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Uttar Pradesh: Beat rape accused with shoes, panchayat tells victim

“On behalf of the government, we just wish to state that action will be taken against the accused persons as per law and no diktat of the panchayat will prevail. Anyone who tries to illegally give directions to the family members of the complainant or the complainant herself, action will be also taken against them,” he said.

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Disclose if information on Sanjiv Chaturvedi leaked: CIC to PMO

The Commission directed the PMO to disclose the information related to alleged leakage of information.

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Gopal Subramanium panel to probe DDCA affairs even if struck down by Centre: Arvind Kejriwal

The Delhi Cabinet had on December 21 approved setting up of the one-member Commission of Inquiry under Subramanium to probe alleged irregularities in DDCA.

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Former IAF official arrested for ‘spying’ New Delhi

He added that Ranjith was roped in into the spy ring by an unidentified woman whom he had met over a social networking site. Ranjith’s arrest comes close on the heels of the cracking of an ISI-backed espionage racket by the Crime Branch in connection with which five persons — including a serving and a former army personnel and a serving BSF personnel — were arrested. However, the police haven’t yet been able to ascertain any specific link between Ranjith and the other racket, which was even found to have sources at the office of the Pakistan High Commission here, the official added.

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DDCA row: BJP demands apology from Arvind Kejriwal; AAP hits back

“He should come forward and present an example before the nation. Earlier they rubbished the committee report, but now they are considering it as a sacred book. The report also states that there should be a Commission of Inquiry into the matter. A whistleblower had alerted the Delhi government well in advance that the formation of the Commission will be scuttled through the Lt Governor,” he claimed.
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Centre suggests morality provisions for lawyers

The Centre has suggested the Supreme Court make a ruling to debar lawyers for the commission of any offence involving moral turpitude as do other professions like medicine, CA and engineering, as the existing law for advocates is silent.The government also said that the Apex court and high courts have power under the Constitution to frame rules with respect to contempt of court by lawyers.Filing a compilation on the consequence of contempt in related professions other than law, the government said that in professions like medicine, architecture, engineering, charted accountancy, company secretary etc, the respective Acts regulate the professions by debarring professionals on the commission of an offence related to moral turpitude.However, in the Advocates Act there is no provision to debar a lawyer who commits any serious offence involving moral turpitude. Even the Bar Council of India and the state bar councils have the power to suspend or disqualify only when the lawyer is found guilty of the offence, the government said.Furthermore the Advocates Act does not have any provision to debar lawyers from the profession for commission of any serious offence like rape, murder or corruption etc.Suggesting that the Supreme Court should interpret the law and rule on the issue, the government said “The Supreme Court of India should interpret section 24 A of the Advocates Act and give it wider meaning, including in its ambit the provision of debarring a professional if he commits an offence of moral turpitude.”Every high court in India under section 34 (1) of Advocates Act and the Supreme Court under Article 145 of the Constitution of India has the power to frame rules with respect to the contempt of court committed by the lawyers,” the government also said.On November 26, while hearing a contempt plea against an advocate for contempt of one of the courts in Uttar Pradesh, the Apex court had sought the Attorney General’s assistance. The court also asked him to give detailed legal provisions in regard to other professions dealing with debarring professionals for the commission of an offence involving moral turpitude.The Allahabad High Court had found the lawyer guilty of contempt of court for his ” repeated” misconduct towards a judge more than a decade ago . The lawyer was also restrained from appearing before the concerned trial judge in Etah.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Arvind Kejriwal’s inquiry into DDCA scam illegal: LG Najeeb Jung writes to Home Ministry

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Jung wrote to the Home Ministry saying that the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 allows only states and Centre to order a commission of inquiry and Delhi, a union territory can only do so in partnership with Centre.

In what seems like a beginning yet another fight between Arvind Kejriwal’s government and Najeeb Jung, the Lieutenant governor has called state’s move to order an independent inquiry into the Delhi cricket body (DDCA) an legally invalid, reports India Today.Jung wrote to the Home Ministry saying that the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 allows only states and Centre to order a commission of inquiry and Delhi, a union territory can only do so in partnership with Centre.Kejriwal has reacted saying that he objects to the letter leaked to the media.Also read: DDCA scam – RSS unhappy with way BJP dealt with Kirti Azad vs Arun Jaitley row<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is serious if LG office is leaking letter. We are not afraid of CBI, ED, DRI. Why they are afraid of inquiry commission? Poori ki poori Daal hi kaali hai… LG has only control over three subjects – Police, public order and land,” Kejriwal said.AAP and suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad have alleged that FM Arun Jaitley is involved in corruption in DDCA during his tenure there.

CBI raid was to check Delhi govt actions in DDCA affairs: Manish Sisodia

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Sisodia claimed that during the raid, enquiries were made by the probe agency’s officials about people who had visited Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and each and every file kept in a CMO room was looked into in the “garb” of investigating Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar

Manish Sisodia

The CBI raids in the Delhi Secretariat was “purely” aimed at scrutinising files related to alleged irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Tuesday during the special session of the Delhi Assembly.Sisodia claimed that during the raid, enquiries were made by the probe agency’s officials about people who had visited Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and each and every file kept in a CMO room was looked into in the “garb” of investigating Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar. Incidentally, Kumar was seated in the visitors’ gallery of the Assembly during the proceedings.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When her turn to speak came, AAP MLA Alka Lamba heaped praises on him, saying, “We are proud of an officer like you.” Amid protests by Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta, Sisodia, flanked by Kejriwal, moved a resolution on the floor of the Assembly to constitute a Commission of Inquiry to probe the alleged corruption in DDCA. The Deputy Chief Minister said that internal committee of the Delhi Government, after talking to stakeholders, had prepared its report which “pointed fingers at Arun Jaitley”.The report of the government-constituted three-member committee “established Jaitley’s role” in the alleged DDCA irregularities, Sisodia said, adding, “There was massive corruption during Jaitley’s tenure and he tried to save those who committed those acts.” Following a CBI raid in Delhi Secretariat in connection with charges against Kumar, AAP has been claiming that the central agency carried out the searches to target the AAP chief and was looking for a file relating to alleged graft in DDCA.Since then, the party has been demanding resignation of Jaitley from the Union Cabinet. “The raid was purely to check what action plan was being prepared against corruption in DDCA. When we started raising the issue in the media, former cricketers raised their voice and spoke against the leaders of their own party,” Sisodia said referring to BJP MP Kirti Azad, a former cricketer.Reiterating allegations that are being made by AAP since last week’s raid, Sisodia claimed that the CBI had particularly raided the room where “files signed by the Chief Minister, and those to be signed” are kept. “I want to state this with full responsibility that there’s no office of Principal Secretary as such. It comes under the CM’s office. And there would anyway be no old files in CM’s office. It was a shameful incident,” he said.Sisodia claimed that government has the requisite power to constitute such a Commission of Inquiry to probe alleged corruption in DDCA “as sport falls in the state list”. The Kejriwal government had set up an inquiry committee to probe alleged irregularities in DDCA which had submitted its report.

DDCA row: Ram Jethmalani to appear for Arvind Kejriwal in defamation case filed by Arun Jaitley

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“Ram Jethmalani will appear before court for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal,” a senior official of the Chief Minister’s office said. The official said Kejriwal will seek day-to-day hearing in the case.

Noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani will represent Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the civil and criminal defamation suits filed against him by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.Jaitley on Monday filed both civil and criminal defamation cases against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders for allegedly defaming him and sought Rs 10 crores in damages and their prosecution for offences that entails a punishment of upto two years in jail.”Ram Jethmalani will appear before court for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal,” a senior official of the Chief Minister’s office told PTI. The official said Kejriwal will seek day-to-day hearing in the case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, a defiant Kejriwal asserted that the Aam Aadmi Party will not be scared by defamation suits against him and other AAP leaders by Jaitley and asked him to prove his innocence before the one-man Commission of Inquiry announced by Delhi Government to probe alleged irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association.The Chief Minister also slammed BJP for protecting the Finance Minister despite facing charges of alleged irregularities during his tenure as DDCA chief for around 13 years till 2013.”I would have taken resignation if there were so much evidence against any of my ministers as I had taken the resignation of Jitender Singh Tomar and Asim Khan. BJP is shamelessly defending Jaitley,” he said.The Chief Minister’s decision to brazen it out became clear last night itself as the other AAP leaders named by Jaitley in his defamation suit had stuck to their guns and continued to target the Finance Minister.”Setting aside his ministerial responsibilities, Jaitley ji is making the rounds of the courts. But we won’t let the matter get buried this time around. We will continue to hold him corrupt in DDCA affairs,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said.

Sushma Swaraj responds to social media post on 14 Indians stranded in Malaysia

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A Facebook post by one of the victims said they were a group of 14 people from Tamil Nadu and had arrived in Malaysia in July.
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dna Research & Archives
A social media post stating that a group of 14 Indians from Tamil Nadu are stranded in Malaysia after being allegedly duped by a job agent drew External Affairs Minister Sushama Swaraj’s attention on Monday as she said the Indian envoy in Kuala Lumpur has contacted them.A Facebook post by one of the victims said they were a group of 14 people from Tamil Nadu and had arrived in Malaysia in July.The post said they were promised a higher salary by a job agent in Tamil Nadu but were given a lesser amount and when they protested and refused to work they were allegedly beaten.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The post drew the attention of External Affairs Minister Swaraj, who tweeted, “Our High Commission in Malaysia has contacted them. Police has taken cognizance. Please contact Mission for any help.” She also posted a link to the Facebook post.

DDCA row: BJP stands united with Arun Jaitley, says Amit Shah

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BJP President Amit Shah on Monday came out in strong support for Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
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dna Research & Archives
BJP on Monday came out in strong support of Arun Jaitley with its president Amit Shah terming all the allegations levelled by AAP against the Finance Minister as “baseless and far from truth” and asserting that the party stood unitedly with him and will not allow any “conspiracy” to defame him to succeed.Rallying behind Jaitley, Shah also raised questions over the legality of the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Arvind Kejriwal government to probe alleged irregularities in the Delhi cricket body, DDCA, during his tenure.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hitting out at AAP, the BJP president said if it thinks that it can damage Jaitley’s image through its “malicious attempts”, then it is “day-dreaming”. Such efforts would prove to be counter-productive as they will damage AAP only, he said.”All allegations levelled against Jaitley are baseless and far from truth. This is a conspiracy to defame Jaitley. BJP stands united with him and will not allow any conspiracy to defame him succeed,” Shah said in a statement.He also said that what AAP is doing may end up being harmful to them. “If AAP thinks that what they are doing will cause harm to Arun ji’s image then they are day-dreaming. This is going to create a big trouble for AAP,” Shah said.Emphasising that Jaitley is an honest and committed leader, he said even opposition leaders also resist from levelling allegations against him.”Jaitley’s entire public life is like an open book and dedicated to the country and levelling such allegations against him are beyond any understanding as the SFIO had already ruled out his involvement in the day to day functioning of Delhi and District Cricket Association,” he said.Shah’s statement comes against the backdrop of the fierce attack by AAP and its government against Jaitley, seeking his resignation over alleged financial irregularities in DDCA during his 13-year tenure as its head between 1999-2013.Raising questions over the legality of the Commission and its jurisdiction, Shah wondered “how the DDCA functioning comes under the preview of this one-man Commission is a matter of legal debate”. He also termed as “diversionary tactics” AAP’s decision to set up the Commission as well as calling a special session of the Delhi assembly in this regard.The people of the country are aware of Jaitley’s high standards and principles in public life and transparency, he added.

Juvenile convict released: We will continue our fight, say Nirbhaya’s parents

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Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi said notwithstanding the release of the juvenile convict on Sunday, she and her husband Badri Singh will continue their fight to ensure death penalty for rest of the four rapists who are currently lodged in Tihar jail.
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PTI
“We will take our battle for justice across India to awaken governments and law makers,” said a heartbroken Asha Devi, mother of the December 16 gangrape victim, after Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea against release of the juvenile convict in the case.Devi said notwithstanding the release of the juvenile convict on Sunday, she and her husband Badri Singh will continue their fight to ensure death penalty for rest of the four rapists who are currently lodged in Tihar jail.”Despite our repeated pleas and demands for not setting the juvenile free, he has been released. We are dejected, shattered. But we will not stop and continue our fight to ensure that the other four rapists are hanged. We met with disappointment at every door, we are heart broken, but not crushed,” Devi told PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court rejected the plea by Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal against release of the juvenile offender. Devi said both she and Singh had felt that the plea would be rejected and that their sufferings were being used by others to hog the limelight.”Supreme Court’s verdict was what we had expected. How many more rapes, how many more murders will have to take place for the government to change laws? Nothing in India has changed since December 16, 2012. All promises and statements made by our leaders and ministers have turned out to be shallow. Our suffering gives them their moment in limelight,” she said.The parents of the victim along with hundreds of youths and activists gathered at Jantar Mantar for the third consecutive day demanding death penalty for the convicts of the gangrape case.

DDCA row: Defamation cases will not scare AAP, says Arvind Kejriwal

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Kejriwal suggested that Jaitley should instead cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry formed by the Delhi government to probe the alleged irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has rubbished the allegations of irregularities against him and his family.

PTI
A defiant Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday asserted that the Aam Aadmi Party will not be scared by civil and criminal defamation suits against him and five other AAP leaders by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and asked him to prove his innocence before the inquiry commission.Kejriwal suggested that Jaitley should instead cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry formed by the Delhi government to probe the alleged irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association.”Jaitley should not try to scare us by filing cases against us. Our battle against corruption shall continue. Jaitley ji should cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry and prove his innocence there,” Kejriwal tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaitley on Monday filed both civil and criminal defamation cases against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders for allegedly defaming him and sought Rs 10 crores in damages and their prosecution for offences that entails a punishment of upto two years in jail.The Chief Minister’s decision to brazen it out became clear last night itself as the other AAP leaders named by Jaitley in his defamation suit had stuck to their guns and continued to target the Finance Minister.”Setting aside his ministerial responsibilities, Jaitley ji is making the rounds of the courts. But we won’t let the matter get buried this time around. We will continue to hold him corrupt in DDCA affairs,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh said.Jaitley should not “threaten” us with jail and should instead focus on replying to the specific queries raised by us, Ashutosh said. The Finance Minister has rubbished the allegations of irregularities against him and his family.Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders have publicly been making allegations against Jaitley with regard to the DDCA affairs although some of the allegations have gone beyond that. Top leaders of the BJP hit back, accusing AAP of attempting to reduce the stature of Jaitley in public life and hailed the finance minister for maintaining an “impeccable standard of probity”.”AAP is using the route of defaming him (Jaitley) and his family members through namecalling in press conferences and the social media,” Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Jaitley’s junior in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, said.Meanwhile, the Delhi Cabinet has approved setting up of one-member inquiry commission under former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to probe alleged irregularities in DDCA. The Cabinet also decided to call a special session of Delhi Assembly tomorrow to discuss alleged irregularities in DDCA and last week’s CBI raid at the Delhi Secretariat.

‘Modi Jacket’ becoming popular in the country: Kalraj Mishra

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Mishra said government has taken a number of steps to promote and popularise Khadi among people.

‘Modi Jacket’, a half sleeve coat often worn by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has become “very popular” among the people in India as well as in some foreign countries, Union Minister Kalraj Mishra said on Monday.Mishra, Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said in Lok Sabha that there was a time when ‘Jawahar Jacket, worn by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, was very popular in India.”Now, the Modi Jacket has become very popular among a cross section of people. Modi Jacket is popular even in foreign countries. Recently, Japanese Prime Minister (Shinzo Abe) had worn a Modi Jacket,” he said during Question Hour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mishra said government has taken a number of steps to promote and popularise Khadi among people.In reply to a written question, the Minister said the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) was set up in 1956 for the development of Khadi and village industries and for matters connected therewith.KVIC extends financial support for creation of employment opportunities and for marketing of products of khadi and village industries.There were 7050 outlets of Khadi institutions, seven departmental Khadi gramodyog bhavans and one Gramshilpa, he said adding that during 2014-15, Rs 12,513.72 crore worth of products were sold through Khadi stores.Mishra said to renovate the outlets and strengthen the production infrastructure, government has a separate scheme called ‘Strengthening of Infrastructure of Existing Weak Khadi Institutions and Assistance for Marketing Infrastructure’.

Nirbhaya case: Supreme Court to hear DCW plea against juvenile release today

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The vacation bench, comprising Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit, will take up the plea. The matter was referred to the vacation bench by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur. The convict, who is now 20 years old, was reportedly shifted from a correctional centre to an NGO on Sunday.

Supreme Court to decide on release on juvenile
File Photo

A vacation bench of the Supreme Court will on Monday hear a petition filed by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) against the release of the juvenile offender in the December 16 gang-rape case.The vacation bench, comprising Justices A K Goel and U U Lalit, will take up the plea. The matter was referred to the vacation bench by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur. The convict, who is now 20 years old, was reportedly shifted from a correctional centre to an NGO on Sunday.Meanwhile, parents of the victim protested in the national capital on Sunday against the juvenile convict’s release. Hundreds of sympathisers joined them at Rajpath near India Gate to show solidarity. The victim’s mother said she wanted justice for her daughter and said steps should have been taken long before to not set him free.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six persons, including the juvenile, had assaulted and raped Nirbhaya in a moving bus in south Delhi on December 16, 2012.The victim succumbed to her injuries in a Singapore hospital. Four of the accused were awarded death penalty by the trial court which was later confirmed by the Delhi High Court. Their appeals are pending before the Supreme Court. Another accused, Ram Singh, had allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in 2013.

DDCA row: AAP announces inquiry commission; Jaitley to slap defamation cases against Kejriwal, others

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Arun Jaitley

Reuters
The political slugfest over DDCA affairs intensified on Sunday with the capital’s AAP government announcing a Commission of Inquiry to go into alleged irregularities there and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley deciding to sue Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by slapping civil and criminal cases against him and five other AAP leaders in Delhi courts on Monday. With the battlelines drawn, the Delhi Government announced setting up of the inquiry commission under chairmanship of former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to probe alleged irregularities including financial bunglings in the capital’s cricket body, the Delhi and District Cricket Association. The decision came amid AAP’s fierce attack on Jaitley over alleged irregularities in DDCA during his 13-year-old tenure as its chief till 2013. Jaitley has strongly rubbished the allegations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The inquiry will begin very soon,” a Delhi Government spokesperson said. Hitting back at Kejriwal for making “false and defamatory” statements against him, Jaitley is slapping criminal and civil defamation cases against him and five other AAP leaders in Delhi courts on Monday.Jaitley told PTI tonight that he has instructed legal team in his personal capacity to institute civil defamation cases in the Delhi High Court and criminal defamation cases in the Patiala House courts against Kejriwal, Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai. He accused them of issuing false and defamatory statements against him and his family members.Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders have publicly been making allegations against Jaitley with regard to the DDCA affairs although some of the allegations have gone beyond that. Jaitley has also rubbished allegations against his family members, saying, “I have no family member who has even one paise interest in any form of business. Why should my family be part of a sports management business?Jaitley has chosen not to give any legal notice to Kejriwal and other AAP leaders asking them to apologise or face defamation cases. Instead, the cases will be filed straightaway in the courts. Upping the ante against Jaitley, AAP pressed for his immediate removal from the Union Cabinet.Addressing media at Kejriwal’s official residence soon after BJP MP Kirti Azad’s press conference regarding alleged corruption in DDCA, AAP leaders said “DDCA scam” was “Commonwealth (scam) of cricket.” “Now the onus is on Prime Minister Modi whether he will accept such a person in his Cabinet,” Kumar Vishwas said. Coming out strongly in support of the Finance Minister, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “We are proud of the impeccable qualities of honesty, integrity and credibility of Arun Jaitley. The transparency and credibility with which he has lived his public life all these years and his commitment to probity is too well known.”A defiant AAP leader Deepak Bajpai said, “We are not going to be bogged down by such intimadatory tactics. We are privy of Arun Jaitley’s history. Moreover after today’s expose, whole country has come to know about the truth and we are committed to fight against corruption whatever it takes.” Another leader Ashutosh said,”Jaitley don’t threaten us with defamation. Answer the questions we had asked? You will take us to court, we will take you to people’s court. Following a CBI raid in Delhi Secretariat in connection with charges against the Delhi CM’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar, AAP has been claiming that the Central agency’s action was aimed at targeting the AAP chief and it was looking for a file relating to graft in DDCA.The decision to appoint the commission came a month after an AAP government-appointed probe committee recommended immediate suspension of DDCA by the BCCI for alleged irregularities. The Delhi Government panel had suggested that an interim committee of professional cricketers should manage affairs of the game in the capital.The committee had also recommended to the government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry under the Commission of Enquiries Act while mentioning about findings on DDCA’s alleged wrongdoings by various probe panels in the recent past including the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO). BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has been campaigning against alleged corruption in Delhi’s cricket body, today demanded an ED and DRI probe into the affairs of DDCA.Jaitley has strongly rejected the allegations calling them a propaganda technique of Kejriwal to deflect attention when he himself was in the “dock” following a CBI raid in Delhi Secretariat. Kirti Azad, who has been campaigning against alleged corruption in Delhi’s cricket body, today addressed a press conference here but did not take the name of Jaitley, under whose charge as president of DDCA he claimed there were financial bungling.Dubbing as “diversionary tactic” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s threat to slap defamation cases against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders, Congress tonight demanded his resignation and sought a JPC probe into alleged financial irregularities in DDCA under his watch. Party general secretary Shakeel Ahmed demanded that Jaitley resign as Cabinet Minister “in the interest of justice” as he is also incharge of corporate affairs ministry, which looks after such issues, and that the government should initiate steps to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe alleged irregularities in Delhi and District Cricket Association.”Jaitley should not use the defamation cases he has planned to file against AAP leaders as a diversionary tactic in the wake of demands for his resignation,” Ahmed said. Ahmed, the party’s senior spokesman, said Jaitley’s ouster was all the more necessary after BJP MP Kriti Azad’s allegations about corruption in DDCA. He said Azad was not just a BJP leader but also a member of India’s 1983 cricket world cup winning squad. Jaitley headed the cricket body for 13 years till 2013.He said “naturally” the issue would be raised in Parliament on Monday by different political parties as Jaitley was “practically the number two in the government”. As regards Congress, he said that the parliamentary party would take a decision. Another Congress spokesman Sandeep Dikshit, who hails from Delhi, however, sang a different tune. He said the matter was between Kejriwal and Jaitley.He alleged Kejriwal was in the habit of making “wild and baseless” allegations against “anybody and everybody” and took defamation “very lightly”. Dikshit said it would be interesting to see how things pan out. If there is no substance in Kejriwal’s allegations, he will have to face the “brunt” for making such charges

DDCA row: AAP govt decides to set up inquiry commission

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The decision to form the commission of inquiry came amid AAP’s fierce attack on Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over alleged irregularities in DDCA during his 13-year-old tenure its chief. Jaitley has strongly rubbished the allegations.

Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi government has decided to set up a commission of inquiry under chairmanship of former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to probe alleged irregularities including financial bunglings in the capital’s cricket body DDCA.The decision to form the commission of inquiry came amid AAP’s fierce attack on Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over alleged irregularities in DDCA during his 13-year-old tenure its chief. Jaitley has strongly rubbished the allegations. “The inquiry will begin very soon,” a Delhi Government spokesperson said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a tweet said “Gopal Subramaniam agrees to chair Commission of Enquiry on DDCA scam.”Following a CBI raid in Delhi Secretariat in connection with charges against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar, AAP has been claiming that the Central agency carried out the searches to target the AAP chief and was looking for a file relating to graft in DDCA.Since then, the party has been demanding resignation of Jaitley from the Union Cabinet. The decision to appoint the committee came a month after an AAP government-appointed probe committee recommended immediate suspension of DDCA by the BCCI for alleged irregularities including financial bungling.The Delhi Government panel had suggested that an interim committee of professional cricketers should manage affairs of the game in the capital.The committee had also recommended to the government to appoint a Commission of Inquiry under the Commission of Enquiries Act while mentioning about findings on DDCA’s alleged wrongdoings by various probe panels in the recent past including the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO).BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has been campaigning against alleged corruption in Delhi’s cricket body, today demanded an ED and DRI probe into the affairs of DDCA.

Nirbhaya case: Why acting so late to stop juvenile’s release, victims’s parents ask

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The reaction action Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) in a dramatic move approached the Supreme Court late Saturday night to stay the convict’s release.

Victim’s parents

PTI
Questioning the role of the Centre and Delhi government, the parents of December 16 gangrape victim on Sunday asked why they did not take action earlier to stop the imminent release of the juvenile convict. Opposing the release of the juvenile, the victim’s mother said, “Our fight is just on the issue that he (juvenile convict) must not come out. If he will come out then what is the point of hearing (by Supreme Court) or any other thing.” “All knew that he will be released so steps should have been taken during these three years,” she said adding, “I want justice and stay on his release.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The reaction action Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) in a dramatic move approached the Supreme Court late last night to stay his release. In their order pronounced at 2 AM, a vacation bench refused to stay his release, scheduled for today, by giving an urgent hearing and posted the matter for hearing tomorrow. The victim’s father too expressed unhappiness with the Centre and Delhi government for showing “helplessness” on the issue of release of the juvenile “What hearing? But what can we do? Whatever the court is doing is right. Our government, whether Centre or state, they only listen to you when you protest and get lathicharged, else they don’t care. However, if proper hearing or verdict would have passed on this case, then we would not have seen this day,” he said. BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who had filed a plea in the High Court against the juvenile’s release, pointed to the “provisions” which have to be applied before the juvenile convict is formally released. “According to rules of the Juvenile Justice Act, he can can be left out from the custody of the Juvenile Justice Board but he cannot be released as free person till management committee appointed for the purpose decides whether he is mentally sound, whether he has socially mainstreamed and that he has reformed.”

Nirbhaya case: AAP, DCW playing shameful politics on juvenile’s release, says Congress

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Expressing grief over the release of the juvenile, Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee said that it is really sad that the main accused will be released just because of his age.

Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit

Condemning the release of the juvenile involved in the December 16 gang rape case, the Congress on Sunday alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) is doing shameful politics over the issue. “The DCW and Delhi government is doing politics in this matter. If they had a stand against the release they would have done it long back. It is very shameful that the Chief Minister and DCW chief is doing politics over this,” Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit told ANI in Delhi. Expressing grief over the release of the juvenile, Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee said that it is really sad that the main accused will be released just because of his age.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: Nirbhaya case: Everyone in India is against release of the convict, says DCW Chief Swati Maliwal She also said that despite Arvind Kejriwal making many public statements on lowering the age of juvenile to 15, when discussed in the House they (AAP) opposed it. “One thing I would like to point out which probably many people doesn”t know Kejriwal ji is continuously saying that juvenile age should be lowered to 15, he has made many public statement, but when this issue was discussed in house their MPs opposed it. So it really shows the hypocrisy of the AAP government. DCW stand was late, even if the law is amended unfortunately this boy is released now,” she added. The Supreme Court has decided to hear the plea of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) against the release of the juvenile in the December 16 gang rape case on Monday, ruling out that there will be no stay on his release. DCW chief Swati Maliwal reached the Supreme Court last night after DCW decided to file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the apex court to stall the release of the convict. “I strongly feel that the Supreme Court has seen merit and that is why the Supreme Court was open at 2 o” clock in the night. This petition of Delhi Commission of Women against release of the juvenile and rapist in Nirbhaya”s case has been accepted, and it has been listed as item number three on Monday. I am hopeful because the kind of matter we have, the Supreme Court will take cognizance and will rule in our favour,” DCW chief Swati Maliwal told ANI.The convict, who is now 20 years old and was known to be the most brutal of the attackers, has been taken to an undisclosed location from a correction home in North Delhi amid concerns that there was a threat to his life. He is scheduled to be released today. Earlier, the parents of the gang rape victim, along students and activists were detained by the police as they staged a protest against the release of the juvenile convict. The police action was condemned by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. In December 2012, the teenager was part of the six member gang that lured a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist and her male friend onto a bus, where the girl was gruesomely raped and her companion brutally beaten. The girl subsequently succumbed to her injuries 13 days later in Singapore. The incident caused nationwide outrage and led to widespread outpouring of anger against the rapists, including the teenager.

DCW reaches out to SC as a last-ditch attempt to stop juvenile convict’s release

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The development comes on a day the victim’s parents were detained and later released after they held a protest against allowing the juvenile convict to walk free.

DCW Chief Swati Maliwal
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dna Research & Archives
Delhi Commission for Women will file a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court on Saturday night against the scheduled release of the December 16 gang-rape juvenile convict, who has already been moved out of Delhi. The convict is scheduled to be released on Sunday.DCW Chief Swati Maliwal took to Twitter to share the information:The development comes on a day the victim’s parents were detained and later released after they held a protest against allowing the juvenile convict to walk free. The convict, who is now 20 years old, has been taken to an undisclosed location from a correction home in North Delhi amid concerns that there was threat to his life.

Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar refutes charges about liaison with mining companies

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Parsekar said he is ready for a debate with all those who are “abusing and criticising” him over the issue. He said he was unnecessarily being accused of working for the welfare of mining firms.

Goa CM Laxmikant Parsekar
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dna Research & Archives
Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on Saturday rubbished opposition Congress’ allegations that he was in liaison with the mining companies and dared his critics for a debate on the issue.”Resumption of mining within the parameters of law and in a controlled manner is very much necessary,” the Chief Minister said while addressing the 54th Goa Liberation Day function. Parsekar said he is ready for a debate with all those who are “abusing and criticising” him over the issue. He said he was unnecessarily being accused of working for the welfare of mining firms.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I am being accused of working for the welfare of the mining companies. Why should I?” he questioned.Iron-ore transport from mining lease of Sesa Iron Ore was stopped on December 4 after the truckers resorted to agitation over a pay hike demand. To complicate the situation further, Congress party leaders extended the support to the truckers in their demand.State government’s intervention has failed to bring in peace between miners and truckers. Congress spokesperson for Goa Sunil Kawthankar had earlier alleged that Parsekar was working “in favour of the mining companies”. However, Parsekar clarified that his efforts were only to solve the bottleneck so that jobs in the mining industry are saved.In a veiled reference to Congress leaders, the Chief Minister said there are many, who provoke the stakeholders like truckers to strike and ensure that the exports are not resumed.”Considering the plummeting iron ore prices, some of the mining companies hesitate to continue their business in Goa,” he said.The mining industry in the state had been put on hold for around three years by the Supreme Court owing to allegations of illegalities. An Inquiry Commission led by Justice M B Shah had said illegal mining worth Rs 35,000 crore was reported in Goa from 2005-2012.

Jats exclusion from backward list: Delhi HC seeks state govt’s reply

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The bench also directed the petitioner to file an amended list of parties and include major Jats group as parties in the matter.

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought a response from the city government on a plea seeking quashing of a notification including Jat community in the state list of backward class. A bench of Justice Rajiv Shahi Endlaw asked Delhi government to file its reply on the plea and posted the matter for further hearing on February 17. The bench also directed the petitioner to file an amended list of parties and include major Jats group as parties in the matter.During the brief hearing, counsel for petitioner informed the court that several groups of the community have made representation to the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) either for inclusion or exclusion of Jats from the list of backward class.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said that 70 groups of the community have made representation before NCBC for inclusion of Jats in the list of backward classes while 66 groups made representation for opposing the inclusion in the list.The plea, filed through advocate Chetan Dutt and advocate Raj Kumar, said that since NCBC has in its advice on February 26, 2014 to the government opined that Jats are not entitled to be included in the list of backward classes, Delhi government has till now not excluded the community from the list.It said that NCBC report has said that “ethnically Jats are at a higher level, they are of Indo Aryan desecent; their educational level is high and the social status they command is far higher than the ordinary shudras.”The plea said that Delhi government has come out with a notification dated July 31, 2000 in which jat community was included in the list of backward classes but despite NCBC finding and advice, the community has not been excluded.

Hold simultaneous polls for Lok Sabha and state assemblies for the sake of development: Parliament panel

A parliamentary panel has asked the government as well as the Election Commission to explore possibility of holding simultaneous elections, to reduce frequency of polls and enforcement of code of conduct that impedes economic development. “This is important for India, if it is to compete with other nations in developmental agenda on real time basis as robust democratic country,” said the 31-member panel headed by Congress party’s Tamil Nadu MP Dr E M S. Natchippan. The panel said massive costs could be saved with the conduct of simultaneous elections. Only the Election Commission spends around Rs 4,500 crore for holding staggered Lok Sabha and state assembly elections, currently. The costs incurred by political parties are enormous.

A parliamentary panel has asked the government as well as the Election Commission to explore possibility of holding simultaneous elections, to reduce frequency of polls and enforcement of code of conduct that impedes economic development. “This is important for India, if it is to compete with other nations in developmental agenda on real time basis as robust democratic country,” said the 31-member panel headed by Congress party’s Tamil Nadu MP Dr E M S. Natchippan. The panel said massive costs could be saved with the conduct of simultaneous elections. Only the Election Commission spends around Rs 4,500 crore for holding staggered Lok Sabha and state assembly elections, currently. The costs incurred by political parties are enormous.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Committee has envisaged holding of elections of some state assemblies at mid-term of Lok Sabha and remaining with the end of tenure of Lok Sabha. It said the proposed first phase could be held in November 2016, involving states like West Bengal, Kerala, Puduchery, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland and Karnataka. The states whose terms end between May 2016 to May 2018 should be clubbed together. In Phase two, rest of states, whose terms end between December 2018 to June 2019 should be held in June 2019 along with Lok Sabha elections.The MPs in the Standing Committee looking after the Ministry of Law and Justice said if all the political parties cooperate, the necessary steps can be taken without hurting the interests of any political party.First three general elections to Lok Sabha were conducted simultaneously with all state legislative assemblies till 1967. However, the cycle got disrupted due to premature dissolution of some assemblies in 1968 and 1969. In 1970, the Lok Sabha was itself dissolved prematurely. The panel reminded the practice in South Africa, where elections to national and provincial legislatures are held simultaneously for five years and municipal elections are held two years later. In Sweden, elections are held on a fixed date on second Sunday in September for four years.Though admitting that it may not be feasible in 2016 or even in a decade, but it has expressed confidence that a solution will be found in a due course of time.

Delhi govt to finalise names of Delhi Human Rights Commission chairperson and members

The CJI had on December 10 raised an alarm for Arvind Kejriwal government in the national capital by reminding that Delhi has no state human rights body for last 22 years.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
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dna Research & Archives
Six days after Chief Justice of India T S Thakur pointed to the need of state human rights body in the capital, the AAP government has convened a meeting tomorrow to finalise the names of chairperson and members of Delhi Human Rights Commission.The CJI had on December 10 raised an alarm for Arvind Kejriwal government in the national capital by reminding that Delhi has no state human rights body for last 22 years.In the panel, three candidates – Justice Uma Nath Singh (Chief Justice of High Court of Meghalaya), Chief Justice of Jharkhand (rtd) Bhagwati Prasad and Chief Justice of J & K (rtd) B A Khan – have been proposed for the post of Chairman of Delhi Human Right Commission. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides, government has suggested three names of human rights activists for the member of state human rights body. These names are Raj Mangal Prasad, S C Agarwal and Indu Prakash.Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain has convened a meeting of committee comprising Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Speaker of Delhi Assembly Ram Niwas Goel, Home Minister and Opposition leader in Assembly Vijendra Gupta, tomorrow.”It is a misnomer that human rights violations are not there in cities. It happens in cities also. It is totally unacceptable that Delhi has no state human rights commission for last 22 years,” Justice Thakur had said on the occasion of Human Rights Day here on December 10.

DDCA row: I cannot answer ‘vague’ charges, says Arun Jaitley

Congress and AAP are demanding Jaitley’s resignation over alleged “gross financial irregularities” in Delhi’s cricket body DDCA when he headed it from 1999 to 2013.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
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dna Research & Archives
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday reacted sharply to AAP and Congress’ demands for his resignation over alleged “gross financial irregularities” in Delhi’s cricket body DDCA during his tenure, saying he cannot answer “vague” charges by the two parties which are trying to deflect the issue of corruption.”They can tell me what is the specific issue I can answer it. I can’t answer a vague allegation without any basis. Secondly a state government and a party which is the dock for having supported corruption and having interfered in an investigation in this manner can’t really deflect the issue without any basis,” Jailtey said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress and AAP are demanding Jaitley’s resignation over alleged “gross financial irregularities” in Delhi’s cricket body DDCA when he headed it from 1999 to 2013.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Wednesday indicated that he proposed to order a Commission of Inquiry into the report of the committee set up by his government to go into the DDCA affairs which implicated Jaitley. His party AAP, which is at loggerheads with the Centre over yesterday’s raid on the Chief Minister’s secretariat, also stepped up the attack on Jaitley and Jaitley’s demanded immediate resignation to ensure a free and fair probe into allegations of corruption in DDCA.

DDCA rubbishes allegations against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley made by CM Arvind Kejriwal

Hours after Congress and AAP targeted Jaitley and demanded his resignation over alleged “gross financial irregularities” in the DDCA when he headed it from 1999 to 2013, DDCA working president Chetan Chauhan held a press conference to rebut all the allegations.

DDCA working president Chetan Chauhan

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
The Delhi and District Cricket Association on Wednesday strongly refuted allegations of “gross financial irregularities” against Finance Minister and its former president Arun Jaitley, saying that such charges were “absolutely rubbish”.Hours after Congress and AAP targeted Jaitley and demanded his resignation over alleged “gross financial irregularities” in the DDCA when he headed it from 1999 to 2013, DDCA working president Chetan Chauhan held a press conference to rebut all the allegations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Some allegations have been raised against DDCA and it needs clarification as everyone is stating their point. First thing is allegation of irregularities on stadium construction. Stadium is made of Rs 141 crore,” Chauhan said.”The reason for escalated costs was because capacity earlier was 26,000. But we demolished and then we renovated. It is recorded in ROC. It was given to EPIL, so I absolutely rubbish the charges,” he said.”I rubbish allegations against ex president (Jaitley). I would like to thank Jaitley ji for taking care of renovation and making this a state-of-the-art stadium,” he added.According to Chauhan, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) investigated the irregularities and nothing save a case of embezzlement was found.”Another irregularity was found and the case is sub judice. We organised a Test match for 5 days with 27,000 people on one day,” he said.”All tenders were carefully supervised during Test match. Another allegation of embezzlement against Bansal is after Jaitley left office in December 2013.”In a further escalation of the confrontation between the opposition party and the government, the Congress claimed that a committee constituted by Delhi government has found “gross financial irregularities” in the DDCA during that period.On his part, Jaitley dismissed the allegations as “vague” and said he cannot answer them unless they are specific. He also attacked the AAP and its government of trying to “deflect” attention from the issue of corruption and “interference” in the probe.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Wednesday indicated that he proposed to order a Commission of Inquiry into the report of the committee set up by his government to go into the DDCA affairs, which implicated Jaitley.

Maharashtra government appoints Chandrakant Patil for border dispute with Karnataka

A notification in this regard was issued by the General Administration Department (GAD), which comes under the chief minister. First time a nodal minister has been appointed for the border dispute with the neighbouring state which is pending since six decades.

Chandrakant Patil is said to be well-informed about the issue

Giving a big boost to the “Belgaum movement” and its supporters, the Bharitya Janta Party (BJP) led government on Tuesday appointed Chandrakant Patil as the “nodal minister” for the border dispute with Karnataka. A notification in this regard was issued by the General Administration Department (GAD), which comes under the chief minister. First time a nodal minister has been appointed for the border dispute with the neighbouring state which is pending since six decades. PWD and Textiles minister and BJP stalwart Chandrakant Patil hails from Kolhapur which is close to Belgaum. He has also taken part in the Belgaum movement earlier and said to be well-versed with the issue. His appointment is seen as government’s renewed assertion on the disputed area and a big support to the people associated with the movement for years.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Patil couldn’t be reached for comments, PS Meena, additional chief secretary of the GAD confirmed the development. “Mr Patil will coordinate with the people of Belgaum. The nodal ministry under his guidance will try to help people of Belgaum who often approach Maharashtra government with complaints of harassment. Until now, all these people used to do approach the chief minister and GAD.” Situated near the foothills of the Sahyadri mountain range, a mineral rich Belgaum has been a bone of contention between two states. There are 865 villages spread in Belgaum, Karwar, Bidar and Gulberga districts for which Maharashtra has been staking its claim for past 60 years on linguistic grounds. In 2004, state approached the supreme court challenging the government of India’s decision of inclusion of 865 Marathi-speaking villages in Karnataka. The case is still on. People from these Marathi-speaking areas of Karnataka often complain about discrimination and harassment by the Kannada speaking civic authorities. They led several agitations in the past with some of them turning violent. Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) and some other groups are still fighting for the cause. Soon after BJP government came into power, the organisations fighting for the merger of disputed district of Belgaum with Maharashtra had intensified their stir with re-branding their movement as “Second Samyukta Maharashtra Andolan”. On the other hand, Karnataka recently erected Assembly building in Belgaum. Devendra Fadnavis had also maintained that the people of the state have deep emotional connect with residents of Marathi-speaking areas in adjoining Karnataka and their fight for a merger will continue till the goal is achieved. “The emotional strength of 12 crore Maharashtrians is with their brethren on the Karnataka border fighting to be part of this state. We will get justice,” Fadnavis was quoted as saying in an event at Mumbai in August this year. Welcoming the institution of nodal ministry, Deepak Pawar, professor of Mumbai University who is associated with the movement, said, “A politician of Patil’s stature can really do justice to the Marathi-speaking Belgaum people who often face apathy of bureaucrats.” Pawar who had dug out all legal documents in this case to understand the complexity says, “Geographical contiguity, wish of the people and linguistic majority since 1951 census, all prove that Maharashtra’s stand is right.” Box: Hearing in the case this monthThe matter in the Supreme Court is expected to come for hearing later this month, said PS Meena adding that at present, the court commissioner is recording the statements of the witnesses. “We are hopeful about the verdict soon,” said Meena insisting that the state has hired a battery of best lawyers, including Harish Salve, in the case. What is the issue The Belgaum district was part of the erstwhile Bombay Presidency. After India became independent in 1947, it became a part of the Bombay State. In 1948, the Belgaum Municipality requested the Indian Constituent Assembly and the Boundary Commission to include the Belgaum Municipal District in the proposed Samyukta Maharashtra state due to large Marathi-speaking population. But, in 1956, the Belgaum district was incorporated into the newly formed Mysore state (now Karnataka) in accordance with the States Reorganisation Act of 1956. Following protests from Maharashtra, the Centre constituted a Commission headed by justice MC Mahajan in 1966 which recommended that Belgaum should be part of Karnataka. While Centre and Karnataka accepted Mahajan Commission’s recommendation, Maharashtra approached the court.

We failed to get justice for our daughter, says Nirbhaya’s father

The juvenile convict, allegedly “the most brutal” of the six accused, is scheduled to be released on December 20 after his term at the observation home ends.

The juvenile rapist in the Nirbhaya gangrape case.
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“We have failed. Now there is no hope for justice,” said the distraught parents of December 16, 2012 gangrape victim on the eve of the third anniversary of the incident that shook the nation as they appealed not to release the juvenile convict.”With each passing day her memories get more intense. But we are not even able to face the memories as we have failed to secure justice for her. And now there is no hope for justice!,” the 50-year-old father of the victim said in a choked voice.According to the father, it has been three years and yet the four culprits have not been hanged. The juvenile convict, allegedly “the most brutal” of the six accused, is scheduled to be released on December 20 after his term at the observation home ends. The father of the girl said the youth, who was a juvenile at the time of the incident, should not be released as he is a “threat” to the society. They have also submitted representations to the Home Ministry and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) demanding the same.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”For us he is the the killer of our daughter who is being set free despite his heinous crime. We demand that he should not be released,” the father said.But despondence enters his tone as he says, “We are small people. Who will listen to us? For the last three years we have knocked each and every door with the hope of getting justice, but all in vain,” he said.Meanwhile, the Centre had yesterday asked Delhi High Court to extend the observation home stay of the juvenile convict, saying several mandatory aspects were missing from the post-release rehabilitation plan which needed to be considered before setting him free. The father also stressed that it was important to assess the mental health of the boy before releasing him.”There is a need to assess his mindset to ensure that he does not attack another girl like he had attacked my daughter after being released,” he said.On Wednesday, in remembrance of their beloved daughter and to reaffirm their lifelong commitment to improve women’s safety, the parents of the December 16 victim, in collaboration with women’s and citizens groups, will mark the day as ‘Nirbhaya Chetna Divas’ at Jantar Mantar.

DCW serves notice to AIIMS for ‘negligence’ in treating ‘raped’ minor

The minor girl was allegedly sexually assaulted on Friday while she was playing outside her home by a teenager from the same neighbourhood in south Delhi’s Tigri area, following which police had registered a case and apprehended the accused.

DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal who met with the girl on Sunday quoted the version of investigating police officer and the counsellor of DCW’s Rape Crisis Cell, saying that she was not provided treatment for 3.5 hrs at AIIMS.
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Taking a strong note of alleged negligence in providing timely medical treatment to a seven-year-old rape victim, the Delhi Commission for Women has served a notice to AIIMS and sought an ‘action taken’ report in two days.The minor girl was allegedly sexually assaulted on Friday while she was playing outside her home by a teenager from the same neighbourhood in south Delhi’s Tigri area, following which police had registered a case and apprehended the accused.DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal who met with the girl on Sunday quoted the version of investigating police officer and the counsellor of DCW’s Rape Crisis Cell, saying that she was not provided treatment for 3.5 hrs at AIIMS.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The victim who was brought to the hospital in a very serious condition at 8.35 pm on December 11, was bleeding heavily. However, the girl was left unattended and even first aid was denied to her for more than 3.5 hours until around 12 pm,” she said in the notice to the Director, AIIMS.The investigation officer and RCC counsellor had also made a written complaint to the Delhi Chief Minister’s Office regarding the same at 11.45 pm. Maliwal said that upon enquiry she was informed “verbally” by the duty officer that the hospital has sought a written explanation from the HoD (Gynaecologist) over the “negligence” complaint.

UPSC says no paper admit cards for civil services main exam

About 15,000 candidates have qualified in this year’s civil services preliminary examination, results of which were declared on October 12.

UPSC building

No paper admit card will be issued for this year’s civil services main examination, scheduled to begin from Friday, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has said. The candidates will have to download their e-admit cards and take a printout thereof. UPSC will be conducting the main examination at 23 centres from December 18 to 23. The civil services examination is conducted annually in three stages — preliminary, main and interview — to select officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS), among others.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Commission has uploaded the e-admit cards on its website at www.upsc.gov.in. The candidates are advised to download their e-admit cards and take a printout thereof. The candidates will have to produce the printout of their e-admit cards at the allotted venue for appearing in the examination,” a press release issued by the UPSC said.”No paper admit card will be issued for this examination by the Commission,” it said. In case the photograph is not visible or available on the e-admit cards, candidates are advised to carry identical photograph for each session along with proof of identity such as valid identity card, Aadhar card, voter identity card, driving license, passport etc. to the venue of the examination.About 15,000 candidates have qualified in this year’s civil services preliminary examination, results of which were declared on October 12.As against a record number of 9,45,908 candidates who had applied for the exam, about 4.63 lakh wrote the test on August 23, which is about 49% of the total applicants.

Supreme Court upholds law fixing education qualification for Haryana panchayat poll

The court’s verdict, which will have wider impact on the elections, held the amendment and the criteria were “neither irrational nor illegal.”

Observing that education is must for both men and women in a healthy society, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Haryana government’s amendment to the Panchayati Raj Act mandating educational qualifications and other eligibility criteria for candidate aspire to contest the rural local body elections.The court’s verdict, which will have wider impact on the elections, held the amendment and the criteria were “neither irrational nor illegal.”The court also upheld the government’s amendment to the law setting other criteria that a person can’t contest election for Panchayats if charges have been framed against him for the criminal offence attracting imprisonment of not less than ten years, who fail to pay arrears of a cooperative society or a cooperative bank or that of electricity bill and don’t have a functional toilet at their residence.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”No one can dispute that education is must for both men and women as both together make a healthy and educated society. It is an essential tool for a bright future and plays an important role in the development and progress of the country,” a bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said.Upholding the amended Panchayati Raj Act in Haryana, the court said that the “object sought to be achieved cannot be said to be irrational or illegal or unconnected with the scheme and purpose of empowering the rural people through local self-government.”The bench said it is only education which gives a human being the power to discriminate between right and wrong, good and therefore, prescription of an educational qualification is not irrelevant for better administration of the panchayats.Holding that it was the legislative wisdom to decide as to what should be the minimum qualifications, Justice Sapre in a concurring but separate judgment said, “No one can dispute that education is must for both men and women as both together make a healthy and educated society. It is an essential tool for a bright future and plays an important role in the development and progress of the country.”The court dismissed the plea challenging the validity of the amendment to Panchayati Raj law that has set some criterial for candidates.Initially an ordinance prescribing the eligibility criteria was issued on August 14, 2015. Haryana assembly passed the amendments on September 7, 2015 and very next day the State Election Commission announced the elections.Addressing the challenge to the validity of the provision of educational qualification as it would result in a disqualification of a large number of people (more than 50%) from contesting Panchayat election, the court said, “every person who is entitled to vote is not automatically entitled to contest for every office under the Constitution.” Criminal charges The court also upheld the government’s amendment to the law setting other criteria that a person can’t contest election for Panchayats if charges have been framed against him for the criminal offence attracting imprisonment of not less than ten years, who fail to pay arrears of a cooperative society or a cooperative bank or that of electricity bill and don’t have a functional toilet at their residence.

Haryana: SC upholds minimum qualification criterion for Panchayat polls; EC starts preparation for elections

The apex court on Thursday upheld the validity of recent amendments in a Haryana law which fixes various criteria including minimum educational qualification for candidates contesting panchayat polls.

Supreme Court

The State Election Commission on Thursday said it will soon set in motion the process for conduct of panchayat polls after the Supreme Court upheld a new in Haryana mandating minimum educational qualifications as a prerequisite for the contestants.”We will send a proposal to the state government immediately after we get the operative part of the Supreme Court judgement. “After getting the nod from the government, the process of holding the (panchayat) polls, which had been put on hold in view of the apex court hearing the petition, will be set in motion once again,” Haryana State Election Commissioner Rajeev Sharma said over telephone. The Model Code of Conduct was put on hold from September 24 in view of the Supreme Court hearing the petition pertaining to the validity of the educational qualifications for the candidates contesting panchayat polls in Haryana.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The apex court on Thursday upheld the validity of recent amendments in a Haryana law which fixes various criteria including minimum educational qualification for candidates contesting panchayat polls. The petition had challenged validity of Haryana’s Panchayati Raj (amendment) Act 2015 which fixes matriculation as essential qualification for general candidates contesting panchayat polls. As the matter was pending before the Supreme Court, the SEC had decided to put on hold all the activities in pursuant to Commission’s notification dated September 8 and all other notifications/orders issued subsequently, Sharma said.The Commission had on September 8 issued the programme for the conduct of elections to Panchayati Raj institutions in the state. According to the programme, the panchayat polls were to be conducted in three phases – October 4, 11 and 18. Meanwhile, ruling BJP in the state has hailed the Supreme Court verdict.”The Supreme Court verdict on the panchayat poll issue has proved that Haryana Government’s thought and direction of work are correct,” State Health Minister Anil Vij tweeted. When asked to comment on the judgement, senior Congress leader and former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said, “I am yet to go through the verdict. I don’t know on what ground the writ petition has been dismissed.” Hooda had earlier said that before fixing minimum educational criteria for contestants of panchayat polls, the BJP government in the state and at the Centre should do the same for MPs and MLAs. State’s principal opposition party INLD, which had slammed the Khattar government alleging that it showed haste in fixing the education criteria, today said their views remain the same.”Everyone has to abide by the Supreme Court ruling, but our reservation was with the government. The BJP government should not have shown hurry in fixing minimum qualification criteria as it will debar nearly 70 per cent candidates from contesting. “The government should have first sought people’s view on this before moving ahead,” party’s state unit president Ashok Arora said.However, 33-year-old Sunil Jaglan, the man behind ‘Selfie with Daughter’ campaign and the Sarpanch of village Bibipur, termed it as a “historic” verdict. “It’s a historic verdict. Having educated elected representatives at the grassroot level of our system means that communication gap between government and public will be bridged. “Educated sarpanches will not be at the mercy of bureaucrats and effectively implement government schemes,” Jaglan said.

6.5% of India suffering from some form of mental disorder

He said there were three centrally-run mental health institutes, 40 state-run medical hospitals and 398 departments of psychiatry in various medical colleges (183 in government and 215 in private) across the country to treat patients suffering from mental illnesses, including schizophrenia both in urban and rural areas.

More than six per cent of the total population is suffering from either a common or a severe mental disorder such as depression, anxiety and schizophrenia, Health Minister JP Nadda said on Tuesday.”In 2005, the National Commission on Macroeconomic and Health reported that 10-20 million (1-2 per cent of population) suffered from severe mental disorder such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and nearly 50 million (5 per cent of the population) from common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety, yielding an overall estimate of 6.5 per cent of the population,” the Union Minister said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said there were three centrally-run mental health institutes, 40 state-run medical hospitals and 398 departments of psychiatry in various medical colleges (183 in government and 215 in private) across the country to treat patients suffering from mental illnesses, including schizophrenia both in urban and rural areas. “The government is also implementing the District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) in 241 districts in all the 36 states/UTs. Activities under DMHP include school and college counselling services, work place stress management and suicide prevention and community outreach activities,” he said.

Victim of false terror charges, Aamir welcomes NHRC decision but says a job is his priority

More than seventeen years later, when the National Human Rights Commission took note of the case and issued a show cause notice to the Delhi government, asking for reasons why Aamir, should not be paid a monetary relief amount of Rs5 lakh for his wrongful confinement for 14 years as a terrorist, the 35-year-old said he has a glimmer of hope.

When Mohammad Aamir Khan was picked up by the police on a fateful night in February 1998, little did the 18-year-old boy fathom a future where he would lose 14 crucial years of his youth inside the dark prison cells of NCR. It was only a month later that he came to know that he was facing charges of murder, terrorism and waging war against the nation.More than seventeen years later, when the National Human Rights Commission took note of the case and issued a show cause notice to the Delhi government, asking for reasons why Aamir, should not be paid a monetary relief amount of Rs5 lakh for his wrongful confinement for 14 years as a terrorist, the 35-year-old said he has a glimmer of hope.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Neither Rs5 lakh or Rs5 crore can get back the time which I have lost. I lost my father during that period and my mother got paralysed after a brain haemorrhage. She passed away last month. Our family was socially boycotted. But, I welcome the decision since it is at least a start,” Aamir told dna.Aamir was named the main accused in 20 low intensity bomb blasts executed between December 1996 and October 1997 in Delhi, Rohtak, Sonepat and Ghaziabad that claimed five lives. He has been acquitted in 17 cases, including one by the High Court of Delhi.Recounting the loss of time and dignity during those long years of stay in the dark and dingy prison cell of Delhi’s Tihar jail, he said the police never arrested him, they actually ‘kidnapped’ him.For nearly a week after that he was subjected to heavy physical torture. “Electric shocks, ripping off my nails and signing on blank papers followed before I was thrown into the prison,” he said.Aamir said he can’t describe in words how he spent his never-ending hours for years of solitary confinement inside the high-security cell of the prison. “I read autobiographies of great personalities, history and different religions which I realised taught the same things. I didn’t let my hope die, I took energy of the plants I watered,” Aamir said.Aamir revealed he wasn’t the only innocent serving terms in the jail and during his years in NCR’s jails, he came across several others like him who stayed confined in the prisons for years without a fair trial. In fact, he had lived through phases, where different communities have been arrested en masse.”When I was imprisoned, there were many Sikh inmates. Then came a phase where there were more of Kashmiris being jailed. That was followed by Indian Muslims who were imprisoned on terror charges,” he said, adding that the authorities should act fast so that the innocents do not suffer the same delayed justice as he did.In 2012, Aamir stepped out in a changed world which wasn’t even remotely similar to what he last saw. He got associated with social activist Shabnam Hashmi, married a year later and has an 18-month-old daughter.However, his memories continue to haunt him still as nightmares.”I find it difficult to remember things. I get frequent nightmares,” Aamir said, mentioning that he still needs psychiatric help.Aamir, who is unemployed at present, says that more than money, he needs a respectful job at present to support his family.”I’m willing to complete my studies which I had to leave mid way, it is a job that is a priority for me. I have huge hopes on the present government in Delhi and hope they will not disappoint me,” Aamir said.He added that AAP MLA from Okhla Amanatullah Khan had raised his case for monetary compensation and a job in the last session of Delhi assembly.

Beef vs Pork fest: Police step in to stop both events on Osmania University campus

The DCP also sought the co-operation of students to enusre peace, adding all possible steps would be taken to maintain tranquillity in the campus.

Seeking to avoid a showdown between rival camps of students at Osmania University by holding “beef” and “pork” festivals on the same day, police on Friday stepped in saying they would not permit any event that would mar peace in the campus. “In order to maintain peace and tranquillity on the campus, with regard to proposed festivities in the Osmania University campus in next 8 days, it is decided not to permit celebration of any festivities on the campus by any students/ organisations/groups,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (East Zone) A Ravinder said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The DCP also sought the co-operation of students to ensure peace, adding all possible steps would be taken to maintain tranquillity in the campus. While Leftist student organisations have declared that they would hold a ‘beef festival’ on December 10 in the campus, coinciding with the World Human Rights Day, another group of students announced plans to organise a ‘pork festival’ in parallel on the same day, setting the stage for a confrontation.Escalating the row, BJP MLA Raja Singh had said that he would stop the proposed ‘beef festival’ and called for a ‘Chalo University’ march on that day. The university authorities had earlier said that activities such as ‘beef festival’ and ‘gau (cow) puja’, which are not related to academics and research, will not be permitted in the campus. Meanwhile,Chairman of the Minorities’ Commission for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Abid Rasool Khan, said he will write to Telangana government seeking action against Raja Singh for his alleged “provocative statements” on the issue. Asked about the MLA’s reported statement that he would “kill or be killed to protect cows” to oppose the beef festival, Khan said “Telangana government has to seriously look into this matter and we will also write to government in this regard.”The Commission, following complaints over Singh’s speeches, had called for reports from the state government and the police. The minorities panel serves both the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

Cases of online harassment against women not maintained by govt: Maneka Gandhi

The Union minister said the Information Technology Act, 2000 together with Indian Penal Code have adequate provisions to deal with prevailing cyber crimes.

Representational image

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The cases of online harassment against women are not maintained by the government, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Friday.Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, Gandhi, however, said as per the data of National Crime Records Bureau on cyber crimes, 589, 1203 and 758 cases of publication/transmission of obscene, sexually explicit content (Under section 67 A, 67 B and 67 C of the Information Technology Act) have been registered during 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”After consultation on cyber crimes in India held on July 23, National Commission for Women has submitted a report which inter-alia recommended for opening of more cyber cells, dedicated helpline numbers, setting up forensic labs and technical training law enforcement agencies like police and judiciary to combat cyber crime,” she said.The Union minister said the Information Technology Act, 2000 together with Indian Penal Code have adequate provisions to deal with prevailing cyber crimes.”It provides punishment in the form of imprisonment ranging from two years to life imprisonment and fine/penalty depending on the type of cyber crime,” she said.

Pakistan dubs Delhi cops claim of busting ISI network as ‘baseless’

One of the accused Kafaitullah Khan, a resident of J&K, allegedly had connections with an official of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah

Image courtesy: ANI
Pakistan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah on Thursday termed the Delhi Police claim to have busted a Pakistani spy network of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) ‘baseless and unfounded’. “We have seen media reports. Indian authorities have not approached us in this regard. We reject allegations against the High Commission and our premier intelligence agency. They are baseless and unfounded. Such allegations levelled against our intelligence agency in the past have proved to be false”,he said.Two espionage rackets were busted last week with arrests of five people from Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Kolkata. One of the men caught was suspected to be a handler from Pakistan’s ISI, while the other was a Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, claimed the Delhi police.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One of the accused Kafaitullah Khan, a resident of J&K, allegedly had connections with an official of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

Nirbhaya gangrape case: Juvenile convict won’t be completely free, will be monitored by NGO

The juvenile, who was convicted in the 2012 Delhi gangrape case, was to be set free from his prohibition centre this December after his three-year-sentence came to an end. However,  according to Times Now, he will now be closely watched for a year and won’t be set completely free. Sources told the channel that he will be placed with an NGO after he finishes serving his sentence.

NDTV reported that the unnamed convict, who is now a 21-year-old, will receive vocational training at the NGO.

The juvenile convicted in the 2012 gang rape of Nirbhaya in Delhi. ReutersThe juvenile convicted in the 2012 gang rape of Nirbhaya in Delhi. Reuters

The juvenile convicted in the 2012 gang rape of Nirbhaya in Delhi. Reuters

The juvenile was one of the six men who were convicted in the Nirbhaya gangrape case where a medical student was gang-raped and thrown out of a moving bus. The government flew her to a hospital in Singapore for medical treatment but she succumbed to her injuries. Outrage over his release had the government exploring their legal options on whether they can charge him under the National Security Act and keep him in jail for a longer time.

The new decision comes on the heels of Union Minister Maneka Gandhi’s letter to the Union Home Ministry demanding that those accused of sexual abuse and having served a sentence, should be tracked once released.

The parents of the 16 December gangrape and murder victim had recently demanded that the face of the juvenile, who was considered the “most brutal” of all the six offenders, should be shown to the world before he is released as “he is a threat to the society”.

“You know the issue is not of that particular individual, the point is that I have written to the Home Ministry saying that there should a tweaking of the law in which every person accused of sexual abuse, who has served time and has come out should have to report to the police station and he should be monitored,” said Gandhi.

According to a senior official, Gandhi has sought that a registry of sexual offenders be maintained and put in public domain.

Parents of the victim have made representations to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh stating that the juvenile set to be released is a threat to the life and liberty of the common man and that there should be a mechanism to keep a strict check on them so that people are not subjected to any risk of being harmed.

Based on the parents’ complaint, the NHRC has issued notices to the Centre and Delhi government.

The Commission has asked the chief secretary in the Delhi government to inform whether any pre-release and post release plan as per Rule 17(3) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007 has been prepared in the case of the juvenile.

Information has been also sought on whether the juvenile has been recently subjected to psychological or psychiatric assessment for assessing his mental health.

The Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs has also been asked to inform about the action, if any, taken on the representation submitted by the complainants.

With inputs from PTI

Amid reports of placing Delhi gangrape juvenile convict under NGO monitoring, Nirbhaya’s parents say he should remain in jail

“We will always be dissatisfied over the fact that the person involved in the brutal killing of our daughter is roaming free. Our daughter will not get justice unless and until the four convicts are hanged and the juvenile convict is put behind the bars,” she added.

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Expressing disappointment over reports that the juvenile accused in the 2012 brutal gang-rape case would be kept under monitoring of an NGO for a year, Nirbhaya’s parents on Thursday urged the government to ensure that the former is put behind the bars.”It doesn’t matter to us whether he is put in an NGO or not. What we know is that the juvenile has been released, whether he is an NGO or somewhere else. What matters is that he is out of jail,” Nirbhaya’s mother told ANI.”We will always be dissatisfied over the fact that the person involved in the brutal killing of our daughter is roaming free. Our daughter will not get justice unless and until the four convicts are hanged and the juvenile convict is put behind the bars,” she added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to sources, the accused juvenile, who was supposed to be released on December 15, would not be released from jail as of now.Union Woman and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi had said earlier this week that she had written to the Union Home Ministry demanding that sex offenders be tracked after release.Earlier, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued a notice to Centre and Delhi Government on complaint apprehending threat to society from the juvenile post his release.The NHRC had taken cognizance of a complaint received from Nirbhaya’s parents.The convict, who was below 18 years at the time of the horrific crime, was sentenced to three years in a reform home.The punishment was seen by many as disproportionate to the enormity of the crime and spurred demands for changes in the law so that the teenagers involved in serious crimes can be tried as adults.Four other convicts have been sentenced to death and a fifth was found dead in prison.

Delhi assembly clears 3 major bills to reign in private schools

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the proposed legislations will significantly help slash fees in private schools and if laid down norms.

Three bills, aimed at reining in private schools, doing away with screening process in nursery admissions and scrapping of no detention policy till class VIII besides bringing in overall systemic reforms in education sector, were on Tuesday passed by Delhi Assembly.Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the proposed legislations will significantly help slash fees in private schools and if laid down norms are not followed, then violators will be slapped with hefty financial penalty and jail term. The Delhi School Education (Amendment) Bill (DSEAA) and the Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee) Bill stipulate hefty fine and imprisonment for violators of various provisions. Ahead of the passage of the bills, two BJP MLAs staged a walk out. The AAP had issued a whip to all its MLAs to vote in favour of these bills.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the DSEAA, offenders can be levied penalty of different grades for taking interviews at the entry levels including the nursery admission and charging capitation fees. Under this amendment, offenders will be liable for a fine which may extend up to Rs 5 lakh for the first contravention and Rs 10 lakh for each subsequent contravention. The Delhi Schools Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee Bill has a host of provisions aimed at ensuring that private schools show greater accountability in fees accepted and money spent. Erring schools shall be punishable with fine which may extend to 10 times the capitation fee charged or Rs 5 lakh whichever is more, the bill envisages. The repeated offenders may also be imprisoned ranging from 3-5 years.The bill also proposes that the salary and allowances payable to, and terms and conditions of employees of recognised private schools shall be on par with those in government schools. The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill seeks to do away with the no-detention policy till Class VIII by amending relevant sections of the Right to Education Act, which the government argues, were “prohibiting” quality education in schools.The Delhi government will now send the bills to Centre for its approval. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said private schools will not be allowed to charge excess fee from the parents. Kejriwal rejected Opposition’s claim that the education bills will benefit private schools, saying under existing policy, nobody can run a school honestly. “These bills will remove shortcomings of existing education policy. After new legislation, private schools can be run honestly. Government will form a committee which will get accounts of private schools audited through chartered accountants,” he said. Kejriwal said that management of schools and teachers will have to change their attitude towards education and fraud and bad practices in the name of admission will not be tolerated at all. “In next four years, government will impart good education in government schools besides ensuring good teachers. On paper, salaries of private school teachers are on par with those in government schools but reality is different. “I have got to know that private school teachers only get Rs 4,000 to 8,000, but new legislation will ensure that these teachers get at least Rs 12,000,” he said. Kejriwal said that they will have to introduce new education system under which students from poor and rich families can study together. “I have got to know that some school management prepares bogus bills to evade government’s action. But, one of the education bills now enables government to audit accounts of private schools. If they (schools) do something wrong, we will get to know about it,” he said. Government will also ensure that teachers of private schools get their salaries as per 6th Pay Commission and 7th Pay Commission, he said.A committee shall be constituted for the purpose of verification of the accounts of schools in accordance with the provisions of the proposed Delhi School (Verification of Accounts and Refund of Excess Fee) Bill. It shall consist of a retired high court judge or a retired district judge or a retired officer not below the rank of principal secretary. In the Education Act Amendment Bill, the government has proposed to extend the ambit of the existing law till “elementary level.” “The existing Act does not regulate the admission of children below the age of six-years in the classes including pre-school and pre-primary.”The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (Delhi Amendment) Bill, 2015, says “No child admitted in a school shall be held back in any class or expelled from school till the completion of elementary education.” 14, 18 and 25 per cent Delhi government school students of class VI failed in 2011-12, 12-13 and 13-14, respectively. In class VII, 14, 16 and 24 per cent and in class IX, 12, 13 and 21 in the corresponding years, as per government data.The RTE came into force in 2010, thus limiting the government’s role to detain them in spite of the students’ faring badly. The amendments to Section 8 and 16 of the Act seek to undo that.

DERC asked to prepare guidelines for raids on consumers: Delhi Power Minister Satyendra Jain

Responding to several complaints of MLAs that power companies raid consumers late in the night and early in the morning, Jain said the government has got to know about this issue.

Delhi Power Minister Satyendra Jain.
File Photo
PTI
Delhi Power Minister Satyendra ​Jain on Tuesday said that the government has asked the state’s power regulatory body to prepare detailed guidelines for electricity companies for raiding suspected consumers’ residence.Responding to several complaints of MLAs that power companies raid consumers late in the night and early in the morning, Jain said the government has got to know about this issue.”Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) has been asked to prepare guidelines for power companies regarding schedule of raids on the residence of suspected consumers involved in wrongdoings,” Jain told the House.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AAP MLA Anil Kumar Bajpai moved a Calling Attention Motion towards installation of electricity meters. Bajpai said that government should allow people to install their own electricity meters.Jain said that there is already a provision under which anyone can install own electricity meters, adding that most people don’t know about this rule.

Pakistan High Commission’s role comes under scanner in spy ring

Kaifatullah Khan(left), in the custody of crime branch in New Delhi on Monday
BB Yadav
dna
In a development which could also result in a major diplomatic row between India and Pakistan, the crime branch of Delhi Police has put Pakistani High Commission under their scanner in connection to the espionage network busted in the National Capital on Sunday.Not only has Pakistan High Commission’s name cropped up during the busting of the espionage network, but police here believe that there is a strong possibility that the arrested ISI agents had penetrated both the Indian Army and India based security agencies.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Crime branch officials on Monday said that during interrogation Kaifatullah Khan, the alleged spy, revealed that a Pakistani Intelligence Operative (PIO) in Pakistan had directed him to apply for the Pakistan visa at the high commission and meet a ‘contact’ there.”The PIO had briefed him to contact him once he reaches Pakistan High Commission. He (Kaifatullah) was supposed to meet a contact of PIO near the Pakistan High Commission and had to hand over the passport and the recommendation letter. The recommendation letter was discovered from his possession which has been addressed to Pakistan High Commissioner. All the logistic support was to be provided by the contact of the PIO whom he had to meet near Pakistan High Commission. The passport and the recommendation letter have been seized from his possession,” said Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of police, Crime Branch.Kaifatullah, a librarian in a higher secondary school in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri area, was taken in police custody on Thursday last week when he was on his way to ‘Bhopal Ijtema’, an annual religious gathering, where he was allegedly supposed to scout for information and possible recruits.Subsequently Abdul Rasheed, a head constable in the Border Security Force was arrested in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday for allegedly providing official secrets to Khan who is accused of working at the behest of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, ISI. According to sources, Abdul was first interrogated by the BSF and then handed over the crime branch.According to investigations so far, it has been revealed that Kaifatullah was able to penetrate Indian Army, BSF and various security agencies of India at multiple levels and had been “procuring secret information detrimental to the security of the country”. Rasheed, a cousin of Khan, however was one of his main sources.Kaifatullah was given specific tasks by the PIO, which were mainly concerning with the deployment of security forces and air force operations. The information was passed through e-mail, WhatsApp and Viber.Abdul, a head constable in the intelligence wing of BSF posted at the office of DIG, initially passed information to Kaifatullah but later had come in direct contact with ISI agents across the border. According to police Kaifatullah was selected in the year 1990 and was earlier posted in Gujarat and West Bengal and shifted to J&K in year 1998.”Being in the intelligence wing of BSF, he was having access to secret/sensitive information pertaining to deployment/ Border fencing/movement of the troops. He was passing the information to PIO initially through Kafaitullah but later on he developed close relations directly with the PIO and started communicating with him regularly through the App based communication.”His father had visited Pakistan in the year 2014 to meet his paternal uncle. He disclosed that he was cultivated by Kafaitullah to give sensitive/ secret information in lieu of monetary considerations. His bank account details are being verified for the same,” investigators said. “We have apprehensions that the espionage network had spread into the army and other security agencies,” Yadav said. According to sources name of at least one army official has cropped up during questioning.

Make poll affidavits available online: High Court tells Gujarat SEC

The PIL, demanding a stay on the polls, was filed by Gujarat Nagrik Sangathan on November 18, four days before the first phase of polls on six municipal corporations.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The Gujarat High Court on Monday asked the State Election Commission (SEC) to upload all the poll affidavits of candidates contesting local body polls within the next six months and make it a regular practice for future elections.The direction came from the high court bench of Acting Chief Justice Jayant Patel and Justice V M Pancholi on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) demanding a stay on the local body polls which took place recently across the state. The PIL, demanding a stay on the polls, was filed by Gujarat Nagrik Sangathan on November 18, four days before the first phase of polls on six municipal corporations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the PIL, voters were in the dark about the past track record of poll candidates, as their affidavits, containing their income, profession as well as criminal case details (if any), are not uploaded on the SEC website for the general public to view them. Due to the unavailability of such records online, voters are not being able to take a call about whom to vote, stated the PIL.During the arguments, the SEC stated in its reply that it requires time to develop IT infrastructure to upload these affidavits. The SEC also argued that all the affidavits were already pasted on notice boards of each of the ward election offices and voters still have an option to see them.While passing the order today, the High Court told the SEC that it should not expect that people will go to each of these offices to read the affidavits, as it will consume time and energy. The high court also asked the SEC to bring transparency in their functioning by making these affidavits available online.Taking in view the inability of SEC to do it on an immediate basis, the bench asked them to upload these affidavits within six months as the elections are also over. The high court also directed the SEC to make it a regular practice and upload poll affidavits well in advance in the next elections.

VC’s appointment row: SC notice to Aligarh Muslim University

The petitioner, Syed Abrar Ahmed, had argued before the high court that the regulations – which pertained to minimum qualifications and maintenance of standards in the higher education – had become binding on the AMU when it had adopted these on December 6, 2010.

AMU

The Supreme Court sought Aligarh Muslim University’s response on a petition seeking a direction to quash the appointment of its vice-chancellor. A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and N V Ramana issued notice to the university directing it to file its reply in six weeks on the appeal challenging the Allahabad High Court order which had dismissed the plea of an alumni of the university.The high court on October 16 had junked the petition challenging the appointment of Lt. Gen. Zameer Uddin Shah, noting there was “nothing wrong with the procedure (adopted)”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The appointment of Shah as VC of AMU on May 11, 2012 was challenged on the ground that according to the regulations of University Grants Commission (UGC), the VC ought to have worked for at least 10 years as a professor in a university or on an equivalent post in a research or academic institute.The petitioner, Syed Abrar Ahmed, had argued before the high court that the regulations – which pertained to minimum qualifications and maintenance of standards in the higher education – had become binding on the AMU when it had adopted these on December 6, 2010.Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, contended that the high court had “erroneously refused to quash the appointment of the VC, in contradiction of the mandatory provisions of the UGC Regulation, 2010″.Bhushan, assisted by advocate Govind Jee contended that the appointment of the VC of AMU is contrary to the UGC Regulations, 2010 (the present VC was appointed on May 11, 2012 in contravention of the UGC Regulations, 2010 so far as the qualifications are concerned).”The UGC Regulations, 2010 was accepted and adopted by the AMU and the same was put in abeyance by the University, deliberately by an administrative order,” he argued. “Pass an order restraining the present VC not to make any appointment and promotion, take any policy decision which may have long term financial or other implications on the executive and academic functioning of the University,” the plea said.

After ban on coal-mining, people from Meghalaya are taking to turmeric farming

Meghalaya: The National Green Tribunal ban on coal mining and transportation of coal in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills region has resulted in many of those engaged in the activity switching to turmeric farming for their livelihood.

For the past one year, these coal-miners, who previously practised unscientific mining and transportation of coal, have taken to cultivation of famed curcumin-rich Lakadong turmeric varieties at their villages in East Jaintia Hills District.

D Rymbai, a resident, invested in turmeric cultivation in his six-acre barren land at Moolamylliang village.

PTIPTI

PTI

Rymbai owned a few coal mines at the village and never thought of farming as a viable alternative to coal mining until April last year when the NGT issued the blanket ban.

“After the NGT ban, I was disillusioned as to what to do for my livelihood. We had become so dependent on coal mining prior to the ban,” Rymbai said.

Like Rymbai, almost 90 per cent of the residents of the village were totally dependent on money that came from coal.

Rat-hole coal mining took over in the early 90s and in a span of 20 years, one could see holes dug up everywhere in the village land in search of coal and even paddy fields were not spared.

The April 2014 order of the NGT came as a game changer as people started looking for alternative source of income.

District Horticulture officer G Dohling says that the department has come up with a turmeric hub to promote cultivation of the famed Lakadong variety of turmeric.

The hub was built at a cost of Rs 50 lakh, funds from the 13th Finance Commission, and will benefit the local farmers, he said.

Meghalaya produces over 8,000 MT of turmeric in a year and majority of this production is concentrated in Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills region because of the favourable micro-climatic and soil conditions.

According to horticulture department officials, there are at least 1,000 farmers engaged in turmeric cultivation and the number is likely to increase.

Jaintia Hills region consisting of two districts produces at least three varieties of turmeric – Lakadong, Laskein and Ladaw, each having their separate identity, a senior horticulture officer said.

The Indian Council for Agricultural Research data shows that the curcumin content of Lakadong variety is 6.0-7.5 per cent, about 2 per cent higher than the turmeric available in the market.

There is a very high demand from the pharmaceutical industry for these curcumin-rich turmeric varieties as it can be used in cosmetic, pharmaceutical and dye/food-colouring industries.

At present ITC Ltd is procuring Lakadong turmeric slices for extracting curcumin used for in its pharmaceutical units.

PTI

Pakistan displeased over withdrawal of book launch invite to High Commissioner Abdul Basit

The withdrawal of the invite did not go down well with the Pakistan High Commission.

dna Research & Archives
Even as the Pakistan on Friday expressed displeasure at the revocation of an invite to its High Commissioner from a book launch here, organisers say there was nothing against Pakistan but that a protocol issue had cropped up.On Thursday, the first copy of The Eighth Ring, the autobiography of KM Mathew, the former editor and publisher of Malayalam Manorama, was to be released by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The invitations were sent to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit, but was later withdrawn. The book was released by Mammen Mathew, chief editor of Malayalam Manorama in the presence of Fali S Nariman, Prannoy Roy and other prominent personalities.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, the withdrawal of the invite did not go down well with the Pakistan High Commission. “It is so sad that Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit was disinvited at a book launch function of an autobiography of former Malayalam Manorama chief editor, late KM Mathew,” said a source at the Commission.The organisers, however, said that they did not mean any disrespect to the Pakistan envoy or his country. “We had sent out invites to several diplomats and ambassadors. However, we realised much later that as per protocol we will have to take permissions from the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to invite a foreign dignitary to the Rashtrapati Bhawan,” said Sachidananda Murthy, Delhi Resident Editor of Malayala Manorama.The source at the Pakistan High Commission, however, said that the organisers did not give any reason for withdrawing the invitation. “This disinvitation was in a bad diplomatic taste,” said the source.”We said that similar disinvites were sent out to ambassadors at the high commissions of the USA, Sri Lanka, and France. We had no intention to insult. And we told all the dignitaries that we are planning another function where we will invite everyone once again,” said Murthy.

Will the alcohol ban in Bihar actually affect the state?

In a state where the consumption of toddy and country liquor is nearly 16 times as much as refined liquor, it begs the question whether the liquor ban will really have an impact.

Image credit: Dhruvarahjs

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The third most populous state in India is set to go dry from April 1, 2016. As per the announcement on Thursday by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the sale of alcohol will be banned from next April in his state. The rising protests by women, especially by women from the Dalit community and backward classes, prompted him to take it up as one of the election promises and he came through.Reports state that the Bihar government earned about Rs 3,500 crore in 2014 through taxes (15% of the government’s total tax intake) on the sale of alcohol. Thus, the government treasury would definitely take a big hit as a result of the ban. But what must be noted here is that Nitish Kumar has not clarified whether the ban is meant for refined and foreign liquor and/or toddy and country liquor.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Alcohol consumption data from India’s National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) reveals some interesting facts. As per the NSSO’s 2011-12 consumption data for the states, toddy is the most popular drink in rural areas with country liquor coming in second. Among the bigger states, the data reveals that Andhra Pradesh, followed by Assam, Jharkhand and Bihar, consumes the highest amount of toddy and country liquor.Bihar alcohol consumption per capita per week (NSSO 2011-12):Toddy and Country Liquor – 266 mlBeer, Foreign Liquor and Wine – 17 mlThe NSSO data also shows the direct correlation between income and alcohol consumption. If you look at the urban areas, it’s beer and refined liquor that’s consumed in larger quantities as compared to toddy and country liquor and vice versa.In Bihar, there has been a drastic decline in poverty levels (33.75% of people are BPL according to the 2011-12 report by the Planning Commission) but only 11.29% of the people live in urban areas according to the 2011 census.In a state where the consumption of toddy and country liquor is nearly 16 times as much as refined liquor, it begs the question whether the liquor ban will really have an impact. The only way Bihar can turn into a truly ‘dry state’ is if Nitish Kumar specifically includes toddy and country liquor in the ban.

Dalit man, daughter forced to eat cow dung, assaulted; NHRC sends notice to Haryana govt

“The content of the press report, it true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights of the Dalit family,” observed the Commission.

The National Human Rights Commission has issued notice to Haryana government over alleged acts of atrocity against a Dalit family in Haryana’s Hisar and called for a report in the matter within two weeks. The Commission has taken suo motu cognisance of a media report that in Muzadpur village of Hisar district, some influential persons allegedly barged into the house of a Dalit person and compelled him and his daughter to eat cow dung. They also physically assaulted and injured them. When the duo went to the hospital for treatment, they were again attacked and beaten by the assailants.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The content of the press report, it true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights of the Dalit family,” observed the Commission as it issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, government of Haryana calling for a report in the matter within two weeks.According to the media report, carried on November 23, the victim and his daughter have stated that they had been targeted after a statue of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar was erected in the village, despite opposition from some villagers, an NHRC statement said.

Gujarat Congress complaints to SEC over BJP’s TV and radio commercials

The polling for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities is slated for November 29.

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel shows her inked finger after casting vote in Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation election at Shilaj area in Ahemdabad on Sunday.

PTI
The Congress on Wednesday moved the State Election Commission seeking immediate withdrawal of commercials on radio and television purportedly by the BJP, which it said is violation of the model code of conduct in force for forthcoming elections to local bodies.In a written complaint to the election commission, the Congress alleged that various schemes for students, entrepreneurs and cancer patients mentioned in these ads are labelled as initiatives of BJP, which is not right.”This is a violation of the model code of conduct under which you cannot lure voters by offering them financial help. This is termed as corrupt practice. Thus, we have filed a complaint with the SEC today to immediately stop the telecast of these ads,” State unit Congress General Secretary Nishith Vyas stated in his complaint to SEC.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The ads being aired on TV and radio claim that various schemes to help students and other citizens are floated by the BJP. Technically, these schemes are initiated by the state government and not by the party,” he said.Vyas termed the advertisements as an attempt to “lure” voters by offering them some kind of financial help.”In one of the TV commercials, it is claimed that BJP is providing Rs 10 lakh as financial assistance to students. In another ad, cancer patients and entrepreneurs can be seen receiving financial help from Chief Minister Anandiben Patel,” he said.The polling for 31 district panchayats, 230 taluka panchayats and 56 municipalities is slated for November 29.

Parents of December 16 gangrape victim want juvenile’s face be shown before release

Parents of the victim have made representations to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Based on the parents’ complaint, the NHRC has issued notices to the Centre and Delhi government. (File Photo of accused)

The parents of the December 16 gangrape and murder victim have demanded that the face of juvenile convict who was the “most brutal” of all the six offenders, should be shown to the world before he is released citing “he is a threat to the society”.Parents of the victim have made representations to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. “We have learnt from the media that the juvenile was getting indoctrinated in jihad inside the juvenile home which is a very dangerous thing. “Also, he was the most brutal of all the six and he is showing no signs of remorse about what he has done. His release will be a threat to the society. We don’t want that what has happened with out daughter is repeated,” said the father of the woman adding, “if at all he is to be released, his face should be shown to the world.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The father also stressed that it was important to assess the mind set of the boy before releasing him. “There is a need to assess his mind set to ensure that he does not attack another girl like he had attacked my daughter after being released,” he said.Based on the parents’ complaint, the NHRC has issued notices to the Centre and Delhi government. “They have submitted that such persons are threat to the life and liberty of the common man. There should be a mechanism to keep a strict check on them so that people are not subjected to any risk of being harmed. The complainants have also stated that the rate of recidivism (committing crimes again) is fairly high,” said an NHRC statement. The Commission has asked the Chief Secretary, in Delhi government to inform whether any pre-release and post release plan as per Rule 17(3) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2007 has been prepared in the case of the juvenile.Information has been also sought on whether the juvenile has been recently subjected to psychological or psychiatric assessment for assessing his mental health. The Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs has also been asked to inform about the action, if any, taken on the representation submitted by the complainants. Meanwhile, Delhi Police sources said that it is contemplating legal opinion regarding whether the juvenile can be booked under the provisions of National Security Act.The police had earlier received inputs from intelligence agencies suggesting that the juvenile was in touch with an accused of the Delhi High Court blast at the remand home here and he is suspected to be radicalised, sources said.

Parents appeal Delhi rape minor release

The parents of the 2012 Delhi gang rape victim are appealing against the teenager convict’s scheduled release from jail.

Governor Ram Naik sends plea to EC seeking SP MLA’s disqualification who is in coma

Nutan Thakur, wife of suspended IPS Amitabh Thakur on May petitioned the Governor seeking Bahraich MLA Waqar Ahmad Shah for being in coma for long and hence being disqualified under Article 191 of the Constitution.

Waqar Ahmad Shah.
File Photo
Image credit: Facebook
Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik has referred a petition seeking disqualification of Samajwadi Party MLA Waqar Ahmad Shah, who is in coma for a long time, to Election Commission for opinion. Juthika Patankar, Principal Secretary to the Governor, had on November 23 referred this matter to be placed before the EC for its opinion, Social Activist Nutan Thakur said, showing a copy of the letter.Thakur, wife of suspended IPS Amitabh Thakur on May petitioned the Governor seeking Bahraich MLA Waqar Ahmad Shah for being in coma for long and hence being disqualified under Article 191 of the Constitution.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”When a person is in coma, his capabilities of thinking and rational decision-making get completely stopped and hence he comes in the category of person with unsound mind as defined in Article 191,” the petition to Governor said.It also said that Shah has been in coma for two years now, because of which he had to be removed from ministership as well. “In such circumstances, the people of this constituency cannot be deprived of their constitutional right of having a public representative in state assembly,” it added.

Somnath Bharti ‘suppressed’ information in affidavits he filed for Assembly elections, claims wife Lipika Mitra

Lipika in her complaint stated that Bharti had bought the property in south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar out of his own income but is in the name of his mother Manorama Rani Bharti, details of which were completely suppressed by him in his affidavit.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Lipika Mitra, the estranged wife of former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti, on Tuesday wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner seeking action against the AAP leader for “suppressing” information in the affidavit he filed for Delhi Assembly elections early this year.Lipika in her complaint stated that Bharti had bought the property in south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar out of his own income but is in the name of his mother Manorama Rani Bharti, details of which were completely suppressed by him in his affidavit.Bharti, she claimed, has suppressed material facts from the Commission regarding his financial status as well as her’s in his nomination form 26 on affidavit which is illegal. She further alleged that her bank balance and insurance details cited by Bharti in the affidavit were manipulated by him without her concurrence.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It is a settled law that it is the solemn obligation of the candidates who are contesting election to furnish information regarding him or her and the spouse information and if the same are not given correct, the same would amount to suppression/non disclosure which will be treated as a substantial lapse on the part of the candidate. I would request your office to take immediate action against Bharti as he has made false representations in his election nomination form under oath,” she said in her complaint to CEC Nasim Zaidi.Lipika had filed a complaint of domestic violence with Delhi Commission for Women on June 10 alleging that her husband had been abusing her since their marriage in 2010. She had also given a complaint to the police in this regard, leading to the former minister’s dramatic arrest on September 28. Bharti was later released.

45% voter turnout in Gujarat civic polls

Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also a registered voter from Ranip area of the city, he could not come due to his ongoing tour of Malaysia for ASEAN summit.

The elections are considered to be a litmus test for Anandiben Patel government of BJP against the backdrop of violent stir by Patel community members for quota.

File Photo
Around 45 per cent turnout was registered today in polling held for 568 seats across six municipal corporations even as scores of voters, mainly from Patel community, could not exercise their franchise as they did not find their names in the final list prepared by State Election Commission. Though no untoward incident was reported during voting, several voters complained that they were deprived of casting vote as their names did not figure in the list. The elections are considered to be a litmus test for Anandiben Patel government of BJP against the backdrop of violent stir by Patel community members for quota, while the Congress is looking forward to spin the resentment in their favour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Voting began at 8.00 am and lasted till 5.00 pm in municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar—all currently held by the BJP. As per the tentative figures released by the State Election Commission (SEC), out of total 95.9 lakh registered voters, around 45 per cent voters cast their votes though final figures are yet to be arrived at. Prominent among voters were BJP patriarch L K Advani, Chief Minister Patel and BJP chief Amit Shah as they all are registered voters of different parts of city.Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also a registered voter from Ranip area of the city, he could not come due to his ongoing tour of Malaysia for ASEAN summit. Meanwhile, the chief minister expressed confidence that her party will emerge victorious.”We are going to win the elections. After casting my vote, I am going to Saurashtra region for campaigning for district panchayats polls,” Patel told reporters after casting her vote at Shilaj area here in morning. Advani, who had raised a banner of revolt against the Prime Minister after the Bihar poll debacle, praised the NDA government after casting his vote. “I believe that the whole system takes it’s own time. Since the government is going in the right direction, I believe that the results will also be good,” Advani said in reply to a question whether Modi government has failed to fulfil it’s promise of bringing ‘Acche Din’, especially in the wake of recent price rise in pulses. Patel community members held protests in various parts of the city, especially in the CM’s Ghatlodia area, saying names of many of them were deleted by the SEC from the final voting list, which the opposition Congress alleged was done at the behest of the BJP.Congress also demanded immediate action against election officers over the goof-up. Counting of votes will take place on December 2.

Following Emergency in island nation, Sushma Swaraj holds talks with Maldivian FM Dunya Maumoon

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen had on November 4 imposed Emergency in the country for 30 days citing threat to national security and gave sweeping powers to security forces.

Maumoon’s visit here comes nearly a month after Swaraj’s trip to Male during which she co-chaired a Joint Commission meeting. ”

Imgae credit: MEA Twitter
Maldivian Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon on Saturday apprised External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj circumstances leading to imposition of Emergency in the island nation earlier this month besides current political situation. After her extensive talks with Swaraj, Maumoon, who arrived here today on a two-day visit, said she came here to apprise India about the Emergency and developments leading to it. Both Swaraj and Maumoon also deliberated on a range of other issues of mutual interest. “I came largely to personally apprise about the emergency and other developments leading to the Emergency,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen had on November 4 imposed Emergency in the country for 30 days citing threat to national security and gave sweeping powers to security forces. However, the Emergency was lifted on November 10, a week after its imposition after requests from many countries including the US and Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth. Maumoon’s visit here comes nearly a month after Swaraj’s trip to Male during which she co-chaired a Joint Commission meeting. “Diplomacy at home and abroad! Earlier today EAM @SushmaSwaraj met Maldives Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon,” MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.During her visit, Swaraj had called on Yameen who had bluntly told her that his government will not tolerate that “foreign parties” interfere in domestic issues. The remarks were downplayed by India, maintaining that they were aimed at the Commonwealth and not at it.

Uttar Pradesh: Dalit family beaten up for touching idols at temple

A Dalit couple and their relatives were beaten up, abused and issued life threats for allegedly touching idols at a temple in Chitrakoot.

A Dalit couple and their relatives were beaten up, abused and issued life threats for allegedly touching idols at a temple in Chitrakoot. The police have registered FIR against the culprits. However, no arrests have been made so far. The Dalits in Rajapur town have announced a march on Sunday if the accused are not arrested by then. National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) chairman P.L. Punia on Saturday said the commission will take action against culprits involved in the beating up of a Dalit family for allegedly touching idols at a temple in Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh. “The National Commission for Scheduled Castes has taken its cognizance and there will be probe against them,” Punia said. “Whenever these kinds of incidences take place, the commission intervenes and ensures that probe is done against the culprits,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Here’s how you can help Tamil Nadu’s first transgender engineering student

Grace Banu. Image credit: Milaap

The story of Grace Banu is nothing short of inspirational. Banu happens to be Tamil Nadu’s first transgender student to have bagged an engineering seat in the state’s premier college. She had filed a petition in the Madras High Court to demand that Tamil Nadu State Public Commission allow transgender persons to appear for the entrance exam.The petition was just one of Banu’s fights for transgender rights. She had to face and fight discrimination several times in her life.After she came out as a transgender in 2008, she was disowned by her family but was embraced by the transgender community. She even finished her education in Computer Sciences and secured a job in a software company Chennai in 2011. However, Banu had to quit working after she faced discrimination at her workplace.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>But that did not stop her. She began afresh and pursued an engineering course. She passed the entrance exam for the college but could not take admission being a transgender applicant.She finally got admitted to a private college, Sri Krishna College in Arrokonam. She is now a third-year student of the college’s Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE) department.Banu has overcome many a hurdles to come so far and become a beacon of hope for not just the third gender, but everyone who faces systemic discrimination.Despite having come so far, she is now facing financial hurdles and is finding it difficult to continue her education. She has spent her savings and Rs 70,000 that she borrowed from friends, says a News Minute report. But she needs money for her university exam fees and for food, travel and rent. “I do not have money to survive for the next one and a half years of my college. I would like to get a monthly stipend to cover my expenses. My family does not support me any manner. I can’t lead a life of dignity without raising some money,” she told the publication.While her friends and supporters are pitching in, Banu still needs a helping hand to complete her education. Sinthu Govindaswamy, a business consultant, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for Banu.Banu has campaigned for making the society more inclusive. Will people now rally in her hour of need?Here is how you can help Banu and make a difference in her life

Why the Seventh Pay Commission is an opportunity for PM Modi, rather than a threat

There could be much fretting over whether the Rs 1.02 lakh crore payout to government employees in 2016-17 due to the Seventh Pay Commission’s report will bust the budget once again. The chances are it won’t, especially in the present context of weak global recovery, low commodity prices, slow domestic revival in consumption, excess capacity in industry and manageable levels of inflation.

Viewed correctly, and if backed by the right reforms in the next budget, it could be just what the doctor ordered for a beleaguered NDA government which got almost nothing right in 2015 — neither politics nor reforms.

The headline numbers of the Pay Commission’s fiscal impact look worse than they actually are. The average 23.55 percent pay increase to 48 lakh government staff will set the Central government back by Rs 73,650 crore in 2016-17, and the Indian Railways by Rs 28,450 crore — leaving a big gash of over Rs 1,02,100 crore on central finances. The actual bill will be larger since there is also the OROP — one-rank-one-pension — payout to be added to this.

File image of Narendra Modi. PTI

File image of Narendra Modi. PTI

But while the bill is huge, we also need to balance that with the reality that part of what goes out as pay and perks also comes back as tax revenue. Assuming an average tax rate of 20 percent for government employees, income tax alone will bring back a fifth of the payouts back. (Maybe less or more, but the point is both sides of the government’s ledger are impacted).

And then there is the impact of indirect taxes when people spend the balance that jingles into bank accounts. When this money is spent on consumer durables, homes, financial products, everyday necessities and travel, the government’s indirect tax kitty will swell again. As corporate profits improve, they too will pay the government more, and bank profitability will look up as bad loan portfolios shrink. Rising share valuations will make it easier for government and private sector players to raise more money from the market, helping reboot the investment cycle.

Put another way, this fortuitous combination of circumstance of low inflation, low commodity prices, excess capacity in industry, moderate inflation, etc, is just the right economic environment in which the Seventh Pay Commission’s bounties will do less damage to the exchequer and fiscal prudence. In fact, this dash of additional expenditure may be just the prod required for restarting the virtuous cycle of consumption, investment, growth, profits and all the related paraphernalia.

However, this is no reason to throw caution to the winds. After the Central Pay Commission is done, there will be another round of pay increases at the state and local government levels in 2016 and 2017. This means there will be enough domestic money sloshing about to give Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan sleepless nights over the possibility of a revival in consumer inflation in late 2016 or early 2017. The pace of rate cuts may thus have to be slowed down — but that will not halt the revival, for investment depends on profitability more than interest rates.

India is in a sweet spot right now on many fronts, and so it is tough to mess the economy up at this stage.

If Finance Minister Arun Jaitley looks at the overall scenario, he should take this opportunity to produce a spectacular Union budget for 2016-17 after producing two duds in 2014 and 2015.

The time for big bang reforms led by a radical budget — tax cuts, privatisation and subsidy reforms using the JAM trinity (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar. Mobile) — has come. For Modi and Jaitley, this is their last chance to prove their critics wrong and revive the animal spirits of business and markets. It is now or never.

If 2016 is not the year of great reform, Modi will not have enough time to show job-creating performance to the electorate. If jobs are not visible for at least two or three years in a row, the electorate will not notice. In the Vajpayee government, revival came in 2003-04, too late for the voter to give him another term.

India began shining too late for voters to notice.

Smriti Irani’s degree row: Court asks Election Commission, Delhi University to bring records

The court on June 24 had taken cognizance of the complaint which accused Irani of furnishing false information about her academic qualifications in the affidavits filed before the EC in 2004, 2011 and 2014.

Smriti Irani

The Election Commission and Delhi University (DU) were on Friday directed by a city court to bring the records of educational qualification of Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani against whom a complaint was filed for allegedly giving false information in affidavits to the poll panel.Metropolitan Magistrate Akash Jain allowed the plea of the complainant seeking a direction to the officials of EC and DU to bring records of Irani’s educational qualification after he said he was unable to place them before the court. “Keeping in view the grounds mentioned in the application, the plea to direct officials of the Election Commission and Delhi University to bring records is allowed,” the court said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It, however, declined the contention of complainant Ahmer Khan, a freelance writer, seeking direction to the CBSE to bring Irani’s class 10th and 12th records. “The plea to direct CBSE to bring records of class X and XII is declined as it is not under challenge. Put up the matter for pre-summoning evidence on March 16, 2016,” it said. The complainant had earlier claimed in court that Irani had deliberately given discrepant information about her educational qualification in affidavits filed before the poll panel and not given any clarification despite concerns being raised on the issue.Khan had alleged that Irani had knowingly furnished misleading information about her educational qualification in affidavits filed before EC and, a candidate deliberately giving incorrect details, can be punished under the provisions of IPC and under section 125A of Representation of the People Act (RPA). Section 125A of RPA deals with penalty for filing false affidavit and entails a jail term of upto six months or fine or both. The court on June 24 had taken cognizance of the complaint which accused Irani of furnishing false information about her academic qualifications in the affidavits filed before the EC in 2004, 2011 and 2014.The complainant had earlier claimed in court that in her affidavit for April 2004 Lok Sabha polls, Irani had said she completed her BA in 1996 from DU(School of Correspondence), whereas in another affidavit of July 11, 2011 to contest Rajya Sabha election from Gujarat, she had said her highest educational qualification was B.Com Part I from the School of Correspondence, DU.The complaint also alleged that in the affidavit filed for nomination of April 16, 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh, Irani said she had completed Bachelor of Commerce Part-I from School of Open Learning,

7th pay panel recommendations will lead to brain drain from the country: RSS

RSS

RSS affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh on Thursday termed “disappointing” the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission and said it will lead to brain drain from the country.”The 7th Pay Commission report is disappointing, its fitment benefit is very less, it will lead to brain drain and would have a bad impact on the economy,” said Viresh Upadhyay, General Secretary of BMS.He said that the recommendations submitted to the government this evening show that there is a huge gap between minimum and maximum.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also Read: 7th Pay Commission hikes salary and pension by 23.55%, to be implemented from January 1, 2016″It has also not addressed the anomalies,” he said.The Sangh affiliate had only last week warned the government of mass agitations if its decision on FDI was not immediately rolled back.Also Read: 7th Pay Commission Report: Virtually One Rank One Pension recommended for civilians”BMS has strong objections on FDI hike, especially in retail and defence. We urge the government to call stakeholders to resolve their concerns. Failing that, we will be compelled to take to the streets (in protest),” Upadhyay had said. Also Read: All you need to know about the 7th Pay Commission recommendations

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