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Dalit student suicide:10 professors resign protesting Smriti Irani’s remark

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Further deepening the ongoing crisis triggered by a Dalit scholar’s suicide,more than 10 SC/ST faculty members from the University of Hyderabad have resigned from their ‘administrative roles’ on Wednesday, protesting Union HRD minister Smriti Irani’s remarks in Delhi on the suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula.

Dalit scholar’s suicide  has turned into a political slugfest between the Modi  government and the opposition.

All professors belonging to SC/ST communities resigned in a show of solidarity with students demanding justice for 26-year-old Rohith Vemula, who allegedly committed suicide after he was suspended from the university along with four other students.

The professors are also said to be angry over alleged “misrepresentation” of facts by Union minister for human resource development Smriti Irani who has termed the protests as a “malicious attempt” to project the issue as a caste battle.

Irani said on Wednesday made a controversial statement that  senior Dalit professors of the university  from various committees–Proctoral Committee to Executive Council (EC) to sub-committee of EC were involved in the decision to expel the five students.

The  SC/SC Teachers and Officers Forum of UoH rubbished Irani’s claim that a Dalit professor was among the members of the university’s body that suspended the students including Vemula.

“The minister is misleading the nation. We will not work under the administration as there has been no representation from the Dalits in the executive council since the university’s inception,” Prakash Babu, Dean of Students Welfare and member of SC/ST Teachers and Officers Forum, told .

“It was headed by an upper caste professor…and there are no Dalit faculty in this sub committee,” the forum  said.

“This is not a Dalit versus non-Dalit issue as being projected by some to ignite passion and there is a deliberate attempt to provoke students across the country,” Irani said in Delhi on Wednesday while rejecting allegations that her ministry had put pressure on the university to suspend Vemula.
While demanding explanation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi,various opposition parties are seeking resignation of  HRD Minister Smriti Irani  and Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya  .

Various leaders from  Congress, TMC, AIMIM, BSP, Left, Aam Admi Party landed in University   and attacked the politiciasation of University students  .

The university is now mulling dilution of punishment for the four other Dalit students who were suspended along with Rohith for allegedly assaulting a member of  Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) , which is affiliated to the RSS.

India

HC asks trial court to decide on pleas against Kapil Mishra, Thakur

The submission came while the court was hearing a batch of matters relating to the violence and riots that erupted in northeast Delhi in February.

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Anurag Thakur Parvesh Verma Kapil Mishra

New Delhi, Aug 5 : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the trial court to decide, “in accordance with the law”, on a petition by CPI-M leader Brinda Karat seeking lodging of FIRs against BJP leaders Anurag Thakur, Parvesh Verma and others for their alleged hate speeches in relation to the anti-CAA protest at Shaheen Bagh.

A division bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, while disposing of Karat’s application, asked the magistrate concerned at the Rouse Avenue court to decide on the matter.

The direction came after Karat’s counsel Tara Narula requested the court to dispose of the matter with directions to the trial court to consider it.

Narula further apprised the bench that the magistrate’s court had earlier reserved its judgment on the application after hearing the arguments of all sides but did not pronounce its order as similar issues were pending in the High Court.

The submission came while the court was hearing a batch of matters relating to the violence and riots that erupted in northeast Delhi in February.

After hearing the matter briefly, over video conferencing, the court posted the matters for further hearing on August 24.

Recently, the Delhi Police, in its affidavit filed before the court, had stated that the statements of various political leaders are being examined and necessary action will be taken if evidence is found against them.

“Speeches of political leaders including Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Anurag Thakur, Kapil Mishra, Parvesh Verma, Waris Pathan, and others are being examined by the Delhi Police and necessary action in this regard will be taken in due course of time if it is found that their speech had any nexus with the riots,” the affidavit said.

Meanwhile, after a brief hearing, the division bench, headed by Chief Justice Patel, also adjourned, till August 24, the batch of matters relating to the violence in and around the campus of the Jamia Milia Islamia in December last year.

On Tuesday, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves told the bench that the alleged police brutality unleashed on the Jamia students then “was to tell the students to drop the idea of going to the Parliament”.

“The beating was really serious and severe like the police was going against their enemies. Students are not certainly enemies, I suppose…. This was to tell the students that they should forget the idea of marching to the Parliament,” he said.

During the course of hearing, senior counsel Salman Khurshid, appearing for another petitioner, supported Gonsalves’s argument that the police action was intended to stop the students from carrying out a march to the Parliament, saying that while the police can regulate such a march, but here, they decided to not to allow it at all.

Khurshid further said that the gathering of students was intended to be peaceful. “Such march is an ethos of our democracy even if it’s dissent towards the government,” he argued.

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Why justice combined with motorcycle, SC asks Prashant Bhushan

He also said that scores of people have tweeted the photograph of the Chief Justice (S.A. Bobde) on the bike. “Somebody said Justice is riding on a bike…. are you going to call all of them,” he argued before the bench also comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari.

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cji bobde on Motorcycle

New Delhi, Aug 5 : The Supreme Court on Wednesday queried Prashant Bhushan’s counsel why “justice was combined with some motorcycle”, in reference to one of the tweets over which the apex court issued notice to the lawyer on his alleged contemptuous remarks against the judiciary.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing Bhushan, contended before a bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, that the judges should see tweets by others, as some of them are very amusing. He argued that the content in Bhushan’s tweet is criticism.

“Why don’t you take it objectively… a senior judge, who went to become the Chief Justice of this court, had also criticised.”

Dave also told the bench that tweets did not hamper the administration of justice, and that fair criticism is not wrong.

He also said that scores of people have tweeted the photograph of the Chief Justice (S.A. Bobde) on the bike. “Somebody said Justice is riding on a bike…. are you going to call all of them,” he argued before the bench also comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari.

The apex court then reserved the order in the suo motu contempt case initiated against Bhushan for allegedly bringing the administration of justice in disrepute through two of his tweets.

It also dismissed the plea filed by Bhushan against its Secretary General for procedural irregularities in accepting the contempt petition with the sanction of the Attorney General. The plea had sought that the contempt notice be recalled.

On July 22, the apex court had issued notice to Bhushan on the alleged contemptuous remarks on Twitter. The top court also asked Attorney General K.K. Venugopal to assist it in the matter. A bench of Justices Mishra, Gavai and Krishna Murari asked Bhushan and Twitter to file a reply by August 5.

“We are, prima facie, of the view that the aforesaid statements on Twitter have brought the administration of justice in disrepute and are capable of undermining the dignity and authority of the institution of the Supreme Court in general and the office of the Chief Justice of India in particular, in the eyes of public at large,” said the court in its order.

The Supreme Court initiated suo motu contempt proceedings against Bhushan for allegedly making derogatory comments against the top court on Twitter, through his two tweets.

The first tweet, which was posted on June 27, alleged that the last four Chief Justices had played a role in the “destruction of democracy” during the “undeclared emergency” for the last six years. And the second tweet on June 29 allegedly said the present Chief Justice rode a stationary bike at Nagpur while keeping the apex court in lockdown and denying citizens their right to access justice.

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Delhi HC seeks police response on Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita’s bail plea

Initially, Kalita was arrested on March 23 in an anti-CAA protest case related to Jafrabad in North-East Delhi. She got bail in that case. But on March 24, she was arrested in another case, for which she is in the judicial custody.

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Devangana Kalita

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court, here on Wednesday, sought the Delhi Police’s response over Pinjra Tod activist Devangana Kalita’s bail plea.

Justice Suresh Kumar Kait issued the notice and asked the police to file the response by the next hearing in the case.

Earlier in July, Kalita and Natasha Narwal, another member of the Pinjra Tod group, were denied bail by a trial court. The trial court said from the charge-sheet it was clear that the investigation was pending.

The crime branch of the Delhi Police arrested Narwal and Kalita in May, accusing them of charges related to rioting, unlawful assembly and attempt to murder.

Initially, Kalita was arrested on March 23 in an anti-CAA protest case related to Jafrabad in North-East Delhi. She got bail in that case. But on March 24, she was arrested in another case, for which she is in the judicial custody.

Recently, a separate Bench of the high court restricted the Delhi Police from issuing any press note on Kalita or any other accused in connection with the Delhi riots case till the beginning of trial.

The police said Kalita and Narwal were actively involved in hatching the conspiracy to cause riots near Jafrabad Metro Station in Delhi.

“They were also part of a larger conspiracy and were found to be connected to the ‘India Against Hate’ group and Umar Khalid. The message, found in the phone of an accused, on Whatsapp chat, reveals the conspiracy and the extent of preparation for the riots,” the police said.

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