Rahul hugs Modi after slamming govt during the no confidence motion

In an unusual gesture, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday (July 20) hugged Prime Minister Narendra Modi after slamming BJP-led government during the no confidence motion. Modi while taken aback responded to Gandhi’s hug by shaking hands with him with a pat on his back and even exchanging some words with him. “I have not an iota of hatred or hard feelings against you. You hate me, I maybe ‘Pappu’ for you. But I love you and respect you because I am the Congress,” said Gandhi. —India Legal Bureau…
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Non-mentioning of Nikah Halala petition during SC vacation irks CJI

As the Supreme Court re-opened, on Monday (July 2), following its annual 44-day-long summer vacation, Chief Justice Dipak Misra expressed his displeasure at the controversial but reformist petition challenging the practice of Nikah Halala among a section of Muslims not being mentioned for hearing before the vacation benches of the apex court. As hearing of matters began in Court Number 1 before the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, senior advocate V Shekhar and lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay, appearing for one of the Delhi-based petitioners – Sameena Begum – alleged that she was under pressure to withdraw her petition challenging the abominable practices of ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy among a section of Muslims. Sameena Begum’s counsels told the bench that she was receiving anonymous threats because of the petition filed by her. While the court instructed Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, to file a response to the petition, Sameena Begum’s lawyers urged that the matter be listed before a five-judge constitution bench. The bench responded: “We will look into it.” However, Chief Justice Dipak Misra also questioned why mentioning of the important petition was being done today (on July 2) and wasn’t done during the vacations.…
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Raj Bhavan Row in Tamil Nadu: Governor’s Reign

Above: CPI (M) activists lay siege to Raj Bhavan to protest against the TN governor The constant tussle between TN governor Banwarilal Purohit and the DMK came to a head when 192 partymen were sent to jail and sets the course for further tensions ~By R Ramasubramanian in Chennai In an unprecedented move with far-reaching consequences, Raj Bhavan, the office-cum-residence of Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit, issued a statement on June 24 sternly warning those preventing the governor from exercising the powers given to him under the Constitution of India. The statement was issued in the name of a joint director of Raj Bhavan and interestingly, did not mention his name. The three-page press release said: “The office of the governor is protected under IPC 124. Attempts to restrain the governor from exercising any of the lawful powers by means of criminal force or attempts to overawe such governor, shall be punished with imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine.” Though the press release did not name any opposition party, it was obvious that the warning was directed at the DMK. The immediate provocation for this hard-hitting statement was a sudden siege of Raj Bhavan by over 1,000 DMK activists led by the opposition leader and DMK’s president MK Stalin on June 23.…
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Judges in Politics

Above: Retired judge Justice Abhay Thipsay (extreme right) with Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders/Photo: Twitter Former chief justices and judges have often ventured into politics but to imply that their judicial pronouncements were dictated by some extraneous considerations is contemptuous   ~By Upendra Baxi  From time to time, episodes of ideological or political party affiliation of appellate justices have sent eddies and whirlpools across the calm still waters of adjudicative process. Only triumphant confidence and serenity have met this occasional disquiet. It would be no different with retired Justice Abhay Thipsay, former judge of the Bombay and Allahabad High Courts who recently joined the Congress. He had joined the Bar in 1979 and became a magistrate in 1987; he was elevated to the High Court in 2011 after serving 24 years in the district judiciary. He was transferred to Allahabad High Court in May 2016, from where he retired in March 2017. Many a brethren have publically hailed Justice Thipsay for having a just reputation of being an honest and upright judge, and he himself has stated that throughout his judicial career, he decided cases without fear and favour, according to the law and the Constitution regardless of the impact on political parties.…
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BJP MLA approaches Delhi HC seeking end of strike by Delhi CM Kejriwal

Above: BJP MLA Vijender Gupta BJP MLA Vijender Gupta on Monday (June 18) approached Delhi High Court seeking an order to end strike by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal along with his cabinet members Satyender Jain, Gopal Rai and Manish Sisodia have been camping in the official accommodation-cum-office of Lt. Governor Anil Baijal. They are pressing for their demands to be met from the office of Lt. Governor and until they are not met they will not move from the office of Lt. Governor. The demands include a direction to IAS officers working in the Delhi administration to call-off their “strike”, action against officers who have obstructed work for “four months” and sanction to Delhi government’s scheme for doorstep delivery of ration to the poor. —India Legal Bureau…
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Bypoll Results: Saffron Singed

Above: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi/Photo: UNI The BJP’s crushing defeat against a united Opposition in the recent bypolls shows that the NDA has its task cut out if it wants to retain power in next year’s general elections ~By Puneet Nicholas Yadav With just a year to go before the 2019 general elections, the humiliating defeat of the BJP in bypolls for four Lok Sabha and eight assembly seats spread across nine states of the country must have come as a jolt to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. That the results came less than a fortnight after the embarrassment in Karnataka, where the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the May 12 assembly polls but had its hopes of forming a government dashed by the coming together of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular), must have added insult to injury. Of the four Lok Sabha bypolls—Kairana in Uttar Pradesh, Palghar and Bhandara-Gondiya in Maharashtra and Nagaland—the BJP technically retained only a single seat, that of Palghar where it found its biggest challenger to be its friend-turned-foe, the Shiv Sena. Even in Palghar, the party’s massive 2.30 lakh victory margin of the 2014 polls came down to just 29,572.…
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“Judges Should Speak Inside the Court Not Outside”

Above: Former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde (centre) flanked by Pradeep Rai, senior advocate, Supreme Court (second from left); Rajshri Rai, editor-in-chief, APN News (second from right); Inderjit Badhwar, editor-in-chief, India Legal (first right) and Dilip Bobb, senior managing editor, India Legal (first left)/Photo: Anil Shakya The former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde feels nobody gained or came out wiser in the recent episode which saw four senior apex court judges virtually revolt against the chief justice of India Former Supreme Court Justice Santosh Hegde has stated that senior judges have not set a good precedent by voicing their opinions against their colleagues in public. “There are thousands of judges in different high courts in India. Many of them would have differences of opinion and they would want to come out and express these in public, but then, what would become of institutional integrity. Judiciary should never be in public at all. It is an institution that has to work on its own. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is discussing what’s happening in the judiciary. This is not what was expected,” said Justice Hegde, the former Karnataka Lokayukta, while participating in an India Legal Show. “When you are a judge, you should be seen talking only inside the court, not outside,” he said about the ongoing rift in the Judiciary.…
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“Judges Should Speak Inside the Court Not Outside”

Above: Former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde (centre) flanked by Pradeep Rai, senior advocate, Supreme Court (second from left); Rajshri Rai, editor-in-chief, APN News (second from right); Inderjit Badhwar, editor-in-chief, India Legal (first right) and Dilip Bobb, senior managing editor, India Legal (first left)/Photo: Anil Shakya The former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde feels nobody gained or came out wiser in the recent episode which saw four senior apex court judges virtually revolt against the chief justice of India Former Supreme Court Justice Santosh Hegde has stated that senior judges have not set a good precedent by voicing their opinions against their colleagues in public. “There are thousands of judges in different high courts in India. Many of them would have differences of opinion and they would want to come out and express these in public, but then, what would become of institutional integrity. Judiciary should never be in public at all. It is an institution that has to work on its own. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is discussing what’s happening in the judiciary. This is not what was expected,” said Justice Hegde, the former Karnataka Lokayukta, while participating in an India Legal Show. “When you are a judge, you should be seen talking only inside the court, not outside,” he said about the ongoing rift in the Judiciary.…
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A PUNCH IN THE SNOUT

By Inderjit Badhwar On June 1, 2018, a day after the BJP received a political drubbing in the bypolls across India, The Indian Express carried two headlines on its first page: “Opposition Parties Take 11 of 14 Assembly and Lok Sabha Seats.” Side by side, it ran a feel-good headline for the ruling party: “Good Rabi Crop, Uptick in Factory Output Lift GDP up to 7.7 Per Cent.” Does it make any sense? The economy growing at about the fastest rate in the world, while the government receives a simultaneous thrashing at the hands of voters in what could be a prelude to the 2019 general elections? In Kairana, UP, which had become the riot-torn crucible for vote-catching Hindu-Muslim politics following bloody communal clashes and a religion-based exodus of population that swept the BJP and its majoritarian sabre-rattlers into power, “Jats and Muslims stepped over riot faultlines to vote together”, the Express said. Actually, this is an  example of why statistics should be damned, and political parties should be careful of using “surging” GDP and related feel-good econometrics of the kind regurgitated by the likes of Surjit Bhalla as vote-catching electoral propaganda. It just doesn’t work. When a voter is unemployed, his pockets empty, jobs shrinking, diesel and petrol prices skyrocketing, mandis in distress, prices soaring, GST raising the cost of anything you touch, markets shrinking, uncountable jobs sacrificed at the altar of economic adventurism like demonetisation which failed to distinguish between a “black economy” and a cash-based economy, he’s going to punch you right in the nose when you tell him you stand for the farmer and the working man.…
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A PUNCH IN THE SNOUT

By Inderjit Badhwar On June 1, 2018, a day after the BJP received a political drubbing in the bypolls across India, The Indian Express carried two headlines on its first page: “Opposition Parties Take 11 of 14 Assembly and Lok Sabha Seats.” Side by side, it ran a feel-good headline for the ruling party: “Good Rabi Crop, Uptick in Factory Output Lift GDP up to 7.7 Per Cent.” Does it make any sense? The economy growing at about the fastest rate in the world, while the government receives a simultaneous thrashing at the hands of voters in what could be a prelude to the 2019 general elections? In Kairana, UP, which had become the riot-torn crucible for vote-catching Hindu-Muslim politics following bloody communal clashes and a religion-based exodus of population that swept the BJP and its majoritarian sabre-rattlers into power, “Jats and Muslims stepped over riot faultlines to vote together”, the Express said. Actually, this is an  example of why statistics should be damned, and political parties should be careful of using “surging” GDP and related feel-good econometrics of the kind regurgitated by the likes of Surjit Bhalla as vote-catching electoral propaganda. It just doesn’t work. When a voter is unemployed, his pockets empty, jobs shrinking, diesel and petrol prices skyrocketing, mandis in distress, prices soaring, GST raising the cost of anything you touch, markets shrinking, uncountable jobs sacrificed at the altar of economic adventurism like demonetisation which failed to distinguish between a “black economy” and a cash-based economy, he’s going to punch you right in the nose when you tell him you stand for the farmer and the working man.…
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The Media: Manufacturing Consent

~By Dilip Bobb Back in 1988, Noam Chomsky co-authored a book titled Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.  The book laid down five filters of ‘editorial bias’ which defined the ‘’propaganda model of manufacture of consent’’, foremost among them being Size, Ownership, and Profit Orientation. The book argued forcefully that the dominant mass-media outlets are large companies operated for profit, and therefore they must cater to the financial interests of the owners… The size of a media company, it concluded, was a consequence of the investment capital required for the mass-communications technology required to reach a mass audience of viewers, listeners, and readers. The Cobrapost sting operation reveals just that—the bigger the media house that was approached, the greater the willingness to carry promotions of the Hindutva agenda and influence the outcome of elections—-for large sums of money that proved non-existent. To be sure, there were many top executives who admitted on tape that they were supporters of the Modi government, and, by extention, its Hindutva agenda, but the conversations with owners like Vineet Jain and Kalli Purie, who dictate editorial policy as well, suggested that for a large infusion of cash—the promised bonanza ranged from Rs 500 to 1000 crore—editorial ethics and the traditional barrier between church and state, or editorial and advertising—was merely restricted to their advertising slogans and mastheads.…
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Karnataka: Rocky Road Ahead

Bengaluru Graffiti Thanksgiving tours The new Karnataka chief minister, HD Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (S), took the oath of office in the name of secularism but that does not mean he is anti-religion. In fact, he is a God-fearing man who, in the space of three days, before taking the oath, chopper-hopped to nearly a dozen temples across Karnataka—five in his home district of Hassan apart from Dharmasthala and Sringeri in the BJP bastion of coastal Karnataka. He also sought blessings from Goddess Chamundeshwari (or Durga, the fierce form of Shakti) in the 12th century Hoysala temple revered for centuries by Mysore maharajas. The previous Congress CM, Siddaramaiah, had lost his seat to a JD (S) candidate, GT Deve Gowda. He also managed to visit temples in his constituency, Ramanagaram, and two others in Bengaluru. Kumaraswamy’s wife, Anitha, tipped to contest from Ramanagaram in the bypoll (Kumaraswamy won from there as well as Channapatna), visits temples regularly—some say twice or thrice a week. For now, her prayers seem to have been answered. Mamata miffed Kumaraswamy called upon thousands of his followers to descend on Bengaluru to witness his swearing-in for the second time. And they did, jamming roads, choking traffic and causing untold misery to commuters and pedestrians alike.…
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