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Govt panel summons Haryana’s ex-CM Hooda for illegal land allotments

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Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Wednesday has been summoned for questioning by a government committee investigating land deals in the state during his regime.

Media reported that the Justice SN Dhingra Commission of Inquiry asked Hooda to appear before it on March 23.

“This is a politically motivated move. Everyone knows who the main target is. Who appoints a panel to investigate a land deal in small village?” Hooda said, according to media.

The former CM is accused of facilitating illegal land allotments and has behaved like a ‘servant’ of Robert Vadra, who is an indian businessman and son-in-law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Hooda was in charge of the Department of Town and Country Planning in 2008, when it allotted a licence for the commercial use of a plot of land in Gurgaon to Vadra’s company Skylight Hospitality for Rs 7 crore. Skylight Hospitality sold the land to real estate major DLF for Rs 58 crore just months later.

Last month, the panel summoned Haryana chief secretary Deepinder Singh Dhesi to record a statement. The commission has already examined Chattar Singh, a retired IAS officer and member of the Union Public Service Commission, who was the principal secretary in Hooda’s office. The commission is yet to record Vadra’s statement in the case.

Wefornews Bureau

Disaster

Judiciary, govt failed migrant workers: Congress

The court took the cognizance after several petitions were filed, highlighting the plight of migrant workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

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Worker in India

New Delhi, May 26 : The judiciary and the government had failed labourers, said the Congress, here on Tuesday, after the Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance of miseries of migrant workers, stranded across the country due to the lockdown announced to contain Covid-19 spread.

Terming it one of the worst case of reverse migration, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said the rights that couldn’t be enforced on time were meaningless.

“With due respect, the Supreme Court taking cognizance of labourers’ issue after more than 60 days of harsh living and over 80 deaths, is a case of ‘justice delayed is justice denied’,” he said.

The Supreme Court said the media reports had continuously been showing the unfortunate and miserable condition of migrant labourers, walking on foot and cycling long distances.

Issuing notice to the Centre and all states/Union Territories, an apex court Bench, comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, S.K. Kaul and M.R. Shah, asked them to submit their responses looking into the urgency of the matter.

Stating that the petition will be taken up on Thursday, the Bench asked the Solicitor General to assist the court and bring to its notice all measures taken and to be taken by the Centre by the next date of hearing.

The Bench posted the hearing for May 28 and asked the Registry to serve a copy to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta as well states and UTs.

“Although the central and the state governments have taken measures, yet there have been inadequacies and certain lapses. We are of the view that effective concentrated efforts are required to redeem the situation,” the Bench said.

The court took the cognizance after several petitions were filed, highlighting the plight of migrant workers during the Covid-19 crisis.

Stressing the need for a helping hand to the migrant labourers, the apex court said, “They (migrants) have also been complaining of not being provided food and water by the administration at places where they were stranded or in the way i.e. highways from which they proceeded on foot, cycles or other modes of transport.”

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Arrest of UP Cong chief undemocratic: Priyanka Gandhi

He was arrested in a case of fraud and forgery, related to bungling in list of buses submitted by the Congress to the UP government for bringing migrant workers.

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Priyanka Gandhi Election

New Delhi, May 26 : Amid the political slugfest over migrant workers and arrest of UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi, here on Tuesday, termed his arrest undemocratic and violation of humanitarian principle, and demanded that he be released immediately.

“Throwing him into prison on baseless charges during a pandemic reveals the undemocratic and opportunistic mindset of the Yogi government and violates all humanitarian principles,” Priyanka Gandhi tweeted.

“We demand justice for him and will continue to fight until it’s delivered,” she said and also tweeted a video clip showing Lallu providing help to migrants.

“Having lived a life of struggle, perseverance and grit, the UP Congress chief knows well the suffering of displaced and marginalised people. He has fought for them steadfastly throughout his career,” tweeted Priyanka.

Lallu was arrested soon after he was granted bail in another case in Agra on Wednesday. Earlier, he had been arrested in Agra on Tuesday for protesting against the government’s refusal to allow movement of buses in the state.

He was arrested in a case of fraud and forgery, related to bungling in list of buses submitted by the Congress to the UP government for bringing migrant workers.

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SC declines to entertain plea to link Aadhaar, social media accounts

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Supreme Court on Aadhaar

New Delhi, May 26 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to entertain a plea by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking to link Aadhaar with social media accounts as a measure to curb fake accounts.

A bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Krishna Murari and S. Ravindra Bhat, taking up the matter through video conferencing, declined to interfere with the Delhi High Court passed in 2019, which also refused to entertain the plea. “We see no reason to interfere with the impugned order of the High Court. The Special Leave Petition is, accordingly, dismissed. However, liberty is granted to the petitioner to file impleadment application in Transfer Case (Civil) No.5/2020,” said the top court.

While disposing of the plea, the top court, however granted Upadhyay liberty to file an impleadment application in another matter concerning the linkage of Aadhaar with social media platforms, which is pending before the court.

In this matter, the apex court had ordered the transfer of all pending cases from various high courts to itself. In the last hearing in this matter, on January 30, the apex court had directed the Madras High Court to send all records related to the matter to it at the earliest.

The petitioner argued that the Delhi High Court did not consider that there existed a total of around 35 million Twitter handles in India and approximately 350 million Facebook accounts, and experts reckon that around 10 per cent Twitter handles (3.5 million) and 10 per cent Facebook accounts (35 million) are fake. Upadhyay said that it is extremely difficult for a common man to distinguish between fake and real accounts.

He argued that bogus accounts are also used for proliferation of fake news which is the root cause of many riots, including the recent riots in Delhi. He contended before the top court that fake news is propagated through ghost accounts, shapes opinion and even plays a vitiating role in the context of free and fair elections.

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