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‘Appoint Jammu and Kashmir High Court judge in SC to hear Article 370 pleas’

Pune-based activist Asim Sarode sent a letter to the Chief Justice, the Collegium designated with the duty of appointing judges, the President and the Prime Minister.

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Supreme Court of India

Pune, Aug 13 (IANS) A Maharashtra legal activist on Tuesday said that the Supreme Court must elevate and include a sitting judge from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to hear the various petitions filed before the apex court challenging the government’s abrogation of Article 370 and deletion of 35A.

Pune-based activist Asim Sarode sent a letter to the Chief Justice, the Collegium designated with the duty of appointing judges, the President and the Prime Minister.

“For all these years, there was no representation of judges from Jammu and Kashmir in the Supreme Court, but now since the strength of judges has been increased from 31 to 33, there are vacancies in the apex court. Hence, we have requested the Chief Justice of India to elevate the senior-most judge from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to the Supreme Court,” Sarode said.

As per the latest developments and certain media reports, the activist said all the judges of Jammu and Kashmir High Court shall be re-administered the oath of allegiance to the Indian Constitution, and hence will be bound to uphold the supremacy of only ‘The Constitution of India’.

“We have also requested that the judge from Jammu and Kashmir, who is a local who is aware of the entire matter, besides knowing the pulse of the people of that erstwhile state, should be involved in the hearing of all matters related to Article 370 and 35A,” Sarode told IANS.

He pointed out that participation of a legal luminary from Jammu and Kashmir will add an important perspective on how Article 370 and 35A will impact the lives of people, or whether its deletion is good, and such participation will be of immense help as there are some who believe the decision may have an adverse impact.

“A judge who hails from the region and has spent his entire life there understands the ground realities, actual social, cultural, economic and political impact and significance of such decisions better, and can view issues from a wider spectrum that others may overlook,” Sarode added.

He made it clear that while this was not intended to “undermine the intelligence, sensitivity of fairness of other honourable judges”, but by including a judge from Jammu and Kashmir High Court it could make the decisions more “inclusive” and the country could derive the benefit of their first-hand experience in the matter.

As per current indications, around half-a-dozen petitions have been filed in the apex court from different parts of India, including Jammu and Kashmir, challenging the government’s move on Article 370 and 35A and are likely to come up for hearing in due course, Sarode concluded.

A lawyer since 18 years, Sarode, 48, was awarded the global fellowship of Social Change Makers from Washington for his work in judicial reforms, human rights analysis and Constitution protection.

In March this year, he was invited to address the United Nations Human Rights Council Meeting in Geneva, where he spoke on the violation of human rights in various spheres.

India

Military officers, bureaucrats move SC over Article 370

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jammu and kashmir ladakh

New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) Six retired military officers and bureaucrats have filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the decision to revoke Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The petitioners include Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Kapil Kak, Major General (Retd) Ashok Kumar Mehta, former IAS officers Hindal Haidar Tyabji, Amitabha Pande and Gopal Pillai, and former member of the Home Ministry’s group of interlocutors for J&K, Radha Kumar.

The petitioners said that the method of altering Article 370 by purporting to apply Article 367 with modifications to the state of Jammu and Kashmir is nothing but a fraud on the Constitution.

The petitioners have sought quashing of the Presidential Order as well as the Jammu & Kashmir (Reorganisation) Act, 2019.

This is the seventh petition filed in the Supreme Court challenging the abrogation of Article 370.

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Cities

Major fire in AIIMS, Emergency wing closed

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New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) A major fire broke out on a second floor of a building in the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) complex on Saturday evening. No casualty was reported but as a precautionary measure, the adjacent Emergency department has been closed and patients shifted elsewhere even as efforts to douse the blaze are on.

The fire broke out in the PC building, which is a teaching block and mainly comprises research labs. However, the Microbiology Department’s Virology unit was completely gutted while several samples and medical reports were destroyed.

Former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is currently undergoing treatment at AIIMS, is admitted at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the cardio-neuro centre, housed in a different building in the complex.

According to Atul Garg, Chief Fire Officer of Delhi Fire Services, a call regarding the fire was received at around 4.50 p.m. following which 34 fire tenders were rushed to the spot.


“The fire broke on the second floor in the PC building which does not have patients but is situated near the Emergency block. The fire was brought under control at around 6.30 p.m.,” said Garg adding that no casualty was reported.

Another fire official said the exact reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained, though initial investigation suggests a short circuit.

As panic spread among people, authorities closed some nearby buildings housing the Emergency and other facilities and shifted the patients to other wards.

“As a precautionary measure, authorities closed the Emergency department which is adjacent to the building that caught fire,” a source in the hospital said, adding that B block, ward AB1, and super specialty OPD area of AIIMS have also been shut down.

“Patients were shifted to other wards from the Emergency department soon after the building caught fire,” the source added.

Sources in the Fire Department said that the blaze spread to the Emergency Lab in the department of Lab Medicine, where electricity work was going on for some time and cable and wire being used were kept.

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Man held for duping over 20 women on matrimonial sites

He used to target middle-aged unmarried/widowed/divorced women on matrimonial and dating sites and after befriending them on the pretext of marriage, he used to take money from them.

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New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) A 46-year-old man has been arrested from Meerut for allegedly defrauding over 20 women through matrimonial and dating sites, police said on Saturday.

The accused Gaurav Dhamija, a car spare parts dealer, mostly targeted widowed or divorced women and projected his virtual identity as a handsome, successful entrepreneur earning Rs 25-30 lakhs per annum.

“We had received a complaint at the Cyber Crime Unit/CyPAD, in which the complainant alleged that she has been defrauded by a fraudster who tricked her into depositing money after she showed interest in his very impressive profile on a matrimonial site. The fraudster, Dhamija, trapped her through a volley of emotional tricks such as calling the victim ‘Mrs Dhamija’ and promising to buy expensive gifts for her,” said Anyesh Roy, DCP (Cyber cell).

Police said that once the victim was emotionally trapped, he started asking for money on various pretexts such as parents’ treatment, business investment and other.

“The accused started with small sums and gradually escalated his demands. He kept asking for money but always avoided coming forward in real life. The victims kept paying him due to escalation of their commitment. It was only when the fraudster’s act became too brazen that they started demanding their money back, only to be threatened with dire consequences,” said Roy.

On the basis of the complaint, a case under suitable sections was registered and investigation was taken up, police said.

“During the course of investigation, technical details, including the digital footprints were collected. The accused, who is a resident of Nihal Vihar, Delhi, kept changing his location to evade arrest. His movements were tracked to Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and western UP. Finally, with the help of technical data and field inputs, the fraudster was arrested from Meerut,” said Roy.

During interrogation, he disclosed that he used to target middle-aged unmarried/widowed/divorced women on matrimonial and dating sites and after befriending them on the pretext of marriage, he used to take money from them.

“When they demanded the money back, he used to threaten them with dire consequences. It was also revealed that he also used to cheat some of these women by promising to get them jobs in schools and municipal bodies and used to take huge sums from them,” said Roy.

Police said they have found names of more than 20 victims disclosed by the accused who have been cheated by him. The victims are being identified and contacted to join the investigation.

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