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Bopaiah to remain Pro Team Speaker, Supreme Court orders Live Telecast of Floor Test

Earlier in the day, the party alleged Bopaiah’s appointment was made “with the sole intent of manufacturing a majority out of minority for Yeddyurappa”.

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, May 19: The Supreme Court on Saturday said BJP MLA KG Bopaiah will remain the pro tem speaker and ordered the live telecast of the crucial floor test in Karnataka Assembly.

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by the Congress and the JD-S challenging Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala’s decision to appoint K.G. Bopaiah, a relatively junior MLA, as the pro-tem Speaker of the assembly.

Speaking to media after the Court order, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said “Most important objective was to establish transparency. Since the statement has come from ASG that live feed of proceedings would be given, we hope and trust there would be fairness. I have no doubt that the victory would be of Congress and JD(S)”.

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Kapil Sibal appeared for Congress & JD(S), Noted Lawyer Ram Jethmalani also present. While AG KK Venugopal & ASG Tushar Mehta along with Sr Advocate Mukul Rohatgi defended the appointment of Pro tem speaker.

A bench of Justice A.K. Sikri, Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice Ashok Bhushan is hearing the plea.

Advocate Dev Dutt Kamat, who has filed the application, told media that the top court has passed scriptures against Bopaiah for acting in a partisan manner and disqualifying MLAs who had earlier revolted against then Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Bopaiah is to preside over the floor test on Saturday to ascertain whether newly-appointed Chief Minister Yeddyurappa enjoys a majority support in the house.

Yesterday, in the evening, a team of Congress leaders arrived at the Supreme Court to file the plea.

The Congress has contended that Bopaiah is not the senior-most member in the newly-elected House and according to the parliamentary convention, it is only the most senior MLA in terms of number of times he has been elected to the Assembly who can be a pro-tem Speaker.

The party had alleged Bopaiah’s appointment was made “with the sole intent of manufacturing a majority out of minority for Yeddyurappa”.

Updates: 

“Most important objective was to establish transparency. Since the statement has come from ASG that live feed of proceedings would be given, we hope & trust there would be fairness. I have no doubt that the victory would be of Congress & JD(S)”, he told reporters.

After the Court’s order, Speaking to media Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “It’s for the first time I’m thankful that the court has taken decision during the time of holiday. The Apex Court allowed live videography of the floor test. This will solve our concerns.”

The Supreme Court said ” Live broadcast of floor test would be the best way to ensure transparency of proceedings and it would address grievances of opposition parties”.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Governor, tells SC that live recording of floor test would do live broadcast to ensure transparency. Responding to this the top cpurt said “Let all channel be given access to broadcast live”

J. Sikri said the Convention of senior most is not the law

To this Tushar Mehta stated Floor test will be live telecast by local channels. What more transparency do they need?

Kapil Sibal: Let him take the oath. But as far as floor test is concerned you shud pass an order under Art. 142,  J. Sikri: If U want us to review our order and do not allow Boppaiah to oversee trust vote, then who will do the trust vote? Who will preside over the trust vote ?

J. Bobde to Sibal, You are in a zone of consideration. You want us to test the suitability of the PT Speaker but you do not want to postpone the test.

Upon hearing Kapil Sibal’s arguments, Justice Bobde said, If you want us to review the order, we should postpone the floor test. We declined to pass an order in that midnight hearing because we want to hear.” However, Sibal appealed that the trust vote be not delayed.

Sibal stated Bopaiah can be restrained from conducting the floor test, which can be done today.

Following this, Supreme Court said it will have to issue a notice to pro-tem Speaker and postpone floor test if Bopaiah’s appointment is to be examined.

K G Bopaiah was rapped for the malafide and the Apex Court came down heavily upon him for manipulating the majority in favour of BS Yeddyurappa, argued Sibal asking to dismiss Bopaiah as Pro-tem speaker.

Responding to this, Justice SA Bobde said ‘There’ve been instances where senior most MLA wasn’t appointed as Pro tem speaker. Kapil Sibal replied ‘KG Bopaiah has different history. His decision of disqualification was set aside by this Court earlier.’

He further stated, ‘Long-standing convention has been broken after the appointment of Bopaiah’, adding ‘Even SC has ratified this practice in two judgments’.

Sibal told the bench ‘The individual appointed must be the senior most member of the House which is a convention in the Parliament also.’

Kapil Sibal argues on behalf of Congress-JD(S), says  “I want to apologise for troubling you again,” Sibal says, to which Justice Sikri replies, “That’s okay. We have to honour job.”

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India

PM Modi holds telephonic conversation with President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani

Mr Ghani thanked Mr Modi for timely supply of food and medical assistance to meet Afghan requirement.

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Ghani, Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated India’s commitment to the people of Afghanistan in their quest for a peaceful, prosperous and inclusive Afghanistan.

Mr Modi today had a telephonic conversation with President of Afghanistan Dr Ashraf Ghani. Both leaders exchanged greetings on the joyous festival of Eid- ul -Adha.

Mr Ghani thanked Mr Modi for timely supply of food and medical assistance to meet Afghan requirement.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the evolving security situation in the region and other areas of mutual bilateral interest.

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India

Air India pilots allege blatant discrimination by management

“Why is the cost of the inefficiency of the Personnel Department being paid by pilots?” they asked.

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Air India 777

New Delhi, Aug 3 : Alleging blatant discrimination by Air India’s Personnel and Finance Departments, the pilots have told the national carrier’s management that if such behaviour continues unchecked, the Director, Personnel will be responsible for the consequences.

In a letter to Air India Chairman and Managing Director Rajiv Bansal, the pilots’ associations, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association and the Indian Pilots Guild, have alleged that the management is discriminating against the pilots.

“We request you to kindly direct the concerned departments to clear backlogged files as well as outstanding dues for all pilots. We have cooperated unconditionally above and beyond the call of duty to ensure smooth flight operations. This blatant discrimination, among other grievances, has severely hampered our morale and faith in these departments. If such behaviour continues unchecked, the Director, Personnel will be responsible for the consequences to follow,” the pilots said.

“We would like to bring to your notice the lackadaisical attitude of the Personnel and Finance Departments in ensuring timely action and payment when it comes to pilots,” the letter said.

“When it comes to doling out promotions en masse for themselves or other support departments, not even a pandemic or national lockdown can dent their enthusiasm. When even retrospective deductions are made on our wages with immediate effect by way of prompt circulars, why do the same people drag their feet when it comes to clearing our rightful dues or honouring our service conditions?” the pilots asked.

Citing examples of this “lackadaisical attitude”, the pilots said that the Special Pay increment, as per the bilateral wage agreement between the management and the ICPA of January 1, 2016, mentions a yearly increment as per years of service in the grade.

“No increment has been made in special pay since 2019. This routine exercise is never given priority, as pilots are the prime beneficiaries. Further, despite clear directions from the Hon. Supreme Court, the 2016 wage has been illegally and unilaterally imposed upon pilots of the IPG who already have a separate bilateral wage agreement. The TMU (Temporary Medically Unfit) Insurance compensation for pilots is never paid on time. Pilots are made to run after their files from one department to the next till there are no more excuses to delay processing. At times, the delay is in years,” they said.

The pilots alleged that the Captain or Commander Grade revision is never carried out on time, despite being a routine annual exercise.

Then, the Personnel Department’s draft Establishment orders are replete with mistakes/omissions which has to be corrected through repeated representations, they said. After all this unnecessary delay, when the order is eventually released, the financial benefits accrue from the date of the Establishment order and not from the actual date of promotion, they said.

“Why is the cost of the inefficiency of the Personnel Department being paid by pilots?” they asked.

The PMU (Permanently Medical Unfit) compensation to any affected pilot is again never paid on time. As mentioned above, the affected pilot is made to run from pillar to post for his/her rightful compensation. “Please note that these pilots have lost their source of livelihood as they are permanently grounded. They are being let down by the company

when they need it the most,” the pilots said.

They also said that the retirement benefits of recent retirees are yet to be cleared. The treatment meted out to these loyal long-serving employees of Air India is unethical, as per the pilots.

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Delhi govt bans use of hookah in hotels, restaurants to stem COVID-19 spread

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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hookah bar

New Delhi, Aug 3 : The Delhi government on Monday banned the use of hookahs, with or without tobacco, in all public places, including hotels, restaurants and bars, with immediate effect to control the spread of COVID-19.

Smokers are likely to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 as smoking means the fingers are in contact with the lips which increases the possibility of transmission of the virus, the health department said in an order.

“Smokers may also already have lung diseases or reduced lung capacity which would greatly increase the risk of serious illness,” it said.

Smoking products such as water pipes often involve the sharing of mouthpieces and hoses, which could facilitate the transmission of COVID-19 in communal and social settings, the health department said.

Therefore, the use and sharing of hookah, with or without tobacco (herbal hookah), “which might further increase the spread of SARS-CoV2, is strictly prohibited in all public places, including hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, eateries, discotheques, etc. in Delhi with immediate effect to prevent and control the outbreak of COVID-19”, it said.

Delhi has so far recorded 1,38,482 COVID-19 cases and 4,021 people have died due to the disease.

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