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Democratic institutions should be robust enough to accommodate opposition: SC

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Areest of Five Activist

New Delhi, Sep 19 : The Supreme Court on Wednesday said democratic institutions should be robust enough to accommodate opposition and that a distinction has to be drawn between an opposition, attempt to create a disturbance or overthrow the government.

Observing that the liberty could not be stifled at the altar of conjecture, the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y.Chandrachgud said: “our institutions should be robust enough to accommodate opposition either to the system or even to the this court. We will look at this case with a hawk’s eye.”

Telling the Maharashtra government that liberty can’t be sacrificed at the altar of conjecture, Justice Chandrachud told Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta: “You must make a distinction between holding of an international conference and (activist doing) something beyond that.”

There were attacks on this court, said Justice Chandrachud but “our shoulders are robust enough to get going.”

Senior counsel Harish Salve appearing for the complainant in the Bhima Koregoan case said, “A lot will depend who is saying, a liberal or someone part of banned organisation. And what is the context?”

The court said this in the course of hearing of a petition by historian Romila Thapar and activist Maja Daruwala questioning the arrest of five rights activists — Sudha Bhardwaj, Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira. They are accused of their links with the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist.

Post lunch hearing saw the bench making significant observations in the course of Mehta’s arguments defending Maharashtra police’s action of arresting the five rights activists.

“You have to carry two staffers of the Pune Municipal Corporation to Maharashtra Sadan to act as panchas. In how many other matters are these two panchas witnesses?” Justice Chandrachud asked pointing to the presence of two employees of PMC during raids on the residences of five activists.

As during the course of the his arguments, ASG Mehta mentioned names of one institution and a university, Justice Chandrachud said, “It is a very well known social science institution that sends students to rural areas for field work. Then you have named a university. You have to make a distinction between subversion and actions to mobilise support.”

As ASG Metha narrated to the court the chain of events starting with Bhima Koregoan incident, ACJI Misra asked him to show material on the arrest of five activists.

“What is the material for the arrests?” the CJI asked Mehta, telling him: “You must show us your best document first.”

ASG Mehta said he was establishing the links between the arrests of five activists that took place in June and the one that took place on August 28.

Apparently realising that he was not able to cut ice with the bench, ASG Mehta urged the bench, “May I request that not to form any opinion before listening to us in full.”

“Yes we will…but the mind is also human”, Justice Chandrachud said, “We form picture after hearing all.”

Earlier appearing for the petitioners Romila Thapar and activist Maja Daruwala, senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the court that all that they were seeking is a court-monitored independent and objective probe which inspires confidence. I am not above law.”

Senior counsel Anand Grover appearing for five activists arrested in June this year alleged said that some of the things are concocted and fabricated and all the laws have been thrown to the winds and no procedure has been followed.

Contending that there can’t be two FIRs of the same incident at Bhima Koregoan, Grover referred to the statement of Maharashtra Chief Minister that conflicts with police version.

The hearing will continue on Thursday.

Cities

Uttar Pradesh: 8-yr-old raped in Azamgarh village

The girl was rushed to a hospital where her condition was stated to be serious, the police said.

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gang rape

Azamgarh (UP), Sep 30 : An eight-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a 20-year-old man in a village in Jiyanpur area of the Azamgarh district, police said on Wednesday.

The accused took the girl with himself from her home telling her mother that she would have her bath in his house, the police said, quoting from the complaint lodged by the girl’s mother.

The accused had also taken from the girl’s mother her clothes, the police aid.

But when the child returned from the neighbour’s house, she was writhing in pain and bleeding, the police said.

The girl was rushed to a hospital where her condition was stated to be serious, the police said.

Azamgarh Superintendent of Police Sudhir Kumar Singh said the accused, identified as Danish, has been arrested.

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Uttar Pradesh: 14-year-old raped in Bulandshahr

A report has been lodged against the accused and efforts are on to nab him. The accused will be taken into custody soon, police said.

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Bulandshahr (UP), Sep 30 : A minor girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr, police said on Wednesday.

Senior Superintendent of Police Santosh Kumar Singh said on Wednesday night, the girl’s father submitted a complaint in this regard, alleging that his 14-year-old daughter was raped by their neighbour Rizwan (20) on Tuesday night.

The victim is undergoing medical treatment. A report has been lodged against the accused and efforts are on to nab him. The accused will be taken into custody soon, police said.

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India

‘No moral right to continue’: Priyanka Gandhi’s scathing attack on Yogi Adityanath after death of Hathras gang-rape victim

The 19-year-old died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday. The woman was admitted there in a critical condition after being brutally raped by four men in her village in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district.

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Priyanka Gandhi

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi took on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath for the death of Hathras rape victim, saying he doesn’t have any moral right to continue as chief minister.

“I was on the phone with the Hathras victim’s father when he was informed that his daughter had passed away. I heard him cry out in despair. He had just been telling me that all he wanted was justice for his child. Last night he was robbed of the chance to take his daughter home for the last time and perform her last rites,” Gandhi said in her first two tweets on the issue on Wednesday.

She also asked Adityanath to resign. “@myogiadityanath RESIGN. Instead of protecting the victim and her family, your government became complicit in depriving her of every single human right, even in death. You have no moral right to continue as Chief Minister,” Gandhi tweeted.

The 19-year-old died in a Delhi hospital on Tuesday. The woman was admitted there in a critical condition after being brutally raped by four men in her village in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras district.

The incident took place on September 14. She was first admitted to JN Medical College and Hospital in Aligarh, but was shifted to Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital after her condition deteriorated where she breathed her last.

The UP government has been facing flak from Opposition parties over the issue. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had said that “no hope” is left from the “insensitive government”.

Reacting to the incident, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president Mayawati tweeted in Hindi, “The news of the death of the Dalit girl after gangrape in Hathras, UP, is very sad. The government should provide all possible help to the victim’s family and ensure quick punishment to the culprits by prosecuting them in a fast-track court.”

The Congress has questioned the “silence” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and women leaders of his party and alleged that Uttar Pradesh under the Yogi Adityanath government has become the country’s “crime capital”.

At a press conference, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate alleged that for eight days no gangrape charges were pressed in the matter and that the UP chief minister’s information advisor and Agra Police kept calling the incident “fake news”.

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