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SC declines immediate stay on Electoral Bonds Scheme

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday refused to consider a plea seeking immediate stay on Electoral Bond Scheme. A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant asked the Election Commission to file a response within two weeks.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, sought immediate stay on the scheme in the backdrop of Delhi elections slated on February 8. He insisted that the scheme has operational illegally and thousands of crores of illicit money will be funnelled through this scheme, before Delhi polls.

Earlier, the apex court had agreed to hear a plea in January 2020 seeking a stay on the Electoral Bond Scheme notified by the Centre on January 2, 2018.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), had argued before a bench headed by the Chief Justice that the application puts on record the objections of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other authorities on the Electoral Bonds scheme which were ignored by the government and have been recently disclosed through an RTI.

Bhushan insisted that around Rs 6,000 crore was collected under the scheme, red-flagged by the RBI and the Election Commission.

Bhushan equated scheme with accepting bribe, money laundering and channelization of black money. “We will see this in January,” the court said.

The application emphasized the scheme has opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate donations to political parties and anonymous financing by Indian and foreign companies, potentially having serious repercussions on the Indian democracy.

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Supreme Court to hear Shaheen Bagh matter on March 23

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to expand the scope of petitions in the Shaheen Bagh matter and look into the recent violence in Delhi.

Justice SK Kaul said the environment was not conducive for even hearing the Shaheen Bagh matter and adjourned it till March 23 after the Holi vacation. Let the situation cool down first, the Supreme Court bench said, disposing off applications relating to Delhi violence.

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Army should be called to curb Delhi violence: Arvind Kejriwal

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that police is “unable” to control violence in northeastern part of the national capital where horrific clashes between pro and anti-citizenship law protesters since Sunday have killed 20 people, including a policeman.

A day after Kejriwal met Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the clashes and said that “police could not do anything” to prevent trouble, Kejriwal today suggested that “Army should be called in”.

“I have been in touch wid large no of people whole nite. Situation alarming. Police, despite all its efforts, unable to control situation and instil confidence. Army shud be called in and curfew imposed in rest of affected areas immediately. Am writing to Hon’ble HM to this effect (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted this morning.

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No cognizable offence: Delhi police on ‘goli maaro’ remark

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Anurag Thakur

New Delhi, Feb 26 The Crime Branch of Delhi Police on Wednesday said that “no cognizable offence is made out” against BJP lawmakers Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Verma for their alleged inflammatory remarks.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Brinda Karat had filed a complaint against the leaders on charges of outraging religious feelings, intending to provoke breach of trust and criminal intimidation.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vishal Pahuja had, earlier this month, directed the police to file an Action Taken Report (ATR) in the complaint.

In the report filed on Wednesday, the police stated, “On the basis of allegations levelled in the complaint, no cognizable offence has been found to be committed.”

It said that the subsequent violence in the national capital have “no connection to the speeches mentioned in the complaint”.

They further sought more time to file a final ATR in the matter. “Situation in Delhi is such that police is busy and hence we want more time.”

The court heard the arguments from both sides and slated the matter to March 2 for pronouncement of order.

During the course of proceedings, counsel representing Karat, contended that the statements had “springboard effect”.

“We filed the complaint before the police commissioner but no action has been taken so far. Had it been taken on time, subsequent incident would not have happened,” advocate Tara Narula said.

The application was filed under Section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure which empowers a magistrate to direct the police to conduct investigation into any matter.

An inflammatory slogan “desh ke gaddaron ko goli maaro s*** ko” was chanted at a public rally addressed by Thakur on January 27 in Delhi’s Rithala area. Thakur had allegedly egged on his audience to respond to the slogan.

Verma was reported as saying that mosques and graveyards had come up in over 500 government properties in the national capital, including hospitals and schools.

He said that the land where these “illegal structures” have come up belong to the Delhi Development Authority, Municipal Corporations of Delhi, Delhi Jal Board and many other government agencies.

Thakur and Verma were then barred from campaigning by the Election Commission for 72 hours and 96 hours respectively in the run-up to the February 8 Delhi Assembly polls.

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