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SC rejects plea for SIT probe, says image of top court damaged

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New Delhi, Nov 14: The Supreme Court on Tuesday junked a petition, terming it as “scandalous”, for seeking an SIT probe into the allegations of graft involving a retired Orissa High Court judge and observed that the whole controversy has damaged the image of the top judiciary and created doubts about its integrity.

“Unnecessary doubts about the integrity of the institution have been created,” the bench of R.K. Agrawal, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar observed, as it deprecated the petition by lawyer Kamini Jaiswal.

Observing that nobody, including the judges of the top court, were above law, Justice Mishra pronouncing the judgment also said ‘No’ to contempt against the lawyers – Prashant Bhushan and Jaiswal – with a hope that “all will unitedly work for the welfare of the institution (top court)”.

Saying that “none of us” in the higher echelons was above law, the court said, “It is the duty of both the Bar and the Bench, to protect the dignity of the entire judicial system”.

“We find that filing of such petitions and the zest with which it is pursued, has brought the entire system in the last few days to unrest. An effort was made to create ripples in this court; serious and unwanted shadow of doubt has been created for no good reason whatsoever by way of filing the petition which was wholly scandalous and ought not to have been filed in such a method and manner. It is against the settled proposition of law,” said Justice Mishra speaking for the bench.

In case “majesty of our judicial system” has to survive, the court said that such kind of petitions should not have been preferred that too against the settled proposition of law laid down by this court.

Regretting that “unnecessary” aspersions were cast without proper verification of the facts, the court took a dim view of the plea for recusal of Justice Khanwilkar from the bench on the grounds that he along with Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had heard the matter relating to a Lucknow-based private medical college linked to the admission scam.

Saying that it was “far fetched and too tenuous” that any judge of this court, much less Justice Khanwilkar, has any interest in the subject matter before them, the court said: “There is no room for reasonable suspicion even in remote, and the argument is simply too derogatory to be made, probably that has been made anyhow, for somehow to protect the case and to bring disrepute to this court.”

“We cannot fall prey to such unscrupulous devices adopted by the litigants, so as to choose the benches, as that is a real threat to the very existence of the system itself and it would be denigrated in case we succumb to such pressure tactics,” the judgment said.

Pointing to the scenarios created by two petitions as “disturbing”, which has “unnecessarily brought into disrepute” the entire judiciary for “no good cause whatsoever”, the court said: “It passes comprehension, how it was that the petitioner presumed, that there is an FIR lodged against any public functionary.”

Referring to averment that FIR was against the highest judicial functionaries, the court said, “We do not find reflection of any name of the Judge of this Court in the FIR.”

Recalling its earlier judgment, the court said, “There is no question of registering any FIR against any sitting Judge of the High Court or of this Court as it is not permissible as per the law laid down by a Constitution Bench.”

IANS

India

Jammu and Kashmir: Minor injured in clashes in Baramulla district

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ARMY POLICE STATION JAMMU KASHMIR

Srinagar, May 20 : A nine-year-old boy was seriously injured during clashes between a group of youth and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district, police said on Sunday.

According to the police, Rizwan Ahmad was injured in Arampora in Sopore late on Saturday when a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) vehicle was attacked with stones by a group of youth.

Doctors treating the injured minor said he had been hit by a rubber bullet in his head.

“He was referred to SKIMS in Srinagar for specialised treatment”, doctors said.

The police said they have registered a case in this incident.

The Centre had on Wednesday announced a ceasefire in the troubled state, asking security forces to halt their operations during the Ramzan to help “peace-loving Muslims” observe the holy month in a peaceful environment.

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Kathua rape -murder: BJP MLA Lal Singh leads march demanding CBI probe

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srinagar-protest Kathua rape

Jammu, May 20 : Former state minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Choudhary lal Singh on Sunday led a march in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua district, seeking CBI probe into Kathua rape and murder case.

Lal Singh walked barefoot for nearly five hours after which his supporters urged him to get into a vehicle as he developed blisters in his feet.

The march was organised to mount pressure on the state government to have the Kathua rape and murder case investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

lal Singh and another senior BJP leader Chander Prakash Ganga resigned from the state cabinet following their participation in a rally organised by Hindu Ekta Manch in Hiranagar area in January this year.

The State Crime Branch has already filed a charge sheet against eight accused in the rape and murder of an 8-year-old in Rasana village of Kathua district.

On the plea of the victim’s father, the Supreme Court has ordered that the trial of this case be held on a daily basis without any adjournment in Pathankot town of neighbouring Punjab.

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Petrol, diesel in Delhi hit record highs

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New Delhi, May 20: Petrol, diesel in State-run Indian Oil Corp on Sunday raised transport fuel to record highs in Delhi on the seventh day of resuming the daily price change system, following a temporary suspension that lasted 20 days.

The price of petrol in Delhi touched a record high of Rs 76.24 per litre under the dynamic pricing regime beating the previous high of Rs 76.06 in the city on September 14, 2013.

Sunday’s hike of 33 paise over the previous day was the highest since dynamic pricing resumed after the suspension, coinciding with the Karnataka elections.

Diesel in the national capital on Sunday went to its highest level of Rs 67.57 per litre.

Petrol prices climbed to new multi-year highs in other major metro cities too — Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai — at Rs 78.91, Rs 84.07 and Rs 79.13 per litre respectively.

Diesel prices also touched record high levels on Sunday in Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. They rose to Rs 70.12, Rs 71.94 and Rs 71.32 per litre respectively.

The price of the Indian basket of crude oils, composed of 70 per cent sour grade Oman and Dubai crudes and the rest by sweet grade Brent, has gone upwards of $70 a barrel this month, after rising to an average of $69.30 in April 2018.

It averaged $47.56 and $56.43 per barrel respectively during the last two financial years.

During a telephonic interaction earlier this week with Saudi Arabian Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan raised concern over the surge in crude oil prices.

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