Thursday, May 14, 2015

Double Standard Arvind Kejriwal

Supreme Court Faults Arvind Kejriwal for Double-Speak, Stops Defamation Diktat-NDTV

In a major embarrassment for Arvind Kejriwal, the Supreme Court has today suspended an order issued by his government that called for criminal defamation cases against the media.

The top court pointed out that Mr Kejriwal has personally challenged criminal defamation cases against him on the grounds that they encroach upon his right to freedom of speech. His lawyers have argued that defamation should be considered a civil wrong
"You can't do both things together - come to the Supreme Court against defamation on one hand, and then take action against the media," the judges said.

Last week, Mr Kejriwal, 46, commissioned a major controversy after a note asked all officers in his Delhi government to register complaints about "any news item which damages the reputation of the chief minister or the government."

The order was attacked by his opponents and others as Mr Kejriwal's attempt to stifle any criticism. He has controversially accused the media of being "sold" and committed to "supari journalism" to discredit his party.

Mr Kejriwal strode into office after a victory of record proportions in February's election in Delhi. However, since then, his term has been eclipsed with a series of controversies and a bitterly rancorous split with two senior party leaders, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, who have accused him of being dictatorial and turning the more than two-year-old AAP into "a one-man show."

Supreme Court delays decision on jailed Sahara chief Subrata Roy-TOI 14.05.15

The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred a decision on conglomerate Sahara's bid for bail for its jailed boss in a long-running dispute over illegal bonds.

It gave no date for a decision.

Subrata Roy has been held in jail for more than a year, after Sahara failed to comply with a court order to refund money it had raised from millions of small investors by selling bonds that were later ruled to be illegal.

Former CBI Chief Ranjit Sinha's Home Meetings 'Inappropriate', Says Supreme Court, Orders Investigation-NDTV 14.05.15

Ranjit Sinha, the former chief of the CBI, held "inappropriate meetings" at his home with those being investigated by his agency, abused the powers of his office and must be investigated himself, the Supreme Court said today.

Mr Sinha retired in December. His last few weeks in office were seeped in controversy and ignominy, with the Supreme Court ordering his removal from his agency's investigation into the massive telecom scam. The judges accepted that he was guilty of trying to subvert the inquiry against telecom firms and executives who were charged with colluding with government officials to get out-of-turn mobile network licenses and free spectrum or airwaves.
The evidence furnished against Mr Sinha, 62, was pivoted largely on a diary that recorded who visited him at home-the entries showed house calls were made regularly by those being investigated in the telecom case, and the coal scam, which rests on blatant irregularities in the distribution of mining licenses by earlier governments to private firms.

The allegations against Mr Sinha were brought to the top court by lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan and Common Cause, an NGO based in Delhi. "The court has held that it was inappropriate for the CBI chief to meet the  accused in the absence of the investigating officers," Mr Bhushan said today. 

The Supreme Court has said that Mr Sinha's meetings with those accused in the telecom and coal scams should be examined by the Central Vigilance Commission, the agency that deals with governmental corruption.

Mr Sinha has consistently denied any wrongdoing. However, other officers who reported to him at the CBI have alleged that he tried to change the agency's stand to protect Reliance Telecom, which is among the companies accused in the telecom scam. Executives from Reliance Telecom, owned by Anil Ambani, are among those who met him at his house while the investigation was underway.
Setback for farmers, Supreme Court upholds land acquisition in Noida Extension
In a setback for farmers, the Supreme Court on Thursday quashed their plea while upholding land acquisitions in Noida Extension by the Greater Noida Authority between 2006 and 2009. The apex court has overturned Allahabad High Court order which had scrapped acquisitions.
The order came as a relief for flat owners and builders else buildings would have been demolished.
Farmers had wanted their land back while Greater Noida authority was unwilling to give the developed land.


Supreme Court refuses to stop Centre from granting quota to Jats-NDTV-13.05.2015

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court today declined to stay the Centre's decision to grant reservations in government jobs and educational institutions to the Jat community.

The Top Court expressed its satisfaction with the documents submitted by the Centre in support of its decision to bring the Jats in the OBC list, and posted the matter for further hearing on May 1.

"Prime facie, we are satisfied with the material submitted by the government for providing reservations to Jats," Chief Justice P Sathasivam said.

The Supreme Court had on April 1 directed the Centre to turn over all the files pertaining to its decision to extend OBC quota to the Jats in seven states - Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar.

In its petition, OBC Reservation Raksha Samiti had appealed to the Supreme Court  to quash the Jat quota announced by the Centre just before the polls,  and also argued that it was contrary to the recommendation of the National Commission for Backward Classes.

A few Jat organisations had, in the interregnum, filed a caveat, contending that  the Court should hear them also before passing any orders.

Quota for Jats is seen as the Congress' attempt to improve its poll prospects in nine states where the community has a strong presence - Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Bihar. Congress leaders have assessed that over eight crore Jats in these states can be the deciding factor in at least 30 Lok Sabha constituencies.

The National Commission for Backward Classes had opposed a quota for Jats on grounds that the community cannot be classified as "backward" and such a move would deprive more deserving groups of central benefits. The proposal was still cleared at a special cabinet meeting on March 2 and notified on March 4, just a day before the announcement of Lok Sabha polls brought a model code of conduct into effect.
SC says no to politicians’ photos on government ads-The Hindu

The apex court, however, permitted the use of photographs of the President, Prime Minister and CJI in the advertisements.

In a historic judgment holding that taxpayers' money cannot be spent to build "personality cults" of political leaders, the Supreme Court on Wednesday restrained ruling parties from publishing photographs of political leaders or prominent persons in government-funded advertisements.
The apex court said such photos divert attention from the policy of the government, unnecessarily associate an individual with a government project and pave the way for cultivating a "personality cult".
As an exception to this general rule, the court held that the photos of only three constitutional authorities - Prime Minister, President and Chief Justice of India - can be used in such ads. But for that too, the personal approval of these three authorities need to be got before publication.
The judgment by a bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and N.V. Ramana came on the basis of a series of recommendations given by its own committee led by noted legal academcian N.S. Madhava Menon on introducing checks on government-funded ads.
The committee was formed in April 2014 on a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause had argued that ruling party leaders and ministers were taking undue advantage at public expenses.
The Menon panel had recommended a complete ban on publishing of photos in the ads. It had further said that no ads should be allowed on election eve.
In his verdict, Justice Gogoi modifies the recommendation on four counts.
One, instead of a complete ban on publishing of photos of all individuals, it departs to the extent of saying that pictures of PM, President and CJI can be used provided they personally clear it - thus, in a way, making them also accountable for the publication.
Two, the court improvises on the Menon committee recommendations to direct the government to appoint a three-member Ombudsman body of persons with "unimpeachable integrity".
Three, the bench disagrees with the Menon panel's suggestion for a performance audit on such government ads.
Four, the court said there was no need for a curb on government ads on election eve. However, it said such ads should be given with fairness and even dispensation to the media.


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