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Sabarimala: Devaswom Board asks SC for more time to implement order



Sabrimala Temple

New Delhi, Nov 19 : The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) that manages the Sabarimala temple on Monday moved an application in the Supreme Court seeking more time to implement the apex court’s order allowing women of all age groups into the temple.

The Board has cited lack of infrastructure at the shrine post August’s devastating floods as also the simmering law and order situation amid a section of devotees resisting the entry of women.

The Supreme Court had on September 28 allowed the entry of women of all ages into the temple, where women aged 10-50 years (or menstruating age) were not traditionally allowed.

In response to a number of pleas, the apex court on November 13 agreed to hear all review petitions on January 22. Meanwhile, it has put no bar on the entry of women.

November 16 to January 20 is the pilgrimage season at Sabarimala.

“In order to cater to the entry of women and to ensure their safety and well-being, additional infrastructure such as restrooms, washrooms and other necessary facilities will have to be created at Sabarimala, Pampa and Nilakkal, for which the applicant would require some time so as to make additional arrangements to put such infrastructure in place,” the TDB said in its application.

It pointed out that even the “unprecedented security and efforts” by the state authorities have not “discouraged the protesters from threatening and impeding women devotees” from paying obeisance at the Sabarimala temple.

The security of women being the primary responsibility, “The applicant submits that at present, it is not in a position to provide that much of additional facilities for them,” it said.

The TDB emphasised at the outset in its application that it was “bound by the judgement dated September 28, 2018 passed by this court” and was “duty-bound to implement the same in letter and spirit”.

“However, the applicant is facing certain practical difficulties which has constrained it to approach this court. It is submitted that calamitous floods in August damaged and destroyed the infrastructure at Pampa and its surrounding areas which is the base camp of the pilgrimage for the devotees of Lord Ayyappa.

“The buildings, stalls, pilgrim shelters, toilet facilities, sewage network system etc were almost completely washed off,” it said.

It said the basic amenities at Nilakkal (where the base camp has been shifted to) and Pampa are being provided through temporary toilets and bio-toilets to meet the increasing needs of pilgrims.


Urijit Patel’s “forced” exit blot on India’s banking system: Ahmed Patel



Ahmed Patel
Ahmed Patel , File Photo

New Delhi, Dec 10: Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Monday said that the forced exit of RBI governor Urjit Patel is a blot on India’s monetary and banking system.

“The manner in which RBI governor has been forced to quit is a blot on India’s monetary & banking system. BJP Govt has unleashed a defacto financial emergency. The country’s reputation&credibility is now at stake”, the Congress leader tweeted.

“Every institution carefully built & nurtured over the last 70 years is being trampled upon with complete impunity”, he said in another tweet.


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London’s Westminster Court orders extradition of Vijay Mallya to India



Vijay Mallya

London, Dec 10: London’s Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday ordered the extradition of fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India.

Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot has found prima facie a case against Mallya for fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

The matter of extradition of Vijay Mallya to India has been referred to the Secretary of State.

The Central Bureau of Investigation welcomed the UK court orders.

Reacting to the verdict, the CBI spokesperson said that “We hope to bring him soon and conclude the case. CBI has its own inherent strengths. We worked hard on this case. We are strong on Law and facts and we were confident while pursuing extradition process”.

The Court announced the verdict following a prolonged litigation involving Mallya, who fled India in March 2016.

The development took place came six days after British national and alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal, Christian Michael, was extradited to India from Dubai.

Mallya has repeatedly denied fleeing from India and said he was ready to pay back the money he owed to Indian banks.

Proceedings are on in the Mumbai Special Court against the businessman under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act.

Last year, India filed extradition proceedings against Mallya which he has contested. He is currently on bail in London.


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Bulandshahr violence: UP Police admit no proof against soldier



Bulandshahr violence

Lucknow, Dec 10: Two days after arresting a soldier from Jammu for alleged involvement in Bulandshahr mob violence which claimed lives of a cop and a civilian, the Uttar Pradesh Police admitted on Monday that it did not have enough proof against him.

Officials said they did not have conclusive proof so far against Jeetu Fauji to prove he had a hand in the killing of Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh.

What had so far been proved is that Jeetu Fauji was at the scene of the crime and no more, police officials admitted.

The accused has also claimed innocence saying he was not involved in the murder of the police official or for that matter in the mob violence.

During his interrogation by the police and Special Task Force (STF), he admitted to be passing by the scene but insisted he was not a party to the violence.

Senior Superintendent of Police in STF, Abhishek Kumar Singh, confirmed to IANS: “At the initial point of arrest there was not much evidence against the soldier.”

His family members allege that he was being implicated so that the prime accused, Yogesh Raj of Bajrang Dal, is let off the hook.

Meanwhile, Jeetu Fauji has been sent to 14 days of judicial custody.

The Chief Judicial Magistrate has dismissed his bail application and his family is likely to approach the district judge on Tuesday.

The violence broke out after some cattle carcasses were found in a field and Bajrang Dal activists claimed they were of cows slaughtered by a specific community.

They brought these in tractor trolleys and tried to jam an important road. As a police team led by Subodh Kumar Singh reached there, it was attacked with stones.

Someone in the crowd fired from a .32 bore pistol, killing the officer instantly.


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