NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2018
FRONT PAGE NEWS
- SUPREME COURT TO RULE ON AADHAAR TODAY
The Supreme Court will today pronounce its much-awaited verdict on the Constitutional validity of the 2016 Aadhaar Act, the question of reservation in promotions, and whether live-streaming of court proceedings should be allowed.
A five-judge bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A K Sikri, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Ashok Bhushan, which took up the petitions challenging Aadhaar on January 17 this year, had reserved its verdict on May 10, after a marathon 38-day hearing.
- MANMOHAN SINGH: ‘JUDICIARY’S PRIMARY DUTY TO SAVE SECULAR SPIRIT OF CONSTITUTION’
Nearly two years after the Supreme Court declined to re-examine its 1995 judgment which held that Hindutva relates to a “way of life” and not just a religious practice, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday said that the original (1995) judgment had made India’s political discourse “somewhat lopsided”, and that “many believe” the “decision requires to be overruled”.
Delivering the A B Bardhan memorial lecture at the Constitution Club in the national capital, Singh said the judiciary should never lose sight of its “primary duty to protect the secular spirit of the Constitution” —a task, he said, that has become more demanding because “political disputes and electoral battles are increasingly getting laced with religious overtones, symbols, myths and prejudices”.
The event was organised by the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the lecture was in memory of Bardhan, who had, incidentally, played a role in the Left Front’s withdrawal of support to the Manmohan Singh government in 2008.
Singh reflected on the changed political dynamics in which political rivals are working ever more closely to challenge the BJP in 2019. Speaking on “Defence of Secularism and Constitution”, he said the commitment of India’s Constitution-makers to a “secular order” was unequivocal. He recalled that former Prime Minister A B Vajpayee had, in 2001, observed that “secularism is not an alien concept that we imported out of compulsion after Independence. It is an integral and natural feature of our national culture and ethos.”
- MUD-SLINGING WON’T WORK: MODI
The BJP is sensing a “maut ka saudagar” moment in Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s “PM chor hai” allegation against PM Narendra Modi.
Ahead of the Madhya Pradesh elections, PM Modi, launching a fierce attack against the Congress from Bhopal, said the Opposition party had used all abuses against him. The Congress found “mud-slinging” easier than debating issues but such attempts to defame him in the past two decades had not worked, he said.
“Ever since I came into politics in 2001, you (Congress) have used all your strength to hurl abuses at me. There would not be a single abuse left in the dictionary now. However, the more mud you threw, the more the lotus bloomed,” the PM was quoted as saying.
Notably, in 2007, then Congress president Sonia Gandhi used the phrase “maut ka saudagar” against Modi, the then Gujarat CM. A few years later, her son Rahul Gandhi accused him of indulging in “khoon ki dalali”, again triggering off a massive political controversy. The BJP believes such phrases have actually worked to the benefit of Modi.
The PM said the Congress was unable to accept that a ‘chai wala’ (that is him) or son of a poor mother like Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and UP CM Yogi Adityanath could attain power.
Implying an international conspiracy against him and the BJP, he said the Congress had failed to forge an alliance in the country and was, therefore, seeking support from outside India. “Even if they get allies, the coalition will not be successful. So, they (Congress) are looking for support from outside India,” he said.
- SC REFRAINS FROM DEBARRING POLITICIANS WITH CRIMINAL CHARGES BUT SAYS CANDIDATES MUST ADVERTISE THEIR CRIME RECORD IN MEDIA
The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that election candidates, after filing nomination, should repeatedly make declarations in print and electronic media at the constituency level about any criminal antecedents even as it stopped short of debarring those charged with heinous crimes from contesting elections.
The court recommended that Parliament urgently enact a legislation to prevent tainted criminals from becoming lawmakers, and while it did not change the law, it hit on the innovative method of getting candidates and their parties to publicise pending criminal cases that often remain encased in election affidavits.
A constitution bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra said the “self publicity” would help curb criminalisation of politics.
Writing a 100-page unanimous judgment for the bench, CJI Misra said, “In a multi-party democracy, where members are elected on party lines and subject to party discipline, we recommend to Parliament to bring out a strong law whereby it is mandatory for political parties to revoke membership of persons against whom charges are framed in heinous and grievous offences and not to set up such persons in elections, both for Parliament and state assemblies. “This would go a long way in achieving decriminalisation of politics and usher in an era of immaculate, spotless, unsullied and virtuous constitutional democracy.”
- WORLD IS SUFFERING FROM BAD CASE OF ‘TRUST DEFICIT DISORDER’: UN CHIEF
UN chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday warned that the world is suffering from a bad case of “trust deficit disorder” where polarisation is on the rise and cooperation among nations is more difficult as he appealed to the global leaders for renewed commitment to a rules-based order.
Secretary-General Guterres, giving his second address as the UN chief to the world leaders from the iconic lectern in the General Assembly hall, painted a stark picture of the chaos in international order, saying cooperation among countries is less certain and more difficult, and divisions in the Security Council are stark.
World leaders from 193 UN member states, including US President Donald Trump, listened to Guterres as he voiced concern over the paradoxes facing the globe today. “Our world is suffering from a bad case of ‘trust deficit disorder’. People are feeling troubled and insecure. Trust is at a breaking point. Trust in national institutions. Trust among states. Trust in the rules-based global order,” he said.
- TRUMP CRITICISES IRAN AS ‘CORRUPT DICTATORSHIP’ AT U.N.
U.S. President Donald Trump criticised Iran on Tuesday as a “corrupt dictatorship” that is plundering the Iranian people to pay for aggression abroad, using his speech to the United Nations General Assembly to lay down a tough message for Tehran.
“Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction,” Trump told the annual gathering. “They do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nations.”
Trump compared U.S. relations with Iran to what he called improved ties with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, praising him for halting nuclear and missile tests and returning some U.S. remains from the 1950s Korean War.
Trump used his speech to call for international trade reforms and insist that his main objective as president is to protect American sovereignty. He called on OPEC to stop raising oil prices and criticized China’s trade practices.
Trump lauded India’s efforts to lift millions of its citizens out of poverty. “There is India, a free society (of) over a billion people, successfully lifting countless millions out of poverty and into the middle class,” Trump said at the UNGA.
- MAJ GEN RAJEEVA KUMAR MOVES SC: MAKE ME ALSO PARTY TO PLEA ON AFSPA
Days after Army chief General Bipin Rawat questioned the need for serving Army officers and soldiers to approach the Supreme Court in personal capacity against alleged dilution of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, a serving Major General, currently posted as Chief of Staff of a Corps in the Eastern Command, has filed an application that he be made party to the petition filed by 739 Army personnel.
Major General Rajeeva Kumar, commissioned in the Sikh Light Infantry, is now the most senior officer among the Army personnel to approach the Supreme Court in the AFSPA matter following a petition by Colonel Amit Kumar and others. Hearing in the case is scheduled for September 28.
In his application, Major General Kumar has stated that he is posted as Chief of Staff of a Corps with more than 60,000 soldiers. “The points raised in the present petition go to the significant problems and confusions being encountered by soldiers of Indian Army as to whether they are supposed to continue to engage in the proxy war and insurgency with their military training, principles, standard operating procedures, operational realities, valour and courage or act and operate as per the yardsticks of peacetime law and order issues and CrPC,” the application states.
- J-K: POLLS WILL HAPPEN DESPITE ‘DYNASTIC’ POLITICAL PARTIES BOYCOTTING THEM, SAYS RAM MADHAV
BJP national general secretary and in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir Ram Madhav said on Tuesday that two dynastic political parties have boycotted the upcoming local body elections because they don’t want power to go outside their family.
“We have taken a pledge to conduct local body elections in Jammu and Kashmir. Two parties of the state which are dynastic parties and who have never wanted power to go out of their families have boycotted the elections. They thought if they won’t contest, who would conduct the elections,” said Madhav. “We said to them, thank you. If you come, welcome; if you don’t come, thank you; but elections will happen. This is because we want that there shouldn’t be only 87 MLAs in Jammu and Kashmir but thousands of people’s representatives should be there below them,” he added.
He added that the irony is such that today people are running out from those parties to contest in the elections after expressing their displeasure.
- WE WILL NOT LET IL&FS COLLAPSE, SAYS LIC
State-run Life Insurance Corp of India (LIC), the largest shareholder in debt-laden Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS), on Tuesday said that the infrastructure company will not be allowed to collapse and that all options were on the table towards that objective.
“We will all try to see that it does not collapse,” LIC chairman V K Sharma said after a meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss the implications of the default on debt repayment by IL&FS group companies.
When asked about the government’s response to the IL&FS crisis, Jaitley said: “It is not necessary for everyone to speak out of turn. The LIC is a shareholder and its chairman has already spoken to you and, therefore, it is not necessary…as far as the government is concerned, we are closely in touch…and monitoring the situation and I have nothing further to add to what the LIC chairman has said.”
While LIC owns 25.34 per cent stake in IL&FS, Central Bank of India and State Bank of India own 7.67 per cent and 6.42 per cent. UTI holds 0.82 per cent in the company. Amid concerns of IL&FS default leading to contagion in other non-bank finanical companies, Sharma said efforts are being made to ensure that doesn’t happen.
IL&FS and its subsidiary IL&FS Financial Services Ltd have defaulted on repayment of debt in recent weeks. This has led to a steep fall in shares of many non-banking finance companies. The possibility of further defaults by IL&FS group companies has led to a liquidity squeeze
- BAD BANK LOANS IN DECLINE, RECOVERIES RISING, SAYS JAITLEY
The government on Tuesday said it had overcome “legacy issues” in the banking sector with bad debt recovery expected to rise nearly 2.5 times to Rs 1.8 lakh crore this fiscal year, amid signs of an improvement in finances of state-run banks and a pick up in loan demand.
“This year, the presentations (by bankers) were very different… The good news is that NPAs are on the decline because recoveries have picked up, not just due to resolution in the National Company Law Tribunal but also because debtors fear they are likely to pay (lose control of their companies) if they cross the red line,” finance minister Arun Jaitley said after meeting heads of public sector lenders. He said many loan defaulters were paying up as they feared being rendered ineligible to run, or bid for, their company in case banks initiated insolvency proceedings in the NCLT.
- THE RACE THAT COMMANDER ABHILASH TOMY ENTERED
Commander Abhilash Tomy has been admitted to hospital on the French administered Île Amsterdam island, and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said he would be taken to Mauritius for further treatment by the Indian Navy frigate INS Satpura.
Cdr Tomy was a participant in The 2018 Golden Globe Race, the 50th anniversary edition of the first Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, 1968-69, in which the Briton Sir Robin Knox-Johnston became the first person to sail solo nonstop around the world. Eighteen of the world’s most elite sailors, belonging to 13 countries, began the race from Les Sables-d’Olonne in France on July 1, expecting to be at sea for 200 days or more in a return to the “Golden Age of ‘one sailor, one boat’ facing the great oceans of the world”. They were not supposed to use GPS, and rely only on sextants, paper maps and the stars. Eight participants — including Cdr Tomy, who was in third place when he lost his mast and was severely injured in the storm — have had to quit so far.
The race course is an over-48,000-km east-about circumnavigation starting and finishing in Les Sables-d’Olonne. Following the route of the original 1968-69 race, the boats sailed down the Atlantic from north to south, down the west coast of Africa and around the Cape of Good Hope, and then due east. They are now expected to sail south of Australia, keeping north of the 45 degree latitude line, before coming around to the tip of South America and going around Tierra del Fuego before sailing north on the Atlantic Ocean back to the French coast.
39-year-old Cdr Tomy’s boat, the Thuriya, is a replica of Sir Knox-Johnston’s original winner, Suhaili. It is 32 feet long, and has been built by Aquarius Shipyard Pvt Ltd, Goa; the Suhaili was built in what was then Bombay with help from the Royal Bombay Yacht Club, in 1963.
- BILL COSBY GETS UP TO 10 YEARS IN JAIL FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT
Disgraced television icon Bill Cosby was sentenced to between three and 10 years in prison on Tuesday and branded a “sexually violent predator” for assaulting a woman at his Philadelphia mansion 14 years ago.
The 81-year-old, once beloved by millions as “America’s Dad”, is the first celebrity convicted and sentenced for a sex crime since the downfall of Harvey Weinstein ushered in the #MeToo movement and America’s reckoning with sexual harassment.
Found guilty five months ago of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a former university basketball administrator, Cosby was impassive when Judge Steven O’ Neill handed down the sentence. The sentence means that Cosby could spend at least three years in prison, but up to 10. While the defence asked their client to remain under house arrest pending an appeal, the judge ordered him to be remanded in custody. “You were convicted of a very serious crime,” O’Neill said. “No one is above law.”
- ASIA CUP: DEAD-RUBBER INDIA-AFGHANISTAN MATCH ENDS IN A THRILLING TIE
India were through to the final, Afghanistan were out of the tournament. This match was the deadest of dead rubbers but trust Afghanistan to make a game out of even that. India were chasing 253 and were cruising at 110/0 in the 18th over of the match. And yet, come the 50th over, they had just one wicket in hand and needed seven more to win. In between these two overs, Afghanistan stifled India with what has to be the best fielding effort that the latter have faced in this tournament and dogged consistency from their bowlers.
India were bowled out for 252, and just for the eighth time, an ODI involving them ended in a tie.
MS Dhoni stood in as captain in place of Rohit Sharma, as he was rested for this dead rubber.
Afghanistan’s innings was powered by an incredible batting effort from opener Mohammad Shahzad who scored his fifth ODI century. He made 124 runs off 116 balls and Mohammad Nabi took up the mantle of run-getter-in-chief after his dismissal. Shahzad was declared man of the match.
The last match of the Super-4s will be played today, between Pakistan and Bangladesh. This is a virtual semi-final, with the winner meeting India in the final on Friday.
- MIRABAI CHANU, VIRAT KOHLI RECEIVE THEIR KHEL RATNAS
Ace cricketer Virat Kohli sent the shutterbugs into a clicking frenzy as he received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, sharing the country’s highest sporting honour with world champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and junior world champion sprinter Hima Das were among the 20 sportspersons who received the Arjuna Award from President Ram Nath Kovind.
The ceremony, which is traditionally held on August 29 to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, was pushed to September 25 this year to avoid a clash of dates with the Jakarta Asian Games, which concluded on September 2.
Kohli is the third cricketer to be honoured with the Khel Ratna after batting legend Sachin Tendulkar (1997-1998) and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007).
Chanu, who had received the Padma Shri earlier this year, was chosen for the Khel Ratna following her gold medal in 48kg category at the World Weightlifting Championships last year. She also bagged the yellow metal in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games but didn’t compete at the Asian Games due to an injury.
While the Khel Ratna carries a prize purse of Rs 7.5 lakh, the Arjuna awardees are given Rs 5 lakh each along with a citation.
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- THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are. – James W. Frick
- OFF TRACK
A young lady entered a pharmacy for her birth control pills. She rushed in and gave her prescription to the pharmacist.
“Please give it to me fast,” she said. “I’ve got people waiting in my car!”