The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre on a plea seeking direction to the Centre and State governments to take stringent steps to control fraudulent religious conversion. A bench comprising of Justices M R Shah and Krishna Murari issued notices to the Union of India, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Law and Justice. The top court asked the parties to file a reply by November 14.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking direction to the Centre and states to take stringent steps to control fraudulent religious conversion by “intimidation, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits”. Upadhyay submitted that this is a nationwide problem that must be tackled immediately.
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Asha Parekh to be conferred with Dadasaheb Phalke Award
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Singh Thakur on Tuesday announced that the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for the year 2020 would be accorded to legendary actress Asha Parekh.
A jury comprising of veteran singer Asha Bhosle, award-winning singer Udit Narayan, veteran actress Poonam Dhillon, actor-turned-MP Hema Malini, and Kannada director-producer TS Nagabharana came to this decision. Thakur, while making this announcement in Hamirpur, said “it is a matter of pride for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to announce this prestigious award for the veteran actress.”
Asha Parekh is a renowned film actress, director, producer, and accomplished Indian classical dancer. Starting her career as a child actor, she made her debut as a lead heroine in Dil Deke Dekho and has gone on to act in over 95 movies. She has acted in celebrated films like Kati Patang, Teesri Manzil, Love in Tokyo, Aya Saawan Jhoom Ke, Aan Milo Sajna, and Mera Gaon Mera Desh.
SC Constitution bench to hear plea on day-to-day basis over control of services
The Supreme Court’s Constitution Bench will hear on 9 November the plea of the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government on the contentious issue of who should control administrative services in the city over the transfers and postings of officers in the national capital.
A five-judge Constitution bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, MR Shah, Krishna Murari, Hima Kohli, and PS Narasimha asked the parties to complete the compilation of papers in the case meanwhile, and it will start day-to-day hearings from November 9. “List it on 9 November, at 10:30 a.m. The hearing shall proceed from day to day,” said the bench in its order. Earlier, the apex court bench said that this will be a complete green bench and there will be no papers in this matter.
“Don’t circulate any paper compilations.
We want this bench to be a green bench,” Justice Chandrachud had said.
The top court had said that to make counsels acquainted with technology in the legal proceedings, training would be conducted over the weekend.
No commercial activities within 500 metres of Taj Mahal: Supreme court
The Supreme Court has directed the Agra Development Authority to immediately stop all commercial activities within a 500-metre radius of the peripheral wall of the iconic Taj Mahal.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and AS Oka told the Agra Development Authority to ensure compliance with its order in relation to the 17th-century white marble mausoleum. The order of the apex court came while hearing an application seeking direction to the authorities to prohibit commercial activities within the 500-metre radius of the historic mausoleum.
In its order, the top court said, “We allow the prayer that reads– Direct the Agra Development Authority to remove all business activities within 500 metres from the boundary/peripheral wall of the monument Taj Mahal, which shall be in tune with Article 14 of the Constitution of India.”
The 500-metre radius around the monument is a no-construction zone, aside from strict regulations on vehicular movement. There is also a ban on the burning of wood near the monument and municipal solid waste and agriculture waste in the entire area.
The bench took on board the submissions of senior advocate ADN Rao, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae, that it would be in the interest of the protected monument to issue directions barring all commercial activities near the Taj Mahal.
The application was filed by a group of shop owners who had been allotted an area outside the 500-metre radius to run their businesses. They told the court that illegal business activities are being carried out near the Taj Mahal, which is in gross violation of the previous orders of the top court.
The top court is seized of the matter filed in 1984 related to the protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1631, and its surroundings.
Environmentalist MC Mehta had filed the plea pertaining to the protection of the Taj Mahal, the fragile ecosystem surrounding it, and construction in the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ), an “eco-sensitive area” having four world heritage sites, including the Taj Mahal. The mausoleum is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Delhi court grants bail to 3 accused for impersonating NEET-UG candidates
The Rouse Avenue court in the national capital has granted bail to three accused arrested for allegedly impersonating actual candidates to help them in the NEET entrance test for undergraduate medical courses.
Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Deepak Kumar, while granting bail to three accused in the case on Monday, also slammed the CBI’s Investigation Officer and said, “It appears that the investigation in the present case is being conducted at the whims and fancies of the IO (Investigating Officer) without any supervision by his superior officers.” The court said, “Till date, literally no investigation has been conducted on the actual candidates who had been impersonated by the co-accused persons in the present case FIR by appearing in the NEET-UG Exam, 2022, on July 17. Only investigation has been conducted on Arshad Malik and Smriti Rai, who were the actual candidates, and on Arvind Kumar Rai, i.e., the father of Smriti Rai, who was supposed to appear in the NEET-UG Exam, 2022.”
The court further pointed out that “no investigation has been conducted qua the hawala operators as disclosed in the statement of accused Pappu Singh, and no effort has been made by the IO to locate, trace, or seize the computer system from which he allegedly used to take the printouts of the morphed pictures sent to him by co-accused Sushil Ranjan.”
The ACMM, while granting bail to three accused, noted that, “Considering the aforesaid facts and circumstances, including a period of judicial custody of the accused and grant of regular bail to co-accused persons, lapses as pointed out above, and also considering that the investigation is complete qua them as nothing is required to be recovered from them or at their instance.”
HC restrains AAP leaders from making defamatory allegations against L-G Saxena
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday passed an interim injunction that asked the Aam Aadmi Party and its leaders to take down “defamatory” content against Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena and said these have been made in a reckless manner, without any factual verification.
The court asked AAP and its leaders to refrain from posting any defamatory or factually incorrect tweets, re-tweets, hashtags, or videos of press conferences against Lieutenant Governor V.K. Saxena and his family. The court viewed various statements, interviews, press conferences, tweets, re-tweets, and hashtags made by the AAP leaders.
The AAP leaders had accused Saxena of corrupt practices during demonetisation, following which the Delhi LG had approached the court seeking an injunction that restrained the AAP leaders, including Durgesh Pathak, Saurabh Bhardwaj, Atishi Marlena, Sanjay Singh, and Jasmine Shah, from further levelling allegations against him.
“On a prima facie view, the various statements, interviews, press conferences, tweets, re-tweets, and hashtags made by the defendants are per se defamatory.
The same have been made in a reckless manner, without any factual verification, in order to tarnish the reputation of the plaintiff,” the court observed.
The court said it cannot be denied that the reputation of a person is earned over years and that it cannot be tarnished by any other individual in a casual manner.
Home Secretary chairs meeting with Telangana, AP senior officials
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Tuesday chaired a crucial meeting with senior officials of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh over unsettled matters of the Reorganisation of Andhra Pradesh Act 2014.
The meeting started here around 11 am in the Home Ministry with Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar and Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Sameer Sharma along with some higher officials of both the states. Official’s privy to the move told ANI that the agenda of the meeting was divided between the discussion on bilateral and other issues.
The agenda of the meeting has seven significant issues, like division of companies and corporations, bifurcation of state institutions, apportionment of institutions not mentioned anywhere in the Act, division of Andhra Pradesh State Finance Corporation (APSFC), division of Singareni Collieries Company Ltd (SCCL) and Andhra Pradesh Heavy Machinery Engineering Ltd (APHMEL).
Besides, the bilateral issues included a division of cash and bank balance (funds under Centrally Sponsored Schemes or Expenditure on Common Institutions or public debt pertaining to Externally Aided Projects), Cash Credit amount due to Andhra Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (APSCSCL) from Telangana State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (TSCSCL) and release of Rice Subsidy for 2014-15 by M/o CA, F&PD to APSCSCL.
Other issues on the agenda of the meeting are tax incentives [Section 94 (1) and (2) of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, development grant for seven backward districts of the state covering Rayalaseema and North Coastal Region, resource gap, removal of anomaly in taxation matters [Section 50, 51 and 56].
The agenda also mentions Central Support for the creation of a new capital city, the establishment of educational institutions, and the establishment of rapid rail connectivity from the new capital.
The officials of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh linked to revenue, expenditure, finance, education, agriculture and many other departments participated in the meeting.
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