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Defamation case against Addl SHO quashed

Dismissing a defamation case by a lawyer against the Additional Station House Officer (SHO) for giving an adverse report against him, a Delhi court said, “It is not defamation if a true incident or report is produced before Court of Law.”Civil Judge Pankaj Sharma rejected the claim of MS Yadav, a lawyer, stating the Additional SHO gave the report while discharging duty.”It is not defamation if a true incident/report is produced before Court of Law. The letter dated 01.05.1998 was in fact issued/published by the society, and defendant no. 1 merely produced it before the court upon directions to file a report regarding a complaint of the plaintiff. The said letter appeared to be filed in good faith and in the discharge of the official duty by defendant…,” the judge said.The case dates back to 1998 when a civil defamation suit was filed by Yadav, a resident of Manocha Housing Society in VikasPuri, against the then Additional SHO, Om Parkash, and AK Chopra, the then secretary of the society, on charges that the duo had lowered his reputation amongst all.The court, while dismissing the claim of Rs 2 lakh as compensation, stated that the officer gave the report in the discharge of his duties.”Despite having an understanding of the law, plaintiff gave a complaint to Addl SHO and did not bother to get it registered as per the procedure. Addl SHO was not duty-bound to act upon an oral complaint by the plaintiff as incharge of the PS is SHO who marks the complaints to his subordinates after it is received in due course as per procedure. Addl SHO/defendant No. 1 is not expected to assume the power of SHO,” the court said.According to the plea, Yadav was asked for Rs 15,000 in 1996 as entry fee when he had shifted in the residential complex. But he refused to pay the amount deeming it to be illegal. On March 21, 1998, BL Madan, president of the society, allegedly threatened to disconnect water supply to the plaintiff and called some outsiders of whom one Mukesh Kumar assaulted the plaintiff.20-YR-OLD MATTER The case dates back to 1998 when a civil defamation suit was filed by MS Yadav, a resident of Manocha Housing Society in VikasPuri, against then Additional SHO Om Parkash.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
STOP spreading rumours! Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh’s special gift for Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli REVEALED!
Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

SC collegium gave age criteria a miss while clearing names

When it finalised the draft of the new Memorandum of Procedure (MoP), the document that guides appointments to higher judiciary, the Supreme Court collegium — headed by (then) Chief Justice of India JS Khehar — had decided that no lawyer below the age of 45 years and above the age of 55 years should be considered for appointment as Judge of a high court.Apart from then CJI Khehar, other members of the collegium who decided this included current CJI Dipak Misra and Justices Jasti Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi and Madan Lokur. All, except Justice Khehar, who is now retired, are members of the larger SC collegium now.However, even as the new MoP is yet to be notified — it is pending with the government since March — the collegium has shown that it isn’t too keen to stick to its own resolution.Minutes of meeting of the three-member Supreme Court collegium show that the CJI-led panel is not immune to violating the age limit.Take for example the December 4 decision of the collegium while clearing names for Calcutta HC.The High Court collegium had recommended names of six advocates, including Sabyasachi Chaudhury and Sakya Sen, who weren’t 45 at the time their names were recommended.However, the SC collegium has recommended Sen’s name for elevation to the bench in “relaxation of the age criterion”. As for Chaudhary, he completed 45 years of age during the intervening period when his name was recommended by the HC collegium and cleared by the SC collegium.But, Madras HC lawyer AV Radhakrishnan, whose name had been recommended by the HC collegium, wasn’t so fortunate. “… He is more than 57 years of age. Even on the date of recommendation of the High Court Collegium he had crossed the maximum age limit of 55 years prescribed for Advocates recommended for elevation to the High Court Bench. Having regard to above, he is not found suitable for elevation to the High Court Bench,” the SC collegium decided on the same day when it ignored the age criteria in two other cases.Incidentally, it was on the Centre’s insistence that the SC collegium first agreed to include the age clause in the MoP. The Justice Ministry is of the view that such a cause will ensure uniformity and transparency in the appointment process and also rule out the possibility of members of the collegium adopting different yardsticks while recommending names.But it isn’t the age criterion that the SC collegium has refused to stick to while making appointments.It cleared the name of another lawyer of Calcutta HC – Ravi Krishan Kapur – who had failed to submit the undertaking from his lawyer-father as is mandated under existing rules. In doing so, the SC collegium also ignored the objection raised by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice on this subject, saying the undertaking was based on “mere administrative instructions and is not a mandatory requirement”.In yet another departure from rules, the SC collegium decided to clear a candidate – advocate Arindam Mukherjee – even though he had not submitted adequate number of reported/unreported judgments.”In our view, number of reported/unreported judgments is just one of the factors and not the only factor to determine suitability of a recommendee for purpose of elevation,” the collegium noted.

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Vidya Balan: It has to be something like Ijaazat with Shah Rukh Khan
“Stop behaving like Aaradhya,” says Amitabh Bachchan to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Watch viral video!
Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
Bigg Boss 11: Shilpa Shinde rebukes Akash Dadlani for touching her inappropriately
Varun Dhawan buys a plush new apartment; girlfriend Natasha Dalal attends housewarming party
Bigg Boss 11: Hiten Tejwani gets evicted from Salman Khan’s show
Telugu actor Vijay Sai found dead in his apartment; Did he commit suicide?
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Aditya Chopra is one of the first ones to know about Anushka Sharma-Virat Kohli’s Wedding!
Will Alia Bhatt say yes to Priyanka Chopra?
Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
Not just Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli: Here are other B-Town beauties who bowled over cricketing stars

ED files chargesheet against businessman Gagan Dhawan

The Enforcement Directorate filed a chargesheet on Saturday against Delhi-based businessman Gagan Dhawan in connection with a Rs 5,000 crore money laundering case.Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma, before whom the final report was filed by ED special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana, took cognisance of the document and posted the matter for hearing on January 3, 2018.Dhawan, who was arrested on November 1, was sent to judicial custody on November 15 by the court after the probe agency said he was not needed for further custodial interrogation.The ED had alleged that Dhawan had facilitated the directors of Gujarat-based pharma firm Sterling Biotech Ltd (SBL) in the purchase of several properties and helped in misuse and diversion of the credit facilities of several banks totalling Rs 5,000 crore.”Rs 1.5 crore was received by the accused from the SBL group. Prior to that, the amount of bank loans was rotated in various group companies of SBL group,” the ED had claimed.The ED registered the case against him after taking cognisance of the case filed by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the pharma firm, its directors and several other persons in connection with the alleged bank fraud case.On August 25, the ED officials raided Dhawan’s office and that of a former Congress MLA Sumesh Shokeen in money laundering case.The firm and Dhawan are also being probed for allegedly bribing senior income tax department officials as part of an earlier criminal complaint.The FIR has alleged that the total pending dues of the group companies were Rs 5,383 crore as on December 31, 2016.

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2G Judge couldn’t have questioned my work: Spl prosecutor Anand Grover

Questions regarding why and how the prosecution lost the 2G scam case continued two days after a trial court acquitted all 21 accused, including some companies, of all charges of corruption.Hitting out against the judgement, senior advocate Anand Grover, who took over as the special public prosecutor, said no fault can be found with his conduct or preparation of the case. “It is wrong for any officer of the court to impeach the integrity of an individual. It is simply damaging to the integrity of the institution,” Grover said, while speaking to DNA on Saturday.”I am very bothered by the insinuations made in the judgement. I had no choice but to respond,” he added. Grover further said the judge breached the integrity of the institution by not telling the truth and using petty irrelevant arguments.In a setback to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), special judge OP Saini said the prosecution had failed miserably to prove their case, while acquitting those involved.In a strongly worded judgement, the special judge said the prosecution was unable to prove a shed of evidence to make their case.Reacting to the judgement, Grover said if there was no case, it would have been evident one and a half years ago, when the judge framed questions under section 313.In a criminal trial, once the chargesheet is filed, the charges are framed. After the prosecution has presented their evidence, the trial court judge then frames questions, for which he seeks answers from the defence.Special judge Saini had posed 1,800 questions against former telecom minister A Raja, one of the prime accused.”The charge sheet was vetted by the Supreme Court before it was presented in the trial court, based on which the judge framed charges against the accused,” Grover said.Moreover, he pointed out, that he came in at a stage when the prosecution had completed presenting their case. “I merely argued on the money laundering charges,” he said, referring to the fact that he succeeded justice UU Lalit, who was the SPP before him.The prosecution has hinted at appealing against the verdict in a higher court as Grover believes the trial court’s verdict “is riddled with errors”.

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Del ADJ under scanner for disrespecting HC Judge

The Delhi High Court has ordered initiation of criminal contempt against Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADJ) Kamini Lau for making allegedly “personal allegations” against a High Court Judge.Lau is currently posted as Special Judge, Tis Hazari.In an order passed yesterday, Justices Valmiki Mehta and Indermeet Kaur came down heavily on the ADJ for making allegedly “unacceptable and unfounded statements” with respect to observations contained in judicial orders passed by an HC judge.In applications filed in the HC, Lau had sought expunction of adverse remarks and observations made by a Single Judge in four orders. The remarks pertained to orders passed by her while dealing with cases before her.The HC bench cited Supreme Court judgments to underline that while high courts shouldn’t make unwarranted comments against judicial officers, the power to make critical observations was vested in the high courts.”The observations made by the high court against a judicial officer of the subordinate court however if are only in the nature of judicial comments, i.e. of judicial nature …”… and the observations made cannot be faulted for their lack of sobriety, then in such a case the observation so made by this court cannot be said to be in the nature of adverse remarks or strictures or negative, disparaging remarks personally against the judicial officer,” the bench said.In her plea, Lau had alleged that the single Judge had selectively and repeatedly targetted her.To this, the bench headed by Justice Mehta said, “We are indeed perturbed and upset at the language used by the applicant in her applications….the applicant in para 2 has stated that the learned Single judge of this court is guilty of violation of the norms of judicial propriety. Surely, it is impermissible for the applicant/judicial officer to make such observations against the Single judge of this court who is exercising appellate jurisdiction over the judgment passed by the applicant/judicial officer.”Dubbing her stance “unbelievable and unacceptable”, the HC observed, “We found it unbelievable and unacceptable that the applicant has crossed all norms of acceptable behavior and made personal allegations against learned single judge of this court.Holding Lau prima facie guilty of criminal contempt of court, the bench then issued notice to her and directed that the matter be listed on February 16 before the Bench hearing criminal contempt petitions.

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RJD cries foul over fodder scam verdict; alleges ‘conspiracy’ against Lalu Prasad

Moments after Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav was found guilty by a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in connection with the fodder scam, the party expressed its disappointment in the verdict, alleging conspiracy against him.”I believe in the judiciary, but in this case, the CBI was arranging prosecution. Legally admissible evidence provided by us were set aside,” RJD leader Manoj Jha said in a press conference here.Jha emphasised on the fact that some of the shreds of evidence they provided were set aside.”We believe in the judicial architecture and this is not the end of the road. The kind of evidence we have, we’ll get redressal at a higher court. Politically I know this regime, they have this typical Standard Operating Procedure: Try to make a deal with your opposition, if you fail, then scare them”, added Jha.Speaking about the “two most powerful people in India”, Jha asserted, “They are trying to scare and intimidate us and I want to tell them- Do whatever you want, your end has begun.”He also said the CBI has become a motorized parrot and the control mechanism in the hands of two most powerful people in the country.He claimed that Lalu became a victim of a well-webbed conspiracy, adding, “We believe the judiciary system and we will go in the court and clear everything and the truth will prevail.”The former Bihar chief minister was brought to Birsa Munda Central Jail after a special CBI court’s verdict.Fourteen others have also been found guilty, while seven accused have been acquitted, including former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra.The court is scheduled to pronounce the quantum sentence on January 3, 2018, for the 15 guilty, including Lalu Prasad.Lalu has been convicted in the case relating to embezzling of more than Rs 89 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury between 1991 and 1994.Apart from Lalu, Mishra and 20 others accused were present in the court of special CBI judge Shivpal Singh.Justice Singh had completed hearing the case on December 13 and asked all accused in the case to remain present in court for the judgment.

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Fodder scam verdict: Convicted Lalu Yadav says BJP playing ‘dirty game’ against opponents

Former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, who was Saturday convicted in a fodder scam case along with 14 others, remained defiant and said the “truth will win” in the end. While 15 people including Lalu were convicted by CBI judge Shivpal Singh, six including another former CM Jagannath Mishra were acquitted. The judge pronounced the verdict in a packed courtroom in the case pertaining to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar Treasury between 1991 and 1994.A charge sheet was filed against 38 persons on October 27, 1997. Eleven of them died and three turned approvers while two other accused confessed and were convicted in 2006-07, a CBI official said. Also readTimeline of fodder scam case which rocked Lalu Prasad Yadav’s political careerLalu Prasad, the chief of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), and other convicts were taken into custody immediately after the pronouncement of the verdict. He was later taken to Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi. Soon after his conviction, Lalu, in a series of tweets, attacked the “feudal forces” and accused the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) of playing a “dirty game” to ruin public perception of opponents. “Truth can be made to appear as a lie, as ambiguous or a half lie by concerted onslaught of bias driven propaganda. But blurred layer of bias and hatred will still be removed, come what may! In end Truth will win,” Lalu said in a tweet. In another tweet in Hindi, Lalu said, “The sly BJP plays a dirty game of ruining public perception of opponents to hide its jumlebaazi and to get votes.””A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. ….But still prevails…In the end though,” the former Union Minister said. “Powerful people and powerful classes always managed to divide society into ruling and the ruled classes. And whenever anyone from the lower hierarchy challenged this unjust order, they would be deliberately punished,” he added. “Had people like Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Baba Saheb Ambedkar failed in their efforts, history would have treated them as villains. They still are villains for the biased, racist and caste-ist minds. No one should expect any different treatment,” he further said. BJP reacted sharply to Lalu’s attack and said the RJD chief was “leveling allegations of conspiracy” on the saffron party instead of accepting the verdict. “Lalu Prasad Yadav is even now politicizing the issue instead of accepting the verdict, just to deviate he is leveling allegations of conspiracy on BJP,” Union Minister JP Nadda said. Watch: Lalu Prasad Yadav convicted in fodder scamLalu has already been convicted in another fodder scam- Chaibasa treasury case – in which he is out on bail. His conviction cost him his Lok Sabha seat as he was disqualified from contesting elections.The fodder scam involved the embezzlement of about Rs 900 crore from the Bihar exchequer and has rocked the state and national politics for years.(With inputs from agencies)

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Timeline of fodder scam case which rocked Lalu Prasad Yadav’s political career

A special CBI court on Saturday convicted former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and 14 others in the high-profile fodder scam case. The quantum of sentence will be announced on January 3 next year.However, another former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra was found innocent along with six others.The fodder scam case has been at the center of Bihar politics and have rocked Lalu Prasad’s political career.The case pertains to an alleged fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from Deoghar Treasury between 1991 and 1994. Here is a brief timeline of the case: 23 December 2017: Special CBI court in Ranchi announces verdict on fodder scam. Lalu Prasad Yadav found guilty in the fodder scam case along with 14 others. The quantum of sentence will be announced on January 3, 2018.8 May 2017: The SC ruled criminal conspiracy charges against Lalu Prasad in connection to the two-decade old fodder scam.November 2014: Lalu Yadav moved Jharkhand HC challenging the CBI court’s 2006 verdict that named him in six cases within the fodder scam. The HC ruled that the proceedings would continue under IPC Sections 201 and 511. Other charges were dropped on grounds that a person once convicted or acquitted cannot be tried for the same offence.30 September 2013: The CBI court convicted Lalu and 44 others in the fodder scam. This made him ineligible to stand in elections for six years. The former CM stood disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha.13 August 2013: Lalu Prasad’s plea to transfer the trail court judge was rejected by SC.1 March 2012: Charges were framed against Lalu Yadav, Jagannath Mishra, Jagdish Sharma and 31 others for fraudulent withdrawal of 46 lakhs from the treasuries of Banka and Bhagalpur against forged bills.2 April 2010: The SC ruled that a state government “is not a competent authority” for a plea by the state government to the Patna High court challenging the CBI’s 2006 verdict on disproportionate asset case.31 May 2007: 58 people, including Lalu’s nephews, two former regional directors of the Animal Husbandry Department, and four suppliers were all given 5-6 years in prison.18 December 2006: Lalu, and his wife Rabri were acquitted of charges in the disproportionate assets case filed against them by the CBI seven years ago in the special CBI court.February 2002: The trial began in a special CBI court in Ranchi.5 October 2001: The creation of new state forced the case to be transferred to the Jharkhand High Court.9 June 2000: Charges were framed against Yadav in court.10 May 2000: Patna High Court granted provisional bail to Lalu. It will be extended on 25 occasions.5 April 2000: Both Yadav and Devi surrendered to CBI court. While Rabri Devi was granted bail, Lalu Prasad was sent to jail as judge dismissed his bail plea.4 April 2000: A charge sheet was filed against Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi.19 August 1998: A case of disproportionate assets was registered against Lalu and his wife Rabri Devi.30 July 1997: After stepping down as the Bihar chief minister, the RJD chief surrendered before a court.23 June 1997: 56 people, including Yadav were accused in charge sheets filed by CBI. The charges included IPC 420 (forgery) and 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) and Section 13 (b) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.17 June 1997: The Governor of Bihar gave his approval for the prosecution.10 May 1997: The CBI issued a formal request to Governor of Bihar to prosecute Yadav.March 19 1996: A two member bench was appointed by the SC to examine the development of the investigation.11 March 1996: The Patna High Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe into the case.27 January 1996: The Rs. 1000 crore fodder scam surfaced after conducting a raid in the Animal Husbandry department. The large scale embezzlement took funds from government and supplied it to non-existent companies for purchase and supply of cattle fodder in Bihar in the 1990s.(With inputs from ANI)

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Supreme Court refuses to stay Karnataka High Court order on tobacco warning

On Friday, the Supreme Court refused to stay an order passed by the Karnataka High Court that quashed the government regulation requiring tobacco products to display pictorial warnings covering 85 per cent of the packaging space.The Karnataka HC had last week quashed the government regulation —which increased the size of the pictorial warning on tobacco products from 40 per cent to 85 per cent — that was introduced in a bid to inform the general public about the health hazards of tobacco products and to dissuade them from consuming it. Since then, several petitions — including one filed by NGO Health for Millions — have been filed challenging the HC’s order.A vacation bench led by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul refused to stay the order and directed Karnataka HC to upload the judgment online.The matter will next be heard on January 8 for further arguments on this appeal.On December 15, a two-judge bench at the HC had observed that the Union health ministry did not have jurisdictional powers to pass such a rule. The HC further found that the rule violated constitutional norms as it put “unreasonable” restrictions on the right to do business.However, the HC reverted the surface area for pictorial warnings to 40 per cent, that existed before the 85 per cent stipulation come in.

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VK Sasikala, Apollo Hospital’s chairman summoned over J Jayalalithaa’s death

The Justice Arumughasamy Commission that is probing the circumstances leading to the death of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, on Friday summoned her aide VK Sasikala, Apollo Hospital’s Chairman Pratap Reddy and executive vice chairperson Preetha Reddy two days after a video of the late AIADMK chief sitting in the hospital bed sipping tea was released to the media.The commission has given a 15-day period for Sasikala, who is serving a four-year imprisonment in a Bengaluru prison in a corruption case, to submit her response within 15 days while the top executives of the Apollo hospitals were asked to reply within 10 days.Jayalalithaa was admitted to Apollo Hospital on September 22 last year and passed away on December 5, 2016. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who rebelled against the Sasikala-led AIADMK, raised doubts over the circumstances leading to Jayalaltihaa’s hospitalisation and alleged that none of the AIADMK leaders and ministers including him were allowed to see her during the 75-day long stay in the hospital. After Panneerselvam merged his faction with the ruling AIADMK, the Edappadi K Palanisami government constituted an one-man commission headed by retired judge Arumughasamy.The commission, whose three months term was extended by another six months on Friday, began its hearing on November 22. Several people, including IAS officials, doctors, Jayalalithaa’s niece J Deepa and nephew J Deepak and Madurai- based DMK functionary P Saravanan have deposed before it so far.

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2G scam verdict: 700 old judgments paved way for acquittal

Special Judge OP Saini read over 700 old judgments which were given as case references by various lawyers before penning down the fate of all the 21 accused, including former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK leader and MP Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.”I may note that I have carefully gone through the entire case law cited at the bar by the parties. I have also carefully gone through the written submissions filed by the parties. The case law would be referred to as and when required,” Special Judge Saini said.In the 1552 page judgment delivered by Saini, he mentioned all the case references by all the respective lawyers of the several accused. Altogether 608 case references of several cases were put forth by both the parties even though a few of them might be repeated. Besides 102 references were made as rebuttal.Advocate Vijay Agarwal, on behalf of his client RK Chandolia, gave the maximum numbers of case references during the proceedings taking the number to 134. It was again Agarwal who gave 97 references on behalf of his client Shahid Balwa. This was followed by 63 references made by the same lawyer for two of his clients Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal.A little behind Agarwal was Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover, who made 102 references during rebuttal. However, he gave just 35 references during the trial. The least number of references were given by advocate Deeksha Khurana for Swan Telecommunication who referred to just a single case.While 30 references were made for A Raja by his counsel Manu Sharma, 15 were made on the behalf of Kanimozhi by her counsel Amarender Sharan.Special Judge Saini repeated about the huge volume of records and documents involved in the case in the judgment.Even on Thursday, as he entered the court room to pronounce the judgment followed by his court staff carrying the huge pile of papers, he said, “Giving the huge records of the case, this is a very brief judgment I have written.”The judge also mentioned in his the judgment that lawyers of both the accused and the CBI filed written submissions running into 25,000 pages.”It may be noted that in view of voluminous record running into several lac pages and also technical nature of the case, oral arguments for the parties continued for about two years. Both the parties also filed written submissions in detail running into about twenty five thousand pages,” the judge said.He also appreciated the advocates for both parties for their hard work put during the trial of this voluminous, technical and complex case, the record of which runs into about three four lac pages.

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Huge sigh of relief rocks the courtroom

The area surrounding the courtroom where Special Judge OP Saini was going to deliver his verdict in the 2G scam case was packed with family members, friends and supporters of the 17 accused.Even as former Telecom Minister A Raja’s supporters attempted to squeeze past the heavily guarded entryway, a loud roar from the interior momentarily stopped time. Confusion turned to happiness when advocates led by Vijay Agarwal — he represents Kareem Moranis — among a few others representing the accused, rushed out in the crowd shouting “acquitted, acquitted, acquitted” at the top of their voices.Similarly, the mood inside the courtroom shifted in a fraction once the judge pronounced his verdict. An uproar and huge sigh of relief rocked the courtroom as all the 17 accused, including former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK leader and MP Kanimozhi, jumped on their toes moments later.Roars of “thank you” reverberated the jam-packed courtroom at Central Delhi’s Patiala House Court as Kanimozhi bowed down before the judge to express her gratitude. Raja, dressed in a white shirt, quickly climbed atop a chair once outside the courtroom and acknowledged the frenzied crowd waiting for him.Scenes of emotional outpouring of happiness could be spotted in various clusters across the court complex even as DB group founder, Shahid Balwa, broke down in the court.Not long after the verdict was known, fireworks were heard across the din of people congratulating each other, prompting the special judge to inquire about the cause of the commotion.And suddenly just like that, it was all over. After seven years, the 2G scam, which was touted as the 2nd biggest scam in the world by the Times Magazine after the 1972 Watergate Scandal which led to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon, came to an end.It seemed all the worry and apprehension that plagued the accused and their kin melted and happy smiling faces were found to be seen all around.All the prayers came to fruition, some were even found chanting and praying with rosaries inside the courtroom when the curtains fell after the brief 27-minute court proceedings. During this time the Special CBI Judge came to the bench thrice to deliver the verdict in the three separate cases registered.”Giving the record of the case, it is a very brief judgment that I have given,” Special Judge Saini said presenting the 1,552-paged judgment. He first announced the verdict in two cases, one each of CBI and Enforcement Directorate, followed by the last case pertaining to Essar.Speaking to DNA, Kanimozhi said, “Finally I got justice. I am innocent. I have been saying so from the first day.” Meanwhile, Raja could not contain his excitement and happiness as he received wishes from all corners.Karim Morani, who was accompanied by his wife, daughters and two brothers said that justice has prevailed. RK Chandolia’s family members and Raja’s erstwhile private secretary also expressed their happiness on the verdict.”It was not a 2G scam but a 2G revolution that A Raja had brought. We have finally got justice and our stand has been vindicated,” Harsha, Chandolia’s daughter said.Touted as 2nd biggest scamThe 2G scam, which was touted as the 2nd biggest scam in the world by the Times Magazine after the 1972 Watergate Scandal which led to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon.

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2G scam verdict: Verdict raises questions on 122 cancelled licences

Even as a trial court failed to find a scam in the 2G spectrum allocation case on Thursday, the Supreme Court had five years ago cancelled 122 telecom licences and spectrum allocated to 11 companies on or after January 10, 2008 by former telecom minister A Raja.Declaring the allocation illegal, the top court had then taken over the investigation and the prosecution of the case, monitoring it for five-long years now.In 2011, a bench of Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly held that spectrum was a natural resource and “are vested with the government as a matter of trust in the name of the people of India, and it is the solemn duty of the state to protect the national interest, and natural resources must always be used in the interests of the country and not private interests.”Trial court’s verdict throws the spotlight back on the top court’s decision to cancel the licenses. If there is no scam, then what happens to the licenses that were canceled on the assumption of a scam?Furthermore, the trial court has punctured holes in the CBI’s case calling it a “well choreographed chargesheet.” Special Judge OP Saini ruled that he had “absolutely no hesitation in holding that prosecution has miserably failed to prove any charge against any accused”.Special judge OP Saini’s acquitted all the accused in the case based on the inability of the prosecuting agencies to prove the charges, despite the fact that the top court had maintained on no less than three occasions, that it was keeping an eagle eye on the probe.”We are, prima facie, satisfied that the allegations contained in the writ petition and the affidavits filed before this Court, which are supported not only by the documents produced by them, but also the report of the Central Vigilance Commission, which was forwarded to the Director, CBI, on October 12, 2009 and the findings recorded by the CAG in the Performance Audit Report, need a thorough and impartial investigation,” the Supreme Court had recorded in its order.The top court had also backed Comptroller Audit General (CAG) Vinod Rai’s work as the “most important officer under the Constitution of India and his duty, being the guardian of the public purse, is to see that not a farthing of it is spent without the authority of Parliament”.

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Special Court acquits Essar, Loop promoters

The special court acquitted Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia in the 2G (second generation) spectrum allocation scam on Thursday. Besides Ruias, the court also acquitted Vikash Saraf, one of the Essar Group directors, Loop Telecom promoters IP Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan, and three companies — Loop Telecom Ltd, Loop Mobile (India) Ltd and Essar Teleholdings Ltd.The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a separate case alleging Essar Group had cheated the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) by using Loop Telecom Ltd as a front to secure 2G licences in 2008.It was alleged that Loop Telecom Ltd was front company of Essar Group to acquire 21 Unified Access Services (UAS) licences and spectrum violating laid out guidelines by DoT.Acquitting everyone one in the case, CBI Special Judge OP Saini in the judgement said, “The prosecution has not been successful in proving any of the ingredients either of the offence of conspiracy to cheat DoT or of the substantive offence of cheating. Accordingly, I have absolutely no hesitation in holding that prosecution has miserably failed to prove any charge against any of the accused. Consequently, all accused are entitled to be acquitted and are accordingly acquitted.”Welcoming the judgement, the Essar Group in a statement said, “We are thankful to the court for the judgement as it vindicates our stated position and the court has appreciated it.”The case allegedly is a case of criminal conspiracy to cheat the DoT into issuing 21 UAS licences to Loop Telecom Ltd, an ineligible company, as it was a front of Essar group of companies, which was already having more than 10% equity in an existing pan India licensee, that is, Vodafone Essar Ltd. In pursuance to the conspiracy, the DoT was in fact allegedly cheated also into issuing these licences, the CBI had stated in its FIR and chargesheet.On October 21, 2009, the CBI registered has an FIR against unknown officials of DoT, unknown private persons and companies and others for the offence punishable under Section 120­B IPC read with Section 13(2) r/w 13(1)(d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 (PC Act), on allegations of criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct, in respect of allotment of Letters of Intent (LOI), Unified Access Services (UAS) Licenses and spectrum by the DoT.Essar hails orderWelcoming the judgement, the Essar Group in a statement said, “We are thankful to the court for the judgement as it vindicates our stated position and the court appreciated it.” The case allegedly is a case of criminal conspiracy to cheat the DoT into issuing 21 UAS licences to Loop Telecom Ltd, an ineligible company, as it was a front of Essar group of companies, which was already having more than 10% equity in an existing pan India licensee, that is, Vodafone Essar Ltd.

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2G case verdict: Political slugfest breaks out after all accused acquitted by special court

A Special CBI court today acquitted former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and all other accused in the 2G scam case that had rocked the Manmohan Singh-led UPA-II government, holding that the prosecution “miserably failed” to prove any of the corruption and money laundering charges.The stunning verdict came as an anti-climax in a case that had been repeatedly highlighted by the BJP during the 2014 general election campaign as the hallmark of corruption in the then UPA regime. The BJP turned the arbitrary award of radio frequency to telecom providers into a major political issue and put the UPA-II government on the mat.”I have absolutely no hesitation in holding that prosecution has miserably failed to prove any of the charges against any of the accused,” Special CBI Judge O P Saini said in his verdicts in three separate cases related to the 2G scam in a packed courtroom at the Patiala House premises.Also read2G verdict good news for Congress, but UPA has enough scams to worry aboutDealing a body blow to the CAG’s and CBI’s estimation of huge loss in grant of 2G licences, judge Saini in his 1,552- page verdict in the main CBI case held that some people “artfully” arranged few selected facts and created a scam “when there was none”. In all, there were 17 accused, including Raja and Kanimozhi, both leaders of Congress ally DMK, in this case that also included three corporate entities.The three judgements, which together ran into 2,183 pages, included the one that stemmed out of the Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s money laundering case.Also readCBI, ED to challenge special court’s verdict on 2G scamThe ED and the CBI said they will challenge before the Delhi High Court the verdicts, which also unleashed a political slugfest between the BJP and the Opposition. There were 19 accused in the ED chargesheet some of whom figured in the CBI chargesheet filed in its main and offshoot case.Buoyed by the verdicts, the Congress and the DMK said “truth” has finally prevailed and that justice has been delivered while the ruling party asked the Congress not to treat them as a “badge of honour”.Also readFull text of special CBI court’s judgment in 2G spectrum allocation case The Congress demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and other BJP leaders apologise to the nation for their alleged “propaganda and lies” on the issue.Manmohan Singh said the court judgement needs to be respected as it has “pronounced that the massive propaganda” unleashed against his government was without any foundation.”Will all those people, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and other BJP leaders, who for years made false propaganda and lies their stepping stone to come to power, apologise to the country?” asked Congress communications incharge Randeep Surjewala. “Today is the day for fixing accountability and responsibility.”In a counterattack, Finance minister Arun Jaitley said the Congress should not treat the 2G verdict as a “badge of honour.” The party’s “zero loss theory” was proved wrong when the apex court squashed spectrum allocation in 2012, he added.A number of supporters of DMK leaders Raja and Kanimozhi, who were anxiously waiting outside the jam-packed court room, broke into loud cheers as soon as the verdict was pronounced.”There is no evidence against me and justice has been delivered,” Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, told reporters. A beaming Raja said, “You see everybody is happy.”In a statement in the evening, Raja said the court acquittal showed that the presumptive loss in allocation of 2G spectrum was “cooked-up”. He also debunked the presumptive loss theories in the allocation.Raja, who was the Telecom minister in the Congress-led UPA government when 122 spectrum licences were issued to 8 companies in 2008 on first-come-first-serve basis, said his actions were for the benefit of masses.Raja remained in jail for over 15 months while Kanimozhi was in prison for six months before they were granted bail.Other accused persons were also in jail for varying terms.The trial in the three cases relating to the 2G scam began after the then Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai in his report alleged 122 2G licences were given to telecom operators at throwaway prices when the UPA was in power and pegged at Rs 1.76 lakh crore the loss to the national exchequer.The CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of licences for the 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court court on February 2, 2012.Former telecom minister Kapil Sibal demanded an apology from Rai, saying his stand on loss from the 2G spectrum allocation stands vindicated. Sibal had contradicted the CAG report, maintaining there was “zero loss” to the Government as a result of giving 2G licences to new players in 2008.The verdict also echoed in the Lok Sabha where senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily demanded that Rai quit all posts. Rai heads the Supreme Court-appointed four-member panel of administrators to run the affairs of the BCCI and is also the Chairman of the Banks Board Bureau.Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, the other accused who were given a chit in the main CBI case included former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) — Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Aggarwal of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, film producer Karim Morani, Sharad Kumar, Director of Kalaignar TV were also acquitted in the money laundering case.Three companies–Swan Telecom, Unitech Wireless(Tamil Nadu) limited and Reliance Telecom limited–listed as accused in the main case were also acquitted.The acquittal of all the accused brought to end the trial that lasted nearly seven years in one of the most controvesial corruption cases that involved politicians, bureaucrats and a host of businessmen and corporate executives accused of conspiracy in the allocation of spectrum or radio waves used to offer mobile servies.Raja and Kanimozhi were also let off in another case lodged by the ED under the money laundering law arising out of the 2G scam.

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Rajya Sabha adjourned after repeated disruptions by Congress MPs

The High Court and Supreme Court Judges (Salaries and Conditions of Service) Amendment Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha on Thursday.The Bill seeks to revise the salaries of judges as follows: (a) Chief Justice of India – from Rs 1,00,000/pm to Rs 2,80,000/pm; (b) Judge of Supreme Court – from Rs 90,000/pm to Rs 2,50,000/pm; (c) Chief Justice of High Court – from Rs 90,000/pm to Rs 2,50,000/pm; and (d) Judges of High Court – from Rs 80,000/pm to Rs 2,25,000/pm. The revision is effective from January 1, 2016.Lok Sabha also took up discussion on the Supplementary Demand for Grants. The demands for grants include a gross additional expenditure of Rs. 66113 crores. During the discussion, members highlighted several concerns about the overall economy.Also readAfter Naidu’s intervention, Rajya Sabha stalemate over PM’s remarks against Manmohan likely to endMembers raised questions about the impact of GST, challenges in its implementation, impact of demonetisation on employment in the organised and unorganised sectors, falling growth rate, among other issues.With the government’s introduction of the supplementary demands and increased expenditure, members asked if the government will be able to meet its fiscal deficit target.Also readCongress disrupts Rajya Sabha over PM Modi’s remarkThe Rajya Sabha, on the other hand, had to be adjourned, owing to repeated disruptions by the opposition over a demand for the Prime Minister, to come to the House, to give a clarification on his remark that his predecessor, Dr. Manmohan Singh, was conspiring with Pakistan to ensure the Bharatiya Janata Party’s defeat in the recently held elections in Gujarat.Dr. Singh has rejected the charge as “innuendos and falsehoods”, and added he was deeply pained by the prime minister’s “ill thought transgression”.Addressing an election rally in Palanpur, Gujarat, earlier this month, Modi suggested that Pakistan was trying to influence the assembly polls in the state. He claimed that some Pakistani officials and Manmohan Singh met at Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house over dinner on December 6. This was a day before Aiyar’s “neech” jibe against Modi.

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CBI, ED to challenge special court’s verdict on 2G scam

Both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) will challenge the judgement acquitting former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others in the 2G spectrum allocation case. Speaking to ANI, CBI spokesperson, Abhishek Dayal said “The judgment (of the special CBI court) relating to the 2G scam dated December 21, 2017 has been prima facie examined and it appears that the evidence adduced to substantiate the charges by the prosecution has not been appreciated in its proper perspective by the learned court.”Special CBI Judge O P Saini pronounced the judgement in the 2G scam which had rocked the UPA government.Also readIt’s a bad judgement, should be appealed in a higher court: Subramanain Swamy on 2G scam verdictBesides Kanimozhi and Raja, fifteen other accused in the case and three companies were also acquitted.”The CBI is taking necessary legal remedies in the matter,” he added.Also read2G scam verdict: Former CAG Vinod Rai owes Congress apology, nation explaination, says Kapil SibalIn its charge sheet filed in April 2011 against Raja and others, the CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.The court had in October 2011 framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, using as genuine fake documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.Also readDMK leader MK Stalin hails ‘historic verdict’ in 2G spectrum allocation caseAll the accused facing trial in these cases had denied allegations levelled against them by the CBI and the ED.The special court of judge Saini also acquitted 19 accused, including A Raja and Kanimozhi in the ED’s money laundering case relating to the 2G scam.The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will also appeal against the judgement of Special CBI Judge O P Saini acquitting 19 people in the money laundering case, agency sources said. Sources said it has to be seen if the ED case has been rejected by the court merely because the predicate offence probe of CBI has been rejected or there were other reasons to do so.In its charge sheet, the ED had also named DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal as an accused in the case in which it had alleged that Rs 200 crore was paid by Swan Telecom (P) Ltd (STPL) promoters to DMK-run Kalaignar TV.In its final report, the ED had named 10 individuals and nine companies as accused and listed them in the charge sheet for the offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

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Full text of special CBI court’s judgment in 2G spectrum allocation case

‘Not guilty,’ with these two words, Special CBI Judge OP Saini on Thursday acquitted all 19 accused including former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK Kanimozhi in the 2G spectrum allocation case on Thursday.”I have absolutely no hesitation in holding that prosecution has miserably failed to prove any of the charges against any of the accused,” the Judge said.In its chargesheet filed in April 2011 against Raja and others, the CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012. The Congress hailed the verdict in the scam that rocked the UPA government. Ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the ‘judgment speaks for itself’ and the party demanded an apology from ex-auditor Vinod rai, who had given the assessment that the national exchequer had lost Rs 1,76,00,00,000,000 due to 2G spectrum allocation.Here’s the full text of the verdict pronounced by special CBI Judge OP Saini:2G spectrum allocation scam verdict: Full Text

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Former India minister Raja acquitted of telecoms fraud

Government auditors had said the scandal cost the country about $40bn (£29.9bn).

2G scam verdict: My name was dragged as part of election game, alleges Kanimozhi

DMK leader Kanimozhi after hearing the verdict said that she was glad and relieved. “I have always believed that I would see the light at the end of the tunnel. The past six years have been harrowing to say the least. To be falsely accused in a case for a notional loss of Rs 176 lakh crore to appease the opposition that was stalling Parliament is atrocious,” she said targeting the BJP and the AIADMK, who were the opposition parties at the Centre and the state respectively at the time.Kanimuzhi added that the sole aim of the opposition (AIADMK) was to malign her name, as elections were five months away. “I was dragged in so that the DMK is defeated in the election that is hardly five months away. I was charge sheeted with the sole aim to tag my name with a mind-boggling amount to ensure that Kalingar’s rule will not continue,” she alleged.The statement issued by Kanimozhi that was circulate on social mediaAlso read2G verdict: Allegations were never true says Chidambaram; government should file appeal tweets SubramanianEarlier in the day,a special CBI court on Thursday acquitted, who was the telecom minister in the first UPA government, along with DMK leader Kanimozhi and 17 others in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.The special court judge OP Saini pronounced his verdict as ‘not guilty’ for all accused due to lack of evidence.Also read2G spectrum verdict: All you must know about the caseThe case relates to alleged below-market-price sale of lucrative telecoms permits bundled with airwaves in 2008, which a federal auditor said may have cost the government as much as Rs 1.76 lakh crore in lost revenue. The scam came to light following a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India during the second term of the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh.DMK working president MK Stalin has issued a statement after the 2G verdict. “The CBI court has given a historical verdict. The 2G case was filed in 2009. In the political history, the 2G case was foisted to defame and destroy DMK. It is a false case made up of goofed up figures. In such a case, the special court has acquitted all of them. We are very happy over the order. The court order proved that the DMK has not done anything wrong. I request the media to show the same enthusiasm of how it sensationalized the 2G scam when the case was filed. In the same way, you should take this news of acquittal to all the people,” he said. DMK’s RS Bharathi also hailed the CBI court’s verdict, saying that the case to begin with was a false case. “For the past 2 assembly elections, the case was used against us, now it has been proved to be wrong,” he added.

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Divide in SC Collegium over making its decisions public

The rift and the cracks within the Supreme Court Collegium appear to have widened with the emergence of two letters penned by Justices Kurian Joseph and Madan Lokur expressing their reservations on the issue of publication of the body’s resolutions.In a bid to make processes transparent, the top court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on October 6 passed a resolution wherein the decisions taken by them would be uploaded online “to ensure transparency and yet maintain confidentiality in the Collegium system”.The historic move has come shortly after the Collegium came under fire after Karnataka High Court judge Justice Jayant Patel resigned over his transfer to Allahabad High Court.The collegium — comprising top five senior most judges of the top court — have often been criticised for its closed door decisions. In fact, Standing by his point, Justice Chelameswar refused to participate in the Collegium meetings unless the minutes of the meeting were recorded.It has now emerged that Justices Joseph and Lokur — who are the fourth and fifth senior most judges — had expressed their reservation before the resolution was passed on grounds that the rights of persons mentioned in the resolutions outweighed against the goal of transparency.In an October 7 letter, Justice Joseph wrote: “…you have in breach of the trust reposed in you, in violation of the mandate of the resolutions and in total defiance of the request of your sister and brother judges, chosen to upload the text of the resolutions which contained information which might violate human rights of some persons, if not other rights, who are still to continue as judicial officers…””If three out of five of the Collegium request you to have further discussions on the issue, are you not bound by such request?…All of us are seriously interested in transparency. But should we also not respect the rights of others affected by our attempt to be transparent? Have we not in the history of the collegium, where you are a member, made such revisits?” Justice Lokur’s letter read.If one goes by what Justice Lokur has suggested in his letter, the collegium system does not seem to be following the advise of the majority and unilateral decisions are being taken by a select few.Though it is not known if Justice Ranjan Gogoi, the third senior most judge — and possibly CJI Misra’s successor, has sent out a communiqué, from Justice Lokur’s letter it appears that he too, was not completely sold on the transparency idea and had advised “further discussion.”The resolution, which was uploaded on the SC’s official website under a dedicated tab, bears the signature of all five judges. However, every decision uploaded thereafter has been signed by the top three judges only.Justice Chelameswar, who was part of the Constitution Bench that struck down the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act, has been a champion for transparency in the collegium system and was the sole dissenter. In the judgment, he wrote a strongly worded observation criticizing the collegium system for its opacity.FOR TRANSPARENCYThe Supreme Court Collegium led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on October 6 passed a resolution wherein the decisions taken by them would be uploaded online “to ensure transparency and yet maintain confidentiality”.

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Justice Karnan walks out of Presidency Jail after six months of imprisonment

Former Calcutta High Court judge, Justice CS Karnan was released from Presidency Correctional Home of Kolkata on Wednesday after serving his six months’ sentence for contempt of court.After his release on Wednesday morning, Karnan headed for his residence at Rajarhat, at the eastern fringes of the city. Justice Karnan was the first sitting judge to be jailed.Raj Kanojia, the IPS officer who was heading a team of police officers to hunt Justice Karnan down when he was on the run after Supreme Court sentenced him for six months is now the principal secretary, department of Correctional Administration, West Bengal. He told DNA that it was an interesting case. “It was an interesting case tracking down a sitting judge. We had to be careful with him at the same time we had to comply with the court order. We had to do a lot of planning and briefing. The team comprised senior officers only. Our prime objective was to pull it off without embarrassing the court or police,” he said. He also said that after he took over as the principal secretary, he used to occasionally enquire about Justice Karnan’s stay as an inmate out of his academic interest and found out that his stay at the Presidence Correctional Home was largely uneventful. “There was nothing untoward in the last six months but I was told that he had lost weight. I never heard of him complaining about the food and the stay,” Kanojia told DNA.Sources close to the judge said that Justice Karnan would not give up on his fight for the backward class and would continue to raise his voice against atrocities faced by Dalits. Justice Karnan had been hitting the headlines for several years now. He was the first judge of a High Court to write to the National Commission for SCs and STs in 2011, alleging harassment by other judges.In 2014, he had reportedly barged into a court at the Madras High Court where a hearing was in progress and hit out at the judiciary for being biased. It was then the Supreme Court had ordered his transfer to the Calcutta High Court.In 2017, he wrote a letter to the Prime Minister in which he alleged that at least 20 sitting and retired judges had indulged in corrupt practices. In March 2017, a bailable warrant was issued against him which he had termed as an ‘attempt to ruin his life as a Dalit judge. The Supreme Court also requested him for a certificate of mental fitness. He refused to cooperate with the doctors who had come to his residence for his mental check-up which led the apex court to sentence him for six months on May 9. After that he kept on evading arrest by moving from one state to another for 42 days, before he was finally arrested on June 20 from Coimbatore and brought to Presidency Correctional Home.

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No grievance against anyone: NGT chief

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has been supportive and has cooperated with the National Green Tribunal (NGT), outgoing Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said on Tuesday. Justice Kumar was the chairperson of the Tribunal from December 2012, and passed landmark orders on cleaning of Ganga, Yamuna, Delhi’s air pollution, and coal mining in Meghalaya. He was appointed as a Supreme Court judge in December 2009, and he served as the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court before that.His last day in the Tribunal witnessed a full-bench reference that was followed by a small function, attended by lawyers of the NGT Bar Association, as well as the Tribunal’s staff and law students. Justice Kumar said that NGT, as an institution, has been able to leave international impact and that it became a star on the international map.”We have been able to give inexpensive and expeditious justice. We have been able to bring the disposal rate to 182 per cent and cases are disposed off within the same year or within two years. I feel very satisfied about these contributions,” Justice Kumar said.He added that the Tribunal has been able to create environmental consciousness and awareness among the public, which he said, was the one of its biggest contributions.Justice Kumar’s retirement comes at a time when the NGT is facing a sort of a manpower crisis. Out of its sanctioned strength of 20 members, the NGT currently has just seven members, of which five are judicial members and two are expert members. The shortfall in manpower has led to reduction in hearings, impacting its healthy record of disposal of cases.According to official data, out of the 23,720 cases filed before it, 20696 cases have been successfully disposed, leaving a pendency of 3024 cases. Justice Kumar played down the vacancies and said that it is only a matter of time before they are appointed.He added that the NGT has stepped in when development was done in violation of laws in force. “Laws have been framed by the legislators, notifications are issued by the government, so all we say is please adhere to them, don’t bypass them.Wherever they are bypassed we certainly come in the picture, but wherever they are doing development in consonance with laws, we definitely let the development happen.”Outgoing ChiefJustice Swatanter Kumar was appointed as the chairperson of the National Green Tribunal in December 2012.His retired from the post on Tuesday.

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Rare papers on Bhagat Singh trial lead London Prof to India

Dr Satvinder Juss never imagined that his curiosity to know more about Bhagat Singh’s trial would get him access to some rare documents rotting away in time and an invitation to give lectures, in two different countries. A law professor at the King’s College in London, Juss has been working on the legal events leading to Bhagat Singh’s execution since 2016.”Gandhi and Nehru’s imagination became the mainstream vision of this country, but what has always intrigued me is how India would look today if the ones sidelined had led the country,” says Professor Juss, during an interview with DNA.After reading an article that mentioned 135 documents on Bhagat Singh’s case at the Punjab Archives in Lahore, which is not accessible to local scholars, Juss started on a journey to locate the rare files.”It was interesting to have access to these almost century-old files at a tomb on the grounds of Punjab Civil Secretariat in Lahore. These yellow pages give details on the case proceedings that led to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru’s execution,” he narrates. Juss even visited the Anarkali Police Station in Lahore to see the FIR, in this case, filed on December 17, 1928, at 4:30 pm, which clearly mentions two “unknown” gunmen.Juss adds that while researching he has been wondering whether Section 72 of the Government of India Act, which talks about good governance, was invoked in Bhagat Singh’s trial.”A three-judge special tribunal was set-up; the tribunal was not to be challenged; it was never approved by the Central Assembly, and became void soon after the trial confirming that it was set-up only to execute the three freedom fighters.”Juss is currently in the national Capital to go through the national archival data after which he will share his findings. In collaboration with ‘Youth for Heritage Foundation’, the professor also gave a lecture in Delhi on’Demystifying Bhagat Singh’s trial’.

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No one wants to join a probe, independent witnesses are rare commodity: Court

Independent witnesses are a rare commodity as no one wants to join a probe, fearing the inconvenience they will suffer in attending the hearings, a Delhi court has observed.The court’s observation came while quashing an order, acquitting a couple found possessing illicit liquor in 2014.Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Jain directed the magisterial court, which had acquitted the couple on October 17 this year, to hear the matter afresh by allowing the prosecution to examine all the vital witnesses.The sessions court also noted that the trial court had acquitted the couple of the offences under the Delhi Excise Act as no independent witness was examined during the trial.”It is not the case that no effort was made to join the public persons at the time of the raid. The possibility and availability of a public witness for joining the investigation is a fanciful myth like the meeting of the sky at the horizon.The near you go, the far it becomes and the ultimate meeting point never reaches.”A public witness nowadays has become a rare commodity.No one is ready to join the police investigation either because of the fear of the accused or because of the inconvenience to be suffered in attending the courts,” the judge observed.The court noted that the order of acquittal was passed solely on the basis of the testimony of a police constable, without giving an opportunity to the prosecution to examine all the important witnesses.”The trial court should have given a sufficient opportunity to the prosecution to examine the witnesses and recorded the findings on merits,” it said.According to the prosecution, the accused couple — Seema and Ravi — were on September 17, 2014 found in possession of 12 plastic bags containing illicit liquor, which were kept in a car for sale without any permit or licence near the BRT corridor in south Delhi.The car belonged to Seema.An FIR was lodged and after the completion of the probe, the chargesheet was filed against the couple under the relevant provisions of the Delhi Excise Act.During the trial, the accused had denied the allegations and claimed that they were falsely implicated in the case.The trial court had acquitted them on the grounds of absence of independent witnesses and chances of fabrication of the case property — the liquor bottles.

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Madras HC urges state and central governments to explore gadgets to combat sexual violence

Deprecating rising sex crimes against women and girl child, the Madras High Court has asked the central and Tamil Nadu governments to explore the possibility of providing gadgets to women to prevent sexual violence against them.Noting that crimes against women and girl child were shockingly rising every year, especially sex crimes, Justice N Kirubakaran batted for urgent measures to stop such heinous offences and asked the governments to explore giving gadgets to women.Dismissing the bail plea of a duo accused in the rape- and-murder of a 60-year-old mentally-challenged woman, he said, “Sexual assault is a violation of privacy, dignity, and honour, causing a permanent scar and continuous agony in the mind of the hapless victim.”The judge also raised several queries vis-a-vis rising sex crimes against women, to be answered by the central and state governments and the National Commission for Women (NCW).He impleaded the central government and the NCW in the case and directed them to file response to his queries.Such queries include whether the spurt in sexual violence against women was due to fall in sex ratio or due to “sex starvation” among Indian men in view of various cultural and moral curbs and if the violence was owing to alcoholism.Also, the court asked the central and state governments to spell out if the rise in sex crimes was due to easy accessibility of pornographic content through the Internet and smart phones.The judge said culprits in sexual violence could neither be termed as “human beings” nor as “animals”, as even animals were noble in their own way.Noting that sexual assaults on women continued unabated despite stringent laws brought in after the December 16 Delhi gangrape incident, he said the offences have to be analysed and examined on psychological and sociological angles.The judge sought the response of the governments on his queries by January 10, 2018.

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Three-member RS panel acquits Madhya Pradesh HC judge accused of sexually harassing colleague

A three-member panel set up by the Rajya Sabha to probe the impeachment of a Madhya Pradesh High Court judge over allegations of sexual harassment of a lady judicial officer found him not guilty.The committee comprising Justices Bhanumati, Manjula Chellur and AG KK Venugopal also said if the lady judicial officer, who resigned due to sexual harassment, wants her job back, she should be given it.The complainant made the charges against the high court judge days after she was transferred and resigned from her position subsequently. In 2015, while the apex court case was pending, 58 members of the Rajya Sabha sought to initiate impeachment proceedings against the high court judge.An additional district and sessions judge at Gwalior had alleged that the high court judge sent her a message through the district court registrar to “perform a dance on an item song” at a function in his residence. She also claimed that she was “victimised” later by being transferred from Gwalior to Sidhi.The panel, however, found evidence that is “suggestive of the respondent judge’s interference with the transfer and rejection of the representations of the complainant… but since charges of sexual harassment are not proven, it cannot be said that this interference is on account of not submitting to his immoral demands”.

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Union cabinet clears Triple Talaq bill, 3 years jail proposed for offenders

The Union Cabinet on Friday cleared the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 to criminalise the instant divorce practice. The bill is likely to be tabled in the current session of Parliament. Here is all you need to know about the triple talaq bill:1. Maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment and fine to men pronouncing ‘talaq-ebiddat’.2. The new proposed law will become a cognizable and non-bailable offence. 3. The bill says that triple talaq in any form either verbal or writing by any means like email, Whatsapp and SMS would be illegal and void.Also readMuslim organisation oppose single-step criminalisation of triple talaq4. The provision of maintenance and custody of minor child has been incorporated to ensure legal and financial protection in case husband forcibly throws the victim out of the house. It would empower women to approach magistrate seeking maintenance and custody of minor child.5. The bill is set to be tabled in the Parliament to be passed by both the houses to finally become a law.Also readTriple Talaq law: Govt mulls 3-year jail term for offenders 6. All states, except Jammu and Kashmir will be part of the law once it is passed in both houses of the Parliament. 7. The states that have supported the proposed bill are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Assam.8. Earlier, the five-judge Constitution Bench had struck down the practice of instant triple talaq in a 3:2 judgment. The top court had called the controversial practice of instant divorce as “arbitrary and unconstitutional”.

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After SC intervention, Parsi woman married outside community granted right to enter fire temple

Upon urging by the Supreme Court, Valsad Parsi community has decided to give entrance permission to a Parsi woman, who was barred from entering fire temples and Towers of Silence after marrying outside the community. This came after SC urged the Parsi community to take a more ‘progressive’ stance in this contentious issue. The woman, Goolrukh Gupta, had approached the Apex Court challenging an Ahmedabad High Court order.The five-judge Constitution bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra was hearing the case. According to reports, In 2012, the Gujarat High Court said that under the Special Marriage Act, she had ceased to be a Parsi and that her religion automatically changed to that of her husband. She, however, continued to practice as a Parsi and has challenged the High Court verdict on the grounds that the Special Marriage Act does not require either husband or wife to renounce their religion. Also readWoman doesn’t lose her religion of birth after inter-faith marriage: SCThe Supreme Court last week said the law does not sanction the concept of a woman’s religion getting merged with her husband’s faith after an inter- religion marriage. The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, asked senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, representing the ‘Valsad Parsi Trust’, to take instruction and apprise it on December 14 as to whether it can allow Goolrokh M Gupta, a Parsi woman who had married a Hindu, to attend the last rites of her parents.Gupta has challenged the customary law, upheld by the Gujarat High Court in 2010, that a Parsi woman marrying a Hindu loses her religious rights in the Parsi community and hence, loses the right to visit the ‘Tower of Silence’ in the event of her father’s death to perform the last rites.”There is no law which says that a woman loses religious identity after marrying a man from another faith… Moreover, the Special Marriage Act is there and allows that two persons can marry and maintain their respective religious identities,” the bench said.Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for the woman, referred to the Common Law doctrine of merger of religion which says that the religion of a woman gets automatically merged with the faith of the husband after marriage.”Can we adopt the Common Law doctrine of merger of religion in India when it has not been followed in the country of its origin,” Jaising said, adding that the constitutional validity of the Common Law principle would also be required to be tested.”A man marries outside the community and is permitted to retain his religious identity and a woman is not allowed to marry outside and retain her religious identity. How can a woman be debarred…,” the bench said.Jaising said even if it was presumed that the doctrine of merger had the customary sanction, the customs will have to pass the test of constitutionality and no custom can be allowed to infringe the fundamental rights of a person.”My submission is that there is no such custom, and even if there is, it will be hit by the provisions of the Constitution”, she said.The bench said it was only the woman who can decide about her religious identity by exercising her right to choice. It said the presumption that a woman changes her religion according to the faith of her husband does not exist if the marriage has been solemnised under the Special Marriage Act.On October 9, the apex court had referred to to a five- judge constitution bench the legal question whether a Parsi woman loses her religious identity after marrying a man of different religion. The bench was hearing a plea filed by Gupta challenging the High Court judgement holding that a Parsi woman is deemed to have converted to Hinduism after she marries a Hindu man.The woman, in her appeal filed in 2012, said she had married a Hindu under the Special Marriage Act and should be allowed to retain her place in Parsi community. She had assailed the high court finding that a woman universally loses her paternal identity just because of her marriage with a man practising the Hindu religion. She had also sought the right to visit the ‘Tower of Silence’ in the event of her father’s death to perform last rites.The Tower is used for funerary purposes by the adherents of the Zoroastrian faith, in which the traditional practice for disposal of the dead involves the exposure of the corpse to the sun and vultures.The High Court had also held that she would be deemed to have acquired the religious status of her husband unless a declaration is made by a court for continuation of her Parsi status.The woman had approached the high court contending that even after her marriage with a Hindu man, she has continued to follow Zoroastrian religion and thus had the right to enjoy all privileges under the Parsi religion, including right to offer prayers at Agiari, a Parsi temple having the ‘holy fire’ and the ‘Tower of Silence’.She contended that her rights as a Parsi Zoroastrian cannot be denied on the ground that she has married a non- Parsi man. She had also argued that a male Parsi Zoroastrian continued to enjoy all rights available to a born Parsi, even if he is married to a non-Parsi Zoroastrian woman.

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Judicial custody for teen actor’s molester

Vikas Sachdeva, who has been accused of molestation by a minor actor, was on Wednesday sent to judicial custody till December 22. The Sahar police now want to record the statement of the actor who had alleged that she was molested on UK-981 Delhi-Mumbai Air Vistara flight on Saturday.The Sahar police demanded in the court via prosecutor Munna Inamdar to increase Sachdeva’s police custody saying they wanted to record statements of other passengers present inside the flight.Advocate HS Anand, defence counsel, argued that the custody of the accused was not required to record statements of other passengers as they are not known to the accused.”We have filed the bail application in the court which will be brought up for hearing on December 15. Moreover, the statement of the cabin crew corroborates that of Sachdeva that he was sleeping throughout the journey and never intended to molest the girl. The police have applied wrong sections and have done injustice by arresting Sachdeva without giving the notice to keep his say and join the investigations,” said Anand.Special judge AD Deo observed that the accused was not required to be in police custody and sent Sachdeva to judicial custody. The court will hear the bail plea on December 15.

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SC pulls up UP & WB govt. for ‘lack of concern’ over shelter to urban homeless

The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up governments of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal for showing “lack of concern” over the issue of providing shelter to urban homeless in their states and asked their chief secretaries to appear before it.The top court, after going through the affidavit filed by Uttar Pradesh, observed it was quite clear that the state was unable to provide shelter to urban homeless and implement the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) scheme.A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta expressed anguish that West Bengal government has not filed an affidavit giving all particulars, including a road map on the issue, despite the apex court’s direction.When the lawyer appearing for West Bengal government told the court that they would file the affidavit on Wednesday, the bench observed, “this is total lack of concern for urban homeless.Your state has not done it. This cannot go on. You tell us one thing and your state government do something else.” The bench directed the chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal to appear before it on January 10 to inform it as to how these states proposes to implement the NULM scheme.At the outset, the apex court referred to the affidavit filed by Uttar Pradesh government and said that state has no plans on urban homeless and it was not possible for it to implement the scheme.”It is impossible for you (Uttar Pradesh) to implement the scheme,” the bench said, adding, “look at your roadmap. It is zero, nothing is there”.”It (scheme) started in 2013. For four years, you have done nothing. You admit it that you cannot do it. You do not have land, money and perhaps you do not have the will,” the court told the counsel representing Uttar Pradesh Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the petitioner, argued that the court should crack the whip on these states.”Land is given to big capitalists but land is not available to provide shelter for poor people. You (court) have to crack the whip,” he said, adding that something drastic has to be done.Meanwhile, the bench referred to an affidavit filed by the Centre and said the Union of India has suggested the court to appoint a committee in each states to deal with the issue of urban homeless.The Centre also apprised the court that a special audit has been directed to look into the aspect of utilisation of funds by Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal given under the scheme.Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Haryana, placed on record a vision document on urban homeless in the state along with a road map and timeline.The bench pursued the document placed by Mehta and asked the Centre to circulate it to other states as well.The apex court had on November 23 directed these states to place before it a roadmap on implementation of scheme for urban homeless, saying it was the government’s “obligation” to help these poor people.The petitioners had earlier referred to the report of the apex court-appointed committee headed by former Delhi High Court judge Justice Kailash Gambhir and said the number of shelter homes in these states were much less than what was required.The court is first dealing with the status of three states — Haryana, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh — among 11 and two Union Territories which have been highlighted by the apex court-appointed committee to oversee implementation of NULM scheme across the country.

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Aadhaar case: Five-judge SC Bench to hear matter tomorrow

The Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution bench will hear a case in connection with mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phone numbers on Thursday.Lawyer Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioner, sought the apex court’s intervention for an urgent hearing seeking interim relief in the Aadhaar case.On Wednesday, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice Dipak Misra, after hearing the mentioning in the Aadhaar case, said, the apex court’s five-judge Constitution bench would hear the matter tomorrow at 2 pm.Earlier on October 30, the apex court referred all the Aadhaar related cases to a five-judge Constitution bench to be formed by the end of November.Till the time the court sets up the Constitution bench and passes orders, the government can continue to use Aadhaar for its various programmes.Earlier the court had tagged 22 cases to be heard by a smaller bench.The cases challenge several aspects of Aadhaar, including the use of data collected under the unique identification programme.

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Controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi gets bail in money laundering case

Controversial meat exporter Moin Qureshi was today granted bail by a Delhi court in a money laundering case.Special judge Arun Bharadwaj, who had reserved the order on Qureshi’s application on December 4, gave him the relief on a personal bond of Rs two lakh and a surety of a like amount.The Enforcement Directorate had earlier this month opposed the bail plea of Qureshi, saying he could hamper the ongoing investigation, after which the court had reserved its verdict.ED special counsel N K Matta had alleged that Qureshi, arrested on August 25, should not be granted the relief as the allegations levelled against him were grave and there were chances that he may flee from justice if enlarged on bail.In his bail application, the accused had told the court that no purpose would be served by keeping him in further custody. He had said that the probe in the case was over and he was not required further by the ED.Also readMoin Qureshi extorted more than Rs 5 crore from businessman Pardeep Koneru for ex-CBI chief A P SinghThe ED had earlier claimed in the court that “the witnesses have confirmed in their statements that they have delivered crores of rupees for Qureshi and his associates through his employees….”The agency had also alleged that Qureshi was involved in hawala transactions through Delhi-based hawala operators Parvez Ali of Turkman Gate and M/s South Delhi Money Changer (DAMINI) in Greater Kailash-1.Also readMoin Qureshi took help of a CBI director to extort Rs 5.7 crAccording to the agency, Qureshi was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) a he was “not cooperating in the probe”.

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Court extends NIA custody of alleged LeT terrorist

A Delhi court has allowed further custody of an alleged Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist, arrested recently along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, to the National Investigation Agency till December 18.The accused, identified as Mohammed Amir Awan, was arrested by the Army on November 24 from Handwara area of North Kashmir during an intensive search launched after an encounter in the area on November 21 that had left three alleged Lashkar militants dead. One soldier was also killed during the encounter.District judge Poonam A Bamba allowed his further NIA custody after he was produced before the court on expiry of his earlier custody.In its application, the probe agency told the court that the accused was needed for further custodial interrogation. The matter was transferred to the NIA which had registered a case on November 26 and took custody of the alleged terrorist.During initial interrogation, he had identified himself as Mohammed Amir Awan whose code in the Lashkar terror group was Abu Haamaz, the NIA said.The accused told his interrogators that he hailed from Bardiya town near the port city of Karachi and was recruited and trained by the terror group.He was allegedly pushed into the Kashmir valley from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to carry out attacks on various important installations in the Valley, the agency said.

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Court seeks public opinion on longer ‘darshan’ timings at Bankey Bihari temple

The court of the Civil Judge (Junior Division) here today invited objections from the public on the proposed extension of darshan timings at Vrindaban’s Bankey Bihari temple.”A notice regarding the objections has been pasted inside the temple premises,” temple manager Munish Sharma said today.The notice has invited the Goswamis as well as the common devotees to present their objections before the court of Civil Judge (Junior division) on December 18, Sharma said.At present, the timings are four hours in the morning (Rajbhog Darshan) and four hours in the evening (Shayanbhog Darshan), he said, adding that the proposal is to increase the timings by two hours each.A letter to this effect was sent by the SSP (Mathura) to the District Magistrate, City Magistrate Basant Agrawal said. “The DM, on the basis of letter had ordered me to go ahead on the proposal,” Agrawal said.A joint request with the DMs signature and that of Deputy SP Vijai Shankar Mishra was presented before the court and a decision is awaited, Agrawal said, adding that the move was initiated to prevent any untoward incident owing to the heavy influx of pilgrims.

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Man gets life for burning body of live-in-partner

A Delhi court has awarded life term to a man for killing and then burning the remains of his live-in partner in 2012.Additional Sessions judge Sanjeev Aggarwal jailed north Delhi resident Umakant while relying on circumstantial evidence and sent his accomplice Sumit to a rigorous jail term for a period of four years.”The circumstances cumulatively establish and support the hypothesis, that it was Accused 1 (Umakant) but none else who had committed murder of deceased Rachna by strangulating her and thereafter burning her dead body consequent to her death, in which he was actively aided, abetted and helped by Accused 2 (Sumit),” the judge said.The court also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on Umakant.According to the prosecution, Umakant had rented out an apartment in Rohini where he was living with the woman as a married couple.On June 19, 2012, a neighbour saw the convicts dragging a bag from the apartment, from which blood was oozing out, and putting it into a car, the prosecution said.The neighbours alerted the police and Umakant and his accomplice were apprehended later that night.The prosecution claimed that he had strangulated her as she used to pressurise him to divorce his wife and marry her. Umakant had claimed innocence and said he was falsely implicated in the case.
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Court puts 11 ex-MPs on trial in 2005 cash-for-query case

Twelve years after 11 former parliamentarians were found to be indulged in a scam, a Delhi court put them on trial on Thursday following allegations of graft and criminal conspiracy in connection to the 2005 cash for query scam. Special Judge Kiran Bansal put the 11 former MPs and an individual on trial, which will commence from January 12.The former MPs accused in the case are YG Mahajan, Chhatarpal Singh Lodha, Anna Saheb MK Patil, Chandra Pratap Singh, Pradeep Gandhi, and Suresh Chandel (all BJP); Narender Kumar Kushwaha, Lal Chandra Kol, and Raja Rampal (all BSP); and Manoj Kumar (RJD), and Ram Sewak Singh (Congress).A sting operation against the then MPs was conducted by two journalists which was telecast on a private news channel on December 12, 2005. The sting, which showed them taking cash for raising questions in Parliament, came to be known as the cash-for-query scam.In December 2005, the Lok Sabha had expelled 10 members, while Lodha was removed from the Rajya Sabha. The prosecution had relied upon the CDs/DVDs containing conversations among the accused and others.The court also framed charges against Rampal’s then PA, Ravinder Kumar, special public prosecutor Atul Shrivastava said. The proceedings against one of an accused, Vijay Phogat, have been abated as he has passed away. Phogat was alleged to be a middleman.
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Non-bailable warrant against Sasikala’s husband M Natarajan

A court here today issued a non- bailable warrant (NBW) against M Natarajan, husband of deposed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala, and three others in connection with a case of evasion of duty while importing a luxury car from the UK 23 years ago.The Eighth Additional Judge of the Principal Special Court for CBI cases, A Thiruneelaprasad, issued the NBW based on a November 17 Madras High Court order, upholding the trial court order sentencing the accused to two years in prison in the case.The counsel for the CBI approached the court, seeking issuance of NBW citing the recent Madras High Court order.Natarajan and three others were convicted for conspiracy, forgery, cheating and tax evasion and sentenced to two years in jail in the case by the court in 2010. All the accused appealed against the CBI court order.When the pleas came up before the high court on November 17, it had dismissed their petitions and directed the trial court to secure the accused and remand them in judicial custody to undergo the remaining period of the sentence, if any.The case relates to the import of a Toyota Lexus car in 1994, declaring it as a “used vehicle” and thereby allegedly evading tax to the tune of Rs 1.06 crore. The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate registered separate cases against Natarajan and three others after it was found that the documents presented by them were fabricated.According to the CBI, Natarajan, his nephew V Bhaskaran, Yogesh Balakrishnan and Sujaritha Sundararajan substituted the original sale invoice with a photocopy of an invoice fabricated by changing the vehicle’s manufacturing date to July 1993.They cleared the car under transfer of residence provision, and thereby caused a loss of Rs 1.06 crore to the exchequer by way of short levy, penalty and redemption fine, the CBI said.
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Woman doesn’t lose her religion of birth after inter-faith marriage: SC

The Supreme Court today said the law does not sanction the concept of a woman’s religion getting merged with her husband’s faith after an inter- religion marriage.A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra was dealing a legal question whether a Parsi woman loses her religious identity if she marries a man from a different religion.The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, asked senior advocate Gopal Subramanium, representing the ‘Valsad Parsi Trust’, to take instruction and apprise it on December 14 as to whether it can allow Goolrokh M Gupta, a Parsi woman who had married a Hindu, to attend the last rites of her parents.Gupta has challenged the customary law, upheld by the Gujarat High Court in 2010, that a Parsi woman marrying a Hindu loses her religious rights in the Parsi community and hence, loses the right to visit the ‘Tower of Silence’ in the event of her father’s death to perform the last rites.”There is no law which says that a woman loses religious identity after marrying a man from another faith… Moreover, the Special Marriage Act is there and allows that two persons can marry and maintain their respective religious identities,” the bench said.Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for the woman, referred to the Common Law doctrine of merger of religion which says that the religion of a woman gets automatically merged with the faith of the husband after marriage.”Can we adopt the Common Law doctrine of merger of religion in India when it has not been followed in the country of its origin,” Jaising said, adding that the constitutional validity of the Common Law principle would also be required to be tested.”A man marries outside the community and is permitted to retain his religious identity and a woman is not allowed to marry outside and retain her religious identity. How can a woman be debarred…,” the bench said.Jaising said even if it was presumed that the doctrine of merger had the customary sanction, the customs will have to pass the test of constitutionality and no custom can be allowed to infringe the fundamental rights of a person.”My submission is that there is no such custom, and even if there is, it will be hit by the provisions of the Constitution”, she said.The bench said it was only the woman who can decide about her religious identity by exercising her right to choice.It said the presumption that a woman changes her religion according to the faith of her husband does not exist if the marriage has been solemnised under the Special Marriage Act.At the fag end of the hearing, the bench said the short issue was whether a woman can be allowed to visit and pay respect to her parents after death and asked Subramanium to seek instruction from the Parsi trust and apprise it on December 14, the next date of hearing.On October 9, the apex court had referred to to a five- judge constitution bench the legal question whether a Parsi woman loses her religious identity after marrying a man of different religion.The bench was hearing a plea filed by Gupta challenging the High Court judgement holding that a Parsi woman is deemed to have converted to Hinduism after she marries a Hindu man.The woman, in her appeal filed in 2012, said she had married a Hindu under the Special Marriage Act and should be allowed to retain her place in Parsi community. She had assailed the high court finding that a woman universally loses her paternal identity just because of her marriage with a man practising the Hindu religion.She had also sought the right to visit the ‘Tower of Silence’ in the event of her father’s death to perform last rites.The Tower is used for funerary purposes by the adherents of the Zoroastrian faith, in which the traditional practice for disposal of the dead involves the exposure of the corpse to the sun and vultures.The High Court had also held that she would be deemed to have acquired the religious status of her husband unless a declaration is made by a court for continuation of her Parsi status.The woman had approached the high court contending that even after her marriage with a Hindu man, she has continued to follow Zoroastrian religion and thus had the right to enjoy all privileges under the Parsi religion, including right to offer prayers at Agiari, a Parsi temple having the ‘holy fire’ and the ‘Tower of Silence’.She contended that her rights as a Parsi Zoroastrian cannot be denied on the ground that she has married a non- Parsi man. She had also argued that a male Parsi Zoroastrian continued to enjoy all rights available to a born Parsi, even if he is married to a non-Parsi Zoroastrian woman.
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Special Court to pronounce verdict next week in coal scam case against ex-Jharkhand CM Koda

A special court will pronounce on December 13 its verdict in a coal scam case against former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda, ex-Coal Secretary H C Gupta and others.Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar has directed all the accused to remain present before court on the date of judgement in the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in allocation of Rajhara North coal block in Jharkhand to Kolkata-based Vini Iron and Steel Udyog Ltd (VISUL). Besides Koda, Gupta and the firm, the other accused in the case include ex-Jharkhand Chief Secretary A K Basu, two public servants — Basant Kumar Bhattacharya and Bipin Bihari Singh, VISUL’s Director Vaibhav Tulsyan, Koda’s alleged close aide Vijay Joshi and chartered accountant Navin Kumar Tulsyan.The eight accused persons were earlier granted bail by the court after they had appeared before it in pursuance to the summons issued against them. They were summoned as accused after the court took cognisance of alleged offences under sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servants) of IPC and under provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.During arguments, the CBI alleged that the firm had applied for allocation of Rajhara North coal block on January 8, 2007. It said although the Jharkhand government and Steel Ministry did not recommend VISUL’s case for coal block allocation, the 36th Screening Committee recommended the block to the accused firm. The CBI said that Gupta, who was chairman of the screening committee, had allegedly concealed facts from then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who then headed the Coal Ministry too, that Jharkhand had not recommended VISUL for allocation of a coal block.Koda, Basu and two accused public servants conspired to favour VISUL in the coal block allocation, the agency added. The accused have refuted the allegations levelled against them.
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History will judge Rahul Gandhi as ‘failed dynast’, says Himanta Biswa

Soon after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi filed nomination papers for the party’s top post on Monday, Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said history would judge him as a failed dynast.Sarma took to his Twitter handle and said, “Those who dedicated their sweat and blood for @INCIndia are today silently sobbing on such treacherous lack of transparency in party. God bless @OfficeOfRG.”While talking to ANI, Sarma said, “Rahul got a historic opportunity and could have utilised it to cleanse Congress from feudal mindset but he did not do it. He is promoting same kind of feudalism and dynastic politics which his earlier generation used to do.”Also readCongress leader decorates bungalow to celebrate Rahul Gandhi nomination”History will judge him as a failed dynast,” said, Sarma, who was one of the most prominent leaders of the Congress in Assam before joining Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).Rahul filed his nomination papers for the post of the party president at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in Delhi. The election, if necessary, will be held on December 16.If elected, Rahul will succeed his mother Sonia, who has been holding the post for nearly two decades.Also read’Pidhikaran’ of Congress is now complete: GVL Narasimha Rao mocks Rahul Gandhi
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Awkward start to Vijay Mallya case in Westminster court

It was a dramatic start to the highly anticipated extradition case of Vijay Mallya, the Indian magnate accused of $1.4 billion fraud by the government authorities.Moments before his 10am hearing, an alarm forced evacuation of the court house. The flamboyant businessman had to stand outside of Westminster Magistrates Court while a hostile scrum of international reporters peppered him with questions. He didn’t comment. He paced for 45 mins but he couldn’t shake the throng of journalists.Nearly an hour later, his hearing begins with the opening remarks of the lawyer representing the Indian government, Mark Summers.In his opening statement he says the focus will be on three Kingfisher loans.It’s clear that this will be a dry, document-led case. The judge is handed four thick binders of document evidence. There is an issue with the pagination of the volumes. It seems that how the documents have been page numbered has led to confusion. It’s an awkward start for the prosecution.Mallya’s face is impassive; if he is finding the courthouse confusion funny, he is giving nothing away.A request for a bank loan by Kingfisher Airlines is where prosecution’s evidence begins.”1st Oct 2009, a letter from Kingfisher asking for a loan of 9.5 thousand crores…a week later, on the 7th Oct 2009 Kingfisher puts in a second bid for another loan of 150 crore,” said Summers.”This was an airline in trouble at this stage (Oct 2009) and that is why it was looking for assistance for a large amount from a number of banks.”Mallya looked down and stifled a yawn. The morning session was highly technical.When Mallya pops out for a coffee and smoke during the break he is swarmed once again by reporters. He says he has nothing to say and tells them to wait for his defence lawyer, Claire Montgomery, to present his case.The afternoon session resumed and Summers continued to outline the case.”It was clear that he was never going to pay back the loans,” says Summers.”His company was in intensive care, it was heading in one direction and as it went down it was going to sustain huge losses,” he went on that “either you (Mallya) take those losses on yourself and impinge on yourself or put it (the debt) on the bank.”Two weeks have been booked to hear this case. Mallya’s lawyer will outline his defence on Tuesday. The verdict will likely come out in early January. There is a lot of speculation if he will or won’t be extradited, but one thing that is guaranteed is the media circus around his case is set to continue.
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Noisy or not: Judicial panel to hear Metro-3 case

The Bombay High Court on Monday observed that “there has to be sustainable development but in accordance with the law,” and referred the plea filed by a Cuffe Parade resident, highlighting the violation of noise pollution rules during the construction of the Metro-3 line, to a two-judge committee appointed by the court.A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice MS Sonak asked the petitioner, Robin Jaisinghani, and the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) to appear before the committee of Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice Bhushan Gavai to put forth their arguments on the matter.Last week, as a temporary measure, the court had allowed the corporation to remove debris from the construction sites until midnight for three days. However Jaisinghani pointed out to the court that if work is allowed during nighttime then it would be in violation of noise pollution rules which prohibit any construction activity in the city between 10 pm and 6 am. The bench agreed with the contention and said it cannot pass a judicial order which will be in violation of the law.It’s following this that the bench suggested that the parties approach the two-judge committee for grievance redressal. Until then, the court ordered that work during nighttime will not be allowed as per the previous order.MMRC in the past has filed an affidavit stating that noise pollution rules do not apply to them as rules framed under the Environment Protection Act are general in nature while the Metro Act is a special statute and will prevail over a general enactment. However the bench then had said, “Do not compel us to stop the work, if work is carried out beyond the prescribed period, it will be viewed seriously and appropriate action would be taken.”NOT FOR MMRCMMRC in the past filed an affidavit stating that noise pollution rules do not apply to them as rules framed under the Environment Protection Act are general in nature
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1993 Mumbai Blast case: SC stays death sentence of convict Mohammed Tahir Merchant

On Monday, the Supreme Court stayed the death sentence of convict Mohammed Tahir Merchant.Tahir Merchant alias Taher Taklya had attended conspiracy meeting in Dubai and motivated his associates to arrange men from Mumbai to set be sent to Pakistan for arms training. He had collected funds to procure arms and planned to set up an illegal arms manufacturing factory in India.Here’s the timeline of 24-year-long case:March 10, 1993 – Yakub Memon and family flees from MumbaiMarch 12, 1993 – Series of powerful blasts rip Mumbai through 13 places killing 257 people and injuring 713March 14, 1993 – The breakthrough in the investigation is achieved with the recovery of an RDX-laden Maruti van registered in the name of Tiger Memon’s sister-in-law.Also read1993 Mumbai serial blasts case: Abu Salem’s family to appeal against court verdict March 18, 1993 – First arrest: Tiger Memon’s manager Asgar Mukadam heldApril 19, 1993 – Sanjay Dutt arrested on his return form from Mauritius on charges of illegal possession of a 9mm pistol and AK-56 rifle and ammunitionAlso read1993 Mumbai blasts: TADA court to pronounce quantum of sentence on Sept 7April 28, 1993 – Dutt confesses about possession of arms and later destroying itMay 5, 1993 – Bombay High Court (HC) grants bail to DuttNovember 4, 1993 – Mumbai crime branch files a 10,000 page charge sheet naming 189 accused, including DuttNovember 19, 1993 – CBI takes over the caseApril 1, 1994 – TADA court shifts from city sessions and civil court to a separate building on the premises of Arthur Road Jail, BycullaApril 10, 1994 – 26 accused discharged by TADA court; charges framed against others. Supreme Court discharges travel agent Abu Asim Azmi and Amjed Meher BauxApril 19, 1994 – Trial beginsJuly 4, 1994 – Trial court cancels Dutt’s bail, arrests himAugust 5, 1994 – CBI claims that Yakub has been arrested from New Delhi, however he claims he willingly gave himself up in Nepal on July 28,1994October 14, 1994 – SC grants bail to Dutt which is later cancelled by the trial court.November 20, 1994 – Dutt takes back his confession.April-June 1995 – Charges framed against accusedJune 30, 1995 – Two accused Mohammed Khatlab and Usman Jan Khan turn approversJune 30, 1995 – First witness of 684 examinedOctober 14, 1995 – Dutt granted bail by SCMarch 23, 1996 – Judge JN Patel transferred and elevated to the Bombay HCMarch 29, 1996 – PD Kode takes over trial from JN PatelJuly 1999 – Yakub writes to India’s SC seeking relief from the case. In his letter, he says he voluntarily returned to India.October 2000 – Examination of 684 prosecution witnesses ends.August 9, 2001 – Prosecution begins arguments.October 18, 2001 – Prosecution completes arguments.November 9, 2001 – Defence begins arguments.August 22, 2002 – Defence completes arguments.Feb-Mar 2003 – Ejaz Pathan and Mustafa Dossa deported from Dubai and court decides to separate gangster Mustafa Dossa’s trial in the case.September 2003 – Trial ends. Court reserves judgement.November 2005 – Abu Salem extradited from Portugal. Trial separated. He is accused of transporting weapons from Gujarat to Mumbai.June 13, 2006 – Abu Salem’s trial separatedAugust 10, 2006 – Judge PD Kode announces ‘September 12’ as the judgement day.September 12, 2006 – TADA court pronounced verdict. 4 members of Memon family held guilty.November 2006 – Dutt gets convicted under Arms Act and acquitted uner TADA.May 9, 2007 – Court formally acquits 23 accusedJuly 18, 2007 – First death penalties in the case for Parvez Nazir Shaikh, Mushtaq Tarani and Abdul Gani Turk pronouncedJuly 31, 2007 – Justice PD Kode wraps up the 14 year long case. Dutt six years rigorous imprisonment.August 20, 2007 – Dutt appeals against the sentence, moves to SCNovember 1, 2011 – SC begins hearing on appeals filed by Dutt and 100 other convicts as well as the state.August 29, 2012 – SC reserves its order on the appeals.March 21, 2013 – SC upholds death sentence of convict Yakub Memon, brother of Tiger Memon, and commutes death sentence of 10 convicts to life term. Life imprisonment of 16 of 18 convicts also upheldMay 16, 2013 – Sanjay Dutt surrenders before the TADA court. He is later taken to Arthur Road jail. Four other convicts — Yusuf Nulwalla, Kersi Adajania, Essa Memon, and Altaf Syed — also surrender the same day.May 22, 2013 – Sanjay Dutt is secretly shifted to Yerawada Jail and is given qaidi number C- 16656October 2013 – Yakub Memon apply for presidential pardonApril 11, 2014 – President Pranab Mukherjee rejects Yakub’s mercy plea.May 21, 2014 – The mercy plea of Memon is rejected by President Pranab MukherjeeJune 2, 2014 – The SC stays the execution of Memon on plea seeking review petitions in death cases to be heard in open court instead of chambers.June 19, 2014 – The CBI files a supplementary chargesheet against one of the under-trials, Feroz Rashid Khan, in order to disprove his claim of mistaken identity who claimed that his name was ‘Hamza’ and not Firoz Khan alias Firoz Taklya.July 15, 2014 – The SC reserves its order on the mercy plea of Memon seeking to convert penalty into life termSeptember 26, 2014 – SC stays Memon’s execution and issues notices on his petition seeking an open court hearing of his plea for a review of the death sentenceApril 9, 2015 – SC bench dismisses Yakub’s pleaMay 2015 – Yakub Memon files a curative petition seeking justice against death sentenceJuly 21, 2015 – SC rejects Yakub’s curative petition. He would be hanged on July 30, 2015July 21, 2015 – Yakub then files mercy petition to Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao. SC rejects Yakub Memon’s petition.July 23, 2015 – Memon moves the SC seeking a stay on the execution of his death sentenceJuly 26, 2015 – 270 eminent personalities including eight leading jurists and nine MPs file a plea before President Pranab Mukherjee seeking mercy and stay against execution of Yakub MemonJuly 28, 2015 – SC refers the petition challenging Yakub’s death warrant to a three member bench following a split verdict by a two-judge benchJuly 29, 2015 – The three member bench rejects Yakub’s plea seeking and upholds the death warrantJuly 30, 2015 – Yakub Memon is hangedFebruary 25, 2016 – Dutt released from Yerwada jail.May 29, 2017 – The TADA court announces June 16 as the date for pronouncement of judgement on trial against Abu Salem and other six accused.June 16, 2017 – TADA court finds Abu Salem, Mustafa Dossa and Mohammed Dossa guilty of murder and conspiracy in connection with 1993 Mumbai blast case. The court also convicts Firoz Abdul Rashid Khan, and Karimullah Sheikh under charges of conspiracy and murder under sections of IPC, TADA and Explosives Act. The court convicts Tahir Merchant in the case.Dec 12, 2017 – SC stays death sentence of Mohammed Tahir Merchant
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Triple talaq to be illegal

A draft law released on Friday makes the use of instant triple talaq illegal, besides provisioning for up to three years in jail and a fine.Earlier this year, a five-judge Constitution Bench had struck down the practice of instant triple talaq in a 3:2 judgment. The draft law was released today in a bid to deter the continued use of the practice in the Muslim community despite the top court’s judgment.The proposed law is only applicable to ‘Talaq-e-Biddat’ or the instant triple talaq through any means — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp.The draft ‘Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill’ was sent to state governments on Friday for their views, with responses sought on an urgent basis.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh headed the interministerial committee that prepared the draft. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and ministry of state P P Chaudhary were also on the panel. However, the women and child development ministry, which drafted the Centre’s affidavit in the matter along with interministerial consultations said it was not approached to be part of the committee.The new law empowers the victim to approach a magistrate seeking a ‘subsistence allowance’ for herself and her minor children. An aggrieved woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate, who will take a final call on the issue.This law is a non-bailable, cognisable offence and applicable to the entire country, except Jammu and Kashmir.The Centre is likely to table the bill during the winter session of parliament that is slated to begin next week.PROVISIONSThe draft bill — Muslim Women Protection on Rights on Marriage Bill — was sent to states for their views with responses sought on urgent basis. The bill empowers the victim to approach a magistrate seeking a ‘subsistence allowance’ for herself and her minor children.
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Tihar inmate abuse case: HC tells cops to register FIR against staff

Amid claims of brutalities on Tihar jail inmates, the High Court has directed the Delhi police to register an FIR against the jail staff alleged to have assaulted 47 prisoners in September this year.A bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Justice IS Mehta also expressed its displeasure on the non-constitution of a three-member committee in a time-bound manner as directed by the court.Prior to this, the court had stressed that functional CCTVs is a “non-compromisable imperative” and ordered the government to set up a high-level committee to suggest measures for enhancing security of all jails in the national capital.The bench had given ten days to the Home Secretary to constitute the committee comprising a retired district judge of Delhi as the chairperson, a senior official of the National Informatics Centre, and a senior official of the Delhi Police, not below the rank of a deputy commissioner of police.During the proceedings on Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs sought the nomination of the members from the HC, prompting the bench to clarify that the MHA would act without further delay.The prisoners who had alleged torture and assault, highlighted the inquiry report and nature of medical injuries, arguing that there should be an FIR in this regard. The court agreed while asking the local SHO to register a case against those identified in the report.Advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for undertrial Jamal, lodged in Tihar jail number 3, claimed that his client was not being produced in the lower court despite a direction.ANOTHER CASEHC direction comes after a plea filed by one Jamal alias Ranjha contended that on September 13, inmates in Central Jail no-3 were brutally beaten by the prison staff and Tamil Nadu Special Police.
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Hizbul chief Salahuddin’s son injured in scuffle with security guards in Tihar jail

Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin’s son, who is lodged in Tihar jail in connection with terror-funding cases, was among the 18 prisoners injured in a scuffle with security guards, officials said today.All the 18 prisoners, including Syed Shahid Yusuf, were injured when the personnel of the Tamil Nadu special force intervened after one of their physically handicapped officers was assaulted by three inmates at Tihar central jail number 1 on the intervening night of November 21-22 during checking.These facts were conveyed by Tihar jail authorities to the Union Home Ministry in a report submitted yesterday, a ministry official said.Also readHizbul chief Syed Salahuddin’s son Shahid Yousuf suspended from J&K government jobThe injured prisoners are being examined by a three- member team of doctors from the AIIMS here.A fact-finding team, headed by a district judge rank officer, has been constituted to investigate the entire incident.Also readTerror funding case: Hizbul chief Syed Salahuddin’s son Shahid Yusuf arrested by NIAThe commandant of the Tamil Nadu special force battalion deployed in Tihar jail has also been asked to conduct a separate detailed probe into the incident and take appropriate action against anyone found negligent, the official said.Giving details of the incident, the official quoting the Tihar jail report said, three prisoners, including a Kashmiri, were found to be having unauthorised materials and when Tamil Nadu special force sub inspector Muthu Pandee tried to remove them, the inmates resisted and assaulted him.Also readMehbooba Mufti writes to Home Secy after attack on Hizbul chief’s son in TiharAs the officer, who is physically handicapped, was alleged beaten up by the three inmates, other policemen intervened in which the 18 prisoners, including Yusuf were injured.After the incident, the team of Tamil Nadu special force was removed from the active jail duties.The jail authorities have deposited the relevant evidence, including CCTV footage, to the probe teams, the official said.All employees of the Tihar have been sensitised and asked to ensure that inherent dignity of the prisoners, while carrying out searches, are protected, the official said.On Tuesday, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had telephoned Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba to enquire about the Tihar incident.Mehbooba spoke to Gauba about social media reports on the alleged assault of Kashmiri prisoners in Tihar jail and urged him to ensure their safety.”A prison is considered to be the safest place but the alleged incidents that have come to light put a question mark on it,” she said in a statement.
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Delhi HC orders re-investigation of all acquittal cases by POSCO judge

The Delhi High court has ordered the re-investigation of all the cases of acquittal by a POCSO judge deputed at the Saket court complex in the national capital after it found some “fundamental and serious error in the approach of the learned Judge in deciding the cases.A bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice P S Teji called for all the case files of the decision rendered by Additional Sessions Judge Sunil Chaudhary while hearing an appeal in one of the acquittals.“We have come across several decisions rendered by the same learned Judge in cases under the Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, and they all, prima-facie, appear to be laconic.“There is a fundamental and serious error in the approach of the learned Judge in deciding the cases which have come to our notice,” the court.The bench held that the situation demanded them “to examine all the decisions rendered by the Additional & Sessions Judge Sunil Chaudhary while discharging functions as the ASJ-01, South-East District, New Delhi, in cases under POCSO Act”.The court directed the District and Sessions Judge, South East District, New Delhi to place before the court all the decisions delivered by ASJ Chaudhary on the next date of hearing for examination by invoking its powers under section 397 and 401 CrPC.Section 397 CrPC empowers a high court or a sessions judge to call for and examine the record of any proceeding before any inferior criminal court within its jurisdiction.The court’s direction comes while hearing an appeal by Delhi police challenging the acquittal of a youth who had allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 10-year-old in the year 2010.​Additional Standing Counsel for the state, Rajat Kaytal said that “the judgement borders on perversity” following which the court found substance in the claim and held, “Prima-facie a reading of the impugned judgment gives us the same impression.”The court also took note of the three different appeals which had come from the judgments pronounced by the same judge and henceforth recalled all the records from the District and Sessions Judge.
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Madras HC orders closure of all sand quarries in Tamil Nadu to protect rivers

In a major setback for the Tamil Nadu government’s plans to open 70 new river sand quarries, the Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Wednesday ordered the closure of all sand quarries in Tamil Nadu within the next 6 months. The court also said that no new sand quarry should come up in the state. The court asked the state government to consider the import of sand through the state-owned corporation to meet the shortfall.Stating that the order has been passed in the public interest considering the need to protect rivers, environment, and farmers in the state, Justice R Mahadevan also directed the government to monitor illegal transporting of the river sand.Hearing a petition filed by M R M Ramaiya Enterprises Private Limited managing director M R M Ramaiya, seeking court’s intervention to sell sand imported from Malaysia, the judge also directed the Tamil Nadu government to release the Malaysian sand from the Tuticorin port.The court observed that the Tamil Nadu Minor Minerals Concession Rules, 1959 and the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation and Storage of Minerals and Mineral Dealers Rules, 2011 cannot be imposed on imported sand since the importer had paid the appropriate tax (GST) on the consignment.The petitioner said she made an agreement with All Works Trading Limited, Singapore, on September 9 last to import one lakh tonne of sand. Accordingly, the petitioner’s company imported sand of the Sungai Pahang river in Kauntan city, Malaysia, to an extent of 55,443 metric tonnes through proper channels and also paid the GST. The sand is at present at the Tuticorin port.When the company wanted to sell the same in the state, the government did not give permission and registered an FIR against it. Hence, the petitioner sought a direction to the Tamil Nadu government not to insist the company to get the licence and to transport and sell the imported sand in the state.The Tamil Nadu government said in their petition that the state police had registered an FIR as the firm had transported the sand without the permit and it could not allow the Malaysian sand either to be sold in Tamil Nadu without the permit or to be transported to Kerala on road.In the order, Justice Mahadevan further directed quarries of granite and other minerals, except jelly, must be closed periodically to maintain ecological balance. The State shall also depute a team of experts from the Geological Department to identify and process the import of sands and minerals from countries which permit export. The government take a decision on the import of the river sand by state-owned corporations to meet out short supply, the court observed.The court also directed the Centre to issue appropriate guidelines specifying the type of sand and its usage so as to enable the importers to get appropriate certificates from the exporter authorities in other countries.Interestingly, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami last week chaired a high-level meeting with eight district collectors and superintendent of police and decided to open 70 new sand quarries to meet the requirement of sand for the construction sector. However, the environmentalists strongly opposed the move to open new sand quarries as it would affect the flow of the river and cause irreparable damage to the environment.
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Justice Dalveer Bhandari flies back with divine blessings from hometown

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Recently been elected judge for the second consecutive time in International Court of Justice (ICJ), Justice Dalveer Bhandari told that it is a victory for India to be re-elected.For this victory, India has got record support in the United Nations General Assembly and the Securit Council.It has increased the expectation of India’s membership in the Security Council. He expressed this hope in a special conversation after visiting Nakoda shrine on Tuesday morning. He went to the residence of Prem Bhandari, chairman of Jaipur Foot US and met his father professor SC Bhandari.Later, he went to his sister, Nisha Sancheti’s house for lunch and left for Delhi. Bhandari reached Nakoda shrine on Tuesday morning with his wife Madhu Bhandari, son Vinayak, Pawan Mehta, Prem Bhandari and his wife Rekha Bhandari.Notably, India’s nominee Dalveer Bhandari has been re-elected as the fifth judge to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)Justice Bhandari was in his hometown on Monday, after getting re-elected as a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). A huge crowd, including his relatives, friends and general public threw a warm welcome to the proud son of Jodhpur.He went to Prem Bhandari’s house situated in the inner area of the city and met his mother and father professor Bhandari.After staying there for some time, Bhandari reached the house of his sister Nisha Sancheti, located in Shastri Nagar. From there he reached Jodhpur airport and was given a guard of honor, as he returned to Delhi in the afternoon.Proud jodhpur Justice Dalveer Bhandari was in his hometown on Monday, after getting re-elected as a judge at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). A huge crowd, including his relatives, friends and general public threw a warm welcome to the proud son of Jodhpur.

Padmavati: India’s Supreme Court rejects bid to block Bollywood epic

The controversial period epic has sparked protests across India by Hindu and caste groups.

Spl Bench to hear Aadhaar pleas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court said on Monday that it might consider setting up a Constitution Bench to decide on all matters pertaining to the challenge to the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar in January.The top court’s observation came on the heels of a joint mentioning made by Attorney General KK Venugopal and Senior Advocate Shyam Divan before a bench led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.Refraining from giving a fixed date, the bench said the matters are likely to come up once it concludes hearing the dispute between Delhi-Lieutenant General (LG).On October 30, the bench — which also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said it would hear the matter in November — almost five years after the first plea challenging the constitutional validity of Aadhaar was filed.However, with the deadline for linking your Aadhaar to your bank account looming ahead — last date is December 31, Divan had sought for a hearing in November. Several petitions in this matter have been pending since the top court referred the matter to a larger bench almost two years ago.On October 25, the Centre proposed it was open to extending the deadline for mandatory linking of Aadhaar with bank accounts and mobile phones from December 31, 2017, to March 31, 2018, but only exclusively to those who are “willing to enroll for Aadhaar”.Today, the Ministry of Electronics and Technology (MEITy) released a white paper on the Data Protection framework under the chairmanship of former Justice BN Srikrishna.Currently, a five-judge Constitution Bench is hearing hearing an appeal filed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) challenging the Delhi High Court order which said that the LG was essentially the boss of the national capital. Once, this matter is over, the same bench is slated to hear an appeal filed by a Parsi woman who was denied the right to participate in the rituals upon her fathers death around 15 years ago because she married outside her faith.Relief likelyThe Centre has told Supreme Court that it is willing to extend deadline for Aadhaar linking to services till March 31.The deadline is supposed to end on December 31.Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to all Indian resid-ents based on biometric and demographic data.

Six RSS activists sentenced to life for CPM worker’s murder

Updated: Nov 23, 2017, 11:33 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A court today sentenced six RSS-BJP activists to life imprisonment on charges of murdering a CPI(M) worker at Pannur in the district in 2002.The additional district sessions court at Thalassery also imposed a fine of Rs 70,000 each. Judge G P N Vinod directed them to pay the fine amount to the legal heirs of the deceased Ashraf. The prosecution case was that the six had barged into an automobile shop when Ashraf had gone there to buy a vehicle and hacked him to death.The incident happened on February 5, 2002. The trial began in October 2011. The prosecution produced 25 documents to prove the charges, public prosecutor B P Sasidharan said. Political rivalry was the motive for the murder, he added.

‘He touched her private parts, she writhed in pain,’ mother of 4-year-old recounts horror

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Thursday, Delhi woke up to a news that shattered all beliefs of safety and security.At a time, when the national capital is debating about how safe are Delhi schools, a sexual assault case has sparked more outrage.The fact that the assaulter is none other than the classmate of the four-year-old victim is beyond any stretch of imagination.As the details of the assault start surfacing, the mother of the victim has given a chilling testimony of the crime.Recalling the horror story, the mother told NDTV that how her daughter came home and complained about ‘tummy pain’.The mother thought that the child is throwing ‘tantrums’ until she saw her daughter’s private part red and swollen.It was then the child broke down and told her about how a classmate would touch her private parts. ‘He sharpened his pencil and put it in too,’ the child told her mother.Writhing in pain, the child then confided in her father. It was only beginning of the traumatic journey of the child and her parents.The mother alleges that the school didn’t take her complaint seriously. She said that despite the child narrating the incident word by word in front of the Metropolitan Judge, nothing has been done so far.The parents also said that the school can’t shrug from its responsibility to keep their child safe.This starling case shows the poor safety protocols followed in schools. The mother says that the teacher left the class in hands of an ‘aaya’ who didn’t notice that her child came out last from the class or that she was disturbed.

Humiliating blow for UK, sign of India’s ascendancy: Britain media mourns ICJ loss to India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Justice Dalveer Bhandari’s victory over Britain’s candidate in the world court is a “humiliating blow” for the UK, the media said today, even as India asserted that the hard-fought race will not impact the bilateral ties.India’s Acting High Commissioner to the UK Dinesh Patnaik also reiterated that diplomats of both countries had been in contact with each other from the very start, which reflects the strong bond between India and the UK.”A senior representative from the UK Foreign Office has been in contact from the beginning and expressed the view that it is two friendly countries with similar legal systems in the running. The whole process has been very cordial and it will not impact the bilateral relationship in any way,” he said.Just minutes after an 11th round of voting was scheduled to begin in New York on Monday, a letter was released by the UK mission to the UN announcing that Sir Christopher Greenwood would accept defeat and allow his Indian rival to fill the vacancy in the UN s principal legal body based in The Hague.The UK media has branded the “acrimonious” vote as a sign of Britain’s eroding stature on the world stage.”The UK will not have a judge on the bench of the International Court of Justice for the first time in its 71- year history,” reports the Guardian in dismay.”The decision to bow to mounting opposition within the UN General Assembly is a humiliating blow to British international prestige and an acceptance of a diminished status in international affairs,” it notes.Political observers believe the UK had no choice but to back off as it cannot be seen to continue to use its position in the UN Security Council to muscle its way in on important global affairs.It is also reflective of a wider chain of events triggered by the vote for Brexit in last year’s European Union referendum, which has already lost London two prestigious EU institutions the European Banking Authority to Paris and the European Medicines Agency to Amsterdam.The ICJ blow hits harder as the UK is one of the founding members of the United Nations and has had a representative on the ICJ bench since its inception in 1946.”The UK’s failure to guarantee a place on the court of an organisation it helped to found has been interpreted as a sign of its increasingly irrelevance on the world stage following the decision to leave the European Union,” notes the Independent newspaper.”In contrast India, with its status as the world’s biggest democracy and with a growing economy, is seen as in the ascendancy,” it adds.Greenwood and Bhandari were both hoping to win re- election but this time Lebanon’s former ambassador was an unexpected sixth candidate for the five slots.His victory had left Bhandari fighting for a spot normally reserved for Europeans, and in this case the UK.In a statement, UK Ambassador to the UN Matthew Rycroft said: “The UK has concluded that it is wrong to continue to take up the valuable time of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly with further rounds of elections.”We are naturally disappointed, but it was a competitive field with six strong candidates.”Many attributed Britain’s decision to remove itself from the race to the potential impact an intensified battle would have on the economic relationship between India and the UK.But there is no doubt that when Greenwood steps down at the end of his term early next year, it will reflect a shift in the balance of power at the UN away from the Security Council.”The so-called Group of 77 which represents a coalition of mostly developing nations has long been pushing for greater influence. The victory of India over the UK will be seen as a huge success for the G77 in pushing back against the traditional northern powers on the Security Council,” notes the BBC.Almost unanimously, the UK media laments what this defeat at the UN means for the UK a significant diplomatic setback and a symbol of Britain’s reduced status on the world stage.

Ayodhya: Shia Board offers to give up land for temple

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Wakq Board (UPSCWB) has finally reached an agreement with Ayodhya sadhus and saints agreeing to surrender entire 2.77 acres of disputed land to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple. The Board has also agreed to build mosque in Lucknow outside Ayodhya.In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court for the settlement of the land dispute outside court, the Board Chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi said that the Shia Board and Ayodhya seers have reached an agreement on November 13 to resolve the land dispute amicably. As per the agreement, the Shia Board has surrendered entire 2.77 acres of land to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple and agreed to build mosque at Shia-dominated Hussainbad area in Lucknow.A four-page agreement between Shia Board and Hindus religious leaders has also been submitted along with the affidavit in the apex Court. The agreement is signed by Ram Janambhoomi Nyas Chairman Mahanat Nritya Gopal Das, All-India Akhara Parishad Chairman Mahant Narendra Giri, former BJP MP and VHP leader Dr Ram Vilas Vedanti, Mahant Dharam Das of Nirvani Akhara, Mahant Ram Das of Hanumangarhi, Mahant Suresh Das, Dr Rameshwar Das, member Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal VHP, Virendra Chaubey from Hindu side and Dr Waseem Rizvi on behalf of Shia Board and Muslim side.Rizvi said that Hindu organizations and leaders spearheading the Ram temple movement have agreed to the Shia Board formula and signed the agreement. “This will put an end to the ongoing dispute in court and erase the permanent schism between Hindus and Muslim over Babri mosque. The formula will restore peace, communal harmony and brotherhood between the two communities,” he added.Rizvi said that the Board would appeal to the Yogi Adityanth government to allot one acre land of Hussainabad Trust in Lucknow for the construction of mosque which will be named as Masjid-e-Aman. He said that the Shia Board would construct the mosque from its own resources.Rizvi said that the claim of the Sunni Centra Wakq Board over the Babri mosque land by way of February 26, 1994 order was already rejected by Faizabad District Judge and later by the High Court. “After rejection of their claim on Babri mosque and its land, only Shia Board is its rightful owner,” he pointed. He also pointed that Babri mosque was always under a Shia Mutwalli, a descendant of Meer Baqi who constructed the Babri mosque in 1528.Rejecting Shia Board formula, Sunni Central Wakq Board and All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) are sticking to their guns saying that they would go by the Supreme Court final verdict.”The matter is before the Supreme Court. Let the court give its final verdict, we will abide by it,” reacted Jafrayab Jilani, Secretary AIMPLB.Even the All India Shia Personal Law Board has rejected. “WaseemRizvi has no right to interfere in the matter when it is before the Supreme Court,” stated Yasoob Abbas, Board Spokesperson.Iqbal Ansari, a litigant in the case, said that they are with the Sunni Central Wakq Board. “His formula holds no legal value. Who is he to hand over land to the other party ignoring High Court order. Muslims will only abide by Supreme Court judgment in the case,” said Ansari.Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravishanker had also visited Ayodhya last week to broker the deadlock but he returned empty hands.THE FORMULAAccording to its affidavit, UPSCWB has agreed to surrender the entire 2.77 acres of disputed land to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple. The Board has also agreed to build mosque in Lucknow outside Ayodhya.

Delh HC pulls up AAP govt for not appointing regular teachers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Monday rapped the AAP Government for not following its directions on appointing regular teachers in its schools.”Enough is enough, nothing has been done since 2011… As appointment of guest teachers is in fashion, so you (government) are also following it,” Justice A K Chawla said. The court said its direction for appointment of regular teachers has been “frustrated” and the rush was only to recruit guest teachers. The judge said the court’s directions are not to be taken “lightly” and asked the Delhi government to begin the process of appointing regular teachers soon.The court said its earlier orders were not being implemented and the government’s “only concern was that contract teachers are to be appointed in the form of guest teachers”. Delhi government standing counsel Ramesh Singh said it was a policy decision which has to be taken by the Lieutenant Governor before whom the issue whether to give extra weightage to guest teachers was pending. It was up to the LG whether he can consider the request of the government or take a different view, he said, adding that the experience of guest teachers should not wasted that is why weightage was being given.The court said it was due to the weightage criteria that everything has been put on hold. “The entire process has been held up due to the weightage criteria. Something needs to be done on this,” it said.The court then asked the government’s counsel how much time will the LG take for a decision and asked him to inform about it on November 22. It also asked Singh to bring an office file relating to the appointment of teachers.The Delhi government had recently informed the court that there was a shortage of over 27,000 regular teachers in government schools here while the present sanctioned regular posts of teachers was 66,736. The court was hearing DoE’s plea to vacate the September 27 stay on the process of appointing guest teachers and promoting those appointed since 2010 in government schools so that it could fill nearly 9,000 vacancies. It had said its interim order of stay will continue.The government had said the stay was causing problem to students who were suffering due to shortage of teachers. The AAP government has filed the application in a pending contempt plea filed by NGO Social Jurist, represented through advocate Ashok Agarwal, seeking a stay on the order of the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) withdrawing a notice on appointment of 8,914 school teachers.The court had stayed the appointment process after it was informed that the authorities have not complied with the high court’s 2001 order. The court was also informed that a bill was recently passed in the Delhi Legislative Assembly to regularise all guest teachers appointed since 2010.The NGO’s plea said after a high court order of April 11, the DSSSB issued vacancy notice on August 7 inviting applications from candidates for 8,914 teaching posts in the DoE of the Delhi government and for 5,906 teaching posts in the three municipal corporation schools here. It alleged that the DSSSB, without informing or seeking permission from the court, had on August 24 “abruptly withdrawn the advertisement” regarding these vacancies.

Ayodhya: Shia Board willing to surrender land for construction of temple, Sunni Board rejects formula

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board (UPSCWB) has finally reached an agreement with Ayodhya sadhus and saints agreeing to surrender entire 2.77 acres of disputed land to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple. The Board has also agreed to build mosque in Lucknow outside Ayodhya. In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court for the settlement of the land dispute outside court, the Board Chairman Syed Waseem Rizvi said that the Shia Board and Ayodhya seers have reached an agreement on November 13 to resolve the land dispute amicably. As per the agreement, the Shia Board has surrendered entire 2.77 acres of land to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple and agreed to build mosque at Shia-dominated Hussainbad area in Lucknow.A four-page agreement between Shia Board and Hindus religious leaders has also been submitted along with the affidavit in the apex Court. The agreement is signed by Ram Janambhoomi Nyas Chairman Mahanat Nritya Gopal Das, All-India Akhara Parishad Chairman Mahant Narendra Giri, former BJP MP and VHP leader Dr Ram Vilas Vedanti, Mahant Dharam Das of Nirvani Akhara, Mahant Ram Das of Hanumangarhi, Mahant Suresh Das, Dr Rameshwar Das, member Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal VHP, Virendra Chaubey from Hindu side and Dr Waseem Rizvi on behalf of Shia Board and Muslim side.Rizvi said that Hindu organizations and leaders spearheading the Ram temple movement have agreed to the Shia Board formula and signed the agreement. “This will put an end to the ongoing dispute in court and erase the permanent schism between Hindus and Muslim over Babri mosque. The formula will restore peace, communal harmony and brotherhood between the two communities,” he added.Rizvi said that the Board would appeal to the Yogi Adityanth government to allot one acre land of Hussainabad Trust in Lucknow for the construction of mosque which will be named as Masjid-e-Aman. He said that the Shia Board would construct the mosque from its own resources.Rizvi said that the claim of the Sunni Centra Waqf Board over the Babri mosque land by way of February 26, 1994 order was already rejected by Faizabad District Judge and later by the High Court. “After rejection of their claim on Babri mosque and its land, only Shia Board is its rightful owner,” he pointed. He also pointed that Babri mosque was always under a Shia Mutwalli, a descendant of Meer Baqi who constructed the Babri mosque in 1528.Rejecting Shia Board formula, Sunni Central Waqf Board and All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) are sticking to their guns saying that they would go by the Supreme Court final verdict.“The matter is before the Supreme Court. Let the court give its final verdict, we will abide by it,” reacted Jafrayab Jilani, Secretary AIMPLB.Even the All India Shia Personal Law Board has rejected. “Waseem Rizvi has no right to interfere in the matter when it is before the Supreme Court,” stated Yasoob Abbas, Board Spokesperson. Iqbal Ansari, a litigant in the case, said that they are with the Sunni Central Waqf Board. “His formula holds no legal value. Who is he to hand over land to the other party ignoring High Court order. Muslims will only abide by Supreme Court judgement in the case,” said Ansari.Spiritual Guru Sri Sri Ravishanker had also visited Ayodhya last week to broker the deadlock but he returned empty hands.

Bombay High Court allows MMRDA to fell 216 trees on WEH for Metro-7 work

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A two-judge committee of the Bombay High Court had in principle agreed to allow an application moved by the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) which sought permission to cut 216 trees on the Western Express Highway (WEH) for the construction of the Metro-7 line.The committee comprising of Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice Bhushan Gavai during a meeting held in chambers recently has agreed to direct the tree authority of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to grant permission to MMRDA, after a survey to identify the trees that would be cut was carried out by officials of the Maharashtra State Legal Aid Services Authority.Advocate GW Mattos, appearing for MMRDA, said the court, after going through the court commissioner’s report, has agreed to allow the tree-felling application. “It also took into account our undertaking that we would replant the trees wherever the need may be,” Mattos added.Following a public interest litigation filed by one Zoru Bathena highlighting the issue of trees suffering from mealy bugs, the court had directed MMRDA not to cut any trees on the Western Urban Road, which is when the authority moved the court seeking permission to cut 216 trees.Mattos argued that the project was a part of the Pragati Portal of the Office of Prime Minister of India (PMO), and being a project of great eminence its timely completion was important and would ensure benefits to the citizens of Mumbai at large.As per the undertaking, MMRDA is willing to replant the trees elsewhere in the city and at a ratio which is higher than normal. As per the norms, three trees have to be planted elsewhere for every tree cut. However, previously when 25 trees were cut for the project, 154 trees were replanted.The authority felt that the balance of convenience lies heavily in their favour because if the said 216 trees are not cut down then the execution of the entire Metro-7 Line would be obstructed which in turn would entail heavy costs to the State Exchequer.REPLANT DRIVEAs per the undertaking, MMRDA is willing to replant the trees elsewhere in the city and at a ratio which is higher than normal. As per the norms, three trees have to be planted elsewhere for every tree cut. Previously when 25 trees were cut for the project, 154 trees were replanted.

IIM-Ahmedabad debates new norm of social vigilantism and curb on public choices

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The society needs to debate on impact of vigilantes dictating what people should read and watch, IIM-A Director-in-Charge, Prof Errol D’souza said in Ahmedabad on Saturday.The statement comes at a time when Bollywood film Padmawati is being opposed by a section of Kshatriya’s, who claim that their feelings are hurt by the contents of the film.Delivering his inaugural speech on the first day of the two-day International Conference On Law And Economics at IIM-Ahmedabad, D’Souza said that Non-State Actors are dictating what people should watch and read without a debate. This issue needs to be debated.D’Souza is also a member of Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI), which also decides on the benchmark interest rates for lending money. He said politicians and industry players make statements on what the interest rates should be and this can influence the NPC. “When the impact is large, we have to come out with measures that are beneficial to the economy,” said D’Souza.He also said that while one can make efforts to influence interest rates, this is not visible in the field of law. “Judges are given so many rights. Their terms of appointment are such that they cannot be removed easily. So they should be more open to criticism. There needs to a debate on the concept of ‘sub-judice’. If there is a debate on ‘sub-judice’ cases, thee would be more ideas and progress,” he said.Justice AK Sikri of Supreme Court of India told media persons on the sidelines of the conference that the concept of ‘sub-judice’ is to ensure that judges are not influenced by information that is not relevant. “A judge has to decide on the information available with him,” he said.He also said that of late law is becoming more inter-disciplinary and aspects like economic implications are considered more consciously.

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