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Political discourse becoming more vulgar: Arun Jaitley

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Jaitley is currently under attack from opposition over alleged involvment in the DDCA scam

Arun Jaitley

Amid frequent face offs between the government and opposition, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said political discourse in the country has become “more vulgar”.”Though extremely popular to say, the anti-corruption law must be made more and more stringent and more and more unreasonable. That is the more popular way these days in politics, particularly when political discourse also tends to become more vulgar,” Jaitley, under fierce opposition attack over alleged irregularities in Delhi’s cricket body, said delivering the annual Intelligence Bureau lecture.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaitley’s comments came amidst the ongoing tussle between the Arvind Kejriwal government and the Centre over alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association where he was the president for about 13 years till 2013. Suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad too alleged there were financial irregularities in the DDCA when Jaitley was at its helm.Jaitley has refuted the allegations and filed civil and criminal defamation cases against five AAP leaders, including Kejriwal. About “continuing mandamus”, Jaitley said the whole idea behind the move was to make sure that investigating agency does its job.”This process has gone on for two decades and you have cases of economic offences which are investigated by several agencies, state police, CBI and other agencies which requires an introspection and analytic view, a continuing mandamus alerts the investigation,” he said. Continuing Mandamus is a writ of Mandamus issued to a lower authority by the higher authority in general public interest asking the officer or the authority to perform its task expeditiously for an unstipulated period of time for preventing miscarriage of justice.The Finance Minister said there are not too many cases in which investigating agencies in a case involving continuing mandamus have ended investigation in favour of the accused. “The golden rule which most investigating agencies follow is that if a court is conducting a continuing mandamus, it is easier to file a charge sheet and let the court decide whether evidence exists or not,” he said.Therefore, Jaitley said, after 20 years of this experiment, a call has to be taken, including by the courts, whether the imbalance between a fair investigation and rights of the accused have been created by an institution of continuing mandamus.It is an instrument which can be used rarely in cases where there is reason to apprehend that an honest investigation is not being carried out. “To make continuing mandamus a regular practice, may have a tendency to create an imbalance in the criminal jurisprudence due to the reasoning adopted in the judgement of cases,” he said.

DDCA scam: Wait and watch my next move, says suspended BJP MP Kirti Azad

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He said that he had been raising this issue since past nine years and said that he had not teamed up with Congress or AAP.

After BJP MP Kirti Azad was suspended on Wednesday over his remarks about Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s alleged involvement in DDCA scam, he has come out saying that he was never anti-party. “I did not say anything against anyone personally,” Kirti Azad spoke about his suspension. He said that he had been raising this issue since past nine years and said that he had not teamed up with Congress or AAP. He said he had not said anything against the party. “What anti-party activity have I done? I have been raising this issue since 9 years, they must have taken cognizance of that before<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It’s great that I have been suspended from the party for highlighting corruption. It is party’s loss not mine,” Azad said.He said that he had worked honestly for BJP but was branded as anti-party.On being asked on about what was his next move, he replied saying, “Wait and watch.”

Now KPS Gill claims Arun Jaitley committed irregularities in Hockey India

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Arun Jaitley is already under the scanner for alleged corruptions and irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association.

Former Punjab DGP KPS Gill on Wednesday wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal complaining against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over irregularities in Hockey India. Arun Jaitley is already under the scanner for alleged corruptions and irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday escalated protest against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley demanding his resignation over the alleged irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). The protest march to Jaitley’s residence was stopped by the police at Tughlaq Road here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The protestors were seen holding placards and shouting slogans demanding Jaitley’s resignation. Later, police used water cannon to disperse.

Failure of government’s policies fuelling price rise: Opposition in Lok Sabha

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Government on Tuesday came under attack from the opposition on the issue of price rise with members alleging failure of its macro-economic policies in controlling the spiralling prices particularly of pulses.Citing examples of onion, pulses and tomatoes, TMC MP Saugata Roy said although the government says that inflation has come down, but the prices of essential commodities have continued to rise.He said the government has not been able to pass on the benefit of declining global fuel prices to the consumer. “There is a problem with macro-management. Fuel prices have gone down, but rather than passing on the benefit to people, the Finance Minister sees fuel as a milch cow,” Roy said during a debate on price rise in the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On pulses, he said the government should ensure timely import of the commodity in order to keep the prices under control. “I think one major step would be import on time and that too from countries which are closer to ours, like Myanmar,” he said, adding that pulses prices are already very high and was expected to be the steepest this year. Roy asked the government to elaborate the steps taken to boost the production of pulses and edible oil in order to contain their prices in the domestic market, saying there was no proper mechanism for procurement of pulses in the country.Demanding implementation of recommendation of the M S Swaminathan committee for establishment of “pulses villages”, he said farmers were not growing more pulses because of the huge price fluctuation. He said the government has reduced expenditure on agriculture sector and unless it is increased and said steps should also be taken to increase production of edible oil. He suggested that the Centre ask states to undertake dehoarding drive vigorously and take quick policy decision “because next year also, there will be problems”.BJD leader B Mahtab too said price rise was due to domestic structural problems. While the average prices of vegetables earlier were less than Rs 10, it was now not going below Rs 30. Observing that the problem of high pulses prices was “more manmade than natural”, he said traders were buying pulses from other countries and hoarding them and waiting for the domestic prices to rise.To this, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said there was truth in this and the government was concerned over it.Paswan also sought suggestions to deal with the issue.

Congress, AAP making false allegations on Arun Jaitley to divert attention, says BJP

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Claiming that Arun Jaitley will come clean off the allegations made against him, BJP said, the mudslinging was just a tactic by Congress and AAP, to divert attention

Finance Minister Arun Jailtey

File Photo
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is a symbol of honesty and the Congress Party and the AAP (Aam Aadmi Party) is trying to divert attention from their corruption cases by making false allegations against him in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) row.”Arun Jaitley is a honest minister. He is a symbol of transparency and honesty. The Congress party and the AAP are making false allegations on the BJP. Congress itself is involved in the National Herald case and is not able to digest the fact that the Government has got a mandate,”, said Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in New Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that Finance Minister Arun Jailtey will come out with flying colours in the DDCA row in a similar way as BJP veteran LK Advani was acquitted in the Jain Hawala case.Jaitley on Wednesday, filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of AAP for allegedly defaming him in the DDCA controversy before a Delhi court which took cognizance on his plea.Jaitley also filed a civil defamation suit of Rs 10 crore against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders.

DDCA row: AAP wants three weeks time to respond to Jaitley’s defamation suit

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“We have taken time, a very small time of just three weeks, to file the written statement, and the court has granted just two weeks time to Arun Jaitley to file the replication; that is a reply to our written statement,” he added.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday said that it has sought three weeks time from the Delhi High Court to respond to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley?s defamation suit with regard to accusations related to alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when the latter was its president.”Today, the suit filed by Arun Jaitley was listed for the first time in the court. All the defendants, including Kejriwal and other AAP leaders voluntarily appeared in the court, and we requested the court that the matter to be expedited,” senior lawyer HS Phoolka told the media.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “We have taken time, a very small time of just three weeks, to file the written statement, and the court has granted just two weeks time to Arun Jaitley to file the replication; that is a reply to our written statement,” he added.The court has fixed February 5 for the admission or denial of the admission of documents of both parties, Phoolka said.”This has been one of the fastest suits which have proceeded in the court, no suit has ever proceeded as fast as this” he added.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has filed a defamation suit in the Patiala House court against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders including Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Ashutosh and Deepak Bajpayee seeking damage (Rs 10 crore) for indulging in slander and baseless allegations against him.

DDCA row: Kirti Azad calls Arun Jaitley a ‘napunsak’, later claims Twitter account was hacked

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Finance minister Arun Jaitley arrives at Patiala House court in New Delhi on Monday to file a defamation case against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad, who has been raising the issue of corruption and irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Administration (DDCA), has once again targeted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter on Monday night Kirti Azad tweeted, “I was visited at home by so many agencies to take precaution against threat to my life. Dear @arunjaitley darta nahin hoon napunsako se.”However, Azad later tweeted, claiming that his Twitter account was hacked and it was not his post. “My A/C is hacked. Statement on @arunjaitley as napunsak is not my tweet,” he said. DDCA row: Ram Jethmalani to appear for Arvind Kejriwal in defamation case filed by Arun JaitleyA day ago, Kirti Azad had dared Arun Jaitley to file a defamation case against him too.While speaking to ANI, he said, “I am upset that the defamation suit is not against me. I wish the case was against me because I am the one who raised this issue.”The political slugfest over DDCA affairs intensified on Monday after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of AAP for allegedly defaming him in the DDCA controversy before a Delhi court which took cognisance on his plea.Meanwhile, Congress has latched on to BJP MP Kirti Azad’s claim that the government had asked CBI in October this year to probe alleged financial irregularities in DDCA, to demand the immediate resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.The one member Commission of Enquiry will be headed by former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium.

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.

Arun Jaitley files Rs 10 crore defamation suit against Arvind Kejriwal

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Finance minister files civil as well as criminal case against Delhi CM * HC hearing on matter today

Finance minister Arun Jaitley arrives at Patiala House court in New Delhi on Monday to file a defamation case against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders
dna photo

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday filed a criminal defamation case against Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and five others at the Patiala House Court here. The matter was heard in front of a packed courtroom, where Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sanjay Khandelwal took cognizance of the offence and set the next date of hearing on January 5, 2016. A recording of the pre-summoning evidence will be done that day, following which the court will summon Kejriwal and others on merit. Earlier in the day, senior advocate Manik Dogra, representing Jaitley, also filed a civil suit in the High Court (HC) seeking Rs 10 crore in damages. The hearing on this matter has been listed for Tuesday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, who presented the case for Jaitley in court brought charges against six leaders from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that included Kejriwal, Deepak Bajpai, Ashutosh Bhardwaj, Raghav Chadha, Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh. The lawyer argued that “the defendant did not take a single penny” from the Delhi and District Cricket Association – a body Jaitley headed for 13 years. In the complaint, Luthra asserted: “The accused persons individually and collectively undertook a false and defamatory campaign against Jaitley and his family members.” He also said that “Jaitley came from a distinguished family of lawyers and he has no family member who has even one paisa interest in business.” The complaint, filed by Jaitely, was, thus, as a private individual. Almost the entire cabinet and several top brass of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership flanked Jaitley, who personally came to the court to file the suit. Present in the court were Smriti Irani, Union human resource development minister; Venkaiah Naidu, Union minister of urban development, housing and urban poverty alleviation and parliamentary affairs; J P Nadda, Union minister of health and family welfare; Piyush Goel, minster of state for power, among other senior party leaders. The Patiala House District Court saw heavy security, with companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) maintaining law and order as several hundred party members shouted slogans in favour of the BJP and against the AAP. During the 35-minute-long hearing, Luthra presented articles published in the print and electronic media that were defamatory in nature. He even submitted tweets and posts on Facebook by the six accused as evidence. The complaint has been filed under the provisions of Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for offence under Sections 400, 500, 501 and 502, read with Sections 34 and 35 of the IPC. If the charges are proved, the maximum sentence is two years. The AAP had alleged massive financial irregularities in the DDCA during Jaitley’s tenure from 1999 to 2013. Kejriwal: “Mr Jaitley should not try to intimidate us with a court case. Our fight against corruption will continue.” Kirti Azad: hello dear @arunjaitley hampar defemation file kar rahe ho na? Please karo na Don’t take injunction, don’t gag freedom of speech.Mera naam kyon hata diya @arunjaitley #Aap ne toh mere letters dikhae theey, mujhpar karo na case, registered post se maine bheje theey

AAP govt making Delhi Assembly arena of political games: Vijender Gupta

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The session has nothing to do with public interest issues and it will only discuss CBI enquiry against a senior official of Delhi government and setting up of an enquiry committee to probe DDCA working, Vijender said.
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dna Research & Archives
Accusing Arvind Kejriwal government of turning the Delhi Assembly into an arena of “political games”, leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta on Monday charged that special session is called to “defame” the Centre and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.”Kejriwal government has turned the Assembly into an arena of political games. The sole purpose of calling the special session tomorrow is to malign the Central Government and the Finance Minister as much as possible,” he said.The session has nothing to do with public interest issues and it will only discuss CBI enquiry against a senior official of Delhi government and setting up of an enquiry committee to probe DDCA working, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP had tried to raise the “corrupt practices” of the officer many times in Delhi Assembly but its efforts were thwarted. The Delhi Government persistently refused to discuss it, he added.

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

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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
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
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.

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.

Rajya Sabha passes SC/ST Bill, supplementary demands without debate

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The House returned to Lok Sabha the Appropriation (No. 4) Bill and the Appropriation (No. 5) Bill containing the second batch of supplementary demands as part of grants for 2015-16 to meet government’s expenditure.
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After days of adjournments, the Rajya Sabha unanimously passed the crucial SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill along with two bills on supplementary demands for 2015-16, within minutes without any debate.The House returned to Lok Sabha the Appropriation (No. 4) Bill and the Appropriation (No. 5) Bill containing the second batch of supplementary demands as part of grants for 2015-16 to meet government’s expenditure. As the House reassembled at 2 PM after four adjournments earlier, the Opposition criticised the government’s move to bring the Juvenile Justice Bill through the supplementary agenda route.Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad objected to this saying that the ruling party itself was complicating the issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have said that we want to pass the SC/ST Bill. At the all-party meeting, I had said that the Juvenile Justice Bill should be tabled. But it was not in agenda today. But because of media reports, the government has now put it in the supplementary business. It is only a ruse to shame the opposition in public by saying that we had presented (the bill) but the opposition had objected,” Azad said.He said the matter can be taken up tomorrow and should be listed as the first in the business. “This is being done only so that the media and public criticise us. Don’t use the House to play the media,” Azad said.Following this, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien took up the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, 2015. This was passed unanimously through a voice vote without any discussion. Congress leader Hussain Dalwai did not move his motion for certain amendments after his party asked him not to do so. There was thumping on the desk as the House passed the Bill. The two Appropriations Bills were also passed in a similar manner without any discussion.TMC leader Derek O’Brien stood up and told the Chair that it was important to mention that the Bills were passed unanimously and not in a din. To this, a smiling Kurien said, “How can there be din? There is perfect calm and tranquility. Everybody is cool. A cool breeze is blowing. I don’t know where this breeze is coming from”.As Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi sought taking up of more Bills, Azad hit back saying, “all of us have agreed and I said we will pass Bills in the next three days. We had said we will pass the SC/ST Bill and we have fulfilled our promise.””We have shown our efficiency, capability and cooperation by passing the three Bills in such a short time. We should not be penalised for our efficiency”. Naqvi then stood up and urged the opposition to “show some more strength”.The opposition members argued that it was decided at the all-party meeting that after the passage of the Bills, there would be debates on issues like intolerance, floods, price rise and the issue of Arunachal Pradesh, on which there was an agreement. The Congress received support from CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury who said discussion on these issues should be taken up after the bills have been passed.As Naqvi insisted that more bills be passed on Monday, Congress members came into the aisles and then entered the Well shouting slogans demanding the resignation of the Finance Minister over alleged bungling in the DDCA. Kurien then adjourned the House till 3 PM.

Upset that defamation case not filed against me: Kirti Azad

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“The AAP and the Congress Party are taking my issue that I raised eight years ago. The issue is associated with me, former cricketers and the members of the DDCA,” he added.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad, who has been in the line of fire for raising the issue of corruption and irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Administration (DDCA), on Monday said he was upset that the defamation case was not filed against me.”I am upset that the defamation suit is not against me. I wish the case was against me because I am the one who raised this issue,” Azad told ANI.”The AAP and the Congress Party are taking my issue that I raised eight years ago. The issue is associated with me, former cricketers and the members of the DDCA,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed criminal defamation case against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders.Jaitley has filed criminal defamation cases against AAP leaders Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Kumar Vishwas, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai in the Patiala House Court.The Finance Minister had earlier filed civil defamation suit in Delhi High Court of Rs 10 crores against Kejriwal and other AAP leaders, amid a raging row over irregularities in the DDCA and allegations of corruptions against him by the Delhi Government.

DDCA row: Arun Jaitley files defamation case against Kejriwal, AAP leaders; seeks Rs 10 crore as damages

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The political slugfest over DDCA affairs intensified on Monday as Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed defamation case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders for accusing him of corruption in Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA), which he headed for 13 years till 2013.

The political slugfest over DDCA affairs intensified on Monday as Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed defamation case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders for accusing him of corruption in Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA), which he headed for 13 years till 2013.The BJP leader filed the defamation cases against AAP leaders at the Patliala House court.Jaitley has sought Rs 10 crore damages from the AAP leaders for making “false” statements against him over alleged irregularities in DDCA. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to reports, the cases were filed against Kejriwal and four other AAP leaders including Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha and Deepak Bajpai.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 accused them of issuing false and defamatory statements against him and his family members.He 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?Meanwhile, AAP is also set to file an FIR against Jaitley over alleged alleged financial bungling corruption in ​the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA)​BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has been campaigning against alleged corruption in DDCA, had on Sunday addressed a press conference but did not take the name of Jaitley, under whose charge as president of DDCA he claimed there were financial bunglings.The footage also purportedly showed Jaitley defending the the DDCA office bearers who were being questioned by Azad on alleged financial bunglings.While on Monday morning, Azad dared Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to file a defamation case against him.

Will file FIR against Jaitley, says AAP leader Sanjay Singh

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Upping the ante against Jaitley, AAP pressed for his immediate removal from the Union Cabinet and said it would not be “bogged down by such intimadatory tactics”.

Sanjay Singh

PTI
As the political slugfest over DDCA affairs intensified between AAP and Arun Jaitley, the party on Sunday night hit back at the Finance Minister saying it will file an FIR against him on Monday.Jaitley had earlier said that he was slapping criminal and civil defamation cases against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders in Delhi courts on Monday for making “false and defamatory” statements against him.”I will file an FIR against @arunjaitley and others tomorrow,” AAP leader Sanjay Singh tweeted on Sunday night.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Upping the ante against Jaitley, AAP pressed for his immediate removal from the Union Cabinet and said it would not be “bogged down by such intimadatory tactics”.AAP government also announced a Commission of Inquiry to go into alleged irregularities in Delhi and Disrtict Cricket Association.Jaitley said 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. Kejriwal and the five AAP leaders have publicly been making allegations against Jaitley and his family members with regard to the DDCA affairs.Jaitley has rubbished the allegations against his family members. He 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.

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

AAP vs Jaitley: Union Finance Minister to file defamation case against Kejriwal, other leaders

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Besides Kejriwal, Jaitley would file defamation cases against Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Deepak Bajpayee

Arun Jaitley

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is under the hammer for the allegations of corruptions in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), will be filing civil and criminal defamation cases against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other AAP leaders.Besides Kejriwal, Jaitley would file defamation cases against Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Sanjay Singh, Raghav Chadha, Deepak Bajpayee. The Delhi Government had earlier decided to constitute a commission of enquiry to probe the alleged corruption in the DDCA.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written a letter to senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam to head the commission. Finance Minister Jaitley has been accused of corruption by the Delhi Government and former players including Kirti Azad and Bishan Singh Bedi during his tenure as president of DDCA till 2013. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress Party has demanded for the resignation of the Finance Minister from the union cabinet to enable an independent probe against him. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Ramdev dissatisfied with Centre’s efforts to bring back black money

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Ramdev says that he has not forgotten the issue.

Yoga guru Ramdev on Friday expressed dissatisfaction over NDA government’s initiatives to bring back black money from foreign countries but hoped that the Narendra Modi government will soon act on the issue.”I have spoken to Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitely.We have not forgotten the issue, but are giving time to Modi government. I hope he will bring back black money,” Ramdev told reporters here. Commenting on the CBI raids at Principal Sectary’s office in Delhi, Ramdev said, “It is for the first time that any CM (Arvind Kejriwal) is standing by an officer crossing his level of dignity.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Kejriwal’s attack on Jaitely, Ramdev said, “I have never heard any thing against his (Jaitley) integrity. Its unfortunate that such charges are levelled against him. I think charges against anyone should have some weight.” Speaking about the issue of intolerance, Ramdev said that it was a political matter as the fabric of the country was such that it takes along both Hindus and Muslims.The Yoga guru, who was here to inaugurate a Patanjali mega store said that from next year “they will focus on exports worth thousands of crores.” He also expressed his desire to open a chain of schools, disseminating both vedic and modern education. On allegations against Patanjali products, Ramdev said that there were elements promoting foreign products and those who oppose his ideology could go to any extent to damage “our reputation”.

Kerala in 2015: Scams, controversies rocked the state

Kerala was hit by a series of scams in 2015, one of which led to the ignominious exit of Finance Minister K M Mani, and among other headlines was one over the exclusion of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy from a function of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which also had its echo in Parliament.

Oommen Chandy
File Photo

Kerala was hit by a series of scams in 2015, one of which led to the ignominious exit of Finance Minister K M Mani, and among other headlines was one over the exclusion of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy from a function of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which also had its echo in Parliament.Chandy, who was invited to attend the statue unveiling function of late chief minister R Sankar at Kollam, was later politely asked by the organisers — Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), an organisation of the backward Hindu Ezhva community, to stay away from the function, triggering a huge controversy.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kerala was also be the venue of the Combined Commanders conference of the three services held on board India’s largest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya in Kochi. Inaugurated by Modi, this was the first time that the conference was held outside the national capital.Modi also visited the Sivagiri mutt and paid respects to social reformer and spiritual leader Sree Narayana guru by planting a sampling.The bar scam, in which Mani was allegedly involved, dominated the political scenario in Kerala throughout the year. Mani, against whom vigilance sleuths had registered an FIR in the bar scam, was forced to resign a day after Kerala High court made some stinging observations. Though the 82-year-old strongman from Pala and supremo of Kerala Congress (M) tried to hold on, luck seemed to have given away after Chandy and other UDF partners put pressure on him to quit. A reluctant Mani finally had to give in and submit his resignation.Mani, who has mass base, especially in central Travancore area dominated by Christian community, represented the Pala constituency for 50 years continuously. His resignation came as a big blow to the Chandy government as he is the second minister who was forced to quit from the Cabinet. Earlier, K B Ganesh Kumar of Kerala Congress (B) had resigned after his estranged wife complained of domestic violence. Ganeshkumar and his party led by his father R Balakrishna Pillai, later left the UDF.For Chandy, more trouble seems to be brewing in the bar scam, with a vigilance court now ordering a quick verification against another minister, K Babu, handling Excise and Ports. The development came as an embarrassment for Chandy as Babu is a Congress minister and close confidant of his. The CPI(M)-led LDF opposition has already begun demanding both in the assembly and outside that Babu should quit and face probe. A prominent bar hotelier, Biju Ramesh had made stunning revelations during a television debate that the Kerala Bar Hotel Owners Association had paid Rs one crore bribe to Mani and Rs 10 crores to Babu for favourable decisions. The year also saw unprecedented violence in the state assembly with ruling and Opposition MLAs literally coming to blows and vandalising speaker’s dais, breaking computers and hurling chairs at each other. It was a free for all on March 13 in the house when the Opposition tried their best to prevent Mani from presenting the state budget.The solar scam continued to haunt the UDF government with the main accused, Biju Radhakrishnan targeting Chandy claiming that he had video evidence of him and five other ministers in ‘wrongful situations’. A search for the purported video at Coimbatore turned out to be a wild goose chase.While the UDF received a drubbing in the crucial civic polls, which saw the LDF getting an upper hand in the corporation, municipalities and gram panchayats, the UDF had a face saviour by winning the Aruvikkara bypoll in June. The bypoll was necessitated by the death of former Speaker and Congress leader G Karthikeyan. UDF put up his son, K S Sabarinath, as its candidate and he won the seat, represented by his father for 25 years, in his debut election handsomely.BJP, which is yet to open its account in Assembly and Parliament from the southern state, managed to put up a good performance in the civic polls than earlier attempts. The party, which is trying to break the bi-polar politics of UDF and LDF in Kerala, seems to have found an ally in SNDP. Ahead of the next assembly polls, SNDP led by its powerful General Secretary Vellapally Natesan announced the formation of a new political party Bharat Dharma Jana Sena, which is likely to have tie-up with the saffron party.The UDF which is hoping to overcome the anti-incumbency factor by riding to power on its development agenda got a major boost with the foundation stone being laid for the state’s dream project of Vizhinjam International Deepwater Multipurpose Seaport project estimated to cost Rs 7525 crore.Port project was first conceived by the government of late K Karunakaran 25 years ago. Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari also announced cabotage waiver for the proposed port.Kerala’s fourth international airport is getting ready in the northern district of Kannur with construction work of the runway nearing completion and trial flight likely to land early next month. On other political front, politburo member Kodiyeri Balakrishnan took over as state secretary of the CPI(M) after senior leader and Politburo member Pinarayi Vijayan, who was at the helm of the party for nearly three decades, stepped down. Even though CPI(M) has not yet announced who will be leading the Left battle during the elections scheduled early next year, Vijayan is widely tipped to head the front.However, 92-year-old Marxist veteran V S Achutanandan, who is still very popular among the masses, has given enough hints that he was willing to throw in the hat in the electoral arena “if the people and party wishes”. Achutanandan, who had walked out of the party state conference at Alapuzha held in February expressing dissatisfaction over the functioning of the leadership of Vijayan, had caused deep embarrassment to the party. A resolution had also been passed terming Achutanandan’s action as “anti-party”. Despite his action, Achutadanandan was the main crowd puller and much sought after during the civic polls, in which LDF gained over the ruling front.The CPI also saw a change of guard with Kanam Rajendran taking over as state secretary from Panniyan Ravindran.In an unprecedented violent incident in Kozhikode airport, a group of CISF personnel and fire and rescue personnel of the AAI, clashed leading to the death of a CISF jawan.Fall in rubber prices saw the state farmers reeling under financial crisis with price touching below Rs 100 per kg. Even though government announced various schemes to support growers, these did not have the desired result.The year also saw apolitical agitation by a group of women workers of tea plantations of Kanan Devan hills at Munnar. With over 10,000 women blocking the roads in the famous hill resort, government was forced to act by calling them for talks. Subsequently, the entire plantation workers went on a indefinite agitation following which the plantation management and workers reached an understanding on wages on government’s intervention.A boat tragedy in Kochi claimed 11 lives on August 26 when a passenger boat, with 35 people while on its way from Vypin to Fort Kochi was hit by a speeding fishing craft at the harbour mouth. An Iranian dhow was also seized near the Alapuzha coast in the state.The year also saw Kerala hosting the much-delayed and postponed National Games, which was marred by controversies.On the entertainment front, while most of the films of big stars bombed, two love stories “Premam” and “Ennum Ninte Moideen” turned out to be huge success commercially.

Venkaiah Naidu says no use giving importance to useless DDCA-linked accusations

“Arun Jaitley is one of the most honest sincere, intelligent minister. There is no issue of any discussion here in parliament because the issue is not connected with the parliament. There is no use of giving any importance to useless accusation. Arun Jaitley doesn?t want any certificate from them,” Naidu told media here.

Reiterating the absurdity of the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) accusation against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley with regard to an alleged scam in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said giving importance to useless accusations would be a sheer waste of time.”Arun Jaitley is one of the most honest sincere, intelligent minister. There is no issue of any discussion here in parliament because the issue is not connected with the parliament. There is no use of giving any importance to useless accusation. Arun Jaitley doesn?t want any certificate from them,” Naidu told media here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu further said, “if you try to spit on the sun, it will fall back on your face, criticising Jaitleyji is like this.”On the continuous disruption of Parliament, the minister said that if they (Congress) have divergent views, which is natural in a democracy, they must insist on having a discussion, but they’re disrupting.People expect Parliament to legislate for their better future .Don’t know what are reasons for the Congress to stall these legislations”AAP is totally wrong and we don’t want to get involved in that. We are more concerned about the non-functioning of the Rajya Sabha because all important bills are pending in the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha has passed around 12 bills or more and people are waiting that it will be passed in the Rajya Sabha also, that is the burning issue. I humbly request that they should allow the functioning of the parliament. Congress Party should answer on why the house is not functioning. We don?t have any problems if they take credit, but they should let the house function,”he added.

AAP v/s Jaitley: Smriti Irani slams AAP, says party running ‘blasphemous, preposterous’ campaign

HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday lashed out at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for its allegations against Arun Jaitley, stating that the party was running a ‘blasphemous and preposterous campaign bordering on political hysteria’.

Smriti Irani

HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Thursday lashed out at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for its allegations against Arun Jaitley, stating that the party was running a ‘blasphemous and preposterous campaign bordering on political hysteria’.Slamming AAP, Irani said the report that AAP spokespersons had been citing on Thursday was not the result of an investigation by the party, but a report by the DDCA itself.”The BJP resolutely stands behind FM Arun Jaitley and condemns malicious attempt of AAP to deflect public attention from a corrupt officer,” she said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had earlier hit out at the Central government for not allowing a probe into the alleged Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) scam, and demanded Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s resignation. Related Read: AAP alleges corruption in Delhi cricket, demands Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s resignationAddressing a press conference at the Constitution Club, AAP leader Kumar Vishwas alleged that the main objective of CBI raid at Delhi Secretariat and taking control of ACB was to prevent alleged graft in DDCA during Arun Jaitley’s tenure coming to light.Meanwhile, Union Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Aam Aadmi Party Government has been exposed by the Transparency International, and is hence trying to slam Jaitley on the issue of an alleged scam in the Delhi District and Cricket Association (DDCA).The Centre has backed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, saying he won’t be resigning from his post, and added that there won’t be any Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe against him, after the Congress Party alleged financial irregularities in the DDCA during his tenure as president of that sports body.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal claims CBI raids his office; CBI, Jaitley deny

The Chief Minister, however, claimed that his office was raided which was denied by the CBI as well as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha where the opposition created an uprorar and forced a couple of adjournments.

Kejriwal claims CBI raids his office; CBI, Jaitley deny charge

PTI
Amid claims and counter-claims, CBI on Tuesday raided the office of an officer of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a corruption case that led the AAP chief to call Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “coward and psychopath” and intensifying the face-off between AAP and Centre.The Chief Minister, however, claimed that his office was raided which was denied by the CBI as well as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Rajya Sabha where the opposition created an uproar and forced a couple of adjournments.”CBI raids my office,” Kejriwal claimed in a tweet. “When Modi cudn’t handle me politically, he resorts to this cowardice. Modi is a coward and psychopath,” he said in another tweet expressing his anguish over the raids.A CBI Spokesperson, however, said the searches were being conducted only at the office of the Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar. Searches were being conducted at 14 locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. CBI sources claimed the case is against Kumar and six more accused.In the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said Kejriwal’s office was not raided and that the raid was in relation to a case of alleged corruption against an officer of the Delhi government. The CBI raid has nothing to do with Kejriwal or his tenure and that the graft case against the officer also pertains to his past, he added.This was countered by Kejriwal who tweeted, “FM lied in Parliament. My own office files are being looked into to get some evidence against me. Rajender is an excuse”.The BJP also hit back at Kejriwal with Union Minister Prakash Javadekar saying the CBI was only probing a complaint of corruption against an officer and maintained it has nothing to do with Kejriwal’s office.CBI sources said that a team of its officials went to the Delhi Secretariat, which houses office of Kejriwal and other ministers in the morning and conducted the search in the third floor of the building. The CBI said it has registered a case against Rajendra Kumar on allegations of abusing his official position by “favouring a particular firm in the last few years in getting tenders from Delhi government departments.” “After taking warrants, searches are being conducted in the office and residence of Rajendra Kumar. The allegations against Rajendra Kumar were raised by Ashish Joshi, former Member Secretary, Delhi Dialogue Commission,” the agency said.The third floor of the secretariat also houses Kejriwal’s office.Delhi Government and AAP reacted angrily to the “raid”, calling it a “darkest” day and “undeclared emergency” in the history of Indian democracy.Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia claimed the Centre was controlling the CBI and claimed the raid at Rajendra Kumar’s office was aimed at sending message to officials “if they worked with Kejriwal honestly, they will be troubled.” Another AAP leader Ashutosh said CBI is “lying to the teeth” for saying that the office of the chief minister was raided and attacked Modi.BJP condemned Kejriwal for the kind of language used to criticise Modi and said it was “absolutely unacceptable”.”Does he want to protect the corrupt?,” Javedekar asked, adding, “Instead of taking action against the corrupt, he is accusing the prime minister. This is absolutely unacceptable.”

Parliament logjam: Arun Jaitley accuses Congress of tarnishing Nehru’s legacy

The Finance Minister also quoted a speech on the Parliamentary system by Pandit Nehru to hammer home his point. He said that the speech delivered on March 28, 1957 in the last day of first Lok Sabha by Nehru is “a must read for all of us”.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday apprehended a “wash out” of the current Winter session and invoked Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru to remind Congress of the responsibility of MPs for governance of the country through Parliament.”The last session of the Parliament did not function.The current session of the Parliament is also threatened with a wash out. The reasons for the wash out of the current session keep changing by the hour. “The nation is waiting for Parliament to discuss public issues, to legislate and approve a historic Constitution Amendment enabling the GST. All this is being indefinitely delayed. The question we need to ask ourselves is are we being fair to ourselves and this country?” Jaitley said in a Facebook post.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PT. NEHRU AND PARLIAMENT The last Session of the Parliament did not function. The current Session of the Parliament…
Posted by Arun Jaitley on Monday, 14 December 2015The Finance Minister also quoted a speech on the Parliamentary system by Pandit Nehru to hammer home his point. He said that the speech delivered on March 28, 1957 in the last day of first Lok Sabha by Nehru is “a must read for all of us”.He quoted a paragraph from the speech in which Nehru had said, “Here, we have sat in this Parliament, the sovereign authority of India, responsible for the governance of India. Surely, there can be no higher responsibility or greater privilege than to be a member of this sovereign body which is responsible for the fate of the vast number of human beings who live in this country.”All of us, if not always, at any rate from time to time, must have felt this high sense of responsibility and destiny to which we had been called. Whether we were worthy of it or not is another matter. We have functioned, therefore, during these five years not only on the edge of history but sometimes plunging into the processes of making history.” Taking a dig at Congress over frequent disruptions in Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said, “Those who claim the legacy of Pandit ji must ask themselves the question, what kind of history are they making.”

Climate talks: Developed countries not fulfilling their obligations, says India

“On finance, it is deeply disappointing that on the one hand developed countries are not fulfilling their obligations and on the other hand, they are trying to shift their responsibilities to developing countries themselves. There is no indication of scaling up of finance nor a clear roadmap,” he said during a negotiating session.

Terming as “game changer” the national climate action plans of every country, India strongly voiced its concern over exclusion of these plans in the new draft negotiating text unveiled by climate change negotiators and said developed countries did not fulfil their obligations.India also termed as “disappointing” the issue of finance, saying while developed countries failed to fulfil their obligations, they are also trying to “shift” their responsibility to developing nations.India said that there was no indication of scaling of finance by the developed nations nor was there any roadmap.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I must stress that the concept of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) is a great innovation and has proved a game-changer. It has enabled the participation of over 186 countries. Yet, INDCs are not even mentioned in the draft, said Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.”On finance, it is deeply disappointing that on the one hand developed countries are not fulfilling their obligations and on the other hand, they are trying to shift their responsibilities to developing countries themselves. There is no indication of scaling up of finance nor a clear roadmap,” he said during a negotiating session.The first draft of the Paris Outcome, prepared after two days of high-level ministerial deliberations, was released by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius yesterday at a crucial climate change conference.The draft negotiating text is now of 29 pages down from a 43-page version and was circulated to all the negotiating countries.India strongly put across its point that durable agreement at Paris “cannot” be crafted by “diluting” historical responsibilities or by putting the polluters and the victims at the same level.India also appreciated leadership and efforts of the Presidency while asserting that it associates itself with the statements made on behalf of G-77.”I must stress that the concept of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) is a great innovation and has proved a game-changer. It has enabled the participation of over 186 countries. Yet, INDCs are not even mentioned in the draft, said Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar during a negotiating session.”On finance, it is deeply disappointing that on the one hand developed countries are not fulfilling their obligations and on the other hand, they are trying to shift their responsibilities to developing countries themselves. There is no indication of scaling up of finance nor a clear roadmap,” he said.Describing the latest draft as the “starting point for the final push”, Javadekar said there were many “points of departure” at this stage of negotiations and much work is need to reach a point of convergence.India also made it clear that the agreement which is being crafted “must carefully” balance climate ambition and the principle of differentiation as both are equally important and one cannot have one without the other.”It needs to be reaffirmed upfront in the agreement that it is under the Convention (UNFCCC) and in accordance with its principles. Its objective is to enhance the implementation of the Convention across all its pillars,” Javadekar said.”This is crucial. The principles of the Convention must be stated correctly without any unnecessary additions,” he added.India also stressed that the agreement must also “meaningfully” operationalise differentiation across all its elements which is “not clear” in the current draft.India also said that it was in favour of a robust transparency mechanism but it should apply not just to mitigation but all other elements, particularly finance.”The transparency mechanism should cover all countries, in a differentiated manner. Implementing the current system which has not yet been made operational is an essential component to build capacity and experience in developing countries. A transition period is therefore needed before changes could be made,” Javadekar said.India also strongly said that several of its concerns including unilateral measures, sustainable lifestyles and climate justice did not find a mention in the draft.”We will examine the draft carefully and engage with all our partners to reach an agreement,” Javadekar said.Elaborating on the draft text, Fabius, who is the chair of the current round of climate negotiations, had earlier said the aim of the text was to enable nations to have an overall view of the progress that has been made so far.”It (draft text) is shorter than the previous version of 48 pages. It is 29 pages long now. There has been three quarter reduction in points that were there in the bracket.The aim of the text is to enable us (nations) to have an overall view of the progress made,” he said.

PM Modi, Nitish, Lalu attend wedding reception of Arun Jaitley’s daughter

Neither Kumar nor Lalu Prasad had an occasion to interact with Modi during the occasion.

Shah Rukh Khan with Sonali Jaitley

Image source: Mika Singh’s Twitter
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bihar Chief minister Nitish Kumar and his predecessor Lalu Prasad were among the galaxy of leaders who attended a reception to celebrate the wedding of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s daughter Sonali to businessman Jaiyesh. However, neither Kumar nor Lalu Prasad had an occasion to interact with Modi. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandra Babu Naidu, JD-U chief Sharad Yadav and Congress leaders Anand Sharma, Kamal Nath, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Sheila Dikshit and Rajiv Shukla also attended the luncheon-reception at Jaitley’s residence.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union ministers, industrialists, bureaucrats and Governors Kalyan Singh, Balram Tandon, OP Kohli, Kaptan Singh Solanki, Tathagata Roy and Shanmuganathan.

National Herald case: India not a ‘Banana Republic’ where media decide guilt or innocence, says Arun Jaitley

The Congress has alleged that there is political vendetta behind the National Herald Case.
File Photo
AFP photo
Lambasting Congress president Sonia Gandhi for leaving it to the media to judge whether the trial court’s summons to her and her son Rahul in the National Herald case was a ‘political vendetta’, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said India is not a banana republic where the media of Parliament will decide the guilt or innocence.”It’s only the court that will decide guilt or innocence. The private complaint is before the court, and it’s irrelevant to find who the complainant is and what his motives are,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Under the Indian law, if any citizen comes to know of a violation of law it’s his duty to inform the court or the investigative agencies. Any citizen can set the process of criminal law into motion, which the complainant in that case has set. Therefore, they have to go the court, face the court and answer the court,” he said.Earlier, Sonia Gandhi had said: “I’m daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. I’m not scared of anything. Why should I be scared?”Criticising the Opposition for disrupting the parliamentary proceedings, Jaitley said, “Nobody enjoys immunity from the court proceedings in India and, therefore, they have to face the trial. They have a remedy to either challenge them further or go to the trial court. But how does Parliament feature in this?””Parliament, normally, doesn’t decide the guilt or innocence; this is to be determined by the court. To tell the media you decide whether it is vendetta or not; the media doesn’t decide the guilt or innocence; it is the court which do. You can’t use it for a collateral purpose to disrupt the parliamentary proceedings. And if the Congress party is so keen that this issue come up in Parliament, I am here, and now, challenging them,” he said, asking the Opposition to decide whether they want a debate in Parliament on the pattern of debates on corruption charges against a member.Elaborating upon the case, Jaitley, who is also a distinguished lawyer, said: “There is a court proceeding and the substance of the court proceedings a political party, i.e. the Congress Party, has collected funds for the political purpose. For that purpose, a political party gets a tax exemption. By a series of transactions, those funds have been transferred to a trust, and then to a company, which is closely held. That company today is owner of a real estate and getting large amount of wealth, which is certainly not for a political purpose. So, funds collected for a political purpose are being used for commercial activities.””The tax exemption was for a political purpose, and thus, a private complaint has been filed. The government doesn’t come into the private complaint at all. The court deemed it necessary to summon the accused. They have challenged the summons in the high court and the high court dismissed their petitions, saying a prima facie case has been made out, go and face trial,” the Finance Minister concluded.On 26 June, a trial court had issued summons to the Congress leaders on BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s complaint. Swamy has complained about ‘cheating’ and ‘breach of trusts’ in the acquisition of Associated Journals Limited, the publisher of National Herald, by a company called Young Indian Limited, in which the Gandhis reportedly hold shares.Justice Sunil Gaur of the Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed the Gandhis’ pleas, which means they will have to appear before the trial court in the case.Following which, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is also a renowned advocate, said: “We intend to not only challenge it on all legal recourses available at the appropriate forum which I am not going into detail as the matter is sub judice and we intend to seek a continuation of the exemption and stay, which has been continued for over a year when the matter was pending in the high court.”On the same day, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a caveat before the Supreme Court (SC), urging the apex court not to pass any order without hearing him.When asked would he oppose the bail petition, the BJP leader said he would be. “Among the accused two are foreigners, but not having foreign passports, which is a big question. Sam Pitroda is a US citizen, who can run away anytime. Therefore, they should not be granted bail until the trial is finished.”Apart from the Gandhis, the court also dismissed the pleas of Congress treasurer Motilal Vora, family friend Suman Dubey and party leader Oscar Fernandes, who had moved the high court for a quashing of summons to them by a trial court.

President Pranab Mukherjee, PM Modi attend wedding reception of Arun Jaitley’s daughter

Union ministers, industrialists, film stars, top bureaucrats and leaders from a number of political parties attended the reception.

Shah Rukh Khan attends Arun Jaitley’s daughter’s reception

Twitter
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several political leaders were among a large number of people who attended a reception to celebrate the wedding of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s daughter Sonali to businessman-lawyer Jaish Bakshi in New Delhi tonight.Union ministers, industrialists, film stars, top bureaucrats and leaders from a number of political parties attended the reception.

15 things you need to know about the Father of Constitution BR Ambedkar

Some highlights from Ambedkar’s life .

December 6 is the death anniversary of BR Ambedkar, best known for being the architect of the Indian constitution and for his struggle against untouchability in the Indian society. Ambedkar passed away in 1956, when he was 65 years old.Here are 9 facts you need to know about this great man, who made the Indian constitution possible. 1. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar was born on April 14, 1891 in Mhow ( currently in Madhya Pradesh). He belonged to the Mahar caste, considered as untouchable and dalit. A young Ambdekar faced blatant discrimination in school. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. Ambedkar’s father served in the Indian army and his ancestors had worked with the East India Company.3. Ambedkar was a student par excellence. He had degrees in law and economics from iconic places like the Columbia University and the London School of Economics. 4. He was the first Union Minister of Law and Justice in the Nehru government. 5. Ambedkar wrote a short autobiography called Waiting For a Visa in 1935-36. It chronicled his experience with untouchability, including his struggles after he returned to India and started working in Baroda. 6. While working in Bombay at Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics, he faced hostility from colleagues for being from a lower caste. 7. Ambedkar strongly spoke out against Manusmriti for justifying caste discrimination and untouchability and even burnt its copies. 8. In 1936, Ambedkar formed Independent Labour Party, to give a voice to the downtrodden. 9. In 1942, he formed the Scheduled Castes Federation. However, his party had very limited electoral success.10. Ambedkar was the Chairman of the constitution drafting committee. 11. He resigned as the Union Law Minister when his Hindu Code Bill failed to pass in the Parliament. 12. Ambedkar was the man behind the setting up of the Finance Commission of India. His ideas were also used when the Reserve Bank of India was founded. 13. He was fervently against Article 370, which grants special status for Jammu and Kashmir. 14. He converted to Buddhism in 1956 along with his wife.15. He suffered from severe diabetes towards the end of his life.

Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa to conduct aerial survey of flood affected areas

Earlier, Jayalalithaa had sought Rs. 2,000 crore for flood relief work. The Centre released a financial aid of Rs. 939.63 crore. Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha members offered to donate a part of their MPLADS fund for rehabilitation and rescue work.

Chennai floods
File Photo
PTI
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa will conduct an aerial survey of flood affected areas of Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruvallu on Thursday.There is water logging in many parts of Chennai due to heavy rains and normal lives remains disrupted. More than 500 people have so far been evacuated in flood-hit Tamil Nadu by several National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, claimed OP Singh, NDRF Director General (DG), on Wednesday. “The teams have evacuated more than 500 people so far. Also, we are getting calls, messages from affected people and our teams are responding accordingly,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, the Indian Air Force (IAF) lifted three NDRF teams from the Palam airport for flood-hit Tamil Nadu on Wednesday evening with relief materials. Earlier, Jayalalithaa had sought Rs. 2,000 crore for flood relief work. The Centre released a financial aid of Rs. 939.63 crore. Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha members offered to donate a part of their MPLADS fund for rehabilitation and rescue work.Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday took stock of the flood situation in Tamil Nadu and discussed it with his cabinet colleagues, including the Home and Finance Ministers. “I want to inform the House that today morning the Prime Minister met the Home Minister, Finance Minister and myself and discussed the flood conditions in Tamil Nadu. We exchanged information on the situation,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu said in the Lok Sabha.The Indian Air Force has already deployed two MI-17 choppers at Tambaram and two MI-17s are being moved from Tirupati to Chennai for relief and rescue operations. Five Chetak helicopters are also operating from Tambaram. In addition, four MI-17 – two each at Bangalore and Nagpur – are on standby.The National Disaster Management Authority will coordinate the relief activities on behalf of the Centre. The authority has a round-the-clock Toll Free helpline number 1078 for this purpose.Heavy rains and water overflowing above the danger level at Railway Bridges in Chennai-Gudur section has impacted the functioning of trains following which the South Central Railway (SCR) has cancelled 12 trains and assured full refunds of fare for the same.Meanwhile, Tambaram railway station in Chennai has been turned into a makeshift shelter for the stranded passengers there. Chennai Airport will remain closed till Friday. From Thursday, Chennai bound flights will be landing at INS Rajali Airbase of Indian Navy at Arakonam which is about 60 kilometers from Chennai.

Chidambaram latest party leader to be targeted by Modi government, alleges Congress

The CBDT has, however, virtually dismissed Chidambaram’s charges of vendetta in the searches and said it was based on “credible information of tax evasion” and “financial irregularities”.

P Chidambaram

Congress on Wednesday said former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was the latest party leader to be targeted by the Modi government in its “politics of vendetta”.The party said the IT and ED raids on some premises of two groups based in Chennai and Tiruchirappali of associates of Chidambaram’s son Karti was “politics of vendetta”. Chidambaram had yesterday called the searches a “malicious onslaught”. “We have seen certain approach of this government in respect of Shankersinh Vaghela of Gujarat, Virbhadra Singh of Himachal Pradesh, Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan… There is no hesitation (in saying) the tendency, the philosophy show politics of vendetta,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters. He suggested that when things happen in such a way for party leaders one after another, “there will be a natural tendency to believe” that there is such politics.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Chidambaram has given a detailed and a written statement. There is no question of second-guessing it. We support it, we stand by it. When it is pointless to try and mix-up his and his family’s name, when the CBDT’s own clarification is that neither of those two were addressed,” Singhvi said. Chidambaram has said no one from his family has “any equity or economic interest in any of the firms that are being targeted”.The CBDT has, however, virtually dismissed Chidambaram’s charges of vendetta in the searches and said it was based on “credible information of tax evasion” and “financial irregularities”.

Supreme Court must reconsider judgement on gay sex: FM Arun Jaitley

Jaitley also said that he supported the Delhi High Court ruling that decriminalised homosexuality. “I am for decriminalising gay sex,” he said to NDTV.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday was reported to have said that the Supreme Court judgement against gay sex was not in accordance with evolving legal jurisprudence. He also said that “judgement on gay sex should be reconsidered” by the Supreme Court, as per IANS report. Jaitley also said that while there was no discussion within the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the issue, he supported the Delhi High Court ruling that decriminalised homosexuality. “I am for decriminalising gay sex,” he said to NDTV. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per IANS report, he also said that the judicial system in the country was weak and was overpowered the government. However, there were many landmark judgements which resisted government’s authority.With agency inputs

Do not delay funds allocated for welfare of Juvenile homes: Madras HC

Referring to the Tirunelveli Juvenile Home, the bench said it had been informed that other posts of sanitary workers have been filled up on transfer basis.

Stressing the importance to be given to Juvenile Homes, the Madras High Court on Friday directed the government of Tamil Nadu not to delay release of funds already allocated for their welfare. The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana before which a petition with regard to Madurai Juvenile Home came up, referred to its earlier order that if funds are not sanctioned for different proposed approved projects within the next hearing date, the Secretary, Finance Department, shall remain present in Court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bench, while referring to the ‘bar chart’ submitted by PWD on construction of the Home, opined that in case of any unforeseen delay, the authorities would have to move court for extension of time. The bench said it had not been clearly informed of the position of the Juvenile home at Madurai and was thus making it clear “that any violation of these directions will undoubtedly be on the pain of contempt, since no other language appears to have any effect on the respondent authorities.”Referring to the Tirunelveli Juvenile Home, the bench said it had been informed that other posts of sanitary workers have been filled up on transfer basis. To its earlier order on filling up these posts, government had informed it that financial sanction was awaited. “If the needful is not done by the next date, the Principal Secretary, Finance Department, shall remain personally present in court,” it said. The HC pointed out that the videoconferencing facility also is awaiting financial sanction, though it had called for steps to be taken within 30 days. Failure to comply with the order by next date would require the Finance Secretary to remain present personally in the court, it said.”We may know that the despite whatever time we given even on such urgent matters, there seems to be inordinate delay in respect of financial sanction. These are matters of running juvenile homes and we expect priority to be given. Government authorities must seriously look into the issue as to why so much time takes in these matters for processing.” The bench then posted the matter for further hearing to January 8, 2016.

‘One man can’t have all the answers’: Rahul Gandhi takes jibe at Modi in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: On the eve of the winter session of Parliament, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said Congress “strongly” believed in GST, but government should reach out to the opposition on certain issues, including the cap on rate.

The Congress vice president outlined the party’s stand on the contentious Goods and Service Tax(GST) Bill even as he made an all-round attack on the Modi government calling it “much worse” than “suit-boot-ki-sarkar.” The NDA government is keen to push key reforms legislations like the stalled GST bill in the winter session.

Rahul Gandhi‘s interaction was the first in the series of Gandhi’s outreach to the students across the campuses in the country.

File photo. Image courtesy: PTIFile photo. Image courtesy: PTI

File photo. Image courtesy: PTI

Fielding questions on a wide range of issues during an interaction with students of a women’s college here, Gandhi also spoke on “rising intolerance”, saying it “disturbs” him as an Indian, highlighting that “live and let live” was the country’s biggest strength.

Targeting Narendra Modi, Gandhi said the prime minister believes the country could be run from the PMO and that he alone could transform the country. He further said there were very few people with decision making powers at the Centre and “one man decides evey single decision.”

“One man can’t have all the answers…,” he said, adding dialogue was very important.

Asked about GST, which is hanging fire for the last several years, Gandhi said, “we strongly believe in GST.”

He said GST and other bills were “very important” but the government’s approach has to be one of reaching out to the Opposition.

Speaking to reporters later, Gandhi said the Congress would raise in Parliament the issues of “rising intolerance”, which was “very disturbing”, GST and also Prime Minister’s “silence” on various issues.

Questioned why the GST bill was being stalled, he said it was Congress which brought it forward and “…we are for GST…we support GST…” But, he noted, the BJP had opposed it and blocked it for three years with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, then in the Opposition, even justifying blocking Parliament as a strategy.

Gandhi said there were three differences between BJP and Congress on GST. They related to cap on tax to be charged, dispute resolution and one per cent tax on inter-state sales (doing away with it).

He said government had to accept the fact that Congress “sits in Parliament”, “Congress has a view” and “Congress has 20 per cent hope” (referring to the people’s mandate).

Attacking the Modi government for not having “conversation” with the Opposition, he said the Prime Minister had not even once picked up phone and spoken to any Congress leader, which his predecessor Manmohan Singh used to do.

PTI

Government considers increase in import of pulses to reduce prices

It was decided that both Commerce and Consumer Affairs Secretaries will hold separate meetings with private traders as well as PSUs to chalk out a plan regarding the import of pulses for the coming months
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Expecting a further increase in the supply-demand gap of pulses, the government is considering importing more lentils to check prices, which are still ruling as high as Rs 180 per kg.So far, state-owned Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) of India has imported 5,000 tonnes of tur on behalf of the government. The stock has been given to some state governments including Delhi at a subsided rate for further distribution in the open market.Pulses prices continue to rule high due to fall in domestic production by 2 million tonnes in the 2014-15 crop year (July-June) due to 14 per cent deficit monsoon.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also Read: Mumbai: Price of pulses skyrocket beyond the reach of citizens On Tuesday, a committee of secretaries from the Finance, Food and Consumer Affairs, Agriculture and Commerce ministries deliberated on availability and prices of pulses and other essential items.”In the meeting, the committee decided to import more pulses. It also decided to monitor quantities of imported pulses on real time basis,” sources said.Also read: Disinvestment: 15% stake-sale in MMTC to fetch about Rs 800 croreIt was decided that both Commerce and Consumer Affairs Secretaries will hold separate meetings with private traders as well as PSUs to chalk out a plan regarding the import of pulses for the coming months, they said.The import plan for pulses is being kept in place amid concerns that the supply gap may widen significantly if the Rabi (winter) crop gets reduced by chance due to any adverse weather conditions.Also Read: India may need to import 10 MT of pulses to tame prices: AssochamTill last week of the ongoing 2015-16 Rabi season, which started in October, area sown to pulses was 74.06 lakh hectare, slightly lower than 77.42 lakh hectare in the year-ago period, according to the Agriculture Ministry’s data.According to sources, the Food and Agriculture Ministries have been asked to achieve procure pulses and reach the targets set for creation of buffer stock.Also read: Why are pulses getting costlier by the day?The country’s pulses production was 17.20 million tonnes in the 2014-15 crop year, much lower than the requirement of 25 million tonnes. The gap is being met through imports.India imports about four million tonnes of pulses largely through the private trade. But this time, the government has started importing pulses after a gap of two years.

BJP has made GST Bill a prestige issue: Congress

“They have made it a prestige issue. What is the need to bring GST if you do not fix maximum rate? There should be a mechanism to address the issues between states. These are the points which we have raised,” he added.

Accusing the NDA Government of not incorporating the changes suggested by the opposition in the GST Bill, Congress leader PL. Punia on Wednesday said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made it a prestige issue.”Congress party’s view on this is very clear. UPA government wanted to bring the GST Bill, but they (BJP) opposed it. Now that they have brought it, we welcome it, but there are two to three things in it that needs to be changed. They are not willing to do it,” Punia told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”They have made it a prestige issue. What is the need to bring GST if you do not fix maximum rate? There should be a mechanism to address the issues between states. These are the points which we have raised,” he added.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told the investors in Singapore yesterday that his government is hopeful of rolling out the GST in 2016.The government needs the Congress’s support so that the bill is passed in both houses of Parliament.Speaking at the ASSOCHAM’s 95th annual event on Tuesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said that the government was reaching out to those suggesting changes on the GST Bill.”We are willing to have discussions with them, and they too need to reconsider some changes they are suggesting,” he added.Earlier on Monday, the Finance Ministry initiated an exercise to effect the changes in the bill that the Congress has been seeking.

OROP: Delegation meets Arun Jaitley to provide benefit to those retiring pre-maturely

As per the notification issued on November 7, if someone has taken pre-mature retirement, the person will not be entitled for the benefit of OROP.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley
File Photo
PTI
A delegation of ex-servicemen on Tuesday met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and requested him to extend the benefit of One Rank One Pension (OROP) to those who have taken pre-mature retirement.”We gave memorandum with 2-3 issues where we feel notification could have been better if it had covered these issues,” United Front of Ex Servicemen Secretary General Lt Col Dinesh Nain said after the meeting with the Finance Minister. The issues include pre-mature retirement and fixing of the benchmark, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per the notification issued on November 7, if someone has taken pre-mature retirement, the person will not be entitled for the benefit of OROP.”Although we will go to judicial commission, it is better that the government resolve it without the need to go to judicial commission,” he said.The long-pending OROP for ex-servicemen was brought into force on November 7 with government issuing a notification to benefit more than 2.5 million veterans and war widows.However, the protesting ex-servicemen rejected the notification, saying their main demands have not been accepted and it has become ‘one-rank-five-pension’. The notification is almost similar to the announcement made by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 5 September.

Government reaches out to Opposition on GST

Finance minister Jaitley held a meeting with ministry officials to discuss changes in the bill that could get the Congress on board

In order to reach out to Opposition ensuring a smooth Winter Session starting from Thursday, to roll out its pending reform agenda, the central government is considering changes to the Goods and Services Tax Bill. Finance ministry source says to dna that government was ready for an optimum revenue neutral rate around 19-20%.The Congress wanted an 18% ceiling specified, calling it a “reasonable, moderate and adequately revenue-generating GST rate”. It also wanted scrapping of the proposal to levy an additional one per cent tax. The latest government stance has brightened chances of consensus with Opposition. But still there is some time as the Minister of state for finance, Jayant Sinha said that a high-powered committee will submit its report in the first week of December.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday evening held a meeting with ministry officials, reportedly to discuss changes in the bill that could get the Congress on board. The Congress has blocked the bill, touted as major game changer for economic reforms, in the Rajya Sabha where the government is in a minority. The winter session, is the last chance to get Parliament’s approval in time to implement the new tax regime from April 2016.The Congress also wants alcohol and petroleum products to be included in the new tax regime and says the current proposals will push GST above 25%, making it consumer-unfriendly.The government is also considering doing away with the one per cent additional tax at the point of origin, sources said. And Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian made a presentation this evening; a committee headed by him will submit a report on a revenue-neutral rate by December 4 or 5, sources added.The Goods and Services Tax, aims at doing away with more than a dozen state levies to create a single market. Two thirds of both houses must pass the constitutional amendment. Once the GST Bill is passed, more than half of the states have to ratify it before Parliament passes another enabling bill to implement the new tax regime.

No indication of intolerance on ground in India, says Arun Jaitley

Jaitley had dismissed the protest as a “manufactured paper rebellion” that was politically motivated.

Arun Jaitley

Justifying his description of the debate on intolerance as “manufactured”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said there is no indication of intolerance on the ground in India.”On the ground I see an environment of public harmony in India. That’s why I initially referred to this debate as a manufactured one,” Jaitley, who arrived here on Sunday on a two-day visit to the UAE, said. “It becomes an issue for discussion when people try to give the country a bad name and there the onus is on all of us as Indians to clarify the issue. But on the ground there is no indication of intolerance,” he told reporters at a media briefing in Dubai on Monday. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 75 members of the intelligentsia have returned national or literary awards in an escalation of protests by writers, historians, filmmakers and scientists over “growing intolerance”, voicing fears that the country’s robust democracy might be “coming apart” in the current atmosphere. Jaitley had dismissed the protest as a “manufactured paper rebellion” that was politically motivated.

BJP backed trade union takes U-turn on FDI policy

The government has said that there has been no change in FDI policy related to retail and defence, Upadhyay said after meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

Narendra Modi

Within days of opposing the recent FDI liberalisation policy of the government, BJP-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) on Friday took a U-turn saying it is satisfied with the government’s explanation on the reforms and is not opposed to it.”Whatever the Finance Minister explained (on recent liberalisation in FDI policy) we are satisfied with that,” BMS General Secretary Virjesh Upadhyay said. The government has said that there has been no change in FDI policy related to retail and defence, Upadhyay said after meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley here. Whatever changes have been made, they are just procedural in nature, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For example, the government relaxed foreign direct investment norms in the defence sector by allowing FDI up to 49% under automatic route and beyond that through FIPB’s approval. The meeting was also attended by Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.According to Upadhyay, Sitharaman assured them that her ministry will soon call a stakeholders’ meeting to understand concerns of each and every sector. A day after the government unveiled a liberalised FDI policy, BMS had strongly opposed the decision to allow foreign investment in retail and defence sectors, and wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking review of the decision.It had also demanded that the government should review its stand and come out with a white paper explaining the merits of FDI in the country since 1991 which BMS says has been detrimental to the economy.The BMS leadership had also threatened the government with an open confrontation on streets unless a review was done.

Defiant Mani resigns from Kerala cabinet in wake of bribery case

Thiruvananthapuram: A defiant Kerala Finance Minister K M Mani, against whom an FIR had been registered in the bar bribery case, resigned tonight after pressure mounted on him from the ruling Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) to quit.

A day after the High Court upheld a Vigilance Court order for further investigations in the case, 82-year-old Mani, who put up a stiff fight to stay in office, however, had to yield to pressure from Congress, the lead partner which stood firm stating that the resignation was inevitable.

KM Mani. IBNLiveKM Mani. IBNLive

KM Mani. IBNLive

Kerala congress chief whip, Thomas Unniyadan, has also submitted his resignation.

Mani announced his decision to resign after day long parleys with his party colleagues and made it clear that his party will continue to provide unstinting support to Chandy and UDF.

Accepting the resignations, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, however, said Mani’s decision to resign was his own and neither the Congress nor the UDF had compelled him to do so.

Chandy said even though the High Court had not pronounced him guilty in the case, Mani’s decision to resign was to uphold high political and democratic values.

Earlier in the day putting the UDF into crisis, Mani tried to prevail upon his party colleague and Irrigation Minister P J Joseph and Chief Whip Thomas Unniyadan, also to resign along with him.

However, after Joseph refused to yield, Mani, the seniormost legislator in the state, finally had no other option, but to give in and resign.

As Mani announced his resignation at his official residence here tonight, Joseph and two of his loyal MLAs – T U Kuruvilla and Mons Joseph were conspicuous by their absence.

Kerala Congress(M), a powerful regional party and third largest coalition partner in the UDF, has nine MLAs, including rebel P C George, who announced on Tuesday that he would submit his resignation on November 12.

The party has a sizeable vote bank in the central Travancore area in the state, especially among Christians.

With the High Court making observations like Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion, clamour for Mani’s resignation grew from various quarters, including Congress.

However, Mani loyalists spun a new theory stating that the verdict was in fact favouring their leader and there was nothing against him to prompt his resignation.

Even as pressure mounted throughout the day on Mani to quit, the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram, witnessed hectic parleys among UDF leaders led by Chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, KPCC President V M Sudheeran and Home Minister, Ramesh Chennithala and IUML leader and Industries Minister P K Kunhalikutty.

The opposition CPI(M)-led LDF had already decided to intensify their agitation against Mani if he does not resign and announced that they will commence “indefinite satyagraha” in front of the Secretariat from Wednesday.

The resignation comes as a huge blow to Mani, who has completed 50 years as legislator and this was an ignominious exit for a leader who had been elected to the Assembly in 1965 from Pala, which has returned him all these years.

Mani’s troubles began after working president of Kerala state Bar Hotel Owners Association, Biju Ramesh, alleged in October last year that the Minister had demanded Rs 5 crore as bribe from the Association and accepted Rs 1 crore for renewal of licences of over 400 Indian made foreign liquor bars, triggering a political storm.

An FIR had been filed against Mani in the court last year after a ‘quick verfication’ by the Vigilance on the allegations made by Ramesh.

However, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Mani had maintained that it was a politically motivated charge and had denied the allegations.

The final report, seeking closure of the case against Mani, was challenged by CPI(M) veteran and Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan and eight others who sought a further probe into the case.

Kerala had also witnessed a series of agitations by CPI(M)-led LDF demanding Mani’s resignation since the bar bribery allegations broke out.

The Assembly had also witnessed unprecedented violence with opposition and ruling front MLAs coming to blows over the issue when LDF members tried to prevent Mani from presenting the budget on March 13 this year.

Karingozhakkal Mani Mani, popularly known as ‘Mani sir’, is currently the chairman of empowered committee on GST.

He also holds the record of having presented the maximum number of 13 budgets in the state assembly as Finance Minister.

Mani was first elected to state assembly from his home constituency Pala in Kottayam district 1965. His son, Jose K Mani, is the the party MP from Kottayam.

Apart from Finance, Mani had also handled the Home and Revenue portfolioes.

Veteran Congress leader late K Karunakaran, Kerala Congress (B) leader, R Balakrishna Pillai and his son K B Ganesh Kumar, IUML leader P K Kunhalikutty, Kerala Congress (M) leader P J Joseph are among those who were forced to resign either due to court verdicts or other reasons.

This is the second resignation of a Minister in the Chandy cabinet that came to power in May 2011, the first being Ganesh Kumar in April 2013, who was forced to resign following complaints of domestic violence by his estranged wife.

PTI

Bar bribery scandal: Kerala CM Oommen Chandy accepts resignations of KM Mani and Unniyadan

On the replacement for Mani in the cabinet, Chandy said in a coalition set-up, it was the front leaders who make suggestions.
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Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Finance Minister K M Mani in the wake of the High Court observations against him in the bar bribery case. Talking to reporters soon after receiving the resignation letters of Mani and that of government chief whip, Thomas Unniyadan, Chandy said “Mani has taken the decision to resign on his own.””Since the bar bribery case came up, UDF’s stand was that Mani had not done anything wrong. We still stand by it. The decision to resign was that of Mani in the wake of court observations,” Chandy said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The High Court has not said that Mani was guilty. But still upholding high political and democratic values, he decided on his own free will to resign. We did not seek his resignation,” the chief minister said.On the replacement for Mani in the cabinet, he said in a coalition set-up, it was the front leaders who make suggestions.”There were media reports that the Congress high command had sought Mani’s resignation. That is not correct. It is natural that the high command will watch the development in the states. The state leadership had complete freedom to take a decision,” he added.All coalition partners had been asked to be in Thiruvanathapuram, the state capital, since this morning and Congress leaders held discussions with them. Mani was the seniormost legislator and minister in the cabinet and his services to UDF and state government will be an ‘asset’, Chandy said, expressing confidence that he would return to the cabinet “as early as possible after his name was cleared.”

Kerala: KC(M) leaves it to Finance Minister KM Mani to decide on his resignation

On a day of hectic political activity and parleys among the UDF partners, pressure from Congress and other coalition partners mounter on 82-year-old Mani to step down.

On a day of hectic political activity and parleys among the UDF partners, pressure from Congress and other coalition partners mounter on 82-year-old KM Mani to step down.
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KC(M), a key partner in the Congress-led UDF government in Kerala, on Tuesday left it to its leader and Finance Minister K M Mani to take a call on the demand for his resignation in the wake of adverse High Court observations against him in the bar bribery case. The decision assumes significance in the wake of reports that Mani, against whom an FIR has been registered in connection with the case, has offered to resign.”A decision on the matter will be announced today itself”, C F Thomas, Kerala Congress(M) leader and a confidant of Mani, told reporters after a crucial steering committee meeting that discussed the political situation following the fallout of the High Court verdict.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Taking into consideration the present political situation, the meeting entrusted Mani and party senior leader and Irrigation Minister P J Joseph to take a suitable decision on the matter. A decision will be announced today itself,” he said. Though the steering committee meeting is over, Mani and Joseph held one-to-one meeting, party sources said.On a day of hectic political activity and parleys among the UDF partners, pressure from Congress and other coalition partners mounter on 82-year-old Mani to step down.Meanwhile, a UDF meeting has begun apparently to discuss the development in the KC(M). Earlier in the day, KC(M) had stood firm stating that there was no need for Mani to resign as there was “nothing against” the finance Minister in the High Court order.Meanwhile, CPI(M) veteran and State Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had the right to seek Mani’s resignation.”Chief Minister was not demanding resignation of Mani due to some fear that if further probe in the bar case is held, Chandy also would become an accused in the case”, he alleged.The opposition CPI(M)-led LDF on Tuesday decided to intensify their agitation to put pressure on Mani to resign. LDF leaders said they will not allow Mani to move freely in the state and block his movement. Mani’s move was a challenge to the people and showed his arrogance, they said.Meanwhile, BJP’s Yuvamorcha activists took out a protest march to Mani’s residence in Thiruvananthapuram demanding his resignation.The High Court had on Monday cleared the decks for further investigation against Mani in the bar bribery case, observing that the common man should not feel that no probe is conducted when the accused is a Minister.Ordering further inquiries against Mani in the bar bribery case, the Vigilance Court in Thiruvananthapuram had on October 29 observed that there are “sufficient materials for making out a prima facie case”.An FIR had been filed against Mani last year after a “quick verification” by the vigilance department of the charges levelled by Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners’ Association working President Biju Ramesh that the minister had accepted a Rs 1 crore bribe for renewal of licences of more than 400 Indian Made Foreign Liquor bars in the state.

Irresponsible statements changed Bihar narrative: Arun Jaitley

“The word referendum is loosely used… every election is not a referendum,” Jaitley

BJP will “reject” any contention that “a stray incident happening in any part of India will make it intolerant.: Jaitley

As BJP does soul searching for its humiliating defeat in Bihar polls, senior party leader Arun Jaitley on Monday admitted “irresponsible statements” made during elections “changed the narrative”. Jaitley also said incidents like Dadri lynching and the killing of rationalist MM Kalburgi in Karnataka were “aberrations” and “not the pattern” in India, and called for distinguishing between those committing such crimes and those just being “loose talkers”. “During the period when the elections were being contested, some irresponsible statements did change the narrative. That is not expected from responsible (persons). I had repeatedly intervened in order to make sure that the narrative comes back.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”As far as plan is concerned, I think those may be incidental factors. How much they impacted on Bihar, I really do not know,” he said, attributing the NDA’s defeat mainly to the “huge index of opposition unity”. While the ruling NDA managed to get 58 seats (BJP 53) in the 243-member Bihar assembly, JD(U)-RJD-Congress Mahagathbandhan secured 178 seats. On whether Bihar election was a referendum on the policies of the Centre, Jaitley, said, “The word referendum is loosely used… every election is not a referendum. A state election is not a referendum. You are not contesting on one issue.”He further said the vote share of BJP has not come down and the victory of the Mahaghatbandhan was on account of different opposition forces coming together. Amid a raging controversy on the intolerance issue, Jaitley said India is the “most tolerant” society in the world and it will “reject” any contention that “a stray incident happening in any part of India will make it intolerant.””India is tolerant. Some unfortunate incidents take place, but that do not make India an intolerant society. India is a liberal society. It will continue to remain one,” he said. Downplaying questions about remarks of some Hindu hotheads, Jaitley said in a large political party, it is possible to pick up one or two people. Acknowledging that they need to be careful about the comments they make, the Union Finance Minister said the media is also in the habit of chasing them.”There is a perception of this government being decisive, being honest and of being on a development path. There are, as I said, aberrations, which take place where somebody makes a loose statement or some incident takes place in Karnataka, or in Dadri, which should never have taken place…unfortunate incidents. “But then those are aberrations in a large country like India. Those are not the pattern as far as India is concerned,” he said.

Bar bribery case: Will discuss sacking of KM Mani with leaders, says Kerala CM Oommen Chandy

In a setback to the state government, the Kerala High Court on Monday upheld further investigation ordered by a vigilance court in the bar bribery scam in which an FIR has been filed against Finance Minister K M Mani.

Senior Supreme Court advocate and former Union minister Kapil Sibal appeared in the court for the vigilance department this morning.

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CM Oommen Chandy on Monday said he would discuss the matter of sacking of state FM KM Mani with leaders of the state, reports NDTV. Congress leadership had demanded that the Kerala Finance Minister be sacked after the High Court upheld court order on further probe against him in bar bribery case. In a setback to the state government, the Kerala High Court on Monday upheld further investigation ordered by a vigilance court in the bar bribery scam in which an FIR has been filed against Finance Minister K M Mani. Delivering the judgement on a petition by the vigilance additional DGP seeking a stay on the vigilance court order of October 29, Justice B Kemal Pasha said, “Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.” The court expunged the adverse remarks against vigilance director Vinson M Paul and justified the further probe ordered by the vigilance court.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Supreme Court advocate and former Union minister Kapil Sibal appeared in the court for the vigilance department this morning. The Vigilance Court, Thiruvananthapuram, while ordering further probe into the bar bribery case, had observed that there are “sufficient materials for making out a prima facie case”. Special Judge John K Illekadan had passed the order for further investigation while rejecting the final report of the Vigilance and Anti-corruption Bureau to close the case against Mani.”From an overall analysis of the materials available on records and from the events which followed in quick succession in the case, it can be seen that there are sufficient materials for making out a prima facie case in respect to the alleged incident,” the judge had observed.The FIR had been filed against Mani in Thiruvananthapuram court last year after a ‘quick verification’ by the vigilance department on the charge by Kerala State Bar Hotel Owners’ Association Working President Biju Ramesh that the minister had accepted Rs one crore as bribe for renewal of licences to 470 Indian Made Foreign Liquor bars in the state.

NDA defeat in Bihar no setback to economy, says FM Arun Jaitley

Admitting that some irresponsible statements by certain BJP functionaries during the course of elections did change the narrative, Jaitley said the “index of opposition unity” was one of the biggest factors that led to the victory of the Mahagathbandhan in the Bihar assembly elections.

Attributing the NDA’s defeat in Bihar assembly elections to ‘huge index of opposition unity’, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said it will not impact the economic reforms process.”I don’t see it as a setback to the economy… structural reforms will continue. They should continue at a rapid pace,” he said.Admitting that some irresponsible statements by certain BJP functionaries during the course of elections did change the narrative, Jaitley said the “index of opposition unity” was one of the biggest factors that led to the victory of the Mahagathbandhan in the Bihar assembly elections.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the ruling NDA managed to get 58 seats (BJP 53) in the 243-member Bihar assembly, Mahagathbandhan got 178 seats.The alliance comprises JD(U), RJD and Congress.On whether Bihar election was a referendum on the policies of the Centre, Jaitley, in an interview to ET Now, said, “The word referendum is loosely used… every election is not a referendum. A state election is not a referendum. You are not contesting on one issue.”He further said that the vote share of BJP has not come down and the victory of the Mahaghatbandhan was on account of different opposition forces coming together.About reforms, Jaitley said government would continue them by taking executive actions and also in the Budget, which would be announced in February next year.On the specific question of the pending Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, he hoped that Bihar, which is a consuming state, would support the legislation.”I don’t see (Bihar election outcome) as a setback to the economy at all. If under Nitish Kumar, Bihar grows and grows well, we have already announced economic package for the state, certainly we are going to help.”Our commitment is the states which need to develop more we have to help them more,” Jaitley said.

Women don’t own anything, only gold is their strength, says PM Modi

“Women usually don’t own anything. House, car is usually named after their husband or son, but gold is their strength.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that gold is an important aspect of women empowerment, adding that gold schemes are focused on the country’s growth. “India has 20,000 tonnes of idle gold. Gold is an important aspect of women empowerment. Gold schemes are focused on the growth of the nation,” Prime Minister Modi said at the launch of gold monetisation, sovereign bond schemes.”Women usually don’t own anything. House, car is usually named after their husband or son, but gold is their strength,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He further said the Indian people repose a lot of trust in the value of gold, which is also a source of urgent funds.”The people are usually very much concerned about where to keep their gold while they are out on a vacation, this scheme takes care of that. The reason behind the success of these schemes will be the women of India,” he said.Prime Minister Modi spoke of the great bond of trust that the family goldsmith enjoys in India. He said that once the goldsmiths of India gain familiarity with the schemes, they could become the biggest agents of these schemes.He described the launch of the India Gold Coins, bearing the Ashok Chakra, as a matter of pride for the nation. He said that people would no longer have to depend on foreign minted gold bullion or coins.The Prime Minister also launched a website on these schemes, and distributed Certificates of Investment to six initial investors. The schemes were proposed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during presentation of the Union Budget this year.Prime Minister Modi had announced about the launch of the schemes in his “Mann ki Baat” programme last month.

BJP leader calls Shah Rukh Khan ‘anti-national’; Congress says PM Modi must ‘personally’ apologise to SRK

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, “Shah Rukh Khan has his own views. Telling him to go to Pakistan for having a view is unfortunate.”

With the furore over Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kailash Vijayvargiya’s controversial comments for Shah Rukh Khan, the Congress on Wednesday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally render an apology to the Bollywood icon.”I strongly condemn Kailash Vijavargiya’s statement. Modi should personally apologise to Shah Rukh. Shah Rukh don’t worry we stand by you,” Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh tweeted.Training his guns on Arun Jaitley, who had recently dismissed reports of intolerance in the nation, Singh asked the Finance Minister if Vijavargiya statement counted as ‘tolerance or intolerance’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, ” Shah Rukh Khan has his own views. Telling him to go to Pakistan for having a view is unfortunate.””PM is encouraging such statements, this is why we went to the President. PM’s MPs and Ministers are all intolerant,” he added.Shah Rukh Khan was on Tuesday dubbed as “anti-nationalist” and “Pakistani agent” by Vijayvargiya and controversial Hindutva figure Sadhvi Prachi in their attack on him over his “extreme intolerance” comment. Vijayvargiya had condemned him over his “extreme intolerance” comment, saying his “soul” was in Pakistan though he lives in India.”His films make crores here but he thinks India to be intolerant,” Vijayvargiya said in a series of tweets amid mounting concerns over the “climate of intolerance” in the country.”If this is not anti-nationalist, then what is it. India is making a bid to become a permanent member of the United Nations and all the anti-Indian forces including Pakistan are creating a conspiracy,” he said.

Rajasthan government relaxes two-child policy for its employees

As per a government notification in June 2000, a candidate having more than two children is not eligible for government recruitment. An employee, whose third child is born after recruitment, is not given promotion for five years.

Rajasthan Cabinet on Tuesday decided to relax the two-child policy which was applicable to the state government employees, allowing them to have a third child in case of remarriage. The decision was taken at the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore told reporters tonight that a state government employee will now be allowed to have one child from remarriage.As per a government notification in June 2000, a candidate having more than two children is not eligible for government recruitment. An employee, whose third child is born after recruitment, is not given promotion for five years.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was also decided by the Cabinet that permission from Finance department and Department of personnel will not be required for engaging retired government employees on contract basis in government departments.When asked about the death of former MLA Gurusharan Chhabra, who was on fast unto death demanding complete ban on liquor in the state, Rathore said that his death was “unfortunate”.He claimed that 90% of his demand had already been fulfilled by the government.The minister said that the government would rename a road after the name of the ex-MLA.

Govt won’t function on basis of religion, caste: Rajnath Singh

“Targeting the Prime Minister or the government is beyond my understanding, but we are open to hearing suggestions,” he added.

Earlier today Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also reiterated the government’s stand that ‘intolerance’ was not on the rise in the country and asserted that India remains a highly tolerant and liberal society.

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Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday asserted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA Government won’t function on the basis of religion or caste, but on the basis of ‘humanity and justice’. “Whoever thinks intolerance has increased in the country, should give us their suggestion and the government will surely consider that. Our government will not function on the basis of caste or religion but on the basis of humanity and justice,” Singh told the media here.”Targeting the Prime Minister or the government is beyond my understanding, but we are open to hearing suggestions,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read- Full Text: PM Modi has been the victim of intolerance since 2002 writes Arun Jaitley Earlier today Finance Minister Arun Jaitley also reiterated the government’s stand that ‘intolerance’ was not on the rise in the country and asserted that India remains a highly tolerant and liberal society. “There are many who have never intellectually accepted the idea of the BJP being in power. This obviously includes the Congress, many left thinkers and activists. Over decades they have practiced ideological intolerance towards BJP. They wish to project India as an intolerant society but the truth is otherwise,” Jaitley said in his Facebook post.

Arun Jaitley hits out at personalities returning awards, calls them ‘rabid anti-BJP elements’

Rejecting the charge that an atmosphere of intolerance was prevailing in the country, he said there was normalcy in the country and there was no atmosphere (of intolerance) for which the central government was responsible.

PTI
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday hit out at those returning awards as “rabid anti-BJP elements” and said some of them had gone to Varanasi to campaign against Narendra Modi in the last general elections.”Those returning awards are playing politics by other means. They are rabid anti-BJP elements,” Jaitley, who also holds charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, told reporters here to a question on the returning of awards by writers and film-makers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stating that space of the Left has reduced, he claimed that those returning awards were in a way electioneering against the BJP in Bihar polls.Also read: Scientist PM Bhargava to return Padma Bhushan, says worried over India’s futureRejecting the charge that an atmosphere of intolerance was prevailing in the country, he said there was normalcy in the country and there was no atmosphere (of intolerance) for which the central government was responsible.He condemned all the incidents being dubbed as examples of intolerance and called for strict action against those responsible for it.The union minister, however, said there was a disproportionate political reaction to the incidents taking place in the country and asked those returning awards if their conscience had pricked when corruption and scams to the tune of lakhs and crores of rupees were taking place during the UPA rule.On the students of FTII withdrawing agitation and resuming academic activities in the campus, Jaitley welcomed the move and said the government wanted to make FTII an institution of excellence.

Despite being in power it is not our govt, rues Shiv Sena

Sanjay Raut said that those (BJP) controlling portfolios like Revenue, Home, Finance, Agriculture, Education, Social Justice are running the government.

Sanjay Raut was speaking to media on Monday evening after paying a visit to the family of 16-year old Swati Pitale, who committed suicide due to extreme poverty at a village in Latur.
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dna Research & Archives
In what could further widen the chasm between allies Shiv Sena and BJP, Sena leader Sanjay Raut rued that though his party is in power, the government is not theirs and they are not part of the decision-making process. He also hit out at Devendra Fadnavis following the alleged suicide by a Latur girl over poverty, saying the Chief Minister should have a hold over the administration.Raut was speaking to media on Monday evening after paying a visit to the family of 16-year old Swati Pitale, who committed suicide due to extreme poverty at a village in Latur.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This is the party’s stand. Sanjay Raut and the party are no different. This is very disturbing. This (the suicide) is not something that makes seem a progressive Maharashtra in good light,” the Sena leader said.”We are in the government, but the government is not ours. Several important portfolios that are involved in the decision making process for the state are not with the Sena,” he rued.However, justifying the party being part of the government despite being sidelined, he said, “We fought against Congress and NCP, and because we did not want either of the parties to get another chance (to form the government). We are trying to save the government.”Raut said that those (BJP) controlling portfolios like Revenue, Home, Finance, Agriculture, Education, Social Justice are running the government.”If the previous government was doing good work, they would not have been voted out of power. We feel that this government needs to be saved. What is important is that how are the masses taking in whatever is happening. Work can be done in a far better way. Sena has the most experience of running the state,” he said.”The CM should have a hold over the administration, whether he has or not can only be answered by him or his ministers,” he said.A confident Raut also said that if elections were to happen now, the Sena would get a complete majority.”The CM will be from the Sena and we won’t require any outside help. People are now waiting for Vidhan Sabha election, so that they can vote for the Sena,” he said.

‘Sahitya Akademi finally acted as an independent body’: Vikram Seth backs condemnation of writers’ killing

New Delhi: Eminent author Vikram Seth on Friday came out in support of the Sahitya Akademi statement denouncing the recent killing of writers, saying it has condemned the “atmosphere of fear” sought to be created by such acts and acted as an “independent body”.

At an emergency board meeting here, the Akademi came out with a resolution strongly condemning the killing of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and others while urging litterateurs to take back awards they have returned.

Welcoming the Akademi statement, 63-year-old Seth, who has authored award winning books like A Suitable Boy and for his travelogue From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet, told NDTV, “it shows that the board has acted as an independent body.”

Author Vikram Seth. Image courtesy: Getty ImagesAuthor Vikram Seth. Image courtesy: Getty Images

Author Vikram Seth. Image courtesy: Getty Images

“It (Akademi) has condemned any attempt to suppress free speech and of course the ultimate suppression of free speech is where you stop your lips and dead in the hand, in other words, murder. It has also condemned the atmosphere of fear that is sought to be inculcated by acts of assassination such as these and this form of tear/terror has been condemned in the strongest possible terms,” he said.

Seth said had it not been for the writers who gave up their Akademi awards, this board meeting would not have been advanced from December.

At least 36 authors have given up their Akademi awards and five others have relinquished their posts in the literary body protesting against the recent killing of writers and “rising intolerance” in the country.

Observing that it was not easy for writers to give up their awards, he said as to get a mark of appreciation from their peers, their fellow writers, is something that gives them great comfort.

“From what I understand, there was a lot of pressure on them (Akademi),” he said, adding, that its statement has sent a strong message that the writers will maintain their autonomy and will respect those of others.

“I think that our strength lies in the fact that we are individual voices who can on crucial matters come together,” he said.

Seth also said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was one of the very few people who spoke out very early about the dreadful lynching at Dadri. “Other people remained fairly quiet. Jaitley is one of the very few people in that party (BJP) who spoke out,” he said.

PTI

Author Vikram Seth comes out in support of Sahitya Akademi

At an emergency board meeting in New Delhi, the Akademi came out with a resolution strongly condemning the killing of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and others while urging litterateurs to take back awards they have returned.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Eminent author Vikram Seth on Friday came out in support of the Sahitya Akademi statement denouncing the recent killing of writers, saying it has condemned the “atmosphere of fear” sought to created by such acts and actred as an “independent body”.At an emergency board meeting in New Delhi, the Akademi came out with a resolution strongly condemning the killing of Kannada writer M M Kalburgi and others while urging litterateurs to take back awards they have returned.Welcoming the Akademi statement, 63-year-old Seth, who has authored award winning books like ‘A Suitable Boy’ and for his travelogue ‘From Heaven Lake: Travels Through Sinkiang and Tibet’, told NDTV, “it shows that the board has acted as an independent body.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It (Akademi) has condemned any attempt to suppress free speech and of course the ultimate suppression of free speech is where you stop your lips and dead in the hand, in other words, murder. It has also condemned the atmosphere of fear that is sought to be inculcated by acts of assassination such as these and this form of tear/terror has been condemned in the strongest possible terms,” he said.Seth said had it not been for the writers who gave up their Akademi awards, this board meeting would not have been advanced from December. At least 36 authors have gven up their Akademi awards and five others have relinquished their posts in the literary body protesting against the recent killing of writers and “rising intolerance” in the country.Observing that it was not easy for writers to give up their awards, he said as to get a mark of appreciation from their peers, their fellow writers, is something that gives them great comfort.”From what I understand, there was a lot of pressure on them (Akademi),” he said, adding, that its statement has sent a strong message that the writers will maintain their autonomy and will respect those of others.”I think that our strength lies in the fact that we are individual voices who can on crucial matters come together,” he said.Seth also said that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was one of the very few people who spoke out very early about the dreadful lynching at Dadri. “Other people remained fairly quiet. Jaitley is one of the very few people in that party (BJP) who spoke out,” he said.

Bring back Lalit Modi, sack Sushma Swaraj & Vasundhara Raje: Congress to PM Modi

Earlier today it was reported that UPA in 2013 had asked the United Kingdom to deport Lalit Modi. Former Finance Minister P Chideambaram had requested UK to deport him.

Surjewala charged BJP led government’s EAM Sushma Swaraj of hurting India’s case to get Lalit Modi back.

Congress spokesman RS Sujrewala has on Friday asked PM Narendra Modi to bring back Lalit Modi, the former IPL Chairman embroiled in allegations of money laundering. “PM should tell us when he will get Lalit Modi back into the country,” he said.Earlier today it was reported that UPA in 2013 had asked the United Kingdom to deport Lalit Modi. Former Finance Minister P Chideambaram had requested UK to deport him as he had a lot of cases pending were against him. “UPA wanted Lalit Modi to be brought back so that his case can be expedited,” said Surjewala.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Surjewala charged BJP led government’s EAM Sushma Swaraj of hurting India’s case to get Lalit Modi back. “Our deportation case was annulled when our EAM helped him get travel documents.”We demand PM to give a statement on his ministers aiding Lalit Modi, for him to sack EAM Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje,” he added.

Centre needs to clarify mechanism on GST rollout: AP Finance Minister Krishnudu

Vijayawada: The Centre has to clarify on the mechanism to be followed in the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST), Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Rama Krishnudu said on Sunday.

The Empowered Committee (of state Finance Ministers on GST) will meet soon in Delhi to settle the pending issues in its implementation, he told reporters in Vijayawada.

“Almost all states have agreed on the implementation of GST, but there are some issues which are to be resolved by the union government,” the minister said.

Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Rama Krishnudu. PTI

Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Rama Krishnudu. PTI

With the implementation of GST, the states will lose their revenue and the Centre has to compensate the loss, he added.

The states generally take up development schemes and spend about 80 per cent of the funds on them. So, to meet such expenditure, the union government has to provide more funds to the states, Krishnudu said.

“I hope the GST would come into force from next financial year as expected,” the state minister said.

The Centre and states have completed the drafting of model GST law as well as an integrated-GST or iGST law, which will be put up in public domain by early November.

The government had planned to bring in the GST, which is touted as the most comprehensive indirect tax reform since Independence, from 1 April, 2016, but it seems difficult as the Constitution Amendment Bill to roll out the GST has been passed in Lok Sabha, but is awaiting clearance from the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling NDA lacks majority.

The government, however, is going ahead with preparatory work necessary for smooth implementation of GST, which will subsume various levies like excise, service tax, sales tax, octroi, etc, and will ensure a single indirect tax regime for the entire country.

The Centre has already put up three reports of Empowered Committee on GST on refunds, payment process and registration for public comments by 31 October.

PTI

OROP takes ugly turn: Gen Satbir Singh sledges Arun Jaitley, says minister never meant to honour his word

The new twist given the One Rank One Pension (OROP) movement has taken an ugly turn. The leader of the veterans, Major General Satbir Singh has gone on record accusing Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of deception.

The General chose to make this very serious charge in an interview to a severely limited section of the media. He is quoted as saying that Jaitley had told them the BJP’s poll promises to soldiers were just electioneering tactics and ‘never meant to be honoured.’

Gen Singh supposedly said, “One thing I have learnt that what any of these politicians say are never meant to be believed. That’s the rule number one in India. Mr Jaitley when he was the defence minister, had told me, ‘why don’t you lower your expectations?’

General Satbir Singh. Image courtesy: IBNLiveGeneral Satbir Singh. Image courtesy: IBNLive

General Satbir Singh. Image courtesy: IBNLive

These are grave allegations and one can only conclude that by using the plural the General has witnesses to corroborate his accusation.

One is a little nonplussed that the General would elect to speak to one entity in the media and ignore the rest of the profession.

Fine, you are peeved about what has been perceived as a media boycott but, hey please, you are not schoolchildren sulking because someone took away your candy. You cannot afford to get personal. Not with the media and certainly not with a sitting member of the Cabinet.

The government may decide to ignore the statement by the General. But if he can prove his allegations than we have a pretty stinking kettle of fish.

In recent days, the OROP brigade has announced the return of 10,000 medals. Last week it set off an nationwide SMS campaign of support. But this is very different.

This fresh development is pure in your face, up close and personal. If the General can provide tangible evidence that the Finance Minister had no intent to okay the OROP and that the promises made were pie in the sky it is certainly a huge shot in the arm for the vets and will put the government on the backfoot and regrettably, create a further schism between the men in uniform and their civilian masters.

If, however, the General has shot off his mouth and it is reduced to a ‘he said, I said’ equation and Mr Jaitley decides to turn push to shove it could cripple the OROP movement.

Arun Jaitley lauds Sharad Pawar’s contribution in Baramati transformation

The milk products that are being produced (in Baramati) are of global quality, Jaitley said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

PTI
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday lauded NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s contribution in making his home turf Baramati as one of the most developed regions in the country.”A rural district (Pune, in which Baramati is located) which suffers lack of water; in order to transform itself into one of the most progressive districts in the country is no mean achievement,” Jaitley said.”Obviously Pawar saheb has literally for the last 40 to 50 years, developed the area. The economy (of this area) has transformed,” Jaitley said, after inaugurating the new building of the College of Agriculture and Allied Science at Baramati.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Krishi Vigyan Kendra that I visited is as progressive as any in the world,” Jaitley said. “We will give whatever support Pawar has suggested in agriculture,” the Finance Minister said.The milk products that are being produced (in Baramati) are of global quality, Jaitley said.Jaitley said his visit to the institution, which is the hub of rural education and agricultural sciences, has been a great learning experience. “Pawar was speaking of the challenges of agriculture. Indeed these are very difficult challenges which are all over the country,” he said.”These challenges are because of unpredictable weather and also because 65% population of the country depends on it,” he said, adding, they are also of irrigation and rural infrastructure. “The best of agriculture techniques have to be deployed so that productivity in agriculture goes up. For this, we need these Krishi Vigyan Kendra and such institutes,” Jaitley said.”Education is going to be the hub of the future. These are the minds which are going to carry us forward in the years to come,” he said.Speaking on the occasion, Pawar said, “The Indonesian government has developed a variety of sugarcane which requires less water. If we are able to bring that variety here and distribute to the farmers, I am confident that the farming community will be able to produce sugarcane with minimal amount of water and the surplus water will be available for other crops.”Price of agriculture produce is an important issue, Pawar, who was Union Agriculture Minister during the UPA regime, said.”The primary responsibility of the Finance Minister is to strengthen the economy. He is taking steps in that direction,” Pawar said.This is the second time that Pawar is sharing stage with a top leader in the BJP-led Central government, at his home turf Baramati.In February, he had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Baramati, fuelling speculations in political circles.

Arun Jaitley hails Supreme Court order on Aadhar card

The apex court had on Thursday permitted citizens to voluntarily use Aadhar card for availing benefits under schemes like MGNREGA, Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana and all types of pension schemes and PF. “Supreme Court order permitting voluntary use of Aadhar is a positive step forward,” Jaitley said in a tweet.

Aadhar card

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the Supreme Court order on Aadhar is a positive step forward and will encourage voluntary use of the identification number.The apex court had on Thursday permitted citizens to voluntarily use Aadhar card for availing benefits under schemes like MGNREGA, Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana and all types of pension schemes and PF. “Supreme Court order permitting voluntary use of Aadhar is a positive step forward,” Jaitley said in a tweet.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Aadhar, an unique identification number, is used by the government to transfer subsidy directly to the bank account of beneficiaries. The use of Aadhar helps in checking pilferage. The Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan too had welcomed the ruling on use of Aadhar yesterday, saying that it will help in financial inclusion drive and provide easy access to loans. “The Supreme Court ruling on Aadhar card will be quite helpful, making us use it in banking services. It will make easier for financial inclusion,” Rajan had said.

Modi’s fin inclusion gets a boost: SC allows voluntary Aadhaar use in job scheme, Jan Dhan, PF, pension

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday relaxed its earlier order to extend use of Aadhaar card on voluntary basis in social welfare schemes like the rural job guarantee scheme, old age pensions, provident fund and Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana.

A constitution bench comprising Chief Justice H.L. Dattu, Justice M.Y.Eqbal, Justice C. Nagappan, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy modified the August 11 order on a batch of applications by the central government and its various agencies seeking the relaxation of the said order by which the use of Aadhaar card was limited for getting foodgrain and kerosene under PDS and for LPG.

The court said: “We also make it clear that Aadhaar card scheme is purely voluntary and can’t be mandatory till the matter is decided.”

A villager goes through the process of a fingerprint scanner for the Unique Identification (UID) database system at an enrolment centre at Merta district in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan February 22, 2013. In a more ambitious version of programmes that have slashed poverty in Brazil and Mexico, the Indian government has begun to use the UID database, known as Aadhaar, to make direct cash transfers to the poor, in an attempt to cut out frauds who siphon billions of dollars from welfare schemes. Picture taken February 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY POVERTY SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) - RTR3EDSSA villager goes through the process of a fingerprint scanner for the Unique Identification (UID) database system at an enrolment centre at Merta district in the desert Indian state of Rajasthan February 22, 2013. In a more ambitious version of programmes that have slashed poverty in Brazil and Mexico, the Indian government has begun to use the UID database, known as Aadhaar, to make direct cash transfers to the poor, in an attempt to cut out frauds who siphon billions of dollars from welfare schemes. Picture taken February 22, 2013. REUTERS/Mansi Thapliyal (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY POVERTY SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) - RTR3EDSS

Reuters

It also asked the government to follow all court orders from September 23, 2013.

Before passing the order, the court asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to indicate three social welfare schemes that the government wanted to link with voluntary use of Aadhaar card.

After mentioning the rural job scheme, old age pensions, provident fund and prime minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana, Rohatgi wanted to add linking the opening of bank accounts with unique identification number and the court said: “Modification and clarifications can be limited.”

Chief Justice Dattu began by asking senior counsel Shyam Divan that “if the use of Aadhaar card is good for getting foodgrains and kerosene under the PDS and LPG, then why can’t it be good for other social welfare schemes also”.

Divan, appearing for Karnataka High Court’s former judge Justice K.S. Puttaswamy, however said that they were opposed to permitting the use of Aadhaar card for getting the foodgrains and kerosene under the PDS and LPG but the three judges bench headed by Justice J.Chelameswar for striking a balance permitted this and “we have to live with it”.”

“We sought total prohibition. Attorney general wanted no prohibition (on linking Aadhaar card with different schemes), the court balancing the interest allowed the use of Aadhaar number for PDS and LPG,” he said.

“Making this exception for the PDS was wrong and ought not to have been done .. it has been tried and failed,” Divan told the court, arguing that once accessing things linking with Aadhaar card number gets entrenched in the system, then it would be irreversible.

At this Chief Justice Dattu said: “I am also a citizen of this country. I want to use my (Aadhaar) card for getting facilities. Can you say that I can’t use it?”

In response, senior counsel Gopal Subramaniam said: “Even if you consciously know the dangers of parting with information for getting Aadhaar card and yet you opt for it then the state has to step in.”

Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi assured the court that citizens who do not possess an Aadhaar card would be allowed to produce alternate ID proofs to avail of social welfare, pension and PF schemes.

The CJI also said an appropriate bench would be constituted at the earliest for the final disposal of petitions that also include the question as to whether the right to privacy is a fundamental right. A batch of petitions have challenged the Aadhaar scheme on the ground that collection of biometric details violates a citizen’s privacy rights.

The matter could be referred to a larger nine or 11-judge bench. Smaller benches of the top court have earlier passed conflicting judgments on whether privacy was a fundamental right.

Welcoming the Supreme Court order, RBI governor Raghuram Rajan said it would help in the financial inclusion drive and providing easy access to loans.

IANS