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Stone Pelting: NHRC seeks Defence Ministry’s report over alleged rights violation of Army Personnel

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Representational Image , PC: PTI

New Delhi, Feb 9: After taking cognisance of a complaint by three children of army officers against the incident of stone pelting in Shopian  on January 27, The National Human Rights Commission has written to the Union Defence Secretary, seeking for  a “factual report”  from the Union Ministry of Defence to know the contemporary situation and measures taken by the Central Government. 

“NHRC has taken cognizance of a complaint requesting its intervention for an appropriate inquiry in the recent incident of stone pelting and assault by an unruly and disruptive mob on the Army personnel in the Shopian district of Jammu & Kashmir on the 27th January 2018. Raising the issue of the safety of soldiers and officers of the Indian Army, deployed in encounter insurgency areas in Jammu & Kashmir and other states, the complaint sought to draw the attention of the Commission to the innumerable and frequent instances of violation of human rights of the army personnel, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir,” the Indian Express quoted citing NHRC statement.

As per the Jammu and Kashmir Police, two protesters were killed in alleged firing by the Army, while a third protester succumbed to injuries later after the incident.

The father of an Army officer, who was booked in connection with the killing of civilians, has also approached the Supreme Court, demanding that the FIR be quashed because it will hurt the Army’s morale in countering terrorism.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra fixed February 12 for the hearing, after petitioner’s lawyer Aishwarya Bhati sought urgent hearing of the case.

The complaint has been filed by the three children of Indian Army officials, maintaining that they are disturbed with the recent incidents of stone pelting and assaults by unruly and disruptive mob on security personnel.

“They alleged, quoting news reports, that the attack on an army convoy in Shopian district was completely unprovoked an unwarranted; still an FIR was registered against the army personnel. They quoted, date wise, a series of incidents wherein, allegedly, the army faced hostilities from the very people, it was deployed to protect. Not only that, even FIRs were registered against the army”, the human rights commission said on Friday.

The commission further added ” It is pointed out in the complaint that the administration, which is being assisted by the Indian Army, has failed to safeguard the human rights of the members of the Armed Forces. They cited instances of various countries, wherein severe punishment is meted out to those involved in stone pelting on Armed Forces. They have also stated that it is revealed that the FIRs, registered against the stone pelters and perpetrators of violence, had been withdrawn upon the directions of the Government of J&K and that it will definitely lower down the morale of the troops”.

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CM Amarinder praises farmers for lifting blockade on goods

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Amarinder Singh

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday welcomed the farmer unions’ decision to allow movement of goods trains, saying it was in the interest of the state’s economy and its revival.

Thanking the farmer unions for heeding his appeal, the Chief Minister said the farmers had shown their love and concern for the people of Punjab with this move, as it will allow the state to get its much-needed coal supplies.He pointed out that the people of Punjab had been facing a total power shutdown as a result of coal shortage due to the blockade, and the decision of the unions had come as a major relief to them.Singh said in a statement here that farmer organisations, with this decision, had also ensured that the industry would not have to suffer anymore but would get back on the path to revival.The ‘rail roko’ of the farmers had caused huge financial losses to the industry, thus compounding the crisis triggered by the Covid pandemic.

Further, said the Chief Minister, the easing of the blockade for goods trains will help the state replenish its critically low urea supplies, thus catering to the urgent need of the farming community for fertilisers.The farmers had not let the state down, and he would personally ensure that his government never lets them down, said Amarinder Singh.He reiterated his commitment to save their livelihood and lives, both of which were facing acute danger as a result of the Centre’s ‘black’ farm laws.The Chief Minister, however, urged the unions to also lift the blockade on passenger trains, which were catering to tens of thousands of Punjabis every day, especially during festive times.”The people of Punjab want to come back home to celebrate the festival season with their families,” he said, appealing to the farmers to allow the movement of passenger trains too in the interest of Punjabis.

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Delhi HC adjourns hearing on plea against appointing SPPs in riots cases

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Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday adjourned till November 9 the hearing on a plea against the appointment of Special Public Prosecutors (SPPs) in cases of riots and violence in northeast Delhi in February.

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SC allows trust to operate banks accounts to pay bills, taxes

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Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has permitted the Maharwal Khewaji Trust, which manages the Rs 20,000-crore property of erstwhile princely state of Faridkot, to operate bank accounts to pay salaries to staff and meet expenses on utilities bills and taxes etc.

In June, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ruled that the will of Harinder Singh Brar, the last ruler of the erstwhile princely state, was forged in favour of the Maharwal Khewaji Trust on June 1, 1982.

The High Court had said that his two daughters, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and Maharani Deepinder Kaur, were entitled to inherit and share the properties.

The trust had moved the Supreme Court against this order. The top court had ordered for a status quo and allowed the trust to continue as caretaker.

Last Friday, a bench comprising Justices UU Lalit and S Ravindra Bhat said: “Since the activities undertaken by the Trust are in the nature of running a hospital and other philanthropic causes, at this stage, we permit the applicant Trust to operate the accounts mentioned in Paragraph 12 of the application strictly for the purposes enumerated at serial numbers 2 to 7 in Paragraph 8 of the application.”

The expenses include those on salaries, amounts due towards security agency, utilities bills, advance tax and GST payments and the statutory payments towards ESI and EPF.

The bench ordered that details of all expenses incurred as well as credits received should be placed before it periodically.

“The first report shall be filed on or before October 30; and the second report thereafter be submitted on or before November 30, ” said the top court.

Senior Advocates V Giri and Krishnan Venugopal opposed the prayer and submitted that in the name of meeting the expenditure towards fulfilling the objectives of the Trust, the amounts are being misused and, as such, the relief prayed for should not to be granted.

The top court’s order came on an interlocutory application filed by Trust that during the pendency of these petitions it may be permitted to operate its bank accounts.

Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Dhruv Mehta, appearing for the applicant, submitted that though there was no express order of injunction, the banks concerned have frozen the Trust accounts, as a result of which its activities are getting seriously prejudiced. They urged the top court to allow these accounts to be operated during the pendency of petitions.

The top court also directed the bank managers concerned to submit statements of accounts from June 1 to October 30. The top court listed the matter for disposal on November 4.

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