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Death of Justice Loya needs to be probed at the highest level of the Supreme Court: Rahul

The judges, who are most-senior at the top court after the Chief Justice – said that “things are not in order” with what they described as “the administration of the Supreme Court”.

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Rahul Gandhi

The Congress on Friday described the comments made by four Supreme Court judges as “extremely disturbing” and appealed to the Full Court of the Supreme Court to find solutions to preserve the independence of the judiciary even as party President Rahul Gandhi demanded that its senior-most judges should supervise an SIT probe into the mysterious death of Special CBI Judge B.H. Loya.

The Congress issued a statement after Gandhi met senior party leaders, including P. Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal who are also leading lawyers, and discussed the situation arising out of the press conference by four senior-most judges — Justices J. Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Kurian Joseph and Madan B. Lokur — who were critical of Chief Justice Dipak Misra.

The Congress and Gandhi demanded that the PIL concerning the death of Judge B.H. Loya, who was hearing the Sohrabuddin fake shootout case, should be entrusted to the senior-most judges of the Supreme Court who should ensure a thorough and impartial investigation of the case by an independent SIT.

Gandhi, who made a brief statement to the media, said it was “a sensitive and important matter” and that “the points raised by the judges are extremely important”.

“The points that have been raised by the four judges are extremely important. They have mentioned that there is a threat to democracy. I think it needs to be looked into carefully.

“They have also made a point about Judge Loya’s case. I think that is also something that needs to be investigated properly. It needs to be looked at from the highest levels of the Supreme Court.”

He said the press conference by judges “never happened before”.

“It’s unprecedented. I think all citizens who love the idea of justice, who believe in the Supreme Court are looking at this issue.”

Calling it an “unprecedented development”, the Congress the observations made by the four judges and the issues raised by them in the press conference and in the letter to the Chief Justice were “extremely disturbing and have far reaching consequences for the values that we hold sacred: safeguarding democracy and preserving the independence of the judiciary”.

It said the judges have specifically highlighted two issues. “The long silence of the government of India to the Memorandum of Procedure that was finalised by the Supreme Court and the assignment of cases in the Supreme Court to what is described as ‘selectively to the benches of their preference without any rational basis for such assignment’.

“In answer to a question from the media, the judges referred to the PIL concerning the death of Judge Loya, which the family of Judge Loya believes was under suspicious circumstances.”

The statement said the judges in their letter have also hinted at other instances which they will raise later.

“The press conference and the letter followed a meeting of the four judges with the Chief Justice of India this morning which, apparently, failed to resolve the issues and obliged the four judges to address a press conference.

“The Congress party is deeply perturbed by these developments. The country holds the judiciary in the highest esteem and millions of people knock on the doors of the courts seeking justice. The non-finalisation of the Memorandum of Procedure has left nearly 40 per cent of the sanctioned posts of the judges vacant, leading to delay in justice delivery.”

The statement earnestly appealed that the Full Court of the Supreme Court should take up the issues raised by the four judges and find solutions that are consistent with the traditions and conventions of the judiciary pointed out by them and that will preserve the independence of the judiciary.

“In the PIL concerning the death of Judge Loya, we believe that the matter must be entrusted to the senior most judges of the Supreme Court who should ensure that under their supervision there is a thorough and impartial investigation of the case by an independent SIT.

“In the matter of assignment of cases, the established conventions and traditions of the courts must be followed and the selective assignment of cases must be stopped forthwith. Cases that have far reaching implications to society and governance must be heard, in accordance with well established conventions, by the senior most judges of the Supreme Court.”

India

BJP leader Lal Singh threatens journalists,draws sharp rebuke from Congress, NC

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New Delhi, June 23: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Choudhary Lal Singh on Friday threatened journalists to ‘fall in line & draw a line’ over their reporting on the Kathua rape and murder case,, with an apparent reference to the assassination of Kashmir journalist Shujaat Bukhari.

Singh’s controversial reference that if media persons won’t mend the ways they will meet the fate of journalist Shujaat Bukhari drew sharp rebuke from Congress party who asked if BJP leaders have some information off the assassination of Kashmir journalist Shujaat Bukhari.

Singh’s outrageous remarks were condemned by both the Congress party and  former chief minister and National Congress leader Omar Abdullah.

Referring to Kathua case, Singh told a press conference in Jammu on Friday that Kashmiri journalists had created a “wrong atmosphere” there.

Shujaat’s death is now being used by BJP as a tool to threaten other journalists.

Singh was the forest minister in the previous PDP-BJP government and was asked to resign from the cabinet in April after he participated in a rally in support of the accused in the rape and murder of an 8-year-old Muslim tribal girl in Kathua.

“Now I will tell Kashmiri journalists to draw a line on the journalism you do and how you have to live. Do you have to live like what happened to Basharat, so that such a situation emerges?,” Singh said in an apparent reference to Rising Kashmir editor Shujaat Bukhari who was assassinated by gunmen outside his office on June 14.

“So mend your ways and draw a line, so that this brotherhood remains intact and there is progress,” Singh said.

“Dear journalists, your colleagues in Kashmir just got threatened by a @BJP4India MLA. It seems Shujaat’s death is now a tool for goons to use to threaten other journalists,” Omar tweeted.

 

Senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala questioned that it shows BJP leaders have some information  of the assassination of Kashmir journalist Shujaat Bukhari.
“Shocking & reprehensible! BJP J&K MLA, Lal Singh openly threatens journalists to ‘fall in line & draw a line’. He horrifically says that otherwise they will meet the fate of Shujat Bukhari by naming his brother. Does BJP leaders have some special knowledge of the assassination?”, Surjewala tweeted.

 

 

 

Shujaat Bukhari’s brother Basharat Bukhari was law and parliamentary affairs minister in the PDP-BJP government before BJP withdrew from the alliance.

 

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Air India flights delayed at IGI Airport

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Air India

New Delhi, June 23: Several Air India flights on Saturday delayed at Indira Gandhi International Airport in the national capital after system failure of the airline server.

An airline spokesperson told news agency PTI that the departure timings of flights were affected and the delays due to the software malfunction stretched from 15-30 minutes.

“The software-related glitch affected operations from 1 PM to 2.30 PM during which period, check-in and other services were handled manually,” the spokesperson asserted.

System failure left hundreds of passengers stranded at the airport.

SITA, a global airlines IT services solution giant, which provides its check-in, boarding and baggage tracking technology, manages Air India’s software solution.

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BVR Subrahmanyam takes charge as Chief Secretary of J&K

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BVR Subrahmanyam

Srinagar, June 23: Chhattisgarh-cadre IAS officer BVR Subrahmanyam on Saturday took charge as the Chief Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir. 

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet transferred Subrahmanyam to Jammu and Kashmir following the imposition of Governor’s Rule in the valley.

Earlier he served as Additional Chief Secretary (Home) in Chattisgarh.

Jammu and Kashmir was placed under Governor’s Rule on Wednesday after President Ram Nath Kovind approved the measure.

The development took place after Mehbooba Mufti stepped down as Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Minister following the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) exit from its alliance with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

Subramanyam is an IAS Officer of 1987 batch.

He has served as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s personal secretary from 2002 to 2007.

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