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Congress demands CAG audit into KIFBI and Kannur airport

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 17 : The Congress party in Kerala has approached the Governor Arif Mohammed Khan seeking his intervention to ensure that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India’s audit takes place in two state-run organisations.

Speaking to the media here on Tuesday, leader of opposition and senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said that he has briefed Governor Khan about the way the present CPI-M led Left government under Pinarayi Vijayan is keeping things under wraps regarding issues in the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board (KIIFB) and the Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL).

“CAG is a constitutional body and it is duty bound to audit all those bodies where the state owns more than 51 per cent stake. But the Vijayan government has not adhered to it and have kept both KIIFB and KIAL away from CAG audit since they came to power in 2016,” Chennithala said.

“It has now come to light that the CPI-M treats these two organisations as their milch cow and lot of irregularities have surfaced in these organisations and hence Vijayan is not interested in CAG audit,” he said.

Addressing the media on Monday, Vijayan had pointed out that KIAL is a body similar to the Cochin International Airport Ltd ( CIAL) and there is no CAG audit there.

“Either Vijayan is ignorant or he is trying to create a smokescreen about things at KIIFB and KIAL. When we demitted office in 2016, both these organisations were subjected to the CAG audits. At KIAL the state and government undertakings have 64 per cent stake while at the CIAL, the government stake is only 32.41 per cent,” Chennithala said.

“A few irregularities were noted in the CAG audit of KIAL during the period 2015-16, where it was found out that Vijayan and his party got help from KIAL and maybe now, with them more than three years in office, they would have lots to hide and, hence, are objecting to CAG audit,” he added.

Chennithala also distributed copies of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs records which show that KIAL is state government company, while CIAL is a non-government company.

Even though KIIFB came into existence in 1999 under the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Act 1999 to manage the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund, it was only after Vijayan assumed office in May 2016, that a comprehensive modification of the Act was made through an amendment Ordinance in August 2016 to widen its scope, and it has started raising money from the open market to fund infrastructure needs.

“By now allegations have surfaced about the way things have been managed by KIIFB, and hence it’s least surprising that Vijayan does not want an audit. We will now wait to see what action the Governor takes, and we will then chart our next course of action,” said Chennithala.

India

SC moved against UP, Uttarakhand’s ‘love jihad’ laws

Citing the landmark Kesavananda Bharti case, the plea said “the court held that the Parliament can amend the Constitution but the Parliament cannot change the basic structure of the Constitution”.

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Love Jihad

New Delhi: A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court challenging the The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion Of Religion Ordinance, 2020 and the Uttarakhand Freedom Of Religion Act, 2018.

The plea moved by advocates Vishal Thakre and Abhay Singh Yadav and law researcher Pranvesh, states that the UP ordinance disturbs the basic structure of the Constitution. “The most important issue was whether the Parliament has the power to amend the fundamental rights enshrined under Part III of the Constitution,” said the plea.

The petitioners contended that the Parliament has no power to amend the fundamental rights, and if this ordinance is implemented, it will harm public at a large and will create a chaotic situation in the society.

“It is also pertinent to mention herein that the ordinance is passed by the state government/s of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand is against the provisions of Special Marriage Act, 1954 and it will create fear in the society who is/ are not part of Love Jihad… they can be falsely implicated in the ordinance,” the plea said.

Citing the landmark Kesavananda Bharti case, the plea said “the court held that the Parliament can amend the Constitution but the Parliament cannot change the basic structure of the Constitution”.

The petitioners contended they are aggrieved by the ordinances passed by the state governments and prayed before the top court that the law passed by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand should be declared ultra vires and null and void, as they “disturb the basic structure of the Constitution and also are against the public policy and society at large”.

“This ordinance can become a potent tool in the hands of bad elements of the society to use this ordinance to falsely implicate anyone,” it argued, adding that there are probabilities of “falsely implicating persons who are not involved in any such acts and it will be a grave injustice if this ordinance is passed”.

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Farmers Protest: Diljit Dosanjh slams Kangana Ranaut for her tweet against elderly Sikh woman

Kangana had earlier posted a picture on Twitter claiming that it was Bano who was being bribed with Rs 100 a day to participate in the ongoing farmers’ protest.

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Diljit Dosanjh

Actor-Singer Diljit Dosanjh slammed actor Kangana Ranaut for misidentifying an elderly Sikh woman during the farmers’ protest. While Kangana soon deleted her tweet, it did not go down well with several actors and the lady Mahinder Kaur herself. The actor, now also faces a legal notice for her Twitter fiasco.

Sharing a video interview of the elderly woman, whose name is Mahinder Kaur, Diljit tagged Kangana’s Twitter account, showing her the proof. “Respected MAHINDER KAUR JI Ah Sunn La Ni With Proof @KanganaTeam Banda Ena V Ni Anna Hona Chaida.. Kush v Boli Turi jandi aa ..(Listen to this proof, @KanganaTeam. One should not be this blind. She keeps says anything),” he wrote in his tweet.

Calling him Karan Johar’s lackey, Kangana tweeted in Hindi, “The same dadi who was protesting for her citizenship at Shaheen Bagh, Bilkis Bano, was also protesting with the farmers. I have no idea who Mahinder Kaur (sic) is, so stop creating unnecessary drama. Stop this right now.”

Diljit responded asking Kangana whether by her tweet she was implying that one becomes a sycophant to whomever they work with. “In that case, wouldn’t you have a long list of masters to answer to?” he tweeted.

“These people are not from Bollywood. They belong to Punjab. You can say whatever you like but we won’t be perturbed. You are well-versed in lying and manipulating people’s emotions,” he added.

Kangana had earlier posted a picture on Twitter claiming that it was Bano who was being bribed with Rs 100 a day to participate in the ongoing farmers’ protest. However, the woman in the photograph was 73-year-old Mohinder Kaur, a resident of Bathinda’s Bahadurgarh Jandian village. The tweet has since been deleted.

In response to this tweet, Diljit posted a clip of a BBC interview with Mohinder and tweeted in Punjabi: “Here’s your proof @KanganaTeam. Nobody should be so blind as to go around saying anything they like.”

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Supreme Court grants anticipatory bail to former Punjab DGP Saini in murder case

Bench asks him to surrender his passport, co-operate with probe and not to influence witnesses in the case

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Sumedh Singh Saini

New Delhi, December 3: The Supreme Court on Thursday granted anticipatory bail to former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini in the 1991 Balwant Singh Multani murder case.

A Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, however, asked Saini to surrender his passport, co-operate with the investigation and not to influence witnesses in the case.

If arrested, the former Punjab DGP would be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh with two sureties in the like amount, the top court said.

The Bench had reserved its verdict on November 17 after hearing arguments from senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi for Saini and senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, representing Punjab Government.

Even during the hearing the Bench had questioned the need for custody of the accused after 30 years of the crime observed that it was prima facie inclined to grant anticipatory bail.

Multani — a junior engineer with Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Corporation — was allegedly picked up by the police in December 1991 after a terror attack on Saini that left three policemen killed. Saini was injured in the attack.

Saini’s troubles started in May when he was booked at a police station in Mohali along with six others for the alleged kidnapping of Multani in 1991. Murder charge was added in August after two of the accused policemen spill the beans.

The Punjab government had opposed Saini’s plea. Granting anticipatory bail to the accused at this stage would hamper the probe, Luthra had argued.

The Supreme Court had on September 15 granted interim protection from arrest to Saini and posted his plea for anticipatory bail for hearing after four weeks.

Earlier, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had on September 7 dismissed his anticipatory bail plea.

“This case is of 1991. After 30 years what is the hurry to arrest him… We will grant you time to file a reply,” the Bench had said, adding he will not be arrested till further orders.

However, the top court had asked Saini to co-operate with the Punjab Police in the investigation of the case.

Rohatgi had earlier contended that Punjab government was after Saini because he had filed two charge sheets in which current Chief Minister Capt Amarinder was an accused. “This is why they are after me,” he had submitted.

In a separate petition, Saini has also challenged a Punjab and Haryana High Court order dismissing his plea for quashing of the FIR in the case.

He is also facing trial in a Special CBI Court in Delhi along with three others for alleged abduction and disappearance of automobile businessman Vinod Kumar, his brother-in-law Ashok Kumar and their driver Mukhtiyar Singh in 1994.

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