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CJI should consider recusal from judicial work: Congress

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Surjewala
Randeep Surjewala, File Photo

New Delhi, April 22 (IANS) The Congress on Sunday hit out at the BJP for “defending” Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and said the latter should consider recusing himself from judicial and administrative work till he was cleared of the charge of “misbehaviour”.

“If his (CJI) own conduct is under a cloud, should he not consider recusing himself from performing judicial and administrative duties and submit himself to an inquiry so that the high office and his individual integrity are cleared or the process of law is followed in an appropriate manner,” Congress Spokesperson Rajdeep Surjewala told a press conference here.

“… the highest (law) officer of the country, an officer who is head of India’s judiciary, an officer who heads the final temple of justice, an officer to whom people go to seek justice… Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion. And that’s why we have left it to his (CJI) conscience,” he added.

“This will ensure that the process of law is followed in an appropriate manner.”

In an unprecedented move, 64 members of the Rajya Sabha belonging to seven parties led by the Congress on Friday submitted an impeachment motion for the removal of the Chief Justice on five grounds of “misbehaviour”.

Surjewala’s remarks came in the wake of media reports that the CJI had decided not to recuse himself from administrative and judicial work in the Supreme Court.

Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Surjewala said the ruling party was compromising the position and office of the Chief Justice as a neutral arbitrator and head of the judiciary and the ruling party was doing a great disservice to the independence of the Indian judicial system.

“Does the CJI belong to a political party, ruling or otherwise? Does the CJI have to be defended by political parties or Ministers in the government? Is it not a disservice to the CJI office? They are compromising the position and office of the CJI,” Surjewala said.

He said that Chief Justice Misra must tell the BJP not to politicise his high office and not to politicise the impeachment motion.

Vivek Tankha, Chairman of the Congress’ Legal Department, said: “He is the Chief Justice of India. He should voluntarily submit to any probe. He should regain public faith. Till then, he should think whether he should work as a Judge or not.”

He maintained that the impeachment motion was not meant to insult or lower his dignity but to take the allegation against him to its logical conclusion.

Another Congress leader and Senior Advocate K.T.S. Tulsi said that the nature of charges against the CJI was so serious that an enquiry should be ordered at the earliest.

“The enquiry will be able to protect the dignity of the office of the Chief Justice of India. If no enquiry is held, it will cause much greater damage to the Supreme Court prestige,” Tulsi said.

IANS

Politics

West Bengal Governor Dhankhar meets Amit Shah, raises concerns over law & order

Dhankhar is scheduled to head to Darjeeling from Delhi and will stay there for a month, from November 1-30. He would be running his office form the Governor House there.

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Amit Shah Jagdeep Dhankhar

Kolkata: West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar called on Union Home Minister Amit Shah at his residence in Delhi on Thursday.

“Governor Dhankhar was with the Union Home Minster for over an hour and state of affairs and affairs of state in West Bengal were traversed,” Dhankhar tweeted.

Raising concerns over the state’s law and order situation, the Governor said: “What is happening in West Bengal is contrary to the democracy mentioned in the constitution. I also wrote a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee stating that the constitution was being violated in the state. I said that we should handle this situation together. But did not get the answer.”

Dhankhar said that he had demanded the West Bengal director general of police (DGP) to be held responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in the state by September 28.

The Governor also evinced serious concern over a terror network operating in West Bengal, referring to the nine Al-Qaeda operatives, including six from Murshidabad district, who were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) last month.

Dhankhar is scheduled to head to Darjeeling from Delhi and will stay there for a month, from November 1-30. He would be running his office form the Governor House there.

Dhankhar’s proposed visit to Darjeeling becomes important, especially after Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) leader Bimal Gurung, who had been absconding since 2017, resurfaced in Kolkata on October 21 and snapped his political association with the BJP-led National Democratic Front alliance at the Centre and openly announced that he would support the Trinamool Congress in the 2021 Assembly elections .

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India

BJP Youth Wing Leader, 2 Workers Gunned Down In Kashmir

A Lashkar-e-Taiba shadow group claims responsibility for the killings.

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Gun Fight

Suspected militants shot dead three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers on Thursday evening in the YK Pora area of Qazigund in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

The three died when unidentified gunmen opened fire at them. They were taken to a hospital where doctors declared them dead.

The Resistance Front (TRF), which is believed to be a shadow group of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, has claimed responsibility for the killings.

In a message in English and Hindi on its social media account, the TRF said “crematoriums will get overbooked”.

The slain BJP workers were identified as Kulgam’s Yuva Morcha general secretary Fida Hussain Itoo and Umar Hajjam — both residents of YK Pora Qazigund and Haroron Beigh of Sopat area of Qazigund.

BJP Jammu and Kashmir spokesman Altaf Thakur said the party strongly condemns the killing of Hussain, Hajam and Umar Beigh. This is a barbaric act, he added. Thakur said the police should track down the killers and punish them.

Senior BJP leader Sofi Yousuf said that they were not provided security in spite of the party’s repeated requests. He said several times they had talked to SSP concerned asking him to provide them security.

He said Fida Hussain had gone to his home and militants took a chance and attacked him. “We informed the administration that there are security lapses at many places. Our district president had organized a press conference saying the SSP is not cooperating,” Sofi added.

In August this year, after the killing of BJP workers, the party had asked for safe accommodation for its workers and leaders at the district headquarters. The BJP had asked its leaders not to step out from their safe houses without security clearance.

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India

National Lost A Stalwart Leader: President On Keshubhai’s Death

The BJP leader was the Chief Minister of Gujarat twice — in 1995 and from 1998 to 2001. He was a six-time MLA. He was replaced by Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001.

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New Delhi: Conveying his condolence to the kin of former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said the nation has lost a stalwart leader.

The President took Twitter to express his condolence, saying “Keshubhai Ji’s dogged determination for social service and committment to Indian ethos will remain exemplary for all. My condolences to his family and friends”.

“With the demise of Keshubhai Patel, former Gujarat Chief Minister, the nation has lost a stalwart leader. His long public life was dedicated to improving the lives of millions, especially in villages. As champion of farmers’ causes, he enjoyed extraordinary rapport with masses.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with various Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expressed sorrow over the death of Patel who breathed his last at a hospital in Ahmedabad on Thursday morning at the age of 92 years.

The Prime Minister expressed deep sadness at the death of Patel, calling him an “outstanding leader” who devoted his life towards the progress of Gujarat.

Mentioning as “our beloved and respected Keshubhai”, Modi in a series of tweet said, “I am deeply pained and saddened” on his passing away.

“He was an outstanding leader who cared for every section of society. His life was devoted towards the progress of Gujarat and the empowerment of every Gujarati.”

The Prime Minister said that Keshubhai travelled across the length and breadth of Gujarat to strengthen the Jana Sangh and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“He resisted the Emergency tooth and nail. Issues of farmer welfare were closest to his heart. Be it as MLA, MP, Minister or CM, he ensured many farmer friendly measures were passed,” Modi said.

Modi reminded how Keshubhai mentored and groomed many younger Karyakartas including him.

“Everyone loved his affable nature. His demise is an irreparable loss. We are all grieving today. My thoughts are with his family and well-wishers. Spoke to his son Bharat and expressed condolences. Om Shanti.”

Expressing condolence at the sudden demise of Patel, Shah said: “While in the BJP, Keshubhai played an important role in strengthening the organization in Gujarat. As a trustee of Somnath Temple, he always supported the development of the temple. Keshubhai will always remain in our memory with his actions and behaviour.”

In his condolence message, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Keshubhai Patel ji was an effective administrator who left an indelible mark in public life.

“I offer my tributes to the departed leader. In this hour of grief, I express my heartfelt condolences to his family and well-wishers. Om Shanti,” Singh said in a series of tweets.

Singh said that Keshubhai Patel will always be remembered for his unwavering commitment to serve the people.

“Former Chief Minister of Gujarat, Keshubhai was a political stalwart who played a significant role in strengthening the BJP in the state. Deeply pained by his demise today.”

Patel was hospitalised after he complained of difficulty in breathing on Thursday morning. He breathed his last during treatment.

The BJP leader was the Chief Minister of Gujarat twice — in 1995 and from 1998 to 2001. He was a six-time MLA. He was replaced by Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001.

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