By Pragya Kaushika And Siddharth Sharma
New Delhi [India], February 22 (ANI): Hours after Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy resigned following the loss of majority in the assembly, both the BJP and Congress traded charges and expressed confidence of forming a government in assembly polls likely to be held in April-May this year.
All eyes are on Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan with BJP apparently not keen to stake claim to form an alliance government weeks before an impending election. Congress accused the BJP of bringing down its government using “unethical and anti-democratic means”.
Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao, who is in charge of Puducherry, said the developments in Puducherry were “murder of democracy” and said the party will go to the people.
“BJP has used unethical and anti-democratic means. It does not have support. They do not get votes in Puducherry. They are using the Income Tax department, ED CBI to topple the government,” he alleged.
Rao also accused BJP of “threatening MLAs” and said people of the union territory “know everything”.
“There is huge dissent and people will give a reply in the assembly elections. We are very confident and upbeat. We will go to the people and will win the elections. We have an alliance,” he said.
Asked why Congress MLAs left the party, he asked why did they not resign earlier.
“Why didn’t they say anything in the last five years if they were unhappy. Why did they not talk about dissatisfaction? They are going just because they are being lured and threatened by BJP,” he alleged.
Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal, who is BJP in charge of Puducherry, rejected allegations of Narayanasamy about toppling his government and expressed confidence of forming government in April-May.
BJP leaders claimed there are many people from Congress and other parties willing to join the party and it will form a government after assembly elections.
Narayanasamy did not answer questions about forming an alternative government and said the matter was with the LG.
“Everything is in LG’s hands as Narayanasamy did not face the no-confidence motion. He has tendered the resignation. We are confident that we will form government in May,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of imposition of the President’s Rule, he said they were waiting for a decision by the LG.
Congress government came into the minority after two more MLAs resigned bringing down the numbers with the ruling alliance to 12.
While some Congress leaders in the UT have joined BJP and there is talk of more joining, BJP leaders said such decisions were yet to be taken by top leadership.
“There are many who are joining BJP and we want to expand our party. This is our objective. We too should have a strong foundation in Puducherry. We are witnessing a pro-BJP environment in the UT which is a very healthy sign for us,” a BJP leader said.
All India NR Congress and AIADMK are BJP’s partners in the union territory. BJP has three nominated members in the assembly who can vote in a trust vote.
Karnataka is the only southern state being ruled by BJP and the party leaders are keen that they are able to form a government in the southern Union Territory.
With Narayanasamy’s resignation, Congress has lost its only government in the southern part of the country. (ANI)
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SC to start hybrid physical hearing on experimental basis from Mar 15
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The Supreme Court has decided to begin hybrid hearing (physical and virtual) on an experimental basis from March 15.
Supreme Court said a pilot basis final hearing/regular matters listed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays will be heard through hybrid mode.
The Secretary-General of the Supreme Court in a circular issued on March 5, said the Chief Justice of India SA Bobde has issued some directions and Standard Operating Procedure on commencing of the hybrid mode of hearing in the apex court amid the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic.
“On an experimental basis, and as a pilot scheme, the final hearing/regular matters listed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays may be heard in the hybrid model, as may be decided by the Bench, considering the number of parties in a matter as well as the limited capacity of the Courtrooms; all other matters, including those listed on Mondays and Fridays shall continue to be heard through video/teleconferencing mode,” the circular said.
Unless otherwise directed by the Bench, final hearing/regular matters where the number of advocates for the parties are more than the average working capacity of the Courtrooms, as per Covid-19 norms, i.e. 20 per Courtroom at any given time, shall invariably be listed for hearing through video/teleconferencing mode, it further added.
The circular said if a matter listed for hybrid hearing, the number of parties is more, then Advocate on Record (AOR) and one arguing counsel per party will be allowed entry; one registered clerk per party, as may be chosen by the AOR, shall be allowed entry to carry paper-books/journals of the counsels upto the Courtrooms.
It said that in hybrid hearing, all the counsels appearing for one party can appear either through physical presence or through video/teleconferencing.
The circular further said that wearing of a mask, frequent use of hand sanitizer and maintaining physical distancing norms is mandatory for all entrants into the Supreme Court premises, including into the Court-rooms.
Supreme Court has been hearing cases through video-conference mode for almost a year following the nation-wide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (ANI)
West Bengal Assembly polls: TMC leader Dinesh Bajaj resigns from party, set to join BJP
By Syeda Shabana Parveen
Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 6 (ANI): Weeks ahead of the polling for the first phase of West Bengal Assembly elections, Trinamool Congress leader Dinesh Bajaj resigned from his party and said he will join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Bajaj’s decision came after TMC’s announcement of its candidate for the Assembly polls.
“I will join the BJP. If BJP names me as its candidate, I will make sure that the BJP wins. People know me and they will vote for my work,” he confirmed to ANI.
He said that he has resigned from the party by sending a personal message to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee itself.
“Please accept my resignation from all the positions held in Trinamool Congress and also from the primary membership of the Trinamool Congress. I am thankful to you for giving me a chance to serve the people from 2006 to 2011 as MLA,” Bajaj stated in his message.
Bajaj said he shared a good relationship with the TMC chief and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and was waiting that this time party(TMC) will give him a chance.
Listing out the cause behind his resentment, Bajaj further said he is annoyed with the way the TMC is speaking against the Hindi speaking people and calling them “outsiders”. He also raised the issue of the TMC’s protest against ‘Jai Shri Ram’ slogan.
“The TMC government is not taking care of Hindi speaking people. They are left behind and it is humiliating the way the party is insulting and calling them outsiders.
Asked why he did not raise the matter with Banerjee, Bajaj said: “I will not say like others that I did not get a chance to speak to her. I spoke to her every day over the phone but I understand its useless. It is the time to make decisions as I was getting several offers from BJP.”
Earlier in the day, Dinesh Trivedi, who had resigned as TMC MP in Rajya Sabha on February 12, joined BJP in the presence of the party’s national president JP Nadda in New Delhi.
Several TMC leaders had earlier joined the BJP in the run-up to Assembly elections.
West Bengal Assembly elections for 294 seats will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
West Bengal is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray. (ANI)
Justice should be timely, affordable and accessible: Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) [India], March 6 (ANI): Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Saturday said that justice should be “timely, affordable and accessible”.
“The gratification of the soul derives from justice. Justice remains justified when it comes timely. So attention should be paid in the direction of how to get justice soon. Justice should be timely, affordable and accessible,” said Chouhan while addressing the All India State Judicial Academies Director’s retreat ceremony where President Ram Nath Kovind, Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and other dignitaries were present.
He cited the example of Nirav Modi, saying “London’s court has also acknowledged the esteem of Indian judiciary”.
“The judiciary owns the trust of the common people in the country. A person may have doubt that he will not get justice from the administration or the government but he never doubts the judiciary for obtaining justice. It is a matter of pride that the Indian judiciary is one of the most revered judicial systems in the world,” added the chief minister.
Chouhan further emphasised the need for the implementation of modern technologies in the functioning of the judicial system. (ANI)
Goa Cong demands State Election Commission to suspend civic polls till SC order
Panaji (Goa) [India], March 6 (ANI): Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) chief Girish Chodankar on Friday demanded the State Election Commission (SEC) to suspend the municipal election till the Supreme Court decides on the legality of the entire process.
In a letter to Goa State Election Commission, Chodankar said “The Supreme Court has only stayed the directives of the Bombay High Court and not ordered the resumption of the election process.”
He argued that the Supreme Court’s order, which was given on March 4, is applicable only for the Sanguem municipality.
“It is therefore requested of your esteemed office to accord due respect to the process of law and suspend the farcical exercise of election process till the myriad legal points in issue are deliberated and finally decided by the Supreme Court,” the Congress leader said.
“As a Constitutional authority, the State Election Commission is bound to be independent and bound to act fairly. However, with the Law Secretary of Goa having been appointed to hold charge as State Election Commissioner, it is but natural that given the sordid manner in which the announcement of the elections was done, the State Election Commission is not functioning as an independent authority, but behaving like a stooge of the Government,” he stated.
Chodankar said that the civic poll process cannot be halted and then restarted and if stopped, then the entire process has to be initiated all over again.
The elections for 11 municipal councils and the Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) will be held on March 20 and counting will be held on March 22. (ANI)
Sushant’s Case: Rhea’s lawyer terms NCB’s chargesheet as ‘damp squib’
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 6 (ANI): Advocate Satish Maneshinde, the lawyer of Rhea Chakraborty has termed the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB)’s 12,000-page charge sheet in a drug-related case having links with late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death as ‘damp squib’.
The charge sheet filed by NCB has named names 33 accused including actor Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty, sources said.
Maneshinde who also represents Showik Chakraborty, in a statement, said the 12,000-page charge sheet was expected.
“All efforts of NCB have been directed towards Rhea Chakraborty to somehow rope her in. The entire amount of “Narcotic Substances” “Recovered” against 33 accused are nothing compared to what even a constable in Mumbai Police or Narcotics Cell or the Airport Customs or other agencies recover from one raid or trap,” he said.
“The entire NCB from top to bottom was engaged in unearthing drug angle in Bollywood… There’s hardly any material against any known faces who were paraded during the investigations, I wonder why? Either the allegations were false or Only God Knows the Truth,” he added.
According to the lawyer, the charge sheet is “a damp squib standing on the foundation of inadmissible evidence and statements recorded under section 67 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.”
“The HC has found no prima facie material at the stage of Bail of alleged “Financing Drugs Trade”. We will have the Last Laugh,” he added.
The NCB filed a case in August 2020 after it received official communication from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), in which there were various chats related to drug consumption, procurement, usage, and transportation.
The ED had on July 31, 2020, registered an Enforcement Case Information Report in the late actor’s death case after a First Information Report (FIR) was filed by Rajput’s father KK Singh against Rhea Chakraborty in Bihar on July 28, last year.
Rhea Chakraborty was in a relationship with Rajput at the time of his death on June 14, 2020, when he was found dead in his bedroom. (ANI)
Delhi HC issues notice to MHA on plea seeking to disband Central IPS Association
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has issued a notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on a plea against the running of the Central Indian Police Service Association (CIPSA).
The court has directed the MHA to file an affidavit as to what action has been taken against the functioning of CIPSA.
The court issued the notice while hearing a plea seeking direction to immediately disband the said “illegal association”, freeze their bank accounts, register an FIR against the office bearers and their members as well as initiate departmental inquiries against such officers who are part of the said organization in violation of the Police Forces (Restriction of Rights) Act, 1966 as well as All India Service Rules.
The plea stated that the various members of this association are officers of the police forces, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), paramilitary forces, National Investigation Agency and the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
A single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh, in an order passed on March 3, had sought the response of the MHA along with CBI, CISF, CRPF, ITBP and others and slated the matter for May 20 for further hearing in the matter.
29 petitioners in the matters who knocked the doors are themselves serving and retired officers in various paramilitary forces. Advocate Ankur Chhibber appeared for the petitioner and submitted that they have repeatedly made representations to the MHA to take action against the said association. However, no action has been taken, the petitioner submitted.
The high court noted the reference made in a CIC order dated January 7, 2021 that the MHA has taken a specific position that this association is not a recognised association.
The plea stated that on the representation of one the petitioner, CIC communicated that “MHA has not recognised or approved Central IPS Association (CIPSA), hence, Police-I Division, Ministry of Home Affairs has no comments to offer in the matter.”
The petitioner, through this plea, has prayed for quashing the order dated January 7, 2021.
The petitioner has alleged that the respondents (despite admitting that the MHA has not recognised or approved the Central IPS association) has not taken any action against the erring officers and has simply disposed of the representation by stating that the ministry has no comments to offer in the matter.
The petitioners have prayed for the court’s direction, directing the respondents to immediately disband the said illegal association, freeze their bank accounts, register an FIR against the office bearers and their members as well as initiate departmental inquiries against such officers who are part of the said organization in violation of the Police Forces (Restriction of Rights) Act, 1966 as well as All India Service Rules. (ANI)
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