CJI's Queries in Teesta Bail Hearing Stump Govt Counsel; Leaving Gandhis Behind Will Not Solve Congress Problems
Portugal minister quits on Indian tourist’s death, Modi’s jail yatra for Bangladesh off the record, talk of ‘40% sarkar’ in Karnataka, Mary Roy dead, Reliance buys Campa Cola for great Indian taste
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Snapshot of the day
September 1, 2022
In the face of pointed observations by Chief Justice of India UU Lalit and his bench on the illogic of keeping rights activist Teesta Setalvad in jail for two months without bail, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s only defence was procedural: let the Gujarat High Court decide the matter, this is not something the Supreme Court should consider. Mehta will get one final chance to make his case on Friday but CJI Lalit made it a point to say the court was “bothered” by some aspects of the case:
The petitioner has been under custody for over 2 months. No chargesheet has been filed.
The FIR was registered on the very next day of the Supreme Court dismissing Zakia Jafri's case and the FIR does not contain anything much other than the SC observations.
The Gujarat High Court while issuing notice on Teesta's bail plea on August 3 granted a long adjournment, making the notice returnable by 6 weeks.
The offences alleged are not serious like murder or bodily injury but pertain to alleged forging of documents filed in court.
There are no offences which bar the grant of bail.
Mary Roy, an educationist whose name is synonymous with the fight against inequality in laws relating to property rights for Christian women, died today aged 89. She remained undeterred despite threats, intimidation and attacks after she petitioned the courts for an equal share in her father’s property. She is survived by her daughter, author and activist Arundhati Roy, and son, Lalith Kumar Christopher Roy.
Portugal’s health minister Marta Temido resigned hours after an Indian tourist died while being moved between hospitals in Lisbon. The pregnant woman, 34, suffered a cardiac arrest during an ambulance transfer from Lisbon’s main hospital Santia Maria because its neonatology unit was full. Her baby was delivered by emergency caesarean section and an investigation has been launched.
Indian Independence Day celebrations in Edison, New Jersey, became controversial because of the inclusion of a bulldozer, bearing posters of Adityanath and Narendra Modi, and was criticised heavily by the mayor. Chandrakant Patel, head of the Indian Business Association Inc, which organised the show, has now apologised for the “blatantly divisive symbol” amidst the diversity of people at the celebration.
Satellite images have revealed “fast-paced infrastructure development” over Pangong Tso, said India Today, which would allow China to rapidly “move men and materiel” in the area. All-weather blacktop roads, including one 30 metres wide, are visible. A tower near the line of actual control – one of many observation, surveillance and electronic intelligence posts – was shown on national television. There was no official response from the government.
Senior military commanders of India and China met yesterday at Depsang in eastern Ladakh, where the standoff of May 2020 continues without any sign of a breakthrough. On August 21, the PLA had turned back Indian graziers from Demchok, asserting their exclusive domain over previously common grazing lands. There has been no disengagement on any site in Ladakh after July 2021.
Quoting the Russian Defence Ministry, TASS reports that the opening ceremony of the strategic command post exercises of Vostok-2022 was held yesterday in the Primorsky Region of Russia. India and China are participants. Russia’s deputy minister said joint exercises as part of a coalition of 14 states help to develop a common understanding of troop training, management and interaction at the operational and tactical levels, and strengthen friendship and camaraderie between military personnel. Vostok-2022 drills are being held from today till September 7 under the leadership of the Russian Federation. The Indian flag and marching contingent are visible in a video of the exercise, but the Indian government remains mum on the issue. China, of course, is gloating. “The US is concerned about India's plans to participate in the joint military exercises with Russia,” the government -owned Global Times notes. “Such kind of ‘concerns’ is entirely triggered by US' hegemonic mentality, in line with the manner in which Washington has performed in the international community. And it demonstrates to the world the US attempts to rope in India are far away from being successful.”
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During his visit to Dhaka on the 50th Independence anniversary of Bangladesh last year, PM Narendra Modi had claimed to have participated in a “satyagraha” in support of the country’s struggle for independence and had even gone to jail for it. However, the Prime Minister’s Office, in response to an RTI query on the details of Modi’s arrest, incarceration and release, has stated that it’s off the record.
The Indian Air Force has sought from Boeing the reasons behind the grounding of the US Army’s entire fleet of Chinook helicopters. The IAF operates a fleet of 15 Chinooks, which were inducted in March 2019. US reports say the US Army grounded its CH-47 Chinook helicopters because of a risk of engine fires.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif yesterday tweeted to thank PM Modi for expressing concern about the human and material losses caused by the country’s worst flood in years. Some newspapers say that India is mulling aid, but nothing is confirmed.
NDTV has interviewed contractors in Karnataka who openly speak of the “40% sarkar” ( alleging that the BJP state government demands a 40% cut for all construction work). “I bribed government officials to get a Rs 18 crore hospital project,” confessed one. Another said that a playground project cost Rs 5 crore.
In somewhat extraordinary comments, after TMC leaders were arrested in corruption cases, West Bengal chief minister and All India Trinamool Congress head Mamata Banerjee has said that at times, she feels that she should have quit politics. “I joined politics to serve society… But now I feel that I would have quit politics much earlier had I been aware that current-day politics would be so dirty, where I and my family members would have to face so many fake slanders.” Oh, dear!
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who yesterday met Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, as part of efforts to forge Opposition unity, called for a “BJP mukt Bharat” and blamed the saffron party’s government at the Centre for the many ills plaguing the country. He addressed a press conference in the presence of Kumar, whom he called “bade bhai” (big brother). Rao later met Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi at their residence.
In an affidavit filed in a court in Nanded in Maharashtra, Yashwant Shinde, who claims to be an RSS functionary, has said that the RSS and its affiliates detonated a series of bombs across the country to help propel the BJP to victory.
The BJP is in a jam with the brouhaha over their leader Seema Patra, now under arrest, having brutalised an Adivasi woman. Besides, Murugha Mutt pontiff Shivamurthy Murugha Sharana, the seer against whom a Pocso case has been registered in Karnataka, is becoming a serious embarrassment, with BJP veteran BS Yediyurappa saying that he is “innocent” and that the allegations against him are “false”. The BJP has asked its spokespersons and television panellists to look “neutral” while dealing with the story. In an internal advisory, its state media cell defined the party’s stand and scripted the spokespersons’ response.
Campa Cola, an important cultural icon of 1980s India, is being acquired by Reliance and may be “a major piece of its FMCG strategy.”
The latest example of the police in Uttar Pradesh filing mindless cases comes from Prayagraj née Allahabad, where a group of young men seen smoking hookahs and eating chicken on a boat have been booked for “hurting religious sentiments”.
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