Delhi Court to announce verdict tomorrow in MJ Akbar's defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani - The Daily Guardian
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Delhi Court to announce verdict tomorrow in MJ Akbar’s defamation case against journalist Priya Ramani

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New Delhi [India], February 9 (ANI): A Delhi Court is set to pronounce the Judgement tomorrow in a criminal defamation case filed against journalist Priya Ramani by former Union Minister MJ Akbar.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey will pronounce the Judgement on Wednesday. The court recently had kept the judgement reserved after both of the parties concluded the final arguments in the matter.
Defending her case, Ramani’s lawyer and Senior Advocate Rebecca John urged the court to acquit her client while Akbar’s lawyer and Senior Advocate Geeta Luthra stressed that Akbar image was tarnished due to allegation levelled by Ramani.
Senior Advocate John told the court that Ramani’s Twitter account was deactivated and can be activated on the court’s direction.
Senior Advocate John also questioned that the complainant for not filing any
a single application to direct her client to reactivate her Twitter account.
Senior Advocate Luthra said that if Ramani makes a defamatory statement after so many years, then it is her onus to prove the truth.
MJ Akbar, while advancing her final argument had questioned Journalist Priya Ramani and said she has destroyed evidence in the defamation case against her by deleting her Twitter account, which is a criminal offence.
MJ Akbar, the former Minister of State for External Affairs, had filed a defamation case against the journalist Priya Ramani for accusing him of sexual misconduct.
Ramani was the first woman to accuse Akbar of sexual harassment during the #MeToo campaign. The allegations levelled against him forced him to resign from the Union Cabinet on 17 October 2018. (ANI)

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NHRC reiterates its recommendations to Uttar Pradesh govt, calls for compliance report in Moradabad gang-rape case

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to submit the proof of payment to the victim of a gang rape in Moradabad, which it had sanctioned on the recommendations of the Commission but apparently not released.
The Commission, reiterating its recommendations on February 23 has called for a compliance report within four weeks.
Ensure deployment of women police officers in all police stations, and share a list of police stations where there is no woman police officer; Take disciplinary action against the erring police officers; Register case u/s 166A IPC against police personnel, who did not register case on allegation of rape.
The Commission had registered the case on the basis of a complaint that some men of her locality, under the jurisdiction of Police Station Civil Lines of Moradabad district, had barged into her house on November 18, 2018, while she was alone. She was tied up, gang raped and tortured by them in the broad daylight before leaving the house.
On hearing her groans, a person reached the house and set her free. Thereafter, when she was taken to the Police Station, Civil Lines to report the matter, she was made to wait till midnight but no FIR was registered.
During the course of the inquiry, through its Investigation Division, the Commission found out that the police did not register the case or take action on the victim’s complaint. The case was registered only after the intervention of the court. This caused a one to one and a half months delay in the registration of the case by the Police, it said.
The Commission observed that this delay led to the destruction of vital evidence of the case. This act of negligence of police officials violated the human rights of the victim for which the state government is vicariously liable. Therefore, a notice under section 18 of The Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 was issued to the Uttar Pradesh government through its Chief Secretary, to show cause why Rs 2,00,000 should not be recommended to be paid as a relief to the victim.
In response, the report of the Government of Uttar Pradesh said that the victim’s complaint dated November 25, 2018 was received by the PS Civil Lines on December 12, 2018. Thereafter, an investigation started.
The report further stated that in the interim, the complainant filed an application under section 156(3) CrPC in the court.
On the directions of the court, an FIR was registered against the six accused persons. After investigation, final report dated February 6, 2019, was submitted before the court. The complainant also filed a protest petition against the final report. Again, on the directions of the Court, the matter was re-investigated and the final report was submitted in the Court.
The report from the State Government has also revealed that two police officials, including the Chowki in-charge, were found negligent for not registering the FIR immediately on the complaint of the victim. Hence, the State government stated that the relief of Rs 2 lakh, as recommended by the NHRC, is allowed/sanctioned to be paid to the complainant for violation of her human rights.
However, the Commission observed that the report by the State Government was not conclusive as no inputs were provided on the actions taken by the concerned authorities on the three actionable points recommended by the Commission. The Commission has issued a reminder notice to the Uttar Pradesh government. (ANI)

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Maharashtra registers 6,397 new COVID-19 cases, 30 deaths

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 1 (ANI): Maharashtra reported 6,397 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative caseload in the state to 21,61,467.
The state saw 30 fatalities in the last 24 hours, pushing the overall death toll to 52,184, according to the state government.
The total recoveries in the state reached 20,30,458, as it registered 5,754 additional recoveries in the last 24 hours.
At present, the total number of active cases in the state stands at 77,618.
“Currently, 3,43,947 people are in home quarantine and 3,482 people are in institutional quarantine,” informed the state government.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra continues to show a surge in daily COVID-19 cases, along with five other states.
Furthermore, Maharashtra alone accounts for 46.39 per cent of India’s total active cases, followed by Kerala with 29.49 per cent.
Meanwhile, as many as 15,510 new COVID-19 cases and 106 deaths were reported in India in the last 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry informed on Monday.
With this, the total number of cases reported in the country now stands at 1,10,96,731, including 1,68,627 active cases and 1,07,86,457 recoveries. The death toll now stands at 1,57,157. (ANI)

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HC issues notice to Delhi Police on north-east Delhi violence

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to Delhi Police on a bail plea filed by Shahrukh Pathan, the man who allegedly opened fire at police personnel in February 2020 during violence in the national capital’s northeast area.
A single-judge bench of Justice Suresh Kumar Kait has asked police to file a status report and listed the matter for March 10.
According to police, after the incident in February, Pathan initially kept roaming around in the city before slipping away to Punjab and Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli, from where he was later arrested by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police.
“During investigation, Pathan revealed that the car he used belonged to his uncle’s son and that he had left the car in a garage in Haryana after it broke down,” the police official said.
In February, clashes broke out in the northeast area of Delhi between the groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act, which led to the deaths of at least 53 people.
Dozens of people were killed and hundreds of others were injured in the violence that took place in northeast Delhi between February 24 and 26 last year sparked by clashes between groups supporting and opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act. (ANI)

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BSF soldier injured in attack by miscreants in Tripura

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Agartala (Tripura) [India], March 1 (ANI): A BSF soldier was injured during an attack by miscreants in Tripura on February 27.
According to a statement, on February 27 at 4:35 am, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) party observed some suspicious movement of 8-10 miscreants approaching an unfenced area near the International Border.
On being challenged, the miscreants adopted aggressive posture and started pelting stones on the ACP party during which Constable G Sarvan sustained an injury on his head.
Sensing imminent danger to life and property, Sarvan fired 1 Pump Action Gun round, resulting in miscreants fleeing from the spot by taking advantage of darkness and undulating ground. Following this, Sarvan was evacuated to Government Hospital Sonamura, where he was administered two stitches on the backside of his head.
During a thorough search of the area, the party recovered 50 bottles of Phensedyl, valued at Rs 8,485 as unclaimed, outgoing through the unfenced area.
An FIR has been lodged in connection with the matter at the Sonamura police station. (ANI)

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War of words over Congress-ISF Bengal alliance; ‘against core ideology’ says Anand Sharma

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New Delhi [India], March 1 (ANI): Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma on Monday hit out at the party’s alliance in West Bengal with the Indian Secular Front (ISF) led by Furfura Sharif pirzada Abbas Siddiqui, stating that such tie-ups went against the party’s core ideology and, Gandhism and Nehruvian secularism.
He further stated that the Congress “cannot be selective in the fight against communalism.”
“Congress’s alliance with ISF and other such parties is against the party’s core ideology, Gandhism and Nehruvian secularism, which is the soul of the Congress party. These issues should have been discussed on the Congress Working Committee,” Sharma said in a tweet on Monday.
“We have to fight every form of communalism. The presence and support of the West Bengal Pradesh Congress President is shameful, he should make his stand clear,” the deputy leader of the Congress in the Rajya Sabha said.
Sharma was among the ‘G-23’ or group of 23 dissenting leaders who had on Saturday gathered in Jammu and talked about how the party was weakening. The 23 leaders had had expressed dissent at the functioning of the Congress party and had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi in August last year.
The stalemate between Congress and ISF continued at the first joint rally of the Left-Congress-Indian Secular Front (ISF) at Brigade parade ground in Kolkata on Sunday.
ISF chief Abbas Siddiqui applauded the Left Front for accepting his party’s demand for crucial 30 seats including Nandigram. He also made it clear that the ISF will support the Left Front.
Meanwhile, responding to Anand Sharma’s remarks while addressing reporters after a Congress-Left meeting over seat sharing for assembly polls in the state, West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury today said, “We’re in charge of a state and don’t take any decision on our own without any permission.”
Sharma’s remarks on the party’s West Bengal Congress chief came after Chowdhury earlier today said there was no direct negotiation with Indian Secular Front (ISF) yet and they want to finish seat-sharing matter with Left at the soonest.
“Talks with Left party on alliance is on. We want to finish the seat-sharing matter with the Left soonest. In 2016 we came into an alliance and this time also things are in the same continuation,” said Chowdhury.
When asked asked about ISF’s alliance, he had said, “No direct negotiation with ISF, meeting is continuing with Left. However one of our leaders spoke to them (ISF) but there has been no direct negotiation with our party.”
Polling will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 and concludes on April 29 for 294 Assembly seats in West Bengal. The counting of votes will take place on May 2. (ANI)

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‘Vote carefully’: Priyanka Gandhi warns women voters against highest crime rate in Assam

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Biswanath (Assam) [India], March 1 (ANI): Hitting out at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in poll-bound Assam, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Monday alleged that Assam has the highest crime rate against women in the country and the government has not taken any steps for its prevention.
She also noted that the upcoming assembly elections in Assam are significant for women and advised them to use their power to vote responsibly.
“Assam has the highest crime rate against women in the country. The govt has not done anything to stop crimes against women. You have the power to vote, you should use it responsibly. These elections are very important for women,” said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addressing a gathering during a public rally at Gohpur of Biswanath district.
The Congress leader also interacted with women tea garden workers and Self-Help Group (SHG) members here on Monday.
During her visit, she also paid tributes to Assamese freedom fighters and 1942 Quit India Movement martyrs — Kanaklata Barua and Mukunda Kakati.
She also posted some pictures from her visit on Twitter and wrote, “The multi-colored culture of Assam is its power. During visit to Assam, felt that people are ready with full commitment to save this multicolored culture. The Congress party is with them in the fight to save their culture and heritage.”
Earlier today, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also offered prayers at the Kamakhya Temple.
The Congress leader who launched the party’s election campaign in Assam today, will tour the state for two days.
In Assam, elections will be held in three phases, beginning from March 2. Counting of votes will take place on May 2.(ANI)

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