Supreme Court Seeks Centre’s Reply on Special Status to Jammu and Kashmir
The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from the Centre on a plea against a Delhi high court order by which it had rejected a petition challenging the validity of Article 370 of the constitution giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
The petitioner in high court, Kumari Vijayalakshmi Jha, had claimed that the issue raised before the high court was different from the matter which was put before the apex court.
She had contended that Article 370 was a temporary provision that had lapsed with the dissolution of the state’s constituent assembly in 1957.
The petition had said that the continuance of the temporary provision of Article 370 even after dissolution of the state’s constituent assembly and its constitution which has never got the assent of the President of India or the parliament or the government of India, “amounts to fraud on the basic structure of our constitution”.
In July 2014, the Supreme Court had dismissed a plea challenging the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir and had asked the petitioner to move the high court.
Replacing the Gandhi statue by legendary sculptor because it’s distorted: Assam Govt
IN A move that has been described by artists and critics as “shocking” and “a criminal act”, officials in Assam have decided to “replace” a statue in Guwahati of Mahatma Gandhi created by one of India’s finest sculptors, Ramkinkar Baij, because it presented a “distorted image”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Prof Swapan Dutta, Acting Vice-Chancellor of Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, described the decision as “most unfortunate”. “Ramkinkar Baij is one of the most important artists in contemporary Indian art. I will go as far as to say that there can never be another Ramkinkar. There are sculptures he has made, which we have at Visva-Bharati, of Sujata and Gautam Buddha. These sculptures do not look like Sujata or Gautam Buddha — and that’s the point, it is an interpretation, it is art. There are thousands of pictures and paintings of Mahatma Gandhi all across the country, which look exactly like he did. Art isn’t about looking for similarities,” he said.
Baij’s art was rooted in Bengal, but he defied most conventions associated with art in the region. Credited with giving India its first public modernist sculpture “Santhal Family” in 1938, Baij’s monumental sculptures of Yaksha and Yakshini stand outside the RBI building in Delhi.
There are sculptures he has made at Visva-Bharati, of Sujata and Gautam Buddha.
His humanist vision, relationship with the people, the tribals, is exemplary.
If his first lessons in art came from village artisans moulding idols of deities, in the later years he also famously painted backdrops for theatre productions.
But it was in Santiniketan that Baij seamlessly merged Western expressionism with his folk sensibilities. A teacher in the sculpture department at Visva-Bharati, he found a patron in Rabindranath Tagore.
Tagore was the one who supported him, not everyone appreciated his art at that time. His imagery was different from the ‘usual’ Bengal school
Ahmed Patel gets in after EC sends two votes out
In a dramatic turn of events Tuesday in the high stakes Rajya Sabha elections in Gujarat, the Election Commission of India (ECI) invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to revoke the decision of its Returning Officer (RO) in the state and declare invalid the votes cast by two Congress MLAs
The poll panel’s intervention was prompted by a Congress complaint that two of its MLAs, Bhola Bhai Gohel and Raghavji Bhai Patel, had turned rebel and violated Rule 39A and Rule 39AA under the Conduct of Elections Rules 1961 by disclosing their choice to an unauthorised person, other than the party’s election agent.
The EC studied the video footage of the two legislators casting their votes and found merit in the Congress complaint. Revoking the RO’s decision, the Election Commission at 11.25 pm ordered that the votes cast by the two MLAs be rejected by segregating the ballot papers concerned at the time of counting.
In its eight-page order, the Commission rejected the BJP contention that the “Commission has no power” and the RO is the statutory authority for polling and counting. The Commission asserted that it was within its right “to act in those vacuous areas where either the law made by Parliament is silent or makes insufficient provision to deal with a situation in the conduct of election”.
Justice Dipak Misra to be next Chief Justice of India
Justice Misra will be sworn in as the 45th Chief Justice of India by President Ram Nath Kovind on August 27.
The 63-year-old CJI-designate is the senior-most judge of the Supreme Courtafter Justice Khehar. He will be the third person from Odisha to be appointed the Chief Justice of India, after Justices Ranganath Misra and G B Pattanaik.
While Justice Dipak Misra led the Supreme Court bench that confirmed the death sentence of four convicts in the Delhi gangrape case, he was also part of the bench that ordered the playing of National Anthem at the start of movies in theatres. His career has been beset with cases that have had a far-reaching effect on society.
Justice Misra has often been described as a “pro-citizen judge” because of his judgment in Court on its own motion vs State wherein he held that FIRs should be uploaded on the Delhi Police website within twenty-four hours of their lodging so that the accused can download the same and file appropriate applications before the Court for redressal of their grievances.
Sebi directs stock exchanges to take action against 331 listed companies
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) directed stock exchanges to take action against 331 listed firms suspected to be shell companies as per the Ministry of Corporate Affairs. The regulator in a August 7 circular to stock exchanges said these companies will not be allowed to trade this month. Of the 331 firms, 162 are actively traded and the rest have already been suspended. According to the Sebi circular, shares of these 331 companies will be kept in stage six of the Graded Surveillance Measures (GSM) with immediate effect. These companies would also be subject to independent audit and also a forensic audit to examine their financials. “Under the stage VI of GSM framework, trading in these identified securities shall be permitted only once a month under trade to trade category. Further, any upward price movement in these securities shall not be permitted beyond the last traded price and additional surveillance deposit of 200 per cent of trade value shall be collected from the buyers which shall be retained with exchanges for a period for five months,” said the Sebi circular.
After the completion of the audits, if the exchanges do not find evidence that these companies indeed exist, they would be delisted. The companies will not be permitted to deal in any security on exchange platform and its holding in any depository account will be frozen till the delisting process is completed. A majority of the 331 companies are allegedly facing probe for alleged tax evasion and corporate frauds and have been referred by the Income Tax Department and Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to the corporate affairs ministry and Sebi for further action.
The existing laws do not define shell companies.
Aiming all-electric car fleet in country by 2030: Piyush Goyal
The world is moving towards electric vehicles and the government is working on a road map to ensure all-electric car fleet in the country.
The minister further said that although hybrid cars have cut down the fuel consumption a little bit, India will promote electric vehicles because it is the future.
Nine High Courts oppose all-India judicial service
Nine High Courts have opposed a proposal to have an all-India service for the lower judiciary, eight have sought changes in the proposed framework and only two have supported the idea. However, most of the High Courts want the administrative control over the subordinate judiciary to remain with the respective High Courts.
NCRB merged with bureau of police research
The government has merged the National Crimes Records Bureau (NCRB) – which, over the years, has been the principal source of reference by policy makers, police, criminologists, researchers and media – both in India and abroad, with the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D).
- NCRB’s functions will now be placed under the Director General of BPR&D, who will oversee all the data collection related to Crime in India, Accidental Deaths and Suicides, Prison Statistics and Fingerprints.
Why was the merger necessary?
It was felt that if the researchers of BPR&D, which conducts its own researches and commissions many to private institutes/bodies to study the crime patterns, policing and other related aspects, and statisticians of NCRB work together, there will be more accurate and research based data collection.
The NCRB was established in 1986 with a mandate to empower Indian police with information technology solutions and criminal intelligence to enable them to enforce the law effectively.
- It also compiles data on crimes, prosecutions, traffic related prosecutions, and prisons, suicides etc and its annual report were extensively globally to present India’s crime figures. The primary crime collection bureau also has the database of all the fingerprints in India and also plays a role in capacity building for government’s ambitious project – Crime and Criminal Tracking Networks and Systems (CCTNS).
- NCRB’s data on crimes against women, particularly rapes, has shaped government’s policies on safety of women in last few years.
Second phase of measles-rubella vaccination drive launched in eight states, UTs
Aiming to eliminate measles and curb instances of rubella by 2020, the Centre has rolled out the second phase of its measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign in the country.
Under the measles-rubella (MR) vaccination campaign, all children in the age group of 9 months to less than 15 years will be vaccinated in a phased manner across the nation. Following the campaign, MR vaccine will become a part of routine immunization and will replace measles vaccine, currently given at 9-12 months and 16-24 months of age of child.
While measles is a viral infection that can be fatal, congenital rubella syndrome is responsible for irreversible birth defects. Congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) is a cause of public health concern. CRS is characterized by congenital anomalies in the foetus and newborns affecting the eyes (glaucoma, cataract), ears (hearing loss), brain (microcephaly, mental retardation) and heart defects.