<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Arun Jaitley opposed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s petition in the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of a trial court’s order summoning him as an accused in a criminal defamation complaint filed by the BJP leader.Jaitley sought dismissal of Kejriwal’s plea on the ground that he and five other AAP leaders, who were also summoned as accused in the case, since the beginning of the case had tried to “stall” the proceedings and had filed various petitions and applications to “impede” the trial.The finance minister made the submissions in his written arguments filed before Justice A K Pathak, who was hearing the chief minister’s plea against a trial court’s March 9, 2016 order summoning him and others in the matter.Taking note of the submissions filed before it, the court fixed the matter for arguments on January 11 next year.It also asked Kejriwal’s counsel to file their written arguments in the matter.Senior counsel Sidharth Luthra and advocate Manik Dogra, representing Jaitley, said that the present petition ought to be dismissed on the ground of delay and latches.”The petition has been filed on May 3, 2017, almost 14 months after the summoning order was passed on March 9, 2016,” the counsel said.They said that the petition, which raises fallacious and baseless contentions, has only been filed with an ulterior motive to delay the trial.Kejriwal’s lawyers Nitya Ramakrishnan and Shadan Farasat said that none of the statements attributed to their client was defamatory in nature, as they do not satisfy any of the ingredients provided in Section 499 (defamation) of IPC and its explanations.Kejriwal has said that the trial court, prior to summoning him, did not test the allegations made in the complaint and pre-summoning evidence.Besides Kejriwal, the trial court had also summoned Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai, observing that the allegations levelled by them against Jaitley were “not only insulting but jeeringly taunting and provocative”.After they appeared in the matter, they were granted bail by the trial court.Jaitley had filed the criminal defamation complaint alleging that the accused had defamed him in a controversy regarding the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when he headed it for over a decade.The AAP leaders had accused the BJP leader of corruption while he was the president of the DDCA from 2000 to 2013. The charges have been denied by the Union minister during his cross-examination by Kejriwal’s counsel before the Delhi High Court.A civil defamation suit has also been filed by Jaitley against them in the Delhi High Court in the matter seeking Rs 10 crore as damages.The Union minister also contended that a perusal of the summoning order reveals that the trail court has clearly applied his judicial mind before issuing summons to all the accused.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as Delhi suffers the toxic smog, it seems battle lines are being drawn in world of politics.A very public spat that has been going on between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh saw yet another round unfolding on Twitter todayHours after Arvind Kejriwal sought meeting with Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh over air pollution, the Punjab CM has once again ruled out a meeting, urging him to refrain from trying to politicise such a serious issue.In a tweet, Kejriwal had sought meeting with his Punjab counterpart, stating that he was coming to Chandigarh on Wednesday to meet Haryana CM and would be grateful if he could could spare sometime to meet him. “It is in collective interest,” he tweeted.“I fail to understand why the Delhi chief minister was trying to force his hand, knowing well that any such discussion would be meaningless and futile. Kejriwal’s tendency to indulge in petty street politics was well-known”, lashed out Captain Singh, adding that the AAP national convenor was trying to divert public attention from his own government’s failure in Delhi to check the problem of pollution, as exposed by the response of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to the ill-conceived odd-even scheme.Asserting that the problem of air pollution faced by Delhi and Punjab were completely divergent, with no meeting ground, Singh said that air pollution in Delhi was mainly due to urban pollution caused by mismanaged transportation and unplanned industrial development.Instead of focusing all his attention on resolving these issues, Kejriwal wanted to waste time holding useless discussions, said the Punjab Chief Minister, adding that he, unfortunately, did not have the same luxury of time.Highlighting that stubble burning was not a political issue, but an economic problem Captain Amarinder Singh said only Centre can provide a solution to the problem and he would continue to pursue with the Centre the matter of compensatory allowance for farmers to dissuade them form stubble burning.The Delhi CM is slated to meet the Haryana CM over stubble burning on Wednesday.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The pollution levels in the national capital continued to leave its citizens gasping for air on Sunday.A thick smog cover was seen near India Gate and other parts of central Delhi. Runners and cyclists, all donning masks, told news agency ANI that they were finding it difficult to breathe.According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting & Research (SAFAR), PM 10 levels in Delhi’s Lodhi Road area were recorded at 560, PM 2.5 at 625, while PM 10 levels in Noida were recorded at 551, PM 2.5 levels at 541. This falls in the severe category.Earlier on Saturday, the the Arvind Kejriwal government announced that the car-rationing plan has been put on hold for now.Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Saturday made the announcement after the emergency meeting called by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.He said that in view of the two pre-conditions set by the NGT — no exemption for two-wheelers and women drivers — the Delhi government has decided to file a review petition on Monday.Earlier on Saturday, the National Green Tribunal gave it’s order for the car rationing scheme from November 13-November 17 saying no women drivers, government servants and two-wheelers will be exempted. They also said only emergency services and CNG vehicles will be exempted from the odd-even scheme.The green board also said that the odd-even scheme will come into force by default in future if the PM2.5 level crosses 300 and PM10 goes above 500.The NGT also asked Delhi government why the car rationing scheme was not applied before and why the AAP government did not take any steps to reduce pollution before in the national capital.The board said that Delhi government should reconsider the hike of parking charges by four times. “Won’t the hike of parking fees only benefit the parking lots, and would stress people even further, thereby encouraging them to park vehicles on the roads instead, choking them in the process?” NGT asked Arvind Kejriwal’s government.The top green court also asked the Uttar Pradesh governnment for details on the number of challans in Greater Noida and Noida.Meanwhile, the Central Pollution Control Board CPCB) submitted a report to NGT saying the possibility of rain in the next 2-3 days.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In what can be called a u-turn, the Arvind Kejriwal government called off the odd-even scheme Delhi on Saturday.The car-rationing scheme, which was supposed to be rolled out from Monday, had also got a conditional nod from the National Green Tribunal.The core reason was top green court rejecting several exemptions during the odd-even phase proposed by the Delhi government.In what seems as more odd than even twist, the government will now petition before the NGT on Monday against its order.The fast-paced back to back developments were triggered by an order of the NGT earlier in the day, which said that no exemption should be allowed to “any person or officer and two-wheelers” during the proposed car rationing scheme for five days from November 13.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar on Saturday said that the odd-even scheme should be implemented “without any default” as and when PM (particulate matter) 10 level goes above 500 microgrammes per cubic metre and PM 2.5 level crosses the limit of 300 microgrammes per cubic metre during a span of 48 hours.The NGT at the same time ordered that no exemption should be allowed to “any person or officer and two-wheelers”.In contrast from the Delhi government’s announcement women drivers, two-wheelers and vehicles carrying children in school uniforms, besides VVIPs, the NGT said the road rationing scheme would be applied with equal vigour to all vehicles. It allowed the exemptions only for emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire tenders.Earlier the Central Pollution Control Board and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee appearing before the NGT bench told it that two-wheelers were more polluting than other vehicles, and emissions from motorbikes accounted for 20 per cent of the total vehicular pollution.The bench also castigated the government over its decision to hike parking fees saying, “measures such as enhanced parking fees to decrease pollution are absurd.”Ruing the NGT ordering withdrawal of exemptions under the scheme, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said the government is not ready “to compromise with the safety of women”.”We respect the NGT decision. Two conditions of NGT that two-wheelers and women cannot be exempted make it difficult to implement odd-even as we do not have adequate buses.”“Also we cannot compromise with the safety of women. We cannot take risks. PM2.5 and PM10 levels have also come down. So at the moment we are calling it off,” the minister said after an emergency meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after the National Green Tribunal gave nod to the odd-even scheme in Delhi, the Arvind Kejriwal government announced that the car-rationing plan has been put on hold for now.Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Saturday made the announcement after the emergency meeting called by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.He said that in view of the two pre-conditions set by the NGT — no exemption for two-wheelers and women drivers — the Delhi government has decided to file a review petition on Monday.Earlier on Saturday, the National Green Tribunal gave it’s order for the car rationing scheme from November 13-November 17 saying no women drivers, government servants and two-wheelers will be exempted. They also said only emergency services and CNG vehicles will be exempted from the odd-even scheme. The green board also said that the odd-even scheme will come into force by default in future if the PM2.5 level crosses 300 and PM10 goes above 500.The NGT also asked Delhi government why the car rationing scheme was not applied before and why the AAP government did not take any steps to reduce pollution before in the national capital.The board said that Delhi government should reconsider the hike of parking charges by four times.“Won’t the hike of parking fees only benefit the parking lots, and would stress people even further, thereby encouraging them to park vehicles on the roads instead, choking them in the process?” NGT asked Arvind Kejriwal’s government.The top green court also asked the Uttar Pradesh governnment for details on the number of challans in Greater Noida and Noida. Meanwhile, the Central Pollution Control Board CPCB) submitted a report to NGT saying the possibility of rain in the next 2-3 days.
Even as some welcomed the move, many took to Twitter to say the measure was too little and too late.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday blamed stubble burning for smog in the national capital and said that a solution can be found if everyone comes together.Air quality in Delhi-NCR has been at the season’s worst for the last couple of days as a combined effect of smoke from stubble burning and moisture turned the region into a ‘gas chamber’ leaving people gasping.”Until state governments don’t find economically viable solutions to crop burning it will not stop. If everyone…central government, UP, Punjab and Haryana government come together and put aside politics a solution can be found,” Kejriwal said.”For a month (from mid-October to mid-November) the whole northern India becomes a gas chamber, not just Delhi. The high increase in PM levels in Delhi is not just due to local reasons. People and government of Delhi are ready to take all steps but these steps will not be enough until a solution to crop burning is found,” Kejriwal said.The Delhi Chief Minister also said that a decision on Odd-Even formula will be taken by today or tomorrow, if a need arises.”On Wednesday Kejriwal had sought a meeting with his counterparts in Punjab and Haryana to discuss ways to tackle the alarming air pollution levels in Delhi. ALSO READ Smog, closed runway make Delhi-Mumbai air travel expensive as ticket prices shoot up to Rs 29,000Kejriwal said the governments in the neighboring states had failed to provide farmers with viable alternatives to stubble burning, a process that leads to air pollution in Delhi.However, replying to Arvind Kejriwal on Twitter, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said that he shares the concern over stubble burning and pollution but it is not a matter for inter-state discussion.The Delhi government has already announced that all schools in the national capital will remain closed till Sunday because of the toxic air.It also issued a health advisory for high-risk people, including children, the elderly, pregnant women and those suffering from asthma and heart ailments, asking them to avoid, among other things, early morning and evening walks.The Indian Medical Association said the capital was witnessing a “public health emergency” and appealed to the government to stop outdoor sports and other such activities in schools to protect the health of children. ALSO READ Delhi air can kill many, warns top AIIMS doctor
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as Delhi’s smog situation continues for the second day, Cheif Minister Arvind Kejriwal is reaching ouit to the national capital’s neighbours to find a solution for the problem.In a series of tweets, Kejriwal sought time with neighbouring Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to discuss the issue.However, Singh clearly said that “it is not a matter for inter-state discussion, that won’t help.”Seeking Centre’s intervention, both the Chief Ministers said that the Narendra Modi government must take a lead.The discussion on Twitter seemed to show that there is not much of consensus as to what the state governments must do on their own to tackle the issue.The air quality in Delhi is not just a localised phenomenon. According to the forecast of the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences’ System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research, the “sudden” intrusion of pollutant-laden smoke from neighbouring Punjab and Haryana from the night of November 6 led to the spike as the high quantity of moisture in the city’s air trapped the particulates.The stubble-burning has been a contentious issue among the states. “Every year, Punjab rice farms collectively burn about 7 to 8 million metric tons of leftover plant debris in October and November,” a NASA report said recently.In Delhi, while Kejriwal and his ministers are maintaining that the situation is being monitored and a requisite steps would be taken on time, the ground reality is the the people of Delhi-NCR are suffering.The air quality index of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) showed a score of 487 on a scale of 500, indicating ‘severe’ levels of pollution. The level can affect even healthy people and “seriously impact” those with existing diseases.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asked his deputy Manish Sisodia today to consider shutting schools for a few days in view of the high pollution in the city, prompting him to convene a meeting of officials of education, health and environment departments.Sisodia, who is also Delhi’s education minister, has directed the environment department to submit a report on the city’s pollution level by this evening.He said that the Delhi government would take a final decision on the closure of schools and introduction of the odd-even car rationing scheme after examining the report.The chief minister will chair the meeting.Kejriwal has also sought an appointment with Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan to discuss the alarming situation, he said.Delhi woke up to ‘severe’ air quality with a thick haze blanketing the city as pollution levels breached permissible standards by multiple times.”Hv called a meeting at 5.30pm with Edu, Health & Env Dept with today’s pollution data and all relevant studies (sic),” Sisodia tweeted.”We are closely monitoring the situation and will take a final decision on it once the report comes. The Delhi government has requested the Centre several times to intervene in the issue of crop burning in neighbouring states but the central government has not responded yet,” he told reporters.Earlier today, the chief minister tweeted, “Considering high level of pollution, I have requested Manish Sisodia, Education Minister, to consider closing schools for few days.” The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also appealed to the Delhi government to shut down outdoor sports and other such activities in schools keeping in view the harmful impact of air pollution on the health of the children.The rapid fall in air quality and visibility began last evening as moisture combined with pollutants shrouded the city in a thick cover of haze.By 10 am today, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) recorded ‘severe’ air quality, meaning the intensity of pollution was extreme. PTI GJS BUN
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The police arrested four persons after Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party reported that campaign material was stolen from its office near ITO on Saturday morning.A complaint had been filed on behalf of the AAP office at Rouse Avenue, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, with the IP Estate police station in East Delhi. The complaint read that the break-in took place around 3.55 am, and mentioned that the entire incident got captured by CCTV cameras.Mohammad Qazim was arrested from Kamla Market. Surtan, a scrap dealer, to whom Qazim tried to sell the stolen items, was also arrested. The campaign material was recovered from them. Two others who were arrested are Saifuddin and Kayyum.The theft came about a month after the famous Blue WagonR, used to ferry (now Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal in the run-up to the Assembly elections, was stolen from outside the Delhi Secretariat, which houses the CM office. The vehicle was later recovered from Ghaziabad near Delhi.”The culprit can be identified in CCTV footage. He also tried to break the iron grill fixed outside the premises. He was able to steal canopies (25-28 in numbers) which were pre-printed with the party name and logo,” the complaint in the latest theft said.”Based on technical surveillance, more than a dozen people from the locality were identified, and on the basis of the physical appearance of the accused in footage, five to six people were rounded up. Qazim was also apprehended. During questioning, he broke down and confessed to having committed the theft,” said a senior police officer.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around 15 metro stations will soon be remodelled by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to combat the rising rush of commuters by each passing day. Based on different surveys done by the DMRC over the years, the strategic planning includes a slew of measures like shifting of ticket counters to constructing ramps and stairways.The Metro, which is a lifeline for the Delhi National Capital Region (NCR), is used by around 28 lakh passengers every day. The stations are being worked upon depending on the number of commuters that each of them experiences during the day.The DMRC has been conducting regular studies on travellers’ rush to further their development model to ease pressure on the facility and make travelling more convenient for people.The metro stations that would undergo changes include Rithala, Uttam Nagar, Dwarka Sector 21, Dilshad Garden, Kashmere Gate, Pragati Maidan. Dilshad Garden, Jahangirpuri, Noida City Centre, Noida Sector 16, Sikanderpur, Tilak Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Karol Bagh, Hauz Khas, GTB Nagar among others. Similar work is already being done in 17 stations while the DMRC redeveloped five stations — Rajiv Chowk, New Delhi, Vaishali, Huda City Centre and Chandni Chowk in the recent past.According to a senior DMRC official, the security checkpoint in Laxmi Nagar will soon be shifted since the station witnesses a heavy rush of commuters every day.The official further shared that the security check and the ticket counter in Vaishali metro station were on the first floor which led to long queues during peak hours. Hence, they started selling tickets at the ground floor, while the security remained on the concourse. The metro which chugs on a system as long as 213 kilometres, recently found itself in the thick of controversy after its fares were increased for the second time in less than six months.METRO MENACEDelhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called it a “conspiracy” to help radio cabs like Ola and Uber do business even as the common man suffered because of the fare hike. The metro recently found itself in the thick of controversy after its fares were increased for the second time in less than six months.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea for summoning witnesses, documents of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) in a defamation case by Arun Jaitley.On May 22, Jaitley had filed a fresh defamation suit of Rs 10 crore against Arvind Kejriwal over the use of an ‘objectionable’ word by Delhi Chief Minister’s lawyer Ram Jethmalani in the court.Jaitley, 64, has filed a civil defamation against Kejriwal and five AAP leaders — Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai — for accusing him of financial irregularities in the DDCA of which he was the President from 1999 to 2013.The allegations were denied by the union minister.Jaitley, who denied all the allegations levelled by the AAP leaders in December 2015, had claimed that they made ‘false and defamatory’ statements in the case involving the DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.In September, the court also imposes Rs 5,000 cost on Arvind Kejriwal for delay in filing reply.The court had on August 25 rapped the Delhi Chief Minister for questioning a single judge’s decision to expedite the hearing of a defamation suit filed by Jaitley.It had said that the court had to answer the apex court on delay in trials.The AAP leaders had allegedly attacked Jaitley and his family members in various fora including social media over the alleged irregularities and financial bungling in the DDCA.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Purvanchalis in Delhi are slowly emerging as a very significant vote bank, which all political parties are trying to woo. So, while the Aam Aadmi Party has declared a public holiday on Chhath Puja, falling on Thursday, not to be left behind is its arch rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has launched a campaign for hassle-free rituals at the river banks, as politics takes centrestage this festive season.Purvanchalis constitute nearly 25 per cent of the electorate in the Capital, enjoying a sizeable popularity among all three parties, Congress included.Over the last few years, the voters belonging to this community have played a crucial role in deciding the fate of candidates, the recent being the AAP’s big win in the Bawana by-polls.Candidate Ram Chander, a Purvanchali himself, helped the party romp home to victory by securing votes from JJ clusters dominated by members of the community. BJP suffered a debacle in Bawana and lost the seat by a margin of 24,000 votes. It had fielded defector MLA from AAP, Ved Prakash.From Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to other ministers in his Cabinet, all have been keeping a close watch on the puja arrangements this year. According to an official statement released by Development Minister Gopal Rai, the government has developed over 550 ghats this year for the devotees and cleanliness at these banks was the top priority for them. Apart from pumping in Rs 20 crore to develop Chhath ghats and maintaining them, civic body officers, engineers, and other bureaucrats have been directed to review all facilities.Meanwhile, after launching an attack on AAP for “playing with” the faith of devotees, BJP started its own ‘shramdaan’ programme at different ghats. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who has roots in Purvanchal, announced a helpline for Chhath samities on Monday, to facilitate smooth organisation of the festival.PARTY WARSBJP workers and volunteers cleaned ghats across the Capital, as mayors in the east and north MCDs inspected banks in their areas
Congress has accused AAP and BJP of politicising the festival, claiming that in their bid to outdo each other, they have diluted the pious spirit of the festival
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a shocking incident, Delhi CM and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal’s iconic blue Wagon- R car has been stolen. Currently, an AAP volunteer Vandana belonging to party’s media cell was using the car, according to DCP(Central Delhi). The car has been stolen from near the Delhi Secretariat. It was stolen at around 2 PM on Thursday. A formal complaint regarding car stealing has been filed with the IP Estate police station and police have lodged an FIR. Delhi CM had received the car as a gift. According to reports, CCTV footage regarding stolen Wagon- R has been received but the quality is blurred. It remains to be seen if this incident will be projected by AAP as an example of failing law and order situation in the capital, which is under the purview of the central government. Further details awaited
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid a face-off with the Centre over a proposed metro fare hike, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday offered to take over the DMRC to make it more efficient and said his government was ready to provide half the funds needed to meet the gap in its finances for three months.In a letter to Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Kejriwal said the Centre bore the entire loss of Kolkata Metro and there should be no difficulty if it provided half the funds in the case of Delhi.Puri had on Friday told the Delhi government it would need to pay Rs 3,000 crore annually for five years if it wanted to stop the metro fare hike.Kejriwal said Puri’s contention that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation was bound to follow the Fare Fixation Committee’s recommendations seemed “untenable”.Citing Section 86 of the DMRC Act, he said it was the Centre which had set up the fourth FFC after a lapse of seven years. Therefore, the Union minister’s contention that the central government was “powerless” in respect of fare fixation was “flawed”.The FFC-recommended fare hike, a second in seven months, will come into effect on October 10.He said the city government was confident it would be able to fund the DMRC by improving its efficiency rather than effecting steep fare hikes.”As for your suggestion regarding a grant to the DMRC for meeting the gap in their finances, my government is willing to bear half the grant if only a matching grant is provided by the central government.”As you know, the central government and the Delhi government are 50-50 owners of the DMRC and its equity etc.have been shared in this proportion all along,” Kejriwal said in the letter.”Let an assessment be made of the financial gap likely to be created on account of the postponement of the second fare hike and we will be able to bear half of it,” he said.Sources in the Delhi government said the CM offered to provide on a short-term basis half the funds the DMRC needed to meet the gap in its finances so that another FFC could be set up to recommend fresh fares.Besides cooperative federalism, the point remains that the Centre and Delhi government are equal partners in the DMRC, Kejriwal said.”From the recent developments, it is becoming evident that the relationship is not one of equal partners since what the Delhi government proposes is often summarily disposed by the Cental government.”If the Central government agrees, Delhi government would be willing to take over the DMRC,” he said.Fares will go up by a maximum of Rs 10 after the latest hike comes into effect.The existing fare structure is: up to 2 kms — Rs 10, 2-5 kms — Rs 15, 5-12 kms — Rs 20, 12-21 kms — Rs 30, 21-32 kms — Rs 40 and for journeys beyond 32 kms — Rs 50.From October 10, for a distance of up to two kilometres, the fare will remain Rs 10, but for a distance between two and five kilometres, it will go up from Rs 15 to Rs 20.For the subsequent slabs, it will go up by Rs 10 each, which means the maximum fare will be Rs 60.Delhi Metro managing director Mangu Singh also met the chief minister at his residence today. It was immediately not known as to what transpired at the meeting.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government has refused to back down on the fare hike issue with the state Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot remarking to the media that his government would sack Delhi Metro chief Mangu Singh if the hike was not put on hold. However, off the record, senior officers and former bureaucrats maintain the city government can “neither appoint nor remove the Metro chief.”“It is not in the power of the city government to appoint or remove the Metro chief. In the present case, Singh was a nominee of the Delhi government and his appointment was approved by the former Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. In order to remove him from the post, only the LG, after seeking concurrence from the Centre, can move a proposal regarding this,” said a senior government official.The hike is proposed to come into effect from October 10. The government official also pointed out that the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was an autonomous body and added that the city government does not have the power to put the Metro fare hike on hold or decide on the fares, except for recommending the same to the Fare Fixation Committee (FFC). “The fares are decided by the FFC which has judges from the High Court on its panel as well.The Delhi government can give its observations/recommendations, but these are not binding on the Metro or the Centre in any way. They have made it a prestige issue without confirming their powers” said a former bureaucrat. Meanwhile, the Centre sent a letter on Friday telling the city government that the Metro Act does not allow the fare hike to be held.Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in the letter to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal that constituting a fresh FFC could be considered if the city government agrees on providing Rs 3,000 crore every year in order to make up for the operational loss that the Metro suffers.“Your suggestion that this ministry direct that the fare increase is kept on hold overlooks the fact the central government does not have any such authority. Tampering with the recommendations of FFC (Fare Fixation Committee) is legally untenable,” the letter stated.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre on Saturday told Arvind Kejriwal government that the Delhi Metro fare hike can’t be put on hold as it would be against the Metro Act.“Your (Delhi government) suggestion that this ministry direct that the fare increase be kept on hold overlooks the fact the Central government does not have any such authority. Tampering with the recommendations of FFC is legally untenable,” Union Minister Hardip Singh Puri was quoted as saying by the Times of India.The Union Minister also sent a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that has ruled out any rollback on the fare hike.Puri, who has taken a firm stand on the issue, had said that the last fare hike was implemented in 2009. He had said that the Delhi Metro needs money else it would turn into DTC, referring to the poor condition of buses run by the Delhi Transport Corporation.Reacting on Puri’s statement, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said that the DTC may be suffering losses, but it was at least serving the people. “The DMRC should go for property development, food courts and advertisements to generate revenue and not just passenger fares,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an aim to extend its power subsidy scheme to tenants in the Capital, the Delhi government on Tuesday directed the officers in the Electricity Department to explore the option of prepaid electricity meters. If the new system comes in to place, the tenants will be required to purchase power they use in advance.The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Delhi Power Minister Satyendar Jain. During the meeting, Jain directed the officials to prepare a feasibility report on the option and also an implementation roadmap.”We have been asked for the simplification of documentation for tenants who had recently complained to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that house owners were not passing on subsidy benefits to them,”a Power Department official said.Under the scheme, the Delhi government provides 50 per cent subsidy on electricity tariffs, on usage of up to 400 units, on domestic electricity connections for all residents of Delhi.”The minister also directed the officials and discoms to explore the options of pre-paid electricity meters and simplification of documentation for allowing tenants to avail the benefits of electricity subsidy, which is already available to domestic consumers,” the official said.Jain said pre-paid meters would be beneficial for both landlords and tenants, and help all parties concerned in easy billing.Last month, Kejriwal had written to Jain asking him to ensure that power subsidy was provided to tenants. In his letter, the Chief Minister had asked him to prepare a roadmap for the benefit of subsidy to “each and every tenant” living in the national Capital.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The proposed fare hike of the Delhi Metro is “unacceptable”, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to the Centre, demanding that the decision be withheld and reviewed.In a letter to Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, Kejriwal on Saturday said the proposed hike, to be effected from October 10, would be in violation of the recommendations of the fare-fixation panel.”The fare-fixation committee had recommended a gap of one year between two fare hikes. This recommendation is being completely violated because the proposed second hike in October, 2017 will take place even before six months since the previous fare hike,” he said.The committee, comprising representatives of both the state and the Centre, which have equal stakes in the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), is entrusted with recommending fare hikes.The Delhi Metro fares were last revised in May. If the hike is effected, the fares will go up by a maximum of Rs 10 from October 10.The existing fare structure is: up to 2 kms — Rs 10, 2-5 kms — Rs 15, 5-12 kms — Rs 20, 12-21 kms — Rs 30, 21-32 kms — Rs 40 and for journeys beyond 32 kms — Rs 50.From October 10, for a distance of up to two kilometres, the fare will remain Rs 10, but for a distance between two and five kilometres, it will go up from Rs 15 to Rs 20.For the subsequent slabs, it will go up by Rs 10 each, which means the maximum fare will be Rs 60.”The chief minister has pointed out that the residents of Delhi are still reeling under the impact of the previous steep fare hike by the DMRC in the month of May and the proposed second fare hike from 10th October will be simply unacceptable in this time of economic distress,” an official statement quoted Kejriwal as saying.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief urged Puri to use his official capacity under section 86 of the Delhi Metro Railway (Operation and Maintenance) Act 2002 and issue directions to the metro officials, asking them to put the fare hike on hold.He also demanded that a board meeting of the DMRC be convened to review the decision.The AAP has threatened to launch protests against the proposed fare hike. A delegation of AAP MLAs is scheduled to meet DMRC chief Mangu Singh on Monday with a demand to put the decision on hold.The Delhi Metro, on its part, has been maintaining that it has a “huge loan liability” and a rapidly rising operating ratio, which means its expenditure as against every rupee earned is going up.According to the DMRC, the operating ratio, which was Rs 55 in 2008-09, went up to Rs 74 in 2016-17 due to a rise in the energy, staff and repair or maintenance costs.While the cost for energy has increased from Rs 3.21 per unit to Rs 6.58 per unit, staff cost from Rs 1.17 crore per km to Rs 2.80 crore per km and repair and maintenance cost from Rs 1 crore per km to Rs 3.13 crore per km, as per a DMRC report.”As on March 31, 2017, DMRC has taken a loan of Rs 26,760.28 crore from JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) and re-paid only Rs 3770.79 crore (interest of Rs 2263.67 crore and repayment of a principal amount of Rs 1507.12 crore) till March 31,” according to the report.In his letter, Kejriwal referred to the financial model of the Hong Kong Metro and suggested that following it would significantly improve DMRC’s finances and lead to a much lower fare hike.He also mentioned that his assertion was based on the “advise” of the fare-fixation panel.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday accused Delhi Public Works Department (PWD) Secretary Ashwani Kumar of indulging in corruption and intentionally stalling development works in the national Capital.Party’s Burari MLA Sanjeev Jha wrote a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, stating that Kumar has been stalling many works in Delhi to favour certain companies. “To make Delhi safe for women, the AAP government plans to install CCTV cameras across the city. But the Secretary has stalled this project. We have information that it is being done to benefit two big companies,” Jha said.Calling the allegations totally baseless and absurd, Kumar told DNA, “The baseless allegations amount to criminal defamation. Regarding the procurement of CCTV cameras, I had submitted the file and recommendations long ago but the file is still pending. This is because the government has not identified the locations for these 1.5 lakh cameras.”He added, “They want to give these cameras to individual households rather than installing them at public places. They have a tendency to delay projects in order to make money. Since I don’t allow that, they had no option left but to make these rubbish allegations.”Kumar also pointed out in his report that the tender for the project should be “open and competitive”. Despite this, the government started talks with a French company he alleged.It is not the first time that the AAP government has levelled charges against Kumar. Earlier in June, Kejriwal had written to Chief Secretary MM Kutty, demanding action against him for not overseeing de-silting of drains.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the alleged sexual assault of a five-year-old girl in a Shahdara school, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said .He also said that a protocol would be chalked out for all city schools to ensure the safety of students.The five-year-old was allegedly raped by a peon on the premises of the private school in Shahdara on Saturday. The accused, Vikas Kumar, was arrested last night.The incident comes close on the heels of the gruesome killing of a seven-year-old boy who had his throat slit for allegedly resisting sexual assault by a bus conductor of a Gurugram school — an incident which sent shock waves across the country.Kejriwal said such incidents won’t be tolerated.”Shameful. Won’t be tolerated. Police doing its job. Ordered magisterial enquiry. Will develop protocol 4 all schools 2 ensure children safety (sic),” he tweeted.Delhi Revenue Minister Kailash Gahlot also tweeted about the incident and said that the inquiry report will be submitted in three days.”Delhi Govt orders Magisterial Enquiry headed by SDM Vivek Vihar into the rape incident of 5 year old girl of a private school in east Delhi’s Raghuwarpura near Gandhinagar.Report to be submitted by SDM within 3 days (sic),” Gahlot said.The arrested man, Vikas, had been working in the school for the last three years. Previously, he worked as a security guard there.He allegedly took the girl inside an empty classroom around noon on Saturday when he was walking in the corridors after handing over lunch boxes to teachers.The girl later complained of bleeding and pain in her private parts to her mother. She was taken to a hospital where a medical examination confirmed sexual assault.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BJP today dismissed as “farcical and fake” the row over Prime Minister Narendra Modi following some twitter users accused of making objectionable comments over journalist Gauri Lankesh’s murder, and and said it shows selective approach to right to freedom of expression.In a statement, BJP’s IT department head Amit Malviya termed the row a one-way street, saying opposition leaders like Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi or AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal are “never questioned” for behaviour of their followers.Modi following a person is not a “character certificate” of a person and is not in anyway a guarantee of how a person would conduct himself.”He is a rare leader who truly believes in freedom of speech and has never blocked or unfollowed anyone on Twitter.We have multiple examples of leaders curbing free speech on social media, including the previous PMO handle,” he said.The PM still follows Parthesh Patel, “a former BJP volunteer who joined the Congress and abused the PM in the worst possible language,” he said.The controversy is “mischievous and contorted”, he said, adding that Modi is the only leader who freely engages with people on social media platforms.”Rahul is never questioned for the abuse by Tehseen Poonawala, who also happens to be his relative.”Kejriwal is never questioned for the abuse and rape threats his supporters shower on others. Thus, this debate is not only farcical and fake, but also an exhibit of selective right to freedom of expression,” he said in a statement.Modi, Malviya said, also follows Rahul Gandhi, who is an “accused in loot and fraud” and also follows Kejriwal, who “abused” him on Twitter and “told a woman ‘settle kar lo’ when she complained of a party member molesting her”.Malviya said Modi follows “normal people” and frequently interacts with them on various issues.Some twitter users had yesterday posted abusive comments targeting the slain journalist. The prime minister was criticised for allegedly following some of them on Twitter from his personal handle.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government on Wednesday approved a proposal allowing the Irrigation and Flood Control department to carry out development works in unauthorised colonies in addition to the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC).The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday. The move is intended to expedite development works in these colonies in the city.”The Delhi Cabinet, in its meeting, chaired by the chief minister approved the proposal of the Urban Development Department to entrust the development works in unauthorised colonies to Irrigation and Flood Control Department in addition to the DSIIDC,” the government said in its statement.At present, the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) is the only executing agency for carrying out civic projects, including constructing drains and roads in unauthorised colonies.It also stated that the finance department will provide additional funds to the executing agencies for development works. Last month, during the Monsoon session of the Delhi Assembly, several MLAs had complained that there had been a delay in executing civic projects in all 1,700 unauthorised colonies in their respective constituencies.Responding to legislators’ complaints, Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain had then said the government had made a plan to allow the Flood and Irrigation department to look after development works in such colonies along with the DSIIDC.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lt Governor Anil Baijal on Monday approved the Delhi government’s ambitious Mohalla clinics proposal with certain riders, a week after a run-in with the AAP dispensation over the alleged delay in giving nod to the neighbourhood health facility scheme.While approving the Mohalla clinic proposal, Baijal said that the administrative department would evolve and migrate, within six months, to an online system based on Aadhaar or biometrics of patients for better monitoring. “The Lt Governor has approved the proposal pertaining to Mohalla clinics with incorporation of certain safeguards to promote transparency and ensure delivery of quality health care services to the residents of Delhi,” the LG office said in a statement. The Mohalla clinic proposal is aimed at providing free primary healthcare to the city residents closer home.The statement also stated that to ensure that there is no compromise on the quality of healthcare, the LG emphasised that the doctors and staff engaged in these clinics should be properly qualified and they should be engaged through a transparent mechanism. On August 30, 45 AAP MLAs had camped at the LG office for several hours, insisting that Baijal clear the Mohalla clinics file — an act his office termed as “laying siege” to the office of a “constitutional functionary”. The development marked a fresh confrontation between the AAP dispensation and the LG’s office which have frequently been at loggerheads.However, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was today quick to thank the LG and assured him that the government will implement all the “safeguards” “Thank u so much sir. We are grateful to u. We will implement all the safeguards,” Kejriwal tweeted. The LG observed that selection of premises for setting up of Mohalla clincis should be through a transparent and objective mechanism in such a way that the existing healthcare facilities are utilised in an optimum manner and the facilities are accessible to all without any duplication of scarce public resources.”In case of private premises, it has been noted that the selection of premises and fixation of rent should be through a transparent open process as per prevalent PWD or CPWD norms,” the statement also stated. To check complaints of data rigging, Baijal has advised that the administrative department must develop a sound mechanism to verify the number of footfalls claimed in the clinic. Further, wherever required, statutory permissions and no objection certificates must be obtained from the local bodies and department concerned, Baijal said.The LG office said Baijal directed that the functioning of these clinics should be regularly monitored by the health department to prevent any unfortunate happening. The LG has also asked the department to ensure that all requisite instructions and codal formalities are followed with proper oversight while incurring expenditure for procurement, supply or outsourcing of services, medicines and goods. The conditions laid down by the land owning agencies concerned for land use and construction of any temporary structure must be strictly followed.”The Health Department shall not transfer, assign or otherwise part with the ownership or possession of the whole or any part of the said land in any manner,” the LG office said. So far, nearly 110 Mohalla clinics have been set up across the city under the Arvind Kejriwal Government’s flagship project. However, the proposal could not take off with its full strength as it was pending for the Lt Governor’s approval. In January this year, former Secretary-General of United Nations (UN), Kofi Annan, had commended Mohalla Clinic project.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after a portion of the nearly 60 m tall Ghazipur landfill site caved in, Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal on Saturday banned dumping of garbage at the site with immediate effect. Baijal also assured that scientists and experts will be engaged to clear the dumping ground within two years. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met the L-G to take stock of the situation.New sites have been identified for dumping waste in both east and north Delhi, including one at Ranikheda.”Fresh sites for dumping waste have been identified. Waste will not be dumped at the Ghazipur and the Bhalaswa landfill sites anymore,” Kejriwal said.Meanwhile, even as the rescue operations were still on, civic agencies and the government continued to pass the buck to one another. The civic bodies claimed that they had been asking for land to establish new sites since 2002 and had “no option left but to dump on existing sites”. The government, however, claimed that the corporations did not take the issue of waste management seriously.As an emergency measure, the L-G has directed the authorities to divert traffic on the road adjoining the landfill. As of now, the stretch has been shut. Baijal also assured that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will lift 75 per cent of the waste from the Ghazipur landfill on a fast-track basis. The garbage will be used to lay roads, especially the NH-24.”The process of lifting, segregating, and processing the solid waste will be started by November 2017. The process will be fast-tracked and the landfill will be cleared within two years,” Baijal tweeted.According to officials, the tender for the project at the Ghazipur site has been floated, while the NHAI has started lifting waste from the Bhalaswa landfill.Box: East Delhi mayor announces relief of Rs 1LA day after the landfill collapse in Ghazipur, east Delhi Mayor Neema Bhagat on Saturday announced compensation of Rs 1 lakh to families of the deceased. Due to the heavy rains in the city, a portion of the 60-metre high garbage dump had caved in on Friday. Raj Kumari, 32, and Abhishek, 22, died on the spot, while five were seriously injured.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Ram Chander won the Bawana seat on Monday after he bagged 59,886 votes while BJP finished a distant second with 35,834 votes. Congress party came third, it’s candidate Surender Kumar bagged 31,919 votes. A victory in Bawana bypolls means many things for Arvind Kejriwal and his party.For a very long time, things have not been going right for AAP–party got trounced in recent Goa assembly elections, dismal performance in Punjab assembly elections shocked the AAP supporters, and BJP sweeping Delhi civil polls really disappointed party sympathisers. If that was not enough AAP lost Rajouri Garden seat in April and many started saying AAP had lost the popularity.But Bawana has inspired the AAP leadership and cadre as this reveals that things can be turned around if the party care to take the right steps and work for the betterment of Delhi.After recent defeats Kejriwal brought about a change in his strategy. He tried to avoid unnecessary confrontation, stopped blaming Prime Minister for Narendra Modi for everything, and focused on soliving Delhi’s problems. Bawana victory shows, Kejriwal’s new strategy is working and he is getting back the lost support. As they say in cricket: You are as good as your last game, AAP can now go among the people, confident and excited after Bawana victory. This victory means, at least AAP can claim this, people have faith in Kejriwal and the party still can regain the lost ground. With Bawan victory, AAP will now have 66 MLAs in the 70-member Delhi Assembly.Congress had drawn a blank in the 2015 Assembly elections. The party was hoping to open its account in the Delhi Assembly, but could not succeed this time also. Bawana is one of the largest constituencies in Delhi with close to three lakh voters.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s plea questioning the decision of a judge to expedite the hearing of a defamation suit filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley against him and five other AAP leaders.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said the appeal filed by Kejriwal and AAP leader Ashutosh against the July 26 decision of a single judge was “misconceived and is devoid of merit”.”Hence the appeal is dismissed. They (AAP leaders) should not have filed this,” the bench said.The high Court observed that expedition of the trial is the “need of the hour” and recommended the same in all cases.It also said that the application against the single judge’s directions was misconceived and “with the intention” to protract the hearing.The court also noted that the AAP leaders had admitted that disparaging remarks had been made by lawyer Ram Jethmalani during cross examination of Jaitley.The court had on August 25 rapped the Delhi Chief Minister for questioning a single judge’s decision to expedite the hearing of a defamation suit filed by Jaitley.It had said that the court had to answer the apex court on delay in trials.The court had on July 26 directed the joint registrar to expedite the recording of evidence in the civil defamation suit while disposing of an application filed by Jaitley.Besides Kejriwal, the five other accused in the defamation case are AAP leaders Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh and Deepak Bajpai.They had accused the BJP leader of corruption as the president of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), a post he had held from 2000 to 2013.Jaitley, who denied all the allegations levelled by the AAP leaders in December 2015, had claimed that they made “false and defamatory” statements in the case involving the DDCA, thereby harming his reputation.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Friday came down heavily on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for questioning the decision passed by a single judge to expedite the hearing in the ongoing defamation case filed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley against him.The matter pertains to a Rs 10 crore defamation suit filed by Union Minister Arun Jaitley against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar also rapped AAP leader Ashutosh for filing the appeal against a July 26 order of the single judge stating that they had to answer to the Supreme Court for any unnecessary delay in trials.”We are duty-bound to conduct a trial in an expeditious manner. The single judge cannot be faulted for ensuring a speedy trial,” the bench said, adding that this applied to every matter being filed in the court.”We are hearing for the first time that a party is aggrieved on expeditious trial of a matter because it will conclude,” it added.The court on July 26 had directed the joint registrar to expedite the recording of evidence in the civil defamation suit while disposing of an application filed by Jaitley. Meanwhile, the judges also asked the counsels for Kejriwal to refrain from giving such advice to their clients on the issue of the application.Moved on Friday, the application stated that the single judge had erred in passing the order as all the applications are to be first placed in front of the joint registrar and no order in this case was passed by the JR.”The single judge has failed to appreciate that any interference in ingoing recording of evidence is a violation of Rule 3. The judge further failed to appreciate that the Joint Registrar is a delegate of the High Court and not of any individual judge,” the application read. It further demanded the setting aside of the order by the judge passed on July 26.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra today alleged the minority wing of the AAP distributed pamphlets urging Muslims to vote for the party in the August 23 Bawana assembly bypoll, a charge denied by the ruling outfit. A photo of the purported pamphlet, carrying pictures of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Environment Minister Imran Hussain, was posted on Twitter by Mishra, who said he would approach the Election Commission against the AAP. Terming the pamphlet “fake”, Hussain tweeted that he would immediately approach the police. “A fake pamphlet was prepared with my picture on it. I am immediately lodging a complaint with the police. And I demand strictest action in this case,” the minister tweeted. The party also lodged a complaint with the Delhi Police, seeking action. The BJP was quick to latch on to the issue. “The pamphlet was widely distributed by the AAP in Muslim-dominated areas of the Bawana assembly constituency,” Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari alleged. Political parties are barred from seeking votes in the name of religion or caste.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ten deaths later, authorities in Delhi today decided to fully mechanise cleaning sewers and made it clear that any violation would attract a punishment of up to life imprisonment. Water Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said the Delhi Jal Board CEO, municipal commissioners and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) chairman had been asked to prepare a report within 15 days on the procurement of mechanical cleaners. The decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by Lt Governor Anil Baijal and attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and top officials of all concerned agencies, including civic bodies and the DJB. “Directions issued for 100 per cent migration to mechanisation for sewers/drains cleaning. Strict regime to be prepared within seven days. Intensive publicity of laid down norms for observance by contractors. Police to take stringent action against defaulters,” the LG said in a series of tweets. The Lt Governor described deaths caused while cleaning sewers as “unacceptable”. In today’s meeting, Baijal directed the DJB CEO to prepare Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for cases requiring emergency manual intervention as per the law within a week’s time. Baijal also directed the Delhi Police to take stringent and deterrent action against contractors violating the law. Briefing reporters separately, Gautam said no one would be allowed to enter sewers for manual cleaning in the national capital. The authorities will press for stringent action and may recommend punishment under Section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) against agencies or private contractors behind any violation, Gautam said. Hoardings will be put up across the city announcing the prohibitions and also displaying helplines for authorised cleaning of sewers and septic tanks so that people would not engage workers privately, he said. “The deaths are painful and should shame us. There are instances of manual cleaning at malls, farm houses. But we do not have a proper list as of now,” he said. Kejriwal has called a meeting with executive engineers and senior officials of the DJB tomorrow on the same issue. Yesterday, a 45-year-old sanitation worker died and three others were taken ill allegedly while cleaning a sewer at the city government-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in central Delhi. In three separate incidents over a month, nine people died in similar circumstances.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The high-pitched campaign for the August 23 Bawana assembly bypoll, which has become a prestige battle for the AAP and the BJP, came to an end today with the major contenders pulling out all the stops to ensure victory. AAP national convenor and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hit the campaign trail in the outer Delhi constituency of over 2.94 lakh electors several times, and pressed his all Cabinet members for canvassing votes for party candidate Ram Chandra. Though the AAP enjoys an overwhelming majority in the assembly, a victory in the bypoll would be a shot in the arm for the party after successive setbacks in the civic polls, the Rajouri Garden assembly by-election and the assembly elections in Punjab and Goa. The BJP, which has just four members in the 70-member assembly, hopes to maintain its winning streak in the national capital where it is working hard to make a come back. The other major contender is of the Congress, which is trying hard to open its account after being relegated to zero in the 70-member Delhi Legislative Assembly. The BJP put all its might to win the bypoll, which was necessitated due to the resignation of AAP MLA Ved Prakash after he joined the saffron party ahead of the MCD polls earlier this year. Prakash is now the BJP candidate. On the last day of campaign, Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari, in an attempt to woo the largely rural electorate, had lunch with the family of a rickshaw-puller, Sri Chand. The AAP tried to hard-sell the “achievements” of the Delhi government and sought to convey a message that only an AAP representative would help in the development of the constituency, which has a mix of rural and urban pockets. On the last day, the AAP undertook a roadshow in the constituency. The saffron party’s Poorvanchal morcha led by its president Manish Singh canvassed votes in support of Ved Prakash. The constituency has a sizable Poorvanchali voters. Congress candidate Surender Kumar made door-to-door visits at Krishna Vihar, Pooth Khurd and Rohini Sector 20 to seek votes, apart from the party holding 60 street-corner meetings, six padayatras and many public meetings. Eight candidates are in the fray for the by-election on August 23 from the seat reserved for the Scheduled Caste category. There are over 2.94 lakh electors eligible to exercise their franchise in the upcoming bypoll in Delhi, in which Electronic Voting Machines equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) would be used at all polling stations. The counting will take place on August 28.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government has handed over compensation cheque of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the three sanitation workers who had died while cleaning a sewer pipe in Lajpat Nagar, an official said today. Earlier this month, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced the compensation after meeting the family members of the victims — Joginder (32), Annu (28) and Mohan (25). “On the chief minister’s direction, the compensation cheques have been given to the families,” said a senior government official. The chief minister had also announced job to a member of the families of the deceased. Kejriwal had said that a high-level committee would be constituted to prevent such incidents in the city. The three workers died allegedly after inhaling toxic gas while cleaning the sewerline in Lajpat Nagar on July 16.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi BJP member has “gifted” a pair of leather shoes to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on his birthday today in protest against his “hypocrisy”. Raghav Mandal, the member of the city BJP’s media team, said he ordered the pair of shoes online and gave the CM’s civil lines’ address for delivery as a “birthday gift”. “I sent this gift to Arvind Kejriwal as a symbolic protest against his hypocrisy. He uses fine jogging shoes but always wears ordinary sandals in public and official events,” Mandal said. The pair of shoes costs Rs 500, he said. Kejriwal celebrated his birthday today.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP councillors of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation will gherao the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on August 16 if the city government does not notify the new zonal boundaries of the NDMC in next two days, mayor Preety Agarwal today said. At a press conference held at her office here, she alleged that the AAP government was “deliberately delaying” the process to “let the BJP-led NDMC fail” in discharging its duties and thus to “malign its (NDMC’s) image”. “All our work and projects hinge on standing committee, which has not been constituted as the new zonal redrawing has not been notified. Our revenue generation means have been blocked because of this indecision. On top of that the government has not given us any reaction or response as to changes needed in our proposal,” she said. Agarwal said she herself has met Kejriwal and Delhi Urban Development minister Satyendar Jain and NDMC Commissioner again met Jain today, but their response is “muted”. “If the government does not notify it within next two days, we will gherao the houses of CM and the Delhi UD minister,” she said. Asked, if the NDMC will go to court if a resolution is not reached, she said, “No.” “We thought over it, and it was decided that going to court would only complicate the matter instead of resolving it,” Agarwal said. The NDMC currently has six zones–Narela, Civil Lines, Rohini, City, Sadar Paharganj and Karol Bagh. After re-organisation, Keshav Puram will emerge as a new zone while Sadar Paharganj and City would be amalgamated into one City zone. “We have proposed the move thinking it will evenly distribute the areas and would also facilitate in the work of officials,” the mayor claimed. The number of zones will, therefore, effectively remain the same, but the wards will be evenly distributed, she said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was revealed on Tuesday that the Cabinet decision of granting Rs 1 crore compensation to the family of ex-serviceman Late Ram Kishen Grewal was rejected by the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Delhi four times. The L-G had stated that the specific case did not fall within the parameters of the scheme concerned.The Delhi government made these submissions in a counter-affidavit, filed in the Delhi High Court (HC), in response to a plea filed by Advocate Avadh Kaushik, which has challenged the government decision to grant the compensation to Grewal’s family. The public interest litigation (PIL) has also opposed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s decision to declare Grewal a martyr.The ex-serviceman had committed suicide by consuming poison during the One Rank One Pension (OROP) protest.The third time, L-G Anil Baijal had stated: “If the Hon’ble Chief Minister is still not convinced and so desires, the matter may kindly be referred to the Council of Ministers as per Rule 49 of the Transaction of Business Rule (TBR), as requested.”On November 4, 2016, the Cabinet had approved the release of the compensation to the family of Grewal by making an exception to the ex-gratia scheme for war widows, war disabled, PoWs, missing in war and operation etc.Then on March 3, 2017, CM Arvind Kejriwal met the L-G and requested that the Cabinet decision be implemented. Baijal, however, refused to do so, stating that the specific case did not fall within the parameters of the scheme, i.e death occurring in the discharge of official duty.Not averted by this, the proposal was once again sent to the L-G for re-consideration, with statement that Baijal had not considered the Cabinet decision to make an exception for retired Subedar Kishen, who consumed poison on November 1, 2016. The Delhi government admitted that there was neither a statutory scheme nor a Central government scheme in this regard, and that it was purely a decision of the Delhi government, finalised by Delhi Cabinet.”The Delhi government had itself made an exception to the scheme to allow payment to the next of kin of late Grewal. There should be no reason as to why the Delhi Cabinet, which has made the policy, cannot amend the policy or provide exception to the same,” the annexure stated.But the decision was turned down for the third time, with the CM stating that “the L-G had not agreed to concur with the decision of the elected government” and this showed that it was a “clear case of difference of opinion” between the L-G and the elected government.Baijal had said that the underlying principle for grant of ex-gratia was death or injury occurring during the discharge of official duty or display of exemplary valour, while this was a case of suicide by consuming poison.The proposal was sent once again, on July 12, 2017, but to no avail. The matter is now pending with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).AS PER RULESAnil Baijal had said that the underlying principle for grant of ex-gratia was death or injury occurring during the discharge of official duty or display of exemplary valour, while this was a case of suicide by consuming poison.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court on Tuesday fixed August 23 for framing charges against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia in a criminal defamation complaint.Metropolitan Magistrate Pranjal Aneja, who was scheduled to frame charges on Tuesday, was on leave.The court had earlier directed the two AAP leaders and Yogendra Yadav to appear before it today.While Kejriwal and Sisodia sought exemption on the ground that they have to attend the four-day Monsoon session of Delhi Assembly which is commencing today, Yadav was present in the court.The court had on August 2 passed order on framing of notice (charge) on the criminal defamation complaint filed against the two AAP leaders, who sought quashing of the plea, and Yadav by advocate Surender Kumar Sharma, who was denied ticket by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).The court had said in the order that the contentions on behalf of accused persons do no sustain and it proceeded to frame notice under the CrPC against them.Yadav was a member of the National Executive of the AAP until 2015, when he was expelled for alleged anti-party activities. Later, he floated his own party Swaraj India.Sharma, in his complaint, had alleged that in 2013 he was approached by volunteers of AAP who had asked him to contest the Delhi Assembly elections on a party ticket, saying Kejriwal was pleased with his social services.He filled up the application form to contest the polls after being told by Sisodia and Yadav that AAP’s Political Affairs Committee had decided to give him the ticket.However, it was later denied to him.On October 14, 2013 the complainant claimed, articles in leading newspapers carried “defamatory, unlawful and derogatory words used by the accused persons” which have lowered his reputation in the Bar and the society.Opposing the complaint, the AAP leaders had submitted that cancellation or allotment of an election ticket is the prerogative of the party and the complainant had not divulged correct information as to the cases pending against him.On the basis of the complaint, the trial court had earlier sought their presence before it in the matter.It, however, had granted bail to Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav, after they had appeared before it in pursuance to summonses against them.The summonses were issued on the complaint under sections 499, 500 (defamation) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC, with the trial court saying there was prima facie material to summon the accused.While issuing summonses against AAP leaders, the trial court had said, “The press release published in newspapers as well as testimonies of witnesses reflect that defamatory remarks were published in the newspaper which affected the reputation of the complainant in the society and lowered his reputation in the eyes of other members of the society.” The Delhi High Court had earlier refused to stay the trial court proceedings in the case.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state BJP today held the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government responsible for non-formation of governing bodies in 28 Delhi University-affiliated colleges, whose funding was freezed by the Arvind Kejriwal-led dispensation over the issue. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia today directed the Finance department to freeze the release of funds to 28 colleges following non formation of the governing bodies. Sisodia alleged that the Delhi University (DU) is “not willing” to have governing bodies in these colleges. Meanwhile, Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari alleged that governing bodies in the colleges were not formed because the AAP was pushing for the entry of its workers. “The formation of the governing bodies is pending for quite long as the Arvind Kejriwal government instead of nominating persons of intellect and proven academic record has sent names of its party activists that do not match the DU guidelines,” he said. Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta claimed that the move will “jeopardise” the future of 50,000 students enrolled in the affected 28 colleges. “The AAP government had promised to open 20 new colleges. But it has failed to open a single new college so far, it has brought 28 DU colleges to the brink of closure,” he said. Gupta alleged that Delhi government has sent “controversial” names for nominations to the governing bodies. “Since Delhi government had sent a number of controversial names which did not meet the required norms and the governing bodies could not being finalised by DU,” he claimed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special court today directed the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) to file a status report on a complaint against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others in alleged irregularities in grant of contracts for roads and sewer lines. The court also asked the ACB to submit on September 1, a report regarding alleged threats given to the complainant and his family. “ACB seeks time to file the status report and also a report regarding threats, if any, to the complainant and his family and provide security, if required,” special judge Poonam Chaudhry said while directing the SHO of the probe agency to look into the matter. During the hearing, the court asked the ACB officer and the prosecutor about the report regarding threats allegedly given to complainant Rahul Sharma as ordered by it earlier. To this, the officer and prosecutor Balbir Singh said that previous reports on alleged threat perceptions were already on record and according to the Uttar Pradesh Police, there was no threat to the complainant’s life. The court, however, said, “Can the court place reliance on previous reports (filed before another court)? The complainant is alleging threats, you file a report on it.” Senior advocate Ajay Burman, appearing for Sharma, argued that Surender Bansal who was an accused in the case has died under mysterious circumstances and the complainant who is running an NGO is facing grave threat to his life. He further claimed that the ACB has withheld a report given by the special cell of Delhi Police on threat perception to the complainant and it should be placed before the court. The court was hearing a complaint filed by Sharma, founder of Roads Anti-Corruption Organisation (RACO), seeking a direction to the police to lodge an FIR against Kejriwal, his brother-in-law Surender Bansal, proprietor of a construction firm and a public servant for alleged irregularities in the grant of contracts for roads and sewer lines in Delhi. Bansal died in May this year. During pendency of the complaint in the court, the ACB had registered three FIRs on its own on May 8 regarding alleged irregularities in granting the contracts. A magisterial court had earlier directed the ACB to assess the threat perception regarding Sharma again after he submitted that on May 30 two unidentified motorcycle-borne persons fired gun shots at him when he was travelling in his car along with a cousin. In his complaint, Sharma has alleged “deep-rooted corruption” in the road and sewer line projects, claiming that documents showing purchase of material were “concocted and forged” and a loss of over Rs 10 crore had been caused to the public exchequer.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After quitting as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s counsel in the defamation case against Arun Jaitley, senior advocate Ram Jethmalani in an explosive letter has revealed that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief ‘used worse abuses’ than ‘crook’ for the Union Finance Minister.Firing a fresh salvo at his former client, the senior counsel alleged that the Delhi Chief Minister had instructed him to use derogatory words against Jaitley.”When Arun Jaitley filed the first suit and criminal case, you naturally sought my services. Ask your (Kejriwal) conscience how many times you used worse abuses than a mere ?crook?. You have hundred times asked me to teach this crook a lesson,” the lawyer said in a letter that he wrote to Kejriwal on July 20, a copy of which was uploaded on his blog.On July 26th, Jethmalani announced that he has quit as the counsel of Arvind Kejriwal in the civil defamation suits filed by Jaitley, and accused the Delhi Chief Minister of blatantly lying to him.Speaking to ANI, Jethmalani said, “The reason behind it is he (Kejriwal) has spoken a lie. He has gone and said that I have not given any instructions, but fact is he did and I have them recorded. I’m not disappointed at all; I did all that I could do. If he does not pay me I don’t mind, because I have fought for many for free. It does not make a difference if I lose one”.Earlier on July 22, amidst an ongoing tense round of cross-questioning between Jaitley and Jethmalani, the former was perturbed after being referred to as a ‘crook’ by the 93-year-old veteran lawyer, in his defamation case against Kejriwal.Baffled by the ‘abuse’ hurled at him, Jaitley demanded a clarification from the senior counsel whether this was the result of a personal tiff, to which Jethmalani clarified that the term was used under the instructions of Kejriwal.Jaitley also alleged that he was asked scandalous questions and attempts were made to delay the proceedings in the Rs 10 crore civil defamation suit, which he had filed against Kejriwal and five Aam Aadmi Party leaders in 2015 in DDCA matter.The Chief Minister, however, clarified in the Delhi High Court that he had not asked Jethmalani to use derogatory and objectionable words against Jaitley.In December 2015, Jaitley had filed a civil defamation suit against Kejriwal and AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpayee, claiming that they made “false and defamatory” statements in the case involving the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) thereby harming his reputation.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If things go according to plan, one can track Delhi government’s schemes, projects and proposals through a mobile app from October. The Delhi government has planned to launch a mobile application which would serve as a “single-window” platform to let people check status of its various projects. “The Planning Department has been asked to develop an app which will enable citizens to know about government’s work, schemes, proposals and projects and track their implementation at a single platform,” said a senior government who did not wish to be named. The planning department has already started work on the project, he said. The move is intended to put in public domain all relevant information about government work and also enable the masses to track them. Though a name for the mobile application is yet to be finalised, the official said, “We are expecting the app to be launched in October.” Earlier this month, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the Delhi government would put all relevant information online to ensure transparency in its functioning. The Delhi Assembly has also directed all government departments to send their replies to questions asked by lawmakers via email and in a pen drive. The system will come into effect when the four-day Monsoon Session of the assembly begins on August 8.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government, on Saturday, decided to double the allowances of anganwadi workers and helpers in the Capital. The Delhi Cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, approved the proposal of hike in the workers’ pay.”A Cabinet decision has been taken to raise the allowances of the workers and helpers to Rs 10,170 and Rs 5,089 respectively. The decision will be notified only after Lt Governor Anil Baijal’s approval,” said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.”Of the total amount, Rs 500 will be mobile and internet component in case of workers while the same would be Rs 250 for helpers,” Kejriwal tweeted.The workers are currently paid Rs 5,000 and Rs 2,500 respectively.However, the announcement failed to placate the workers and helpers, who have been on strike for nearly a month— agitating near Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence, demanding a pay hike.A spokesperson of the Delhi Anganwadi Worker – Helper Association, who has been leading the protest outside the CM’s residence on the issue, said they will take out a march on Monday from Ramlila Maidan to Jantar Mantar over the issue.”The government is trying to buy time. Earlier, it used to say not all files require the LG’s approval. We fear the latest announcement is also an eyewash,” the spokesperson said.There are around 11,000 anganwadi centres in Delhi, and each centre has one worker and one helper, a government official said.Earlier, the government had asked all its senior officials to carry out a one-day inspection at all the centres to check the anganwadi centres. The move came after Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia made a surprise visit at one of the anganwadi centres in east Delhi and found gross irregularities in its functioning. He himself personally visited some of the residential areas and verified the addresses.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stepping up her attack on the BJP, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today said it should be ousted from India for “failure on all fronts” and offered to back all parties which intended to fight the saffron party. She announced that her party would hold an “Oust BJP from India” programme from August 9 to August 30 after alleging that the BJP had “failed on all fronts” including keeping good relations with foreign countries, especially neighbouring ones. “We will oust the BJP from India. It is our challenge. The Centre is trying to browbeat us with Saradha, Narada cases, but we are not afraid of it. None of us is guilty. We will not bow our heads,” she told a massive rally here. Banerjee said the TMC would file a defamation case against the CBI and other central agencies for “harassing and defaming” TMC leaders. The TMC holds a ‘martyr’s day’ rally on July 21 every year in remembrance of 13 youth Congress activists who were killed in police firing in Kolkata in 1993. Banerjee was then a leader of the West Bengal Youth Congress. She accused the central government of not allowing state governments to work freely and trying to intefere in their affairs. “They are not allowing the state governments to work freely. If they are an elected government, we are also an elected government. We are not their servants,” she said amid applaud from the audience. Banerjee said that 18 opposition parties came together and supported opposition candidate Meira Kumar in the presidential election. “This platform has been expanded and we are also fighting together in vice presidential poll. It is just a beginning. This platform will expand in future to defeat the BJP, which thinks that it will have a cakewalk for it in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Things will not be that easy (for the BJP),” she said. Voicing her party’s support to those who will fight the BJP, she said, “West Bengal will stand besides Sonia Gandhi, Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar, Arvind Kejriwal and all those who will oppose the BJP.” She alleged, “India’s relations with foreign countries have deteriorated under BJP-led government at the Centre. Why can’t it improve relations with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, which have borders with West Bengal?” In an obvious reference to the unrest in Darjeeling hills, Banerjee said, “If you try to disturb Bengal, then it will lead to disturbance in entire India because of its geo-political position.” She also accused the Centre of unleashing central agencies like the CBI and the Enforcement Ddepartment against those who had opposed demonetisation and GST roll-out in haste. Described the prevailing situation in the country as worse than during the Emergency, she said opposition parties and a section of the media were being targeted for “speaking against” the Modi government. “We are now living in such an atmosphere as where no one can eat freely, no one can talk freely. Dalits and Muslims can’t live with their self-respect. The BJP is trying to dictate everything. Even (Nobel laureate) Amartya Sen can’t speak,” she said. Banerjee asked her party’s leaders and workers to start preparing for next year’s panchayat elections. “I have information that Lok Sabha polls can be advanced,” she said. Claiming that the general election can be advanced, she said, “The parliamentary polls may be held next year. I have been hearing such news. We should be prepared. If all opposition parties come together, the BJP will be driven out of power in the next polls.” On the cross-voting that took place in West Bengal during the presidential poll, Banerjee blamed Left Front MLAs for voting in favour of BJP pick Ram Nath Kovind. “Both the Left and the BJP are playing a fixed match. They (Left) are claiming to fight the BJP and are now casting their votes in favour of the BJP,” she said. She also announced a series of political programmes in the state in the next two months and asked her party workers to stay alert so that no untoward incident took place. “Please remain alert. The BJP is trying to spread rumours in social media websites. Please be cautions and if you find something is wrong, inform the police,” she said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) Mayor Kamaljeet Sehrawat today wrote to Lt Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal regarding identification of municipal wards falling under it. In her letter to Baijal and Kejriwal, Sehrawat alleged the notification was pending with the AAP government and sought their intervention in the matter. “Consequently, various committees, such as, Standing Committee, Wards Committee and various other constitutional committees of SDMC are also pending. “Due to non-constitution of committees, the corporation is not able to carry out works, causing delay in various decisions of public interest,” she said in the letter. She said, “I shall be grateful if you could intervene in the matter and expedite notification in the best interest of public of Delhi.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two AAP MLAs, out of the 63 who exercised their franchise in the presidential poll, indulged in cross-voting, analysis of data shared by the returning officer suggests. The figure is much less than claims made by the Delhi unit of the BJP on the day of polling, and on expected lines considering the number of rebel MLAs in the AAP. After casting his vote, sacked Delhi Minister Kapil Mishra had said: “My vote went to one who is all set to become the next president.” The data also shows that although a total of 67 lawmakers had cast their vote, six were declared invalid. Two AAP MLAs did not vote. When a voter fails to mark the first reference, or marks the preference in a fashion other than the one prescribed by the Election Commission, the vote is considered as invalid. The 70-member Delhi assembly currently has 69 MLAs, of which, 65 belong to the ruling AAP and four to the BJP. Among the votes deemed valid, 55 went in favour of joint opposition candidate Meira Kumar, whom the AAP supported, while six votes went in favour of President elect Ramnath Kovind. One seat is lying vacant since March when AAP legislator Ved Prakash had quit membership to join the BJP. According to Delhi’s population, the value of the vote of a city MLA was pegged at 58. “Congratulations to Sh Ram Nath Kovind ji for becoming President of India,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court today extended its interim order granting exemption to suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad from appearing before a trial court in a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by DDCA and cricketer-turned-politician Chetan Chauhan. “The interim order is extended till the next date of hearing, November 16,” Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said. The court also directed the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) and Chauhan to file their responses within four weeks on Azad’s plea seeking quashing of the complaint against him. The high court had on March 24 exempted Azad from appearing before a trial court but refused to stay the proceedings in the court which had granted bail to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in the case. Azad, who was granted bail on February 18, has sought quashing of the complaint on the ground that he was merely sitting beside former cricketer Surinder Khanna during a press conference and had not made any imputations against the cricketing body. “Allegations against DDCA were made by Surinder Khanna. There is not an iota of evidence that I (Azad) have said anything. I was merely sitting beside the other members,” Azad submitted through his counsel Baljeet Singh Dhir. It was submitted that Surinder Khanna should have been named in the complaint. The trial court had on January 30 summoned Kejriwal and Azad, saying their statements prima facie adversely affected the reputation of the cricketing body and its officials. Kejriwal had in his application before the trial court sought dropping of proceedings against him on the ground that DDCA is a juristic person (other than a living human being) and the allegations are that he defamed the complainant. Azad had also moved an application seeking discharge. Both DDCA and Chauhan have claimed that defamatory statements were made by Kejriwal and Azad, who himself is a member of DDCA, “to remain in the public eye and gain political mileage”. “In an interview to a news channel, Kejriwal had alleged that apart from financial irregularities, there were other major wrongdoings in DDCA, including a sex racket,” the plea has alleged. The allegation against Azad was that he endorsed the defamatory allegations made by Kejriwal and claimed he had raised a similar issue in 2007.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi has managed to avert a water crisis with DJB engineers deciding to defer a proposed strike, which was called over its top officials being allegedly humiliated by an Assembly panel. Officers claimed these tactics are being used to create an atmosphere of “fear”. This is not the first time a top officer has been targeted. Last month PWD secretary Ashwini Kumar and CM Arvind Kejriwal got into an ugly spat. A case against Kumar was made for desilting of drains in the city.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a bid to reduce the use of paper, the Delhi Assembly has directed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led government in the Capital to respond to lawmakers’ questions via email or in a pen drive.In a recent directive to the head of all departments of the state government, the Delhi secretariat stated they should use PDF format to file their replies to questions asked by MLAs during the Question Hour in the Assembly.An official said the system will come into effect when the four-day Monsoon session of the Assembly begins on August 8. “All principal secretaries, secretaries, and heads of departments should send their replies by e-mail and in a pen drive. Reply to each question should be given in a separate PDF file, along with requisite enclosures, if any,” the directive stated.The official said the move is aimed at making the Delhi Assembly transactions paperless. The lawmakers, however, would continue to get hard copies of the replies in the House. “After receiving the soft copies, the Secretariat will upload them on the Assembly’s website so that people won’t need to file the Right To Information (RTI) applications for the same,” the official said, requesting anonymity.On July 10, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the AAP government would put all the relevant information online to ensure transparency in its functioning. He had said the government also plans to upload all RTI replies online to ensure there was no repetition of applications.Meanwhile, the Monsoon session of the Delhi Assembly is set to begin on August 8 and will continue for four days. The government might table its pending Bills, which were passed by the Delhi Assembly but were sent back by the Centre, which had stated that the AAP dispensation had not taken the consent of the Lieutenant Governor (LG).Last week, Kejriwal had directed the law department to submit a “way forward” roadmap on legislative bills that are awaiting Centre’s clearance.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With an aim of promoting paperless transaction, the Delhi Assembly has directed city government departments to send their replies to questions asked by lawmakers via email and in a pen drive. In a recent directive to the head of all departments of the city government, the Delhi secretariat said they should use the PDF format to file their replies to questions asked by MLAs during the Question Hour in the assembly. An official said the system will come into effect when the four-day Monsoon session of the assembly begins on August 8. “All principal secretaries, secretaries and head of departments should send replies by e-mail and in a pen drive. Reply of each question should be given in separate PDF files along with requisite enclosures, if any,” the directive stated. The official said the move is a step in aimed at making Delhi Assembly transactions paperless. However, the lawmakers would continue to get hard copies of replies in the House. “After receiving the soft copies of replies, the secretariat will upload them on the assembly’s website so that people won’t need to file RTI applications for the same,” the official said requesting anonymity. On July 10, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said the AAP government would put all relevant information online to ensure transparency in its functioning. Kejriwal had said the government also plans to upload all RTI replies online to ensure there was no repetition of applications.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A city court today decided to record pre-summoning evidence in two criminal defamation complaints filed by Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain against sacked minister Kapil Mishra and a BJP MLA for allegedly defaming him by levelling graft charges. The matter was listed for July 28 as Metropolitan Magistrate Shefali Barnala Tandon is attending a training session. The court had earlier taken cognisance of the complaints filed against Mishra and BJP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa. Advocate Gautam Dhamija, appearing for Jain, had then argued that Mishra had allegedly made defamatory statements before the national media. He had alleged that Mishra used his official Twitter handle also to defame Jain and, instead of going to any probe agency, he had levelled the allegations before the media to defame the Health Minister. The plea claimed Sirsa had alleged that the minister was circulating huge amounts of illegitimate money within the party. Jain has also accused a media house for publishing the alleged “libellous and slanderous statements” made by Sirsa. The counsel had argued that the allegations were made in front of the national media but only one newspaper published it, which, he said, showed they were hand in glove with each other. Jain had on May 19 filed two criminal defamation complaints against Mishra and Sirsa for allegedly defaming him by levelling graft charges against him. If convicted, the offence of defamation entails a maximum punishment of two years. Jain in his plea against Mishra, who was earlier heading the water department, submitted that on May 7, he had made a statement before the media accusing him of handing a bribe of Rs two crore to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on May five. He said his family members and people from his constituency had questioned him about the incident which had caused irreparable damage to his reputation. Regarding Sirsa, Jain said that on May 9, the MLA had made libellous statements by levelling corruption allegation against him. He said that making a statement on the basis of “hearsay” without any proof or evidence supporting it, is not only unbecoming of an MLA, but also a crime of defaming a person.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the Delhi Lt. Governor rejected it three months ago, the Aam Aadmi Party government today once again approved the proposal to award Rs 1 crore as compensation to the family of ex-serviceman Ram Kishan Grewal. Grewal has allegedly committed suicide in November last year over the issue implementation of “One Rank One Pension” (OROP) scheme. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, while briefing reporters about the Cabinet decisions, said the government was resending the proposal to the Lt. Governor requesting him to clear it as a one-time “exception”. Earlier, a similar proposal was sent by the Arvind Kejriwal dispensation to the L-G office, which was struck down by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal in March arguing that the “death did not occur in the line of duty, as mandated under the Delhi government’s existing policy” to grant ex-gratia to victims. “Grewal ji belonged to a poor family and he died for a cause. We all should think beyond boundaries on such issues. The government will request the LG to clear it by treating it as exception in the ex-gratia scheme,” Sisodia said. While striking down the proposal in March, Baijal had said, “This specific case (Grewal’s death) does not fall within the parameters of the scheme for the grant of ex-gratia payment i.e. death occurring in the discharge of official duty. “Therefore, while I fully sympathise with the family of late subhedar (retd) Ram Kishan Grewal, I am not able to agree to the proposal for payment of ex-gratia relief.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday said that Mahatma Gandhi?s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi was proposed and endorsed by the Opposition parties unanimously for the vice-presidential election. Talking to ANI after the meeting, TMC leader Derek O? Brien said, ?The issue of the vice-president?s name didn?t take us more than 15 minutes. It was only one name proposed. The TMC was first to asked to speak. Only one name was proposed and endorsed.? He further said that the meeting discussed about the many issues relating to farmers suicide, current situation of the country etc. ?The meeting had two parts. First was the current situation of the country and as to how the government agencies are being used blatantly by the BJP Government to attack all opposition parties. Be it the National Herald Case, Lalu Prasad Yadav case, Mr. Chidambaram case, Arvind Kejriwal case or Ashok Gehlot case etc. Other issues are the farmers suicides, fallout of GST, demonetisation,? he added. Meanwhile, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, ?Even the independent people are supporting him (Gopal Gandhi). It is a good thing.? Earlier in the day, the Opposition parties met her to decide on their strategy to put up a joint vice-presidential candidate for the August 5 election. The ruling BJP is expected to finalise its nominee by July 13. A total of 18 Opposition parties met at a meeting hosted by Congress president Sonia Gandhi at Parliament library at 11 a.m. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, besides a host of leaders from other parties like the NCP, RJD, Left, TMC, SP, BSP, DMK and other smaller parties, also attended the meeting. The elections for the next vice-president will be held on August 5. Outgoing vice-president Hamid Ansari completes his term on August 10. MPs of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha vote to elect the vice president.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi BJP today called the Arvind Kejriwal government’s ‘free surgery scheme’ a “deception” to divert attention from corruption charges it is facing. Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said the AAP government had announced to increase its health budget by 50 per cent and to convert all its hospitals into super speciality ones, “but now it is admitting its failures by providing health services through private hospitals”. The AAP government today launched the ‘Free Surgery Scheme’ under which free treatment would be provided to patients at private hospitals if they do not get a date for surgery at government hospitals within one month. “Alternative health services announced by the Kejriwal government through big newspaper advertisements is just an attempt to divert the attention of the people from corruption charges against it,” Tiwari said. The scheme to provide health services through private hospitals will open a new avenue of “corruption”, he said and added that it was announced in haste without proper preparations. BJP MLA and Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupa claimed that the scheme is just like other “unfulfilled” schemes. “Private hospitals have commercial rates for surgical treatments and it is not feasible for any government to bear the cost. Kejriwal should tell how it will get the people treated at private hospitals,” Gupta said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal today asked the education department officials to spread awareness about the dos and don’ts on prevention of vector- borne diseases in schools, colleges and other educational institutions. The LG was chairing a review meet on preparedness to combat malaria, dengue and chikungunya, cases of which are rising in the city. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Health Minister Satyendar Jain, Delhi Chief Secretary, and several other senior officials were also present in the meeting. The Lt Governor instructed the education department that an advisory be issued to all schools, colleges and institutes that the students in the morning assembly/prayers be informed about the the dos and don’ts on prevention of dengue and chikungunya. “They shall also issue an advisory to all the schools asking students to be allowed wearing full-sleeved uniform with full-length trousers, so that maximum protection can be ensured as the aedes mosquito bites during the day time,” Baijal said. He also re-emphasised on the importance of IEC (information, education and communication) as the main tool for combating the vector-borne diseases, particularly dengue and chikungunya. “Crisp targeted messages particularly in vernacular languages shall be disseminated,” he was quoted as saying in a Raj Niwas statement. He also asked all the agencies to effectively monitor and improve the functioning of 24X7 helplines and update their database to provide real-time information on hospital beds and other details to the public. At least 125 cases of malaria, 152 of chikungunya and nearly 100 of dengue have been recorded in the national capital till July 1 this year, according to the latest municipal report. The chief minister also stressed on involvement of all sections of community and making fight against dengue and chikungunya a people’s movement. The LG stressed that there should be engagement of RWAs with domestic breeding checkers (DBCs) to visit and monitor the households for any potential breeding sites. “This shall also help in sharing of responsibility of checking with RWAs as well as sensitise residents of the colonies. Political leaders, corporators, district magistrates, SDMs and other field-level agencies must be involved in awareness generation,” Baijal said. He further directed the municipal bodies that a nodal person be designated for each ward who shall be responsible for vector control and awareness-related measures and ward- wise report of activities being carried out at ground level should submitted on daily basis to the controlling authorities. Delhi Jal Board was advised to repair or replace all the leaking water pipelines. Baijal also urged other organisations like the Railways, the DMRC, the DTC and the DDA to appoint nodal officers who will be responsible for vector control related activities, awareness campaign among residents of staff colonies, distribution of informative literature.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fed up with wading through waterlogged roads across the national Capital, a group of Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) on Wednesday stated that the Delhi government must provide inflatable boats to people in low-lying areas that get flooded every monsoon.In a letter written to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, President of the East Delhi RWAs Joint Front, BS Vohra, said: “In the past, you had said that the Public Works Department (PWD) has completely cleared the drains of Delhi. Even then, the city had reached the brink of drowning as there was no coordination between PWD and the municipal corporations. Now that you are saying that the PWD officials have not even cleaned the drains in Delhi and they should be sent to jail, may God save the city.”He further requested Kejriwal to provide at least one inflatable boat to each RWA in low-lying areas. “It’s both serious and sarcastic. On the one hand, we want to send a message to the authorities. On the other hand, it may be helpful for those in the low-lying areas,” Vohra said.Every monsoon, while the civic agencies and the Delhi government’s PWD play the blame-game, it is the people who suffer. In the recent Delhi Assembly session, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs has demanded that the PWD officials who left the drains dirty, which led to accumulation of water and mosquito breeding, should be sent to jail.On Monday, counting the lapses in the report submitted by the PWD officials, AAP MLA from Dwarka, Adarsh Shastri, had said: “Everything was just on paper and no work was done on the ground. It’s criminal negligence. If there is an outbreak of vector-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya, the officials concerned are liable of culpable homicide.”Last week, Kejriwal had also said that the city needed a separate body for cleaning of drains and maintenance of roads. “When the PWD officials were not doing their duty of cleaning the drains, where were the 67 MLAs of Delhi?” Vohra asked.ANALYSISBoth PWD and MCDs must come together and take immediate steps to resolve the crisis that has taken birth due to the multiplicity of the authorities and poor coordination between agencies.
It is high time that the government gets serious about the issue of waterlogging as vector-borne diseases have become an annual routine in the city.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government will make another attempt at increasing the city’s green cover, a year after a similar initiative fizzled out after being launched with much fanfare. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made the announcement following a meeting with Lt Governor Anil Baijal. Environment Minister Imran Hussain separately met PWD and Delhi Metro officials to chalk out details of the project. “Had a good meeting wid Hon’ble LG. 3 decisions – restart work of greening and landscaping PWD roads, paint all zebra and footpaths, redesign some roads,” Kejriwal tweeted. In his meeting, Hussain discussed ways and means to increase green cover on open pavements, central verges, flyovers and spaces below elevated metro tracks, and directed the officials to prepare an action plan in a week. “Mr Hussain also asked the departments to ensure that not only plantation of shrubs and creepers takes place but such plantation is also watered on regular basis so that plants do not wilt and dry up,” an official statement said. In April last year, Kejriwal had launched the ‘Greening Delhi’ initiative aimed at tackling dust, a major source of air pollution in the national capital. He had set October, 2016 as the deadline but the work never really took off.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav today said there was “gross irregularity” in the ruling AAP’s move to use the Delhi Assembly route to punish officers and this would hurt “constitutional working” in the national capital. The Delhi Assembly had yesterday passed a resolution for action against PWD officials for their alleged failure in completing the desilting work of the city drains before the monsoon season. During the special session of the Delhi Assembly, AAP legislators expressed their resentment and complained to the speaker about “no work” being done for desilting of drains in their areas before the monsoon rains and demanded that the guilty officials be “sent to jail”. “Earlier, whatever used to happen from the chief minister’s office will now happen from the Delhi Legislative Assembly. “This is gross irregularity. If legislatures start doing the work of judiciary and executive then what will happen to the constitutional order,” Yadav said. A party leader said after being “pinioned” by the Lt governor and the Centre, the AAP had decided to take the help of House committees to make its officers accountable. The leader also pointed out that the Delhi High Court’s order last year which gave LG the primacy as the administrative head of the national capital, had made the case more difficult for the Arvind Kejriwal government. This led to the AAP adopting a new strategy to use the assembly route to get things done.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP MLA Alka Lamba today voiced her concern over the functioning of the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) and said the absence of a chairman had rendered it “ineffective”. PWD engineer-in-chief Sarvagya Srivastava was appointed the chairman of the SRDC by PWD Minister Satyendar Jain, but the Lieutenant Governor did not uphold his appointment. “There is ambiguity as to who will head the SRDC. Due to this, development work has been affected in my constituency,” said Lamba. Earlier, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal used to head the SRDC. Later, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and subsequently, Jain became the chairman of the corporation. However, Jain appointed Srivastava as the PWD secretary and the SDRC chairman. The LG subsequently struck down Srivastava’s appointment as PWD secretary. He is yet to give his nod to Srivastava’s appointment as SRDC chairperson.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi government has notified making Aadhaar card details compulsory for those seeking subsidy on e-rickshaws registered in the city, in order to “prevent duplicacy” in grant of the financial assistance. The registered owners of e-rickshaws in Delhi will be considered for a subsidy of Rs 30,000 after providing their Aadhaar card details, said a notice issued by the government. All the registered e-rickshaw owners whose subsidy claims are pending are now required to submit the photo copies of their Aadhaar card and registration certificate at the office of concerned motor licensing officers (MLO) by June 30. The claims of subsidy will not be considered if the Aadhaar card and registration certificate copies are not submitted by the due date, the notice mentioned. As per latest figures, there are over 31,000 registered e-rickshaws in the city. The subsidy scheme was launched by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a rally of e-rickshaw drivers in February last year. Delhi government in its current financial year budget has earmarked Rs 1.06 crore for providing subsidy to e-rickshaw owners. The scheme had failed to take off since its launch due to duplicity of claimants furnishing varying documents for seeking the subsidy and only around 3,000 e-rickshaw owners have so far availed the financial assistance. Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) has streamlined the process of registration and grant of subsidy to e rickshaws and avoid duplicacy, by making Aadhaar card details mandatory. In the case of already registered e-rickshaws, the concerned MLOs will obtain Aadhaar card number from the beneficiaries before reimbursements of subsidy, the committee said in its directive.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Not satisfied” with the report of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on the alleged supply shortage and cases of inflated bills before the municipal polls, Delhi Water Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam suspects officials have tried to “suppress” facts. Gautam had sought a report on the issue, which the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) claims cost it the civic polls, from Delhi Jal Board officials right after taking over charge of the water department from Kapil Mishra, who was sacked over “non- performance”. Alleging “political motivation” behind the shortage and cases of consumers receiving inflated bills, he said the findings of the report are not in tune with the reality and he will write to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the matter and “recommend suitable action”. “The water supply shortage have been blamed on the rise in demand with the onset of summer while consumers receiving accumulated dues have been identified as the factor behind the inflated bills. “But I am not satisfied with these findings. If there is no shortage of water then there should not have been any crunch and in the second case, why were bills not given to consumers regularly? I suspect attempts have been made to cover up the real facts,” Gautam told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi PWD Secretary Ashwani Kumar has hit back at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who had accused him of not overseeing the desilting of drains, saying “negativity and squabbling attitude” does not work in such a challenging task. In a sharp response to Kejriwal’s letter to Chief Secretary MM Kutty seeking action against him, Kumar told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)