|NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018
Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala has invited BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa to form the government and prove his majority within 15 days, prompting the Congress to move the Supreme Court on Wednesday night.
The Supreme Court began the hearing after 1.45am on Thursday (more about it below). The Chief Justice agreed to the hearing but was not part of the three-judge bench of Justices A.K. Sikri, S.A. Bobde and Ashok Bhushan. Such a hearing had been held only once before – hours before Bombay blasts convict Yakub Memon was hanged in 2015.
The Karnataka governor’s call to the BJP, the single largest party that is still short of a majority, was revealed in a manner that was as controversial as the invitation itself.
A local BJP leader first made the claim on Twitter, which was echoed by the Karnataka unit of the party, but the tweets were soon deleted. The BJP later confirmed Yeddyurappa would take oath at 9am on Thursday.
The suspicion is that the letter of the governor, whose proximity to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he was Gujarat chief minister is well-documented, reached Yeddyurappa after the BJP disclosed the call.
With the BJP leader and the party deleting the tweets and the Raj Bhavan sticking to its customary silence, confusion reigned for some time.
An element of intrigue hung heavy over the invitation, especially because it went against the last three precedents set by governors in 2017. Post-poll coalitions that stood a chance of proving their majority, not the single largest party, were called to form governments in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya.
The BJP was the common beneficiary in all these states. The beneficiary of the U-turn in Karnataka is also the BJP.
“The Karnataka governor has ‘encountered’ the Constitution at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said. “The governor has acted as a stooge of BJP. His actions are immoral and illegal, and an immoral and illegitimate government will take oath in Bengaluru tomorrow (Thursday). It is a black letter day for India’s democracy,” the Congress leader added.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday night refused to stay BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in as Karnataka chief minister after a rare pre-dawn hearing which saw the Congress-Janata Dal-Secular combine making a last-ditch attempt to stall the saffron party’s surge in the southern state.
The apex court, which commenced the hearing at 2.11 am and ended at 5.28 am, however made it clear that the swearing-in and the government formation in the state would be subject to the final outcome of the case before it.
A special bench comprising Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde and Ashok Bhushan directed the Centre to place before it two communications, sent by Yeddyurappa to Governor Vajubhai Vala in which he had staked claim to form the government, saying their perusal was necessary to decide the case.
The top court also issued notices to Karnataka government and Yeddyurappa seeking their replies on the plea filed by Congress-JDS combine and posted the matter for hearing on Friday.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, and senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing three BJP MLAs Govind M Karjol, C M Udasi and Basavaraj Bommai, opposed the arguments to defer or stay the swearing-in ceremony, which was scheduled on Wednesday for Thursday morning.
Rohatgi also questioned the manner in which the petition was filed in the midnight and said, “Heavens will not fall if somebody is sworn-in. This is not a matter of life or death or as if someone is going to be hanged”.
At the outset, Singhvi referred to the number of seats won by the BJP, the Congress and the JD-S and said the Congress-JDS combine has the majority in the house with 117 MLAs while the BJP had only 104 seats which was below the majority mark of 112 at present. He also questioned the governor’s decision to give 15 days time to Yeddyurppa to prove majority in the house and claimed that this might lead to “horse trading” and “poaching” of MLAs.
Our MLAs were offered Rs 100 crore by the BJP to break away. I want to know whether this is black or white money… The JD(S)-Cong combine has 116 MLAs (including JD(S) pre-poll ally BSP)… the BJP is trying to misuse its power being at the Centre and form its govt through horse-trading. – HD Kumaraswamy, JD(S) leader
This (talk of) Rs 100 crore, Rs 200 crore is imaginary. The BJP is not doing this. We are not in the habit of practising horse-trading. This is the kind of politics JD(S) and Congress do. We are going by the rule book and we will form the government in Karnataka. – Prakash Javadekar, Union minister
The JD(S) cannot ally with the BJP to form a government in Karnataka because he would not like to hurt his father like he had in 2006 by allying with the BJP, state JD(S) president H D Kumaraswamy said Wednesday , while agreeing that the BJP had reached out to him through some channels to form an alliance with the BJP instead of the Congress.
“He has now got an opportunity to wash off the taint that came against him in the past on account of my actions,” Kumaraswamy said, referring to decision to ally with the BJP in 2006 against the wishes of his father, former PM H D Deve Gowda, which upset him.
The JD(S) leader said his MLAs had been in a quandary over allying with the Congress, their main opponents in the polls, but they have been convinced that the Congress support is unconditional, which would serve the JD(S) better in running an administration.
Reformist icon Anwar Ibrahim celebrated a “new dawn” for Malaysia after he was given a royal pardon and freed from custody yesterday, transforming a political prisoner into a prime minister-in-waiting following his alliance’s stunning election victory.
Anwar, 70, was convicted of sodomy in 2015 in a case he said was aimed at crushing his alliance, which was making gains against Malaysia’s long ruling coalition government.
Anwar was Mahathir’s deputy in the 1990s but fell out with his mentor during the Asian financial crisis. He was sacked from the ruling party and founded the Reformasi movement, challenging Mahathir’s government. He was arrested and jailed on charges of sodomy and corruption. Yesterday, he reiterated his full support for Mahathir’s leadership and said their political feud has long been buried. Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, is currently the deputy premier.
The White House yesterday said it is proceeding with the preparations for a meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un notwithstanding Pyongyang’s threat to cancel the historic summit on June 12.
North Korea has threatened to abandon planned talks between Kim and Trump in June if Washington insists on pushing it “into a corner” on nuclear disarmament.
A statement published by the state-run Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said North Korea would never accept economic assistance from the US in exchange for unilaterally abandoning its nuclear programme.
Reacting to the reports from Pyongyang, the White House saud it was “still hopeful” the summit will proceed despite North Korea’s threat to cancel it.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday to discuss the explosive global issues of Iran, Syria and Ukraine amid a deepening US-European crisis of confidence. This year’s first face-to-face talks between the veteran leaders, who speak each others’ languages, comes as European powers are scrambling to preserve the Iran deal which US President Donald Trump abandoned last week.
For Merkel, the main objective in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi will be to seek pragmatic dialogue with Putin, despite their yawning political differences, in the quest to preserve the landmark 2015 agreement.
Endorsing the demand put forth by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the Centre on Wednesday asked the security forces not to launch anti-terror operations in the troubled state during the holy month of Ramzan.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said the decision had been taken “to help the peace-loving Muslims observe Ramzan in a peaceful environment”. It, however, went on to add that the security forces “reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people”, as the move is “not a concession to militants” and there will be “no lowering of guard during this period”.
“I wholeheartedly welcome the Ramadan ceasefire & would like to thank @narendramodi ji & @rajnathsingh ji for their personal intervention. My gratitude also to the leaders & parties who participated in the All Party Meeting & helped build consensus towards this announcement,” Mehbooba tweeted.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah, while welcoming the Centre’s decision, warned that if militants didn’t respond to the government’s olive branch, they would be exposed as “enemies of the people”.
At a time when North Korea is being engaged by the international community, India has reached out to Pyongyang, with the first minister-level visit to the country in 20 years coming on May 15 and 16, Korean Central News Agency reported on Wednesday. Hours later, the Ministry of External Affairs confirmed Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs V K Singh’s “official visit”.
While there was no meeting between V K Singh and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, he held discussions with four other leaders in the North Korean establishment.
In the last few years, especially since Trump administration came to office, New Delhi had played along with Washington on the sanctions imposed on North Korea. However, US insistence of reducing North Korean diplomatic presence in India, as well as Indian diplomatic presence in Pyongyang, had been gently rejected by the Indian establishment. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had said publicly, with then US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by his side in October 2017, that “embassies of some of US’ friendly countries should remain there so that some channels of communication remain open”.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday said even Parliament cannot deny a person the fundamental rights under Article 21 (right to life and personal liberty) and the Constitution does not allow arrest “without a fair and just procedure”. The remarks came from a two-judge bench while hearing the Centre’s review petition against the top court’s March 20 verdict on the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Noting instances of abuse of the 1989 Act by “vested interests” for political and personal reasons, the top court in its March 20 judgment had laid down stringent safeguards, including provision for anticipatory bail and vetting of complaint to determine if a case was made out before registration of FIR under it. It said that if the accused person is a public servant, arrest can be made only with the permission of the appointing authority and where the accused is not a public servant, prior permission of the Senior Superintendent of Police of the District was necessary for arrest.
The ruling had triggered protests from various Dalit outfits following which the Centre approached the apex court seeking a review.
Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said the court through interpretations had created 30 different rights which were not in the Constitution.
The court will now take up the matter after vacation. The court will reopen after the summer recess on July 2. Justice A K Goel is set to retire on July 6.
The much-awaited meeting of the five most senior judges who constitute the Supreme Court Collegium, which was expected to act on its reiteration of Justice K M Joseph’s name, ended with the decision being deferred for the third time.
The meeting, which began at 4.15 pm lasted nearly two hours, the longest any Collegium meeting has lasted this year. It was attended by all five members of the Collegium, CJI Dipak Misra and Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan Lokur and Kurian Joseph.
The meeting failed to reiterate Justice K M Joseph’s name despite having pre-arranged to meet to do precisely that last week, apart from suggesting other names for the Supreme Court. The apex court is currently functioning with just 25 judges, six below its sanctioned strength. Five judges of the court are scheduled to retire in 2018 — Justice Chelameswar as early as June 22.
On May 11, the Supreme Court had chosen to put its foot down, but cautiously, saying that it was for the reiteration but promising to send other names too for elevation along with the reiteration. The calculation was that simply sending the reiteration would amount to throwing a gauntlet to the Centre and likely to lead to a major confrontation.
Despite a “detailed discussion” on Wednesday, it is not known what happened resulting in the deferral. The date of the next Collegium meeting too has not been fixed. The Supreme Court goes on vacation after May 18 and will reconvene in July. In the past, Collegium meetings are known to have been held during the vacation as well.
The Delhi Police on Wednesday sent a notice to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal asking him to appear before it on Friday in connection with the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash in February.
A senior police official said the notice asked the CM to join the investigations at 11 am on May 18. “In case such timing is not convenient, kindly intimate an alternative time,” the notice read. However, Kejriwal has not responded to the notice.
AAP state unit chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said, “It is for the first time in the country that a Chief Minister is being examined in a fake case. Modi is misusing the police to bother Kejriwal, but people stand by him.” He also alleged that the PM was pressuring the Chief Secretary to pursue a false case.
The police have already questioned 11 AAP MLAs present at the CM’s residence for the February 19 meeting in which Prakash was allegedly attacked. Kejriwal, his former adviser VK Jain and Sisodia were also present there.
Indore has emerged as the cleanest city in the country, followed by Bhopal and Chandigarh in the government’s cleanliness survey.
The results of Swachh Survekshan 2018, which aims to estimate levels of cleanliness across cities in the country, were announced by Minister of State for Housing Hardeep Singh Puri.
Jharkhand was adjudged the best performing state, followed by Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh. This year’s exercise allocated substantial weightage to the feedback from citizens.
Indore was the cleanest city last year as well, but that survey was conducted only for around 430 cities. This time it was conducted for around 4,200 cities.
In what could be termed as a blow to senior BCCI officials, amicus curiae Gopal Subramanium has kept most of the recommendations made by the Justice RM Lodha Committee in the draft constitution of the Indian cricket board. Except for suggesting that the national selection panel be reverted to a five-member committee, the amicus curie retained all other major Lodha recommendations, namely one state-one vote, maximum tenure of 18 years (9 plus 9), cooling off after every three years, age cap of 70 years, amd allocation of duties between elected office-bearers and paid employees (secretary and CEO).
On the ‘one-state one-vote’ recommendation, the amicus curie suggested the Railways be considered as a voting member among the institutional units for their contribution in promoting women’s cricket. However, he suggested, the voter should be a former player, not a Railways official. Services, Universities, National Cricket Club (NCC) and Cricket Club of India (CCI) will not get back their voting rights.
Seamer Jasprit Bumrah snapped up three crucial wickets as defending champions Mumbai Indians kept their play-off hopes alive by notching up a thrilling three-run win over Kings XI Punjab in a crucial match, played ar Wankhede stadium, Mumbai.
Chasing 187 to win, KL Rahul blasted 10 fours and three sixes in his 60-ball 94-run innings and shared a 111-run second-wicket partnership with Aaron Finch (46) to take Punjab to the brink of victory but Bumrah scalped three wickets in his second spell to derail the chase.
Kings XI were comfortably placed at 145/1 in the 16th over when Bumrah came back for a second spell and removed Finch and Marcus Stoinis (1) before dismissing Rahul in the 19th over.
Each of these two teams now has a 6 wins from 13 matches. Mumabi play tyheir last league match against Delhi while Punjab play their last league match against Chennai.
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A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided. – Tony Robbins
A salesman was testifying in his divorce proceedings against his wife.
“Please describe,” said his attorney, “the incident that first caused you to entertain suspicions as to your wife’s fidelity.”
“Well, I’m pretty much on the road all week,” the man testified. “So naturally when I am home, I’m attentive to the wife.
“One Sunday morning,” he continued, “we were in the midst of some pretty heavy love-making when the old lady in the apartment next door pounded on the wall and yelled, ‘Can’t you at least stop all that racket on the weekends?'”
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