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After Kerala, Rajasthan moves SC challenging CAA’s validity

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Matunga Mumbai

New Delhi, March 16 : The Congress-ruled Rajasthan government filed an Original Suit in the Supreme Court under the Constitution’s Article 131, challenging the validity of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), as it violates Articles 14 and 21 and also the basic structure on the principle of secularism.

The suit, filed through lawyer D.K. Devesh, urged the apex court to pass a judgment and decree declaring the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (Act 47 of 2019) to be ultra vires the provisions of the Constitution, therefore it should be declared void.

“The Act strikes at the basic structure of the Constitution by affecting the secular character of the country. We, the People, have given to themselves the Constitution. The Union of India, the various States, all function within the bounds of the Constitution. There are certain core values enshrined in our Constitution which constrain the various organs of the State including the Union of India to pass legislation which are in comport with the essential concepts of the Constitution,” it said.

Earlier, the Left-ruled Kerala was the first state to challenge the CAA in the Supreme Court. The state’s Assembly was also the first in the country to pass a resolution against the Act. The Kerala government contended there is no rationale in grouping together the three countries — Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh — for the purpose of the CAA and rules and orders.

The amended law seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.

The suit urged the top court to pass a judgement and decree that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 is violative of Article 14 (right to equality) and Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution. “Thus Act 47 of 2019 (CAA) be declared as void under Article 13 of the Constitution,” said the suit.

The suit said under Article 13 of the Constitution, CAA and the Passport Rules Amendments as well as the Foreign Order Amendments infringe fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution, are void.

Besides, the suit contended the Passport (Entry to India) Amendment Rules, 2015 and Foreigners (Amendment) Order are ultra vires the Constitution and be declared void.

India

71 Shramik Special trains diverted between May 21-24: Chairman

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migrant workers

New Delhi, May 29 : Facing criticism over diverting the Shramik Special trains through longer routes without intimating the passengers, Chairman Railway Board V.K. Yadav on Friday refuted the claims that the trains “lost” their ways and said that 71 trains were diverted out of the total 3,840 Shramik Specials run so far.

He said only four trains were delayed by over 72 hours to reach their destinations since railways started operating on May 1. Addressing a press conference here, Yadav also said that 90 per cent of these migrant trains ran with an average speed higher than regular mail express trains.

“From 20-24 May, 71 trains were diverted because of high demand for trains to UP, Bihar, where 90 per cent trains were going from across the country,” Yadav said, adding that out of which only four were delayed more than 72 hours to reach their destination. He said that among the destination-states for which the trains were diverted were Bihar (51), Uttar Pradesh (16), Jharkhand (2), Assam and Manipur (1 each).

He said among the originating-states for which trains were diverted included Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan. The clarifications came amid criticism over delays that the migrant trains were getting “lost” before reaching their destinations and passengers taking to social media criticising the national transporter for delays in their journey.

The Chairman said that till May 28, 3,840 Shramik Specials have been operated that ferried a total of 52 lakh passengers. He further said that 1,524 Shramik trains operated in last one week and over 20 lakh passengers were ferried. “Railways has accommodated almost all requests received from the sending states and we are ready to meet all demand of Shramik movements,” he said, adding “as of now we have demand for around 492 trains”.

When asked about the total number of deaths of passengers while travelling in the Shramik Special trains, he said that the national transporter was compiling a list of people who died on the trains as he urged everyone with pre-existing health conditions, pregnant women and the aged to avoid unnecessary travel.

The railways has faced criticism after a video of toddler trying to wake his dead mother at Bihar’s Muzaffarpur railway station on May 25. The woman was travelling to Katihar from a Shramik Special train that has started its journey from Gujarat’s Ahmedabad.

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Business

SC notice to Tata Sons on cross-appeal by Mistry against NCLAT verdict

Mistry’s side had also wanted to place a note apparently on an interim arrangement, but it was not accepted by the court.

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Ratan Tata

New Delhi, May 29 : The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a cross-appeal filed by Cyrus Mistry, seeking more relief than granted by the NCLAT verdict in December 2019.

The apex court issued notice to Tata Sons Pvt Ltd (TSPL) and others, and tagged the cross-appeals with the appeals filed by Tata Sons, Ratan Tata and others challenging the NCLAT verdict, which reinstated Mistry as the Executive Director of Tata Sons. Mistry and his firm sought removal of anomalies in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) verdict to get representation on the TSPL board.

A bench of Justices A.S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, which took up the matter through video conferencing, said: “Issue notice. Tag with Civil Appeal Nos… And connected matters, if any. In the meantime, pleadings be completed by the parties within a period of four weeks from today. List the matter(s) thereafter.”

In January, the apex court had stayed the NCLAT order.

Through the cross-appeal, Mistry is seeking representation on the board in proportion to the 18.37 per cent stake held by his family. The cross-appeal argued that it was incumbent on the NCLAT to have granted proportionate representation that would have ensured that the interests of the SP Group are protected in future.

In the petition, Mistry has described the group’s relationship with Tatas as a quasi-partnership relationship of a vintage of over 60 years, holding 18.37 per cent in the equity share capital of Tata Sons and whose stake is now worth over Rs 1.5 Lakh crore.

In January, the apex court had observed, “You (Cyrus) have been out of the saddle for a long time…how does it hurt you today.” Tatas were represented through senior advocates A.M. Singhvi, Harish Salve, Mukul Rohatgi and Mohan Parasaran.

A heated argument broke out on the court’s remark on the stay of the tribunal judgement. Senior advocate C.A. Sundaram, representing the company Cyrus Investment Pvt Ltd, contended instead of staying the tribunal judgement, the court could order status quo; and a notice could be issued within two weeks to file a reply.

Mistry’s side had also wanted to place a note apparently on an interim arrangement, but it was not accepted by the court.

Senior advocate N.K. Kaul represented Mistry and senior advocate Shyam Divan represented the shareholders on Mistry’s side. Mistry’s side also said that they have been sidelined completely.

Sundaram contended before the bench he was not pressing on relief in connection with the reinstatement, instead he was against the wrong process adopted to remove Mistry.

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Cities

Containment zones in Delhi jump to 102

Covid-19 cases in the national capital crossed 17,000 on Friday.

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covid lockdown delhi

New Delhi, May 29 : The total number of containment zones in the national capital jumped to 102 on Friday with the highest 21 active in the North district.

So far, a total of 50 zones have been de-contained, as per the data shared by the Delhi government on Friday — highest 12 from the West district.

Followed by the north district, the South East has 16 containment zones while the South districts has 13 zones.

Among those having the least zones were — New Delhi and West, each having three active zones. The South West has 12 such zones while the North West district has 10 containment zones.

The Central district has seven zones and the North East district has four zones while Shahdara district has eight zones.

Five containment zones are in the East district.

Covid-19 cases in the national capital crossed 17,000 on Friday.

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