11:19 Judgment in short:
Services – Larger Bench
Anti corruption branch – Centre
Appropriate govt under the Commission of Enquiry Act – Centre Electricty reforms – Delhi govt
Revision of minimum rates of agri land: Delhi govt but LG can refer to President
Power to appoint Special Public Prosecutor and law officers: Delhi govt
11:14 LG vs Delhi govt: SC says Centre controls anti-corruption bureau:
The Centre controls the anti-corruption bureau and not the Delhi government, the Supreme Court has said in a huge blow to Arvind Kejriwal’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party. The court has given its verdict on on petitions seeking clarity on the powers of the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor. The two judges are divided over transfers, said Justice AK Sikri.
The two-judge bench of the Supreme Court has offered up a split verdict on the jurisdiction of the Centre vs the Delhi government on the appointment and transfer of bureaucrats in Delhi. Justice AK Sikri holds transfers of posting of Joint Secretary and above officers are in the domain of the Lieutenant Governor while other officers fall under the Delhi govt. However, in case of a difference of opinion, the view of the LG will prevail.
The court was hearing a bunch of petitions seeking a clarification on its July 2018 judgment spelling out the powers of the Delhi government and the Lieutenant Governor.
Lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay said that the Supreme Court took a decision on six issues. SC ruled in favour of Centre in 4 of them, which inlcude:. Anti-Corruption Bureau, posting & transfer of Grade 1 & Grade 2 officers, Commission of Inquiry, all of which falls under the Centre’s jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court unanimously held that the Centre has the power to set up an Inquiry Commission.
Lawyers representing the Aam Aadmi Party administration had told the court that ambiguities remained in dealing with administrative matters of the national capital in spite of the previous judgment delivered by a five-judge constitution bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra.
On November 1, a bench of Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan had concluded hearing petitions challenging notifications issued by the Arvind Kejriwal government in the wake of the top court verdict.
10:41 30000 motorcyclists booked for not wearing helmets in Puducherry: Around 30,000 people have been booked for riding motorcycles without wearing helmets in the Union Territory of Puducherry since February 11, a senior police officer said. The officer said traffic policemen have been noting down registration numbers of motorcycles when they come across the riders without helmets. Court summons will be issued to the violators. A first-time offender will be levied a penalty of Rs 100 and repeat offenders will be fined Rs 300. For violations of the rule thereafter, the riders’ driving licence would be cancelled, the officer said. — PTI
10:29 PM encouraged Guv Bedi to create problems, says Puducherry CM: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Thursday accused Governor Kiran Bedi of interfering in the governments functioning and asserted that Bedi is being encouraged by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create problems for his government.
She (Kiran Bedi) has no power at all, she has to only be a post office and sign papers which have been sent by the council of ministers. She has no right to touch cabinet decisions, she is vetoing decisions. She is being encouraged by the Prime Minister to create problems for our government,” the Chief Minister told ANI.
Bedi has been at loggerheads with the Puducherry government on various issues with Narayanasamy accusing her of delaying clearance to welfare schemes and bypassing the elected government.
On Wednesday, he had staged a protest outside the Raj Bhawan, the official residence of Governor Kiran Bedi alleging she was misusing her powers and also interfering in the day-to-day activities of the government.
Protesting outside the Raj Bhawan wearing black clothes, Narayanasamy alleged that Bedi was forcing upon the law-abiding citizens rules such as the compulsory wearing of helmets and others.
The Chief Minister urged that people of Puducherry are law-abiding citizens and nobody should impose rules upon them forcefully. He also urged that the helmet enforcement rule by Puducherry director general of police S Sundari Nanda should be taken up in a phased manner.
In a tweet, Narayanasamy alleged that Bedi had not yet resolved 39 pending issues which were raised and sent to her, including the release of funds, payment of salaries and approval of projects.
Earlier, Kiran Bedi took to Twitter and criticised the Chief Minister for stalling enforcement of helmet rule.
“When there’s no culture of wearing a helmet in Puducherry and its CM keeps stalling enforcement and every 3rd day there’s a fatal accident, due to non-wearing of a helmet, where does one begin? Give up or take it in ones own hands as well, alongside challenging enforcement agencies?” she wrote on Twitter on February 10. — ANI
10:12 Naval officer booked for ‘molesting’ domestic help in Goa: A 46-year-old senior naval officer posted in Goa has been booked for allegedly molesting his domestic help, police said on Thursday. The maid filed a complaint of molestation and sexual harassment against Commodore Mankandan Nambiar, posted at the INS Hansa naval base in Panaji, on Wednesday, Vasco police station inspector Nolasco Raposo said.
In the complaint, the woman accused the officer of molesting her at his private residence in Vasco town, located around 40 km from in South Goa district, he said.
The officer has been booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 354 (assault or criminal force on woman with an intent to outrage her modesty), 354-A (sexual harassment) and 354-B (assault or use of criminal force on woman with an intent to disrobe), he said. After the officer was booked, he moved a local court for anticipatory bail, the police added. — PTI
10:08 Huge fire breaks out at commercial building in Delhi’s Naraina:
A fire broke out at a commercial building in west Delhi’s Naraina on Thursday, Delhi Fire Service said.
A call was received at 7.10 am after which 23 fire tenders were rushed to the spot, a senior fire service officer said.
No causality was reported. The cause of the fire was not immediately known, he said.
The incident occurred days after a massive fire at a hotel in Karol Bagh claimed 17 lives. — PTI
10:03 US Secretary of Commerce cancels India visit due to bad weather:
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross had to cancel his India visit for the India-US Commercial Dialogue and the CEO Forum on Thursday due to inclement weather that led to the cancellation of his flight.
Ross will now participate in both the meetings via video conference.
“Due to inclement weather, technical problems that led to the cancellation of his flight, and other logistical issues, Secretary Ross regrets he is no longer able to attend the CEO Forum and Commercial Dialogue in person,” a US Commerce Department spokesperson said.
“He intends to participate in most of the sessions remotely and thanks our private sector and Government of India hosts for their continued partnership as we further strengthen the ties between our two countries,” the spokesperson said. — PTI
09:27 Why PM not instructing banks to accept money I am offering: Mallya:
Fugitive businessman Vijay Mallya on Thursday asked as to why Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not instructing the banks to take the money he had made available to pay off the public funds lent to Kingfisher.
On February 4, the UK Home Office has signed an order approving the extradition of Mallya to India.
“The Prime Ministers last speech in Parliament was brought to my attention. He certainly is a very eloquent speaker. I noticed that he referred to an unnamed person who ran away with 9000 crores. Given the media narrative I can only infer that reference is to me,” Mallya said in a serie of tweets.
“Following on from my earlier tweet, I respectfully ask why the Prime Minister is not instructing his Banks to take the money I have put on the table so he can at least claim credit for full recovery of public funds lent to Kingfisher,” he said in a series of tweet.
The reaction from Mallya came after Modi in his last Parliament speech on Wednesday referred to an unnamed person who “ran away” with Rs 9,000 crore.
The fugitive liquor baron further claimed that he has made the offer to settle the matter before the high court of Karnataka.
“I have made the offer to settle before the HonBle High Court Court of Karnataka. This cannot be dismissed as frivolous. It is a perfectly tangible, sincere, honest and readily achievable offer. The shoe is on the other foot now. Why dont the Banks take the money lent to KFA?” he added.
Mallya said: “Am appalled to say the least at the media reports on the Enforcement Directorate claims that I hid my wealth ! If there was hidden wealth how could I put approximately 14,000 crores worth of assets openly in front of Court? Shameful misleading of public opinion but unsurprising.”
08:51 Delhi hotel fire: DNA profiling to be done of unidentified body:
An unidentified and badly-charred body, recovered from Hotel Arpit Palace in central Delhi where a blaze claimed 17 lives on Tuesday, would be subjected to DNA profiling amid a desperate search by the family members of hotel staff Lal Chand, who remained untraced after the tragic incident, officials said on Wednesday.
The family members of Chand described him as a heavily-built man. They were in a state of shock when asked to identify the body at the mortuary of Ram Manohar Lohia hospital as it was beyond recognition.
“At least five members of our family went to identify the body, but it was charred to such an extent that we could not identify it. He was a heavyweight man. Hardly anything is left (of the body), only the skeleton. The body has compressed. How can we claim the body when we are not sure?,” asked Kamlesh, a relative of Chand.
Since the body is charred beyond recognition, officials are now opting for DNA profiling to ascertain if it is that of Chand.
The medical officer at the RML hospital said the tissues had been preserved and the blood samples of Chand’s relatives would be taken, adding that the DNA profiling would take a couple of days since it also involved the role of the Forensic Science Laboratory.
Chand’s family has been running from pillar to post to trace him.
His elder brother, Tulsi Ram, along with Chand’s son Himanshu and other members of the family, visited at least five hospitals since Tuesday morning.
The family also went to the Karol Bagh police station at around 10 am on Wednesday to check if the officials had any details about him.
Himanshu was on his way to college on Tuesday, when he saw a huge crowd and a heavy police deployment near the hotel, where his father worked as a supervisor for close to 25 years. — PTI
08:30 Don’t elect 12th pass PM this time: Kejriwal’s dig at Modi:
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday asked people to vote for an educated person for the prime ministerial post, instead of a Class “12th pass”, indirectly referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“I want to tell the people that the position of the prime minister is very important. Last time, you made a 12th pass person the prime minister of India. This time don’t make the 12th pass the prime minister. Search for a well-educated person. It is better when a literate person becomes the prime minister. The person who is 12th pass does not even understand which document he is signing. The second problem with him is that he does not consult anyone. He does what he wants to do,” Kejriwal said at a dharna at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
Talking about the political drama between the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government and the Centre, Kejriwal said that Prime Minister Modi wants to destroy BR Ambedkar’s Constitution.
“If Kolkata Police Commissioner (Rajeev Kumar) had got arrested that day then a message would have gone to all governments and police force across the country that one needs to be worried about the Narendra Modi-led government now and not the state governments,” Kejriwal said.
“BR Ambedkar made a Constitution which provided different powers to the state and central governments. Today Narendra Modi wants to destroy that Constitution. He wants to end democracy in this country. I salute Mamata Banerjee for what she did to Prime Minister Modi’s CBI officials,” he added.
Kejriwal later went on to compare Prime Minister Modi with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. — ANI
01:59 Sitharaman visits Germany, reviews defence ties:
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday concluded an official bilateral visit to Germany and reviewed a gamut of bilateral defence cooperation, which is emerging as an important facet of India-Germany Strategic Partnership.
Sitharaman’s visit took place between February 12-13, at the invitation of her counterpart, Minister of Defence of Germany, Ursula von der Leyen.
The ministers noted with satisfaction the steady growth in bilateral defence ties and signed an Implementing Arrangement on Enhanced Defence and Defence Industry Cooperation, which would further strengthen military to military engagement, the defence industry as well as research and development (R&D) linkages.
The duo also exchanged views on regional and international developments of mutual interest.
Sitharaman addressed a select audience at the prestigious German think tank DGAP (German Council on Foreign Relations), on Indias Defence Engagement in a Disordered World: Principles, Priorities and Partnerships.
She highlighted Indias defence priorities and engagements with the aim to contribute towards a secure, stable and peaceful environment and enable greater prosperity for all.
Sitharaman further emphasised the need for like-minded liberal democracies with common values and common interests, such as India and Germany, to build on the commonality of assessments on strategic issues and work together to strengthen the rules-based world order.
During her visit, the defence minister also interacted with CEOs of the German and Indian defence industry.
The minister also urged them to expand their collaboration in defence manufacturing in India under the Make in India initiative as well as promote defence technology and R&D cooperation with the Indian companies. — ANI