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SC refuses to remove ex-DGP from Dubey encounter probe panel

Ashish Sinha

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Can’t look at one part of the statement and question integrity,” observed the Chief Justice of India while dismissing two petitions seeking removal of former DGP K.L. Gupta from the Justice Chauhan-led Commission probing the 2 July killing of eight policemen at Bikru and subsequent encounter killings of Vikas Dubey and his four associates.

Appearing for Uttar Pradesh government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta highlighted the point made to the press where Gupta commented about the need for a “magisterial inquiry” and that “there is no controversy”.

The CJI asked petitioner Ghanshyam Upadhyay if he felt that the ex-DGP supported the encounter killing. CJI said: “Ex-DGP took a balanced view where he said police found that guilty will be punished. We cannot entertain this based on an apprehension.”

Upadhyay argued that the statement made by K.L. Gupta in Hindi “to present a complete picture” established that having him in the commission will make the inquiry “biased”. The petitioner-inperson advocate Anoop Prakash Awasthi also submitted that the ex-DGP on 10 July had told a news agency “police version must be accepted on face value”.

However, the CJI said, “There is an SC judge and an HC judge also on the panel. The inquiry commission will not be vitiated because of one officer in a trial. Also, you first take the chargesheet and accept it. Accepting doesn’t mean you believe it… A rightminded person who reads the while statement will not believe this man is biased. How can this plea be entertained?”

The Supreme Court was hearing an application filed by Awasthi seeking to reconstitute the enquiry commission set up by the court to probe into the genuineness of the encounter killing of UP gangster Vikas Dubey. Petitioner had urged the top court to replace ex-DGP Gupta with some other ex-DGP from the state, imputing allegations of bias.

Earlier the SC had approved an appointment of a three-member commission headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan along with former Allahabad High Court judge Shashi Kant Agarwal and exDGP K.L. Gupta.

Seeking a report from the commission within two months, the apex court had emphasised “why Dubey was out on bail or parole despite so many criminal cases against him is the single most important factor of the entire matter”.

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TOBACCO COMPANIES MOCKING AT GUIDELINES IN HARYANA

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The Central along with the state government has set up and issued a certain set of guidelines for the tobacco companies. But it came to the surface that tobacco companies are mocking the rules. Despite the ban on advertisements of tobacco products, the manufacturing companies continue to do so which is a matter of serious concern requiring the state government to take stern action against the violators. The aforesaid is revealed by a study conducted by Maharishi Dayanand University ( MDU) Rohtak in collaboration with Environment Sustainability Management (ESM) sale.

The joint report of both institutions showcased that the tobacco companies are selling to children below the age of 8 years in an organised manner which is a serious offence. What is of utmost importance to state is that more than 98 percent sale centers display cigarettes along with candies, chocolates, and toffees to promote tobacco products. Thus, the findings of the report indicate the violation of Prohibition of advertisements of cigarettes and other tobacco products section 5 and prohibition on the sale of cigarettes or other tobacco products to persons below the age of 18 years and in a particular area.

In this series, it is worth mentioning that a program was also conducted jointly by both institutions to provide information about the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA) 2003 which permits the tobacco companies to decide the points of sale as well as the target groups for their products.

The report showed that tobacco products, namely cigarettes and Bidi, were displayed near the educational institutions along with sweets and candy to attract the school children.

Doctor Rita Kotwal, Deputy Director, Public Health and State Nodal Officer, NPTC said that it is a matter of serious concern and alarming situation as the tobacco selling companies continue to breach the norms to woo persons below the age of 18 years. In order to keep children and adolescents away from tobacco use, the tobacco control action should be implemented strictly in the state. It is evident from the prevailing scenario that tobacco companies are leaving no stone unturned to woo the school-going children, requiring the concerned bodies as well as the state health department to come up with a foolproof strategy to tighten the noose around the neck of those breaching the norms.

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‘Articles 370, 35-A weren’t useless footnotes written in opaque legalese’

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Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday took on the Union Government on decisions taken on August 5, 2019 saying Articles 370, 35-A were not useless footnotes written in unfathomable legalese.

Omar is on an extensive tour of the Jammu region and has been addressing public gatherings in the Pir Panjal range on a daily basis. On Sunday he was addressing a party rally in Doda.

“The discriminatory approach of the center towards Jammu and Kashmir smacks of some vengeance towards the people. One is at its wits end to understand what the center is up to in Jammu and Kashmir. It remains a mystery for us as to why this government is desperate in its handling of the people of J&K and Ladakh? Why is Ladakh allowed to retain resident certificates? Why not such protections for the residents of Jammu, Kashmir, Doda, Kistawar Pir Panjal? Such iniquitous measures smack of some out of sight designs of helmsmen in New Delhi,” Omar said adding “Unlike Ladakh, the flood gates have been left open for non-locals to apply for government jobs and own land in Jammu and Kashmir.”

Where are the jobs for youth? Where is the much touted accountability and projected investment? Weren’t the people of Jammu, Kashmir, Chenab and Pir Panjal region poised to have job extravaganza for our youth? Where is the new infrastructure on ground? Where are those investment drives? We didn’t see Tata and Birla invest in Jammu and Kashmir after the nullification of the state’s status. Where is it?” Omar said adding, “The claims of the BJP government that the abrogation of Article 370 and downgrading of a State into two union territories has paved the way for new industries, created new employment opportunities, decreased terror incidents, brought atmosphere of peace and security, nurtured democracy, eradicated corruption, brought new Central laws for betterment of people in this region are far-fetched. The ground situation belies these claims.”

Omar said that Chenab and Pir Panjal regions have been completely relegated to oblivion post 2019.

Situation in Doda, Kistawar, Ramban and other towns and cities of Chenab region, Omar rued is no different and the region, which had been rescinded from the development radar of the government post 2015, received a fatal blow to its developmental prospectus. “Jobs for youth, connectivity, electricity, health and education in this region have taken a back seat in the region since 2015. Post 2019 the region has completely been relegated into oblivion,” he said.

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CM Channi announces Rs 2 cr grant for Lord Parshuram Chair at Punjabi University

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Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Sunday announced to set up an exclusive research centre on three epics of Ramayana, Mahabharat and Srimad Bhagvad Geeta.

The Chief Minister, while addressing the gathering after laying foundation stone of state of art Bhagwan Parshuram Taposthal here, said that this state of the art research centre would showcase the message of these three epics. He said that since ages these epics have been source of life and inspiration for entire humanity adding that this research centre would act as a catalyst for disseminating the message of these epics amongst the masses in simplest form. CM Channi said that the state government was trying to rope in respected Shankaracharya ji for this ambitious project.

The Chief Minister further said that the state government would develop the Taposthan of Bhagwan Parshuram ji as a state of the art architectural marvel. He said that cheque of Rs 10 crore has already been handed over to the district administration and more funds whenever needed will be sent accordingly. CM Channi also said that RS 75 lakh would be spent on development of place related to Mata Renuka ji, the mother of Lord Parshuram ji.

The Chief Minister also said that in order to ensure proper care of the stray cattle in the state, the Brahmin Welfare Board would be entrusted this task. He said that funds would be provided to the board for proper upkeep of the stray cattle. CM Channi said that it’s the need of hour to solve this one of the major social problem.

Evoking the example of Mahabharat to make a scathing attack on the Akalis, the Chief Minister said that the Kauravas were ruined due to puttar moh (love for son) of King Dhritraashtra. In the same manner he said that Akalis were in shambles due to the love of Akali stalwart Parkash Singh Badal for his son. CM Channi said that Mahabharat is a treatise regarding the statecraft and is still relevant today adding that poor situation of Akali Dal is an example of it.

Slamming Aam Aadmi Party Supremo Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister said that Delhi Chief Minister is groping in dark for fulfilling his lust of power. He said that besides being an outsider Kejriwal is a rumour monger who knows nothing about state but pokes his nose in every thing. CM Channi said that such type of cheap politics would never be successful in the state.

The Chief Minister said that he was fortunate that Congress leadership has bestowed him this service to serve the state. He said that he was working to resolve the issues that are faced by every common man of the state.

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PROXIES CREATED TO HELP BJP JUSTIFY DECISIONS OF AUG 5, ALLEGES MEHBOOBA

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Former chief minister and People’s Democratic Party president, Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said that the aim of “proxy parties” created by the BJP in Jammu and Kashmir is to make the unconstitutional decision of August 05, 2019 as constitutional decision through them in the assembly.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a party convention in Bandipora, she said that the policy of BJP has been to create division among regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir. “First they attacked PDP and created ‘proxy parties’, which everyone knows. Then they created division within NC in Jammu and made those leaders to directly join the BJP,” she said.

Mehbooba said that now there is a division in the Congress party as well and to her knowledge this division is not happening on its own, but is being done by the BJP. “”BJP wants to create two factions in the Congress party here as well and want to use them separately,” she said.

Replying to a question, she said that election will be held one day or the other, but she has a doubt that the way they are creating division among the regional parties in Jammu and Kashmir, their only aim is that in the coming assembly election they will make those people reach the assembly who will help them to make the unconstitutional decision of August 05, 2019 as a constitutional decision through assembly.

“They will make those people, who are their proxies, to reach the assembly and through them they will make the unconstitutional decision of August 05, 2019 as constitutional and right decision. But I have full faith that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are well aware of these proxies and they understand which parties are their own parties, which parties will defend their rights and which parties will deceive them,” she said.

Mehbooba said that the aim these new parties is only to make unconstitutional decisions of August 05, 2019 as constitutional decisions.

It is worth mention here that most of the founder members of the PDP have left the party and joined Apni Party floated by once close aide of Mufti Syed, Mohammad Altaf Bukhari. Bukhari was finance minister in the PDP led regime and after parting ways, he has taken away most of the leaders.

Also Sajjad Gani Lone’s Peoples Conference has managed to rope in some new faces either new entrants in politics or former members of PDP.

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MAMATA, ABHISHEK TO ATTEND TMC WORKING COMMITTEE MEET BEFORE WINTER SESSION

Arup Kali

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KOLKATA: The Winter Session of Parliament will begin on Monday, November 29. The working committee meeting was called on Monday to decide on the issues to be discussed by the Trinamool Congress camp in this session. Top leaders of the party including party leader Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee will be present at the meeting. Leaders from other states who have joined the Trinamool may also be present.

The meeting was held at the Chief Minister’s residence in Kalighat. Meanwhile, it has been learned that the Trinamool MPs will not attend the all-party meeting convened by the Congress tomorrow because of this meeting.

All the 21 members of the Trinamool Congress working committee have been summoned to the meeting tomorrow. It is learned that this meeting will decide the direction of the TMC in politics at the national level. The way, the TMC emerged at the national level after great results in this year’s Assembly elections, the winter session is crucial for the party. The party will be vocal on some issues in the parliament, the meeting will take a call.

Lately, several new faces have appeared in the TMC. Leaders such as former Goa chief minister Lujinho Faleiro to former Assam Congress leader Sushmita Deb have joined TMC.

Last week, former BJP MP Kirti Azad and former JD (U) leader Pawan Burma also joined the party. Among them are Lujinho Faleiro and Sushmita Dev, members of the Rajya Sabha, and Lujinho has become a member of the working committee. It is learned that these new faces will also be seen in the working committee meeting tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the anti-BJP alliance formed in the last session led by the Congress has also started cracking. The Trinamool will not attend the all-party meeting convened by the Congress ahead of the upcoming winter session of Parliament. According to party sources, the Trinamool will not attend any meeting congress called. There is no question of coordination with the Congress in the winter session of Parliament. The Trinamool will not even send a representative to the meeting of opposition leaders called by any Congress MP.

Sources are saying that the Goa leaders of the Trinamool Congress do not want any direct talks with the Congress. Because, a few months later, the assembly are to be held elections in Goa. And there the Congress is fighting against the BJP as well as the TMC. And so the grassroots leaders in Delhi have to avoid any meeting called by the Congress before the winter session of Parliament. 

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HIGH-PROFILE DEFECTIONS LEAVE CONGRESS HOLLOW

Some Congress leaders who want to be unmanned feel that the TMC may emerge as a challenge for the Congress’s opposition space and this ruckus is helping the BJP.

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The defection of leaders from the Indian National Congress (INC) has shaken the grand-old party and has led to speculation among the workers about the threat to its opposition space in view of the Trinamool Congress trying to grab it. In the last week, leaders from Meghalaya, Bihar, Haryana, and Goa joined the TMC which is trying to expand its national footprints at the cost of the Congress party. Within the last few days, Kriti Azad (a three-term Lok Sabha member from Bihar), Ashok Tanwar (former Haryana Congress chief and Lok Sabha member) and 12 Member of Legislative Assembly from Meghalaya under the leadership of former Chief Minister of Meghalaya and Congress Legislature Party leader Mukul M. Sangma has left the Congress.

The Congress circles in New Delhi were abuzz that the Congress high command tried hard to bury differences in the Meghalaya unit but the pressure of high command did not yield the desired results. In November itself, the high command had called former Chief Minister of Meghalaya and Congress Legislature Party leader Mukul M. Sangma and state Congress head Vincent H. Pala to the national capital to bury the hatchet.

Some Congress leaders who want to be unmanned feel that the TMC may emerge as a challenge for the Congress’s opposition space and this ruckus is helping the BJP by these moves.

However, many party leaders feel that the defection would not affect the party. Talking to The Daily Guardian, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Rajya Sabha member, and senior Congress leader said, “In North-East we all know that the leaders leave the struggling party. As far as the TMC is concerned it is a Bengal-based regional party, it has no impact elsewhere. We are a national party and the bypoll results have shown that we are improving and challenging the BJP.” Ground-level Congress workers echo the same sentiment.

Shams Shahnawaz, youth Congress spokesperson who had been actively working for the party said, “ Indian National Congress is a very large party. Those who were leaving the party didn’t want to struggle, they wanted everything on a platter. The party gave them everything when it was in power. Kriti Azad was given major responsibility in Delhi and Mukul Sangma was made CM. But, now when the time to struggle has arrived, they have shown their real face. I would argue it’s good for the party as new leaders will emerge through struggle and raising people’s issues.”

After joining the TMC, former Meghalaya chief minister Mukul M. Sangma said that the Congress has failed to make any marks as the “main opposition” of the country. He added, “Congress has failed to play the role of the main opposition party in the country. We have decided to merge with the Trinamool Congress, a complete sense of commitment towards serving the people has brought us to take this decision. In the 2018 Assembly elections, we were confident of forming the government but we could not. Again, post the election, there were activities to poach our members. This group of 17 collectively demonstrated our commitment…the commitment towards the state has superseded everything else… We are failing in our duty as far as the role of the opposition is concerned,”.

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