The Indian Express | 2 months ago | 25-09-2022 | 03:50 am
DESCRIBING A petition challenging the remission of sentence granted by the Gujarat government to him after 15 years in jail as “speculative and politically motivated”, one of the convicts in the Bilkis Bano case has questioned the locus standi of the petitioners, saying “none of” them “are related whatsoever to the said case and only happens to be either a political activist or a third party stranger”.In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court through Advocate Rishi Malhotra, convict Radheshyam Bhagwandas Shah referred to cases in which the apex court “has consistently held in clear terms that a third party who is a total stranger to the prosecution has no ‘locus standi’ in criminal matters and has no right whatsoever in filing a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution”.He said that to entertain such petitions “would” therefore “not only unsettle the settled position of law but would also open flood gates and would be an open invitation for any member of the public to jump in any criminal matter before any court of law”.Shah was among 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case of gangrape and murder who were released by the Gujarat government on August 15 under its 1992 remission and premature release policy for life-term convicts after he moved the Supreme Court. Deciding his plea, the Supreme Court had ruled that although the trial in the case took place in Maharashtra, the Gujarat government would be the appropriate authority to grant remission based on the 1992 policy.Since their release, the Supreme Court has issued notices on two petitions — one filed by CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali, journalist Revati Laul and academician Roop Rekha Verma, and another by TMC MP Mahua Moitra — challenging their release. Shah’s petition referred to the plea by Ali and others.Bilkis was gangraped and her three-year-old daughter Saleha was among 14 killed by a mob on March 3, 2002, in Limkheda taluka of Dahod district, during the post-Godhra riots. Bilkis was pregnant at the time. The Gujarat government cited a “unanimous” recommendation of the Jail Advisory Committee (JAC) to grant remission to the convicts on grounds of “good behaviour”.In his affidavit, Shah referred to another case and pointed out that similar questions had been raised when the conviction of some accused under the TADA Act was sought to be challenged under Article 32 of the Constitution by Akali Dal (M) president Simranjit Singh Mann.The Supreme Court, however, held that a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution can only be made for enforcing a fundamental right. “The Supreme Court rightly addressed the issue that the writ petitioner therein did not seek to enforce any of his fundamental rights nor did he complain that any of his fundamental rights is violated,” Shah’s petition stated.Similarly, the petition stated, in the 2013 ruling in Subramanian Swamy vs Raju matter, the Supreme Court “further reiterated the settled position of law that the jurisprudence that has evolved over the decades has assigned the primary role and responsibility at both stages to the State though…in certain exceptional situations there is a recognition of limited right in a victim or his family members to take part in the process, particularly, at the stage of the trial”.“…the law, however, frowns upon and prohibits any abdication by the State of its role at each of the stages and, in fact, does not recognise the right of a third party/ stranger to participate or even to come to the aid of the State at any of the stages,” the petition said.In this matter, the Supreme Court had dismissed Swamy’s appeal against a Delhi High Court order rejecting his prayer to be made a party before the Juvenile Justice Board in proceedings against the minor accused in the Nirbhaya gangrape case.Referring to his release under the 1992 policy, Shah’s affidavit pointed out that the Supreme Court had in a 2010 decision stated that the policy that will apply for remission is the one applicable at the time of conviction by the trial court and not a subsequent policy at the time of consideration.It submitted that in 2010, the “Court went a step further and held that in case there were two policies for premature release existing at the time of consideration, a policy which can be construed liberally in favour of a convict be applied in a case of convict”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s model of governance is sustainable, as it has defied the principle of diminishing returns, there is no anti-incumbency, and the graph is rising always upwards, Union Minister of State Dr Jitendra Singh said on Saturday.Since 2014, Modi has given a “new, different kind of model of governance, which is based on a new, different approach, and a different work culture”, the MoS for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, and PMO said.Addressing the inaugural session of 25th e-governance conference here, Singh said, “What is this governance model that I am trying to be boisterous about? Some authors have described it as Modi’s model of governance… It is not simply for name-dropping, as some cynics might feel. It is a model that has sustained itself for nearly 20 years, or more than 20 years, with Modi as the longest-serving head of government in any democracy.“Therefore, I have the courage and conviction to say this is a sustainable model of governance.”He said, “This is a model which has defied the principle of diminishing returns. On the contrary, with each passing year, the dividends have increased. There is no anti-incumbency…. The graph is always upwards, never down.”This is a model that has “grown stronger with each challenge”, because it was always prepared beforehand to face a challenge, Singh said. “As chief minister (of Gujarat), Mr Modi faced the earthquake in Gujarat. As Prime Minister, the pandemic (Covid-19). We were already prepared for it; we could do better.”Singh said it was due to this governance model that the Covid-19 pandemic could be managed. Recently, he said, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands appreciated the way India combatted Covid-19. “He said we (Amsterdam) could not manage with such a small population, how could you? I said because we were already prepared. So, this is the governance model (he is referring to).”Singh said the basic mantra of the Modi government is “maximum governance, minimum government”.“This sounds very fanciful…like a philosophy, an ornamental phrase…. But the simple meaning is a government that acts as a facilitator but does not act as an intimidator. That is how I have sought to interpret it…sarkaar ka abhav bhi nahin aur sarkaar ka prabhav bhi nahi (neither the absence of government nor the influence of government),” he said.Singh said the “whole of government, whole of nation and whole of society” approach has become the new norm to achieve the desired results in the shortest span of time”.The two-day National Conference on e-Governance (NCeG) is organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms & Public Grievances (DARPG) and the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY), in association with the Jammu & Kashmir administration. The theme of this year’s conference is “Bringing Citizens, Industry and Government closer”.Addressing the gathering, DARPG Secretary V Srinivas said the maxim ‘Maximum Governance, Minimum Government’ is represented by a digitally empowered nation, a digitally empowered citizenry, and a digitally transformed institution. Between 2014 and 2022, he said, the government has brought about digital transformation that has been accepted by the rural population through Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, BHIM UPI, CoWIN, Arogya Setu App.J&K Chief Secretary Arun Mehta said it is a proud moment for the UT to be hosting the 25th National Conference on e-Governance at Katra, which shows signs of changes taking place in the UT.Information Technology Secretary Alkesh Kumar called it an occasion to recognise and showcase exemplary digital transformations brought about by the Centre, the states and the start-up community.On the occasion, Singh presented the National Awards for e-Governance (NAeG) under five categories of the NAeG Scheme-2022 to 18 e-Governance initiatives at Central, state and district levels, academic and research institutions and Public Sector Undertakings.(The reporter was in Katra on an invitation from the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions)
Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday slammed the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying industrial projects coming to Maharashtra are being diverted to neighboring Gujarat as Assembly elections are being held there. He also called the BJP a “party of imports” and “chor bazaar (flea market)”.While addressing a farmers’ rally at Chikhli in Buldhana, Uddhav also slammed Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for his “silence” over the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute, the alleged insult of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj by Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and the government’s inaction on farmers’ plight in the state.After stepping down as chief minister in June this year, this was Thackeray’s first rally outside Mumbai. Last month, Uddhav had addressed party workers at its annual Dussehra Rally at Shivaji Park.“The BJP has lost its ideology and is only importing people from other parties. It has become a party of imports. If you enlist, you will find how many people they have taken into their party from other parties. Nothing is left with them so they are stealing people from other parties. Is it a political party or ‘chor bazaar’,” Uddhav said.Hitting out at Modi, Uddhav said the PM would not hesitate to break Maharashtra and hand over villages to Karnataka with polls in Karnataka next year. “The projects coming to Maharashtra were diverted to Gujarat owing to the elections there. Now Karnataka chief minister is staking claims over Akkalkot and Solapur of Maharashtra. Karnataka is going to polls next year, I am afraid that as the PM sent the projects to Gujarat, he won’t hesitate before breaking Maharashtra into pieces,” Thackeray said.Taking a dig at Shinde, Uddhav said, “This CM might even say that what is the harm in handing over 40 villages to Karnataka …. PM has promised to get Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and give us 100 villages…..”Further attacking Shinde who along with his MPs and MLAs went to Guwahati, Uddhav said, “Today all these 40 people have gone to Guwahati to take blessings. A weekago he (Shinde) had gone to visit an astrologer to know his future. He doesn’t know his own future. And he is going to decide our future? In fact, his future is being decided by people sitting in Delhi. He has to follow their orders,” Thackeray said.Claiming that nearly 1,000 farmers had committed suicide in Maharashtra since the formation of the current dispensation in the state in July this year, Uddhav said if he would have been the CM, he would not have allowed such suicides to take place.In response to Uddhav’s attack, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “The Maha Vikas Aghadi government, which held the reins of Maharashtra between November 2019 and June 2022, should explain where was its concern for farmers and the agriculture sector. Why did it fail to address the agrarian crisis?”
Arvind Kejriwal asked the people assembled to give him a chance. (File)Bhavnagar: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said God will cause a miracle by sweeping the broom, the Aam Aadmi Party's election symbol, and catapult his party to power in Gujarat, where the two-phase Assembly polls are scheduled for December 1 and 5.When the "pot of sin is full, the Almighty sweeps his broom", the Aam Aadmi Party national convener claimed while addressing a roadshow in Bhavnagar in the poll-bound state."In all of Gujarat, a heavy storm of change is brewing. The entire state has stood up. Some miracle is going to happen this time. It is said in Bhagavadgita that whenever the pot of sin is full, the Almighty sweeps his broom. The Almighty has started sweeping his broom," Mr Kejriwal said.He said people getting zero electricity bills for the usage of 24-hour electricity, as part of AAP's poll promise of not charging for 300 units of power, would be the "magic" people will experience once his party forms government in Gujarat."This is magic. This 24-hour, zero-electricity bill is magic. And only Kejriwal knows how to perform that magic. No other party can perform this magic. I have been specially blessed by the Almighty and this can only be done by Mr Kejriwal and no other leader," he said.He said the Bharatiya Janata Party had done nothing for the state in its 27-year rule and voting for the opposition Congress was futile as its legislators would defect to the ruling party post-elections.Mr Kejriwal asked the people assembled at the roadshow to give him a chance to see what can be done in five years, adding they could "throw us out" if promises are not fulfilled."Today, people are suffering due to inflation. They are unable to survive. I will give you relief from inflation. After the formation of our government, I will pay your electricity bill from March 1," he said.Mr Kejriwal said women above the age of 18 will get Rs 1,000 per month as an honorarium, while youth will get Rs 3,000 as an unemployment allowance till they land a job."If you want to keep your children unemployed, you want to be abused, then you vote for them (BJP). This has been going on for 27 years. But if you want employment for your children, then vote for AAP," he asserted.Slamming the ruling BJP, he said frequent exam paper leaks in major competitive exams meant there was the involvement of big leaders."All paper leaks since 2015 will be probed and these big leaders will go to jail. We will completely eliminate the atmosphere of fear in the business world. We will create an environment to do business with courage and peace. We will give every businessman the respect they deserve," he said.Mr Kejriwal said an AAP government in the state would be free from corruption, and Value Added Tax and other pending refunds will be paid within six months (of coming to power).PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comThe Goods and Services Tax will be simplified, he added.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)Featured Video Of The DayRow Over Karnataka Chief Minister's Border Remark Intensifies
SOMNATH: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday dubbed Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal as a 'namoona' or buffoon, and accused him and his party of supporting terrorism and corruption. Speaking at an election rally in Somnath town in Gir Somnath district of Gujarat for BJP candidates, he also accused main opposition Congress of not respecting other people's religions because of its "Muslim vote bank". "A 'Namoona' (buffoon) from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) who is visiting Gujarat now a days is a true well-wisher of terrorism. He had also opposed the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya. He had sought proof from our brave soldiers when the Indian Army carried out a surgical strike in Pakistan," said Adityanath, who is among the Bharatiya Janata Party's star campaigners. "When the Pakistan government itself was admitting that the strike had broken their back, AAP kept on asking for evidence. Support for terrorism and corruption is in their genes," the UP CM claimed. "Professional rioters" as well as goons and criminals who enjoyed the patronage of Congress and its allies used to harass common citizens, poor people and traders in his state, Adityanath said. "But now riots no longer take place in Uttar Pradesh. Our bulldozers have made Uttar Pradesh riot-free," he said. "Do you believe that Congress would have removed Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir? Would Congress or AAP give consent for the construction of Ram temple? It was (prime minister Narendra) Modi ji and BJP government and Gujarat who stood by you in your difficult times. They gave you free treatment, vaccines and ration during COVID-19 pandemic," he said. Neither Congress nor AAP will respect your faith and neither of them are capable of protecting you, he told the audience. "Only the BJP can do that because we believe in Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas (progress for all by taking along all)," Adityanath said. The Congress party and the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru opposed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's proposal to rebuild the Somnath temple, he alleged. "Because of its Muslim vote bank, Congress never wanted to respect your faith. That is the reason why Congress was against rebuilding the Somnath temple. But with his strong will, Sardar Patel went ahead with the construction. Even attempts were made to stop President Rajendra Prasad from attending the event. Can you support such a party?" Adityanath asked. He also accused the Congress of insulting Dr B R Ambedkar and trying to defeat him in elections. Reacting to Adityanath's swipes at him, Kejriwal took to Twitter and said people should vote for the BJP only if they wanted foul language, hooliganism, corruption and dirty politics. "And if you want schools, hospitals, electricity, water connections and roads then give your vote to me," said the Delhi chief minister who too is in Gujarat for campaigning. Gujarat will go to the polls in two phases on December 1 and 5.
Political leaders cutting across party lines took to social media Saturday morning onwards to observe Constitution Day. November 26 is being observed as Constitution Day since 2015. The Constituent Assembly of India adopted the Constitution on November 26, 1949.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, before addressing the Supreme Court during the launch of the government’s e-court project, tweeted, “Today, on Constitution Day, we pay homage to those greats who gave us our Constitution and reiterate our commitment to fulfil their vision for our nation.” In his address, Modi referred to India as the “mother of democracy” and paid tributes to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.At the event, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said the courts must reach out to the people, pledging that every bench of the Supreme Court would hear 10 bail applications, preceded by 10 transfer petitions, from next week onwards.Today, on Constitution Day, we pay homage to those greats who gave us our Constitution and reiterate our commitment to fulfil their vision for our nation. pic.twitter.com/eKVwA7NdaB— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 26, 2022Last year, several Opposition parties, including the Congress, boycotted a Constitution Day event in Parliament’s Central Hall, saying the government was disrespecting the fundamental values of the Constitution and undermining parliamentary democracy. But this year, there no all-out criticism of the government from Opposition leaders, except Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and the Congress’s Jairam Ramesh.Vijayan tweeted, “India’s Constitution, which encompasses the ideals of our anti-imperialist struggle, is facing a wide array of challenges on this 73rd anniversary of its adoption. It’s time to join the fight to fend off such threats and defend its spirit and values on our #ConstitutionDay.”India’s Constitution, which encompasses the ideals of our anti-imperialist struggle, is facing a wide array of challenges on this 73rd anniversary of its adoption. It’s time to join the fight to fend off such threats and defend its spirit and values on our #ConstitutionDay.— Pinarayi Vijayan (@pinarayivijayan) November 26, 2022He added, “Today, the values of secularism, democracy and federalism in our country are facing serious challenges…The challenges being faced by our Constitution, even on the 73rd anniversary of its adoption, are not just trivial.”Congress general secretary in charge of communications Jairam Ramesh alleged that the “ideological fountainheads” of the BJP had nothing to do with the making of the Constitution and PM Modi decided to mark November 26 as Constitution Day as he “desperately” wanted to show respect to the document.“The draft Constitution was adopted by Constituent Assembly on 26.11.1949. Constituent Assembly decided it would come into force from 26.01.1950 which is since celebrated as Republic Day,” Ramesh tweeted.Ideological fountainheads of the BJP had nothing whatsoever to do with the making of the Constitution, the Congress leader said. “In fact the RSS was opposed to the Constitution of India. Desperately wanting to show that he respects the Constitution – while he subverts it daily in letter and spirit – the prime minister decided to celebrate November 26 as Constitution Day. This is sheer hypocrisy.”Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Babasaheb urged us to march on the road to unity. I will walk that road long enough, until every word of our Constitution is upheld, and every citizen stands protected by fairness and justice.”Babasaheb urged us to march on the road to unity.I will walk that road long enough, until every word of our Constitution is upheld, and every citizen stands protected by fairness and justice. pic.twitter.com/OUMCJKugxj— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 26, 2022At Tummalapalli Kalakshetram, Vijayawada, Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan and Andhra Pradesh CM Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy participated in a National Constitution Day programme.The draft Constitution was adopted by Constituent Assembly on 26.11.1949. Constituent Assembly decided it would come into force from 26.01.1950 which is since celebrated as Republic Day. Ideological fountainheads of BJP had nothing whatsoever to do in making the Constitution 1/3— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) November 26, 2022Addressing an election rally in Gujarat, MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said Muslims were legitimate citizens of India and no one could snatch this right from them as long as they stuck to the values upheld by the Constitution.Early in the morning, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi, “Our Constitution is the pride of our country’s democracy, this is the identity of the rights of us Indians. Best wishes to all the countrymen on Constitution Day. Protecting the constitution of the country, we will give our whole life to fulfill the dreams of Babasaheb and to make India the No. 1 country in the world.”