After Speaker C.P. Joshi, Rajasthan Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi has moved the Supreme Court against the 24 July Rajasthan High Court order which asked the Assembly Speaker to defer disqualification proceedings against former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other rebel MLAs.
The plea states, “The HC order is ex-facie unconstitutional, illegal and in the teeth of the law laid down by this court in 1992 verdict in the case of Kihoto Hollohan.”
Two days ago, Rajasthan Speaker Joshi had moved the SC against Rajasthan HC’s order to stay disqualification proceedings against former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other rebel MLAs. In his petition, the Rajasthan Speaker had stated that the matter of whether non-attendance of meeting and criticism of the original party constitute grounds for disqualification or not is for the sole consideration of the Speaker, who is yet to decide on particular facts and circumstances of each petitioner, which will be done on a case-to-case basis. The petition had said: “Whether the conduct of the respondent-MLAs tantamount to democratic dissent or floor crossing, and not defection, is a question of fact that only the Speaker as the ‘persona designata’ under the anti-defection law can decide.”
It also said that it was inadvisable for the High Court to embark upon on such a fact-finding expedition in its writ jurisdiction. The plea also urged SC to ensure that the HC does not cross the “Lakshman Rekha” drawn by the SC in the Kihoto Hollohan case, which decisively barred judicial interference in pending disqualification proceedings.
On 27 July, the SC had allowed Rajasthan Assembly Speaker Joshi to withdraw his petition against the Rajasthan HC’s order which postponed disqualification proceedings against former Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot and 18 other rebel MLAs. Appearing for the Speaker, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal informed the Justice Arun Mishra-led bench that the Rajasthan HC had passed a fresh order on July 24, which had raised several other issues including interpretation of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution. In view of a detailed 32-page order by the HC, the Speaker is likely to weigh his legal options on what he will do next.
On 24 July, the Rajasthan High Court had ordered status quo to be maintained in the disqualification case against Sachin Pilot and 18 rebel Congress MLAs, which meant no action can be taken against the former Rajasthan Deputy CM and other rebel Congress leaders for now since Speaker Joshi can›t act on disqualification notices issued on 14 July.
The HC also agreed to Pilot camp MLA Prithviraj Meena›s request to include Centre as a party to the case, since the Tenth Schedule’s constitutional validity was under challenge and no order could possibly be passed without hearing the Centre. The HC had pointed out 13 questions which will have to be decided in the case now.
The Rajasthan High Court also heard a petition filed by Sachin Pilot and 18 rebel Congress MLAs against the disqualification notice issued by the Assembly Speaker to disqualify them as MLAs. The petition stated: “None of the petitioners herein have either by express conduct or implied conduct, indicated to the members of their constituencies and/or the public at large of their intention to leave or voluntary give up the membership of Indian National Congress.” The petition junked the allegations as baseless and said that the petitioners had no intention to voluntarily give up membership of the Congress.
Sushant case: Demand for CBI probe in Bihar assembly
The matter was raised by BJP legislator Neeraj Bablu in the Lower House, gets support from RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.
The issue of alleged suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput reverberated in both houses of the Bihar Assembly on Monday and the demand for a CBI probe was raised. The matter was raised by Neeraj Bablu in the Assembly, who is a cousin of Sushant Singh Rajput and a BJP MLA. He indicated at a deep-rooted conspiracy behind the actor’s “suicide” and demanded that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should immediately recommend a CBI probe into the matter.
Neeraj Bablu raised concern at the way the investigating team from Bihar which has gone to Mumbai for investigations was being treated. He said the team was deliberately being targeted and the IPS officer was unnecessarily being quarantined to conceal facts and “hide prominent names behind the murder of Sushant Singh Rajput.”
The BJP MLA got support from unexpected quarters in the Vidhan Sabha, when RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav (leader of Opposition) stood up in his support and said that he was with Sushant’s family right from the beginning and wanted the matter to be investigated thoroughly.
He said, “RJD wants a thorough investigation in the case and I have even written a letter to CM Nitish Kumar for the same. I also demand that the film city being developed in Rajgir should be named after Sushant Singh Rajput.”The matter was also raised in the Upper House.
On the other hand, sharp reactions have also come from CM Nitish Kumar on the issue.
Talking to media he said, “Whatever has taken place is wrong. This is not a political issue but a legal issue and the Bihar Police is just complying with its legal responsibility.”
He indicated that the Bihar DGP is looking into the matter and is in consultations with relevant people on the other side.
Sharp reactions also came from the DGP of the state, Guptehwar Pandey, and he hinted that the IPS officer was on official trip to Mumbai and that the relevant authorities on the other side were also informed about the way Vinay Tiwari was quarantined was not in consonance with law. The Patna IG would be sending a protest letter to the BMC for the same.
No cash transfer, says Mumbai Police chief
Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said that the Mumbai Police has gone through the accounts of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput and are yet to find anything suspicious. The investigating officials are however continuing with their probe, he said.
“The FIR filed by Bihar Police says that Rs 15 crore were siphoned off from Sushant’s account. During our probe, we found that he had Rs 18 crore in his account of which around Rs 4.5 crore are still there. Till now no direct transfer to Rhea Chakraborty’s account has been found,” said Singh.
Singh also said that members of the actor’s family, including his father, three sisters and brother-in-law had given their statements to the police on 16 June, in which they didn’t raise any suspicions or allege foul play. However,
Rajput’s father has lodged a police complaint against actor Rhea Chakraborty and her family in Patna on 28 July in which he has expressed his lack of faith in the investigation being conducted by the Mumbai Police.
“Till now, the statements of 56 people have been recorded. Every possible angle is being investigated, be it a professional rivalry, financial transactions or health,” said Singh. “It has come to surface that he (Sushant) had bipolar disorder and was undergoing treatment and taking medicines for it. But what circumstances led to his death is the subject of our investigation,” he added.
The Mumbai Police chief further asserted that Rajput used to search for terms like “painless death”, “schizophrenia” and “bipolar disorder” on Google, as well as look up articles and his own name on the Internet. He also stated that there was no party held at Sushant Singh Rajput’s residence on 13 June. The actor had been found hanging from the ceiling of his Bandra residence on 14 June.
Haryana the first state to have a college within radius of 15 km
CHANDIGARH : Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal on Monday gave approval to set up 11 new colleges in the state. With this, Haryana has become the first state in the country to have a college within a radius of 15 km. The CM announced the setting up of these colleges at Morni Hills in Panchkula, Isharwal in Bhiwani, Goriwala in Sirsa, Firozpur Jhirka in Nuh, Chhatar in Jind, Ladna Chaku and Rajaund in Kaithal. New colleges will be opened at Pratap Nagar in Yamunanagar, Agroha in Hisar and Bhainswal Kalan, and Baroda in Sonepat district.
Stating that imparting education is a great gift, the CM said that 97 new colleges have been opened in the last 5 years whereas in the last 48 years only 75 colleges were opened.
“The new National Education Policy has also been announced recently which aims to enhance the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education to 50% by 2030, which presently stands at 32%”. NEP 2020 will be effective in achieving the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat,” he added further.
Khattar also said that the country’s first Skill Development University has been opened in the state in Dudhola, Palwal district. Haryana’s Minister for Education Kanwar Pal said, “A plan had been prepared to open 1,000 playschools in the state even before the arrival of New Education Policy.
Haryana has set an example by conducting online classes during Covid-19 and is among the leading states after Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. The focus is being laid on improving the health and education of children. Along with higher education, 98 Sanskriti Model Schools are also being opened in the state.”
Sushant’s father ends silence, exposes Mumbai Police’s laxity
As the tussle between Mumbai and Patna police continues, late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s father has finally broken his silence on the matter for the first time. In a video message, which is now taking social media by a storm, Sushant’s father has claimed that he had informed Bandra police on 25 February that his son was in danger and asked them to take action against people named in his complaint. But, even after 40 days of his demise, no action was taken. This is the reason he went ahead to file FIR in Patna. He further thanked the Bihar CM and the police force for their cooperation.
The statement especially comes at a high point when the probe on Sushant’s case is getting murkier each passing day. Following the “forceful home quarantine” of a Bihar police officer, who had arrived in Mumbai to probe the case, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar earlier in the day said that the Bihar DGP would speak with the authorities in Maharashtra.
BMC, on the other hand, defended its stance by citing “state government guidelines”. It said that the cop was just asked to follow precautionary guidelines on domestic travel.
Reacting to the same, the Bihar DGP responded that they examined the quarantine guidelines and it appears that the quarantine was not needed. The official went there after informing and requesting for accommodation and vehicle, not secretly. Emphasising that the cop could have been exempted from protocol, he further added that Patna IG would be writing to BMC chief on the matter.
Punjab CM lauds farmers for crop diversification
CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday lauded the state’s farmers for successful diversification of nearly 2.28 lakh hectares area out of the traditional paddy cultivation cycle in the current kharif sowing season.
The success of the farmers in their diversification efforts, even amid the Covid-19 pandemic, has also been recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmer’s Welfare, Government of India. The diversification across 2.28 lakh hectares will help save nearly 2.7 billion cubic metres of ground water and about Rs 200 crore power consumption in the state, thus supporting the Punjab government’s efforts to preserve the scarce water resources, said Captain Amarinder.
While reviewing the sowing activities in the state on Monday, the Chief Minister said that despite migratory labour shortage in the ongoing kharif season, the state has not only completed its kharif sowing but has also continued to fulfil its objective of diversification even in these difficult times.
The CM directed the ACS Development to accord top priority to diversification of agriculture, particularly in the light of the diminishing returns on farmer’s produce. ACS Development Anirudh Tiwari informed the CM that Basmati sowing has been completed across 6.5 lakh hectares, against 6.3 lakh hectares last year. It is expected that acreage under Basmati will touch about 6.75 to 7 lakh hectares in Punjab this year.
Punjab hooch tragedy: Death toll mounts to 108
CHANDIGARH: Amid strict instructions from Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to further step up investigations into the hooch tragedy, the Punjab Police on Monday apprehended 12 more people, including two businessmen, and have launched a manhunt for eight others. Meanwhile, the death toll in the tragedy has gone up to 108, with 82 deaths in Tarn Taran and 13 each in Amritsar and Batala. With the latest arrests, the total number has gone up to 37, including five kingpins of the illicit liquor mafia that spanned several districts of the state.
According to DGP Dinkar Gupta, a manhunt has been launched for 8 more identified accused, including the Ludhiana-based paint shop owner, Rajesh Joshi, who is believed to be a key player in the mafia chain.
Investigations are also in progress to identify other links, he said, adding that efforts are being done to identify the various supply routes across districts.
The DGP said raids were still continuing adding that initial investigations indicate that Gobinder, Ravinder, Darshana Rani, Triveni Chowhan and, Harpreet Singh were among the key accused in the case, and their links with other major mafia gang members were being ascertained. “Nobody should be spared”, said Captain Amarinder, even as the Punjab Police launched a departmental inquiry against the 2 DSPs and four SHOs suspended for negligence. The magisterial inquiry ordered by the Chief Minister is also probing the involvement of all suspects, as well as the 6 police and 7 Excise & Taxation Officers whose suspension was ordered by the CM on Saturday.
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