Archive | February, 2016

CPI(M) criticises registration of sedition case agst Yechury

Posted on 29 February 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 01st March 2016

New Delhi, Feb 29 (PTI) CPI(M) today condemned registration of a sedition case against party general secretary Sitaram Yechury and other opposition leaders over the JNU row as it raised concerns over the manner in which the sedition clause is being used.

“The politburo of CPI(M) condemns registeration of a case of sedition against Yechury and other opposition leaders. It demands withdrawal of the case against the leaders and all others named in the FIR,” the party said in a statement.

The Left party further raised concerns over the “manner in which” sedition clause (124A of IPC) is being used in the country and said the same underlines the necessity for scrapping the section.

“The politburo warns the Central Government to desist from actions which suppress democratic rights and freedom in the country by branding dissent and opposition as anti-national,” the CPI(M) added.

An FIR has been registered against Yechury, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, party leaders Anand Sharma and Ajay Maken, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, CPI national secretary D Raja, JD(U) spokesperson KC Tyagi, JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar and the university research scholar Umar Khalid on the order of a Hyderabad court based on a complaint filed by lawyer Janardhan Goud.

Goud had filed a complaint in the court of a metropolitan magistrate on Thursday seeking a direction to police for registration of a case against Kanhaiya and Khalid for allegedly raising anti-India and pro-Afzal Guru slogans on JNU campus.

In his petition, Goud said he had every right to question those engaging in anti-national activities and also ones encouraging anti-nationals facing sedition charges.

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Budget aims at increasing rural income, infrastructure: FM

Posted on 29 February 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 01st March 2016

New Delhi, Feb 29 (PTI) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said the Union Budget is aimed at improving rural infrastructure and increasing rural income as the biggest challenge to the economy is agrarian distress.

He said the Budget for 2016-17 aims at taking forward economic reforms, increasing spending on infrastructure and giving a boost to overall development of the country.

“It aims at improving infrastructure in rural areas and rural income increase. Today the biggest challenge to economy is rural distress and agrarian distress.

“The budget is aimed at taking forward economic reforms, increasing spending on infrastructure and take the country’s economy forward towards further development. The country’s development is on services, manufacturing and agriculture sector, that was the aim. The budget is aimed at taking steps towards overall development of the country,” he said.

He said the budget aims at helping increase rural incomes, rural infrastructure and animal husbandry. If there is more job creation in villages, it will help emerge multiple sources of income.

On not increasing the tax slab rates, he said there is an attempt to increase the tax base and simplify tax structure.

“Reforms in the economy cannot be brought about by changing the slabs and if tax payers stop giving taxes, the country will stop. There should be benefits to tax payers also and the tax base should also increase,” he said.

Jaitley said the steps taken by the government in the last 21 months collectively are themselves “very big” and this is the reason the country’s economy is growing despite the global slowdown.

On the passage of key reform bills like GST pending in Parliament, he said that the government is “making attempts” and he expects “the Congress party to help and cooperate in the passage of these key reform bills like the GST”.

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HC upholds TRAI order to compensate consumers for call drops

Posted on 29 February 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Monday 29th February 2016

New Delhi, Feb 29 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today upheld TRAI’s decision making it mandatory for cellular operators to compensate subscribers for call drops from January 1, 2016.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath dismissed a batch of petitions filed by Cellular Operators Association of India, a body of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India and 21 telecom operators, including Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Reliance.

“We uphold the validity of (TRAI’s) regulation,” it said.

The court said that it has not stayed the notification of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) since filing of the writ petition, therefore the telecom regulator is at liberty to implement its decision January 1, 2016 onwards.

“There is no dispute about the power of TRAI to make regulation under section 36 of the Act. The impugned regulation has been made in exercise of the power conferred under the Act, keeping in mind the paramount interest of the consumer,” the bench observed.

“It is also relevant to note that the regulations do not penalise every call drop but is limited only to three call drops a day per consumer,” it said.

The telecom operators had moved the high court seeking quashing of TRAI’s regulation contending that it was a “knee- jerk reaction” which penalised them without proving any wrong-doing.

The telcos had termed the regulation as “arbitrary and whimsical” and contended that providing compensation to the consumers amounted to interfering with the companies’ tariff structure and this could be done only by an order and not a regulation.

The bench, while brushing aside the telcos’ contention, concurred with the submissions made by Additional Solicitor General P S Narasimha that the regulation is in interest of the consumer.

The court also observed in its 39-page verdict that the compensation for call drops was capped at Rs 3 only and the regulation also mandated only compensating the calling consumer not the receiver.

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PM says his exam tomorrow but he is ‘full of confidence’

Posted on 29 February 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Monday 29th February 2016

New Delhi, Feb 28 (PTI) “I have an exam tomorrow”, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi today on the eve of presentation of General Budget in Parliament as he sought to motivate students appearing for board exams for which he even roped in icons like Sachin Tendulkar and Vishwanathan Anand.

Modi, who admitted to feeling “tension” sometimes, said he was “full of confidence” ahead of his “examination” by 125 crore people, a trait which he wanted students to emulate when they appear for their examinations for Class X and XII starting Tuesday.

In his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, he emphasised that students should appear for the exams with a “positive approach” having free and calm mind without any anxiety. He also asked parents not to put pressure on them.

In this context, he cited his example in the context of presentation of Budget which all the countrymen closely monitor and analyse.

“Friends, your exams are starting. I too have exam tomorrow. The country’s 125 crore people are going to take my examination,” the Prime Minister said, while pointing out that Budget is being presented tomorrow.

“But you must have seen how healthy I am feeling, how full of confidence I am. Let my exams take place tomorrow and yours day after and may all of us succeed so that the nation succeeds…Move ahead with a free mind, without any tension of success or failure,” he said in his 35-minute programme.

To lay stress on a positive and tension-free approach, Modi roped in Sachin, the iconic cricketer, Anand, the world chess champion, besides Bharat Ratna scientist C N R Rao and spiritual leader Murari Bapu, whose messages were played during the programme. They gave their own examples of how they approached their exams in their respective fields, keeping tension aside.

He also invoked Thomas Alva Edison, who invented electricity, and J K Rowling of Harry Potter fame, saying their success had possibly come after many failures.

Underlining that “positive approach” and “positive frame of mind” help in all aspects of life, Modi talked about himself and said when he comes across some issues which he is not familiar with, he concentrates to deal with them.

“Sometimes I feel tension within. Then I feel that I should relax a bit so that I feel good. So I have developed my own technique. I do some deep breathing. I take deep breath three times, five times. It may take a few seconds but my mind becomes ready to deal with the situation with a calm mind.

This may be my experience but this may help you too,” he told the students.

Modi, a practioner of yoga, also referred to this art and mentioned how it helps in improving concentration and strengthening inner peace.

“There is success in failure too” if there is a positive approach, he said, while asking students to have dedication, determination and diligence to achieve success. .

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Cops question another JNU student

Posted on 27 February 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 28th February 2016

New Delhi, Feb 27 (PTI) Another JNU student, Ashutosh, who the police was looking out for in connection with the sedition case, joined investigation today after receiving a police summon.

Ashutosh, who is JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar’s predecessor, is one of the five students, including Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who resurfaced in the varsity’s campus on Sunday night.

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I was beaten up, injured in court before police, says Kanhaiya

Posted on 27 February 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Sunday 28th February 2016

New Delhi, Feb 27 (PTI) JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar has told a Supreme Court-appointed lawyers’ probe panel that he was beaten up, pushed to the ground and injured by men in lawyers’ robes before the police, when he was brought to the Patiala House court premises on February 17.

“When the police brought me inside the court’s gate, a mob of men in lawyers’ robes attacked me. It appeared as if they were ready to attack and they were calling others also. I was assaulted.

“The police escorting me tried to save me but the police officials were also beaten up,” he said while narrating the sequence of events to the lawyers’ panel in a video shown on television channels today.

The panel of six advocates — Kapil Sibal, Rajeev Dhavan, Dushyant Dave, A D N Rao, Ajit Kumar Sinha and Haren Raval, had visited the Patiala House courts premises on February 17 after the apex court was informed that Kanhaiya was beaten up during his production before the magistrate.

In another instance when he was attacked, the police, who were there, did not do anything, he said.

After Kanhaiya narrated the incident to the panel inside the courtroom, Sibal called DCP Jatin Narwal and enquired from him about it.

“How did you allow the attack to take place inside court premises? Your men were there. What were they doing? How he (man who attacked Kanhaiya outside the gate of the courtroom) was allowed to come inside,” the panel members asked the DCP.

Responding to it, Narwal said, “he came with the escort party and entered the room adjacent to the courtroom.”

The panel members then called other police officials and asked them about the incident and they replied that the person who attacked Kanhaiya had claimed that he was his lawyer.

Kanhaiya told the panel that when he was assaulted, he fell down and sustained injuries and at that time he could not see what the police was doing.

To this, Sibal asked the DCP, “that means police was there and they did nothing.”

The student leader told the panel that the person, who had attacked him, had come to the adjacent courtroom and he had told his teacher about it.

“I told my teacher that this man was assaulting me and then the police asked that person

about his identity. He in turn questioned the policeman and asked him to show his I- card. That person left the place in front of the police and the police did nothing. He could have been apprehended there itself. I had told the police that this man had assaulted me,” he said.

On February 17, a bunch of rowdy lawyers had launched a brazen attack on Kanhaiya, journalists and others and also indulged in stone-pelting and hurling abuses on the panel of senior lawyers.

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Digvijay appears before MP court in recruitment scam

Posted on 27 February 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 27th February 2016

Bhopal, Feb 27 (PTI) Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh today appeared before a court here in connection with an alleged recruitment scam at the Assembly Secretariat here which took place when he was Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh.

Singh appeared before the Special District and Sessions Judge Kashinath Singh.

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Yadav, Bhushan to ‘re-ignite’ anti-graft campaign

Posted on 27 February 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 27th February 2016

New Delhi, Feb 27 (PTI) Accusing Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of betraying anti-corruption movement by bringing in a “weak” Lokayukta bill “which is unlikely to be approved”, leaders of Swaraj Abhiyan today announced plans to “re-ignite” the campaign and hoped they will get support from Anna Hazare.

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Pathankot probe team to visit India soon: Pakistan

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 26th February 2016

Islamabad, Feb 25 (PTI) Pakistan today said a team of special investigators probing the terror attack on the Pathankot airbase will visit India soon to collect evidence.

“The special investigation team will shortly visit India to collect evidence on the airbase attack,” Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said. He, however did not give any date for the visit.

The special investigation team, that included experts from civilian and military intelligence agencies, was set up by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last month to probe the January 2 attack.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said last week that India had already agreed to the visit of Pakistani experts to collect evidence.

Pakistan has already lodged an FIR into the Pathankot attack which has paved the way for the prosecution of anyone who is found guilty of involvement in the attack.

The FIR by the Counter-Terrorism Department of Punjab police, however, did not name Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, whom India has accused of having masterminded the deadly assault.

On the meeting of the foreign secretaries of the two countries, Zakaria said there was no hurdle for it.

He, however, refused to give any date for such a meeting, which was initially planned for mid-January but was postponed due to the Pathankot attack.

Zakaria said the officials of the two countries were in touch to work out the date for the meeting.

Responding to a question, Zakaria rejected that the “struggle in Kashmir” was anyway linked to terrorism.

He also expressed concern over the “exceptional treatment” given to India by the Nuclear Supplier Group.

“Pakistan is a peaceful country and also wants peace in this region. We are, therefore, against any arms race,” Zakaria said.

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No hike in rail fares, freight rates

Posted on 25 February 2016 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 26th February 2016

New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday desisted from raising fares and freight rates in his second budget but promised to cut cost and exploit new sources of revenue beyond tariff as he announced three new superfast trains and completion of three freight corridors by 2019.

Presenting the Railway Budget for 2016-17 in Parliament, he said the guiding principles to keep the modernisation of world’s fourth-largest network on track are new sources of revenue, expenditure optimization and new operating structure.

Thursday’s announcements included India’s first rail auto hub in Chennai, boost to e-catering, creation of dedicated north-south, east-west and east coast freight corridors by 2019; connectivity to North-East and Wi-Fi in railway stations.

Unlike last year when he tweaked freight rates to mop up an additional Rs 4,000 crore, Prabhu made no fresh changes either in passenger fares or freight rates.

Plan outlay for Railways has been put at Rs 1.21 lakh crore for 2016-17, up by about 20 per cent from the current year’s estimated expenditure. Its focus was on completion of the ongoing projects rather than announcing new ones.

“These are challenging times, may be one of the toughest

We are faced with two headwinds, entirely beyond our control; tepid growth of our economy’s core sectors due to international slowdown and the looming impact of the 7th Pay Commission and increased productivity bonus payouts,” he said in his over an hour long speech.

Slowdown in growth of passenger and freight revenues has put pressure on the railways’ finances and Prabhu said the railways would need to cut costs, grow its freight business which provides two-thirds of its revenue and target new sources of non-tariff revenue through measures such as redeveloping train stations. .

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