New Delhi, Jan 12: Congress chief Rahul Gandhi today described the concerns expressed by four Supreme Court judges over the institution’s functioning as “extremely important”, and also sought investigation into the death of judge B H Loya by the “highest level” of the apex court.
Making a brief statement at a press conference, Gandhi also said, Justice J Chelameswar’s remark that democracy will not survive in the country unless the Supreme Court was preserved, was “extremely important” and that it needed to be “looked into carefully”.
Special CBI judge B H Loya, who was hearing the high- profile Sohrabuddin Seikh encounter case, had allegedly died under mysterious circumstances in 2014. The apex court had yesterday agreed to hear two separate pleas seeking independent probe into the death.
BJP chief Amit Shah, an accused in the case, was discharged.
One of the four senior-most judges, who held an unprecedented press conference, had said that the matter involving Judge Loya’s death was one of the issues underpinning their differences with Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
New Delhi, Jan 11: The BJP today sought to draw a parallel between Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Hafiz Saeed, the founder of terror outfit LeT, saying the Congress leader in his attack on the BJP and the RSS echoed Saeed's views.
"Desperation and frustration of Siddaramaiah is evident.
For vote bank politics, he is making senseless charges against the BJP and the RSS, and echoing views of Hafiz Saeed who considers India, BJP, RSS terrorists," BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said, seeking his apology.
New Delhi, Jan 11 India for the first time confirmed on Thursday that National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval met his Pakistani counterpart Nasir Khan Janjua in Bangkok last month with a focus on how to fight terror and end cross-border terrorism.
"Yes, I agree talks took place. I also agree that the issue is of terrorism. Talks were held on how to rid this region of the scourge of terrorism, how to ensure that terrorism doesn't affect this region. I think we raised the issue of cross-border terrorism (with Pakistan) in those talks," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
He was answering queries about media reports on the meeting between Doval and Janjua in Bangkok on December 26 -- a day after the mother and wife of retired Naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav met him in Islamabad and were subjected to humiliation by Pakistani authorities and a section of the press.
Ranchi, Jan 6: Lalu Yadav has termed his jail term in fodder scam a political vendetta by the BJP. Reacting to the judgement shortly after his sentencing, RJD supremo took to Twitter to take on the BJP.
"Rather than practising BJP's Simple Rule - "Follow us or We will Fix you". I will die happily fixing myself for Social justice, harmony & equality," tweeted Lalu.
Earlier, Lalu was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail by a CBI special court in a fodder scam case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury 21 years ago.
CBI court judge Shiv Pal Singh, who had convicted Prasad, along with 10 others on December 23, also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on him for two cases in the scam.
He was fined Rs 5 lakh for each case, failing which he would serve another six months in jail, a CBI counsel said.
The court had convicted Prasad for offences of cheating, along with criminal conspiracy, under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The scam is related to withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deogarh Treasury between 1990 and 1994 when Prasad was the chief minister of Bihar.
The 69-year-old RJD supremo, in a written plea on Friday, had sought leniency from the CBI court citing illness and old age, according to his counsel Chittaranjan Prasad.
The RJD went into a huddle immediately after the pronouncement of the sentence.
RJD sources said that the party would appeal against the verdict.
This is the second fodder scam case in which Prasad has been jailed.
He was sent to prison for five years on September 30, 2013.
Prasad was granted bail by the Supreme Court after having spent over two-and-a-half months in jail.
Ranchi, Jan 6: A special CBI court today sentenced RJD chief Lalu Prasad to three-and-a-half years in jail and imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on him in a fodder scam case relating to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 89.27 lakh from the Deoghar Treasury 21 years ago.
The punishment was handed down to 69-year-old Prasad by CBI court judge Shiv Pal Singh. This is the second time that he has been jailed in the fodder scam.
The judge also imposed a fine totalling Rs 10 lakhs on him.
He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail in a fodder scam case for offences of cheating, along with criminal conspiracy, and other sections under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Prasad was also given a jail term of three years and six months in the case under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).
He was fined Rs 5 lakh each under the IPC and the PCA, CBI counsel Rakesh Prasad said, adding that failure to pay the fine would entail another six months in jail.
New Delhi, Jan 5: Parliamentary Affairs Ministers Ananth Kumar on Friday accused the Congress of doing injustice to the Muslim women by opposing the Triple Talaq Bill saying that they should learn from the past and let the legislation pass.
"They are not thinking about ensuring justice to the Muslim sisters. They are doing injustice the same way they did in the Shah-Bano case," Kumar told reporters here in Parliament
New Delhi, Jan 4: The Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday hit back at rebel leader Kumar Vishwas, alleging he was at the "centre" of conspiracies hatched to topple the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi after the municipal polls.
The poet-politician was at the receiving end of the stinging attack a day after he gave vent to his ire against Kejriwal over being denied a Rajya Sabha ticket.
AAP's Delhi convenor Gopal Rai claimed that after the MCD polls in April last year, "there were attempts to bring down the government and Kumar Vishwas was the principal mover and at the centre of those conspiracies".
"Most of the meetings in this regard involving a few MLAs were held at his residence. Kapil Mishra was a part of it and later he was removed from the cabinet," he said during a Facebook Live session.
Vishwas did not react to Rai's allegations. The disgruntled AAP leader had yesterday alleged that he was punished for saying the truth about Kejriwal's decisions and that he accepted his "martyrdom".
During the social media session, Rai referred to a video that Vishwas had released indirectly attacking the Kejriwal government on the issue of corruption.
Jammu, Jan 3: Opposition members disrupted proceedings in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Wednesday after the Speaker disallowed discussions on civilian killings and a spike in militancy-related incidents in the valley.
The opposition members stood up from their seats and caused an uproar as Speaker Kavinder Gupta disallowed an adjournment motion moved by the National Conference (NC), Congress and Yusuf Tarigami of the CPI(M).
The House was scheduled to take up a discussion on Governor N.N. Vohra's address made in the legislature on Tuesday.
Ranchi, Jan 3: A special CBI court on Wednesday issued notices to former Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejshvi Yadav and three others over their statements regarding RJD chief Lalu Prasad's conviction in the fodder scam case.
"The CBI court of Shivapal Singh issued the notices asking why contempt should not be initiated against the four people for their statements issued after Lalu Prasad was convicted," lawyer Arvind Singh told the media.
Besides Tejashvi Yadav, the notices were issued to former minister and senior Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, RJD spokesman Manoj Jha and Congress leader Manish Tiwary.
New Delhi, Jan 3 The AAP on Wednesday named veteran leader Sanjay Singh, businessman Sushil Gupta and chartered accountant Narain Dass Gupta as its debutants for the Rajya Sabha, sparking criticism from founding member Kumar Vishwas and other political parties.
Vishwas, who was angling for an RS slot, said that it is difficult to survive in the the Aam Aadmi Party if one disagrees with Kejriwal.
The AAP leader's comments came as the party today nominated Sanjay Singh, Sushil Gupta and N D Gupta as its Rajya Sabha nominees.
While Singh has been associated with the party since its inception, Sushil Gupta is a Delhi-based businessman and N D Gupta a chartered accountant.
"In the last one and half years, I spoke the truth whether it is Arvind Kejriwal's decisions or issues like surgical strike, irregularities in ticket distribution, softness towards extremists in Punjab, JNU incident among others, for which I have been rewarded in the form of punishment for speaking the truth," Vishwas told reporters here.
"I think that it is a moral victory of a true revolutionary, poet and friend," Vishwas told reporters.
New Delhi, Jan 2 A day before the Aam Aadmi Party announces its three Rajya Sabha nominees, Sanjay Singh has emerged as the sole consensus candidate while a number of prominent names within the party are vying for the other two slots.
A senior party functionary confirmed city-based chartered accountant N D Gupta and businessman Sushil Guptas names are in the reckoning as well while emphasising that a final call will be taken by the partys Political Affairs Committee (PAC) tomorrow.
"There are capable leaders like Ashutosh, Atishi (Marlena), Pankaj Gupta, Meera Sanyal, Ashish Khetan even Raghav Chadha in the party. It is but natural that there will be some heart burn if one name is picked over the others. So nothing can be said for sure even at this point," the AAP functionary said, on condition of anonymity.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, who came back from the Andamans today after a short break, are likely to meet party MLAs before the PAC meeting.
Singh, Marlena, Ashutosh are full-time members of the PAC while Gupta and Chadha are its ex-officio members.
Meanwhile, Gujarat Patidar agitation leader Hardik Patel gave a curious twist to the issue by publicly batting for disgruntled AAP founder Kumar Vishwass candidature, saying he was best suited to take on "fake nationalists".
"If there is someone who can silence the fake nationalists in the Parliament, then it is Kumar Vishwas but wonder who in the party is so insecure of his standing that he is hell bent on destroying the party," Patel tweeted.
Jammu, Dec 25 : Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said that her government had decided to start the process of holding Panchayat elections in the state from February next year.
“Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Governor N.N. Vohra at the Raj Bhavan here today (Monday). During their half hour long meeting, the Chief Minister informed the Governor about several important matters in regard to which the state cabinet had taken decisions a few days back.
“She also informed the governor about her government’s decision to commence Panchayat elections from February 15, 2018,” an official statement said here.
Vohra “reiterated his concern about the vital importance of ensuring prompt redressal of public grievances and for the entire administrative system to function in a truly transparent and accountable manner, to promote public welfare”, it added.
New Delhi, Dec 26: Union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde has hinted that Constitution which contained the word "secular" would be amended.
Venting out his ire against the "seculars" at a public function in Koppal district on Sunday, Union Minister of State for Employment and Skill Development said, "Seculars do not know what their blood is. Yes constitution has given that right to say 'we are secular and we will say it'. Yes, I know but constitution has been amended many times, we will also amend it. We have come to power for that."
"If you say you are a Muslim, Christian etc., I feel proud that you have connection with your religion and caste, but who are these so called seculars? Seculars don't have any parentage," Hegde said earlier in his address.
New Delhi, Dec 26 The Delhi Jal Board on Tuesday increased a combined water and sewer tariff in the city by 20 per cent for consumption of more than 20,000 litres per month.
"No change in water tariff in Delhi for households using upto 20,000 litres per month for third consecutive year. Above 20,000 litres, a 20 per cent combined hike on water and sewer charges approved in Delhi Jal Board meeting," a government official tweeted.
"...still 20k litres free per family. Just Rs 28 increased per month above 20 kl. It's just 0.85 paisa per day," Delhi Jal Board Vice Chairman Dinesh Mohaniya said in a tweet.
Delhi, 25 : The queer twist in the tale of the Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line inauguration is the Congress' overt support for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The Congress on Monday slammed the BJP for not inviting Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to the ceremony in Noida.
The Magenta Line of the Delhi Metro, which connects Botanical Garden station with Kalkaji, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. The exclusion of the Delhi chief minister sparked a controversy as it is the norm to invite the concerned chief ministers for such events. When the Kochi Metro was inaugurated, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, a stark opponent of the BJP, was seated near the prime minister.
Siddharthnagar (UP),Dec 23: A court here has awarded one-month jail term to BJP MP Jagdambika Pal for violating Model Code of Conduct during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
The MP, however, was granted bail by the court soon after.
Mr. Pal had been charged for using vehicles more than the permissible limit during a rally in Bansi while campaigning for the 2014 polls.
The then SDM had lodged a case against Mr. Pal in Bansi Kotwali for violation of model code of conduct, additional prosecution officer Keshav Pandey said.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Sanjay Chaudhary pronounced the verdict on December 22, Mr. Pandey said. The CJM also imposed a fine of ?100 on Mr. Pal, he said.
Gandhinagar, Dec 22: Vijay Rupani has been retained as the CM and Nitin Patel Dy CM of Gujarat. The decision was taken on Friday. Earlier, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel had resigned on Thursday, three days after the BJP overcame a stiff Congress challenge to retain power in the state.
Rupani and Patel sent their resignations to Governor O.P. Kohli, officials said. The Governor, while accepting the resignations, formally dissolved the 13th Gujarat Assembly.
New Delhi, Dec 22: Unperturbed by being shouted down by the MPs in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar delivered his maiden Parliament speech on social media a day later. On Friday, Sachin posted video of his speech on his social media accounts. In the speech, Sachin says India must move on from being a ‘sport-loving’ nation to ‘sport-playing’ nation.
“We need to transform India from a sport-loving nation to a sport-playing nation, make everyone more active and participative, inculcate and develop a sporting culture in our country,” Tendulkar said.
Sachin had wanted to raise the issue of financial security for national level athletes in his maiden Rajya Sabha speech, which could not take place due to protests in the Upper House.
"Financial security is often a challenge when any sportsperson decides to focus on sports alone as their career," Tendulkar says.
"I am aware that the Government, through it's many institutions, employs sports-persons and supports them which we all appreciate.
"But we have many national, state and district level retired athletes who don't have a proper job. While ensuring their financial stability, we must also keep their minds engaged. Their skills and passion for sports would be best utilized for coaching our future generations."
Incidentally, Tendulkar had already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting inclusion of international medallists in the Central Government Health Scheme.