Archive | March, 2017

HC refuses to quash DA case against HP CM Virbhadra Singh

Posted on 31 March 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 01st April 2017

New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today dismissed Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his wife’s plea seeking quashing of the disproportionate assets case filed against them by the CBI.

Justice Vipin Sanghi also vacated the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s interim order of October 1, 2015 restraining the CBI from arresting, interrogating or filing a charge sheet in the case without the court’s permission.

“The writ petition is dismissed. Stay is vacated,” the court said.

Singh has sought directions from the court to quash the FIR registered against him and his wife under Sections 13(2) and 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Section 109 of IPC by the CBI on September 23, 2015 here and urged the court to summon records of the preliminary inquiry and the FIR.

Virbhadra and his wife Pratibha Singh have claimed in their plea that there was no order, direction or judgment by any court that had authorised the CBI to inquire, investigate or register regular cases and exercise jurisdiction in the territory of Himachal Pradesh.

The chief minister has contended in his plea that the raids on his private residence and other premises were conducted with “malafide intentions and political vendetta” by the central investigating agency.

He has alleged that CBI had overstepped its jurisdiction in filing the case as the cause of action did not arise in the territory of Delhi.

Singh has also claimed that the permission of the state government and Home Department were not taken before raiding the residence of a sitting chief minister.

The CBI had contended that the allegations against Singh in the case are “very serious” as a huge amount of money was involved and the state government has shown “over anxiety” in protecting him.

The agency had said it had jurisdiction to register and investigate the case in Delhi as the disproportionate assets were allegedly acquired by the Congress leader from the income generated here when he was a Union minister during UPA regime.

Singh had on October 1, 2015 got an interim order from the Himachal Pradesh High Court restraining the CBI from arresting, interrogating or filing a charge sheet in the case without the court’s permission.

The matter was transferred by the Supreme Court to the Delhi High Court, which on April 6, 2016 had asked CBI not to arrest Singh and had directed him to join the probe.

On November 5 last year, the apex court had transferred Singh’s plea from Himachal Pradesh HC to Delhi HC, saying it was not expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, but “simply” transferring the petition “in interest of justice and to save the institution (judiciary) from any embarrassment”.

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SC refuses urgent hearing on Ayodhya land dispute case

Posted on 31 March 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Saturday 01st April 2017

New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) The Supreme Court today refused to accord an early hearing on a batch of civil appeals pertaining to the Ayodhya Ram Temple-Babri Masjid case.

During the hearing, a bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar told BJP leader Subramanian Swamy that the court was made to believe that he was a party to the ongoing litigation.

This had led to the Chief Justice of India offering to mediate between the parties to the litigation, the court said.

“You did not tell us that you were not a party to the case, we only got to know that from the press,” the bench said.

Swamy, however, said that he had made it clear that he was on the issue of his Fundamental Right to worship.

“My Right to Pray is affected by the pending case and I had filed an intervening application,” Swamy said.

The bench then said that it was not going to fast track the matter.

Earlier on March 21 the apex court had suggested an out-of-court settlement to the lingering Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid land dispute at Ayodhya, observing that issues of “religion and sentiments” can be best resolved through talks.

Chief Justice Khehar had also offered to mediate even as the bench headed by him suggested that the parties to the dispute adopt a “give a bit and take a bit” approach for a meaningful and sincere negotiations to resolve the vexatious issue.

The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court had in 2010 ruled for a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres area at the site in Uttar Pradesh.

The three-judge bench, by a majority of 2:1, had said the land be partitioned equally among three parties, Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and the ‘Ram Lalla’.

On February 26 last year, the apex court had allowed Swamy to intervene in the pending matters relating to the Ayodhya title dispute with his plea seeking construction of Ram temple at the site of the demolished disputed structure.

The BJP leader had moved the plea for a direction to allow construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhya at the disputed site and claimed that under the practices prevalent in Islamic countries, a mosque could be shifted to any other place for public purposes like constructing A road, whereas a temple once constructed cannot be touched.

He had also sought directions to expedite the disposal of several petitions challenging the Allahabad High Court verdict of three-way division of the disputed site at Ayodhya on September 30, 2010.

The dispute before the court was whether the 2.7 acres of disputed land on which the Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished on December 6, 1992, belongs to the Sunni Central Waqf Board or to the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.

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SC to hear pleas challenging triple talaq on May 11

Posted on 30 March 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 31st March 2017

New Delhi, Mar 30 (PTI) The Supreme Court today fixed May 11 for commencement of hearing on pleas challenging the validity of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy practices among Muslims.

A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud said the matter will be heard by a Constitution bench during the summer vacation.

On March 27, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) told the Supreme Court that the pleas challenging such practices among Muslims were not maintainable as the issues fell outside the realm of judiciary.

The Board had also said that the validity of Mohammedan Law, founded essentially on the Holy Quran and sources based on it, cannot be tested on the particular provisions of the Constitution.

It had said there was a need for “judicial restraint” before going into constitutional interpretation of these unless such an exercise becomes unavoidable.

The apex court had earlier said it would decide issues pertaining to “legal” aspects of the practices of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims and would not deal with the question whether divorce under Muslim law needs to be supervised by courts as it falls under the legislative domain.

The Centre, on October 7 last year, had opposed in the Supreme Court the practice of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among Muslims and favoured a relook on grounds like gender equality and secularism.

The Ministry of Law and Justice, in its affidavit, had referred to constitutional principles like gender equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital law prevalent in various Islamic countries to drive home the point that the practice of triple talaq and polygamy needed to be adjudicated upon afresh by the apex court.

The apex court had taken suo motu cognizance of the question whether Muslim women faced gender discrimination in the event of divorce or due to other marriages of their husband.

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Railways announces ex-gratia for those injured in derailment

Posted on 30 March 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Friday 31st March 2017

New Delhi, Mar 30 (PTI) Railways announced ex-gratia payment of Rs 50,000 in case of grievous injury and Rs 25,000 for those with minor injuries in the Mahakaushal Express derailment today.

While the UP ADG (Law and Order) Daljit Chaudhary said 52 passengers were injured in the mishap, Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha said 21 were injured, including one seriously.

Railways has ordered an inquiry into the derailment of the Jabalpur-Nizamuddin Mahakaushal Express in the wee hours today near Mahoba in Uttar Pradesh.

Prima facie, a crack in the rail tracks seems to be the cause of the derailment.

The mishap disrupted rail traffic on the route with services of 14 trains disrupted, railway officials said.

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HC dismisses Swaraj India plea for common symbol

Posted on 29 March 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 30th March 2017

New Delhi, Mar 29 (PTI) Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India’s plea for a common symbol in the upcoming MCD polls was today dismissed by the Delhi High Court.

The high court dismissed the party’s plea, saying since the electronic voting machines would now carry photographs of the candidates, it would not be put to any disadvantage if there was no common symbol.

As the plea was filed after several steps in the electoral process had started, it was “very late in the day for the court to interfere,” Justice Hima Kohli noted.

Earlier, on March 23, the High Court had asked the Delhi poll panel whether it intends to give a common symbol to political parties like Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India, which are registered but unrecognised.

The court had posed the query to the commission after senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, appearing for Swaraj India, submitted that a letter was sent to the Delhi government to consider amending the rules for allotment of common symbols to registered but unrecognised political parties.

Bhushan had made the submissions during arguments on a plea challenging the commissions’s decision not to allot a common symbol to Swaraj India to contest the upcoming MCD polls.

Swaraj India claimed that non-allotment of a common symbol to a registered party amounted to discrimination as the Aam Aadmi Party was granted such a relief when it had contested for the first time.

Swaraj India has sought quashing of the panel’s March 14, 2017 notification and an April 2016 order which said the nominees of such parties would be treated as independent candidates for allotment of symbols.

Swaraj India was floated in October last year by Yadav and advocate Prashant Bhushan, who were expelled from the AAP after they questioned Arvind Kejriwal’s leadership.

The party, registered by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in February 2017, has contended that the Delhi symbols order was “wholly illegal, arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable and selective, destroying the very fairness of the proposed electoral process itself”.

It has said that providing it a common symbol will create a level playing field among all the political parties, whether recognised or not, and ensure free and fair election.

It has also challenged the February 21, 2017 and March 7, 2017, orders of the poll panel declining the party’s request for a common symbol.

The party has contended that the panel rejected its request for a symbol despite a provision in the ECI rules to provide a common symbol to a registered but unrecognised political party like Swaraj India, which is set to make its election debut in the April 23 MCD polls.

The party said the ECI’s Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) (Amendment) Order allows newly registered political parties to have a common symbol for all their candidates for contesting their first election.

The party has claimed that states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, Kerala, Sikkim and Tripura follow the rule.

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Delhi Police unable to solve 75% cases, says Oppn; Govt rebuts

Posted on 29 March 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Thursday 30th March 2017

New Delhi, Mar 29 (PTI) The Delhi Police has been unable to solve 75 per cent of the cases it has registered, members said in the Rajya Sabha today and expressed apprehension over the issue.

The government, however, sought to allay their concern by highlighting the police’s high success rate in solving the heinous crimes.

During the Question Hour, some opposition members said that in 2016, the police had registered 2,01,281 non-heinous crime cases and only solved 50,423 of them.

One of the members, K T S Tulsi (Nominated) said it amounted to nearly 75 per cent of the cases staying unsolved.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh sought to allay the members’ concerns saying said the Delhi Police’s record regarding non-heinous category was comparable to their counterparts in leading cities in the US or the UK.

He also said that the number of rape cases had come down.

Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said the police had solved 2,145 of the 2,155 rape cases. Only 10 rape cases remained unsolved, he said.

Singh told the members that in fact, Delhi Police should be lauded for its nearly 75 per cent success in solving the heinous category crimes.

He said in the non-heinous category, crimes of less serious nature are listed, of which the Delhi police has a success rate of 25 per cent. Singh however added that the world over, be it the US or London, the success rate is comparable. The non-heinous category could include cases of minor hurt or a pen being stolen, he added.

The Minister of State also sought to explain that a large number of vehicle thefts took place in the national capital and the complainant often stops following up after he gets the insurance amount.

According to the data provided in Ahir’s reply, in 2016, cases of heinous crimes registered were 8,238 of which 6,190 were solved and 2,048 were unsolved. In 2016, cases of non- heinous crimes registered were 2,01,281 of which 50,423 were solved, while non-IPC cases registered were 7,401 of which 5,660 were solved.

The data showed that in 2015, the number of cases of crime against women registered was 12,736 and in 2016, this figure dropped to 11,295. In 2017 upto February, 1,332 cases of crimes against women were registered.

The minister also said that only one case of rape registered at Mehrauli was pending investigation for over five years.

SP member Jaya Bachchan wanted to know what action is taken against police personnel who commit crimes against women, to which Ahir said immediate and appropriate action is taken in such cases.

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Akhilesh elected leader of SP in both Houses of UP legislature

Posted on 28 March 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Wednesday 29th March 2017

Lucknow, Mar 28 (PTI) Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav was today unanimously elected Leader of the SP Legislature Party in both the Houses of the Uttar Pradesh Legislature, at a meeting of party legislators.

SP veterans Azam Khan and Shivpal Singh Yadav were conspicuous by their absence from the meeting.

At the meeting of SP MLAs and MLCs, the former chief minister was unanimously elected as the combined leader of the party in both the state Assembly and Council, SP spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary said.

Besides, Akhilesh was also authorised to pick the leader of the party in the Legislative Council, he added.

Akhilesh is a member of the Upper House, where senior SP leader Ahmed Hasan leads the party.

Akhilesh had yesterday nominated seniormost party MLA Ram Govind Chaudhary as the leader of the SP in the Assembly, paving the way for his becoming the LOP in the Assembly.

Both Azam Khan and Shivpal Singh Yadav, who were strong contenders for the post of LOP in the Assembly but failed to find favour with Akhilesh, gave a miss to today’s meeting.

Commenting on the choice of Chaudhary for the key post, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) accused the SP of “acting under BJP’s pressure” to deny senior leader Azam Khan the position.

“SP acted under BJP’s pressure to deny the position of LOP to a dynamic and strong leader like Azam Khan, which could have posed problems for them in the legislature,” state RLD chief Masood Ahmed alleged.

“Had Khan been made the Leader of Opposition, he would have retained his government bungalow and there would also have been no question on his Maulana Jauhar University in Rampur. So, BJP exerted pressure on Netaji (Mulayam Singh) to stop it,” he added.

RLD has one MLA in the 403-member state Assembly.

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RS proceedings disrupted over vacancies in many commissions

Posted on 28 March 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Wednesday 29th March 2017

New Delhi, Mar 28 (PTI) Delay in filling up of vacancies in statutory commissions for SCs, STs, Backward Classes and Minorities rocked proceedings of Rajya Sabha for the second day today, with the proceedings being adjourned thrice before lunch.

Congress, SP, BSP and JD-U members repeatedly trooped into the Well of the House shouting slogans against the government for “misleading” by telling “lies” on the issue.

I&B Minister M Venkaiah Naidu tried to counter them, saying all the commissions were functioning and the process of filling up the vacancies was on.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien tried to restore order in the House saying the minister has promised that vacancies will be filled up “immediately”, but Naidu countered him saying the vacancies will be filled up in “due course” of time.

Kurien first adjourned the proceedings for 10 minutes and then till noon and opposition members were unrelenting. When the House assembled for Question Hour at noon, Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the proceedings for 30 minutes as the noisy scenes continued.

When the House assembled for the day, opposition members were up on their feet stating that multiple notices have been given under rule 267 seeking suspension of business to take up the issue.

Ramgopal Yadav (SP) said the posts of chairmen, vice chairmen and members were lying vacant in National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, National Commission for Backward Classes and National Commission for Minorities.

This has left people seeking relief for their difficulties from these commissions high-and-dry, he said, adding that the commission for backward classes was being renamed to take a fresh look at castes which should be categorised as OBCs.

He alleged that there was a conspiracy to remove certain castes from OBC category. He went on to question the vacancies against the reserved categories in government departments.

Mayawati (BSP) asked why the BJP government had left several posts at these constitutional commissions vacant for a long time and when these posts will be filled up.

Naidu rose to respond but the opposition wanted leaders from other parties to speak first before the minister had his say.

But Kurien said the minister has a right to respond and allowed Naidu to speak.

Anguished over this, opposition members trooped into the Well of the House shouting anti-government slogans.

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Aadhaar cannot be made compulsory for welfare benefits: SC

Posted on 27 March 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 28th March 2017

New Delhi, Mar 27 (PTI) The Supreme Court today made it clear that Aadhaar cards cannot be made mandatory by the government and its agencies for extending benefits of social welfare schemes.

A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, however, said that government and its agencies cannot be stopped from seeking Aadhaar cards for non-welfare schemes like opening of bank accounts.

The bench also said that a seven-judge bench needed to be constituted for authoritatively deciding a batch of petitions challenging the Aadhaar scheme on grounds including that it infringes on the Right to Privacy of citizens.

It, however, expressed inability in setting up of the seven-judge bench saying it would be decided at a later stage.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for one of the petitioners, alleged that the Central government is not following the various orders passed by the apex court that the usage of Aadhaar would be voluntary and not mandatory.

The apex court on August 11, 2015 had said that Aadhaar card will not be mandatory for availing benefits of government’s welfare schemes and barred the authorities from sharing personal biometric data collected for enrolment under the scheme.

However, on October 15, 2015 it had lifted its earlier restriction and permitted the voluntary use of Aadhaar cards in welfare schemes that also included MGNREGA, all pension schemes and the provident fund besides ambitious flagship programmes like ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna’ of the NDA government. .

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RS proceedings disrupted over vacancies in statutory panels

Posted on 27 March 2017 by admin

AIHRA News Tuesday 28th March 2017

Renuka Chowdhry (Cong) said SCs in Telengana were not getting certificates for their children which was essential for getting admission in schools.

“No need of shouting. Minister has replied,” Kurien told the unrelenting members.

As slogan-shouting continued, he adjourned the proceedings for 10 minutes.

When the House reassembled at 1145 hours, Opposition members continued raising slogans and sought the government’s reply on the issue.

The Chair told them that he cannot allow a suo motu topic to be discussed during the Zero Hour without prior notice. “Give notice if you want discussion.”

Mayawati (BSP) said “you are violating the rights of the people. What is the view of the government? Whether it wants to close down the Minorities Commission?”

Digvijaya Singh (Cong) asked “Are you closing down the commission? Are minorities part of the government’s ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ (programme)?”

As the government did not heed to their demand, the Opposition members trooped into the Well, forcing the Chair to adjourn the House till 1200 hours.

When it resumed at noon during Question Hour, similar scenes were witnessed, forcing Chairman Hamid Ansari to adjourn the House for 15 minutes for the third time.

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