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Rajiv Gandhi assassination case : Killers can’t be freed, Centre tells Supreme Court

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New Delhi, Aug 10 : The Centre on Friday informed the Supreme Court that the seven people convicted for the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi cannot be released as the “they don’t deserve leniency” for “gruesome” killing.

“The releasing of killers of former PM Rajiv Gandhi will set a very dangerous precedent. The case has been decided by various forum of judiciary and executive and the prisoners do not deserve to be set free,” said the Centre to the Supreme Court.

“Assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was the most heinous and gruesome crime, the brutal Act brought the Indian democratic process to a grinding halt  and the convicts do not deserve any leniency,” said the Centre.

The top court recorded the affidavit filed by the Central government and adjourned the matter for a later date.

The Central government stated that the President of India has already rejected a proposal to release the convicts.

The government asserted that the CBI, which investigated the case, has opposed the release of the seven convicts and Tamil Nadu had been informed of the decision on April 18, the centre told the court.

The Centre’s affidavit came in response to the Supreme Court asking the government to explain its stand on Tamil Nadu’s 2016 decision to release the seven convicts of the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.

In June, President Ram Nath Kovind rejected the Tamil Nadu government’s request to release the seven prisoners. The seven convicts are V Sriharan alias Murugan, AG Perarivalan, T Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas, Ravichandran and Nalini.

The Tamil Nadu government’s decision was challenged in the Supreme Court, following which the court asked for the Centre’s opinion.

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991, around seven years after his mother Indira Gandhi was gunned down by her bodyguards in New Delhi.

 

 

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Simultaneous polls not possible, need legal framework : Chief Election Commissioner

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New Delhi , Aug 14 : Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Tuesday virtually ruled out holding simultaneous elections, a day after the BJP made a fresh push to hold Lok Sabha and assembly polls together.

Election Commissioner Rawat said,”simultaneous elections are not possible without a legal framework as any extension or curtailment of the term of assemblies will require a constitutional amendment.”

 “But if polls are to be held in installments, like in 11 states at once, possibilities are there if all respective houses agree to dissolve and conduct polls together,” he added.

“Extra polling personnel, security, & VVPATs will also be needed, logistics arrangements with regard to 100 per cent availability of VVPATs (paper trail machines) will be a constraint,” he told reporters to a question on whether simultaneous elections can be held anytime soon.

“On the issue of ‘one nation one poll’, the Election Commission had given inputs and suggestions in 2015 itself… Other requirements of additional police force, polling personnel would also be needed,” he said.

The CEC said the poll panel would continue to deliver its responsibility of conducting elections whenever term of the state assemblies come to an end.

For conducting 2019 Lok Sabha polls, EC  requires new EVMs — 13.95 lakh ballot units and 9.3 lakh control units -and 16.15 lakh VVPATsbefore the end of November.

If simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies are held in 2019, the EC will require nearly 24 lakh EVMs, double the number required to hold only the Parliamentary polls.

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Jharkhand to cancel licence of 7 children’s homes run by Missionaries of Charity

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Ranchi, Aug 14 : The Jharkhand government will cancel the licence of seven children’s homes run by Missionaries of Charity in Ranchi but state Arch Bishop Felisk Toppo had alleged that the state had adopted repressive measures against the Missionaries in the name of investigating the NGOs. The state CID is investigating the funding of 88 NGOs.

The state BJP has rejected the Arch Bishop’s charges. “The investigation is going on at the directive of the the Union Home Ministry. The Missionaries should cooperate in the probe,” said Pratul Sahdero, Jharkhand BJP spokesperson.

“The Social Welfare Department has accepted a proposal of the Ranchi Deputy Commissioner recommending cancellation of the licence of seven children’s homes run by Missionaries of Charity,” an official of the Social Welfare Department told.

“A notification is likely to be issued after Independence Day,” said the official.

The Ranchi DC had ordered a probe into the children’s homes run by Missionaries of Charity. The district officials inspected the homes and recommended action as these homes did not follow the norms, the official said.

Two other institutions, Asha Sansthan and Kishori Niketan, have been given three months to improve their functioning.

“Of the seven children’s homes, one had no building, another was not following the guidelines prescribed under the Juvenile Justice Act. The third home kept 43 children in two rooms and the address of another was found wrong. The fifth home’s licence expired, while some discrepancies were detected in other two homes,” said the official.

The Missionaries of Charity came under the scanner after a controversy erupted in June over “selling” of four babies. A sister and an employee of the Missionaries of Charity were arrested on charges of selling the newborns to a childless couple.

 

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Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Das Tandon passes away

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New Delhi : 14 August : Chhattisgarh Governor Balramji Das Tandon passes away at the age of 90. He was admitted to a hospital in Raipur yesterday.

Tandon was put on life support here early on Tuesday after his health condition turned critical, hospital sources said.

Tandon was admitted to the Raipur Medical College late on Monday. Earlier that day he had attended the dress rehearsal of the Independence Day parade. However, by evening he complained he was not feeling well.

On Tuesday, Tandon was shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after his condition became critical.

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