Supreme Court to Revisit PMLA Ruling on ED’s Powers, Bows Out Of Football; Farooq Hosts All-Party Meet on J&K Voter List Issue
Pakistan PM seeks ‘permanent peace’ with India, Mirwaiz actually caged but officially 'free', half of high-value infra projects delayed and police bandobast in Mathura as monkeys snatch DM’s glasses
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Snapshot of the day
August 22, 2022
Battling fears of mass disenfranchisement, the Election Commission has ‘clarified’ that no one will be deleted from the voters’ rolls for not linking their Aadhaar number to their voter ID.
Farooq Abdullah is hosting an all-party meet ― barring the BJP ― at his home today. Mehbooba Mufti is also present. The agenda is to discuss the government proposal to register all voters normally resident in Kashmir for the Assembly polls. Bharat Bhushan suggests one objective may be to secure the vote of the security forces posted at peacetime locations in Jammu in disproportionately large numbers.
NPR reports that for Kashmiris, resolution to decades of conflict remains a distant dream. Days ago, the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir had said that Mirwaiz Umar Farooq of the Hurriyat Conference is not under house arrest and is free to travel. The Hurriyat sarcastically asked if he would be allowed to lead the prayers on Friday. A BBC reporter who tried to visit him at home discovered that in real terms, he is quite unfree. Undeclared house arrest?
The Supreme Court has agreed to revisit its controversial order upholding the Enforcement Directorate’s powers of search, arrest and gathering evidence, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, some of whose provisions are perceived to go against the principles of natural justice. These provisions have attracted over 200 pleas, as they turn the ED into a political weapon.
Following FIFA’s suspension of the All India Football Federation, the Supreme Court today dissolved the Committee of Administrators which it had appointed to oversee its affairs. FIFA read it as “third party intervention”, which its rules forbid. Now, the Under-17 Women’s World Cup can be held in India in October, as scheduled.
The government may continue to provide free dry rations to 800 million of India’s poor for another 3-6 months beyond the September 30 deadline because of high inflation, geopolitical uncertainties and an imminent economic setback in China which would disrupt supply chains. The scheme was launched in April 2020 to counter the effects of the lockdown and extended for the sixth time in March.
According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) data, only 11 of the 75 districts in UP have received normal rainfall till August 19, affecting paddy farmers. Sixty-four districts got below normal rainfall and several face drought-like conditions. Thirty-nine got less than 50% rainfall and Farrukhabad got 80% less. The situation is bad in eastern UP, where rainfall is 50% less than the long period average.
Naga insurgent group NSCN-IM yesterday stated that it would not forgo its demand for recognition of the “Naga National Flag” and constitution. “Time and again, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN) has taken the resolute stand that it shall never deviate from the Naga National Principle at any cost and uphold and protect the Naga unique history. Significantly, NSCN attached great importance to the Naga National Flag and Constitution (Yehzabo) as part of the Naga political solution. Thus, NSCN, under no circumstances can forgo these core issues that symbolised the Naga National identity,” the NSCN-IM stated. The NSCN-IM has been in a ceasefire with the Centre since 1997 and its leaders and members are lodged in a camp at Hebron near Dimapur in Nagaland since then. The outfit signed a Framework Agreement with the Centre in August 2015, based on which a final agreement was to be signed.
Speaking to a delegation of students from Harvard University, Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif said that sustainable peace in the region was linked to the resolution of the Kashmir issue as per UN resolutions. “We want permanent peace with India through dialogue as war is not an option for either of the countries", he said. On the domestic front, it’s war, with the Sharif government seeking to move against former Prime Minister Imran Khan on treason and terror charges.
At an Indian community event in Sao Paulo in Brazil, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said, “We have agreements with China going back to the 1990s which prohibits bringing mass troops to the border area. They have disregarded that. You know what happened in the Galwan valley. That problem has not been resolved and that has been clearly casting a shadow.” He did not explain what the problem was and why India has been unable to force China to resolve it.
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Tomorrow, top executives of the Indian arms of Apple, Google, Amazon, Netflix and Microsoft will depose before a parliamentary panel looking into anti-competitive practices in the digital industry.
Nationally, the BJP has kept its distance from raids and arrests in West Bengal, but its national vice-president Dilip Ghosh has now embarrassed it by explaining why the Centre has asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to probe corruption in the state. “A section of CBI officers is sold in exchange of lakhs or crores. Realising it, the Centre asked the ED to step in and probe into different cases of corruption in the state. The ruling TMC is scared because they cannot settle a deal with the ED as they did with the CBI,’’ said Ghosh at a Ministry of Culture event.
A court in Nagpur district, Maharashtra, on Saturday served notice to a local police station for failing to lodge a case against the RSS despite a complaint about “illegal possession” of weapons. The district and sessions court was hearing a petition by activist Mohnis Jabalpure. The Congress worker filed an RTI in 2018 with the Kotwali police station seeking details about the RSS’s weapons. When the police failed to provide details, Jabalpure wanted to register an FIR but failed. The activist then approached the court, which issued a notice to Kotwali police in 2018. After stonewalling, the court has asked the Kotwali police to file a response within four weeks.
The Allahabad High Court has held a police officer guilty of contempt for violating the ‘Arnesh Kumar Guidelines’ and sentenced him to 14 days in jail. According to the guidelines, an arrest should be the exception where the offence is punishable with less than seven years’ imprisonment, and notice for appearance under Section 41A must be issued instead.
In Bihar, a bureaucrat was caught on camera brutally beating a jobless man who was part of a protest by aspiring teachers.
In UP, incidents of upper caste impunity are increasing. Two upper caste men, including the village headman, have been arrested for assaulting a Dalit man with their shoes. It happened a fortnight ago at Reta Nagla village in the Chappar region. The police acted only after a video clip went viral on social media.
Serving IAS officer Smita Sabharwal has been unremitting in expressing her horror about the rapists and murderers in the Bilkis Bano case being freed, in violation of precedence and the orders of the Supreme Court. She said yesterday that they deserved the noose, not garlands. “Appeal to the Supreme Court and Constitutional heads to cancel the remission, and restore our faith.” A controversy is being stirred up about the right of serving IAS officers to speak thus, but Sabharwal is undeterred.
Concerning the Gujarat SIT probes, there’s a pattern to the victim and the perpetrator being switched and the judicial process being stood on its head. Teesta Setalvad and RB Sreekumar, petitioners on behalf of survivors, are behind bars. Now, former IPS officer Rahul Sharma, who quelled a rioting mob in Bhavnagar and helped bring a volatile situation under control, has been summoned for questioning by the SIT. On March 1, 2002, he prevented an attack on a Madrassa that housed over 400 Muslim children by opening fire on the VHP-led mobs. He provided call records of Gujarat ministers and Hindu leaders, and was hounded out of the force.
Roop Rekha Verma, 79, former philosophy professor of Lucknow University, continues to fight inequalities of caste, gender and religion on the street. In hopeless times she asks: “How can I face myself if I stop trying?” For her, scholar Anand Teltumbde and others jailed for fighting for disadvantaged communities are the real patriots.
Samar Banerjee, 92, former India football captain who led the team to fourth place in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, died in Kolkata on Saturday. Banerjee, Badru to regulars on the Kolkata Maidan, where the tradition of referring to people by their ‘pet’ names endures, had Covid-19, high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s.
In UP, monkeys ran away with the district magistrate’s glasses, and the police made a spectacle of themselves.
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