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Modi’s electrification drive fails to improved many powerless households: Niti Aayog

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Niti Aayog

New Delhi, July 17, 2017: The think-tank of India, Niti Aayog on Sunday revealed that “the government’s rural electrification drive has not improved the situation ‘appreciably’ as many households in electrified villages continue to live without power.”

On 15 August 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Red Fort address had pledged to provide electricity to 18,452 villages in the next 1,000 days i.e. May 1, 2018.

This year in May, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal had said that out of 18,452 dark villages, 13,516 villages are electrified, 944 are uninhabited and remaining 3,992 villages would be electrified by May 1, 2018.

But the government think-tank report had said with nearly 304 million Indians without access to electricity, and about 500 million people still dependent on solid bio-mass for cooking, it may be acknowledged that the country has to still go a long way on securing its energy security objective.

The Aayog has said in its draft National Energy Policy (NEP) that “Studies have revealed that in spite of major strides made by the earlier schemes in providing connections and now, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY), the problem of electricity ‘access’ did not improve appreciably.”

The think-tank also hit on flaw in the power ministry’s approach saying, “An inherent challenge in the process is ensuring the coverage of households as opposed to only villages”.

“Several states with high electrification rates still have poor household electrification,” it added.

NITI Aayog’s report assumes significance as the think-tank reports directly to its Chairman, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and its views shape the government’s policy.

The Aayog further recommended that there is also a need to redefine the concept of ‘electrification’, as occurs in the DDUGJY to include stages of electrification in a village, with the village being deemed completely electrified if and only if all households of a village have a power connection, which witnesses reliable supply at least for a set number of hours.

It also suggested that non-BPL households may also be offered support, albeit at a different level.

Meanwhile, Niti Aayog has extended the time period for comments on draft National Energy Policy till July 24, 2017.

Wefornews Bureau

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SC reserves verdict on plea for larger bench to hear Babri Ayodhya title suit

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Babri Demolition

New Delhi, July 20 : The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its order on a plea by Muslim litigants seeking that the hearing on the batch of petitions challenging the 2010 Allahabad High Court verdict directing the splitting of the disputed site at Ayodhya be heard by a larger bench.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S. Abdul Nazeer reserved the verdict on the conclusion of arguments by senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan seeking the reconsideration of the part of 1994 top court judgment which said that a mosque was not essential to Islam for offering Namaz.

Dhavan appeared for the lead petitioner M. Siddiqui represented by his legal heir.

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court by its September 30, 2010 verdict had ordered that the land around the disputed site would be divided into three parts — one for deity (Ramlala Virajmaan), another for Nirmohi Akhara — a Hindu sect and an original litigant in the case and third for the Muslims.

At the outset of the hearing in the apex court on Friday, the court witnessed commotion as some lawyers objected to Dhavan’s use of term Hindu Taliban and comparing the razing of Babri Mosque on December 6, 1992 to that of destruction of Buddha statues in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan by the Taliban.

Refusing to budge from his description of Hindu Taliban, Dhavan said that he stood by every word and destruction of Babri Mosque on December 6, 1992 was an act of terrorism.

As senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan appearing for one the Hindu litigants described arguments as “mockery”, Dhavan said: “It is an argument based on the destruction of the mosque.”

Dhavan said that the former Chief Justice, the late J.S.Verma had said that Hindus must wear the cross for the destruction of the Babri Mosque.

At this, reminding Dhavan that it was incumbent upon senior lawyers to maintain “decorum” in the court, the Chief Justice described as “inappropriate” the words used by the senior lawyer.

Taking exception to the “inappropriate adjectives” used by Dhavan, he said that “adjectives” that are used in the course of the arguments should be the ones that have the acceptance of the court.

“You may think what you may, but the court thinks it was completely inappropriate,” Chief Justice Misra said as Dhavan insisted that he did not think that the description of Hindu Taliban was inappropriate.

Dhavan said that he could differ with the bench and that will not amount to contempt.

The Chief Justice meanwhile one of the lawyers to leave the court room after he said that “thousands of temple were destroyed and you still call us Hindu Taliban”.

Things came to such a pass, that a lawyer complained that court has become a sort of parliament.

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Delhi Air hostess suicide: Court rejects husband’s bail plea

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Saket Court

New Delhi, July 20: The Saket court on Friday rejected the anticipatory bail plea filed by the parents of Mayank Singhvi, the husband of the air hostess who allegedly committed suicide last week in Panchsheel Park. 

Singhvi is currently under 14-day judicial custody.

On Thursday, a friend of the hostess had said that Singhvi was responsible for the victim’s “extreme step”.

“I had received a message from her (air hostess) where she talked of killing herself saying her husband has driven her to this stage. She was a very strong girl. I can’t believe that she took this step,” the friend told ANI.

Before committing suicide, the air hostess had sent a message to her friend on WhatsApp, saying that she had been locked up in a room by Singhvi.

Singhvi was arrested on July 16 and the subsequently sent him to a 14-day judicial custody.

According to the police, the deceased air hostess had a fight with her husband around 4:30 pm on July 13, after which she went to the terrace and jumped off.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Romil Baniya, said a full-fledged probe has been initiated in connection with the case under Hauz Khas Police Station limits.

WeForNews 

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SC collegium reiterates recommendation on Justice Joseph’s elevation

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Justice-KM-Joseph
K M Joseph (File Photo)

New Delhi, July 20: The Supreme Court collegium has reiterated its recommendation to elevate Justice K.M. Joseph, the Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, to the Supreme Court.

The top court collegium reiterated its January 10 recommendation at its meeting on July 16, according to the decision that was uploaded on the top court’s website on Friday.

Reiterating its recommendation, the collegium noted that there was nothing adverse regarding suitability of Justice Joseph in the two communications sent by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad while returning the recommendation for reconsideration.

Recommending Justice Joseph’s elevation to top court, the collegium had on January 10 said: “The collegium considers that at present Justice K.M. Joseph is more deserving and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts for being appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court.”

However, the Centre had invoked the principle of seniority saying that Justice Joseph stood at number 42 of the seniority of the High Court judges and there were 11 Chief Justices of various High Courts senior to him – a clear suggestion that any elevation of Justice Joseph to top court would be at their expense.

Besides this, the Centre had said that Kerala High Court being comparatively a small court with a sanctioned strength of 42 judges was a parent high court for Supreme Court judge Justice Kurian Joseph, Chief Justices of three High Courts — Justice K.M. Joseph himself (Uttarakhand), Justice T.B. Radhakrishnan (Chhattisgarh) and Justice Antony Dominic (Kerala).

However, the top court collegium by its July 16 decision said: “We have carefully considered the observations made by the Law Minister in his letters dated April 26 and April 30 addressed to the Chief Justice of India referring back, for reconsideration, the recommendation made by us on January 10 for appointment of Justice K.M. Joseph, Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, as Judge of the Supreme Court.

“The Collegium, on due consideration of all the aspects mentioned in the aforesaid two letters, resolves to reiterate the afore-mentioned recommendation, especially since nothing adverse regarding suitability of Mr. Justice K.M. Koseph has been pointed out in the aforesaid letters.”

IANS

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