only observed that valid reasons for extending the last date were not given.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

MU mess: IDOL admissions delayed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the chaos over delayed results continues at the University of Mumbai, thousands of students wanting to take up courses at the Institute of Distance and Open Learning (IDOL) are left in the lurch as admissions for all the courses are yet to start. At a time of the year when a couple of admission rounds for undergraduate courses are over and postgraduate admissions commence, IDOL is yet to open its admission portal for the year 2017-18.The admission portal for IDOL was expected to be open by the end of July as per a notification issued on MU’s official website. The University then released another notification stating that ‘the dates of admission for various programmes of IDOL will be declared in the second week of August, 2017.However, despite the notification, admission is yet to begin.The delay is being attributed to the appointment of MKCL as a new service provider that the university switched to from the earlier company — Exxon Automation.”This year, the agency is new, and hence it took some time to set up the system. Also, since most staffers are busy with results, there is a delay. Undergraduate admissions should start by next week while postgraduate admissions will start as and when the results are declared,” said an MU official.With the delay in kick-starting the process, close to 80,000 students have been left in a lurch.”The university is extremely careless in its approach towards students. Why was the company changed at the last minute?” said Sanjay Vairal, ex-senate member at the University….& ANALYSISThousands of students wanting to take up courses at the Institute of Distance and Open Learning wait for the admission process to start.
Appointment of a new agency and delays in declaration of results left students in the lurch.
Delay in kick-starting the process will affect not only the students but the academic calendar as well.

Naik’s appointment to boost morale of Cong in Goa: Chodankar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AICC Secretary Girish Chodankar today said the appointment of Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik as the new Goa Congress chief would lift the sagging morale of the party cadres after the BJP pulled the plug on them to grab power in the state. “The party cadres were demoralised as despite having the numbers, the Congress could not form the government after the 2017 Goa Assembly polls. “Naik’s appointment will boost their confidence and their morale will now be high,” Chodankar told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Why is there no enabling law for appointment of election commissioners: SC asks Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre as to why there is no enabling law for the appointment of Election Commissioners in the poll panel. The top court agreed to accord final hearing on Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging that till now political executives have been appointing Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and Election Commissioners (ECs) in poll panel.The court was hearing the PIL seeking constitution of a committee comprising of Leader of Opposition and Chief Justice of India for appointment of election commissioners.”Till now the appointments have been fair and transparent but we feel there is no procedure as such,” the court observed.In 2015, the plea had sought a direction to Centre ‘to make law for ensuring a fair, just and transparent process of selection by constituting a neutral and independent collegium/ selection committee to recommend the name for the appointment of member to the Election Commission’.It also sought direction to the Centre for constituting ‘an interim neutral and independent collegium/selection committee to recommend the names for the appointment on the vacant post of members to the Election Commission’.The plea had alleged that the Centre’s practice in appointing the member of Election Commission was discriminatory and violative of law, which obligate executive/legislature to make law for ensuring a fair, just and transparent selection process for Election Commission.

Veteran lawyer KK Venugopal to be new Attorney General

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Senior advocate K K Venugopal’s name has been cleared for appointment as the Attorney General for India following the decision of Mukul Rohatgi to step down as the top law officer.The proposal to appoint the 86-year-old veteran lawyer as the successor of Rohatgi was discussed before the departure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his recent visit to the US, Portugal and the Netherlands. Venugopal had a meeting with Modi before his departure to a three-nation tour,” sources said. When contacted today and asked about his priorities as the Attorney General, Venugopal said “I will speak only after the notification is issued.” He told PTI that the notification is likely to be issued in a day or two.The Law Ministry had recently referred the file relating to the appointment of Venugopal as the Attorney General to the Prime Minister’s Office for a final call, sources had said. After the decision is finalised, the President has to sign the Warrant of Appointment of the Attorney General.A noted constitutional expert, Venugopal is the recipient of Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan. He would become a law officer for the second time after being an Additional Solicitor General during the Morarji Desai government during the seventies. He has been associated with several government instrumentalities and has been representing them as a senior advocate. Lately, he has been appearing for the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate before the Supreme Court in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.The apex court had asked him to continue in the matter despite Venugopal’s replacement by the ED after he had taken a view different from the agency and the government on the removal of an investigation officer. He also represented the Madhya Pradesh Government during the hearing of National Judicial Appointments Commission Act in which he supported the validity of the central law to do away with the collegium system of appointment of judges for the higher judiciary.However, his association with the BJP regime goes back to the Ayodhya movement when he had appeared for the then Kalyan Singh Government in Uttar Pradesh by assuring the Supreme Court that the disputed medieval structure would be protected. Later, when on Decemeber 6, 1992, the structure was brought down by the kar sevaks, he had appeared before a bench of then Chief Justice M N Venkatachaliah at his residence in the evening.Venugopal had recently appeared for senior BJP leader L K Advani and others before the apex court which restored the charge of criminal conspiracy against them and ordered the completion of the trial in the Babri Masjid demolition case, in two years. He has also appeared for P J Thomas when his appointment as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner by the erstwhile UPA government was challenged in the apex court which had set aside the government’s decision.He also appeared for Dandi Swamy Sri Vidyanada Bhartiji and J Jayalalithaa, the then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, in 2008 in the Sethusamudram case, popularly known as Ram Sethu matter, against the construction of the ambitious shipping canal project of the previous UPA government. The Supreme Court had stayed the construction of the controversial Ram Sethu or Adams Bridge project, a barrier located southeast of Rameshwaram, which connects Talaimanar coast of Sri Lanka.

Oil family seniors lead charge for ONGC’s top job

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The quest for top hunch for India’s highest profit-making public enterprise, ONGC, has been expedited with centre shortlisting nine applicants for the post. According to sources, the choice for appointment of chairman-cum-managing director (CMD), is down to nine candidates including five from the oil family itself. Top of the list of candidates is Shashi Shanker, ONGC director for technical and field services. Also, Medithi Ravikant, CMD Housing and development corporation (HUDCO), has emerged as potential contender shortlisted for the race for the top job at India’s most valued public enterprise in India.Nearly 30 candidates applied for replacing incumbent chairman and managing director Dinesh K Sarraf when he retires on September 30 this year. The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed for the top job on June 19 in two sessions, and a final decision is likely to be taken shortly after that. Shashi Shanker has technical experience in oil and gas exploration area, and since he is the only serving director in ONGC who has two more years of service remaining, he is being considered as the most prospective candidate for the job.M Ravi Kanth, Chairman & Managing Director, HUDCO, IAS from Kerela cadre and 1986 batch officer is another serious contenders for the job. Prior to this, Ravi Kanth was Principal Secretary to Government of Kerala and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of IndiaONGC Videsh Limited director (finance) Vivekanand is also in the race and so are three of ONGC’s executive directors — Sanjay Kumar Moitra, Rajesh Kakkar and Arvind Jayasing Morbale. SCIL Director (finance) Harjeet Kaur Joshi, OIL director for human resources Biswajit Roy too are probable candidates being considered for the job. Besides, Balmer Lawrie chairman and managing director Prabal Basu is also on the selected candidates list.The Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) will conduct interview session on June 19 with the candidates which will select the successor to Sarraf.Once PESB shortlists the names, it sends its recommendations to the Ministry for Petroleum & Natural Gas, which then processes it further (including clearance from Central Vigilance Commission), and then forwards it to the Appointment Committee Cabinet for formal approval.State-run ONGC registered net profit of Rs 17,900 crore for fiscal 2016-17, up by 10.9 per cent year-on-year. The gross revenue of the company stood at Rs 77,907 crore in fiscal 2016-17, against Rs 77,740 crore in fiscal 2015-16. The company made 23 discoveries in fiscal 2016-17 compared to 17 in fiscal 2015-16.The new head will have to pursue Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of cutting country’s oil import dependency by 10 per cent till 2022. With Stagnant domestic oil output directed against a rising local demand, it seems to be a tough target to achieve.

Congress targets govt on Lokpal, ‘dilution’ of RTI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Congress on Wednesday took strong notice of government misleading the Parliament on the issue of appointment of Lokpal and also framing rules to dilute Right to Information Act (RTI).Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge and party member KC Venugopal in Lok Sabha targeted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and pressed for a privilege motion against him for saying that Lokpal Bill is with a Standing Committee.Congress leaders said the fact is that Parliament has passed the Lokpal legislation and the President has given his nod as well.

Setback to Kejriwal as Shunglu Committee highlights ‘gross use of power’ by AAP govt.

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In what may land Aam Admi Party (AAP) in the soup, Shunglu Committee, formed by former Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, has highlighted the ?gross use of power? by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government in the appointment process. The three-member committee, in over 100-page report, questioned the appointment of Health Minister Satyendra Jain’s daughter Soumya Jain as an adviser to Mission Director, Delhi State Health Mission. Soumya is an architect by profession and her expertise in Mohalla clinics was touted. The file contained no evidence of who approved her appointment. The AAP government paid her a salary of Rs 1.15 lakh from the period April 18 to July 14, 2016, when Soumya resigned from the post. The appointment of Nikunj Agarwal, a relative of Kejriwal, as the Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the health minister has also been questioned by the committee. The committee has raised objection on the appointment of several personal staff of ministers including Roshan Shankar as advisor to the minister of tourism, appointment of Abhinav Rai to the minister of transport, appointment of Rahul Bhasin in CM office, appointment of Gopal Mohan, a close associate of Arvind Kejriwal. Shunglu Committee has also raised questions on the appointment made under co-terminus basis, appointments of consultants and contractual appointments without following procedures. The appointment of Parija P as a full-term member of administration in Delhi’s municipal taxation tribunal was also pointed out by the committee. It must be noted that Parija had no administrative experience and was unqualified for the post which required at least a secretary-level officer of Delhi to fill it.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Appoint counsellors in univs to check students’ suicide: MP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A BJP member today expressed concern in Lok Sabha over the growing number of students committing suicide in the country and sought the appointment of full-time counsellors in the universities. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Prahlad Joshi said that examination stress, peer pressure, cricket betting and drug abuse were pushing the students to commit suicide. Urging the government to seriously consider the issue, he demanded the appointment of full-time counsellors in the universities. India has one of the world’s highest rate of suicides, Joshi added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC reserves order on plea seeking appointment of Lokpal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its order on a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause on the appointment of Lokpal matter. The Central Government told the apex court that in the current scenario, the appointment of Lokpal is impossible. The Attorney General told the apex court that in this session, the appointment of Lokpal was not possible and the session was primarily meant for the budget one. He also told the apex court that in the next session, the Central Government would most probably try to appoint the Lokpal. As per the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act of 2013, the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha will be part of the Lokpal selection panel. At present, there is no Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Supreme Court collegium finalises MoP for higher judiciary appointments

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court collegium has finalised the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointment of judges in the higher judiciary resolving a year-long impasse with the executive by agreeing to include the contentious clause of national security in selection of judges.Sources said the collegium, comprising five seniormost judges of the apex court, had met recently and agreed to the national security clause which the Centre had insisted as one of the necessary criteria for appointment of judges to the higher judiciary. The collegium consisting of Chief Justice J S Khehar and four seniormost judges — Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and M B Lokur — has agreed with the Centre on the national security clause provided the specific reasons for use of the clause are well documented or recorded. The national security clause, which gave veto power to the government to reject a name recommended by the collegium, and the issue of setting up of secretariats in the apex court and all the high courts, were among the two key clauses in the MoP on which the Centre and the judiciary had differences for more than a year.The sources said that after deliberations, the collegium has also agreed on setting up secretariats in the apex court and the high courts to collate data about judges and assist in the selection procedure for their appointment to the higher judiciary. In October 2015, a Constitution bench headed by Justice J S Khehar had struck down the NJAC Act passed by Parliament and had directed the Centre to frame a new MoP in consultation with the chief justice of India.After holding the Constitution (Ninety-ninth Amendment) Act, 2014 and the NJAC Act, 2014, as unconstitutional and void, the apex court in its separate order had decided to consider the incorporation of additional appropriate measures, if any, for an improved working of the collegium system. Striking a dissent note, Justice J Chelameswar who was part of the five-judge Constitution bench which heard the NJAC case, had said that the collegium system for the appointment of judges is “opaque” and needs “transparency”.He had said that “primacy of the judiciary” in the appointment of judges is a basic feature of the Constitution and “is empirically flawed.” Last month, Chief Justice J S Khehar had indicated that the apex court may come out with the MoP for the appointment of judges for the higher judiciary by the end of the month. “We will finalise the MoP may be within this month,” he had said while dismissing a plea seeking transparency in the appointment of judges for higher courts.

Plea in HC for removal of counsel appointed by AAP government

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A plea was today filed in the Delhi High Court seeking setting aside of appointment of Rahul Mehra as senior standing counsel for the city government. The petition, which termed the appointment as “illegal” on the ground that the post of senior standing counsel “doesn’t exist in the eyes of the law”, was today mentioned before a bench of Justices B D Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva for urgent hearing. “There is no such urgency. It will be listed in due course,” the bench said. The petition, which sought quashing of the notification issued by the Delhi government with regard to the appointment of Mehra and other panel counsel of Delhi government, said it was “bad in law as the same is in violation of the Constitution of India”. “The Department Of Law, Justice And Legislative Affairs issued notification…appointed respondent No.5 (Rahul Mehra) as senior standing counsel for all matters of the Delhi… “No Advertisement for the post, no terms and conditions for appointment, no criteria, no eligibility was made. No sanction obtained from the Lt Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi…,” the petition filed by advocate Chetan Dutt said. It said the judicial review of the notification was mandatory and required in law.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Back door was provided for Geelani’s grandson’s appointment National Conference

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Following the controversy over the appointment of the grandson of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Anees-ul-Islam, last year in November, while Kashmir was seeing the unrest and violence, National Conference has voiced its concern over the matter. Anees bagged the job of a research officer in Sher-e-Kashmir International Convection Complex (SKICC), which comes under PDP-BJP coalition government. Allegedly, for Anees? appointment, the rules were bent and he received out-of-turn job. National Conference leader Devender Singh Rana told ANI, ?A back door was provided for the appointment. Everybody has a right on government job, but the way that has been taken is wrong. While, lakhs of people are unemployed in Kashmir, this appointment will hurt the people.? Another leader of National Conference, Junaid Mattoo also expressed concern over Anees? appointment. ?Some senior bureaucrats are working as PDP functionaries. If the grandson of Syed Ali Shah Geelani has been appointed because of Geelani?s influence, then this is questionable. We will demand an independent enquiry not just on this case, but on all the back-door appointments,? he told ANI. However, Jammu and Kashmir?s tourism secretary Farooq Shah, who was also the chairman of Senior Selection Committee claimed that all the rules were followed in the appointment. He said, ?We invited applications from candidates; he was found fit for the post.” Sohail Bukhari, advisor to Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, has also denied the allegations. He asserted, ?There is no single rule that has been bent. SKICC is an autonomous body. They published a notification for the job. Many applications came and based on merit, 35 were called for interview. One individual was selected finally. The allegation is purely fabrication.? Ends NM/sp NNNN ANI(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Five more Supreme Court judges sworn in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Five new Supreme Court judges were on Friday sworn in, taking the apex court’s strength to 28, including the Chief Justice of India.Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Navin Sinha, Mohan M Shantanagoudar, Deepak Gupta and S Abdul Nazeer were administered the oath of office by CJI J S Khehar this morning.Justice Kaul was the Chief Justice of Madras High Court while Justice Sinha was the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court.Justices Shantanagoudar and Gupta were the chief justices of Kerala and Chhattisgarh high courts respectively and Justice Nazeer was a judge in the Karnataka High Court.The sanctioned strength of judges in the apex court is 31, including the CJI.President Pranab Mukherjee had recently signed their Warrants of Appointment.

Panneerselvam camp rejects appointment of Palaniswami as Legislature Party leader

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An unfazed O Panneerselvam camp on Tuesday rejected the appointment of Sasikala loyalist Edappady K Palaniswami as AIADMK Legislature Party leader.”Nobody has the authority to elect anybody,” was the terse response from School Education Minister K Pandiarajan, a supporter of Panneerselvam.He was responding to reporters’ queries to Palaniswami being elected the Legislature Party leader, hours after the Supreme Court upheld a trial court verdict against AIADMK General Secretary Sasikala in a disproportionate assets case.Palaniswami was elected at a meeting of party MLAs chaired by Sasikala held at a resort, where the legislators have been staying for last few days following the revolt by Panneerselvam.

Guj HC seeks government’s reply on PIL on appointment of CIC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Gujarat High Court today sought the state government’s reply on a PIL seeking transparency in the process for selection of the next chief information commissioner (CIC). A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi was hearing a PIL seeking the court’s direction to the government to follow the due procedure and maintain transparency in the appointment process. Earlier CIC Balwant Singh retired on December 5, 2016. The government pleader told the court that the appointment process was underway. Petitioner Chandravadan Dhruv said the government should shortlist 10 eminent persons who meet the criteria for the post, and ensure that no bureaucrat is in the list. The appointment of new CIC should be expedited because as of December, over 5,783 cases were pending before the state information commission, he said. “The CIC and IC (information commissioner) should be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance,” the petition said. It also sought court’s direction to the government to issue advertisement inviting applications from interested persons for the CIC’s post.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

On January 2, the apex court had questioned the Centre

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>why judges and chief justices of high courts were not being transfered despite the recommendations of the collegium and asked it to file a status report on such pending transfers with detailed reasons. Former Chief Justice T S Thakur had asked the AG to return to the collegium for reconsideration instead of sitting over the recommendation, as it gave rise to “speculation and misgivings” due to continuance of judges in the same high courts despite being transferred. The apex court had on November 18 last year said it had not accepted the Centre’s stand of rejecting the 43 names recommended by the Supreme Court Collegium for their appointment as judges of the various high courts and most of the names have been sent back for reconsideration. The Centre had told the court that it had cleared 34 names out of the 77 recommended by the collegium for appointment as judges in various high courts in the country. Rohatgi, on November 11, had told the court that the Centre had already sent the fresh draft of the Memorandum of Procedure for consideration of the collegium on August 3 last year, but so far no response has been received by the government. The apex court had earlier rapped the government for delay in appointments to higher judiciary despite recommendations by the collegium in this regard and said the entire institution cannot be brought to a grinding halt. Maintaining that the appointment process “cannot be stalled” due to non-finalisation of the MoP, the court had criticised the tardy progress in processing files pertaining to judges’ appointment and even warned that it may summon the secretaries of the PMO and the Ministry of Law and Justice to ascertain the factual position. The Attorney General had said that non-finalisation of the MoP was one of the issues and assured the bench that more progress will be seen in the near future on the appointment of judges. The apex court had said it would not tolerate “logjam in judges’ appointment” and would intervene to “fasten accountability as the justice delivery system is collapsing”. The bench had said that if the government had reservation about any name, it could always come back to the collegium.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

SC postpones plea on judges’ appointment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Supreme Court on Monday postponed the plea on appointment of judges for a month. The decision was taken by an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar. Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi told the apex court that the Centre is ready for the appointment of judges. Justice Khehar had earlier on January 11 underlined the need for appointment of judges in the apex court and said that the vacancies were affecting the court?s efficiency. “It is to be noted that the Supreme Court currently has 23 judges against sanctioned strength of 31,” he added. Appointment of a judge was also a major concern of the former CJI Tirath Singh Thakur, who during his term in the apex court castigated the government for turning a deaf ear to the woes of the judiciary with regard to recruitment in courts. Thakur had expressed his disappointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on Independence Day, saying, “I heard the popular Prime Minister for one and a half hours. I expected some mention about justice also, about the appointment of judges.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CBI enquiry registered against AAP minister Satyendar Jain’s daughter in Mohalla Clinic project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry in the appointment of Saumya Jain, AAP minister Satyendar Jain’s daughter, as advisor to Delhi government on its Mohalla Clinic project. The Lt Governor’s office had earlier recommended a CBI probe in the matter after she was appointed an advisor in the health department.The Delhi government, on the direction of the LG’s office, had sent a letter to CBI in December last year to look into the matter. Jain had earlier rejected the allegation of favouritism, saying she had worked voluntarily and not a single paisa was given to her.In July, Soumya had resigned from the post following the opposition’s allegation of nepotism. “We have done nothing wrong. She was not given a single paisa. She had offered to work voluntarily and we had taken her service. Let them probe the matter,” Satyendar Jain had said.Official sources said the Preliminary Enquiry will cover the role of Jain, the MD of the Health department and others, and will decide if a regular case needs to be registered.

Stalin turns emotional after aide breaks down adoring him

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>DMK treasurer MK Stalin was moved to tears during his elevation as party working president when his trusted lieutenant Duraimurugan broke down while showering him with encomiums.The appointment was greeted with bursting of crackers and distribution of sweets. Party principal secretary Duraimurugan quoted the famous phrase of DMK founder CN Annadurai “Thambi Va Thalamai Erka Va,” (Younger Brother, come to take the leadership of the party) to welcome Stalin and the latter was not able to hold back his tears.Looking at Stalin, while praising his role in the party, an emotional Duraimurugan recalled how the working president elect had strongly stood for ideals of the Dravidian movement like self-respect.Stalin, during his address after his elevation, also broke down while making a reference to the failing health of his father and party president Karunanidhi.Stating that in the past, he had felt proud and happy when he was given new responsibilities, he said, “Today I’m not in such a stage (feeling happy about elevation due to the patriarch’s health), this is the truth.””In view of the health status of party chief, I accept this position with a heavy heart,” Stalin said, adding that his work as working chief would be that of aiding Karunanidhi.

If seniority only criterion, even computer would have selected Army chief: Manohar Parrikar

New Delhi: Stressing that due procedures were “perfectly followed” by the government in appointing the new Army chief, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday said if seniority were the only criterion, then a computer could have selected service chiefs based on date of birth.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. File photo. PTI

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. File photo. PTI

He added there would not have been need of any due process or Cabinet Committee for Appointment if seniority alone was the criterion.

He was responding to a question on whether the government intends to go in for deep selection and setting aside seniority principle when it comes to selection of service chiefs.

“First of all, I do not know where there is principle of seniority. There is a procedure set wherein all commanders are verified for their performance. I can assure you that those who were considered were all good. Too good and probably that is the reason why we could not take decision early,” Parrikar said in a press conference.

The government has last month selected Gen Bipin Rawat as the new army chief superseding two other officers — Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Lt Gen PM Hariz — breaking away from the tradition of seniority principle since 1983. “They are all good, capable. Circumstances probably required this selection…if you go by seniority principle then there would be no requirement of any procedure. There would be no requirement of any Raksha Mantri (defence minister), there would no requirement of Cabinet Committee on Appointment because then it is a computer job. Date of birth decides who becomes general,” he said.

He questioned why the government needs to spend 4-5 months studying the profile of officers, taking Intelligence Bureau reports among others.

“I can tell you this much that procedure has been perfectly followed as laid down. You can read the procedure. No procedural violation has taken place,” Parrikar said.

First Published On : Jan 3, 2017 22:07 IST

If seniority only criterion, even computer would have selected an Army chief: Manohar Parrikar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Stressing that due procedures were “perfectly followed” by the government in appointing the new Army Chief, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar today said if seniority were the only criterion, then a computer could have selected service chiefs based on date of birth.He added there would not have been need of any due process or Cabinet Committee for Appointment if seniority alone was the criterion. He was responding to a question on whether the government intends to go in for deep selection and setting aside seniority principle when it comes to selection of service chiefs. “First of all, I do not know where there is principle of seniority. There is a procedure set wherein all commanders are verified for their performance. I can assure you that those who were considered were all good. Too good and probably that is the reason why we could not take decision early,” Parrikar said in a press conference here.The government has last month selected Gen Bipin Rawat as the new army chief superseding two other officers – Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi and Lt Gen PM Hariz – breaking away from the tradition of seniority principle since 1983. “They are all good, capable. Circumstances probably required this selection…if you go by seniority principle then there would be no requirement of any procedure.”There would be no requirement of any Raksha Mantri, there would no requirement of Cabinet Committee on Appointment because then it is a computer job. Date of birth decides who becomes General,” he said. He questioned why the government needs to spend 4-5 months studying the profile of officers, taking Intelligence Bureau reports among others. “I can tell you this much that procedure has been perfectly followed as laid down. You can read the procedure. No procedural violation has taken place,” Parrikar said.

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