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SC notice to government, EC on sources of income of poll candidates

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New Delhi, July 19 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the central government and the Election Commission on a plea that candidates in the election fray should disclose sources of their income and if they had any stakes in entities having business transactions with the government.

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A bench headed by Justice J.Chelameswar issued notice on a plea by a Lucknow-based NGO Lok Prahari seeking inclusion of a column in the nomination form seeking the details of the sources of income on the basis of which they have come to possess their assets.

The court was moved by the NGO’s general secretary S.N.Shukla, who is a retired bureaucrat.

While dealing with the PIL by the NGO, the court, in the course of the previous hearing on July 2, had said that it would examine if lawmakers could have stakes in companies having business interest with the government.

Telling Shukla that it was a cause of worry that people in the legislature have contracts in the government, the court had, in an apparent reference to beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya, said: “People borrow crores of rupees, become MPs and then fly away when things go wrong.”

Shukla through his PIL has told the court that candidates while filing their nomination papers were disclosing their assets, assets of their spouse, children and other dependents but not the sources of income by which they have come to possess them.

To buttress his point that some of the law makers were thriving on easy money, he said of the 542 Lok Sabha members, 113 have described their profession as housewife, social workers, social service and politics.

These can’t be and should not be sources of getting money but in the case of 12 of them, their assets have increased more than fivefold, Shukla told the court.

He said that for such category of lawmakers, membership of legislatures is in not for public service but self-service.

 

(IANS)

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Punjabi diaspora worried, shocked over ‘brutality’ against farmers

“Farmers are peacefully protesting over controversial bills that will impact their livelihoods. Water cannons and tear gas, are being used to silence them.”

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Farmers Beaten

Chandigarh, Nov 29: The planned protest against new farm laws and the ‘brutality’ of the security forces by lobbing teargas shells and using water cannons to stop the peaceful march of the farmers towards the national capital has left the diaspora largely from Canada worried and shocked.

They asked the Indian government to engage in an open dialogue with the farmers as their livelihoods are going to be impacted.

Expressing solidarity with the farmers, Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the reports of peaceful protesters being brutalized were very troubling.

“Many of my constituents have family there and are worried about the safety of their loved ones. Healthy democracies allow peaceful protest. I urge those involved to uphold this fundamental right,” he tweeted on Sunday.

Joining the issue, Sonia Sidhu, MP for Brampton South, Canada, tweeted, “I received many messages from constituents concerned in Brampton South about the situation in India.

“My residents told me how worried they are about the protests of the Punjab farmers. I share their concerns and hope that the situation will be resolved peacefully.”

Joining her counterpart, Ruby Sahota, MP for Brampton (North), said the determination and resilience of the farmers is admirable.

“In a free and just society one should be able to advocate for their cause without the threat of force being used against them. The brutality being faced by the Indian farmers in these images is deplorable,” she said in a tweet.

Joining the cause, Chandigarh-born Rachna Singh, Parliament Secretary of British Columbia, said she was really saddened by the way Punjab farmers are being treated. “This is unacceptable.”

Describing the violence perpetrated by the Indian government against farmers peacefully protesting is appalling, Canada’s New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh tweeted: “I stand in solidarity with the farmers from Punjab and across India — and, I call on the Indian government to engage in peaceful dialogue rather than violence”

He thanked Jack Harris, MP for St. John’s East, for his advocacy.

“We are shocked to see the Indian government’s suppression of farmers protesting new laws which will endanger their livelihood. Instead of using water cannons and tear gas, the Indian government needs to engage in open dialogue with farmers,” said Harris.

“Peaceful protests are fundamental in any democracy, and I urge for the rights of the protestors to be respected,” said Navdeep Bains, MP for Mississauga-Malton.

“Shocking scenes from Delhi,” remarked MP from Britain, Preet Kaur Gill.

“Farmers are peacefully protesting over controversial bills that will impact their livelihoods. Water cannons and tear gas, are being used to silence them.”

Tracing his roots to a farmer family, Indo-Canadian politician Gurratan Singh said the images of police brutality were horrific.

“I come from a family of farmers. I feel the pain and struggle of farmers protesting laws that threaten their livelihoods. The state continues to meet peaceful protestors with violence and brutality,” he tweeted along with the video of his speech made by him in the Ontario Assembly.

“Farmers are the backbone of our society. They feed cities, and right now they are under attack in India. Folks in my riding are concerned about new laws that are passed by the Indian government that are going to hurt the farmers in Punjab, Haryana and others across India.

“That’s why I am asking all the members of this House to come together to stand with farmers against these unjust laws passed by the Indian government, so farmers in India can live with respect and dignity that they deserve,” Gurratan Singh said in his speech.

Standing with farmers in India, Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party, Andrea Horwath, said: “Everyone deserves to be able to exercise their democratic rights without fear of state-sanctioned violence”.

Canadian MP Tim Uppal posted, “India’s farmers deserve to be heard and respected. This is horrific.”

The farmers are protesting against the farm laws as they feel that these laws would pave the way for the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporate entities.

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Disaster

Coronavirurs: India’s Covid-19 tally nears 94 lakh

The overall number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed the 62 million mark, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.45 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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Coronavirus India

New Delhi, Nov 29: With 41,810 new coronavirus infections and 496 deaths in the past 24 hours, India’s overall tally stood at 93,92,920 on Sunday, as the fatality toll touched 1,36,696, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Currently, there are 4,53,956 active cases, whereas 88,02,267 patients have been cured and discharged so far.

The recovery rate stands at 93.71 per cent, and the fatality rate is 1.46 as per cent, the Ministry said.

Maharashtra continued to be the worst-hit state with 18,14,515 cases till date. There are 90,965 active cases and 46,986 Covid-19 deaths.

According to the ministry, almost 70 per cent of the daily new cases are contributed by eight States and UT, i.e., Maharashtra, Delhi, Kerala, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Chhattisgarh.

The overall number of global coronavirus cases has surpassed the 62 million mark, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.45 million, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In its latest update on Sunday, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 6,21,47,874 and 14,50,326, respectively.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 1,32,33,884 and 2,66,009, respectively, according to the CSSE. India comes in second place in terms of cases.

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India

Farmers plan to stage protest near Parliament, Jantar Mantar

Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, “Protests happen at Ramlila ground, then why should we go to Nirankari Bhawan, a private facility? We will stay put here today”.

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Farmers Delegation

New Delhi: Farmers continued with their demonstration in Delhi and refused to move to the government suggested venue against the farm reforms.

“Today, we will go to Delhi and stage our protest either near Parliament or at Jantar Mantar. We do not accept govt’s proposal and will not go to the allotted ground in Burari,” news agency quoted a farmer as saying.

Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait said, “Protests happen at Ramlila ground, then why should we go to Nirankari Bhawan, a private facility? We will stay put here today”.

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