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Live Updates | Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tables Triple Talaq Bill in Lok Sabha

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017, which seeks to criminalise the practice of triple talaq, has been tabled in the Parliament by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday.The draft Bill says, “any pronouncement of talaq by a person upon his wife, by words, either spoken or written or in electronic form or in any other manner whatsoever, shall be void and illegal”.Here are the live updates from the Lok Sabha:12:51 IST Thursday, 28 December 2017: Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says the Bill is not against any religion:12:50 IST Thursday, 28 December 2017: BJD says the Triple Talaq Bill is flawed:12:49 IST Thursday, 28 December 2017: Protests against the Bill:12:44 IST Thursday, 28 December 2017: Law Minister moves Triple Talaq Bill in the Lok Sabha.

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Govt land cannot be used as burial ground

Any open land, especially belonging to the government, cannot be used as a burial ground, the Delhi High Court (HC) held.”No person has any right to use any open land, especially government land, indiscriminately as a burial ground,” a bench of acting chief justice Gita Mittal and justice C Hari Shankar said, while dismissing a plea filed by an NGO.The bench’s ruling comes while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) that challenged a sub-divisional magistrate’s order, which questioned the use of government land in Uttam Nagar in west Delhi as a burial ground.The magistrate had issued a notice to an Uttam Nagar-based NGO, asking how it came to be in possession of the government land and how it was using it as a burial ground. The bench noted that the petitioner NGO, Kabristan Intzamia Association, had started using the government land on the basis of a statement made by an MLA and “no legal right is either pointed out or made out with respect to the subject land”.

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Plea seeks FIR against Mani Shankar Aiyar

The police should lodge an FIR to investigate a meeting involving former prime minister Manmohan Singh, among others, which was allegedly held at suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house to swing the Gujarat elections, an application filed in a Delhi court has stated.The application, filed by BJP leader and advocate Ajay Agarwal, a resident of Jungpura Extension near Aiyar’s house, claimed that on December 6, he saw Hamid Ansari, Manmohan Singh, Sohail Mahmood, and ex-foreign minister of Pakistan Khurshid Kasuri, among others, at Aiyar’s residence.He also claimed that there was heavy security and the car of the Pakistani High Commissioner was parked at the back side of the house. Upon enquiry, he got to know about the meeting, which continued till late at night, Agarwal said.He further said that the former president and PM broke the protocol and attended the meeting with representatives of the neighbouring country, despite knowledge of the political relations between the countries. According to the plea, the meeting was attended by former Army chief Deepak Kapoor, former foreign minister K Natwar Singh, and former diplomats Salman Haidar, TCA Raghavan, Sharat Sabharwal, K Shankar Bajpai, and Chinmaya Gharekhan, among others.The application stated that both the ex-president and the ex-PM were privy to top-secret information and they were duty bound to not share this with anyone. But the duo was found attending meetings to discuss the Indo-Pak affairs, he said.

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Nobody has right to use government land as burial ground: Delhi HC

No one has the right to indiscriminately use any open land, especially one that belongs to the government, as a burial ground, the Delhi High Court has held.The ruling by a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar came on a PIL challenging a sub- divisional magistrate’s order questioning use of a government land in Uttam Nagar in west Delhi as a burial ground.The magistrate had issued notice to an Uttam Nagar-based NGO asking it how it came to be in possession of the government land and how it was using it as a burial ground.The court noted that the petitioner NGO, Kabristan Intzamia Association, had started using the government land on the basis of a statement made by an MLA and “no legal right is either pointed out or made out with respect to the subject land”.It held that the sub-divisional magistrate, Dwarka, passed the August 1, 2017 order, which was under challenge, after considering all the matters and there was “no illegality” in the decision.The bench also said that all the parties have to abide by the magistrate’s decision and directed the local authorities to take strict action for violation of the order.”No person has any right to use any open land, especially government land, indiscriminately as a burial ground,” the court said and dismissed the NGO’s plea.

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Police, local bodies involved in Ashram activities: Residents

The tale of the Rohini-based Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya ashram got murkier on Sunday, with the locals claiming that the police and the local bodies were also involved in the exploitation of women and girls.They said that despite several complaints, the police failed to take any action against the ashram, and said it was impossible that the local bodies’ members didn’t know anything about the suspicious activities going inside the ashram.” We are sure that the local bodies are involved in running this ashram, where illegal activities had been taking place for so many years. Despite complaints and families of the victims shouting on the roads, the ashram authorities did not let them meet their daughters. Why was no action taken then? Why didn’t anybody raid the ashram?” asked Naresh Saini, a resident of Vijay Nagar in Rohini.Meanwhile, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has requested Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal to intervene and ensure safety of the girls who were recently rescued from the ashram, run by self-styled godman Virendra Dev Dikshit.He has also slammed the BJP government and alleged that a nexus between the police and certain BJP leaders was behind these activities in controversial ashrams. BJP has rejected all such allegations.Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said the party followed Indian culture but respected all religions and spiritual leaders. “Trying to associate the party’s name with the ashram, however, is shameful. The party has no association with the ashram’s activities,” he said.Kejriwal tweeted: “I urge Hon’ble L-G to personally intervene and ensure strict action against the ashram and ensure safety of rescued girls. If any policeman acts malafide, strict action should be taken against him.”Senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh demanded the arrest of Dixit. As many 46 girls have been rescued from two ashrams in Dwarka and Rohini. “The so-called godman has not been arrested and many of his ashrams are still unknown,” Singh said.

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Muslim bodies not consulted on triple talaq bill: Govt tells Parliament

Muslim organisations were not consulted before the government framed a draft bill to criminalise the practice of instant triple talaq, the Lok Sabha was informed today.Law Minister Ravi Shankar said the government believed that the proposed bill would help ensure gender justice, gender equality and dignity of women.The government has maintained that since the practice of instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ continues despite the Supreme Court striking it down, there is a need to bring a law. To a written question on whether the government consulted Muslim organisatons before framing the draft law, Minster of State for Law P P Chaudhary replied in the negative.In a separate written reply, Prasad said, “The government is of the view that the issue arises from the humanitarian concept of gender justice, gender equality and dignity of women and not arising from faith and religion.” He said that since the Supreme Court struck down the practice of instant triple talaq, nearly 66 cases of husbands divorcing their spouses through this method were reported. On December 15, the union cabinet cleared the Muslim Women Protection of Rights on Marriage Bill, which seeks to make the practice of instant triple talaq “illegal and void” and provides for a jail term for the husband.Also readCabinet approves bill making instant triple talaq criminal actThe husband could also be fined and the quantum of fine would be decided by the magistrate hearing the case. The proposed law would only be applicable on instant triple talaq or ‘talaq-e-biddat’ and it would give power to the victim to approach a magistrate seeking “subsistence allowance” for herself and minor children. The woman can also seek the custody of her minor children from the magistrate who will take a final call on the issue. Under the draft law, instant triple talaq in any form — spoken, in writing or by electronic means such as email, SMS and WhatsApp — would be bad or illegal and void.

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The Indian wedding that bet on Bitcoin

Prashant Sharma and Niti Shree asked wedding guests to gift them Bitcoin – and many delivered.

Prisoners need better medical aid

Lack of proper medical facilities and vacancies in the Central Jail hospital at Asia’s largest prison, housing more than 15,000 prisoners, came under the scanner of the Delhi High Court as it issued a slew of measures for the authorities.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also expressed shock at the huge number of vacancies at the Central Jail Hospital located in Jail number 3 and the dispensaries in the prison complex.The court noted that the lack of medical facilities in the jail not only causes prejudice to poor prisoners but also affect the exchequers of the government as rich inmates are taken to private hospital for treatment.The bench said that the treatments “creates differences and also acquire a lot of cost on the public exchequer” adding that “private treatment adds to the already over-stressed machinery of Tihar”.”The prisoners have to wait for long, travel long distances and sometimes even wait for the court orders to get treated which may itself cause prejudice to the prisoners,” the court said.During the proceedings, Advocate Sumer Singh Sethi, appointed as an amicus to assist the court in a matter related to the inhumane conditions in prisons, highlighted the need for counsellors for the mental well-being of the inmates.The court was informed that there are 110 sanctioned posts for doctors in the jail premises out of which just 47 of them are filled up. The court was also told that there are 108 sanctioned posts for paramedical staff and 92 of them are physically filled.”A shocking state of affairs has come up regarding the vacancies in absence of medical representatives in Central Jail Complex, Tihar Jail no 3,” the court said.

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Delhi HC dismisses plea for ‘shaheed’ status to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru

The Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking that freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru be given the status of martyr, saying it cannot issue such a direction.”The plea is dismissed. We cannot issue such a direction,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said.The petitioner failed to reply to the court’s query on whether there is any law under which the court has the power to issue any such direction.The plea filed by advocate Birender Sangwan sought grant of ‘shaheed’ (martyr) status to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru who were hanged by the Britishers in 1931.”The grant of shaheed status is very much essential for a martyr and it is the legal right of a martyr to have such a status declared to them, thus it is an expression of gratitude towards them,” the plea said.Bhagat Singh and Rajguru had in 1928 fatally shot a British junior police officer, John Saunders at Lahore in present day Pakistan, mistaking him for a British police superintendent.A special tribunal was constituted by Lord Irwin, the then Viceroy of India, which had sentenced the duo along with Sukhdev to death by hanging at Lahore Jail.

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Ravi Shankar Prasad says he ‘denied permission’ to Facebook’s Free Basics

Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said he had denied permission to Facebook’s Free Basics platform when he was handling portfolio of the communications ministry.”Right to access of internet cannot be denied. Therefore, I said earlier when Facebook came to India with Free Basics when I examined it, (and) I was handling communications department then, I found it will be free only when you enter from my gate. India does not believe in one gate and I did not give them permission for that,” Prasad said while speaking at the Digital India Summit.He said it is for the USA to decide their stand on net neutrality but “Our stand from day one is very clear – right of non-discriminatory access to internet is not negotiable”.The sector regulator, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), had issued a regulation in February 2016 on discriminatory pricing over internet access which led to ban of platforms like Free Basics and Airtel Zero.TRAI ruled against discriminatory pricing for different data platforms or content and said operators cannot enter into pacts with internet companies to subsidise access to some websites.As per ruling, the companies violating the rules will be fined Rs 50,000 per day for the duration of contravention, subject to a maximum of Rs 50 lakh.Facebook was offering free internet access to some websites that were available on its Free Basics platform.Following debate over net neutrality, Prasad as the telecom minister had set up a panel of officers from the Department of Telecom (DoT) to examine the matter and come up with recommendations.Prasad had then said the government would take a holistic view on net neutrality after the DoT panel and TRAI finalise their recommendations.The DoT panel too had recommended bar on platforms like Free Basics as it will act as gatekeeper to the internet.Last month, TRAI finalised its recommendations on net neutrality in which it prohibited internet service providers from making any discrimination in traffic while providing web access by either blocking or throttling some apps, websites and services or by offering fast lanes to others.”I believe internet is one of the finest creation of mankind and must be available for all. If internet is a global platform it must have link with local,” Prasad said.The DoT has to now take call on TRAI recommendations over net neutrality.He said the government is making efforts to make India a US $1 trillion digital economy in coming 5 years which include IT, IT enabled services, shared economy etc.The IT minister further said the government recently provided “duty shield” to electronic and mobile sectors to promote domestic manufacturing.Prasad said there were two companies that were making mobile phones in the country when he took over as IT and communications minister.”I am happy to announce today, India today is home to 108 mobile factories in the last three years,” he said.Prasad said the government has also decided to bear the charges on transactions up to Rs 2,000 made through debit cards, BHIM UPI or Aadhaar-enabled payment systems to promote digital transactions.

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Cabinet approves bill making instant triple talaq criminal act

The Union Cabinet on Friday approved the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, outlawing instant triple talaq by making it a cognisable and non-bailable offence, which will now attract a jail term of three years.The Bill was prepared by an inter-ministerial committee comprising of chairperson home minister Rajnath Singh, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, finance minister Arun Jaitley, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and minister of state in the law ministry PP Chaudhary.The Supreme Court had in August, declared the practice of instant triple talaq as unconstitutional. In a five member-bench, while three judges termed the practice illegal and unconstitutional, two judges wanted to ban the practice for a period of six months till the time the government came up with a new legislation.AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi said that the government should explain how the law proposes to enforce imprisonment and provide maintenance at the same time. In a letter of protest, Owaisi said, “It is regrettable that a constitutional value as important as gender justice is being used to merely further cynical political goals.”

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Cabinet approves landmark bill to set up National Medical Commission to replace Medical Council of India

On Friday, the Cabinet approved a landmark bill – the National Medical Commission, Bill 2017 – which will replace the Medical Council 1956 Act. Earlier, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said cabinet approved a bill to set up the National Medical Commission. The bill will seek to replace the Medical Council of India and will seek reforms in the field of medical education, move towards outcome-based regulation of medical education, create accountable and transparent procedures for maintaining standards in medical education and create a forward-looking approach towards ensuring sufficient health workforce in India.Sources told DNA that provisions in the ball will end heavy regulatory control over medical education institutions and help facilitate a shift towards outcome-based monitoring. It’s also expected to introduce a national degree examination, the first time such a provision with be added in higher education, similar to NEET and common counselling for undergrads.The bill also seeks to regulate up undergrad and postgrad seats which will ensure that at least 40% seats are reserved for meritorious students irrespective of their financial status.The draft bill provides for the constitution of four autonomous boards entrusted with conducting undergraduate and postgraduate education, assessment and accreditation of medical institutions and registration of practitioners under the National Medical Commission, a senior government functionary said.According to the draft bill, the commission will have government nominated chairman and members, and the board members will be selected by a search committee under the Cabinet Secretary.There will five elected and 12 ex-officio members in the commission.The draft bill also proposes a common entrance exam and licentiate exam which all medical graduates will have to clear to get practicing licences, the official said.As per the provisions of the draft bill, no permission would be needed to add new seats or to start postgraduate courses.The deterrence for non-compliance with maintenance of standards is in terms of monetary penalty.The draft bill is aimed at bringing reforms in the medical education sector which has been under scrutiny for corruption and unethical practices, the official said. With inputs from PTI

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Put in place a plan to tackle defacement: Delhi High Court to AAP

Delhi HC has expressed its displeasure on the failure of the AAP government to comply with its order by setting up a concrete action plan to deal with the issue of defacement of properties in the city.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar pulled up the Delhi government thereby expresssing concern on the inability of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Delhi University to conduct awareness programmes to teach people.The court’s observation while hearing a plea filed by advocate Prashant Manchanda that had sought a complete ban on the alleged defacement of public properties by the candidates for the DUSU polls.Earlier, the bench had told the Delhi University to frame comprehensive guidelines and the authorities to launch a large scale public awareness campaign to deal with the alleged mess of defacement which was ignored by the concerned.Terming the actions of the authorities as ‘appalling’, the court asked the about the ground work they have carried out to clear the mess across Delhi. However, since so satisfactory answer was given by the authorities concerned, they had to face the ire of the court.”We see only meetings but no fruitful results. It is hopeless,” the bench observed and pulled up the Delhi government for not setting out a comprehensive solution to deal with the issue.NO WRITINGS ON WALLBench had earlier told DU to frame guidelines and authorities to launch large scale public awar-eness campaign to deal with mess of defacement. Court asked about the ground work they had done to clear mess.

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Centre to decide if Ram Kishen Grewal’s family will get Rs 1 cr relief: Delhi High Court

The Centre will now decide whether ex-serviceman, late Ram Kishen Grewal who had committed suicide during the One Rank One Pension (OROP) stir, would get Rs 1 crore from the Delhi government, said the Delhi High court on Tuesday.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar disposed the plea filed by advocate Avadh Kaushik who had challenged the Delhi government ‘s decision to grant compensation to Grewal’s family stating that it cannot pass any order since the matter is now pending with the Centre.The bench refrained from passing any order after the Delhi government had informed in a counter-affidavit that the decision of the Delhi cabinet of granting Rs 1 crore compensation to the family of ex-serviceman Late Ram Kishen Grewal was rejected by the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) of Delhi four times.The L-G had stated that the specific case did not fall within the parameters of the scheme concerned. Delhi government had announced a compensation of Rs 1 crore to Grewal declaring him a ‘martyr’. However, the court while disposing of the case also expressed its displeasure and asked that how a person who has committed suicide be termed as a martyr. “You are laying a wrong precedent because then people will come to Delhi, commit suicide in the hope that their family gets money,” the court told the counsel appearing for Delhi government.The court held that the matter has been rejected by the LG and it is now pending with the Centre. So it is still at a premature stage. Following this, on March 3, 2017, CM Arvind Kejriwal met the L-G and requested that the Cabinet decision be implemented. Baijal, however, refused to do so, stating that the specific case did not fall within the parameters of the scheme, i.e death occurring in the discharge of official duty.

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Will prayers reach god from illegally built temples, asks Delhi High Court

Will prayers reach god if you pray from temples built illegally on pavements? This was a question posed by the Delhi High Court today as it dealt with a case of removing encroachments from around the 108-feet tall Hanuman statue in the Karol Bagh area of central Delhi.”Will prayers reach the god if you pray from illegal encroachments on pavements? What is its sanctity,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said, warning that everyone responsible for unauthorised constructions, including the temple, “will be dealt with”.The court asked the municipal corporation of north Delhi, under whose jurisdiction the area falls, to produce records pertaining to the construction of the road and the pavement adjoining which the illegal encroachments have sprung up.The direction was issued after Delhi government additional standing counsel Satyakam, appearing for the Public Works Department (PWD), told the bench that the road and the pavement was the responsibility of the municipal corporation.He said while one paw of the statue fell on the pavement, the rest of the structure was primarily located on land belonging to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).Thereafter, the court asked the authorities why commercial activities and car parking was permitted in the area and said it will prosecute the corporation and DDA officials during whose tenure the statue and other encroachments came up.Satyakam, who also appeared for the Delhi Police, said the temple, including the statue, was being maintained and operated by a trust whose bank statements were being examined by the agency.The bench asked the police to complete its enquiry and follow and enforce the law.It also questioned the trust authority over running and maintaining a temple on DDA land.The court was hearing several pleas in connection with illegal constructions and encroachments in Karol Bagh area of Delhi. It had earlier said that religious structures cannot be allowed to encroach on public land for private gain.

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‘Shotgun’ Shatrughan Sinha takes on PM Modi on Twitter

Just as the BJP had put the Congress on the back foot over issues surrounding Salman Nizami and name-calling by Mani Shankar Aiyar, BJP’s own motormouth ‘shotgun’ Shatrughan Sinha on Monday targeted the PM though without taking names, calling him to desist from personal and unsubstantiated attacks, rather to work for his promise of ‘Vikas’.”Sir! Instead of new twists and turns, stories and cover ups, let’s go straight to the promises that we made regarding housing, development, employment of youth, health and the “Vikas model”.Lets stop communalising the atmosphere and go back to healthy politics and healthy elections. Jai Hind!,” Sinha wrote on Twitter.In yet another tweet, Sinha said, “Hon’ble Sir! Just to win elections anyhow, and that too at the fag end of the process, is it a must to come up with and endorse new, unsubstantiated and unbelievable stories everyday against political opponents? Now linking them to Pak High Commissioner and Generals?! Incredible!.”

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Arun Jaitley rejects Manmohan’s demand for PM Modi’s apology, says Cong must give details of the meeting

Union Finance Minister Arun Jailtey has now reacted to ex-PM Manmohan Singh’s sharp criticism of Narendra Modi regarding the meeting with Pakistanis in Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house. Arun Jaitley reacted shortly after Manmohan Singh issued a statement where he had rejected PM Modi’s charges as ‘innuendos and falsehoods’. Jaitley said, ” Former PM Manmohan Singh has issued a statement asking PM Modi to apologise for what he said in an election rally with regard to a meeting involving Pakistani delegations. It is surprising that Congress party expect the Prime Minister of India to apologise for it”. Arun Jaitley upped the ante by demanding that Congress must give a detailed ‘facts what transpired in that meeting & what was the necessity of having it in present circumstances’. He accuse Congress of changing goalposts in this entire incident. Jaitley said that yesterday there were on denial about it’ and are now saying it was a ‘misadventure’. He said that rather than giving full clarification they are trying to ‘blame those raising the issue’. Jaitley tried to corner Mani Shankar Aiyar accusing him of having inconsistent position regarding Pakistan. Union Finance Minister said, ” Also readFacing imminent defeat in Gujarat, PM Modi spreading falsehood and canards: Manmohan SinghThose like Mani Shankar Aiyar always had an inconsistent position. They maintained a parallel line of dialogue, underplayed Pakistan’s role in instigating terrorism in India & continued to engage with them (Pak)”, reports ANI. Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | PM Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Hardik Patel denied roadshow permission by Ahmedabad Police Addressing an election rally in Palanpur in Gujarat yesterday, Modi sought to suggest that Pakistan was trying to influence the assembly polls in the state. The second and final phase of Assembly polls in Gujarat is to be held on December 14. 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 that led to his suspension from the party.Singh issued a statement today, listing those who attended the dinner hosted in honour of the visiting former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri. He said besides himself and former vice president Hamid Ansari, others present at Aiyar’s dinner hosted for Kasuri, were the Pakistan High Commissioner, Natwar Singh, K S Bajpai, Ajai Shukla, Sharad Sabharwal, Gen Deepak Kapoor, TCA Raghavan, Satinder K Lambah, M K Bhadrakumar, CR Gharekhan, Prem Shankar Jha, Salman Haider and Rahul Khushwant Singh.”None of them could be accused of indulging in any anti- national activities,” he said.Gen. Kapoor, a former Army Chief, was quoted as having said Gujarat elections were never discussed at the dinner meeting. In a strongly-worded statement, Manmohan Singh said he did not discuss the Gujarat Assembly elections with anyone at the dinner meeting. “I sincerely hope that Prime Minister will show the maturity and gravitas expected of the high office he holds instead of concentrating his energy solely on erroneously conceived brownie points.”I sincerely hope that he will apologize to the Nation for his ill thought transgression to restore the dignity of the office he occupies,” he said. Singh said he was “deeply pained and anguished” by the “falsehood and canards” being spread to score political points by the prime minister in what he said was a “lost cause” in Gujarat. “Fearing imminent defeat in Gujarat, desperation of Prime Minister to hurl every abuse and latch on to every straw is palpable. Sadly and regrettably, Sh. Modi is setting a dangerous precedent by his insatiable desire to tarnish every constitutional office, including that of a former Prime Minister and Army Chief,” he alleged.The Congress Party, Singh said, needs no sermons on “nationalism” from a party and prime minister, whose “compromised” track record on fighting terrorism is well known, while reminding Modi of his “uninvited” visit to Pakistan after terrorist attacks in Udhampur and Gurdaspur. “Let him also tell the country the reason for inviting the infamous ISI of Pakistan to our strategic Air Base in Pathankot to investigate a terror attack that emanated from Pakistan,” he said. Claiming that his track record of public service to the country over the last five decades is known to all, he said no one, including Modi, can “lamely question it to gain lost political ground”.

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Facing imminent defeat in Gujarat, PM Modi spreading falsehood and canards: Manmohan Singh

Former PM Manmohan Singh has issued a strong statement rebutting PM Narendra Modi’s accusation that Gujarat elections was discussed in a meeting held in Mani Shankar Aiyar’s home where ex-Pak Foreign Minister was present. Manmohan Singh in a statement has denied that Gujarat polls was discussed in their meeting. He said that he is ‘deeply pained’ by ‘falsehood and canard’ done for winning election. Manmohan Singh says that PM Modi is ‘setting a dangerous precedent by his insatiable desire to tarnish every constitutional office’. Continuing his attack, Manmohan Singh says that the Congress party doesn’t need any lesson in nationalism from BJP. He reminded PM Modi the instance about landing in Pakistan uninvited and also questioned why ISI officials were allowed to enter Pathankot terror base. Also readNothing more than Indo-Pak relations were discussed at Aiyar’s residence: Ex-Army Chief rejects PM’s allegationEx- PM said that his track record for last five decades in public life is for everyone to see and he categorically rejects ‘innuendos and falsehoods’. Manmohan Singh in his statement also enclosed names of dignitaries present in the meeting and said none of them could be accused of anti-national activity.The ex- PM signed off the statement hoping PM Modi will apologise to the nation for levelling false allegation and will try to show maturity and gravitas expected of the high office. Also readWhy did Manmohan Singh not show courage to order surgical strikes post 26/11 attack: PM ModiHere is the full statement:Earlier, the Congress party came down heavily upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi for alleging that Pakistan was meddling in the Gujarat assembly polls and supporting Congress leader Ahmed Patel to have him elevated as the chief minister of the state.Dubbing Prime Minister Modi’s statement as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘outrageous’, Congress leader Anand Sharma demanded an apology from him. “Ex-Pakistan Foreign Minister was here to attend a wedding. There was a dinner organised for him in which there were former diplomats, former army chief among other dignitaries. Does the prime minister think they were all conspiring with Pakistan? This is reprehensible. It’s expected of the prime minister to use a language which is equivalent to his post. He should retract his statement and should apologise to maintain the decorum of his post,”Sharma said.He further said that Prime Minister Modi’s remarks show that the BJP has realised it was going to lose the Gujarat elections.”The Prime Minister has said Congress is conspiring with Pakistan for Gujarat elections. Its outrageous. This is just an attempt to polarise ahead of second phase of voting in Gujarat polls.This also shows their desperation and that BJP’s loss is now certain,” he added.Yesterday, while addressing a rally in Gujarat’s Banaskantha, Prime Minister Modi alleged that former Pakistan Army director general Arshad Rafique was helping Patel to become the Gujarat chief minister. “Former Pakistan Army director general Arshad Rafique was backing and willing to help make Ahmed Patel the chief minister,” he said. The prime minister had also questioned suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and former vice-president Hamid Ansari’s meeting with the Pakistan High Commissioner.Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal has asked India to stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate. With agency inputs

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Silk lotuses by Varanasi Muslim weaver shining in Gujarat

A Muslim weaver from Varanasi, the Parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is sending about 2,000 specially designed silk ‘Kamal ke Phool’ (Lotus, which is the symbol of BJP) to Gujarat for the second phase of the Assembly elections.Mohd Azharuddin said that he has already sent 5,000 silk lotuses to the BJP’s state headquarters in Gujarat before the first phase of polling. “I had got an order of 7,000 lotuses. We are sending the second lot tomorrow to Gujarat for the second phase of polling,” he told DNA.The Varanasi weaver got the order by chance. He wanted to present his creation (a silk lotus) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his last Varanasi visit on October 22. While he was not allowed to reach the dais for security reasons, a Muslim Manch leader, Pushpendru Updhyaya, was impressed by his creation and gave him the big order.Azharuddin claimed that he got the idea of weaving Lotus on silk thread when he saw Prime Minister and other senior BJP leaders wearing badges of party symbol Lotus tugged on their kurtas.”Our weavers worked for several days and came out with a better design. It is weaved with different coloured silk threads and the carving is done with genuine stones which never turns black. It takes about two to two-and-half hours to weave one lotus,” said the Muslim weaver.Azharuddin, who runs a powerloom, said his efforts were aimed at supplementing their income through the new creation following a slump in demand for world famous Varanasi sarees. Besides the lotus, they have also weaved a Tricolour which they are trying to sell to all political parties and for occasions like Republic Day and Independence Day.He said it costs him about Rs 150 each to make a lotus or a Tricolour. He said sold the lotuses to the BJP for Rs 200 making a profit of Rs 50 per piece. “This additional income helps us support our children’s education when the loom business is down.”A resident of Shankar Talaab in Varanasi, Azharuddin said that about 20 weavers worked overnight to complete the order of the Muslim Manch, an outfit of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. “We are now expecting a bigger order from the BJP for 2019 Lok Sabha polls.”A staunch supporter of BJP and Modi, Azharuddin is confident of BJP’s victory in Gujarat. “We are patriot Muslims. The prime minister is doing a great job for the nation. I am sure BJP will win Gujarat again and we all will vote for Modji in 2019. I will present a silk lotus to Modji when he visits Varanasi after winning the Gujarat polls.”

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Gujarat elections 2017: PM slams Congress for Pak ‘poll-meddling’ in Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on?Sunday that Pakistan was interfering in the Gujarat Assembly elections, and asked the Congress to come clean on reports of its top functionaries recently meeting leaders from the neighbouring country.The PM also raised questions over a reported appeal by former director-general of the Pakistan Army Sardar Arshad Rafiq, that Congress leader Ahmed Patel be made Gujarat’s Chief Minister in case the Congress wins the elections. The PM said former Congress minister Mani Shankar Aiyar had called him “neech” (vile) a day after an alleged meeting of Pakistani leaders with top Congress functionaries.”There were media reports on Saturday about a three-hour closed-door meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house. It was attended by Pakistan’s high commissioner, Pakistan’s former foreign minister, India’s former vice president Hamid Ansari and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,” the PM said.”No Indian official was present during this meeting and the government also was not intimated later,” the PM said.”The next day, Mani Shankar Aiyar said Modi was ‘neech’. This is a serious matter,” he said. The PM said that Rafiq had backed Patel as the next Chief Minister of Gujarat. “On one side Pakistan Army’s former DG is interfering in Gujarat’s election, and on the other, Pakistan’s people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house,” he said.”All know that relations between India and Pakistan are a sensitive issue and our Congress leaders meet Pakistani leaders secretly. Can any Indian tolerate this? Should we tolerate such activities taking place on the sovereign land of India? Congress is in utter depression and that is why they are trying to finish me by hook or crook. Congress should answer on this issue,” said Modi, as he escalated his attack on Gujarat’s Opposition party that’s been out of power in the state for 22 years.”And, after that meeting, people of Gujarat, backward communities, poor people and Modi were insulted. Don’t you think such events raise doubts?,” Modi said. He said the Congress should inform the people of the country what exactly it wants to do.Modi was addressing a rally at Palanpur in Banaskantha district for the ongoing assembly polls. The second and final phase of polling in north and central Gujarat, including Banaskantha, will take place on December 14. Results for the 182-member Assembly will be out on December 18.(With PTI inputs)

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Gujarat Elections 2017: PM alleges Pak want Ahmed Patel as CM, Rahul accuses him of dumping development agenda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today alleged Pakistan was interfering in Gujarat Assembly polls, and sought an explanation from the Congress over its top partymen who are said to have recently met leaders from the neighbouring country.Addressing a poll rally here, the prime minister also raised questions over the alleged appeal by former director general of the Pakistan Army, Sardar Arshad Rafiq, that senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel be made chief minister of Gujarat.Modi said (former Congress minister) Mani Shankar Aiyar had called him “neech” (vile) a day after the alleged meeting of Pakistani leaders with top Congressmen.Also readWatch | Gujarat Election 2017: Rahul Gandhi greeted with chants of ‘Modi, Modi’ during his temple visit”There were media reports yesterday about a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house. It was attended by Pakistan’s high commissioner, Pakistan’s former foreign minister, India’s former vice president and former prime minister Manmohan Singh,” Modi said.The meeting at Aiyar’s house carried on for almost three hours, Modi said.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: PM Modi changing agenda after getting exposed on development, says Rahul Gandhi”The next day, Mani Shankar Aiyar said Modi was ‘neech’. This is a serious matter,” he said.Modi added that Rafiq had backed Ahmed Patel as the next chief minister of Gujarat.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: PM Modi mocks Congress leader for saying EVMs can be hacked through Bluetooth”(On one side) Pakistan Army’s former DG is interfering in Gujarat’s election, on the other side, Pakistan’s people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house,” he said.”And, after that meeting, people of Gujarat, backward communities, poor people and Modi were insulted. Don’t you think such events raise doubts,” Modi asked.He said the Congress should inform the people of the country what exactly it was up to.Modi was speaking at the rally for the ongoing state Assembly polls. The second phase of polling in north and central Gujarat, including the Banaskantha district, will be held on December 14.Rahul accuses PM of dumping development agendaCongress vice president Rahul Gandhi today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of dumping the development agenda and talking only about himself during campaigning for the Gujarat polls.Gandhi, who began his second day of campaigning for the second phase polls after offering prayers at Lord Krishna’s Ranchhod Raiji Mandir here, claimed Modi frequently changed the election planks and now the prime minister was left with nothing to speak about.The BJP started its campaign on the issue of the Narmada.After 4-5 days, the public said they were not getting the river water, the Congress leader noted.”The BJP took a right turn. It said the election will not be contested on Narmada … let’s contest it on the issue of other backward classes (OBCs).”But then the OBCs said the BJP government did not do anything for them. After five-six days, the BJP made a sharp left turn and said it would take out development yatra and talk about 22 years of development,” he added.The Congress leader said he listened to the PM’s speech yesterday in which “Modiji talked about Modiji for 90 per cent of the time…First right turn, then left turn, then apply brakes”.”The election is not about Modiji, nor is it about me. It is neither about the BJP nor the Congress. This election is about the future of the people of Gujarat,” he said.Criticising Modi over his election rallies which run parallel to his public meetings ahead of the second phase of the polls, Gandhi accused the prime minister of not talking his future plans for the state and keeping mum on the issue of “corruption.”He also questioned the the prime minister over his silence on the agitations by various communities, including Patels, Dalits, anganwadi workers, among others.Gandhi said the truth had caught up with the BJP and it could go nowhere from here.He also asked Congress workers not to use “wrong words” against the prime minister and said his party will defeat him and the BJP with “love and sweet words”.The Congress leader attacked Modi over demonetisation and GST, saying the note ban helped all “thieves” convert their “black money into white” and the “Gabbar Singh Tax” destroyed small businesses and rendered one lakh people jobless.”For 60-70 minutes Modiji talks about himself but does not utter a word about note ban and Gabbar Singh. I was sitting in a tea shop. The tea seller said, Rahulji, I am making Rs 50 instead of Rs 100 I made before GST. He (Modi) has caused us 50 per cent loss,” Gandhi said.Gandhi also raised the issue of BJP president Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah’s business dealings whereby he allegedly “converted Rs 50,000 into Rs 80 crore”, and the Rafale fighter jet deal.”You must have observed Modiji does not talk about corruption in his speeches. He made you stand in the queue and imposed the Gabbar Singh Tax,” he said.”Earlier he used to say ‘na khaunga na khane dunga’. Now he does not utter a word on corruption,” Gandhi added.

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Mulayam says ‘lack of unity’ reason for Samajwadi Party’s loss in UP civic polls

In a surprise announcement, the Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav today announced that he will not contest 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Azamgarh and will move to his traditional seat Mainpuri.In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Mulayam had contested from Mainpuri and Azamgarh Lok Sabha seats simultaneously. After winning both the seats, he had left Mainpuri to retain Azamgarh. Earlier, Mulayam had won three times from Mainpuri Lok Sabha constituency which is considered a Samajwadi Party bastion. In the 2014 by-polls, Mulayam’s grand nephew and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son-in-law Tej Pratap SinghYadav won from the constituency. Speaking to mediapersons in Eatwah, Mulayam said he will leave Azamgarh to contest again from Mainpuri.When asked about party’s debacle in recently-concluded urban local bodies’ polls, Mulayam said there was no unity in the party. “If Shivpal Singh Yadav was given the campaigning charge, results would have been better,” he pointed.Also readNeech row| Mani Shankar Aiyar should be expelled from Congress, says Mulayam Singh YadavHe also showed reservations on son Ahilesh Yadav’s decision to contest five seats in Gujarat and actively campaign there. “Samajwadi Party will lose all the five seats,” he predicted.

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BJP MP files case against Mani Shankar Aiyar in Pune for his ‘neech’ remark against PM Modi

The controversy over suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Pune when a case was registered against Aiyar based on the complaint given by BJP MP Amar Sable. Sable had approached Nigdi police station with a complaint against Aiyar on Friday, claiming that the congress leader’s remark against the prime minister was deliberate. Based on his application, Nigdi police registered a non cognisable case against him on Sunday. Amar Sable, BJP’s Dalit face in Maharashtra, is a Rajya Sabha MP from the state. Senior police inspector Vijay Palsule, in charge of Nigdi police station, told DNA, “We had received the complaint from the member of parliament Sable. In his complaint, the MP has claimed that he was watching Aiyar’s press conference in Nigdi when he heard his remarks against the prime minister. Taking objection to his statement, he had given the complaint. Based on that, we have registered a NC (non cognisable) case against Aiyar.”Also readPM Modi turns the knife after ‘neech’ jibe, lists out every insult Congress threw at himSpeaking to a news agency, Aiyar had called Modi a ‘neech aadmi’. Following his remarks, the BJP and the prime minister took offence to Aiyar’s statement and raised the issue during election campaign rallies in Gujarat. The would-be Congress party president Rahul Gandi had asked Aiyar to tender an apology. Later in his clarification, Aiyar blamed his poor knowledge of Hindi language for his remarks. Also readAfter ‘neech aadmi’ jibe at PM Modi, Mani Shankar Aiyar suspended from Congress He has since been suspended from the Congress party. Amidst the controversy over Aiyar’s statement, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Amar Sable decided to take legal action against the Congress leader. Sable said, “Aiyar’s remark was an deliberate attempt to tarnish the image of the prime minister. By calling him ‘neech’, Aiyar has tried to create a divide in the society over caste issue. Such statement by a him may result into tension between community, hence I thought it was my duty to take legal action against him.”

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Why does Pak Army’s former DG want Ahmed Patel to be Gujarat CM, asks PM Modi

Continuing his campaign blitzkrieg in his home state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed a poll rally in Gujarat’s Palanpur, which will go to poll on December 14.Though bad throat forced him to cut short his speech, yet the Prime Minister left no stone unturned to slam his political detractors.After the blistering attack on now-suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar in Banaskantha, PM Modi took dig at the senior politician for his ‘secret meeting’ in Pakistan.Aiyar has been on BJP’s target ever since he sparked a political uproar with his ‘neech’ remark against the Prime Minister.Addressing a poll rally, the prime minister also raised questions over the alleged appeal by former director general of the Pakistan Army, Sardar Arshad Rafiq, that senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel be made chief minister of Gujarat.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | PM Modi resorting to bhashan ka shasan, says Rahul GandhiModi said (former Congress minister) Mani Shankar Aiyar had called him “neech” (vile) a day after the alleged meeting of Pakistani leaders with top Congressmen.”There were media reports yesterday about a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house. It was attended by Pakistan’s high commissioner, Pakistan’s former foreign minister, India’s former vice president and former prime minister Manmohan Singh,” Modi said.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: PM Modi thanks people for turning out in record numbersThe meeting at Aiyar’s house carried on for almost three hours, Modi said.”The next day, Mani Shankar Aiyar said Modi was ‘neech’. This is a serious matter,” he said.Also readGujarat Elections 2017: PM Modi changing agenda after getting exposed on development, says Rahul GandhiModi added that Rafiq had backed Ahmed Patel as the next chief minister of Gujarat.”(On one side) Pakistan Army’s former DG is interfering in Gujarat’s election, on the other side, Pakistan’s people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house,” he said.”And, after that meeting, people of Gujarat, backward communities, poor people and Modi were insulted. Don’t you think such events raise doubts,” Modi asked.He also attacked Ahmed Patel, a senior Congress leader and big name in Gujarat politics.Known to be a confidant of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Patel was slammed for his apparent Pak links.In a covert remark without saying much, Pm Modi asked, “Why are people who previously held high posts in military-intelligence establishment of Pak writing that we should help make Ahmed Patel the CM.”It should be noted that Patel was in news recently for his alleged ‘links’ with an ISIS man.The Rajya Sabha member was targeted after the Gujarat ATS arrested two suspected ISIS men, of which one was a lab technician at a hospital where Patel was a trustee.With inputs from PTI

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Neech row| Mani Shankar Aiyar should be expelled from Congress, says Mulayam Singh Yadav

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar should be expelled from the party for his ‘neech’ remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Samajwadi Party patron Mulayam Singh Yadav said.”The word ‘neech’ used for the prime minister by a Congress leader is certainly wrong…A person who has uttered such a statement should not just be suspended, but expelled from the party,” Yadav told reporters here yesterday.He said positive politics has virtually vanished, and “politics of mud-slinging” has become a common phenomena.Also readPM Modi turns the knife after ‘neech’ jibe, lists out every insult Congress threw at him”There has been a paradigm shift in the country’s politics. ‘Sakaratmak rajniti’ (positive politics) has virtually vanished, and politics of mud-slinging (keechad uchaalne ki rajniti) has become a common phenomena,” Yadav said.Aiyar was suspended from the Congress earlier this week after he called the prime minister a “neech kism ka aadmi” (vile sort of man).Also readAfter ‘neech aadmi’ jibe at PM Modi, Mani Shankar Aiyar suspended from Congress “The prevailing circumstances in the country, and the way the government is functioning, there is a need for a big movement, and in coming time a movement will be launched,” he said.The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said almost all sections of the society were worried.Also readNeech row | Strategic suspension, says Arun Jaitley, Amar Singh recalls infamous ‘jhadap’: 10 updates “During our regime, we had given priority to roads, education, health, drinking water and electricity. This gave employment to youngsters, and also developed the state,” he said.

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Omar Abdullah lauds Rahul Gandhi for quick action

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah decided to pat Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for taking a quick action against senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar over ‘neech’ fiasco.”Well done Rahul. Good for you… If anyone had doubts about Rahul’s willingness to take quick & decisive action today should put those doubts to rest. He has handled the *Neech* fiasco like a leader,” Omar tweeted.Omar’s reaction came minutes after Rahul Gandhi expressed his displeasure about Mani Shankar Aiyar’s remarks against the Prime Minister via a tweet and demanded apologies from the now-suspended leader.Omar and Rahul both were instrumental to stitch National Conference and Congress alliance in 2008 which crumbled in 2014. Both the parties had to bite the dust in 2014 elections with PDP and BJP sweeping the polls in Jammu and Kashmir.”BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party. The Congress has a different culture and heritage. I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer to address the PM. Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said,” Rahul tweeted.Earlier former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister was active on twitter giving the running commentary on the Neech fiasco and its implications on the polls in Gujarat.”If I had as many loose cannons in the party as the Congress seems to have I’d be even more of a basket case than I am now… Gotta hand it to the PM though, if you bowl such loose deliveries in the slog overs he’s going to hit them for a six & that’s what’s been done with the neech nonsense”, he saidOmar and Rahul have been the best of buddies and both were instrumental to stitch National Conference and Congress alliance in 2008 which however crumbled before the 2014 elections. However both parties had to bite the dust in 2014 elections with PDP and BJP sweeping the polls in Jammu and Kashmir.

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PM Modi & Rahul Gandhi lock horns over Mani Shankar Aiyar

With the stage set for the first phase of Assembly elections in Gujarat on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi exchanged barbs on Friday. Campaigning for the second phase of the elections, the PM also created a stir by accusing suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar of giving a ‘supari’ (contract for killing) for him while he was on a visit to Pakistan to ensure peace between India and the neighbouring country. Modi alleged that the Congress tried to suppress this episode and did not take any action against Aiyar.Attacking the Congress over its work culture, the PM alleged that the party believed in ‘atkana’ (to stall), ‘latkana’ (to keep the issue hanging), and ‘bhatkana’ (to misguide).Voting for 89 seats of Saurashtra and south Gujarat will be held on Saturday, while for 93 seats of north and central Gujarat, including Chhota Udepur, will he held on December 14.Modi also told the rally in the tribal-dominated Banaskantha region that Narmada waters reached them due to BJP. He reminded the crowd that during the worst floods that hit Patan and Banaskantha, Congress MLAs were relaxing in Bengaluru while BJP leaders were working with people and helping in relief operations.Modi also questioned how those people who left the flood-affected people stranded would now serve them. The PM used Aiyar’s remarks against him, pleading to people to give them (Congress) a reply on the voting day.The PM’s comments come a day after Aiyar set off a political firestorm when he called Modi a ‘neech kism ka aadmi’. “Shriman Mani Shankar Aiyar… you know what he did?” Modi asked a gathering of people in the small town of Banaskantha district. “He gave this ‘gaali’ (abuse) to me or you? Did he abuse me or Gujarat? Did he abuse the cultured society of India or me?” Modi asked.”Let us not talk about that abuse, as people of Gujarat will look into it and give a reply and they (Congress) will know the result on December 18,” he said.The PM also created a stir within the audience when he said that Aiyar planned his “removal” in Pakistan. “After I became the PM, this man (Aiyar) went to Pakistan and met some Pakistanis. All this is available on the social media. In that meeting, he is seen telling with Pakistanis that until Modi is not removed from the way, relationship between India and Pakistan cannot improve,” Modi said.”Someone tell me, what is the meeting of this? You had gone to Pakistan to give my ‘supari’, you wanted to give Modi’s ‘supari’ (contract for killing),” the PM further said.Congress president-elect Gandhi then targeted the PM on the plight of tribals, questioning him about Rs 55,000 crore fund meant for them. In his 10th question in a series ahead of the polls in the state, Gandhi reminded the BJP about its promises to tribals.At a poll rally in the tribal town in Chhota Udepur district, Gandhi said his party came out with a manifesto after consulting various sections of the society, such as tribal communities, women, and youth, and incorporated their demands. “Modiji used to say that the BJP will rule in Gujarat for the next 100 years. But he is not saying a single word about the future of Gujarat at his rallies,” he said.”Instead, Modiji talks about Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and so many global issues. This election is not about Modi or Gandhi. It is about the people of Gujarat,” he added.He further said that all key demands of tribal communities, such as implementation of Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, filling up of vacant posts reserved for STs, scholarships for tribal students, and better compensation for land acquisition, have been included in the Congress manifesto. “The BJP government snatched 6.5 lakh acres of tribal land in Gujarat without giving proper compensation,” the Congress leader alleged.He also said that Congress respected PM Modi and that is why strict action was taken against party leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who used the word ‘neech’ for Modi a day earlier.

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PM Modi turns the knife after ‘neech’ jibe, lists out every insult Congress threw at him

Starting the second phase of campaign in North Gujarat, PM Modi addressed a crowd in Nikol, Ahmedabad where he spoke about BJP’s chances in the upcoming elections, the rise of the middle class and the recent unparliamentary comments by Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, and also went on to list, a host of insults meted out by Congress leaders against him.He was quoted saying by ANI: “After travelling across Saurashtra, Kutch, South Gujarat and North Gujarat I am now in Ahmedabad. What I am seeing is extraordinary. It is clear that BJP will emerge victorious. The population of our middle class is rising and so is the strength of our middle class. This section of society aspires to progress at a quick pace. Why should it be that only malls can remain open for long durations. We ensured that small shops can also be open for long- this gives economic opportunities to several people.”Speaking about the attack in Amarnath, he said that that the perpetrators were punished by our armed forces.Also readAdityanath praises PM Modi after UNESCO recognises Kumbh Mela as ‘intangible cultural heritage of humanity’He also addressed the ‘neech’ remarks made against him by Mani Shankar Aiyar and listed the list of insults Congress had meted out to him over the years.He said: “They have not called me ‘Neech’ for the first time yesterday. Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and her family members have used it too. Why am I ‘Neech’ – because I was born poor, because I am of a lower caste, because I am a Gujarati? Is that why they hate me?”Also readMani Shankar Aiyar’s ‘Neech Aadmi’ comment: Has Rahul Gandhi’s timely intervention saved the day for Congress? He added that Anand Sharma had called him ‘mentally unstable’. He said: “A Congress leader re-tweeted such an offensive Tweet about me that I cannot even say it. What did Digvijaya Singh tweet about me? Evidently, one Gujarati, a person born into a poor family has troubled them a lot.”He added: “Digvijaya Singh said Modi Sarkar is like Rakshas Raaj and Modi is Ravana. Pramod Tiwari, who headed the Congress in UP, said Modi is in the list of Hitler, Mussolini& Gaddafi. Day and night the Congress has abused me. I keep quiet only because my priority is work.”He added that another Congress leader had called him a monkey, Jairam Ramesh had compared him to Bhasmasur and Beni Prasad Verma called him a ‘mad dog’. Ghulam Nabi Azad, he reminded the audience had called him ‘Gangu Teli’, asking if this was the way one ought to utter in public life.He added: “Imran Masood, who they gave a ticket to, he said we will cut Modi into pieces. Renuka Chowdhury called me a virus. She said I bring Namonitis. I don’t even want to get started on what Gujarat Congress leaders have been calling me.”

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Mani Shankar Aiyar’s ‘Neech Aadmi’ comment: Has Rahul Gandhi’s timely intervention saved the day for Congress?

In politics, a single moment, an inadvertent off-the-cuff comment can be the difference between winning and losing. Sometimes it may even cost you an entire election. Ask Hillary Clinton or Mitt Romney. Hillary’s ‘deplorables’ remark in 2016, Romney’s jibe that 47% don’t pay income tax and he wouldn’t be responsible for them in 2012 galvanised a whole voting block against them, and brought about their eventual downfall. Closer home, Mohan Bhagwat too faced similar brunt when his comment about reservations became a full-blown political controversy, leading to the then Mahagatbandhan (the alliance formed by the JD(U) and the RJD) sweeping Bihar elections against a formidable BJP. Many political pundits would have believed Mani Shankar Aiyar’s jibe about PM Modi being a ‘neech aadmi’ to have similar effect. Well, PM Modi certainly thought so. Merely an hour after Aiyar accused Modi of being a low-life, PM lashed out at him in a rally at Surat. He pitched it as a class battle with entitled educated Aiyar picking on a person coming from humble background to reach the very top of public life. Essentially it was a chaiwallah jibe redux, with PM Modi again playing on a sense of victimhood aided by Aiyar’s incredibly caste-deaf, classist comment. And here’s where Rahul Gandhi’s intervention was important from Congress point of view. He was prompt in condemning Aiyar on Twitter asking him to apologise. On the other hand, he mentioned that BJP and PM are frequent offenders of name calling, essentially trying to discriminate between the two parties. When Aiyar refused to issue a blanket apology, instead of taking umbrage in not knowing Hindi properly, he got the guillotine. In a rare instant, certainly in Indian politics, a senior politician was virtually shown the door for an intemperate comment in a matter of few hours. By this Rahul Gandhi has achieved two things. Firstly, he has managed to draw a clear line of sand, that abuse will not be accepted by him. And no matter who the person is, violating the norm would lead to sanctions. It did not matter the politician in this case was someone handpicked Rahul Gandhi’s father Rajiv as a bright young talent during his tenure as PM. A leader can’t be guided by emotions and Rahul showed his ruthless streak on Thursday. Also read’Chaiwala’ redux! Mani Shankar Aiyar scores ‘neech’ self-goalDuring the Gujarat campaign, Rahul in a workshop with Congress’ social media team in Ahmedabad had mentioned the no-abuse policy. The fact that he could walk the talk when needed was certainly a welcome change in Indian politics, where hypocrisy rules the roost. Secondly, Rahul hopes to have blunted BJP making this a full blown issue in the run-up to the second phase and on social media even before the first phase. The saffron party may still manage to do so, with their sophisticated communication machinery but Congress can’t be accused of simply acting like a bystander. Irrespective of the final result and impact of Mani Shankar Aiyar’s ill-timed jibe, Thursday’s intervention from Rahul Gandhi shows Congress is clearly in a reboot mode. @OfficeofRG got ample amount of sass few months back after making a clean break from boring press release-like tweets. It even introduced Pidi to the world, resulting in innumerable memes and jokes. But the real test was always going to be handling a crisis situation. And judging by the alacrity of action both online and offline, Rahul Gandhi has passed this test. Also readGujarat Elections 2017: PM Modi’s retort to Aiyar’s lowly jibe caps off campaign for Phase 1Now, compare it with the past. PM Modi went to the town seeking mileage from Aiyar’s chaiwallah jibe during 2014 and there was no counter of Congress. Similarly the party looked weak and listless while trying to defend several graft allegations in the past. The messaging lead by Rahul Gandhi is certainly better and prompt now. But will it matter finally? In this election season, we have seen controversies with youth Congress tweeting defamatory cartoons, Aiyar virtually equating the Gandhi family with the Moghuls and now this latest faux-pas. This alongside the controversy whether Rahul Gandhi is a Hindu or not has sort of managed to divert the focus away from the most important issues in the elections. That works well for BJP which is fighting anti-incumbency, discontent of the Patidars and backlash from twin effects of GST and demonetization. The Congress self-goal has definitely helped BJP to find a new gear in the closing phase of the marathon election campaign. Also readPeople see through this game: Arun Jaitley on Mani Shankar Aiyar’s suspension from CongressHowever, irrespective of the result it can be said that Congress has new a spring in its step. And the credit goes majorly to Rahul Gandhi. He has a Herculean task to reorganise the grand old party so that it can match BJP in every step. But for now, it seems to have finally got hang of the online game and its impact on real politic. That’s probably is the biggest takeaway from Thursday’s Mani Shankar error.
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Yogi Adityanath

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Cops fail to trace lone witness in murder case

Two men, accused of brutally killing a person on the roof of a temple here, have been acquitted by a Delhi court after the police failed to bring the lone eyewitness before it.Special Judge Narinder Kumar absolved the two accused of the offence of murder under the IPC and said the prosecution could not secure the presence of the 16-year-old eyewitness on whose statement the case was registered.”Despite efforts, prosecution could not secure presence of prosecution witness…Fresh process was issued and directed to be served. However, the inspector also could not get the process served because of non traceability of the witness,” the judge said.The court noted the police’s submission that the witness was a vagabond and hence summons could not be served upon him.”As a result, when court finds that prosecution has not been able to substantiate accusation levelled against the accused, both the accused persons are acquitted of the charge framed against them,” the judge said.According to the prosecution, the victim was found dead on the roof of a temple near New Delhi Railway Station on January 21 this year.The police lodge a murder case after the eyewitness, a teenager, told them that he saw the accused kill the man with a stone and a knife on the roof of the Gauri Shankar temple here.It was alleged that the accused were arrested and the weapons used in committing the offence were also recovered.The post-mortem report, too, confirmed that stone caused his death, the court noted. However, as the only eyewitness could not be produced, the court did not consider other witnesses and evidences and acquitted the accused of the charges.
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Gujarat Elections 2017: PM Modi’s retort to Aiyar’s lowly jibe caps off campaign for Phase 1

A vituperative campaign for the first phase of the crucial Gujarat Assembly polls that saw emotive issues of religion and caste competing with that of development as the main rivals, BJP and Congress, launched no-holds-barred attacks on each other ended this evening.The sparring between the two parties while canvassing for the polls, dubbed as a prestige battle for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a litmus test for the leadership of soon- to-be Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, continued till the very end with Manishankar Aiyar’s “neech aadmi” jibe at Modi triggering a controversy.A total of 89 seats — out of 182 — spanning the Saurashtra and south Gujarat regions, are up for grabs in the first phase with 977 candidates in the fray, including Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.Also readAfter ‘neech aadmi’ jibe at PM Modi, Mani Shankar Aiyar suspended from Congress Polling will be held on Saturday.Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) B B Swain said around 2.12 crore of the 4.35 crore voters of the state were expected to exercise their franchise on Saturday.Also readMani Shankar Aiyar is a BJP mole in Congress: Twitter reacts to to his ‘neech’ comment against PM ModiThe Election Commission (EC) had earlier announced that Gujarat would be the second state after Goa where the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) system would be used, along with electronic voting machines (EVMs), at all the 50,128 polling booths.Modi and Gandhi had aggressively led their parties’ campaigns in Saurashtra and south Gujarat which often turned personal.Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Unlike PM Modi, I can err, says Rahul GandhiThe poll narrative kept changing with issues such as the Ayodhya title suit, Gandhi’s imminent elevation as the Congress president and his visits to temples being raised by the BJP brass.The campaign mainly shaped up as a duel between Modi and Gandhi, with the latter emerging as the Congress’ pivot to take on the might of the prime minister on his home turf.While the BJP is fighting anti-incumbency and struggling to alter a seemingly negative perception about demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) rollout, the Congress, galvanised by an assertive Gandhi, has mainly targeted the “hollow Gujarat development model” to slam Modi.Saurashtra and Kutch are crucial for the ruling BJP as these two regions have the highest concentration of seats in the first phase.Political pundits believe that the party winning the maximum number of seats from Saurashtra and Kutch will be better placed to form the next government in the state.Saurashtra, located on the Arabian Sea coast, covers 11 districts of the state.Kutch is the largest district in Gujarat, comprising 10 talukas, 939 villages and six municipalities.Of the 58 seats in Saurashtra and Kutch, the BJP had won 35 in the 2012 Assembly polls and the Congress 20. Of the remaining three seats, two were won by the now-defunct Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) of Keshubhai Patel and one by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).In 2007, the tally of the BJP and the Congress in Saurashtra and Kutch stood at 43 and 14 respectively, while the NCP had bagged one seat.Of the 35 seats spread across the seven districts of south Gujarat, the BJP had won 28 and the Congress six in the 2012 polls. The remaining seat was won by “Others”.The 2009 tally for the BJP and the Congress stood at 19 and 14 seats respectively in south Gujarat, while two constituencies had gone to “Others”.Prominent candidates in the fray for the Saturday battle include Rupani, who is contesting from Rajkot (West) against the Congress’ Indranil Rajyaguru, Shaktisinh Gohil (Mandvi) and Paresh Dhanani (Amreli) — both from the Congress.Rajput strongman Gohil has locked horns with the BJP’s new face, Virendrasinh Jadeja, also a Rajput, in the Muslim- dominated seat.In Patidar-dominated Amreli, Dhanani (the sitting Congress MLA) is pitted against BJP heavyweight Bavkubhai Undhad, the legislator from the nearby Lathi seat.The contest for the 12 seats in Surat, the diamond and textile hub of the country as well as a BJP bastion, is being viewed as a referendum on the note ban and GST, as the BJP is facing a stiff opposition from the trading community.The campaign was marred by a number of controversies, with the latest being Aiyar’s off-the-cuff remarks against Modi, which the latter termed an “insult to Gujarat” while addressing a rally in Surat.Earlier, a row had erupted over the Youth Congress’ online magazine tweeting a meme of Modi, mocking his English speaking skills and raising his “chaiwalla” past.Similarly, Gandhi’s visit to the famous Somnath temple had triggered a controversy over his faith.Shedding his “reluctant politician” persona, Gandhi, during his campaign, had interacted with the traders in Surat, who vented their ire against demonetisation and the “complicated GST structure”.Subsequently, the Congress vice-president had attacked the Modi government over the “four-tier” GST structure and sought rationalisation of the indirect tax rates.For the BJP, Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Smriti Irani had held the fort to defend the GST and note ban, while trying to allay the concerns of the traders and textile merchants during their interactions with them.On the campaign trail, Modi had addressed about 15 rallies, while Gandhi had spent more than seven days in Saurashtra and south Gujarat, addressing a number of meetings.BJP president Amit Shah, the chief poll strategist of the saffron party, had also addressed a number of rallies, mainly targeting the Congress and Gandhi.The BJP had also drafted in Union minister Rajnath Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, besides Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.The Congress had fielded former prime minister Manmohan Singh and prominent leaders such as P Chidambaram, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Sachin Pilot, to name a few, for canvassing.A big takeaway for the Congress from these polls is ensuring the support of the Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), an umbrella organisation of the numerically strong Patidar community, which has traditionally formed the bedrock of the BJP’s support in Gujarat.In its bid to form a caste bloc against the BJP, the Congress has won over Alpesh Thakor, Patel and Jignesh Mewani, who have emerged as the young Turks representing the OBCs, Patidars and Dalits respectively.The Congress, in political wilderness in Gujarat for nearly 22 years, is desperate to break the jinx. It has raised issues such as the BJP’s “hollow development model”, “the prime minister’s proximity with select industrialists”, besides demonetisation and GST, at the hustings.Polling for the second and final phase, comprising 93 seats spanning north and central Gujarat, will be held on December 14. The counting of votes will be taken up on December 18.
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People see through this game: Arun Jaitley on Mani Shankar Aiyar’s suspension from Congress

The Congress today suspended its senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar from the primary membership of the party and issued him a show cause notice, after he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “neech aadmi” (vile man).The disciplinary action against the Gandhi family loyalist came barely two days before the first phase of Assembly poll in Gujarat.Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called it a ‘deliberate casteist statement’, ‘a convenient apology’ and ‘a strategic suspension’. He wrote on Twitter: “Mani Shankar Aiyer’s ‘Neech’ -attack on Prime Minister- a deliberate casteist statement, a convenient apology, a strategic suspension. People should see through this game.”The BJP earlier refuted Mani Shankar Aiyar’s claim that he held no post in the Congress as its leaders referred to his appointment in the “communication strategy group” by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in July this year.Also readHow Mani Shankar Aiyar embarrased Congress over the ages”All India Congress Committee Communication Strategist Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar’s comment reflects what @INCIndia thinks of Honourable Prime Minister. Shameful to say the least,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani tweeted.She also posted a copy of the Congress press release, dated July 12, which named Aiyar as one of the leaders in the communication team. Its other members included senior party leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and P Chidambaram.Also readAfter ‘neech aadmi’ jibe at PM Modi, Mani Shankar Aiyar suspended from Congress “To humiliate the PM for his humble origins, to assert that they are the only ones born to reign has been Congress’s Neeti – their belief and strategy. The people of Gujarat will respond to this insult by supporting ‘Vikaswad’ not ‘Vanshwad’,” Irani said.BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said Aiyar was appointed to avoid media slip-ups and that he was wrong in saying he had no formal responsibility in the Congress.As a controversy erupted over Aiyar’s ‘neech’ jibe at Modi, he claimed that he was a freelance Congressman and held no post.With its leader Mani Shankar Aiyar coming under attack for his “neech aadmi” remark against Narendra Modi, the Congress today said that Rahul Gandhi had asked party leaders not to use uncouth language when referring to the prime minister.”(Congress vice president) Rahul Gandhi has criticised the language used by Aiyar…We have once again issued an advisory saying that however uncouth language the party in power uses against us, and however Modi-ji may insult (former prime minister Jawaharlal) Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, we will not use such language against the prime minister,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said here.”We are followers of Mahatma Gandhi and he always adopted non-violence as a way to counter the violence inflicted through words or physical violence. Rahul Gandhi has said no Congress member should lose decency and balance in the use of words,” Surjewala said at a press conference.”Rahul Gandhi has criticised all those who use unreasonable language against the prime minister…We will reply to violence with dignity and love,” he said.Aiyar today called Modi a “neech aadmi” (a vile man), who did “dirty politics”, kicking up a row on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly polls.”He (Modi) is ‘neech kism ka aadmi’ (a vile man) who has no ‘sabhyata’ (civility),” Aiyar said, attacking Modi after the latter accused the Congress of seeking votes in B R Ambedkar’s name but trying to erase his contribution to nation building.Modi, at a campaign rally in Surat, termed Aiyar’s words as insult to Gujarat.Attacking the prime minister over his remarks during the inauguration of the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi this morning, Surjewala said that under the BJP-led government at the Centre, atrocities on Dalits have risen sharply.”Cases of atrocities on Dalits are being registered at the rate of 41,000 per year, or (a case of atrocity on) one Dalit every eight minutes, as per the National Crime records Bureau, but the prime minister remains silent,” the Congress spokesperson said.”In 2013, the UPA government had given 92,928 jobs to Dalits, which came down to 8,400 in 2015. Today, there is 31 per cent backlog in vacancies in jobs reserved for Dalits in the Central government,” he said.”Congress government had launched a pre-matric Scheduled Caste scholarship, allocating Rs 882 crore for it in 2013-14. Modi reduced the budget to Rs 50 crore in 2017-18,” Surjewala claimed.”Budget for rehabilitation of manual scavengers went down from Rs 439 crore to Rs 5 crore,” he said.The prime minister should not use Ambedkar’s name to badmouth Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi or the Congress, he said.With inputs from PTI
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After ‘neech aadmi’ jibe at PM Modi, Mani Shankar Aiyar suspended from Congress

Congress party in a damage control mode just couple of days before the Gujarat elections have suspended Mani Shanakar Aiyar for his ‘neech aadmi’ comment at PM Modi, reports ANI. He has been issued a show cause notice to explain his remarks about PM Modi. Earlier Rahul Gandhi had asked him to apologise for his comments, but instead of giving a clear apology, Aiyar tried to defend his comments under the umbrage of not knowing Hindi properly. Also readHow Mani Shankar Aiyar embarrased Congress over the agesPrime Minister Narendra Modi today lambasted Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for using the word “neech aadmi” (vile man) for him, claiming he was targeted over his caste. Modi, who was addressing an election rally here, said Aiyar’s comments were an “insult” to Gujarat. “Shriman (Mr) Mani Shankar Aiyar today said that Modi is of ‘neech’ (lower) caste and is ‘neech’ (vile). Is this not an insult to Gujarat? “This is a Mughal mentality where if such a person (who comes from a humble background) wears good clothes in a village, they have a problem,” Modi said.Aiyar today kicked up a row when he called Modi a “neech” (vile man) after the prime minister, while inaugurating the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi, hit out at the Congress, saying parties seeking votes in Ambedkar’s name tried to erase his contribution to nation building. “He (Modi) is ‘neech kism ka aadmi’ (a vile man) who has no ‘sabhyata’ (civility),” he said, attacking Modi after the latter accused the Congress of seeking votes in Ambedkar’s name but trying to erase his contribution to building India. The prime minister also accused the Congress leadership of having a “Mughal” mindset.Also readAfter PM Modi’s rebuttal against Mani Shankar Aiyar’s ‘neech’ comment, Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley pile on the criticismCongress leaders have a problem if someone like him (Modi) wears good clothes, the prime minister said, in an apparent reference to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s “suit-boot ki sarkar” jibe in the past. “You have seen me as chief minister for 14 years and then as prime minister. Have I done any work which has made you look down (in shame)? Have I done any ‘neech’ work?” Modi asked the gathering. The prime minister also requested BJP workers and supporters not to respond to Aiyar’s remark. “Please do not respond to the remark even on Twitter,” he said. With PTI inputs
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World Cultural Festival: NGT holds Art of Living responsible for damaging Yamuna floodplains

The National Green Tribunal today held the Art of Living Foundation of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar responsible for the damage caused to the Yamuna floodplains due to holding of the World Cultural Festival organised by it in March 2016.A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, however, refused to impose any further environment compensation on the AoL and said the amount of Rs 5 crore which was submitted by it earlier would be used for the restoration of the floodplains. “We hold AoL responsible for the damage caused to the Yamuna floodplains in terms of the report submitted by the expert committee,” the bench said.The bench also comprising Justice Jawad Rahim and expert member B S Sajwan directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to assess the damage caused on floodplains and compute cost of restoration in line with the recommendations of the expert panel. The tribunal said that in case if the expenditure of the restoration crosses the cost Rs 5 crore then it would be recovered from the AoL. However, if the costs is less than Rs 5 crore, the remaining amount would be refunded to the foundation, it said.Also readWorld Culture Festival: Art Of Living terms NGT panel report on damage to Yamuna floodplains ‘unscientific’The NGT also said that Yamuna floodplains should not be used for any activity which can cause damage to the environment. However, it refused to decide whether AoL was authorised to hold the festival on Yamuna floodplains or not saying it is beyond its jurisdiction. The NGT also rapped the DDA for failing to exercise its duty to protect the Yamuna floodplains but refrained from imposing any penalty on it. Before the pronouncement of the judgement, it was informed that Justice R S Rathore, who had earlier heard the matter had recused from the bench.The AoL counsel said that they will approach the Supreme Court against the verdict. “We are not in agreement with the verdict. The Art of Living is disappointed with the decision taken by the NGT for damaging Yamuna floodplains during its World Culture Festival. “We do not agree with the verdict. Our submissions have not been dealt with/considered. We will appeal to the Supreme Court. We are confident that we will get justice before the Supreme Court,” AoL said.Also readWorld Culture Festival: Decomposed body found at site of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s eventThe NGT had on November 13 reserved its order on the issue of damage caused to the Yamuna floodplains where a cultural extravaganza was organised last year by the Art of Living. The expert panel had told the NGT that a Rs 42.02 crore would be required to restore Yamuna floodplains which was ravaged due to the cultural extravaganza held from March 11- 13, 2016. The Green Panel was hearing a plea filed by Manoj Misra who claimed that severe damage was done to the river and the floodplains and it must be restored by authorities concerned.
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Mani Shankar Aiyar ‘neech’ comment: PM calls it deplorable, Rahul demands apology

In a fresh coarsening of discourse just ahead of Gujarat election, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has called PM Modi as ‘neech kisam ka admi’. He also said that the PM is devoid of any manners. Shortly after that, speaking from an election rally in Surat, PM reacted to this jibe and said that it is extremely deplorable. Modi said that people of Gujarat will give a befitting answer for such language in the upcoming polls. Later, reacting to this comment, Rahul Gandhi said that Congress party doesn’t endorse Aiyar’s views and expect him to apologise for making such statement. Earlier, talking to ANI, Aiyar said, Speaking about the incident, Mani Shankar Aiyar apologised and said that when he said ‘neech’ he meant ‘low level’. He told ANI: “Why was PM taking a jibe at Congress and Rahul Gandhi at inauguration of a Centre on Baba Saheb Ambedkar? Everyday PM is using foul language against our leaders. I am a freelance Congressi, I hold no post in the party, so I can reply to PM in his language.”He added: “I meant low level when I said ‘neech’, I think in English when I speak in Hindi as Hindi is not my mother tongue. So, if it has some other meaning then I apologize.”Also readGujarat Elections 2017 | Unlike PM Modi, I can err, says Rahul GandhiInterestingly Aiyar had also attracted controversy in the past by calling Modi a chai-wallah before 2014 elections, which virtually changed the discourse before the general elections. Here Aiyar said, ” There can’t be any doubt that PM is a low-life as he badmouthed the Gandhi family on Ambedkar Jayanti”. He further said that there was no need of doing any politics in a day to remember Ambedkar, but PM indulged in it, Also readGujarat elections 2017 | House for women, cheaper power: Cong’s manifestoSoon, PM Modi responded and virtually blasted Congress party and its leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for this jibe. He was quoted by ANI as saying, “Congress leaders are speaking in a language that is not acceptable in democracy. One Congress leader, who has studied in best institutions, served as a diplomat, was a Minister in Cabinet, he said Modi is ‘Neech.’ This is insulting. This is nothing but a Mughalai Mindset”, PM expressed hope that Gujaratis won’t be mute spectator to all these ‘insults’ and said, ” What all have they called us- donkeys, Neech, Gandi Naali Ke Keede…the people of Gujarat will give a fitting answer to such deplorable language”. PM then asked the voters that has he ever done something for which they have felt ashamed? Then why is he being called ‘neech’, he asked. PM Modi urged BJP leaders not to react to such comments and urged voters to give a befitting reply during the elections. Later Rahul Gandhi tweeted asked Mani Shankar Aiyar to apologise even though he couldn’t avoid taking a dig at PM Modi saying he ‘routinely used filthy language’.
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Muslim organisation oppose single-step criminalisation of triple talaq

Indian Muslims for Secular Democracy (IMSD) has written to the Union Minister of Law and Justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad stating that they support the legislation to declare instant triple talaq as an illegal act. According to the organisation, they are opposing the Union government to criminalize the practice and make it punishable with three years in jail and fine.As per the orgnaisation, they are supporting the legislation to declare instant triple talaq as illegal while the Supreme Court’s verdict has only declared it invalid.Detailing the reason for taking this step, Javed Ananad, convener, said, “It is too drastic measure which leaves no opportunity for the errant husband to retrace his steps, leaves no opportunity for attempts at reconciliation. It will amounts to an indirect punishment of the already aggrieved wife and children. A husband in jail cannot raise money to pay for the wife’s legitimate claim for maintenance of her children and herself.”Also readBMMA welcomes draft law to criminalise triple talaqThe letter was also submitted to the Law Commission of India, National Commission for Women, National Commission for Minorities, National Human Rights Commission.Speaking about why they want triple talaq to be under Domestic Violence Act offence, Feroze Mithiborwala, co-convener, said, “It is a secular law applicable to women irrespective of caste and creed, enacted especially with a view to deliver speedy reliefs to an aggrieved woman. It also gives the husband an opportunity to retrace his steps, save the marriage and fulfill his marital obligations. Only if he fails to comply with the court order he face punishment.”
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Delhi HC rejects appeal of man, 3 children who murdered relative’s Hindu wife

The Delhi High Court has struck down the appeals of a man, his two sons and a daughter for setting their relatives’ wife on fire in 2010 because she was a Hindu who had married a Muslim.Terming it as a “calculated murderous assault by other members of the family of the husband apparently fuelled by religious hatred”, a bench of Justice C Hari Shankar and Justice SP Garg refused to grant any relief to the four accused.“The present case being one of a calculated murderous assault by other members of the family of the husband, on his hapless wife, by overpowering her and setting her on fire, apparently fuelled only by religious hatred, we are of the view that the sentences awarded, to the accused, by the learned ASJ, do not call for any interference at our hands.Arti, the victim, told the police that her husband’s uncle, identified as Aslam, and his family were not happy with their marriage with their nephew, identified only as Javed in 2006. She further stated that Aslam and his children Ashraf, Sammi and Huma did not like her as she was Hindu and they were Muslims. They quarreled with her on the pretext that she had humiliated them in society.On October 16, 2010, the four picked up a fight with Arti and set her ablaze after dousing her with kerosene. Her husband and other in-laws were not at home during the time of the incident.She was rushed to hospital when her husband returned from work where she succumbed to her injuries after recording her statement with the police. Following this, an FIR was registered and a chargesheet was filed against Aslam because the other three were declared proclaimed offenders.Later Ashraf and Sammi surrendered and after trial, the court sentenced them to life imprisonment. This was challenged by the accused in the High court on the grounds that the dying declaration was not recorded in question answer form and hence could not be read as evidence. The accused also claimed that there were variations in the dying declaration.However, the court did not agree to this contention stating that the Supreme Court in one of the cases had negated the demand for the dying declaration to be in question answer form.“The argument, of the defence, that Art’s dying declaration ought to have been recorded in question-answer form, had also been negated by the Supreme Court in Amar Singh Munna Singh Suryawanshi v state of Maharashtra, AIR 2008 SC 479,” the bench said.The bench held that the dying declaration of Arti recorded before the SDM was credible and acceptable in evidence and wholly believable.
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Doctors day out: Rajasthan medics protest, treat patients in tents

Even with most doctors feeling the heat over the High court order and recent transfers, some “rebels” left their offices to set up tents outside to treat the needy.In a prolonged confrontation with the health department, the in-service government doctors were out to muster public support ahead of a warning to the government. The doctors at many districts avoided going to hospitals and carried out their duties underneath trees, camps and even benches under the open sun. This was a common sight at many public health centers, community health centers and district hospitals.”We have issued the government a notice of 72 hours to act upon the consensus reached after the recent stir, the government’s adamant attitude is forcing us towards another movement,” said Dr Nasreen Bharti, patron of an in-service doctors association in Rajasthan.The doctors though have decided to keep health services uninterrupted, however, put the onus on state government for keeping up the truce. “We are committed to treat the patients, however, if forced to further intensify the agitation, it will be due to inconsideration of the state government,” said Dr Durga Shankar Saini, general secretary of All Rajasthan In Service Doctors Union.Health minister Kalicharan Saraf, meanwhile, claimed that efforts were in process for implementation of the doctors’ demand agreed upon at the consensus with state government. Jaipur, did not see much of a stir.Around 10,000 doctors employed at state health department went on mass leave in the first week of November. The stir severely impacted public health services across the state and ended after seven days following a consensus between the doctors and health minister Kalicharan Saraf. However, as many of the doctors to have led the agitation got transferred, the doctors are back on agitation path.
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Delhi High Court seeks status report on non-release of bailed undertrials

After a plea contended that over 300 undertrials were rotting in Tihar jail even after being granted bail, the Delhi High Court has sought a status report from the Delhi government.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar told the government to file the report by Saturday. The report must include details of the prisoners, cases in which they were involved, orders on bail or sentence, and reasons for not letting them out.The bench also appointed former Director General of Police, Sudhir Yadav, as amicus curiae to assist the court in this matter.The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Ajay Verma, who claimed that despite judicial bail orders, 326 prisoners are languishing in the jail and their release has not been facilitated due to non-furnishing of the surety bonds.The plea sought the formulation of guidelines and directions. It mentioned that many of the undertrials have not been released despite bail orders, due to non-fulfillment of conditions attached to the bail orders due to poverty and ignorance.”In most of the cases, no one on their behalf had even bothered to move to the court for relaxing, waving or reduction of the conditions imposed on them,” the plea said, adding, that the apex court had also directed that the legal services authorities take up those cases before the concerned court to relax the bail conditions.
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Begging not a crime if done due to poverty: Centre to Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Begging should not be a crime if it is done due to poverty, the Centre today told the Delhi High Court which wondered if anyone begs out of compulsion or by choice.The Centre’s stand came on two PILs seeking basic human and fundamental rights for beggars in the national capital and for decriminalising begging.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and C Hari Shankar asked, “If anybody beg out of compulsion or choice? Have you ever seen somebody begging out of choice?” The central government, in an affidavit, said that at present, 20 states and 2 union territories have either enacted their own anti-beggary legislation or adopted the legislation enacted by the other states.”Therefore, any change in the law related to beggary may require taking the view of the concerned state governments,” said the affidavit filed through central government standing counsel Anil Soni.It said that begging should not be a crime if it is done because of poverty, however, in order to ascertain whether it is being done out of poverty or willingly by a person even if he or she is well off or has been forced into begging, it is necessary to detain him or her.”Only after detention of such person and subsequent investigation, the cause of begging by an individual can be ascertained. Hence, the provision of detention as mentioned in the section in the (Bombay Prevention of Begging) Act is warranted,” the Centre said and sought dismissal of the petitions saying they were not maintainable.The court listed the matter for January 9 next year. The Centre had earlier said begging will not be decriminalised, changing its stance in the high court, which had termed the move as “unfortunate”.Petitioners Harsh Mandar and Karnika Sawhney have also sought basic amenities like proper food and medical facilities at all beggars’ homes in the city.The bench had earlier pulled up the Centre for not amending the law to decriminalise begging and rehabilitate the beggars even after an undertaking was given by it a year ago.The Centre and the AAP government had in October last year informed the court that the Ministry of Social Justice had drafted a bill to decriminalise begging and rehabilitate beggars and homeless people. But, later the proposal to amend the legislation was dropped.Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for one of the petitioners, had earlier said that thousands of poor persons were detained due to operation of the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, which provides drastic sentences.The law prescribes a penalty of more than three years of jail in case of first conviction for begging and the person can be ordered to be detained for 10 years in subsequent conviction, he had said.Currently, there is no central law on begging and destitution and most states have adopted the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, which criminalises beggary, or have modelled their laws on it. The two petitions have challenged the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act.

Padmavati Controversy: Delhi HC dismisses plea, says such petitions encourage agitators

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a plea against the film “Padmavati”, observing that such petitions were encouraging those agitating against the movie.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar termed as “hopeless” and “misconceived” a petition seeking that a committee be set up prior to the release of the movie to check whether there was any distortion of history.”Have you (counsel for the petitioner) seen the film.Have the people, who are burning cinema halls seen the film? By this kind of petitions, you are encouraging the people who are agitating,” the bench observed.It further directed the petitioner, Akhand Rashtrawadi Party, which claims to be a political party, to approach the Censor Board as the court was not inclined to entertain it.The plea has said that the committee was necessary as there was alleged distortion of historical facts in the film starring Deepika Padukone.

‘Chai-Wala versus Bar-Wala’: All out war on social media between Congress-BJP over Meme-Tweet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On defensive after a tweet of Youth Congress’s online magazine Yuva Desh mocking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tea-seller origin, Congress on Wednesday went all out against BJP after its MP Paresh Rawal took ‘bar-wala’ jibe, which he deleted finally, conceding it was ‘in bad taste’.“Our Chai-Wala is any better than your Bar-Wala,” Rawal, who is MP from Ahmedabad East said on Twitter reacting to ‘chaiwallah’ remark for Modi in a meme on Yuva Desh handle.”The meme, now deleted, showed PM Modi speaking to US President Donald Trump and Britain’s PM Theresa May in Hindi speech bubbles. PM Modi is seen asking, “Have you guys seen how may-may’s made on me by the opposition?”. Trump corrects PM Modi and responds, “It is called memes not maymays”, while Britain’s PM is seen responding with remarks, “you sell tea”.As BJP went all guns blazing, an apparently embarrassed Congress on Tuesday disapproved of the tweet with Congress’ media in-charge Randeep Surjewala tweeting “INC strongly disapproves and rejects such humour through memes. Differences on policy and opinion aside, Congress culture imbibes respect for the PM and all political opponents (sic).”The discomfiture in Congress with the meme was all the more palpable as it came just days after Rahul Gandhi’s advice to Congress party’s social media cadre in Gujarat, not to disrespect the PM’s post.Congress has been wary of any personal attack on Modi’s origins.In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar had mocked Modi’s tea-seller origin saying that while Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country. But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him. Many in the Congress felt the remark antagonized the poor.Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani termed the tweet of ‘Yuva Desh’ as “classist and anti-poor” and asked Rahul Gandhi if he supports this kind of tweet.Whereas, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asked Sonia Gandhi and Rahul as to whether they ‘still believe that only u have a divine right to rule India’. He also said Congress ‘thinking towards the poor stands exposed’A day after the embarrassment, Congress on Wednesday got its chance.Latching on to the tweet of Rawal, Surjewala remarked “To what cheapness and filth, the BJP MP of Gujarat has stooped. Is this the BJP’s definition of the honour of women. Modiji apologise and take action…”Rawal later tweeted, ‘deleted the tweet as it’s in bad taste n I apologise for hurting feelings’.However, when a twitter user asked him why does he not delete his Twitter handle itself, Rawal replied: “Cong ke delete hote hi account bhi automatically delete Ho jayega.”The all-out war on social media has broken out between BJP and Congress in the run up to Gujarat polls as the medium is playing a big role in the high-octane election campaign by both sides.Rawal’s earlier tweet about tying author Arundhati Roy to army jeep instead of a stone pelter, had also kicked in a controversy in May this year.

Congress youth wing deletes chai meme tweet targeting PM Modi, BJP says ‘damage done’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There was a storm in the teacup for the Congress when its youth wing tweeted a ‘chai’ meme targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.Yuva Desh, the Twitter handle later deleted the tweet, but not before it sparked huge outrage in political circles.’Damage is done,’ said BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi. “Now Yuva Desh deleting the tweet means nothing, damage is done, be it intentional or unintentional. This also clearly shows the feudal mindset of Congress,” Trivedi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed the Opposition party for its ‘thinking towards the poor’.Sambit Patra, another senior BJP leader, said that the ‘chai’ meme tweet would have similar impact on Gujarat Elections.It should be noted that it was in 2014, when senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyyar had made remarks about PM Modi’s humble origin. At a major Congress event, Aiyyar had said that, “Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country… But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him.”The Congress, however, distanced itself from the tweet by its youth wing. Party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, “INC (Congress) strongly disapproves & rejects such humour through memes. Differences on policy and opinion aside, Congress culture imbibes respect for PM and all political opponents.”Suraj Hegde, the Youth Congress in-charge, tried to put blame on ‘volunteers’. “We condemn this and are apologetic. We are trying to find out who did that tweet as mainly volunteers run that page,” Hegde told ANI. This is however, not the first time they tweeted such thing. Their Twitter timeline is full of similar tweets.Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also took to Twitter and expressed his anguish. “This blatantly classist and anti-poor Tweet by the Youth Congress shows their mindset towards India’s poor. Does Crown Prince @OfficeOfRG support this?,” he tweetedOmar Abdullah, the National Conference leader and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, termed the chai meme as ‘political suicide.’

Ram Temple dispute to be decided by court alone: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday said that the dispute related to Ram Temple in Ayodhya would be decided by the court alone, and exuded confidence that the construction work would commence next year.The Rajya Sabha member said Art of Living Foundation head Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s effort to find an amicable solution to the dispute was welcome and good for harmony but the matter would be settled and decided by the court.Speaking at the Jaipur Dialogue Forum, he said that people should be ready to go to Ayodhya by next Diwali.He said that the hearing on the matter in the Supreme Court is expected to begin in early December and end by April.The matter is expected to be decided by the court by August, he added.He expressed confidence that Hindus would win the court battle, after which the construction of Ram temple would begin.Targeting the Congress, Swamy said the opposition party was “leaderless” and would soon disappear.”Congress’s end is sure. If it lives, it can live only in Tihar jail. The corruption the Congress party (leaders) committed is now resulting in punishment by courts,” he said.He also extended support to the Vishva Hindu Parishad’s campaign against ‘love jihad’.He said that there was a need to remain alert to ‘love jihad’.

In Ayodhya, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says ‘let me talk to everyone on Ram temple’ – 10 updates

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after meeting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar reached Ayodhya on Thursday to meet all stakeholders in Ram Mandir issue.The meeting comes days ahead of the final hearing of the Babri Masjid dispute,which is slated to begin next month.Here are 10 major updates from this story:1: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar reached the temple town in morning amid tight security. He is in Ayodhya to mediate the talks for an out-of-court settlement in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.2: Ahead of the series of meetings that include discussion with Nirmohi Akhada and other claimants in the case, Sri Sri sounded positive.3: Talking to media, he said that ‘the environment is positive. People want to come out of this conflict.’4: However, as a hint of reality check he also added that ‘I know it is not easy. Let me talk to everyone. It is too early to reach a conclusion’5: Though many have welcomed the initiative by the spiritual leader, there are some who don’t exactly seem him as answer to the two decade old dispute.6: One of the most vociferous voices against Sri Sri’s mediation include that of former BJP lawmaker Ram Vilas Vedanti.7: He alleged that the Art of Living founder ‘jumped into Ayodhya issue to avoid into his personal wealth.’ Slamming the spritual leader’s visit, Vedanti asked, ‘Who is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to mediate? He should continue running his NGO and hoarding foreign funds.’8: The Yogi Adityanath government, however, has remained tight-lipped on the entire issue.9: Even after the meeting with Sri Sri, CM Yogi had said that ‘it was a courtesy call.’10: The 16th century Mughal-era Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992 sparking major riots that killed over 2,000 people.

Babri dispute: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to visit Ayodhya today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after meeting Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is scheduled to visit Ayodhya on Thursday.The spiritual guru will visit the temple city to hold talks with Muslim and Hindu litigants, including Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, Mahant Dharam Das, Dr Ram Vilas Vedanti, Iqbal Ansari and Haji Mehboob etc. On Wednesday, Ravi Shankar met Adityanath at the CM’s residence and decribed the meet as a “courtesy call”.”The matter of discussion included issues related to farmers, wellbeing of poor and cleanliness,” Shankar wrote on Twitter.This comes a day after Adityanath welcomed Ravi Shankar’s desicion to act as a mediator mediator between Hindu and Muslims in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi issue.“Efforts at any level are welcome. But one side has always run away from the discussion table,” Adityanath said.“The problem is not that there should be talks, it is that both sides should mutually agree to hold talks as the case is in the Supreme Court. It can give good results but intentions should be good,” he added.However, Ravi Shankar’s decision to act as a mediator for out-of-court settlement did not go down well with the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and All-India Babri Masjid Action Committee (AIBMAC).The AIMPLB and the AIBMAC have said that Muslims will not shelve their claims on the land belonging to the Babri mosque. “We have not received any proposal for talks or any formula from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. We have already made it clear to the spiritual leader that Muslims will not surrender their legal right and rightful claim over the land belonging to Babri Mosque in Ayodhya,” said Jafrayab Jilani, AIBMAC Convenor and AIMPLB Secretary.On the question of AIMPLB and AIBMAC rejecting his formula, Sri Sri Ravishanker clarified that “when no formula or proposal was sent to them then where is the question of rejection by them,” he pointed.The Spiritual leader also held a meeting with VHP-RSS leaders, sadhus and saints involved in the land dispute in Ayodhya.“We have told Sri Sri Ravishanker that temple of Lord Ram should be constructed at the 2.77 acres of land. We are ready to build a mosque nearby or any other place of their choice,” said Amar Nath Mishra, a senior VHP leader.Significantly, the All-India Shia Personal Law Board has too sided with the stand taken by the AIMPLB.“They want us to surrender our claim on the land in Ayodhya but Muslims in the country is with the stand taken by the All-India Muslim Personal Board and will follow the Supreme Court verdict,” said Maulana Mirza Yesoob Abbas, Spokesperson for the Shia Board.This is not the first time the Art of Living founder has made an attempt to act as a mediator to resolve the dispute. In 2003, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar made efforts to resolve the issue but failed.

Delhi High Court: We can’t intervene on Metro fare hike issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terming it a policy decision and beyond their jurisdiction, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to interfere with the latest fare hike by Delhi Metro.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar stated that it was “not inclined”to step into the decision taken by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, it being a policy decision. “Neither do we have any jurisdiction to go into it,” the bench said, noting that the petitioner did not first approach the authorities with his representation.Amer Vaid, a second year law student, sought the quashing of recommendations by the fourth Fare Fixation Committee that gave a go ahead to revise metro fares by 100 per cent.The petition said that the increased fares were in contravention to the previous norms of the FFC, wherein, the distance zone was reduced from 15 to six kilometers, leaving citizens of the national capital region in a “detrimental situation”. It also contented that the new fare slab meant passengers travelling distances differing by nine kilometers, were made to pay the same amount, which was “unfair and unjust”.The bench, however, questioned why the DMRC could not charge the fare they desire. It also directed the petitioner to take up his representation with the DMRC, which would take a call on it and communicate to him immediately.According to the new fares, the cost of travelling upto 2 km was Rs 10, 2 to 5 km — Rs 20, 5 to 12 km — Rs 30, 12 to 21 km — Rs 40, 21 to 32 km — Rs 50 and for journeys beyond 32 km — Rs 60.Smart card users, who, according to the DMRC’s estimates, happen to be 70 per cent of the metro’s total ridership, would continue to get 10 per cent discount on each ride coupled with an additional discount of 10 per cent while travelling during off-peak hours. That is from the beginning of services till 8 am, between 12 pm and 5 pm and from 9 pm to the end of the services.The DMRC invited a lot of criticism for revising Metro fares for second time in less than six months. This also led to the Delhi government mounting pressure on the body to roll it back, even seeking Centre’s intervention in to the matter. The Metro, however, refused to stall the new fares.NEW FARESCost of travelling up to: 2 km — Rs 102 to 5 km — Rs 205 to 12 km — Rs 302 to 21 km — Rs 4021 to 32 km — Rs 50journeys beyond 32 km — Rs 60.Smart card holders to get extra 10% discount during off-peak hours

Form strict laws against snatching: Delhi High Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court has sought a status report from the AAP government to find out how they intend to deal with the issue of snatching after a Public Interest Litigation was filed stating that these incidents have increased by six-folds in the national capital. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also asked the Delhi government to consider amending the penal provisions to deal with “serious problems” of chain snatching. The bench listed the matter for further hearing on December 14.MODUS OPERANDIUsually in a team of two to be able to flee on a two-wheeler
They modify their bikes by removing its fuel supply regulator to flee at high speed
Use stolen bikes to remain untraced
While one waits at the bike with ignition on, the pillion rider commits snatching
Target elderly women and women unable to chase or raise alarm instantly
Melt ornaments and sell off valuables instantly to avoid any recovery from them
Cover face or commit snatching at dark stretches to keep identity hidden ARMING NUMBERSMore than 28 snatchings a day (Avg)Total incidents 2016 – 3813 (till May 15)On the rise – (last five years)2015 989620147350201336382012144020111476

Yogi Adityanath’s ‘guru-bhai’ seeks BJP ticket

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The UP CM Yogi Adityanath’s Gurubhai and a head priest of Ekal Dham temple in Kutch, Devnath Bapu has sought a BJP ticket from Rapar constituency in Kutch district.A meeting of several ‘Sadhus’ of the Nath sect held at Kailash Tekri in Kutch on Saturday resolved to press this demand before the BJP high command.The 40-year-old had accepted ‘Sanyas’ at the age of 12 and became a member of the Nath Akhada. He and Yogi Adityanath frequently meet each other on platform of their Akhada and have good relations. When Adityanath had visited Kutch last for campaign in Gujarat polls, he had visited Ekal Dham temple and met Devnath.Speaking with DNA over phone, Devnath Bapu, said, “I have been associated with the BJP for 20 years. I run the temple and do social work for poor besides health and education. I have demanded the ticket as there is resentment among locals against the sitting MLA (Pankaj Mehta). This is the right time to give ticket to a person on whom people have faith. Being a Sanyasi, I do not have family for whom I would gather money. I am in active politics to serve the society.”He added, “I don’t want anybody to pressurise the BJP leader for my ticket. I would not even appeal Adityanath Bapu to canvas for me before the BJP high command. If party wishes to give me a ticket, I will accept. I had demanded the tickets for Assembly polls in 2007 and 2012. Like Adityanath, all Sanyasis are dedicated towards their Tap (asceticism), Tyag (sacrifice) and Seva (service).”Devnath said he would not cross the party line ever and added that he and Shankar Chaudhary are on good terms with each other.

Delhi High Court tells DTC: Give 17 years salary to dismissed conductor

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court has directed the DTC to give the salary of 17 years with revisions to a bus conductor. Earlier, the conductor had been removed from service at the instance of an apparently disgruntled co-worker, on the grounds that the institution from which he had obtained his matriculation was not one whose certificates were recognised for employment with the Centre.While passing the order, Justice C Hari Shankar observed, “Removal of a low paid employee, such as a conductor, from service, has far-reaching consequences. It amounts to a civil death.It eviscerates not only the livelihood of the employee concerned but has the perilous potentiality of wiping out his entire family, and all others dependent on him for substance”.Chander Singh was a retainer crew conductor employed with the DTC on February 11, 1981. Consequent upon the completion of probation, his services were confirmed on August 10, 1982. However, a couple of years later, one Ram Singh, another employee, informed the DTC that Chander was not a matriculate even though he had given documents pertaining to his qualification.Following an inquiry conducted against him, Chander was removed from service. This removal was challenged by the conductor in a labour court which termed the order of removal as “illegal” and “unjustified.”The Tribunal directed the re-reinstatement of the conductor with continuity of service and full back wages, noting that he had been unemployed since the date of termination.This order was challenged by the DTC in the High Court stating that the conductor was guilty of cheating, fraud and misconduct.The court mentioned that the conductor had not contested the proceedings and there was no clue as to whether he was dead or alive.”I do not know whether he is alive, or dead and neither does the petitioner (DTC). Whether this order would, in the ultimate eventuate, have any meaning, for anyone, is a moot question. Are we, at the end of it all, serving the cause of justice?”, the court asked.Justice Hari Shankar also said, “the removal of the conductor from service betrays an indifference to the consequences of such an action which is pathetic as well as apathetic”.”I, therefore, entirely concur with the learned Tribunal in holding that the removal of the petitioner from service was illegal and unjustified,” the court said in its order.The court also rapped the DTC stating the “though the facts of the present case would warrant the imposition of heavy costs on the petitioner (DTC), I reluctantly refrain from doing so, as there is no appearance on behalf of the respondent.”Justice Hari Shankar noted that reinstatement after such a long time would serve no purpose. He thereby directed the DTC to make all efforts to trace the conductor and disburse, “the quantum of wages, which he would have earned, had he continued in service till superannuation…””This would also include any increments, enhancement on account of pay revisions, etc. to which the Singh would have become entitled from time to time,” he added.

Law Min, CJI push for better access to justice for undertrials

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad championed for Section 436-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to become a movement in a bid to increase access to justice for undertrial prisoners.Section 436A of the CrPC states that all undertrials must be released if they have served “one-half of the maximum period of imprisonment specified for that offence under that law”.Prasad was speaking on the occasion of Legal Service Day at Pravasi Bhavan where paralegal volunteers were felicitated for their hard work.”436A must become a movement. This is imminently doable,” he said. Undertrial prisoners are not getting the help they need. Some of them are not even aware of their rights, he added.Recalling an anecdote where a common man — tea estate worker Anwar ul-Haq — was awarded the Padmashree, Prasad said, “We must build an architecture where common men should be awarded for their good deeds.””Can we pick up a genuinely good paralegal volunteer and recommend him for a Padmashree?” he questioned.Touching upon the issue of pending cases in the judiciary and the inordinate delay for justice, Prasad said all cases that are more than 10-year old must be expedited. Nyaya Mitra Scheme will help facilitate all individuals involved in a case, he added.Espousing the cause for pro bono lawyering, Prasad said serious consideration would be given to those who genuinely worked on cases pro bono and made a difference in the justice delivery system.Echoing his sentence, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra added that paralegal volunteers cannot practice law, but are perceivers of law. “They are the first point of contact for those who require assistance, he said.The CJI further opined that these volunteers, who provide a service, must be adequately compensated. Volunteers not only need incentives, but also sustenance.Speaking before judges from High Courts across the country, the CJI also advised them to give precedence to appeals that are more than 10-year old and constitute special benches on Saturday to dispose them.

RS Prasad maybe happy DeMo affected flesh trade, but sex workers in Asia’s largest red-light area recollect their horrors

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sex workers of Sonagachhi, the largest red-light area in Asia have condemned the comments of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s comments that flesh trade had taken a hit owing to demonetization , saying that the minister had ignored how their livelihood had been adversely affected.Officials of Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC), an NGO which works for the welfare of sex-workers said that it was an irresponsible comment. “I have no words to condemn the minister’s statements. How could he say such things? It is an irresponsible and careless comment. It goes on to show your outlook towards these girls who might not have taken up this profession by choice. Most of the girls have chosen it out of compulsion,” said Bharati Dey, mentor of DMSC. She also said that most girls of the area had at least Rs 1 lakh which they stored in cash for contingency and many of them could not exchange or return the money to bank.The organisation has over one lakh registered members. Some of sex workers of the area too spilled their ire alleging that the statement was an insult to injury that they had received after demonetization. “My landlady comes to me on the first of every month and asks for the rent. Post demonetization our business was down by about 75 per cent. Does the minister have any idea how we paid for our basic necessities?,” she said.
ALSO READ Manmohan Singh, like Rahul, reading scripts written by someone else: RS PrasadAnother said that uncertainty in the market and lack of smaller denominations had affected their business like never before. “Some of us didn’t get a customer for weeks. Many had starved for days together and had lived on others’ mercy. When it comes to votes people talk so much about our welfare and political leaders promise us the moon but as soon as they ascend to power we are looked down upon as scum of society,” she told DNA.On Tuesday, a day ahead of the first anniversary of demonetization , Prasad, talking about the achievements of demonetization said, “Flesh trade has nosedived in India. Trafficking of women and girls has gone down considerably.” He also said that a lot of money flowed out to countries like Nepal and Bangladesh owing to flesh trade and the denominations of Rs 500 and 1,000 were used most to make such payments. After those ceased to be legal tenders, it had come down.”

Contempt petition filed against Veenu Gupta

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A contempt petition has been filed against ARISDA’s (In-Service Doctors Association) president Dr Ajay Choudhary and principal secretary Dr Durga Shankar Saini and health secretary Veenu Gupta.The petitioner, advocate Dr Abhinav Sharma has said that the high court in the past had ruled that doctors cannot go on strike and declared their strike unconstitutional while disposing off some PILs in September 2012.The court had considered strike as violation of patients’ fundamental rights to life and good health.The petitioner has sought action against doctors for contempt since the strike had been declared as a criminal offence by the high court. “They should be sent to jail,” the petitioner requested.According to the petitioner, doctors give written affidavit before their registration that they would serve humanity, but by resorting to strike they are cheating on humanity.The petition claimed that the doctors have been encouraged because the previous congress government withdrew cases against them despite imposing RESMA.The petition has also sought punishment for health secretary Veenu Gupta for contempt of the court. The petitioner has appealed for early hearing of the case.

Delhi High court expresses anguish over Kathputli disorder

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expressing its anguish, the Delhi High court said on Tuesday that all of Delhi was unauthorised. The court’s observation comes after it was informed about the ongoing demolition of jhuggis in Kathputli Colony in violation of the court’s orders.A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar directed the SHO of Ranjit Nagar police station to ensure protection to representatives of the NGOs after an application was moved by a woman activist, who was part of a three member panel that alleged in court that some men at the site misbehaved with her.The court also directed strict compliance of its previous orders.”The respondents shall ensure that our previous orders are strictly complied with,” the bench said, thereby listing the matter for November 16.”…The reading of a copy of the unsworn affidavit…makes for an extremely distressing reading, and if true, may render the persons against whom allegations have been leveled in the same liable under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971,” the bench said.The court had, on October 31, put on hold the demolition work at the site for two weeks, but had modified its order the next day by allowing DDA to demolish jhuggis whose residents were eligible for relocation and had voluntarily moved out of the Kathputli colony to transit camps at Narela and Anand Parbat.According to the affidavit filed by Sunayana Wadhwanof Sanchal Foundation, she was surrounded by a group of women who verbally abused her when she reached Kathputli colony at 3pm on Monday.She alleged that DDA officials did not help her and that when she requested a policeman to stop the demolition of a jhuggi, he directed her to speak to the concerned DDA officer.She further claimed that at the DDA site office, she was once again surrounded by 30-40 people who were verbally abusing her. She managed to escape and called the police.GOINGS-ONA woman alleged DDA officials did not help her when she was being verbally abused, and when she requested a cop to stop demolition of a jhuggi, he directed her to speak to the concerned DDA officer.

Manmohan Singh, like Rahul, reading scripts written by someone else: RS Prasad

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hitting back at Manmohan Singh for terming demonetisation as “organised loot” and “legalised plunder”, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said the former prime minister “seemed to be reading scripts written by someone else, just like Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi”.Singh and Gandhi must be speaking about the 10 years of the previous UPA government, when rampant corruption had plagued the country, he said.Manmohan Singh who was in Ahmedabad earlier today described the BJP-led government’s demonetisation exercise as a reckless step and said scrapping higher value currency notes was organised loot and legalised plunder.”This is not Manmohan Singhji’s language,” the Minister for Law and Justice told reporters reacting to Singh’s criticism of noteban.”Manmohan Singhji has said that note ban was a dacoity. This is not Manmohan Singhji’s language,” he added.”He was Prime Minister for 10 years and was a man of few words. This is not his language. So it appears that like Rahul Gandhi, somebody is writing the script for Manmohan Singhji nowadays,” the Minister said.”The way Manmohan Singhji and Rahul Gandhi are speaking, they are remembering the 10 years of the previous UPA government,” Prasad said.

Ayodhya settlement draft to be ready by December 6: UP Shia Central Waqf Board

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board on Tuesday said it would prepare a draft proposal for a peaceful settlement of the Ayodhya dispute by December 6, the day the Babri Mosque was demolished in 1992.Board Chairman Wasim Rizvi, who has made public his opinion that a Ram temple should be built at the site, said he would visit Ayodhya this month to meet seers and mahants.”I have already discussed terms and conditions with many of them and some petitioners for the draft proposal for an agreement to settle the dispute mutually,” Rizvi told PTI.”By December 6, I hope we will be able to prepare our draft proposal for a mutual agreement,” he said.Rizvi last month met Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Bangalore and apprised him of the Board’s stand on a Ram temple at the site.The Board does not want a mosque constructed at the site.Instead, it should be constructed elsewhere in a Muslim- populated area, he has said.In 2010, the Allahabad High Court ruled a three-way division of the disputed 2.77-acre area between the Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Lord Ram Lalla.Rizvi, however, was of the view that partition of the disputed land in Ayodhya would not be a “practical idea” and would not be “peaceful and long lasting”.He did not divulge the contents of the draft he was preparing but said he would convene a meeting of the Waqf Board to get consent of the members before moving ahead on it and making it public.The Shia Central Waqf Board has impleaded itself as a party in the Ayodhya case by submitting a 30-page affidavit to the Supreme Court on August 8 this year. It has staked claim to the Babri mosque, maintaining that it was a Shia mosque.Rizvi, who claims to be authorised by the Board to move ahead on the issue, said the number of mosques in Ayodhya was sufficient for the Muslims residing there and there was no need for a new mosque.He said that those demanding construction of a mosque at Lord Ram’s birthplace, or near it, only wanted to prolong the dispute.”The demolished mosque belonged to the Shia Waqf and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has no right to decide on it. Only the Shia board has the right to decide,” Rizvi has said earlier.About his meeting with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, he said he had conveyed his intentions to him, adding that the initiative for the out-of-court settlement would strengthen Hindu-Muslim brotherhood.In a bid to resolve Ayodhya issue, Ravi Shankar reportedly met Nirmohi Akhara leaders and Muslim law board members recently.Though the AIMPLB is not a party in the case, it wields considerable influence as the apex Islamic body on religious and personal matters.AIMPLB member and Convenor of Babri Masjid Action Committee (BMAC) Zafaryab Jilani has denied that any of its authorised representatives met the Art of Living founder for an out-of-court settlement.”The Ayodhya dispute cannot be settled through arbitration. We will never withdraw our claim to the land in Ayodhya where once the Babri mosque stood and was demolished on December 6, 1992,” Jilani has said.

Rajasthan: Medical services hit as over 640 government doctors go on strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Health service in four districts of Rajasthan was affected as around 640 government doctors in Kota, Bundi, Baran and Jhalawar districts went on strike today over their various demands.Patients in district hospitals, community and primary health centres in rural areas had to be shifted to private hospitals due to the strike.However, doctors at Kota and Jhalawar medical colleges stayed away from the strike.Health department officials said that 31 doctors from Kota medical college have been sent to hospitals in Baran, Bundi and Rampura, while AYUSH doctors are providing healthcare services to the patients at community and primary health centres.Around 250 doctors, including 43 from Baran district headquarters have gone on strike, CMHO Baran Brajesh Goyal said.Meanwhile, General Secretary of All Rajasthan In Service Doctors Association Dr Durga Shankar Saini said they were forced to go on strike as the state government did not pay heed to their 33-point demand.These demands are not in the interest of the doctors but for improvement of medical and healthcare facilities that would eventually be beneficial for the patients, Dr Saini claimed.Representatives of the association have held nine rounds of talks with the state government so far, but of no avail.The doctors are ready to call off the strike if the state government gives a written assurance that their demands would be met, he said.

Now use Swachh Bharat Toilet Locator app to find washrooms in Delhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhiites can now take the help of the central government’s ‘Swachh Bharat Toilet Locator’ mobile application to locate washrooms in the city, the municipal corporations on Monday told the Delhi High Court.The corporations told a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar that public toilets under their jurisdiction are geo-tagged and available on the app developed by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD).Advocate Mini Pushkarna, appearing for the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, told the court that the app provides location of toilets across India and not the just the national capital.She told the bench that the longitude and latitude of the toilets are provided to the MoUD which in turn uploads the same on its app.The same stand was taken by the other corporations and the Delhi Cantonment Board, which said it was an ongoing exercise as whenever a new public toilet would be built its location would be forwarded to the ministry.The high court had earlier ordered mapping and geo- tagging of public toilets to make them more accessible to citizens.It had issued the direction after it could not ascertain where washrooms were located or if they exist after perusing the affidavits filed by the three corporations.The affidavits were filed in response to a PIL seeking toilet facilities for slum dwellers in the Shahbad dairy area in outer Delhi.

Litigants should get translated copy of judgment in local or regional languages: Prez Kovind

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday stressed the need to make high court judgements understandable to litigants in a language they know and suggested setting up of a mechanism to issue certified translated copies of verdicts.The President also advocated for speedy disposal of cases as “the poorest and most underprivileged” in the society were the sufferers of delayed justice. “Delay in delivery of justice is a pressing concern in our country. Often those who suffer are among the poorest and most underprivileged in our society. We must find mechanisms to ensure quick disposal of cases,” he said while addressing the valedictory function of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the High Court of Kerala here.”We could all consider an approach that makes adjournments the exception in an emergency situation rather than a tactic to prolong court proceedings. We must find a way forward,” the President said at the function alsoattended by several judges including Chief Justice of India Justice Dipak Misra and Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Kovind said it was important to not only take justice to the people, but also to make it understandable to litigating parties in a language they knew.”High Courts deliver judgements in English, but we are a country of diverse languages. The litigant may not be conversant with English and the finer points of the judgement may escape him or her. The litigating parties will thus be dependent on the lawyer or another person to translate the judgement. This can add to time and cost,” he said. The President suggested that a system could be evolved whereby certified translated copies of judgements were made available by the high courts in local or regional languages.”This could happen in a period of say 24 or 36 hours after the judgement is pronounced. The language could be Malayalam in the Honourable Kerala High Court or Hindi in the Honourable Patna High Court, as the case may be,” Kovind said adding he was only making a suggestion in this regard. “It is for the judiciary and the legal fraternity to discuss this and decide as appropriate,” he said. The President also said the judiciary and justice delivery mechanism of the country would need to continue to keep up with technology and with changes in the society, as indeed they have been so capably doing.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar resigns from post citing ‘personal reasons’

Updated: Oct 20, 2017, 02:22 PM IST, ANI

Ranjit Kumar was appointed as Solicitor General, the country’s second highest law officer, in June 2014 after the Modi government came to power. His second term as solicitor general was renewed recently. The office of Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad received his resignation letter on Friday. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar resigned from his post on Friday. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed this to ANI.As per reports, Kumar resigned due to some personal reasons.Kumar’s resignation comes months after Mukul Rohatgi resigned from the post of Attorney General of India.Kumar was appointed as the Solicitor General of India in June 2014. He had replaced senior advocate Mohan Parasaran.Before taking over as Solicitor General, Kumar served as counsel for the Gujarat government as well as amicus curiae in several cases in the Supreme Court.

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