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Supreme Court dismisses plea challenging Pension and other perks of former MPs

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New Delhi, April 16: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea challenging the constitutional validity of the salaries, allowances and pensions given to the former Members of Parliament. 

A bench of justices J. Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul said that it would not interfere in the issue.

The court was ruling on a plea filed by NGO, Lok Prahari demanding to scrap amendments made by Parliament to the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954.

The organisation was appealing against a verdict of Allahabad High Court dismissing a challenge to the constitutional validity of laws granting pension and other perks to former MP’s.

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Asaram rape case: ‘Self-styled Godman’ gets life imprisonment

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Asaram Bapu

New Delhi, April 25: Self-styled godman Asaram Bapu has been Asaraam sentenced to life imprisonment by Jodhpur Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Court for raping a 16-year-old girl at his ashram in 2013.

Special Judge Madhusudhan Sharma delivered the verdict in which three accused including Asaram convicted, two other accused acquitted by in connection with the rape case.

Minutes after the verdict, Asaram spokesperson, Neelam Dubey said “We will discuss with our legal team and then decide our future course of action. We have confidence in our judiciary.

Following the directions of the Rajasthan High Court, the trial court pronounced its verdict in Jodhpur Central Jail premises.

Updates: 

Rest of two accused Shilpi, Sharad sentenced to 20 years jail term

Asaram gets life imprisonment

We have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight, says Victim’s Father 

Asaram is convicted, we have got justice. I want to thank everyone who supported us in this fight. Now I hope he will get strict punishment. I also hope the witnesses who were murdered or kidnapped get justice, said Father of the victim.

Jodhpur Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Court convicts three accussed including Asaram and acquits two other accused

Visuals from Ahmedabad

To ensure law and order is maintained following the verdict, additional forces have been are deployed in three states — Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat.

Rapists like Asaram should be hanged, says Mahendra Chawla, a witness in the case

Trust judiciary and am confident that Asaram will be convicted. I request judiciary that such rapists should be hanged. Though I have security, I request Centre for additional security, my life like other witnesses is constantly under threat, news agency ANI quoted Mahendra Chawla as saying.

Delhi police on high alert 

The Delhi Police is also on high alert today in the wake of the verdict. A senior official says the cops have been given instructions in case followers of Asaram Bapu gather post-judgment. “We are in touch with police forces from neighbouring states to avert any untoward incident. Senior officers from districts and SHOs of police stations concerned have been directed to keep a watch in their respective areas,” he is quoted as saying by PTI.

Security tightened at Jodhpur jail ahead of Asaram Bapu’s case verdict

In Jodhpur, where the verdict will be delivered, authorities imposed Section 144.

Supporters of Asaram offer prayers 

On April 7, the final arguments in the case had been concluded by the special court for SC/ST cases and the court had kept the order reserved to be pronounced on April 25.

Asaram was held on the complaint filed by a teenage girl from Uttar Pradesh’s Shahajahanpur.

The victim, who was studying at Asaram’s ashram at Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh, had alleged that the godman had called her to his ashram in Manai and raped her on the night of August 15, 2013.

Asaram was nabbed from Indore and brought to Jodhpur on September 1, 2013. The godman is in judicial custody since September 2, 2013.

A charge sheet against Asaram and four other co-accused namely Shiva, Shilpi, Sharad and Prakash had been filed by police on November 6, 2013, under various sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO), Juvenile Justice Act and Indian Penal Code.

The trial of the case had started in the district and session court on March 19, 2017, later it had been shifted to the special court for SC/ST cases on December 16, 2016.

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Rape survivor’s father welcomes Asaram’s conviction

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Asaram Bapu

Lucknow, April 25 (IANS) The father of the survivor who was raped as a teenager in 2013 by Asaram Bapu, on Wednesday welcomed a Jodhpur court’s verdict convicting the self-styled godman.

Talking to reporters outside his house in Shahjahanpur in Uttar Pradesh, after the court convicted Asaram Bapu of rape, the father said they had full faith in the judicial system.

However, he added that their struggles and ordeals during the period they were seeking justice tested their grit.

The survivor, who was a Class 12 student at Asaram Bapu’s Chhindwara Ashram in Madhya Pradesh, was raped in August 2013.

Following complaints about her sickness while in Chhindwara, the godman had summoned the girl and her family to his ashram in Manai village on the outskirts of Jodhpur in Rajasthan.

According to the victim’s complaint, she was raped for an hour by the godman on the intervening night of August 15-16, 2013.

The rape survivor’s father who had lodged complaint on August 20, also thanked the media for relentlessly pursuing the matter, and the district administration for providing them security all through the judicial process.

He also expressed hope that the court would hand out the toughest of punishment to the godman.

Before the judgment was pronounced by the Jodhpur court, security around the survivor’s residence was increased.

Pursuing the legal fight for the last five years, since he got a call from the Chhindwara hostel on August 7, 2013, he said he had been waiting for this moment.

He said, the ashram authorities had claimed that his daughter was besieged by spirits. To ward them off, he had taken her to meet Asaram and seek his blessings.

She reported the matter to her parents, who in turn had filed a zero First Information Report (FIR) with the Kamla Nagar police station in New Delhi on August 20.

Asaram Bapu has been in judicial custody since September 2, 2013.

IANS

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India recalls GSAT-11 satellite for tests from Arianespace’s rocket port

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ISRO

Chennai, April 25 (IANS) The Indian space agency has recalled its communication satellite GSAT-11 from Arianespace’s rocket port in Kourou in French Guiana, said Arianespace.

“Due to additional technical checks with the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) GSAT-11 satellite, to be conducted from the ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC) located in Bengaluru, the Ariane 5 launch initially planned for May 25, VA243, has been postponed,” Arianespace said on Wednesday.

The GSAT-11 was planned to be launched Mid May. The satellite had reached Arianespace’s rocket port in March.

GSAT-11 was designed, assembled and integrated by the ISRO, and will have an estimated lift-off mass of 5,870 kg.

This advanced communications satellite is to provide multi-spot beam coverage over the Indian mainland and nearby islands, bringing significant advantages to the user community when compared with India’s existing INSAT/GSAT satellite systems, Arianespace said earlier in a statement.

With its new system architecture and cutting-edge technology elements, GSAT-11 will generate a capacity of more than 12 Gbps for users from a single platform, the statement added.

It is not known what has prompted ISRO to recall its 5.8-ton satellite GSAT-11 for further tests.

It may be recalled, ISRO lost communication contact with its GSAT-6A communication satellite soon after it was put into orbit on March 29.

ISRO suspects the failure of the power systems in the satellite for the loss of communication link.

“The satellites are powered by solar panels that charge the onboard batteries. The batteries are fully charged when the satellite is loaded on to the rocket.

“Even if there is a problem with the solar panel, then the battery power should have kicked in. Here the entire power system of the satellite seems to have failed,” one space expert told IANS earlier.

According to experts, the power system could have failed due to some short circuiting or arcing resulting in what is known in the space terminology ‘loss of lock’ or loss of contact with the ground station.

Satellites in space are locked to ground stations for tracking and other purposes.

On March 29, Indian rocket Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) slung GSAT-6A in its intended orbit. From there the satellite was to be taken up further to its orbital slot by firing its onboard motors.

The first orbit raising operation was successfully carried out by firing the onboard motors for around 36 minutes on March 30 morning.

The second orbit raising operation of GSAT-6A satellite was also successful as its motors was fired for about 53 minutes on March 31.

After that the communication link got snapped.

Industry experts also said there has been instances where communication link with satellites got reestablished after a break of couple of days.

IANS

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