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Arrest warrant against Tharoor over ‘Hindu Pakistan’ remark

During a speech last year, the Congress leader from Thiruvananthapuram had said that BJP’s return to power for the second term would pave the way for the creation of a Hindu Pakistan.

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shashi tharoor

Kolkata, Aug 13 (IANS) A Kolkata court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant against Congress leader and former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor in a case filed over his remark last year that BJP’s victory in the 2019 general elections will turn the country into a “Hindu Pakistan”.

The warrant has been issued by the Magistrate Metropolitan Court in Kolkata on the basis of a petition filed by Sumeet Chowdhary, a city-based lawyer.

During a speech last year, the Congress leader from Thiruvananthapuram had said that BJP’s return to power for the second term would pave the way for the creation of a Hindu Pakistan.

Petitioner Chowdhary alleged Tharoor’s comment created disharmony and was “a deliberate and malicious act intended to outrage religious feelings”.

Tharoor was also sued under Section 2 of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971.

India

Sonia Gandhi to visit Shivakumar in Tihar on Wednesday

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DK Shivakumar

New Delhi, Oct 22 : Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to visit D.K. Shivakumar, party leader and former Minister, in Tihar Jail on Wednesday.

She is likely to be accompanied by K.C. Venugopal, General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka.

Shivakumar was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case on September 3. His bail plea is pending with the court and the ED probe is underway.

A Congress strongman in Karnataka, Shivakumar was instrumental in smooth running of the JD-S and Congress coalition government.

Last month, Gandhi along with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had visited former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in jail. Chidambaram was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Tuesday in the INX media case.

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Health

Salman Khurshid praises Aayushman Bharat scheme

Khurshid said the Aayushman Bharat had not been implemented properly and the funds allocated for it was not spent.

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Salman Khurshid

Lucknow, Oct 22 : Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid here on Tuesday praised the Aayushman Bharat scheme saying it must get everyone’s support.

“This is a great initiative for poor as well as middle class. Everyone should support the scheme. This is a good scheme that must get support from every person,” Khurshid said speaking at the 15th meeting of the Finance Commission.

However, he said the Aayushman Bharat had not been implemented properly and the funds allocated for it was not spent.

The Aayushman Bharat was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an aim to provide health benefits to the people.

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Cities

Court dismisses complaint against Gambhir over 2 voter IDs

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Gautam Gambhir

New Delhi, Oct 22 : A Delhi court on Tuesday dismissed a complaint case against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gautam Gambhir that accused him of possessing two voter identity cards.

The complaint case was filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Atishi Marlena, who contested Lok Sabha polls against Gambhir from East Delhi.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal dismissed the complaint saying that the allegations against Gambhir are baseless and not legally sustainable. The court also opined that the purport of section 125 is not to punish those concealments which are not required by the law to be given and said: “I am of the view that by giving the information of registration as a voter in Rajinder Nagar constituency, the respondent (Gambhir) has complied with the provisions of section 33 (1) and 33A(2) of the Act.”

Marlena had requested the court to direct Delhi Police to register a case against cricketer-turned-politician Gambhir under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act for concealing possession of voter ID card from two places, one from Rajinder Nagar and another from Karol Bagh.

“It deals with that part of the affidavit where a candidate has to disclose his place of enrollment as a voter. It is not the case of the complainant that this information is wrong. The only allegation is that he was registered in Karol Bagh constituency is concealed. It is clear that in this Form, the candidate has to declare the place of his registration which is rightfully declared. There is no other information in any other column which is concealed or wrongly given,” the court said.

Adding “not mentioning the second place of registration as a voter is not a concealment within the meaning of section 125 A of the Act”, the court said: “…when mere registration at two places is not a disqualification to contest the election, how can a mere fact that one of the place of registration was not mentioned in the nomination form or affidavit may amount to concealment and a criminal offence. The positive information was already given in the affidavit.”

Dealing with the question if mere registration of a person as a voter, in two different constituencies was an offence, the court observed that a person could not be disqualified if his name finds place in multiple constituencies.

The court said that “if a person cannot be disqualified from contesting elections merely because he is a voter in two different constituencies, his criminal prosecution for having so registered will be completely unauthorised in law.”

The court said that “no evidence on record” that showed a false declaration was made by Gambhir that amounted to an offence under law. Marlena said that Gambhir violated provisions of the Representation of the People Act by concealing certain information or providing false information in his nomination papers.

She told the court that as per Section 17 of Representation of People Act, no person can be enrolled as a voter in more than one constituency and doing so is a criminal offence. She also stated that as per Section 31 of the Representation of People Act, if any person makes any false declaration, he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or both.

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